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EIU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Policy Explanation

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education regulations, Eastern Illinois University is required to establish satisfactory progress standards for federal and state financial aid recipients. These minimum standards ensure that only those recipients demonstrating satisfactory progress toward the completion of their educational objective continue to receive financial assistance.

*This policy is effective fall 2019 and replaces all prior Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements at EIU. However, if a student was determined ineligible under the school policies prior to Fall 2019 the suspension is still in effect.

Policy Standards

The following are "minimum standards" required for a student to be eligible for financial assistance:

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Requirement

All students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (2.0 = C) or better on a 4.0 scale as determined by the University.

Minimum Completion Rate Requirement (credit hours attempted vs. completed)

All students must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted hours by the end of each term.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement

Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 150% of the credit hours required to receive a first undergraduate degree. For example, 120 hours required x 150% = 180 maximum allowable hours attempted for financial aid eligibility. Transfer hours from other institutions accepted by the University will count toward the maximum attempted credit hour limit.

Typical Maximum Time Frames

Undergraduate - 180 hours for a 120 hour degree (degree requirements vary)

Graduate - 48 hours for a 32 hour degree (degree requirements vary)

Additional Information on Minimum Completion Rate Standards

All students must comply with the minimum standards for Satisfactory Completion Rate. Satisfactory Completion Rate refers to the percentage of cumulative hours completed in relation to cumulative hours attempted. Attempted hours include all transfer credit, proficiency exam credit, hours with A, B, C, D, F, W, WP, WF, I (incomplete), AU (audit), CR (credit), NC (no credit), X (missing grade), repeated hours, and remedial hours. English 1000, General Studies 1000, General Studies 1100, Math 1000, Math 1020, Math 1070, and Math 1270 are the seven courses approved as remedial at present. EIU 2919 is considered as developmental and it is treated like remedial courses. Completed hours are those classes for which there is a letter grade of A, B, C, D, CR, all transfer credit and proficiency exam credit.

*Example: A student who has attempted 28 hours at the end of spring semester must have completed a minimum of 19 hours to reach the 67% completion rate.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is notified when a student finishes an incomplete class or receives a grade change however, the student should also notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships when incompletes are finished and/or grade changes are made. Hours determined to be remedial shall count as completed if passed even though not applicable to graduation requirements.

Review Period

At the end of each semester, the record of every student who has completed the FAFSA or receives financial aid for which satisfactory academic progress must be maintained will be reviewed to determine if the student has made progress according to the minimum standards set by this policy. Any undergraduate student who has completed four semesters at EIU or has 60 or more attempted hours and does not have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 will have his/her financial aid suspended (canceled) without a warning period.

Financial Aid Warning

If a student is not making progress according to minimum standards under this policy (with the exception of a student who must maintain a cumulative 2.0 as noted above) he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and allowed the following semester of enrollment to achieve the minimum standards. Students are eligible to receive financial aid during their warning period. If at the end of that warning semester the student has not achieved satisfactory progress, financial aid probation will occur.

Note: If a student is nearing 85% of the 180 maximum attempted hours as an undergraduate student or 48 maximum attempted hours as a graduate student, a warning notification will be sent.

If it is not possible to complete a program and remain under maximum hours (95%), a student will receive no warning and go straight to suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

Any student who has not maintained satisfactory academic progress as defined by this policy after one semester on Financial Aid Warning will be on Suspension and not eligible to receive federal and state financial aid funds. Students on Financial Aid Suspension may continue to attend Eastern Illinois University at their own expense or until they once again meet SAP criteria or submit a SAP Appeal that is approved to place them into Probation.

Financial Aid Probation

Financial aid probation is defined in the SAP regulations as a status assigned by an institution to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress, and who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated. This means the financial aid probation status can be granted only after the student has appealed and has had her eligibility for Title IV aid reinstated based on the successful appeal.

The student is placed on financial aid probation for only a single payment period. At the end of that payment period, the student is required to achieve minimum SAP standards.

If the student is placed on financial aid probation, and the student does not meet minimum SAP requirements at the conclusion of that probationary payment period, the student is not eligible for Title IV funds (Suspension). The student must then submit another successful appeal so they may continue to receive Title IV aid under a new probation.


There are two ways a student's eligibility can be reinstated:

  1. Meet minimum standards as set forth in this policy by the end of next enrollment period
  2. File a successful SAP Appeal

Appeal Process

A student who fails to meet the EIU Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements may submit a written appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. SAP Appeal forms (see link at the top of this page) must be completed within 30 days after the start of the semester for which the appeal is requested or 30 days after the receipt of the notice of cancellation, whichever is later. Appeals must clearly explain and provide proof of why Satisfactory Academic Progress standards were not met. Proof can include medical reasons, family crisis, personal problems, transfer hours accepted that will not apply to degree, change in major, or other circumstances which adversely affected academic performance. Students with "incomplete" hours may ask instructors to provide the following information: percentage of work completed to date, grade on work submitted to date, and projected date for final grade.

As a part of the SAP Appeal process students must meet with their Advisor of Record to complete a GPA calculator to better understand their current academic position and what is required to successfully complete their program. Students must continue to appeal and meet with their advisor each term they are not meeting minimum SAP standards.

Note: Continuing Education and Graduate students must see advisors in their departments. Advisors who need assistance may call the Academic Advising Center at 581-2313. The advisor must complete their section of the appeal form prior to the student submitting the appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Completed appeal forms should be returned to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Appeals are reviewed each semester on an individual basis. Students are notified by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships of the decision of the committee. The decision of the committee is final. The Director of Financial Aid chairs the Appeal Committee and the members include staff from academic affairs and academic advisement.


Notification is sent by email to students informing them of the results of all evaluations that impact their eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds following Warning, Suspension, Probation, Appeal Decisions, and return to Eligible standing.

Students may also view their Academic Progress on PAWS under Financial Aid – Eligibility – Academic Progress.


Related Pages

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Student Services Building East Wing
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6405
Fax: (217) 581-6422

Office Hours

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F

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