• In order for you to remain eligible for Federal financial aid programs, you must make satisfactory academic progress. In other words, you must make good enough grades, and complete enough classes (credits, hours, etc.), to keep moving toward successfully completing your degree in an acceptable time period. If you do not maintain satisfactory academic progress, you will be in jeopardy of losing eligibility for Federal financial aid.

    The satisfactory academic progress standards apply to all Federal financial aid programs including Federal Direct loans (Unsubsidized and graduate PLUS), Darden scholarships, outside scholarships and Veterans benefits. Private loans may have different eligibility requirements. Please refer to the eligibility requirements for these programs to determine the standards to remain eligible for non-Federal financial aid programs.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    For purposes of determining student eligibility assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, an institution must establish reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. On October 29, 2010, the Secretary of Education published final rules aimed at improving the integrity of programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA, as amended. Effective July 1, 2011, institutions must comply with the published regulations that impact Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

    It is important to note that the standards of the Darden Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for financial aid purposes may differ from the academic progress policies of Darden Graduate School of Business. The Darden Financial Aid Office encourages all students, academic deans and academic advisors to become familiar with the satisfactory academic progress policy and its impact on student financial aid eligibility. Click here to review the Darden SAP policy.

    Evaluating students’ satisfactory academic progress is required by federal regulation. The outcome of the evaluation and its impact on students’ financial aid eligibility overrides all other University polices or statements regarding a student’s academic standing.

    Appeal Process

    The U.S. Department of Education does not believe it is appropriate for students who are not making progress towards program completion to continue to receive Title IV, HEA aid. Students who experience circumstances that interfere with their ability to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards may appeal their SAP status. The intent of the appeal process is to provide information to the Darden Financial Aid Appeals Committee that is not captured on the student’s academic record but has impacted the student’s academic progress.

    Students who appeal their SAP status must provide a detailed explanation for why they are not making satisfactory academic progress and must also present convincing evidence of their ability to meet the SAP standards and to finish their degree program. The satisfactory academic progress policy does not limit the number of times students may appeal an SAP status during a student's career; however, it is the Darden Financial Aid Appeals Committee’s objective to ensure that Title IV, HEA aid is awarded to students who demonstrate a capacity for completing their degree program.

    Students who wish to appeal their Financial Aid Suspension must complete and submit the following:

    1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal – made available by the Darden Financial Aid Office
    2. Academic Dean Support form (page 2 of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal)
    3. Academic plan developed by academic dean and student that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards by a specific point in time
    4. If applicable, documentation from a third party to support your explanation (i.e. letter from physician or counselor)

    Once the completed appeal is received, the information will be reviewed by the Darden Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Based upon the documentation submitted, the Committee will approve or deny the appeal. Students will be notified of the Committee’s decision by email no later than one month after the completed appeal is received.