University of Delaware


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Maintaining Your Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

"Satisfactory Academic Progress"

In order for a student to receive federal student financial aid (listed below), regulations require that s/he be maintaining satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, or, more simply put, be on track to complete his or her degree in a reasonable time period with acceptable grades.

Following are the satisfactory academic progress standards for students seeking federal financial aid at the University of Delaware.

Note: The Federal Student Financial Aid Programs affected by this policy include the following:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS)
  • Federal Nursing Loan


The satisfactory academic progress policy includes both qualitative and quantitative measures of the student's progress. The qualitative measure establishes a minimum grade point index (Grade Point Average, or GPA) standard. The quantitative measure establishes a maximum time frame for a student to complete his/her program and a minimum number of credits a student must satisfactorily complete each year.

The Standards

The Office of Student Financial Services reviews each student's academic record at the end of every spring term. The academic record is then compared against the following qualitative and quantitative requirements of the University of Delaware's Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards:

Qualitative: By the end of an undergraduate student's second year of study (defined as 60 credit hours attempted), s/he must have a cumulative grade point average of a 'C' (a 2.0 grade point index). A student may be placed on probation or dismissed for academic deficiency when the index for any semester is less than 1.23 or the quality-point deficit is more than 12.99 points. Graduate students must maintain good standing as defined in the Graduate Catalog.

For financial aid purposes, satisfactory grades are defined as A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, P, and S. Unsatisfactory grades are defined as F, L, LW, N, X, Z, W, WF, I, and U.


  1. A student must earn his/her degree based on one of the following schedules:
    1. Undergraduate – Whether a student has received aid or not, a student must earn his/her first bachelor's degree within in 6 years of full-time attendance or its equivalent. In all cases, the Bachelor's degree should be conferred while attempting no more than 180 credit hours.
    2. Graduate – All graduate degrees must be completed within 5 years (10 semesters). During this 5-year period, a student has 3 years of full-time attendance or its equivalent to complete required course work (does not include UNIV 868, 869, or 969). A 7-year limit is provided for doctoral students entering without a master's degree.
  2. To meet the time limits defined above, all students must complete for credit 67% of total credit hours attempted. This completion rate is defined as the number of earned hours divided by the number of attempted hours, where earned hours are courses in which a student has received a grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. D+, D, D-, P and S. Attempted hours include all satisfactory letter grades and unsatisfactory letter grades previously listed, including listener or audited classes, withdrawals and incompletes. Transfer credits are counted in both attempted hours and completed hours in this calculation. Repeated courses are also included in the calculation. If a class is repeated, all of the attempted hours are counted, but only the credit hours from the highest grade for the repeated course are counted as completed. Grades for all repeated courses are counted in the grade point average calculation.
  3. Academic dismissal will result in automatic suspension of all types of financial aid. If a student is readmitted to the university, s/he must then appeal for reinstatement of financial aid.


It is the responsibility of the student to determine when an appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility is appropriate. The university grade report provides the student with the number of hours completed each term and the grade point index attained.

Reinstatement of Aid

To have financial aid eligibility reinstated, a student may make up the credit hour and/or grade point index deficiencies in a subsequent term without receipt of federal aid for that term. The student must then submit a written request for reinstatement of eligibility to the Office of Student Financial Services, by fax to 302-831-3041, or via email to

Appeal Process

A student who believes his/her failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards was due to extenuating circumstances beyond his/her control may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form for review. Some examples of extenuating circumstances include the following:

  • A student's serious illness or accident
  • Death or serious illness in the student's family
  • Cancellation/discontinuance of a class by the university
  • Other unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of the student that caused the student to fall below the satisfactory progress standards.

Reasons for appeal must be documented, i.e., sickness, accident, death, etc., and official documentation must be attached to the appeal form when it is submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services.

Appeals should be submitted by via fax to 302-831-3041, or scanned and emailed to

Special Note on Timing of Appeal Reviews: Student Financial Services reviews students for satisfactory progress and notifies students who fail to meet these standards at the end of the spring semester. We strongly encourage any student not meeting satisfactory academic progress and planning on reenrolling in the fall semester to file an appeal by July 1. This will allow us to review your appeal and, if appropriate, to reinstate your federal financial aid before we send out fall bills in mid-July.

Our goal is to notify students of the appeal results within two weeks of our receiving the appeal. Any student submitting an appeal after July 1 may experience a delay in notification and, subsequently, the reinstatement of federal aid, if applicable. A student who does not appeal or appeals after July 1 will still be responsible for any balance due.