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Satisfactory Academic Progress

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 and suspension/dismissal appeal process is completely separate from those governing Satisfactory Academic Progress. Therefore, a student whose suspension/dismissal appeal is approved by the University’s Scholastic Appeals Committee may still be determined ineligible for financial aid funding under SAP.

Read the full Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

SAP Standing for Financial Aid

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 Financial Aid GPA*.
  • Pass 60 percent of all attempted credits.

Undergraduate students who have attempted 30+ credits:

  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative Financial Aid GPA*.
  • Pass 67 percent completion rate of all attempted credits.
  • Graduate within 180 attempted credits or six academic years.

Graduate students:

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

*The Financial Aid GPA includes all grades earned at Montclair State University, including original ‘D’ and ‘F’ grades for classes that have been retaken.

The Office of Student Financial Aid conducts an annual SAP review of student academic records after spring grades are posted. Academic eligibility for financial aid in the summer term and upcoming academic year are assessed at that time. Students who have not met SAP standards are notified via Montclair State student email and NEST by early July of each year. There is no ability to appeal for Summer financial aid eligibility. However, appeal instructions for the approaching fall term are made available to impacted students on NEST annually.

2022-2023 Appeal Submission Deadline: July 11, 2022

Spring-only Students’ Appeal Deadline: January 23, 2023

If you are not meeting SAP and are NOT taking classes in the fall, but will take classes in the spring, please contact our office once you have registered for the spring 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.

Affected students will be emailed appeal instructions. As of 2020-21, appeals will only be accepted electronically through NEST > StudentForms. Appeals will NOT be accepted in person, by fax, postal mail or email otherwise.

  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).

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 Montclair State student email and NEST to file an Academic Plan. Academic Plans will only be accepted electronically via NEST StudentForms. Academic Plans will NOT be accepted in person, by fax, postal mail or email otherwise. Due to the pandemic, academic plans will NOT require an advisor signature, but listed courses must fulfill outstanding graduation requirements. Students are still encouraged to consult DegreeWorks and/or their designated faculty advisor or professional advisor in University College, the Center for Leadership and Engagement, Educational Opportunity Program, Athletics or other department in which the student is affiliated as necessary.

2022-2023 Academic Plan Deadline: Monday, September 30, 2022

  • 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 upload a revised academic plan to NEST > StudentForms.
  • 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 denied a SAP appeal decision 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 borrower, a cosigner or by themselves if they have established good credit history. The ELMselect website contains a list of lenders for your consideration. Once on the website:
    • Indicate you are a Montclair State University student (undergraduate or graduate),
    • 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 who is not meeting SAP to borrow a loan with them.