Financial Aid

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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Monitoring Progress

A student's progress will be monitored at the end of the spring semester or the last semester attended.  The assessment will be based on the student's entire academic record, including all transfer credit hours accepted. 

Regardless of which term within an academic year a student starts enrollment at the University of South Dakota, their past academic record will not adversely affect their eligibility for Federal Student Aid until the end of the spring semester or last semester attended.    Admission to The University of South Dakota or academic standing as defined by the Office of the Registrar does not necessarily constitute maintaining satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.

Completion Rate
Students must satisfactorily complete 67 percent of all credits attempted.  Satisfactory grades are "A", "B", "C", "D", "S" and "RS." Unsatisfactory grades are "F", "I", "U", "RI", "RU", "IP", "and "W." 
Minimum Cumulative Grade-Point Average
  • Undergraduate Students:  The minimum cumulative GPA requirement for an undergraduate student is 2.0 or higher.  
  • Graduate Students:  The minimum cumulative GPA requirement for a graduate student is 3.00 or higher.
Maximum Time Frame

The University's standards include a reasonable length of time for students receiving Federal Student Aid to complete their educational objectives.  Transfer credits, which are accepted by USD, will be included in the total credit hours.  The maximum number of attempted credit hours eligible to receive Federal Student Aid for an undergraduate degree is listed below:

Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies 90
Associate of Science Degree (Nursing) 98
Bachelor of Arts/Sciences Degree 180

The maximum number of attempted credit hours eligible to receive Federal Student Aid for a graduate degree is listed below:

Master's Degree


Specialist Degree


Doctor of Philosophy Degree


Doctors Degree


Unsatisfactory Status

A student whose status is determined to be unsatisfactory is not eligible to receive Federal Student Aid until he/she meets one of the following conditions:

  • Continues to attend USD at his/her own expense and returns to full compliance with all parts of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
  • Demonstrates special circumstances to justify appeal consideration.
Right To Appeal

Students who have had their Federal Student Aid suspended due to unsatisfactory academic progress may appeal to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  The appeal must be in writing and specifically explain what circumstances prevented students from meeting the SAP requirements.  The appeal form will need an explanation as to what has changed that will allow the student to meet the SAP standards in the future.  The student must explain changes that have occurred so that the same circumstance will not hinder future progress.   To ensure a timely review, appeals should be submitted within 30 days of notification of unsatisfactory status, and should be accompanied by all relevant /3rd party documentation if available at the time the appeal is sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Please allow 4–6 weeks to receive a decision regarding your appeal  Appeals submitted after that will be reviewed as soon as possible; however we cannot assure that your financial aid will be available by the fee payment deadline.   As a result, students MUST make arrangements to pay their bill without Federal Financial Aid.