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(413) 545-0801
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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The U.S. Department of Education requires that students receiving federal financial aid meet the UMass Amherst academic status standards ensuring academic progress toward a degree or certificate program of study.

At the end of each semester, including summer, Financial Aid Services checks the SAP for all students regardless of whether or not the student receives aid. To meet the UMass Amherst academic status standards, students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and maintain the necessary credit hours to ensure graduation within ten semesters. Students who do not maintain these standards will, at a minimum, be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. Then, if a student does not meet the academic status standards after a warning period, he or she may become ineligible to receive federal,state and/or institutional financial aid.

Appeals

If you have lost, or are in danger of losing financial aid because you have failed to maintain SAP after the warning period, you may enter into an appeal process. To begin the process, download the SAP Policy Information and Appeal Form or pick one up at our office. Send the completed Appeal Form to:

Financial Aid Services
243 Whitmore Admin. Bldg.
181 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9313

Maintaining Merit Aid

Merit aid is aid awarded on the basis of academic merit rather than financial need. Students must maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) designated for their particular merit aid program. For example, the required cumulative GPA for the Adams Tuition Waiver is 3.0 and for the Chancellor's, Director's and Dean's Scholarship it is a 3.2.

In the middle of June, after grades are posted, the Financial Aid Office reviews the cumulative GPAs of merit scholarship recipients. Some scholarship recipients will be placed on probation, whose cumulative GPA has fallen below the minimum for the merit scholarship. Probation allows the student one academic year to re-establish an acceptable cumulative GPA, as long as their GPA for the interim semester does not decline (in which case the scholarship will be permanently withdrawn). Failure to re-establish an acceptable cumulative GPA at the end of probationary period the scholarship to be permanently withdrawn. Appeals are directed through the Associate Director of Financial Aid for Awarding.