University of Wisconsin–Madison


Determining Half Time Status

  • Academic Year - Fall/Spring Semesters





    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
    Dissertator 3 credits N/A
  • Summer Semester

    Undergraduate, Pharmacy, and Law students must have an enrollment status of at least half-time to be eligible for summer aid. Half-time enrollment status in the summer is based on the number of credits you are enrolled in, as well as the total number of weeks you are enrolled for in the summer session.

    **Federal Direct Loans – half-time enrollment is not defined by this chart, rather it is the same as the academic year.  See the chart above under “Academic Year – Fall/Spring Semesters”

    In order to be eligible for summer aid, be enrolled in at least 2 credits for 4-5 weeks, 3 credits for 6-8 weeks, 4 credits for 9-10 weeks, or 5+ credits for 11+ weeks.

    Graduate, Medical & Veterinary Medicine
    students must be enrolled for 2 credits for at least 4 weeks to be eligible for aid.

    Dissertators must be enrolled for at least 3 credits for at least 4 weeks to be eligible for aid.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

The following three components are evaluated at the end of each academic year:

  1. Undergraduate students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 awarded 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.

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 meeting with an academic advisor to work on an academic plan to make sure the issues can be resolved moving forward.

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

Check out deadlines for receiving financial aid, which includes submitting SAP appeal documents. 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 – 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.