Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Statement of Policy

Excelsior College has established institutional requirements for minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for undergraduate and graduate students. These requirements, developed in accordance with Excelsior College academic standards, federal financial aid statutes, and regulations governing student eligibility, are designed to ensure that all students make timely progress toward their educational goals. Students who achieve these standards are considered to be making SAP at Excelsior College.

All students are required to maintain SAP toward their degree requirements during each term for which they are enrolled at Excelsior College. It is the College's intention that all students make satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees so that their educational goals can be achieved in a reasonable time frame.


A. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard. Academic progress for students receiving financial aid will be assessed for all students after every term a student attempts to earn Excelsior College credit. This will ensure standards are met according to the following 4 measures:

  • Minimum Excelsior College grade point average (GPA): A matriculated undergraduate student must maintain a minimum Excelsior College GPA of 2.0 (C) to meet the minimum standards for SAP. A matriculated graduate student must maintain a minimum Excelsior College GPA of 3.0 (B) to meet the standards for SAP.


The Excelsior College GPA is based on grades awarded from Excelsior College sources of credit attempted by matriculated students. The overall GPA is based on grades awarded from ALL sources of credit that are entered on the student's transcript. The overall GPA is not used to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress.


  • Minimum completion rate: A matriculated undergraduate or graduate student must maintain a minimum completion rate of two-thirds (67 percent) of the total Excelsior College credits attempted and transfer credits (accepted and applied to the degree). The completion ratio is often referred to as "pace" and is calculated by dividing the number of credits earned by a student by the number of credits attempted.
  • Maximum time frame to completion to maintain financial aid eligibility: In accordance with the federally mandated maximum time frame to complete the program or degree, a matriculated student must complete their educational program within a time frame not longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits. For instance, a student must complete their program after attempting a maximum of 180 credit hours for a 120-credit program. Or, if a student has 60 credits remaining after their initial academic evaluation is completed, they must complete the degree from Excelsior College by the time they have attempted 90 credit hours. Maximum time frame is different than time limitations for programs of study. Please refer to the school catalogs, for time limits in specific programs.
  • Maximum time frame for dual degree programs is calculated in two phases: undergraduate and graduate. The dual degree student must complete the undergraduate portion of the program after attempting a maximum of 150 percent of the remaining credits required of the bachelor's phase of the program. Upon achieving graduate status the dual degree student must complete the master's degree within a time frame that is not longer than 150 percent of credits attempted.


For example, an RN-MSN student must complete the 116-credit undergraduate portion of the program after attempting a maximum of 174 credits for the bachelor's phase of the program. If the student has 56 credits remaining after their initial evaluation, they must complete the undergraduate phase by the time 84 credit hours are attempted.


B. Warning. Matriculated students who fail to achieve the minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress as defined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard (Procedure A) will receive a notice of warning from the Financial Aid Office.

When students are in warning they are allowed one term to Reestablish Aid Eligibility (Procedure D) to the minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress. The "warning period" will enable students to take corrective action by working with academic advisors, financial aid counselors, and faculty (instructors) to correct their academic status. Students retain their financial aid eligibility during this time.

C. Loss of Eligibility. If a financial aid student is not able to achieve SAP during the Warning period (Procedure B), the student is no longer be eligible for financial aid.

Students who lose eligibility will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office.

D. Reestablish Aid Eligibility. A student can reestablish financial aid eligibility by achieving the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard (Procedure A).

E. Appealing Loss of Eligibility (Procedure C). If special circumstances prevent a student from meeting SAP, the loss of financial aid eligibility may be appealed to the provost or designee via the Financial Aid Office. An appeal reviewed by the provost or designee does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid.

  1. Appropriate circumstances for appeal include:
    • Serious medical illness or injury to the student
    • Death of an immediate family member
    • Significant change in employment or military status that prevents the student from attending class
    • Significant trauma in the student’s life that impairs the student’s emotional and /or physical health

    If after a term on Warning (Procedure B) a student demonstrates significant progress toward Reestablished Aid Eligibility (Procedure E) they may appeal if:
    • The student has no withdrawals (exception Military Withdrawals MW) in that term
    • There are no incompletes in that term
    • All grades earned at Excelsior College are C or better for an undergraduate or B or better for graduate students

  2. Appeals must be submitted with supporting official documentation within or prior to the period of enrollment or term for which financial aid is requested.
  3. All appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office with the supporting documentation. Appeals that qualify as "appropriate circumstances" will be forwarded to the provost or designee for review and action.
  4. Students will be informed of the decision of their appeal within 30 calendar days of submission.
  5. All students approved for an appeal will be placed on SAP Probation (Procedure F) and must work with their academic advisor to develop an academic plan to Reestablish Aid Eligibility (Procedure D). Academic plans may require the student to take fewer credit hours, take specific courses and/or achieve a certain grade point average.

F. Probation. A student that is successful in their Appeal (Procedure E) will be placed on probation for financial aid. The student is eligible for one trimester (15-week term or two consecutive 8-week terms) of financial aid. At the end of the trimester the student will be reevaluated to determine if they meet the satisfactory academic progress standard (Procedure A).