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Satisfactory Academic Progress

As a student you are expected to meet certain standards to remain eligible to continue receiving financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is one such standard that the Department of Education requires Drexel to oversee. The SAP policy has two components that you must meet every year in order to remain eligible for financial assistance:

  • Maintain a certain minimum cumulative GPA
  • Earn a certain percentage of attempted course credits

Eligibility for the following financial aid awards are determined by SAP:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG Grant
  • Federal College Work-Study program
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • All other federal awards
  • Institutional need-based aid

Recipients of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Grant must also follow certain academic progress guidelines set for by PHEAA. Drexel University has designed a SAP policy that meets the requirements of both federal and state agencies; however, you can review PHEAA's SAP policies at PHEAA's web site.

Eligibility for merit and incentive awards offered by Drexel are not governed by SAP, but have their own specific guidelines. Drexel Central staff can assist you in determining what the requirements for the awards you have been offered are.

GPA Requirements

  • Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Law students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.2

Completion Percentage

You must complete the appropriate percent of all courses attempted since the start of your enrollment in your current academic level (undergraduate, graduate, or professional). The completion percentage is calculated by dividing total hours earned by total hours attempted.

It is also important to understand how specific grades and/or course types count toward your completion ratio.

The following grades count as attempted but not completed courses:

  • Incomplete (INC)
  • No Grade Reported (NGR)
  • Withdraw (W)
  • F or a Fail – in a pass/fail course
  • No credit – in a credit/no credit course

Both transfer and advanced placement credits count as attempted and completed courses. Co-op placement does not count as either attempted or completed courses.

The required completion percentages are detailed in the chart below.

Earned Credits Registered Completion %
Undergraduate: 0–89.5 credits 60%
Undergraduate: 90–129.5 credits 70%
Undergraduate: 130+ credits 80%
All Graduate/Professional 75%

Additionally, you may not receive any aid listed above if you enroll beyond 150 percent of the published program length without graduating. For example, if you are enrolled in a 4 year program, and you do not complete/earn your degree within six years, you will become ineligible to continue receiving SAP regulated financial aid.

Academic progress is checked at the end of each academic year (Drexel's academic year is measured from September to September for quarter programs and August to August for semester programs). Failure to meet the minimum completion percentage (of attempted vs. completed credit hours) or maintain the minimum GPA will result in the cancellation of all impacted financial aid for the upcoming year. If your aid is canceled you are not considered eligible for additional financial aid until you have been deemed to once again be meeting both of the SAP requirements. That review will be completed before the start of the following academic year.

SAP Appeal

If you are calculated as failing SAP, you may submit an appeal for consideration if there were extenuating circumstances such as a serious illness or death of a parent that prevented you from being successful. Official notification of a SAP failure will include instructions regarding the appeals process. Successful appeals can result in reinstatement of financial aid under a financial aid probation status.

To file a SAP Appeal, please do the following:

  • Complete the SAP Appeal Form and submit to Drexel Central. Make sure to attach any supporting documentation regarding the circumstances you describe in your appeal.
  • You will be notified by Drexel Central if your appeal is approved or denied. If approved, you will be required to complete a SAP Academic Plan in coordination with your academic advisor. This academic plan must be returned to Drexel Central in order for your financial aid to pay to your account. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress for the College of Medicine

As a student enrolled in the College of Medicine, you have a specific time limit to complete the program of study. The period is as follows:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    • Standard: four years
    • Maximum: seven years
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Dual Degree Program
    • Standard: seven years
    • Maximum: nine years

If you are a transfer student, the total number of years for completing your degree includes time spent at your previous institution, to the extent that credit hours are transferred and applied toward your degree objectives at Drexel University College of Medicine. You may be granted the status of Independent Study when you are pursuing either a special course of remediation or a full-time research fellowship.

You may be granted a leave of absence for a variety of reasons. The time for which you have been approved a leave of absence is included in the maximum time in which you may complete the program.

The time period for which you are registered to pursue a full-time research fellowship is included in the maximum time in which you may complete the program.

At the end of each academic year, the Promotions Committee will review your qualitative assessment of performance, which is given by the faculty member for each course in which you are enrolled. It may be a grade, a pass or fail, or another form of evaluation. If you do not satisfactorily complete all course requirements you may be permitted to remediate. In that case, you will be assigned a schedule that deviates from the norm. You are required to earn satisfactory qualitative assessment in all courses for which you are enrolled.

Grade Requirements

The College of Medicine does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average. You are required to complete courses with an "S" grade or better. Therefore, grade performance as a measure of satisfactory academic progress must be reviewed in the context of each course for which you are registered.

The following standards have been established:

Completion of the first year and second year of enrollment. You must have earned an "S" grade or higher in each required course. You must also satisfactorily pass Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® to progress to the third year.

Completion of the third year of enrollment. You must have earned an "S" or higher in each required course.

Completion of the fourth year of enrollment. You must have earned an "S" or higher in each required course and satisfy all requirements for graduation, including a passing grade on the United States Medical Licensing Examination®, Step 2.

As part of a review for remediation the Promotions Committee will also review appeals if you are failing Satisfactory Academic Progress. If approved you will be placed on financial aid probation and continue receiving financial aid while on probation as long as you meet the requirements for remediation stated by the Promotions Committee.

If you do not meet the requirements for remediation as stated by the Promotions Committee, you would be dropped from the rolls.

Reinstatement

If you have been dropped for the rolls, you may be reinstated in good academic standing when you have successfully completed your remediation. It is your responsibility to present evidence to the Promotions Committee at the time you have met the minimum requirements for reinstatement.