Satisfactory Academic Policy - US Loans

Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

All students in receipt of US Federal Aid at the University of Glasgow must make Satisfactory Academic Progress towards completion of their degree programme.  We are obliged under Direct Loan Regulations to check a student's progress and will do so prior to releasing second/third disbursements.

The University of Glasgow’s academic programmes are governed by the regulations set out in the University Calendar.

Undergraduate Students - Satisfactory Academic Progress Form

Postgraduate Taught (Masters) Students - Satisfactory Academic Progress Form

PhD Students - Satisfactory Academic Progress Form

SAP Evaluation and Review

  • International students at the University of Glasgow in receipt of a Tier 4 visa are subject to regular monitoring of their attendance in accordance with the UK Government’s immigration rules:

  • The University of Glasgow’s Title IV SAP policy applies the same rules for students enrolled on the same programme but not receiving Title IV Aid, however, students who do receive Title IV Aid are subject to additional checks on their progress prior to disbursements 2 and 3 during the academic year

  • Students will be notified of their SAP in writing once it has been confirmed prior to disbursement 2 and 3.  Students who are placed on a warning or suspended status will also be notified of this in writing prior to disbursement 2 or 3

Quantitative Criteria: Maximum course completion timeframes

Students must complete their course at a pace which ensures that they will graduate within the maximum timeframe.

Federal regulations for undergraduate students specify that the maximum timeframe for progression may not exceed 150% of the published length of the programme as measured in credit hours.

Standard Published Programme Length

Programme Length in credit hours

Maximum UofG Period of Registration

Maximum Federal Timeframe for Completion

4-year undergraduate degree


6 years[1] (720 hours)

6 years (720 hours)

5-year undergraduate degree[2]


6 years (720 hours)

6 years (720 hours)

12-month postgraduate taught degree


24 months (360 hours)[3]


Postgraduate research degree (PhD)


48 months[4]


Pace and Progression
To continue to be eligible for Financial Aid, students must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 66.7% [5]as calculated by dividing the number of completed credits by the number of attempted credits in order to meet SAP maximum completion timeframes.

Qualitative Criteria: Academic Standards
The evaluation process will consider the student’s progress as per the requirements stipulated in the University’s academic regulations:

  • Undergraduate degrees
    The Generic Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, as well as the degree’s supplementary regulations and the Programme Specification and Programme Document (or “Course Handbook”), outline the criteria for completing each year of study and progression to Honours

  • 12-month Taught Postgraduate degrees
    The Generic Regulations for Taught Masters Degrees, as well as the Programme Specification and Programme Document (or “Course Handbook”) outline the criteria for progression as well as any courses or courses in respect of which a specific grade is a minimum requirement of progression.  Full time students are expected to complete within 12 months and progression is measured in credit accumulation at the required minimum standard rather than progression from one to a higher level of study

  • Postgraduate Research degrees
    Progression requirements for Postgraduate Research Degrees are outlined in the PGR Code of Practice

In addition to the University’s academic standards outlined above, additional checks are made in-year for students in receipt of US Federal Aid prior to disbursements two and (for postgraduate students) three, with programme convenors or supervisors are required to confirm that students continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress according to the programme requirements.

Impact of Transfers, Withdrawals, Failures, Interruptions and Reassessments on Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • Change of major, transfer of credits and module changes for the same grade level will count towards the 150% timeframe. Only those credits which count toward the award being sought will be considered for the purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • Students considering withdrawing from their programme are encouraged to follow the guidance at Withdrawing from the University and to seek advice of the effect withdrawal can have on loans eligibility and repayment options.

  • There is no ‘incomplete’ status at University of Glasgow, rather the student will be given a Fail status or Credit Refused (depending on the proportion of assessment which has been completed, as defined by the Code of Assessment) for not meeting required threshold and will count toward the maximum timeframe.

  • For re-assessments please refer to the chart in Quantitative criteria for impact on the maximum timeframe.  Grades points from reassessment will be capped at minimum pass mark.

Financial Aid Warning

  • Failure to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress at the required standard as outlined in this document will result in a Financial Aid Warning.

  • This warning will last for one payment period (i.e. until the next disbursement), during which time the student can still receive Financial Aid.

  • If the student regains satisfactory academic progress by the next disbursement due date, the next disbursement will be released, and they will be removed from the Financial Aid Warning status.

  • If students fail to regain satisfactory academic progress by the next disbursement, they will no longer be eligible for Financial Aid (unless an appeal is submitted) and funds will not be disbursed.


Students can appeal the decision within 14 days of being notified that their Aid has been suspended by submitting a letter to Registry explaining why they did not meet SAP (injury, health, family reasons etc.) and what has now changed that will allow them to meet the requirements.

  • The Financial Aid Team will discuss this with the school and/or adviser of studies and a decision and response will sent to the student within 14 days.
  • If the appeal is unsuccessful, the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid with immediate effect.
  • If the appeal is successful, the student will be placed on Financial Aid probation. The student will be given specific requirements to meet e.g. resitting and passing failed exams, submitting dissertations, making up lost module time etc. Eligibility for Financial Aid will continue.
  • If the above specific appeal requirements are not met, then the student will again become ineligible for financial aid.

Appeals must be made in writing within ten days of receipt of the Notice of Suspension of Aid and should be addressed to:

Mr Chris Buckland
Assistant Director
Fraser Building Level 2,
65 Hillhead Street, G12 8QQ

Please note:  Regardless of the above students who exceed 150% (where applicable) of the published length of their programme are no longer entitled to receive further Federal Aid payments

[1] In rare, exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of a College Progress Committee, a student can be permitted to register for 7 academic sessions. 

[2] Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS).  In rare exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of a College Progress Committee, a student can be permitted to register for 8academic sessions.

[3] For full-time study.  The maximum period within which all candidates must complete the programme is five years from the date of initial registration. 

[4] Each research degree has its own prescribed time limit for completion set out in the degree regulations within the University Calendar. A student is generally expected to submit their thesis within this period.  The PGR Code of Practice gives indicative minimum and maximum programme durations.

[5] For a 4-year undergraduate degree.