Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To be eligible for US federal student loans, a student must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP).

This policy applies to all students taking federal student loans (also known as 'Direct Loans', 'Title IV' loans and 'federal aid') such as Subsidised loans, Unsubsidised loans, Graduate PLUS loans and Parent PLUS loans. It applies to undergraduate, postgraduate, full-time and part-time students.

Students are advised to familiarise themselves with these SAP guidelines in order to successfully complete their academic programme and continue to receive federal student loans. 

How SAP is measured

SAP will be measured by ensuring students have met the following qualitative and quantitative standards as outlined by US Federal Law.

Quantitative standards

  • Maximum Completion Time Frames: Eligible undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students are entitled to receive financial aid for up to 150% of the published programme length.  For example:
    • Full-time undergraduate: the maximum timeframe for an undergraduate degree totalling 360 credits is completion of at least 80 credits per academic year, where 120 credits have been attempted within an academic year. Students may attempt up to 540 credits, to achieve the 360 credits needed to complete the undergraduate degree.
    • Full-time postgraduate: the maximum timeframe for a Taught Masters course totalling 180 credits is completion of at least 120 credits per academic year, where 180 credits have been attempted within an academic year. Students may attempt up to 270 credits, to achieve the 180 credits needed to complete the postgraduate taught course.
  • Pace of progression: Students must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of two-thirds of credits attempted which equals 67%, for progression to the following year of study in order to meet the SAP maximum completion timeframes. For example:
    • Undergraduate: where full-time students pursuing a 3 year Batchelor's degree would typically attempt 120 credits over one academic year, students must complete a minimum of 80 out of 120 credits per year to meet SAP standards, and carry forward no more than 60 credits into the next academic year as trailing units.
    • Postgraduate taught: where full-time students pursuing a 1 year Masters degree would typically attempt 180 credits over one academic year, students must complete a minimum of 120 out of 180 credits per year to meet SAP standards, and carry forward no more than 40 credits into the next academic year as trailing units.

Tier 4 visa students should be aware that visa policies may not align with SAP and/or University policies.

Qualitative standards

  • Enrolment status: all students must be enrolled at least half-time.
  • Academic achievement: In order to remain in good SAP standing, the following academic pass marks need to be met:
    • Undergraduate: students must achieve at least an overall pass mark of 40% or above, or 50% pass mark if studying Veterinary Science. 
    • Postgraduate taught: students must achieve at least an overall pass mark of 50% for level 7 units, or 40% for level 6 units.
    • Postgraduate research: students must achieve satisfactory progress as outlined in their Annual Progress Review.
    • If a student is on a course longer than 2 years, the student must have passed to at least Grade C at the end of year 2.

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