(SAP) Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answer to many of the frequently asked questions with regard to Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  If you have a question that is not addressed in the FAQ below, please call NDSU One Stop at 701-231-6200 or by completing the One Stop Inquiry Form

Is there a deadline to submit an appeal form?

Yes.  The deadline to submit an appeal form is listed under the SAP Appeal Forms section.  

How is my GPA calculated?

Each letter grade is assigned a specific number of honor points for each credit earned. For more information on grading and honor points, go to https://catalog.ndsu.edu/academic-policies/grades/. There are three different GPAs calculated for each student as explained below. For SAP purposes, the cumulative "special GPA" is used.

  1. Semester (or term) GPA refers to the grade point average for any given period. It’s based on the point system mentioned above. 
  2. Institutional cumulative GPA is based on grades earned at NDSU only, and excludes transfer credits that were accepted by NDSU. The “institutional GPA” is the GPA that will appear on your academic transcript.  
  3. Special cumulative GPA is the weighted average of your NDSU grades along with those that transferred in to NDSU from other schools. The cumulative “special GPA” is the GPA that is used to determine whether students meet the SAP requirement of earning a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (or 3.0 or higher for graduate students).

I am thinking of dropping one or more credits. How will it affect my financial aid?

Before you drop, here are some important things to consider:

  • If you drop below full-time status and you have not received all of your financial aid for the semester, certain types of aid may be canceled or reduced. Types of aid that may be affected include the North Dakota State Grant, Pell Grant and the Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver. Please contact One Stop at 701-231-6200 before dropping if you have any of these types of aid. 
  • If dropping causes you to go below the required 67% cumulative completion rate, your future financial aid may be in jeopardy. All students are required to complete two-thirds (67%) of the credits they attempt cumulatively. 
  • If dropping the credits takes you below half-time status, your loan grace period will kick in. You will have to provide verification of enrollment to your lender once you return to school full time.
  • Dropping below full-time enrollment can affect other areas including tuition waivers, veterans benefits, and whether or not you will be covered if you are under your parents' health or car insurance benefits. Please check into all of these areas before dropping classes.

I am on Financial Aid Disqualification and I cannot receive financial aid. What are my options for paying my educational expenses?

  • Tuition payment plan: Customer Account Services offers a monthly payment plan for tuition and other school related costs. For more information, call 1-866-924-8969 or 701-231-6200, or visiting the Customer Account Services website.
  • Private Student Loans: There are some private student loans who will borrow to students on Financial Aid Disqualification. Private student loans are non-federal, interest bearing loans. The interest rate is determined by the lender and based on the borrowers credit. A credit worthy co-signer is usually required. More information on private student loans. To determine which loans are available to you, click on FastChoice (Enter FASTChoice Loan Comparison Tool) then Enter FastChoice and scroll down to “Loan Options for Students on Disqualification”. 

I am on Financial Aid Disqualification but I'm currently enrolled and I think I can be removed for the next semester. What do I need to do to get reinstated?

If you meet the cumulative requirements, you will automatically be removed from Disqualification, Probation, or Plan of Study when we run the SAP process following grade posting at the end of the semester. We do not notify you if you've been removed from Disqualification, Probation, or Plan of Study, but you will be able to check Campus Connection to confirm that the hold has been removed.

Please note: A period of non-enrollment will not result in regaining your financial aid eligibility.

How do I know whether or not I should appeal my Financial Aid Disqualification status?

Appeals are encouraged if you had an extenuating medical or emotional problem that negatively impacted your academic performance. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but our general guidelines for acceptable appeals include: hospitalization, surgery, medical illness, depression, anxiety, ADD, death in the family, etc. Appeals that are not considered extenuating include: working too many hours, dropped courses due to changing major, did not like the class or instructor, was unaware of drop date or policy requirements.

Nobody told me that I had to complete a certain number of credits or earn a certain GPA. How was I supposed to know this?

Due to the number of students at NDSU, we are not able to notify each individual of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. We do publish our policy annually and whenever there is an update. The complete policy is posted on our website. In addition, we discuss the SAP requirements in detail at Orientation during the Guide to Student Finances at NDSU session.  Ultimately, final responsibility for knowledge of and adherence to the SAP guidelines rests with the student.

If I am on Financial Aid Disqualification does that mean I cannot attend school at all?

No. If you are in good academic standing you can still attend NDSU, but you will not be eligible to receive most financial aid programs while you are on disqualification. If you are in need of funding to cover your educational costs you may wish to consider a private student loan.  Please call One Stop at 701-231-6200 if you have further questions. 

What if I have a grade change?

If you have a grade that is changed or posted after you have been placed on Financial Aid Warning or Disqualification, please notify One Stop as soon as the grade has been posted to request that your SAP status be recalculated.