Satisfactory Academic Progress

Requirements for financial aid recipients

Federal regulations require all recipients of federal financial aid to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in their program of study. For the Executive MBA Program, this includes recipients of Federal Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans. Kellogg also expects students to make continual progress towards completing their degree.

These requirements apply to students for all quarters of enrollment within an academic year, even if no financial aid was granted for that quarter of enrollment.

Demonstrating SAP

Students must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in the following three ways:

1. Maintain an academic status of “good standing.”
The academic status of “good standing” indicates that a student is not on probation (enrollment permitted) or suspension (enrollment not permitted) and has not failed an initial attempt to remediate an academic deficiency. This status is determined by an Executive MBA Program director and faculty committee at Kellogg.

2. Complete two-thirds (66.6%) of all units attempted per academic quarter.
In order to meet the minimum standard of academic progress each academic term, students must complete at least two-thirds of the credits attempted per academic term. Courses dropped after the end of the Drop/Add period will be counted towards credits attempted. Grades of LP (Low Pass), U (Unsatisfactory or No Pass), or Y (incomplete) do not satisfy the requirements for the two-thirds completion rate.

3. Complete program within a specified period of time.
  • The maximum time limit for completion of the Executive MBA degree is five years. All periods of enrollment are counted toward the maximum time limit. Periods of academic leave or non-enrollment will not count against the maximum time limit.
  • Remedial and repeated coursework is counted in the same manner as all other coursework for the purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Students who earn credits through a consortium/contractual agreement do not qualify for additional terms of eligibility.
  • Students who have completed all required coursework for their degree but have not yet received the degree cannot receive further federal financial aid for that program.
  • Students must be on track to complete their degree within their personal maximum timeframe in order to maintain their financial aid eligibility. Students who have questions about determining their personal maximum timeframe may contact the Financial Aid Office.

SAP evaluation

The Financial Aid Office evaluates SAP for students at the end of each academic year once grades are published in the university system. This evaluation is completed through a manual review of grades received, courses attempted, pace toward graduation and GPA.

SAP warning

If a student fails to meet SAP requirements for any academic quarter, the student will be placed on SAP warning for one quarter. During the warning period, the student will still be eligible to receive federal financial aid, but the student must meet the following criteria:
  • Courses dropped after the end of the EMBA designated Drop/Add period for each unique cohort will be counted towards credits attempted. Grades of LP (Low Pass), U (Unsatisfactory, or No Pass, or Y (incomplete) do not satisfy the requirements for the 2/3 completion rate.
  • Maintain and earn an academic status of “good standing.”
  • Be on track to complete their degree within their maximum allowed timeframe.
Students will be notified via their Kellogg email account if they have been placed on SAP warning. Please note that if a student does not enroll in the following quarter after a SAP warning is issued, the warning period will carry over to the next quarter of enrollment.

SAP suspension

Students who do not meet the terms of the SAP warning period or do not meet SAP after the first academic year will be placed on SAP suspension. SAP suspension will designate that the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. In order for a student on SAP suspension to reinstate their federal financial aid eligibility, the student must meet the following criteria:
  • Complete 100% of the courses they enroll in for their suspension quarter with a grade of “P” or higher. Grades of LP, U, or Y will not be considered sufficient for meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. Receiving these grades will disqualify the student from receiving federal financial aid for the following quarter.
  • Students must complete at least two classes. Therefore, if a student enrolls in only one class for their first quarter of SAP suspension, the student must complete that course with a grade of P or higher and then complete 100% of all courses for which they enroll in the subsequent quarter before they can be reinstated.
  • Any quarter that a student does not enroll does not count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress. Therefore, the suspension period will go into effect in the next quarter of enrollment.
  • Any courses that a student is enrolled in before the Drop/Add period will count toward their SAP calculation. Therefore, any classes dropped after the Drop/Add period will mean a failure to complete 100% of their classes with a grade of P or higher and will result in continued suspension of federal financial aid.
  • Maintain and achieve an academic status of “good standing.”
Once a student meets all requirements for reinstatement of financial aid after a suspension, it will be the student’s responsibility to contact the Financial Aid Office to request a SAP review for reinstatement of federal financial aid. Once the Financial Aid Office determines that a student is now in compliance with SAP requirements, federal financial aid will be reinstated in the following quarter.


If a student fails to meet the SAP requirements as stated above due to extenuating circumstances, such as a family member’s death, illness (of the student or an immediate family member), the student may submit a written and signed appeal to the Financial Aid Office. The signed appeal request must be received by the Financial Aid Office 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 failing to meet the minimum academic requirements, and offer some solution to the problems that affected prior academic performance. Supporting documentation, such as statements from academic advisers, professors or health care providers, may also be requested. The appeal will be reviewed by a committee chaired by the Executive MBA director, associate director of Admissions and assistant director of Financial Aid. All decisions made by the committee are final. Students will be notified if their appeal is granted or denied via an email to their Kellogg email account.

If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed in one of two categories:

1. SAP Probation
If a student is placed on SAP Probation after an appeal, the student will be eligible for federal financial aid during one additional payment period. During the probationary period, the student must meet all SAP requirements. If the student fails to meet SAP during their probationary period, their aid will be suspended without the ability to appeal. In order to reinstate federal financial aid eligibility after the SAP suspension, students must meet the criteria for reinstatement listed above without the use of federal financial aid.

2. SAP Academic Plan
Students may be placed on an academic plan upon submission of a successful appeal. If it is mathematically impossible for a student to resolve all deficiencies during one term of attendance and the student’s reason for appeal is appropriate according to federal regulations, the student 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. It does not have to equate to the exact number of quarters it would take a student to resolve all deficiencies. If the student is meeting the criteria identified in the SAP appeal approval at each quarter review, the student’s academic plan may be extended.

Special considerations

Current students who apply for financial aid are required to meet SAP requirements. Students who have not received federal financial aid for previous quarters of enrollment are considered to be “first-time financial aid applicants.” Their previous coursework must meet SAP requirements. If it does not, they will need to complete a SAP appeal for first-time aid filers. The appeal should include the following:
  1. Specific reason, event, or circumstance that prevented you from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
  2. Specific plan of corrective action to improve your academic progress.