Current Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


Students who are put on probation, excluded or deemed ineligible for Federal Aid may appeal the decision. Exceptions are permissible only if UWA determines that the student’s failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements is due to the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances.

Appeals should be submitted in writing with all supporting documentation to:

WAFAA Appeals Committee 
c/o US Financial Aid Officer 
International Centre 
The University of Western Australia 
35 Stirling Highway 
Western Australia 

The decision of the WAFAA Appeals Committee is final.


Waivers of SAP

Students who are readmitted to their program may apply in writing to the Financial Aid Officer (FAO) for one-time waiver to continue receiving financial aid. The student should specify the exceptional circumstances that lead to the poor academic performance and state the reasons why those circumstances will not affect future academic progress. Each case will be individually reviewed and the FAO will use his or her professional judgment to determine if the original situation has been resolved to the point where the student can reasonably be expected to succeed and issue a one time waiver of SAP for the next term. If the student still does not make satisfactory progress, then he or she will be ineligible for future aid. The decision of the FAO may differ from the Faculty’s decision to readmit the student in that a student may be readmitted to the program but may not be eligible for financial aid.

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving Federal aid. The following US Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements includes two standards; qualitative and quantitative.  Students must meet both standards to continue receiving financial aid.

In summary, to remain eligible for US Federal Aid, the following applies:

  • Student visa holders are required by law to be enrolled full time, while students on visas which do not have this requirement must maintain at least 50% enrollment to be eligible for Federal Aid meeting the condition that you complete your course within the specified course duration and
  • pass two/thirds with the standard full time points for the period they have studied.

Qualitative Measures

In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with qualitative standard, a student must maintain their academic standing (i.e. be in “good standing”) necessary to remain at the University of Western Australia. The Financial Aid Office will conduct a review at the end of each semester and academic year to determine the student’s successful progress toward obtaining a degree by reviewing their pass or fail units undertaken. Also refer to the Qualitative measure below.

Students enrolled in all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs must achieve and maintain a cumulative Australian Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4 equivalent of a US GPA of 2).

To determine an understanding of the GPA system please refer to What is Grade Point Average?
Students may be placed on probation or suspended by the University at the end of the year if they have not met the satisfactory academic progress.

Course rules can be found in the UWA Handbook

Quantitative Measures

Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 75% of the standard course load each semester to be considered full time. Therefore, students enrolled for a minimum of 3 units or more is considered to be enrolled full time. Half-time enrolment for students is 50% of the standard course load.

Each time students’ SAP is assessed, they must be on track to complete their course based on their specified course duration UWA's Title IV SAP Policy is that students complete 100% of the credit points attempted for their course duration and Visa requirements, this means that UWA has a stricter SAP policy.

For further information relating to course structures and duration which outlines courses in credit hours please refer to What are Credit Points?

For the purposes of eligibility for US Federal Aid, UWA assesses SAP at the end of each academic semester for courses of two years or more. You will be assessed only on the units you pass or fail. Withdrawing from units that do not result in a fail are not assessed. However, you must complete within the normal course duration.


150 hours is equivalent to a 6 credit unit – in a Bachelor degree.

6 credit unit x 24 = 144 credit points (which is 3 years) required to complete a Bachelor degree which is stricter for students under the UWA Title IV SAP policy which is 100% maximum time frame for completion Honours degree is 6 credit units x 32 =192 credit points which is a 4 year degree which is 100% maximum time frame for completion of the course.

Disbursement of US Federal Aid

Your financial aid is generally disbursed as two cheques, one at the beginning of each semester, co-payable to you and UWA. If you are borrowing for less than a semester, or your course has non-standard teaching periods, a different schedule may apply. We will discuss this with you.

Students who withdraw before the completion of their Semester of study will have their eligibility to retain part of their financial aid calculated on the percentage of the semester attended.  Students who attend more than 60% of the semester may retain all of their aid.


Transfer Students from another University

In the event that you transfer to UWA and seek US Federal Aid, your transcripts will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Officer.  Those courses which are applicable to the degree requirement will be accepted and will be used to measure the quantitative SAP requirement. Only those units undertaken at UWA will be used to compute the qualitative requirement. 


Change of Program or Degree

Students who decide to change their degree or program objective will be evaluated similarly to Transfer Students with the exception that the grades previously earned at UWA will be used to measure the qualitative requirements.

Concurrent Degrees

Although it is unlikely to occur, students may pursue two graduate degrees concurrently. They are charged the tuition for each program and the Cost of Attendance for one degree will be adjusted to reflect the two tuition charges. Students must meet the Satisfactory Progress requirements for both programs to retain eligibility. The two sets of courses will be viewed as one program. Loans will be processed to the maximum yearly eligibility for graduate students.


Additional Degrees

Students who have completed a graduate degree program and wish to pursue another degree must apply for admission to that program as would any other applicant and meet the admission requirements for the new program. Federal loan eligibility will be limited to the aggregate program maximums under Federal Regulations.



Students who have not met the requirements of the US Financial Aid SAP Policy will be notified in writing that their next schedule disbursement has been suspended and that they are no longer eligible to receive US Financial Aid until such a time that they achieve the required progress.

Students deemed ineligible to receive US Financial Aid may appeal the decision on the grounds of exceptional circumstances, including, but not limited to, the death of a family member or relative, illness or injury to the student, other compassionate and compelling circumstances.

An appeal must address why the student failed to meet the SAP requirements, and how their circumstance have changed that will allow them to meet the SAP requirements by the next evaluation.

The appeal must contain documented and certified copies of evidence of the claims made in the statement and should be submitted to the Financial Aid Officer via AskUWA.

A student who successfully appeals the decision to suspend their US Financial Aid will be placed on probation for one payment period.After the probation period, the student will be deemed as having either met the SAP requirements or not.

If the student subsequently does not meet the SAP requirements, the student will be notified in writing that their next disbursement has been suspended and they are no longer eligible to receive US Financial Aid until such a time that they achieve the required progress.

There is no recourse for appeal if the student does not meet the SAP requirements for two consecutive periods.