How to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal

CSULB Satisfactory Academic Progress

Do you want to know how to submit the satisfactory academic progress appeal at CSULB? If yes, then you are in the right place. This article will help you better understand financial aid, SAP standards & policy and give you the tools to submit and complete a step appeal after you have become disqualified from MyCsulb financial aid. The SAP policy is exclusive to financial recipients and not the entire campus student body.

In this article, you will also know what is Satisfactory academic progress (SAP)? What are CSULB SAP standards and processing timeline? What are some of the reasons for disqualification? How to complete a successful appeal if you are disqualified for either: GPA, PACE, and maximum time frame? We will also discuss university resources available to you to help achieve academic success.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

Your SAP standing is evaluated at the end of each semester: fall, spring, and summer to determine. If you are meeting CSULB SAP standards to receive federal and state financial aid. Your SAP status is affected by three primary measurements: GPA, PACE, and maximum time frame.


  • GPA as an undergraduate student, your cumulative GPA must be a minimum of 2.0.
  • If you are in a credential program or pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, your cumulative GPA should be a minimum of 2.5.
  • Graduate and professional students are expected to keep a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA.


PACE standard is your completion rate. It looks at all your earned units vs. all your attempted units. This includes units for which you do not receive financial aid. You must meet a minimum of 67% to meet this standard. In essence, you must be passing 67% of all courses you have taken.

Maximum Time Frame

The purpose of financial aid is for you to complete your initial program objective. You are permitted to take 150% of the published program length of your initial program. For example; Undergrad program is typically 120 units. We allow 180 units which provide a 60-unit buffer to complete your program. If you exceed 180 units, you have exceeded your MTF.

Please Note: Academic review of financial aid is not related to an academic review for your programs department.

MYCSULB Academic Standing and SAP Comparison 

An Academic Review of your program is different than Financially Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic standing and family graduation are based on GPA and completed credits. In contrast, financial aid SAP is based on three standards we discussed earlier: GPA, pace, and maximum time frame.

Timely graduation standards are applied to undergraduates only; SAP standards are applied to all students. Failing to meet academic standards affects your academic status at CSULB, while financial SAP status affects your financial eligibility.

Loss of financial aid does not prevent you from attending classes. However, you are responsible for paying all fees associated with your enrollment.

MyCSULB SAP for Financial Aid

Your student center on MyCSULB will show you your personalized SAP evaluation.

  • To access it, you will need to select “SAP Financial Aid” in the drop-down menu, as shown in this example.
  • Once you select SAP for financial aid, this is what the screen looks like.
  • Pay attention to the Aid Year, Term, and Effective Date to ensure you are looking at the up-to-date information.
  • You will see how you measure according to financial acceptance standards.
  • The first section shows the required GPA for your career and what your GPA is.
  • The PACE standard will show you the required pace and where you stand according to the pace requirement. To the right of the screen, you will notice the “Status.”
  • You can see that the GPA standard status is “FAIL” as the student is 0.333, which is below the GPA requirement for an undergrad.
  • The PACE standard status is also “FAIL”. You can see that the student’s completion rate is less than the required percentage of units completed.
  • In the example, you will see the student’s maximum time frame status is “FAIL”.
  • The maximum remaining units are less than the maximum units attempted allowed for the program, which means that this student attempted more units than allowed.

Reasons That Lead to the SAP Disqualification

Now, let’s review the reasons that could lead to a step disqualification. The following circumstances will affect your GPA and PACE but are not limited to these.

  • The pattern of unsuccessful coursework such as receiving W’S. W F’S, Incomplete, No Credit and RD. Taking repeated courses
  • You are taking courses outside of your program objective.
  • 100 to 200 level courses for a graduate student.
  • The PACE standard looks at all the units you have attempted. And what percentage of those units have you completed.
  • Overall, you should be completing 67% of all units you have attempted and transferred in to meet this requirement.
  • For example, if you have taken eight units in total but only have passed four units of those eight units, you have a 50 PACE standard.
  • The last reason that may lead to fat disqualification is MTF. Items that affect the maximum time frame are taking too many courses, switching majors, pursuing additional program courses unrelated to your major, transferring too many remedial courses.

Steps to Submit CSULB Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Once you receive the disqualification email, the email will provide detailed instructions on which appeal to complete, how to achieve it, and what is needed.


Let’s now focus on those the needed items. Your appeal must address the circumstances that impacted your ability to meet one or more SAP standards. And It must also state the changes you have made to address those circumstances to ensure that you will be meeting sap standards in the future.

Besides excellent and repeated coursework, other circumstances prevent different meanings. SAP standards such as: having an unexpected illness, getting in an accident, getting an injury. You might have experienced a loss of a family member or significant person in your life.

We understand that life happens, and some circumstances affect your academic achievements. The SAP appeal allows you to address those challenges and explain what happened and what changes you have made to the future SAP standard.

Additional Tips

A helpful tip to keep in mind would be to review your Csulb unofficial transcript and address each semester in which you receive a non-passing grade. Your unofficial transcript is available on your student portal by reviewing your transcript. This will help you create a timeline of events that can assist you with your statement.

Maximum Time Frame

If you’re not meeting the maximum timeframe requirement, you must address the reasons that cost you to exceed 150% of your program length. In essence, we want to know why you attempted so many units, and the more detail, the better.

Additional Requirement (MTF)

Besides your statement, you must also meet with an academic advisor and outline all remaining coursework for your major program. This timetable of remaining courses must be submitted with your maximum time frame appeal now.


There is a timeline of the SAP process from the moment csulb sends you the SAP disqualification email up to when you receive the decision of your appeal. Your SAP is re-evaluated at the end of every semester.


If you are not in good standing and become disqualified, you will receive an email from the CSULB office informing you of your status. The email will be sent to you to your mycsulb student email.

You will have four weeks in the date Csulb sent your SAP disqualification email to submit your appeal. However, the sooner you submit your appeal, the better. The calendar to the right is an excellent example of what four weeks look like.

If you receive your status qualification email on this day, it is two on the 29th. Please note: four weeks is not equal to 30 days and weekends are inclusive in the four-week time frame.

Once the sub-committee receives your appeal, they will review it. The committee will reach out to you via your csulb student email if they need additional information upon review of your appeal. A decision will be made, and you will be notified via your student email whether or not the appeal was approved or denied.

If your appeal is approved, the financial aid awards will be released within several business days. If your appeal is denied, your financial aid awards will not be released, which means you’re not eligible for aid.

You can choose to appeal this decision by submitting a second-level appeal to the financial aid director. Ultimately, the outcome of denied appeals means you’re responsible for paying for your courses on your own until you meet SAP standards.

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