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Maintaining satisfactory academic progress

Federal regulations require all recipients of federal financial aid to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in their program of study. For graduate students at Kellogg, this includes Federal Direct Stafford Loans-Unsubsidized and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.

It is also the University’s expectation that students will make progress toward completion of the degree in which they are enrolled. These requirements apply to all quarters of enrollment within the academic year, including those quarters during which no federal financial aid was granted.

Students enrolled in the MiM Program must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress in the following three ways:

  • Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for each quarter
  • Completing the prescribed coursework each quarter, or at the minimum two-thirds of courses attempted per academic quarter
  • Completing their program of study within a specified period of time

Maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher each quarter

The Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations require that students maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) in order to remain eligible for federal financial aid. This cumulative GPA is 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

Completing the prescribed coursework

You must complete the prescribed coursework each quarter, or at the minimum two-thirds of courses attempted per academic quarter. Grades of D (poor), F (failing), Y (incomplete), W (withdrawal), or X (excused absence for an exam) do not satisfy the requirements.

Evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be completed at the end of each quarter by the Kellogg Office of Financial Aid when grades are posted for the MiM program. This evaluation is conducted through a review of grades received, courses attempted, progress toward completing the program/graduate degree, and GPA.

SAP warning

Failure to meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress for any academic quarter will result in a SAP warning for one quarter. During the warning period, you will still be eligible to receive federal financial aid, but must:

  • Maintain and earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Complete the prescribed coursework each quarter or at the minimum two-thirds of courses attempted per academic quarter. Grades of D (poor), F (failing), Y (incomplete), W (withdrawal), or X (excused absence for an exam) do not satisfy the requirements
  • Be on track to complete the degree within the maximum timeframe allowed

SAP notifications will be communicated via your Northwestern/Kellogg email account if you’ve been placed on SAP warning.

Please note that if you do not enroll in the following quarter after an SAP warning is issued, the warning period will carry over to the next quarter of enrollment.


Failure to meet the SAP requirements as stated above due to extenuating circumstances such as a family member’s death, or illness (of the student or an immediate family member), you may submit a written and signed appeal to the Kellogg Office of Financial Aid. The signed appeal request must be received by the Office of Financial Aid within 15 days of receipt of the notice of SAP suspension.

The written appeal should explain any relevant extraordinary circumstances, address the reason(s) for not meeting the minimum academic requirements and offer some solution to the problems that have affected prior academic performance. Supporting documentation, such as statements from academic advisers, professors, health care providers, etc., may also be requested. The appeal will be reviewed by an SAP Committee chaired by the assistant dean, director of admissions and financial aid. All decisions made by the SAP Committee are final. You will be notified if an appeal has been granted or denied via an email to your Kellogg email account.

If an appeal is granted, you’ll fall into one of two categories:

  1. SAP Probation: You will be eligible for federal financial aid during one additional payment period. During the probationary period, the student must meet all SAP requirements. If you fail to meet SAP requirements during the probationary period, aid will be suspended without the ability to appeal. In order to reinstate federal financial aid eligibility after the SAP suspension, you must meet the aforementioned criteria for reinstatement without the use of federal financial aid.

  2. SAP Academic Plan: If it is mathematically impossible for you to resolve all deficiencies during the academic quarter and the your reason for appeal is appropriate according to federal regulations, you may be placed on an academic plan with the end goal being to resolve all deficiencies. An academic plan varies in length and is determined by the SAP Committee. Progress will be reviewed at the end of each quarter and if the student is meeting with the terms of the plan, financial aid eligibility will be maintained.

Special considerations for first-time financial aid applicants

Current students who apply for financial aid are required to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Currently enrolled students who have not received federal financial aid for their previous quarters of enrollment and are considered to be first-time financial aid applicants must ensure that their previous coursework meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

If it does not meet the requirements, first-time financial aid applicants will need to complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal for first-time aid filers. The appeal should address the following:

  • Describe a specific reason, event or circumstance that prevented them from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • Provide a specific plan/corrective action to improve academic progress

Contact us about financial aid for the Master in Management Program.

Get in touch
Kellogg Office of Financial Aid
2211 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.