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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Campus Policy: Academics, Financial Aid

Financial aid recipients at UH West O‘ahu (UHWO) are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to continue to receive aid. As such, the following stipulates the SAP policy and SAP appeal process.

This policy has been developed in accordance with federal regulations and UHWO policies governing the administering of financial aid programs to ensure that recipients are making satisfactory academic progress toward their educational objectives. These regulations apply to all students applying for and receiving financial aid. Transfer credits applicable towards students’ UHWO degree program will be included in the calculation of SAP.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies

The following section provides the basic policies of the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu (UHWO) SAP policy.

      1. No Less Strict Than School’s Policy
        The FA policy is no less strict than UHWO’s academic policy. Students, who are ultimately suspended or dismissed from the institution, will never be considered for financial aid. Academically suspended or dismissed students are automatically not eligible (suspended) for their financial aid.
      2. Qualitative Measurement of Progress
        UHWO’s SAP policy establishes minimum GPA requirements for both undergraduates and graduate students (if applicable). Undergraduates are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, while graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. There is no academic amnesty or grade forgiveness for FA SAP regulations. All applicable grades are counted.

        • Minimum “C” Average After First Two Years
          While schools can establish its own GPA standards, the federal regulations require that at the end of the student’s second year of attendance, the student must demonstrate either a “C” average or maintain an academic standing consistent with graduation from the program.UHWO’s SAP policy is that ALL undergraduate and graduate students must meet the cumulative GPA requirements to meet SAP. By establishing GPA standards of 2.0 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduates, the minimum “C” average after first two years will be met.
      3. Quantitative Measurement of Progress
        The “quantitative” measurement is typically reflected by three components: 1) maximum time frame; 2) incremental progress, and 3) pace of progression. There is no academic amnesty or grade forgiveness for FA SAP regulations. All applicable courses are counted toward SAP.

        • Maximum Time Frame
          Schools must establish a maximum time frame in which it is expected that a student can reasonably complete the academic program. This maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the usual length of the academic program, as measured in credit hours attempted. If a student cannot mathematically complete his/her program requirements within the maximum time frame, the student immediately becomes ineligible for aid.

          • Undergraduate Program
            The undergraduate students are the typical population at UHWO. These students are enrolled in a standard four-year curriculum which requires 120 credits to graduate. Full time enrollment in this program is at least 12 credits per term. The standard academic calendar consists of a fall and spring term. The summer term is optional with limited classes.Accounting for the 150% of the usual program regulation, undergraduate students cannot exceed more than 180 attempted credit hours in the program.
        • Pace of Completion
          University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu’s policy for undergraduate students is that we check the total (cumulative) attempted credit hours against total completed credit hours after each payment period (term) to check the pace of progression within the maximum time frame. By checking this requirement after each term, students will be incrementally checked to meet their “bench marks” regardless of their enrollment level. If a student falls below this level, the student is not on pace to complete their program within the 150% maximum time frame and, therefore, ineligible for financial aid.Because of the possibility of varying lengths of programs, the pace of progression is measured as a percentage of the total (cumulative) credits completed as compared to the total credits attempted. 67% of the total (cumulative) credits completed to the total credits attempted must be met.

          • Transfer Credits
            Accepted (applicable) transfer credits are always counted toward a student’s attempted and completed hours. We do not count unaccepted transfer credits toward a student’s attempted hours. Sometimes general credits initially accepted upon acceptance to UHWO may not apply to a student’s specific major or concentration (because of various circumstances). In such a case, the student may look to appear as if they are at the completion of their program requirements. Accordingly, the aid administrator in conjunction with the academic advisor (Advising Office) may recognize these additional credits that the student received as unaccepted hours and exclude it from the total attempted and completed credits. This also may apply to concurrent enrollment credits within the University of Hawaii System Campuses, but generally it is not counted as the student is taking the courses while enrolled at UHWO.Transfer credits are not counted within the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA.
          • Second Majors/Degrees
            Students pursuing second majors may require a number of additional courses. In doing so, if done within the 150% maximum time frame and prior to receiving an undergraduate degree, it is allowable. Once an undergraduate degree is received, can be received and/or the 150% maximum time frame is reached, students are ineligible for aid and eligibility will need to be evaluated by the aid administrator. Prior to receiving an undergraduate degree, all applicable credits are counted toward their attempted and completed credit hours. For second degrees, all applicable credits toward the second degree are counted toward their attempted credits much like a transfer student. Credits that do not apply toward the second degree are excluded from the 150% maximum time frame. In these second degree cases, students are only eligible for federal loans.*Please be aware that students who have completed the requirements for a program but does not yet have a degree are not eligible for aid in that program (did not submit graduate petition or the like).
          • Program Prerequisites
            Certain students may require certain class requirements to start certain required classes in the program. These classes are not a requirement for the program, but rather a class that is required prior to starting another class that is required for the program. These class prerequisites may be excluded toward the aggregate total on a case by case basis.
          • Students Taking More Than the Minimum Credits
            Since students can take more credits than what they minimally are expected to pass, situations may arise where they may appear closer to completing their programs of study. This may particularly be true when a student changes majors or minors. In these cases, it is required to count these credits toward a student’s aggregate total and be aid eligible as long as the student is within the 150% maximum time frame.
          • Summer Classes
            The summer term and summer credits by UHWO students are optional. We will evaluate SAP during the normal SAP calculation time periods for students who attempted credits during this term. It will be counted toward a student’s attempted and completed credit hours along with their GPA. All students enrolled during the summer term and received federal financial aid are reviewed for SAP. Student who received aid during the term and fail SAP for the summer term will be notified of their SAP status for summer.
          • Consortium/Concurrent Enrollment Classes
            University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu students may study abroad, attend another university or another University of Hawai‘i campus on a consortium/concurrent enrollment agreement (on an approval basis). This is an approved process to make sure the student is taking classes that apply toward their program and transferrable to UHWO. Like transfer credits, these credits are counted toward a student’s total attempted and completed hours. Unlike transfer credits, approved consortium/concurrent enrollment credits are never considered unaccepted credits and are not considered in the student’s GPA.
      4. Class Results and ESL/Remedial/Other Classes
        • Letter Grades
          At UHWO, we use a standard letter grading scale of “A,” ”A-,” “B+,” “B,” “B-,“ “C+,” “C,” “C-,” “D+,” “D,” “D-“ and “F.” The grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D” are considered passing grades (whether with a “+” or “-“) while the grades of “D-“ or “F” are a failing grade. Grades taken under “pass/no pass” (“credit/no credit”) and are “passed” means that it is a passing grade. Conversely, the “no pass” grade is a failing grade. A “C-“ or lower is considered a “no pass”.
        • Class Withdrawals
          A class withdrawal is not considered a passing grade and counts toward a student’s attempted hours. Students may withdraw from classes during the add/drop period, which is the first three weeks of the term, and will be considered a drop, meaning that it is not counted toward their attempted hours. After the add/drop period, all credits are counted as attempted for the term.
        • Class Incompletes
          A class incomplete is not considered a passing grade until an official letter grade is provided to replace it, at which time the definition of the above “Letter Grades” are used. UHWO uses incompletes with a letter grade, which means that if the student does not complete the course, the grade is defaulted to the letter grade. If a passing grade accompanies an incomplete (I) grade status, the class is considered a passing grade. A recalculation of SAP by the aid administrator may be performed at the student’s request once they know of the official grade.
        • Class Repeats
          Class repeats are considered the same as any other class taken.In terms of financial aid eligibility for disbursement, a class repeat can be counted toward financial aid as many times as possible until a passing grade of higher than a “F” is achieved. Otherwise, a class can only be repeated one additional time when a passing grade is received for the class.
        • ESL and Remedial Classes
          ESL and remedial classes are prerequisites to a program and are not counted toward attempted hours, but counted toward the GPA.

          • Limits
            The federal regulations limit up to one academic year’s worth of ESL/remedial credits for federal aid purposes. To enforce this requirement, we set a limit of 30 credit hours to consider an academic year of ESL/remedial work. If the student exceeds this limit, these classes will not count toward federal financial aid purposes.
          • Effect on MaximumTime Frame
            Since ESL/remedial classes are not part of the student’s program, it is not considered part of their attempted hours and, therefore, not counted toward their maximum time frame.
        • Other Classes
          Other classes such as non-credit and audited courses are not counted toward attempted hours or GPA requirements.
      5. Results of The Satisfactory Academic Progress Review
        • Point of Review
          Student’s SAP point of review shall be performed at the close of each payment period (term) that the student completed.
        • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress
          Students meeting the SAP standards of this policy shall be considered making satisfactory academic progress and will be eligible for continued financial aid.
        • Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress
          Students who do not meet the SAP standards of this policy shall not be eligible for financial aid after a warning, until such time as they meet the standards or meet the requirements for probation. Financial aid statuses are outlined below.
      6. Financial Aid Warning
        If on warning status and the student meets the SAP standards for that term, the student is considered to then meet SAP in the following term. If on warning status and the student does not meet the SAP standards for the term, the student is considered ineligible for financial aid (revoke status) until such time as the SAP standards are met, or has successfully appealed for continued eligibility (probation).
      7. Financial Aid Suspension-Suspension of Title IV Aid
        Financial aid suspension status occurs when a student does not meet the SAP standards in a term of warning or probation status. Financial aid suspension status means that a student is ineligible for financial aid. In order to regain aid eligibility, a student must meet the SAP policy standards, successfully appeal for aid (probation) or meet the academic plan of the probation status.All students who are academically suspended or dismissed from the university are automatically revoked (suspended) of financial aid.
      8. Financial Aid Probation-Appeal Approved
        Financial aid probation status happens only after an appeal is approved. Probation status means that a student is eligible, like warning status, for financial aid during the term but must meet certain requirements of an academic plan outlined by the aid administrator. An academic plan outlining the requirements to meet the SAP standards must accompany the probation. In completing an academic plan, the aid administrator must create a plan to allow the student to reestablish financial aid eligibility. Normally, a student must meet the SAP standards at the end of the probation term (no plan needed for this situation). Financial aid probation may be longer than a single term as outlined in the academic plan if it may take longer than a single term to reestablish eligibility and meet the SAP standards. This must be clearly stated in the academic plan that accompanies the probation. Normally, a term GPA and term completion percentage are assigned as part of an academic plan.If a student is on probation and at the end of the term meets the SAP standards, the student is then eligible for financial aid.If the student is on probation and at the end of the term does not meet the SAP academic plan standards, the student will be placed on suspended (revoke) status and be ineligible for financial aid in the following terms. One cannot appeal the approved appeal and academic plan that was not satisfied.An appeal to change the academic plan is possible but must be done prior to the midpoint of the term. This appeal must state what has happened to make the change necessary and how academic progress will still be attained.
        An appeal for not meeting the SAP standards a second consecutive time is not possible since a warning status and probation were previously given. If a second appeal is accepted, it will be reviewed by the financial aid counselor again and a determination in granting the appeal a second time justified. A second appeal may be referred to the financial aid committee if needed.A student placed on SAP suspension (revoke) status must re-establish SAP eligibility standards using their own funds to pay for courses toward their degree. When their eligibility is reestablished, the student must contact the Financial Aid Office to recalculate their SAP status so that the student can be eligible for continued financial aid. If on SAP probation, the student may reestablish eligibility while on probation or their academic plan.

        • Appeal Process
          A student may appeal SAP when the student is not meeting SAP and petitions for reconsideration of financial aid. The appeal must be submitted to the aid administrator for a decision or for further review by the financial aid administrator and/or committee. An appeal form may be obtained on our website. An appeal must contain at the minimum the following information:1. Why failed to make SAP?
          2. What has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation.A successful appeal will result in a probation status. An unsuccessful appeal results in the suspension status being held until the student meets the SAP standards in order to be reinstated.An appeal to change the academic plan during a probation period is possible and must be done prior to the midpoint of the term. If an appeal to change the academic plan is submitted, the following minimum information must be provided:1) What has happened to warrant the change?
          2) How will one still be able to make academic progress?
      9. Academic Plan
        An academic plan is required if there is no possible way for a student to regain eligibility within the next term or is unlikely to do so. Academic plans are designed to allow multiple terms of probation to regain financial aid eligibility. If a student is on an academic plan and, at any point, re-establishes SAP eligibility, the student is no longer considered on an SAP academic plan or probation status.In most instances and at a minimum, an academic plan will outline minimum semester GPA’s (qualitative) and minimum quantitative completion percentages, but may have any other requirements deemed necessary by the approving financial aid administrator.
      10. Professional Judgment
        Aid administrators are allowed to exercise professional judgment and enable a student, who otherwise is not making satisfactory academic progress, to continue to receive aid for cause, provided this is done on a case by case basis.Professional judgment should only be considered if the student should meet any of the following conditions: 1) medical illness; 2) personal injury; 3) death of a family member; and 4) other mitigating circumstances.
      11. Institutional Aid
        A student who fails the University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu’s financial aid SAP policy is not eligible for institutional aid. Most of University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu’s institutional aid is based on meeting academic progress standards (or standard UHWO academic standing policy). Student’s may be eligible for outside/private scholarships and loans while failing UHWO financial aid SAP policy.

Please be aware that submission of an appeal does not guarantee approval or reinstatement of financial aid, and all appeals must be submitted no later than 30 days after the start of the semester you are appealing for. All appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and all decisions are final. Students are notified of appeal decisions via their email account.

Financial aid recipients are expected to monitor their academic progress and be aware that less than satisfactory academic performance will result in consequences such as the loss of financial aid eligibility. The student may also run out of eligibility for certain funds as a result of the student receiving their aggregate maximums for the Federal Pell Grant or federal student loan programs prior to the completion of their UHWO degree. Students may check their Federal grant and loan eligibility by logging on to

Questions regarding the appeal process can be directed to the Financial Aid Office by calling (808) 689-2900, or by emailing

Satisfactory Academic Progress APPEAL FORM