Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain eligible for financial aid, a student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and must be in good academic standing as defined by the policies outlined below.

The academic year consists of two 16-week semesters. Full-time students may register each semester for a maximum of 18 units. Students enrolled in less than 12 units each semester are considered to be part-time, and both federal and institutional financial aid is pro-rated.

No institutional funds are available to a student on a leave of absence, a required academic leave, or studying at another institution (excluding Oxy approved study abroad programs). Students may, in some cases, receive federal or state aid to study at another by completing a Consortium Agreement. For more information please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Federal regulations under Title IV of the Higher Education Act require Occidental College to monitor the academic progress of students on financial aid. Occidental has two similar yet distinct SAP policies, one for federal financial aid eligibility and one for institutional financial aid eligibility. In addition, the College has its own Academic Standing requirements that determine whether a student is in good standing. If you have questions regarding the differences between these policies, please contact the Financial Aid Office for clarification. 

Aid Programs

The federal SAP policy applies to federal and state financial aid awards, while the institutional SAP policy applies to all Occidental College awards.

 Federal SAP Policy Institutional AP Policy 
Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Federal Work Study

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Cal Grant*
Oxy Need-Based Scholarships

Oxy Opportunity Grants

Occidental Merit Scholarships

Occidental Donor Funded Scholarships

Oxy Work Award

Oxy No Interest Loan

Oxy Low Interest Loan

*The Cal Grant program is a state funded grant that follows federal SAP requirements unless when specifically stated.

Qualitative and Quantitative Requirements

Both the federal and institutional policies require that a student make qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) progress toward the degree each semester.

The qualitative (grade-based) requirement is measured by your GPA. The quantitative (time-based) requirement is the pace at which you progress toward your degree and earn units.

Both federal and institution policies require students to complete a certain number of units and maintain a certain grade point average after each semester of college attendance. However, each policy defines qualitative and quantitative progress differently.

   Federal SAP Policy Institutional SAP Policy 
Qualitative (grade-based) Requirement  Must earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester  Must earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester
Quantitative (time-based) Requirement Must complete a total of 12 units each semester Must complete a total of 16 units each semester