Maintain Eligibility

What are the academic progress requirements for financial aid?

There are TWO sets of academic progress requirements that must be met for undergraduate, graduate or law school financial aid recipients.  The first is for students who receive any type of grant or scholarship from New York State, primarily the TAP Program (Tuition Assistance Program). The second is for students who receive any type of federal aid and/or St. John's  University Aid, including grants, work-study, loans and scholarships.

What are the New York State Academic Progress Requirements?

New York State Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements A student receiving TAP, APTS or any other New York State grant or scholarship, must meet the State Education Department's requirements for both program pursuit and satisfactory academic progress. For purposes of continued state aid eligibility, students are reviewed at the end of every semester for eligibility for the following term. Please refer to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation Web site at for all New York state scholarship and grant academic and eligibility requirements. Program pursuit means that a student must complete a minimum percentage of a standard full-time semester course load (12 credits) in order to maintain New York State aid eligibility.

  • 1st year student: Must complete 50% of course load
  • 2nd year student: Must complete 75% of course load
  • 3rd year student: Must complete 100% of course load
  • 4th year student: Must complete 100% of course load

Satisfactory academic progress means that your cumulative credits and Grade Point Average (GPA) must adhere to the following charts in order for you to be eligible for your next semester's New York State aid.

What are New York State Aid Undergraduate Requirements?

Before being certified for an undergraduate New York State aid payment, a student must have accrued the following credits, with the corresponding GPA:

 1st SEM2nd SEM3rd SEM4th SEM5th SEM


 6th SEM7th SEM8th SEM9th SEM*10th SEM*

 Associate degree students are eligible for six semesters. *Applicable to approved five year programs only.

Federal and/or St. John's University Funded Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements (SAP)
All recipients of federal and/or St. John's University financial aid are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree as part of the eligibility requirements for federal and/ or St. John's University institutional aid.  The University's satisfactory academic progress policy is developed in accordance with federal regulations. Any student not making satisfactory academic progress is considered ineligible for federal aid and institutional grant aid.

Please note that SAP requirements for state aid recipients and St. John's University Academic scholarship recipients are different and are addressed separately.

Federal Qualitative Measure

Federal regulation requires schools to have a qualitative component, typically a grade point average (GPA) as part of their Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. At the end of each school year the cumulative GPA for all students will be reviewed.

The minimum required cumulative GPA is as follows:

  • First year Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.50  (first year defined as credits hours attempted less then 25)
  • By the end of the second academic year all Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • All Graduate and Law students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0.

Federal Quantitative Standard: Pace

Federal regulation requires schools to have a quantitative component as part of their Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. This measure seeks to ensure that students successfully complete coursework and maintain an appropriate and timely pace toward the completion of their degree program within the federally allowable time frames. Pace is measured at the end of the school year for all students.

Undergraduate Degree Maximum Time Frame Requirements

According to federal regulations for an undergraduate program, the maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted.

Pace for Undergraduate Degree Completion

For an undergraduate student in a bachelor's degree program to be considered as progressing, the student's ratio of earned hours to attempted hours (or pace towards degree completion ) must be no less than shown on the following table:

When total attempted Credit hours are:Earned Credit Hours must be at least:
Less than 25 credit hours50% of scheduled credit hours
25 through 55 credit hours50% of scheduled credit hours
56 through 90 hours60% of scheduled credit hours
91 credit hours and above70% of scheduled credit hours

Note: Students enrolled in the Pharmd Program will follow the above chart for the first four years. Once they begin the graduate portion of their program they will be held to the Graduate degree  pace requirements.

Other Degree Maximum Time Frame Requirements

Students must complete their degree program within the following maximum time frame:

Certificate:          3 semesters (48 credit hours)
Associate's:          6 semesters (96 credit hours)
Master's:             10 semesters (120 credit hours)
Doctoral:            14 semesters (168 credit hours)
Law (full-time):    9 semesters (129 credit hours)
Law (part-time): 12 semesters (129 credit hours)

Pace for Degree Completion for All Other Programs

Students must pass at least 70% of the cumulative credit hours attempted.

Annual Academic Progress Review

We review academic progress each academic year by dividing the cumulative total number of credit hours the student passed by the total number attempted. The review process begins at the end of spring semester for all students to determine that the student is meeting the standards described above.  This review is based on a students entire enrollment history at St. John's University and any transfer credit hours accepted.  We also check to make sure students have not exceeded the maximum term limit described above.

Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students.

Please note:
The following will be considered as credits completed:
1) “A” through “D” grades
2) Accepted Transfer credits
3) “P” passing with credit
4) Accepted Advanced Placement (AP) credits

The following will NOT be considered as credits completed but will be considered as credits attempted:
1) F – Failure
2) ABF – Absent/Failure *
3) UW – Unofficial Withdrawal
4) AU – Audit
5) WD – Withdrawal
6) X – Failure
7) ABX – Absent/Failure *
8) IN – Incomplete *
9) ESL courses
10) Non-credit remedial courses

Grade Changes
Students who are receiving aid on a conditional or probationary basis must resolve all incomplete grades BEFORE the Office of Student Financial Services can make a final determination that they meet the satisfactory academic progress guidelines.  The student must notify the Office of Student Financial Services once their final grades have been posted.

Repeat Courses
If a course is repeated, credits for each time the student registers will be added to the attempted/earned credit totals. Both grades received will be used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.

Transfer Credits
Transfer credits accepted for the student's academic degree is counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree.  Also, transfer credits reflected on a student's St. John's academic transcript are counted as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes. 

Double Majors and/or Minors
Students who receive permission from their Dean to pursue a double major/minor will be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.

Students who are readmitted are subject to the standards defined in this policy for federal and/or St. John's University financial aid eligibility. Academic progress will be reviewed upon readmission.  All previous coursework at St. John's University must be included in each review of academic progress for federal and/or St. John's University financial aid.

Students who have been academically excluded from the university but who are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal or university aid programs. Admissions decisions are totally separate from funding decisions.

Financial Aid Termination
Students, who fail to complete their degree within the maximum time frame, will have their federal and/or St. John's University grant aid terminated.  The Office of Student Financial Services will send the student a written notification of the termination of their aid eligibility. This is a non appealable status. Students can continue in their program at their own expense provided they are otherwise academically eligible.

Financial Aid Suspension
Recipients of federal aid and/or St. John's University grant aid whose progress is unsatisfactory will be ineligible for aid and will have their aid suspended. The Office of Student Financial Services will send the student written notification of the suspension.

Appeal Process
Students who have not exhausted the maximum time frame have the right to appeal.

Appeals must be filed within 30 days of notification that aid eligibility has been lost.  An Appeal must be made in writing to the Student Financial Services Appeal Committee.   The appeal may not be based upon a students need for the Financial Aid assistance OR their lack of knowledge that their Financial Aid assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal would normally be based upon mitigating circumstances which prevented a student from passing more of their courses, or which made them withdraw from classes. 

Examples of mitigating circumstances include:

  • Serious personal illness or injury that required extended recovery time
  • Death or serious illness of an immediate family member
  • Significant trauma that impaired the students emotional and/or physical health
  • Other documented circumstances

To appeal, a student must complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and return it with all required documentation to the Office of Student Financial services. The student will be notified of the decision approximately three weeks after we receive the students appeal. 

Appeals are made through the Office of Student Financial Services, on the official form and will require the following:  an explanation and documentation regarding why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), demonstrate an understanding of what SAP measure/s were failed and documentation as to what has changed in the student's situation that would allow the student to meet SAP in future terms.  Please note that merely filing a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form does NOT guarantee continued eligibility for Federal/university aid, as an appeal may be denied.

Appeal Approval Conditions
Appeals can only be approved if the Student Financial Services Appeal Committee determines:

  • that the student will be able to meet the university's satisfactory academic progress after the next payment period; or
  • that the student has agreed to follow an academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student can meet the university's satisfactory academic progress guidelines by a specific point in time.

If an Appeal is Granted
Students whose appeals are granted will receive aid on a conditional(probationary)basis for one semester.  The conditions will be outlined in the appeal approval letter sent to the student. The Student Financial Services Appeal Committee will review the student's record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester.

Once a probationary semester has concluded, the student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal and/or university aid for their next semester of enrollment ONLY by either 1) taking action that brings him or her into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of SAP standard OR 2) demonstrating the progression of the specific academic plan and standards for a Probationary Semester as established by the Appeals Committee.

After the Probationary Period or if Appeal is Denied
If the student does not have grounds for an appeal, or if the appeal is denied, the student may still be able to regain eligibility for future semesters. This is done by the student enrolling at St. John's University at their own expense -- without financial assistance.   The student may also, complete coursework at another institution, provided the credits can be transferred to St. John 's University and he/she did not receive federal financial aid at the other institution while taking those courses.   Any credits earned and transferred to St. John's University must have been earned after the term(s) in which federal and/or St. John's financial aid was denied.  If a student pays for and successfully completes courses at another institution, they must be prepared to provide appropriate documentation (i.e., university account statement and transcripts) confirming that the student did not receive federal financial aid at the other institution.  If the student chooses to take one of these options they must contact the Office of Student Financial Services to arrange a new reevaluation.  

Consortium Agreement and Study Abroad
All St. John's students that are on a consortium agreement or are studying abroad must abide by the satisfactory academic progress requirements as described in this brochure.

Withdrawal from the University
If a student receives aid from federal and/or St. John's funded programs but withdraws during a semester, a percentage of the aid may be used to pay the bill for the portion of the semester the student attended. Since the student did not complete the semester, they may not have earned 100% of their federal and/or St. John's aid. A federal calculation will be done to see if any of the aid will be returned to the U.S. Department of Education. If that happens, the student may owe the University for unpaid charges. In addition, the student may fail to make satisfactory academic progress and jeopardize future federal financial aid. To make sure the student understands the possible impact on their federal financial aid, they are encouraged to consult with a financial aid counselor prior to withdrawing from the university.

Scholarship Recipients

  • Undergraduate St. John's scholarship recipients are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative index in order to have their scholarship renewed.
  • Law/Graduate academic scholarship terms are monitored by the individual schools. The student must contact their academic dean regarding scholarship terms.

Important Notice: The University reserves the right to adjust the SAP Policy in order to ensure continued compliance with federal regulations. Students will be notified of any changes to the policy and should monitor our website.

Resources for Students

  1. St. John's University provides a variety of training programs, events, activities and services – that enhance and support the efforts of students.
  2. Academic Support provides services available to help students achieve academically.
  3. Campus Ministry
  4. The Center for Counseling & Consultation is dedicated to helping St. John's students.
  5. Download the Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements.
  6. For any questions, please call 718-990-2000 or visit Student Financial Services located at Bent Hall.