- Applicants for most types of financial aid must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen,
- International students on a VISA are not eligible for any financial aid through our office, check with International Student Services.
- Also make sure to check out our listing of other on- and off-campus resources.
- Must be registered with Selective Service, if you’re male**,
- Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student,
- Special (Non-Degree) students should contact our office for more information.
- Must be enrolled at least half-time (for most financial aid funds),
- Must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP),
- Must not be in default on a federal student loan and not owe money on a federal student grant, and
- Must not have been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs**
**As part of the FAFSA Simplification Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, questions about drug conviction and Selective Service will be removed as eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid. Unfortunately, it is too late in the development cycle to remove related questions from the 2021-22 and 2022-23 FAFSAs. But based on the guidance we received, UW-Madison will eliminate any impact that these questions may have on applicants’ eligibility for financial aid.
Determining Half Time Status
|Undergraduate||12+ credits||6 credits|
|Special – UNRS/EDCS||12+ credits||6 credits|
|Graduate||8+ credits||4 credits|
|Law||12+ credits||6 credits|
|Pharmacy – DPH 1, 2 & 3||12+ credits||6 credits|
|Pharmacy – DPH 4||7+ credits||4 credits|
|Medicine||8+ credits||4 credits|
|Physicians Assistant||14+ credits||7 credits|
|Physical Therapy||15+ credits||8 credits|
|Veterinary Medicine||14+ credits||7 credits|
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?
The following three components are evaluated at the end of each academic year:
- Undergraduate students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
- You must successfully complete a cumulative 2/3 (67%) of all credits for which you attempt.
- “Attempted” coursework includes all classes that appear on your official transcript, including those with a DR (dropped) or W (withdrew) grade notation. The last day to drop classes without a DR or W notification varies each semester – check the Registrar’s Office “Key Deadlines” for specifics.
- “Completed” coursework includes all classes with a passing grade (D or above). Credits that are dropped, failed, or incomplete will negatively impact your completion rate.
- You may not enroll for more than 150% of the number of credits needed to complete their degree. Transfer credits and prior degree credits are included in this evaluation.
Evaluation of SAP takes place after the academic year ends and final grades have been reported in May.
If you fail any one or more of the three requirements, you will be notified via e-mail – typically in early June – and the notification will include details on both the failure and your options to move forward. No financial aid can be offered or disbursed to a student that has failed any component of SAP.
If any financial aid was offered to you prior to the official SAP evaluation, the funds will not disburse until you have an approved appeal. This is especially timely if you need financial aid for the summer semester. Failing SAP means you are not eligible for financial aid without an approved appeal and financial aid is not retro-active if you choose not to appeal or your appeal is not approved before the semester ends.
COVID-19 Related SAP Special Circumstances
The Office of Student Financial Aid will not be running SAP until after May 21, 2021 – the last day you can request the SD/UD grade conversion. Credits with an SD/UD grade:
- ARE NOT included in the SAP GPA calculation.
- ARE included when calculating your 2/3 (67%) completion rate.
If you fail SAP, you’re given the opportunity to appeal the loss of financial aid by addressing the cause and issues with your academic progress as well as working with an academic advisor to create an academic plan to make sure you see success in the future!
If you have justifying circumstances that led you to not meeting minimum academic requirements, we would encourage you to appeal. Examples of justifying circumstances include but are not limited to:
- Medical illness or injury
- Death of a family member
- Personal difficulties
- Military Services
- Family circumstances
- Financial difficulties
- Difficulties managing priorities
Required Appeal Documents
- Complete and submit the SAP Student Appeal Form
- Have your academic advisor complete and submit the SAP Advisor Form. It is your responsibility to reach out to your academic advisor to discuss your ability to complete your intended degree and fill out this form. You can find your current assigned advisor at https://advising.wisc.edu/content/find-an-advisor (click on “Current Students”).
Failing SAP means you are not eligible for financial aid without an approved appeal and financial aid is not retro-active if you choose not to appeal or your appeal is not approved before the semester ends. We will notify you of the results of your appeal within 2-4 weeks of the receipt of BOTH student and advisor forms.
We encourage you to appeal, but if you feel there’s a barrier to the appeal process, you have the following options:
- If you failed the GPA requirement, bring your cumulative GPA up to a 2.0.
- If you failed the 2/3 completion rate, enroll and complete a high enough percentage of your classes to bring your cumulative rate up to 2/3 (67%).
Once you make up your deficient GPA and/or increase your completion rate notify our office in writing by emailing email@example.com – always include your Campus ID Number.
Failing SAP means you are not eligible for financial aid without an approved appeal and financial aid is not retro-active if you choose not to appeal or your appeal is not approved before the semester ends.
If you continue to enroll in classes while failing SAP, you are responsible for paying any expenses on your own. There are a few private loan lenders that will loan to students on SAP but pay careful attention to their conditions.