To be eligible for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Students that do not meet the minimum SAP standards at that review may lose FSA Eligibility.

FSA eligibility can be restored if a student has petitioned an SAP decision of the Administrative Board. The Administrative Board will review all appeals and determine if the student will be allowed to enroll and meet SAP in the following academic payment period.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured in the following ways:

Qualitative Standards

Minimum academic requirements
To meet the minimum academic requirements in any term:

a student may have at most one failing grade, which may not be accompanied by another unsatisfactory grade; and at least two satisfactory grades, one of which must be a letter grade in an FAS course taken for degree credit (or in a course taken by cross-registration and counted toward concentration or UTEP requirements).

Quantitative Standards

A minimum pace which you must progress through your program to ensure you will graduate within the maximum timeframe.

A year-long course would be equivalent to 8 credit hours. We expect students to progress at the four course per year rate. They are expected to graduate in four years with 16 courses. A “halfcourse” is a semester long and equates to 4 credit hours. Most classes are actually halfcourses, which means students typically take the equivalent of 32 half-courses in order to graduate, or the equivalent of 128 credit hours. If a student finishes the first year under 4 courses (or finishes sophomore year under 8 courses, etc.) then they are behind rate and thus not maintaining Harvard’s minimum pace.

In all cases, midyear grades in full year courses will be considered along with all other grades in the calculations for minimum requirements and satisfactory records.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

All students must complete their degree by attempting no more than 150% of the published length of the program. For example, the standard program of study is normally completed in 128 credit hours (8 semesters), therefore a student can not exceed 192 credit hours(12 semesters) in completing their degree.

Requirement to Withdraw for Academic Reason

  • In the case of a student who has failed to have a satisfactory record for two consecutive terms
  • At any return of grades in the case of any student, whether or not previously on probation, whose record fails to meet the minimum requirements

A student who is required to withdraw for academic reasons is not in good standing, and may not participate in any academic exercises or extracurricular activities. A student may not receive a degree until he or she has been readmitted to good standing in the College. At the end of the period of withdrawal, the student may be readmitted on (academic) probation, and relieved of probation at the end of that term provided the record is satisfactory (including the passing of at least three courses).

Readmission after Requirement to Withdraw for Disciplinary or Academic Reasons

Students who have been required to withdraw will be readmitted only if they can present convincing evidence that they are likely to achieve good standing with respect to both their academic record and conduct if given a second opportunity to study at Harvard. In all such cases the student must petition the Administrative Board to be readmitted to the College, and the Board’s decision will depend on its judgment of the student’s readiness to resume his or her studies and to rejoin the College community.

Students request readmission through their Resident Deans, who present the students’ petitions to the Administrative Board. A petition for readmission is not normally considered before December or May prior to the term for which readmission is sought, and the petition must ordinarily be filed at least eight weeks in advance of the beginning of the term for which the student seeks readmission. Earlier deadlines for housing and financial aid applications will pertain even though petitions for readmission cannot be considered before December or May.

Minimum general prerequisites for readmission are:

  • A specified period of time (at the very least, one full term) spent away from Harvard College and University property.
  • Both residence and employment away from the Harvard campus for the period of withdrawal prior to readmission unless other arrangements have been specially approved in advance by the Administrative Board.
  • An acceptable record of performance for a minimum of six months of continuous, regular, full-time paid employment at one non-academic job, with a suitable letter of recommendation from the employer or employment supervisor.
  • A satisfactory standard of conduct during the period since the student was required to withdraw.
  • Indication that the student has an understanding of the reasons for previous difficulties in the College, particularly those related to his or her requirement to withdraw.
  • Assurance that the student has adequate motivation for resuming academic work and an appropriate program of study in mind.