2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog


Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

All students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements to receive financial aid. This academic progression is measured by three components:

  1. Qualitative progress - cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  2. Quantitative progress - credit hours attempted versus credit hours successfully completed
  3. Cumulative progress - the maximum time allowed for completing your program of study

Qualitative Progress

The qualitative component is based on a student’s GPA. Students must attain a minimum cumulative TCU GPA of 2.00 at the end of each spring term. With the exception of some study abroad courses, grades from classes taken at another school do not affect the TCU GPA.

Quantitative Progress

The quantitative component considers the number of credit hours a student successfully completed in comparison to the number of credit hours attempted. The student must successfully complete at least 75 percent of all hours attempted at TCU during each academic year. The academic year begins with the summer term.

  • Attempted hours are based on a student’s enrollment status on the 12th class day for fall and spring terms; summer attempted hours are based on the first day of each summer session. An exception to the 75 percent total is made for students who complete a minimum of 24 hours in the academic year.
Term  Attempted   Completed 
2016 Summer  6 3
2016 Fall  15 12
2017 Spring  12 6
  33 21
64% of Attempted Classes Completed
Satisfactory Progress Not Achieved
Term  Attempted  Completed 
2016 Summer  0 3
2016 Fall  15 9
2017 Spring  12 12
  27 21
 77% of Attempted Classes Completed
 Satisfactory Progress Achieved

  • The following grades will be counted as credits completed: "A", "B", "C", "D", (+/-) and "P".
    • Grades of "F", "W", "Q", "I" and "AU" are not counted as completed credits. In addition, credits earned from Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate and the College Board Achievement Tests in Foreign Languages (ACH) are not counted in the quantitative total.
  • If a student successfully converts an "I" grade to "A", "B", "C", "D", (+/-) or "P" by the deadline published by the Office of the Registrar’s, he/she can submit a written request for reevaluation to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
  • Repeated classes in the quantitative total – A student may retake a failed class until a passing grade is achieved. A student may retake a previously passed course only once for inclusion in attempted hours for financial aid. If a student repeats a course taken at TCU, the official grade is the last letter grade made, although all grades appear on the transcript. Only the last letter grade earned in the repeated course will be used in computing a student’s GPA.

Cumulative Progress

The cumulative component consists of two pieces that relate to the maximum length of time a student may receive Federal financial aid; generally defined as 150% of the time and hours needed for completion of a four-year degree.

The first cumulative piece requires a demonstrated minimal progression toward degree completion (PACE) that will ensure graduation within the timeframe allowed. PACE is calculated by dividing the cumulative hours a student successfully completed by cumulative hours attempted. Please note that PACE measures a "minimal" progression related to aid eligibility and not graduation requirements. The following chart illustrates the minimum hours needed to meet this requirement for a full-time student in a program requiring 124 hours to graduate:

Percent of Total Hours
Entering 3rd year 40% 50
Entering 4th year 60% 74
Entering 5th year 80% 99

The second cumulative piece tracks a student’s completion of the total hours needed to complete the degree (maximum timeframe). Most TCU undergraduate degrees require completion of 124 credit hours in eight semesters. Therefore, 150 percent of the time required to complete most four-year degrees is 186 hours and 12 semesters.

  • Attempted hours are counted for all terms, even those for which a student does not receive financial aid, as well as those where a student receives a "Q" grade.
  • Transfer credit hours that are accepted toward a student’s educational program are counted as both attempted and completed hours.
  • Students who change majors may request a one-time recalculation for maximum timeframe.
  • If a student is seeking a second degree, he/she may appeal the maximum hours limit by providing documentation of hours that apply to the current degree, in writing to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
  • Please note: All TCU funded grants and scholarships are limited to eight semesters (six semesters total for transfer students). If a student is enrolled in a program of study requiring more than 124 hours for his/her primary major, the student may request one additional semester of funding.

Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Quantitative, qualitative and cumulative progress is evaluated at the end of each spring term by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. If a student is not meeting SAP requirements, he/she will be notified, in writing, with a letter sent to the student’s permanent address on file.

Appeals Procedure

If a student loses financial aid because of a failure to meet SAP, he/she may appeal this determination to the Academic Progress Appeals Committee (the committee). An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously affected the student’s academic performance. Examples of possible mitigating circumstances are serious illness, severe injury, death of a parent or sibling and other similar situations. A student may only file one appeal for each mitigating circumstance.

  • If a student’s appeal is approved, he/she will be eligible for financial aid on a probationary status for one term. The student must meet SAP standards by the end of the probationary period to continue receiving financial aid.
  • Second appeals will only be reviewed for different extenuating circumstances from the first appeal approved.
  • In some cases the committee may require the creation of an established academic plan that outlines what a student must do in order to reinstate eligibility for aid. The committee will notify the student during the appeal process if an academic plan is required.
  • If a student has been readmitted to the university after an academic suspension, he/she must file an appeal for reinstatement of financial aid.

The Academic Progress Appeals Committee meets in June, August and January to review student appeals. The deadline for each appeal meeting is posted on the financial aid website. You will be notified of the committee’s decision within one week of the scheduled appeals meeting.

Re-establishing Eligibility

If you do not file and appeal or your appeal is denied, you may reestablish eligibility for financial aid by taking the following actions:

  • Raise your cumulative GPA to meet the minimum standard (2.0)
  • Successfully complete 75% of your attempted hours for the term

You may not regain financial aid eligibility by choosing not to attend TCU for a term(s), or by paying your own tuition and fees for a term(s) if the minimum requirements stated above are not met.

Access to Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress is revised and published each year by June 1. The current policy is available on the Financial Aid Home Page at my.tcu.edu and in the Undergraduate Student Catalog at Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.