Pop Quiz - Is This Student Eligible for Fall Aid With Updated Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Status?


A school checks SAP annually for its students, following the spring term. The student was not meeting standards at the end of the spring term and appealed. The student’s appeal was denied and the student attended without aid for the fall term. The student filed a FAFSA in January for the current award year and contacted the aid office regarding their eligibility for aid. The student was once again meeting SAP requirements due to successful fall enrollment.  Is the student eligible for aid for fall term as well as the spring term, since at the time of application the student was meeting SAP?


No, the student is not eligible for aid for the fall term as the student was not meeting SAP at the beginning of the fall term. The student can  regain eligibility even if the timing occurs at the end of a payment period prior to the payment period in which SAP is evaluated. As a result, the student is  eligible for aid for the spring due to their fall grades which brought them back up to SAP standards.

You can find more information about SAP in the Student Aid Reference Desk.


Publication Date: 11/23/2021

Emily P | 11/24/2021 3:18:06 PM

I agree with Bob. If the school is checking SAP once a year at the end of spring, the student cannot gain or lose eligibility at another time of the year because that would mean the school was checking SAP more than once a year (with the exception of grade changes if the school has a policy to recheck SAP for grade changes from terms included in the calculation). ED has explained that on more than one occassion during trainings. The FSA Handbook says "For programs greater than one year, your policy may also call for progress reviews after each payment period. If you review at each payment period, you must review SAP after every term, (including any summer terms) the student was enrolled. You may have reasonable rules for students who initially enroll in specific courses but modify that enrollment within a limited time." So if the student is meeting SAP in the example above due to thier fall grades for the current year, then wouldn't the school be checking SAP after each term, not on a yearly basis, if the their previous status was based on an evaluation after the preceding spring term?

Robert W | 11/24/2021 9:35:27 AM

I have heard FED trainign officers explain the student is not eligible for neither Fall nor Spring since they only check SAP once per year at the end of the spring term. Just saying.

Bob W

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