Office of Financial Aid
USF Health

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility for D.P.T. Students


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). The USF Morsani College of Medicine (USFMCOM) Financial Aid Office has revised its satisfactory academic progress policy to comply with the new regulations and will implement the new satisfactory academic progress standards beginning with the 2011/2012 academic year.

It is important to note that satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid purposes maybe different from the academic progress policies for the D.P.T. program.


The USFMCOM D.P.T. Program does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average. For a student to maintain financial aid eligible, they must successfully complete all the required courses, blocks, clerkships or electives with a grade not less than “P” or “S” in order to graduate. Therefore, grade performance as a measure of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility must be reviewed in the context of each course for which the student registers. The progress of each student is monitored carefully by the USFMCOM Academic Performance Review Sub-Committee (APRSC) at the end of each course, block, clerkship, and elective.

The following standards for financial aid eligibility have been established.

1) A student who has one deficient grade (F, U, or R) at any given time or receives an academic warning from the USFMCOM APRSC will be placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status. The Financial Aid Warning Status will remain in place for one payment period or until the deficiency is corrected whichever is less. Once a student has been placed in a Financial Aid Warning Status any further academic deficiency may result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Probation.

2) A student who has more than one deficient grade (F, U, or R) at any given time or placed on academic probation by the USFMCOM APRSC will be placed in Financial Aid Probation status and financial aid eligibility will be suspended.

3) A student who is required to repeat a year by the USFMCOM APRSC will be placed on financial aid probation and financial aid eligibility suspended.

A student who has been placed on financial aid probation will remain in a probationary status until deficiencies are removed.

Time limits for financial aid eligibility

A student must complete the D.P.T. curriculum within 4.5 years from the date of first registration. A student must be eligible for promotion to Year III of the curriculum within 3.5 academic years from the date of first registration.

An exception to this rule may be made for illness or other extenuating circumstances approved by the USFMCOM APRSC and recommended to the Associate Dean/Director of the School of Physical Therapy.


A student who has their financial aid eligibility suspended for failure to meet the above satisfactory academic progress requirements has the right to submit a written appeal. Please note, being permitted to continue your studies by the USFMCOM APRSC does not automatically reinstate your financial aid eligibility.

A student may submit a written appeal within seven (7) calendar days of the determination of SAP. Appeals should be sent to the USFMCOM Financial Aid Office and will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The student will receive notification of the committee’s decision within seven (7) calendar days.

Appeals should be submitted to the USFMCOM Financial Aid Office and must include:

1.) A written statement documenting the reasons for failure to meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid eligibility. (Required by the U.S. Department of Education)

2.) A written statement explaining what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to bring their academic progress up to satisfactory standards. (Required by the U.S. Department of Education)

3.) A written academic plan that is equal to or exceeds the academic plan provided to the student by the USFMCOM APRSC. The academic plan must ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

An approved appeal will permit the student to receive financial aid for one payment period. At the end of that payment period the student must be progressing successfully to attain satisfactory academic progress or they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not receive financial aid.