Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress

Academic Progress is a requirement for all students receiving Federal, State, or University assistance while enrolled at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Financial aid recipients must meet both a "qualitative" and a "quantitative" standard to maintain eligibility for aid. The qualitative standard is determined by the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) at a specific grade level. The quantitative standard is based on a student's completion rate, or the successful completion of a minimum number of credits of the total credits attempted for each term of attendance at the University.

For a complete description of Academic Progress and how this affects students receiving financial aid, please visit the Office of Financial Aid page.

Financial Aid Probation - FAQs for Students

What does the letter from Financial Aid mean?

As noted in that letter and on the Office of Financial Aid page, all students receiving federal, state, or University financial aid must achieve a certain minimum cumulative grade point average AND earn a certain percentage of the credits they attempt.  Please review the letter from the Office of Financial Aid carefully to determine your situation and learn what issue(s) need to be resolved. You can also view your status at

What are the requirements that I should have met?

The Academic Status Table is available at the website above, but we’ve also included the table below.

If Cumulative Credits Completed Equals Percentage Rate of Cumulative Attempted Credits Completed Must Be Cumulative GPA (standard calculation)
1-30 50% 1.500
31-59 60% 1.800
60-89 70% 2.000
90 or over 75% 2.000

I don’t meet those requirements now. What can I do to be eligible for financial aid again?

Students in your situation are placed on financial aid probation for up to four terms (defined as summer, fall, and spring) while they are working to meet the standards above.

During that period of financial aid probation, you will follow an academic plan created in consultation with an academic advisor.

If you choose not to work with an advisor to create an academic plan, do not meet the standards above, and are enrolled at Rutgers, you will need to find alternate ways to pay your term bill.

What are my responsibilities while on financial aid probation?

Your responsibilities start now, and are as follows:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to set up an academic plan that you will follow while on financial aid probation. The academic plan will be discussed in more detail below.
  2. Once that academic plan is in place, you must submit it to the Office of Financial Aid, along with the “Appeal for Financial Aid Probation” form, which you can get from the Office of Financial Aid website. The academic plan must be submitted by July 30 for SAS students.
  3. As noted on the academic plan form, you must meet with that academic advisor at least once a term while on financial aid probation AND before withdrawing from any courses in a term.

What is an academic plan?

The academic plan illustrates what a student must do to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in four or less semesters. You and an advisor will create an academic plan, which you must follow in order to receive financial aid. You will be on financial aid probation while following an academic plan.

An academic plan can be created for one, two, three, or four terms.

The plan will specify a minimum number of credits you must earn in a term, and /or a minimum term grade point average. The specific requirements will depend on your situation.

Your academic plan will be filed with the Office of Financial Aid. At the end of each term of the plan, they will review your record to be sure that you have satisfied the requirements of that first term. If you meet those requirements you will be eligible for aid for the next term. If you don’t meet those requirements, your academic plan is void and you will not be eligible for aid for the next term.

If I don’t meet the terms of the written academic plan after a term, can I ever get aid back again?

Yes. You can become eligible for financial aid again if you meet the standards of academic progress in the future.  Once you have met the required GPA or completion rate for your grade level, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss reinstating your eligibility.

You will have to find alternate ways to fund your education while trying to regain your eligibility.

Please keep in mind that students cannot receive financial aid for credits in excess of 150% of the credits required for graduation. For SAS students, this number is 180 attempted credits.

We know this is confusing. If you do not meet the requirements of the academic plan and are notified by the Office of Financial Aid that you are no longer eligible for aid, contact an academic advisor to discuss your situation and review your options. The best person to contact is the person with whom you worked to develop your academic plan.

Can I change the academic plan that my advisor and I create?

No! A plan cannot be amended once it has been submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. The student must follow the plan as it is written and meet the required minimum term GPAs and/or earn the required minimum credits to continue to be eligible for aid.

Can I have more than one academic plan?

Not at the same time. Students can work with an advisor to discuss the various ways to reach the required completion rate and or GPA, but there can only be one plan submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, and that is the plan that the student must follow.

Students who successfully follow an academic plan, return to the standards in the Academic Status Table, and then fail to meet those standards again, can work with an advisor to create a new academic plan.

Can I be on financial aid probation for less than four semesters?

Yes! It is actually in your best interest to be on financial aid probation for as few terms as possible. Your advisor may help you create an academic plan for as little as one term and as many as four terms, but plans using the fewest terms are preferred since that means the student is making good academic progress toward his or her degree.

Can I take classes somewhere other than Rutgers-New Brunswick to help get my aid back?

It depends.

If your failure to be eligible for financial aid is due to an insufficient completion rate, then the answer is yes! We will only factor in the courses that transfer back to Rutgers. What that means for you is that if you withdraw from, or fail a class, elsewhere, the credits won’t transfer back to Rutgers. BUT, we also won’t hold those withdrawals and failures against you, like we do with the courses you attempt at Rutgers.

If your issue is due to a low GPA, then taking classes elsewhere will not resolve the issue. In fact, as you can see from the table above, if you earn more credits, the minimum GPA you must earn is higher, so taking classes somewhere else might make the situation worse.

It is important to talk with your academic advisor to determine what is best in your situation.

What about my academic standing at the School of Arts and Sciences?

All of this is separate from the review that the School of Arts and Sciences completes to determine if a student is in good academic standing, on Academic Warning, Academic Probation or Academic Dismissal.

Does withdrawing from a class, or for the semester, affect my eligibility?

It can.

Any Ws count as credits attempted but not credits earned. If your issue is an insufficient completion rate (you haven’t earned the required percentage of credits you’ve attempted), then any credits you attempt but don’t earn will make your situation worse.

Withdrawing from an entire term (earning all Ws) that is part of your academic plan will automatically void that plan, since you will have failed to meet the minimum requirements outlined in your plan for that term.

If your issue is an insufficient GPA, then a withdrawal may not affect your situation, but a failure will likely make the situation worse.

Students who take a Leave of Absence (do not enroll at all for the Fall or Spring term or cancel their registration before Ws are noted on the transcript) will need to work with their advisor to modify the terms specified in the plan. The requirements of the plan CANNOT be changed, only the term can be updated.

Students who register for a semester and are dropped from their classes for non-payment have an extremely complicated situation and will need to work with their advisor to determine how their situation is affected.

It is important that you work closely with an advisor throughout the time you are on an academic plan to keep that person informed about your grades and progress.