Satisfactory Academic Progress for US Federal Student Loans


Federal regulations (CFR 668.34) require institutions of higher education to establish, publish, and regularly apply standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Federal Student Aid (Title IV) eligibility.

According to federal regulations (CFR 668.34), students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to be eligible for any Federal Student Aid (Title IV). All students must meet the following minimum standards of academic achievement and successful course completion to maintain their Title IV eligibility. The student’s progress will be evaluated at the end of every semester (including summer and winter sessions). Please note that these criteria do not replace the University’s set of policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress, but they do apply to students who are enrolled in AUR’s undergraduate programs and partake in Title IV student aid program. 



Grade Point Average (GPA) is defined in the AUR undergraduate catalog, page 37:

A student’s grade point average (GPA) is computed by multiplying the quality points achieved by the number of credits for each course. The result is then divided by the total number of credit hours taken. The Cumulative or Career Total Grade Point Average (CGPA) is the grade point average for all credit hours taken at the University and at approved study abroad programs. The GPA and CGPA are calculated by truncating after the second digit after the decimal point. Transfer credits have no effect on the CGPA at The American University of Rome.

  1. The student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 1.50 at the end of the first academic year or after completing at least 25 credits.
  2. The student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 at the end of the second academic year (or after completing 60 credits) and thereafter.



The student must complete at least two thirds (67%) of the attempted courses each semester.


The maximum time in which a student is permitted to complete a degree while maintaining Title IV eligibility is 150 per cent of the published program length. The maximum time frame depends on whether the student is full-time or part-time. For students pursuing a second undergraduate degree, only those credits that transfer will count towards the 150% limit.

Example: If the published program length is 4 academic years, the maximum time to complete the program is 150% of 4, or 6 years total. 


The student’s progress is evaluated at the end of every semester (including summer and winter sessions). If it is found that a student receiving Title IV aid does not comply with the above listed standards, they will be notified of the Federal Aid Warning in writing for the subsequent semester. During that semester, the student will still be eligible for Title IV aid. However, if at the end of the warning period the student still fails to meet the standards, they will lose Title IV eligibility. The student can then appeal the decision to be considered for Federal Aid Probation in which the student can continue to receive US federal loan eligibility if the appeal is approved. 


A student whose federal aid eligibility has been withdrawn due to failure to achieve SAP after the Warning period may appeal that result on the basis of injury or illness, death in the family, or other extenuating circumstances.

They must submit the appeal within two weeks after the last day of classes of the semester. The appeals committee will meet and relay the decision to the student within one month after the submission of the appeal. The appeal committee may determine that the student may be placed on Title IV probation for an additional semester if they decide the student will be able to meet the school’s satisfactory academic progress requirements by the end of the subsequent term.

Federal Aid Withdrawal

In the event a student fails to meet SAP requirements, eligibility to receive Federal Aid will be suspended until they achieve the required standards. Students who meet SAP standards will be re-instated in normal status with full Federal Aid eligibility for subsequent semesters.



Students who failed to maintain eligibility may regain their Title IV eligibility through the appeals process (as described above) or by meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.


  • If a student receives an incomplete or if they withdrew from a course after the corresponding Add/Drop period for the semester in question, the credits will be counted as attempted but not completed. 
  • AUR does not offer remedial courses.
  • Repeated courses are included in the cumulative GPA and credits earned vs. credits attempted calculation.
  • Noncredit courses will not be counted as attempted or completed. 
  • Transfer credits are counted as attempted and completed.



To maintain US federal loan eligibility, graduate students must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the AUR Academic policy here below:

Standards of Satisfactory Progress: The Graduate School has minimum standards of academic performance and successful course completion that students have to follow in order to remain enrolled at the University. Students are responsible for recognizing an academic difficulty and for taking steps to resolve it. They should consult with their advisor immediately and, if necessary, seek additional assistance. When it is found that a student is in academic difficulty, and depending upon the severity of the situation, the student may receive:

              • a written warning from the Program Director or Dean when the student receives a W, F or a D, or after the second C.

              • a written termination of degree candidacy when the student has accumulated three failing grades (grades of F or D).

After the first semester, a graduate student who has received a written warning will also receive a Federal Aid Warning for the subsequent semester. If the student does not return to good academic standing after the subsequent semester, the student will be deemed ineligible to receive US federal loans. 

The student may appeal this decision and if the appeal is approved, the student will be granted eligibility for a future semester/s on a Federal Probation status. See Appeal & Probation section above.