Satisfactory Academic Progress Regulations

The Montclair State University Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy measures whether students are progressing at a reasonable rate towards completion of their degree program. Federal regulations require all students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or certificate programs to maintain certain academic requirements to remain eligible for financial aid. The University's Student Academic Standing policy is completely separate from those governing Satisfactory Academic Progress. Therefore, a student who is granted an appeal by the University's Scholastic Appeals Committee may still be determined ineligible for financial aid funding.

Please read our full SAP policy.

You must meet all of the following to be in good SAP standing for financial aid:

Undergraduate students who have attempted < 30 credits:

  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA*
  • Pass 60% of all attempted credits

Undergraduate students who have attempted 30+ credits:

  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA*
  • Pass 67% completion rate of all attempted credits
  • Graduate within 180 attempted credits or 6 academic years

Graduate students:

  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA*
  • Pass 70% completion rate of all attempted credits
  • Graduate within 150% of the normal time length of your program

*The GPA used for financial aid purposes includes all grades earned at MSU, including 'F' grades despite repeated coursework.

The Office of Student Financial Aid conducts an annual SAP review of student academic records after Spring grades are posted. Students who have not met SAP standards are notified via MSU student email and NEST by early June of each year. The appeal form is available on NEST.

2017-18 Appeal Deadline: Wed. July 5, 2017 by 4:30 pm

If you are not meeting SAP and are NOT taking classes in the Fall, but will take classes in Spring, please contact our office to have your SAP status evaluated.

No exceptions will be made for late appeals. Students will be notified of their review outcome in early August. Financial Aid Appeals Committee decisions are final. Please check NEST for updates.

Students must submit the SAP Appeal form along with a typed appeal answering BOTH of the following questions:

  1. In detail, what factors contributed to you falling below satisfactory academic progress this past academic year?
  2. In detail, what changes have (or will occur) to ensure you meet SAP standards for the next academic year?
  • Please provide any necessary documentation to support the reasons in your appeal letter (ie: proof of hospitalization, doctor’s note, etc).
  • ALL appeal letters must be typed and postmarked, faxed to 973-655-7712 or handed in to the Office of Student Financial Aid in College Hall Room 208. Include your name and ID on all pages.

Readmitted/ Re-enrolled Students:

  • Any student readmitted or re-enrolled at Montclair State University after a period of non-attendance will have their Academic Progress evaluated to determine if they are eligible for aid based on the SAP policy.
  • If a student is not eligible for aid, they may file an appeal as stated above.

Approved Appeals

Students with successful appeal outcomes will receive instructions via MSU student email and NEST to file an Academic Plan. This form must be completed with their designated faculty advisor or professional advisor in the Center for Advising and Student Transitions, Academic Success and Retention Programs, Educational Opportunity Program, Athletics or other department in which the student is affiliated.

2017-2018 Academic Plan Deadline: Monday, September 11, 2017, 4:30 pm. 

  • The Academic Plan is a contract between the student and Montclair State University. Students must complete all listed courses on their academic plan with no failures, withdrawals, or incomplete grades to stay eligible for financial aid. If a student does not follow the plan their Spring financial aid will be cancelled and they lose all aid eligibility for the rest of the academic year, including the summer term.
  • If a student's schedule changes in any way, they must file a revised academic plan with their advisor and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Aid by the end of the add/drop period. 
  • Academic plans are only for one academic year. Students who require additional time or coursework to regain standards may have to file a SAP Appeal, subject to committee review, the following year.

Denied Appeals

Students who are given denied SAP appeal decisions may stay enrolled in the next semester, but must finance the semester without federal, state, and/or institutional aid. Other payment options include:

  • Out-of-pocket payment – Visit the Office of Student Accounts website for information on accepted payment methods, deadlines, monthly payment plans, and more.
  • Private educational loan – Students can apply with a credit-worthy cosigner or by themselves if they have established good credit history.  Elmselect.com contains a list of lenders for your consideration. Once on the website, indicate you are a Montclair State University student (undergraduate or graduate), then use the ‘Sort & Filter’ feature on the left-hand side to select ‘Satisfactory Academic Progress: Not Required’. Students are also able to borrow from a student loan lender not on the ELM list. It is vital to check each lender’s requirements to make sure they will allow a student not meeting SAP to borrow a loan with them.‌‌