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Students enrolled in degree programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of their degree requirements within the timeframes established for each UNMC college and each UNMC degree.  The colleges/programs of the Medical Center set their own academic standards governing satisfactory academic progress including academic probation, academic suspension or dismissal for failure to attain such standards. These standards are to be in accordance with the standards set by the accrediting agencies for each college/program.

Federal regulations require that policies for students receiving financial aid must be the same as, or stricter, than the institution’s standards for a student enrolled in the same educational program who is not receiving assistance under the Title IV/Title VII programs. The following policies apply to all students at UNMC, regardless of receipt of federal financial aid. For complete Federal Regulation guidance please refer to 34 CFR 668.34.

  1. UNMC students must meet or exceed the required GPA standards as set forth by their individual college Standards of Academic Performance Policies and Procedures. GPA—GPA standards are calculated in accordance with program standards. Standards vary widely across academic programs. A grade of C may be satisfactory for one program, but not another. Grades of (F) Failing, (I) Incomplete, (W) Withdraw, and (NR) No Report will count as hours attempted but will not count as hours completed. Grades of “W” and” I “(withdrawn/incomplete) are not counted in the calculation of the GPA.
  2. Students must complete their program within 150% of the published length of the educational program, measured at full time status (i.e. Nursing program is 4 semesters at full-time enrollment; students must complete the program within 6 semesters or be terminated from financial aid). Students enrolled at less than full time status must follow this standard as well (i.e. ½ time enrollment Nursing program 8 semesters; students must complete program in 12 semesters or be terminated from financial aid).
  3. Students, are required to successfully complete 100% of their enrollment each year or progress to the next academic level of their program to remain eligible for federal student aid.
  4. Federal regulations prohibit awarding financial aid to repeat a class more than once.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress Definitions:


  1. Financial Aid Probation– In accordance with federal regulations, student who do not successfully complete each academic year by maintaining the program GPA standard and/or successfully completing 100% of their annual enrollment must be placed on financial aid probation for the ensuing academic year. Students are not eligible for federal student aid while on probation unless granted an appeal by the UNMC Financial Aid Office.
  2. Satisfactory Academic Progress Notification: Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated/determined each year in May. Students will be notified, in writing, by the Office of Financial Aid, of their financial aid ineligibility upon receipt of progress advisement from colleges/programs. The Office of Financial Aid also maintains records throughout the academic year of students who withdraw from coursework during the semester, fail to progress to spring semester, etc. Students enrolled in programs with longer than 9 month academic year calendars may receive later notifications to ensure fair evaluation of the academic year performance; however, students enrolled in programs with academic calendars greater than nine (9) months are advised to review their progress with their program at the end of spring semester to determine the likelihood of not meeting the above standards and plan accordingly for the next academic year.
  3. Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility: Reinstatement of aid eligibility will occur when the student meets the minimum GPA requirements and progresses to the next level of the program.
  4. Appeal Process: If extenuating circumstances have affected a student’s progress, a written appeal must be received by the Financial Aid Office within 30 days of the date of the financial aid ineligibility notification. The following circumstances may qualify for a legitimate appeal:
    • Student illness requiring physician’s care in excess of several weeks.
    • Major illness or death in the student’s immediate family (spouse, mother, father, child, etc.)
    • Legal issues which force the student to compromise class attendance for an extended period of time.
    • Program requirement to remediate or repeat partial/full year curriculum to continue enrollment in the academic program.
  5.  Financial Aid Warning: Students granted an SAP Appeal will be placed on financial aid warning for the ensuing academic year with satisfactory academic progress reviewed each semester.
  6. The following must be included in the appeal letter:
    • The appeal letter must be submitted by the student to the Office of Financial Aid
    • Supporting documentation from program scholastic evaluation committees may also be required. See requirements by college below.  
    • Appeals must explain the reason the student failed to progress to the next level of the program.
    • The appeal must include a description of a program approved action plan to ensure successful completion in the repeat/remediation year (working with the Academic Success program/assigned tutoring/advising plan). Students should detail the approved action plan/and program administrator with whom they are working to insure success.
    • Graduate students placed on SAP suspension for failure to complete 100% of their attempted credit hours must include their projected enrollment plan for the next academic year and a statement to insure they understand that failure to complete100% of the attempted hours in future semesters will result in financial aid ineligibility until such time they complete 100% of their attempted hours for an academic year.
    • Appeals will be reviewed and a written response sent to the student within ten (10) days of the decision. Students are granted only one appeal and reinstatement of aid for their entire UNMC education.
    • To ensure the confidentiality of the appeal letter content, the appeal can be sent by mail to the UNMC Financial Aid Office 984265 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 or scanned to finaid@unmc.ed SUBJECT SAP APPEAL-Confidential.
    • Upon review of the student’s appeal, the UNMC Financial Aid Office will notify the student, in writing, of financial aid reinstatement for the next academic year.
    • Students placed on a specific program remediation requirements will be evaluated at the end of the fall semester to ensure the requirements have been met. Failure to meet those program specific requirements may result in the immediate termination of financial aid for ensuing semester/terms of enrollment.
    • Student’s not placed on specific remediation requirements must successfully complete 100% of their fall enrollment to continue on financial aid for subsequent terms. 

Listed below are the individual UNMC Colleges’ Standards of Academic Progress Policies and Procedures, and the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Polices to remain eligible for federal student aid.   In addition to the above listed overall standards, the individual college standards  apply to all students seeking federal student aid.

  College of Medicine Student Evaluation Committee Guidelines:   COM program completion time: 8 semesters–full time enrollment. Unless otherwise advised by the College of Medicine, medical students must maintain full time enrollment; maintain grades compatible with advancement; must complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted or progress to the next level of the program.

College of Dentistry Standards for Academic Performance: (College of Dentistry Student Bulletin-pages 28-29) COD program completion time 8 semesters-full time enrollment.  Unless otherwise advised by the College of Dentistry, dental students must maintain full time enrollment; maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and successfully, complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted; or, progress to the next level of the program.

College of Pharmacy Standards of Academic Performance Retention and Promotion Criteria: (College of Pharmacy Student Bulletin-pages 22-25) COP program completion time 8 semesters-full time enrollment. Unless otherwise advised by the College of Pharmacy, students must maintain full-time enrollment, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, and successfully complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted, or progress to the next level of the program.

College of Allied Health Academic Policies & Procedures for CAHP  and CAHP Program Specific Handbooks – Professional Student Programs—Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Clinical Perfusion Education, Cytotechnology, Post Bach Radiation Science Technology:  Program completion varies by program – PA 28 months;  PT-29 months; Clincial Perfusion 21 months; Cytechnology 12 months; Past Bachelor’s Certificate -12 months:    Unless otherwise advised by the College of Allied Health, students must maintain full-time enrollment; maintain the minimum GPA standard established by the CAHP for program of enrollment (PA/PT/CLPRF/CYTO); complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted or progress to the next level of the program.

Masters of Physician Assistant Distance students: Completion time 5 semester-full time.  Must complete 100% of attempted hours each term and maintain the GPA of 2.0 to remain eligible for federal student aid. Students who fail to complete the program in maximum time frame will be ineligible for federal financial aid for semester enrollments beyond the 5 semester full time or 7.5 semester part time enrollment requirements

College of Allied Health Academic Policies & Procedures for CAHP and CAHP Program Specific Handbooks: Undergraduate Student Programs—Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), Radiation Science Technology Bachelor Programs (RSTE). Completion time: MLS – 12 months; RSTE-completion times vary 12 months-24 months depending on RSTE specific sub-plan.

Maintain full time enrollment and program GPA requirements to achieve degree completion within the program enrollment period. 

Allied Health Undergraduate Distance Students:  Must be enrolled at least half time and successfully complete 100% of attempted coursework each term. Must maintain program GPA requirements..

College of Nursing-Undergraduate Students : Students are encouraged to review the full range of College of Nursing policies regarding grades; progression; student evaluations, etc. CON program completion time 4 semesters-full time enrollment. Unless otherwise advised by the College of Nursing, students must maintain full-time enrollment and a minimum GPA of 2.73. Students must successfully complete 100% of the cumulative hours attempted to progress to the next level of the program to ensure on time completion in 4 semesters.  

The MSN, Post MSN Certificate programs must be completed within 5 consecutive calendar years. The DNP program must be completed within 7 consecutive calendar years. College of Nursing-Professional Students-Masters/Doctor of Nursing Practice /Post Master’s Certificate Completion time varies by Masters, Post Masters Certificate and Doctorate program specialties/credit hour requirements for degree Full time enrollment 6 credits per semester; half time 3-5 credits per semester. Students enrolled for less than 3 credits are not eligible for federal student aid.  Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0; complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted.

College of Nursing PhD Students  Completion time: the PhD degree must be completed within 7 years from the date of initial registration as a PhD objective student. Students must complete 100% of the semester credit hours of enrollment and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 GPA in any given semester will be placed on academic probation and may not continue their program of study without permission from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

College of Public Health: (College of Public Health Student Bulletin pages 22-29) Completion time: Master’s degree must be completed within 5 years. Master’s of Public Health Certificate program 1 year based on full time enrollment) Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted.

College of Graduate Studies: (Completion time varies depending on research specialty. Maximum time frame 5 years for Master’s degree and 7 years for PhD degree completion. Graduate Studies bulletin-pages 12-16) Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. Complete 100% of the cumulative yearly hours attempted.