Federal and state regulations require that financial aid recipients show Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective. 


To satisfy USC's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, students must:

  • Meet a minimum grade point average;
  • Earn a minimum number of units each semester; and
  • Complete their degree objective within a maximum number of semesters and a maximum number of attempted units.

Should you fail to meet one of the above criteria, a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal may be necessary.

Understanding the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Review the guides below to understand USC’s Financial Aid SAP Policy including SAP evaluation and appeal procedures


If you are currently academically disqualified or if you have an activity restriction that prevents you from registering for classes, you may submit an SAP Appeal, but your appeal will not be considered until you have resolved those activity restrictions.

Your SAP appeal must include both the Academic Plan and Student’s Letter of Appeal. 

-ACADEMIC PLAN: You and your academic advisor must submit an academic plan to our office.  The information provided by your advisor on the form will considerably influence our review, so we encourage you to discuss with your advisor any concerns you might have about your proposed coursework before submitting the appeal to our office.

-STUDENT’S LETTER OF APPEAL: You must submit a statement with your Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form explaining the reason for your appeal. 

Your appeal should provide a detailed account of:

(a) What caused your work at USC to fall below acceptable standards? Think carefully and be specific.
(b) How have those conflicts been resolved?
(c) How do you intend to maintain good academic standards and progress toward your degree if your appeal is granted?

Special attention should be given to spelling, grammar and the writing style of your statement. Since the committee does not meet with the students in person, the written statement is your opportunity to address them directly.

Statements should be typed and not more than two pages.  If you have any supporting documentation, please submit it with this form.


Academically Considerations: You will be expected to meet the enrollment and grade point goals set for each semester.  We encourage you and your academic advisor to be realistic when planning the number of units you will complete each semester.

Financial Consideration: Your appeal will be funded with financial aid funds available at the time your appeal is reviewed.


Student who are not eligible for federal and university financial aid may be eligible for private loan financing and/or the USC Payment Plan.


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