Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility

Eligibility for financial aid funding is contingent upon a student maintaining a minimum standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress. SAP contains a qualitative component (minimum GPA), quantitative component (pace of completion), and a maximum time frame component explained below.

This policy applies to all forms of federal & institutional financial aid administered through the Georgetown School of Medicine Office of Admissions & Financial Aid, including but not limited to:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Institutional Scholarship/Grants
  • Institutional Loans 

Qualitative Standard – Grade Average

The School of Medicine calculates grade average based upon a grading system of Pass-Fail for first- and second-year students, and Honors, High Pass and Pass for third- and fourth-year students. Students must maintain both an annual and cumulative grade average of “Pass” as determined by the School of Medicine Committee on Students.

Quantitative Standard – Degree Completion Rate

Students must complete two-thirds (0.67) of the courses for which they are enrolled. We determine this rate by taking the total completed course credit hours and dividing it by attempted course credit hours.

  • Completed Credit Hours include all credits for which the student earns a passing grade such as an “honors” or “pass.”
  • Attempted Credit Hours include all credits for which the student is enrolled for in a given semester
  • Incompletes (until resolution), withdrawals, and failing grades all count as attempted but not completed credit hours.

Financial Aid Warning, Probation and Loss of Aid Eligibility

Financial Aid Warning:

  • Any student not meeting either the cumulative Qualitative or Quantitative Standard will receive a Financial Aid Warning for the following semester and be notified via email
  • Students in receipt of a Financial Aid Warning may continue to receive federal and/or institutional financial aid for one semester
  • At the end of the Warn semester, students must meet the minimum required cumulative Qualitative and Quantitative standards to return to good academic standing
  • If the student does not meet the minimum required cumulative standards after the Warn semester, they will be ineligible to receive federal and/or institutional aid for the following semester 
  • Any M1 student who receives a financial aid warning after the end of their first year will retain this status for the entirety of their second year and must meet SAP standards at the end of the M2 year in order to remain eligible for financial aid

Financial Aid Ineligibility:

  • Students who do not meet the minimum SAP standards after their Warning semester will be ineligible for federal and institutional financial aid. They will be required to either submit a SAP appeal, explained below, or pay for courses without the use of federal and/or institutional financial aid

Appeal Process:

Students who do not meet the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress may write a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid Policy Committee for a review of your academic record and possible reinstatement of your financial aid eligibility for a Probationary Semester

Circumstances which may be considered as a basis for an appeal may include family emergency, death in the student’s immediate family, a student’s medical illness or injury, or other undue hardships.

Letters of appeal must be in writing and must be submitted to no later than 60 days into the semester for which you are requesting financial aid funding. The letter of appeal must include the following:

  1. An explanation of the circumstances that contributed to falling below the cumulative Qualitative and/or Quantitative Standard(s)
  2. An explanation of what has changed circumstantially that will enable you to be successful moving forward
  3.  Supporting documentation (if applicable) related to the circumstances outlined in (1)

To review the School of Medicine’s entire policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress, please select “Academic Policies” from the Student Handbook.

Financial Aid Probation:

  • Any student placed on Financial Aid Ineligible status whose SAP appeal has been approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation status for the next semester. During the Probation semester, students will remain eligible for federal and institutional financial aid. Students must adhere to the requirements outlined in the appeal notification email to bring them back to good SAP standing or they will revert back to an Ineligible status in the following semester. Financial aid will not be disbursed in the following term until SAP has been reviewed at the end of the probationary semester.

Degree Completion:

Students must be completing credits at a rate which would enable them to complete the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program in a maximum time frame of 150% of a normal time frame to complete the degree. Medical students are expected to graduate in four years or eight semesters. Therefore, medical students must complete their degree in 6 years or 12 semesters in order to meet SAP standards.