Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

​Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are measures schools use to ensure you are progressing towards earning your degree. To be eligible for financial aid, students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards. It's important to understand the measures to ensure you are able to meet them. If at any point you are not meeting SAP Standards and learn you are not eligible for financial aid, you may use the information on this webpage to help understand your next steps.

How We Evaluate Your Progress

When we evaluate your SAP status, we review all coursework within your career. The evaluation includes courses taken for current or previous majors at all campuses of the University of Colorado. We review all students progress, regardless of if a student has applied for financial aid.

We use three measures when evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress. The measures include grade point average (GPA), course completion rate (pace), and maximum time frame. Additional details for each measurement are included below.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Undergraduates must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.0.
  • Graduate and professional students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.0.

Course Completion Rate

To be in good standing, you must complete 67% of the courses you attempt.

  • Letter grades of A through D-, P (passing) and IP grades contribute positively towards your completion rate
  • Letter grades of F, W, I and IW contribute negatively towards your completion rate
  • Repeated courses and credits transferred to the university both count towards your completion rate
    • If you take a course and receive a grade higher than an "F", you may receive financial aid to retake the course one time
    • If you take a passed course a third time, the course will not count towards your enrollment for financial aid. Unless grades are forgiven under the CU Denver Grade Forgiveness Policy, we count all grades for repeat courses in your GPA for SAP

Maximum Time Frame

The number of credits you attempt in your time as a student is also measured. To be in good standing, you must complete a degree or certificate prior to attempting 150% of the credits needed for the program.

  • Undergraduates enrolled in a 120 credit hour degree program are exceeding the maximum time frame of their program once they have attempted 180 credits
  • Graduates enrolled in a 60 credit hour degree program are exceeding the maximum time frame of their program once they have attempted 90 credits

We recognize life circumstances may interfere with your academic performance. A successful appeal will include the following information:

  1. A completed and signed Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP Appeal Form)

  2. A typed statement explaining the extenuating circumstances you faced and the steps you are taking to meet SAP standards in the future. Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to illness, injury, and deaths of those close to you

  3. Supporting documentation is required to help us understand your extenuating circumstances and your plan for success. Examples of documentation include a physician’s letter to document medical circumstances, court documentation, death certificates, and letters on letter head from established members of the community that are familiar with your circumstances. Ensure documentation includes support for both the extenuating circumstance and for your plan for success in the future

  4. Appeals for maximum time frame require certification from your academic advisor to verify the remaining courses required for you to complete your degree