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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is different than satisfactory academic standing monitored by a student’s academic department or college. SAP measures your progress toward degree completion using 2 methods: QUALITATIVE (GPA) and QUANTITATIVE (units completed compared to units attempted). You must meet or exceed these standards to be eligible for UCLA financial aid.
*SAP allows financial aid to be awarded ONLY to students who have NOT attempted more than 150% of the units required to complete their degree. For an undergraduate student, SAP cumulative limit is exhausted at 270 attempted units. The standards apply to all college coursework taken, regardless of whether financial aid was received or not. This includes coursework transferred from other institutions. SAP is reviewed annually after winter quarter grades are available. Units attempted are captured on the census date, which is the end of third week each quarter. Students who fail to meet the Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress will have their financial aid eligibility suspended. Find more information on our publications page at Guide to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Quarterly Unit Requirements

UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships checks your units on the census date at the end of the third week of classes. Enrollment below half-time on that date will result in cancellation of your aid and billing for funds received. Half-time enrollment for an undergraduate student is 6 units. Some undergraduate awards (Federal Pell Grant, Cal Grant, Blue and Gold Opportunity Grant and University Grants) require full time (12 units) enrollment in order to maintain maximum eligibility. Enrollment below 12 units on the census date will result in reduction of and billing for these awards. Federal Grants will not be reinstated if your unit count increases after the census date. State and University Grants can be reinstated through an appeal once we can verify the units completed for the term.

Commencement of Academic Activity

Federal student aid regulations require schools to verify your participation in courses. Your certification of attendance is not acceptable confirmation of academically-related activity. That must be made by UCLA.

If you have NOT commenced any academic activity in a class before the start of 3rd WEEK OF EACH QUARTER, your instructor will notify FAS. Your financial aid will be adjusted based only on enrollment in classes that you are participating in.


  • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students,
  • Submitting an academic assignment,
  • Taking an exam, completing an interactive tutorial, or participating in computerassisted instruction,
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the school,
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters,
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

For Distance Education:

  • Student submission of an academic assignment,
  • Student submission of an exam,
  • Documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction,
  • A posting by the student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution,
  • A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing your participation in an online discussion about academic matters, AND an email from you. Or other documentation showing that you initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Academic Activities do NOT include:

  • Living in institutional housing,
  • Participating in the school’s meal plan,
  • Logging into an online class without active participation,
  • Participating in academic counseling or advisement,
  • Course registration.


If you receive financial aid but do not start academic participation in any of your classes, your aid will be canceled. YOU WILL NEED TO RETURN 100% of aid received. If you start attendance and then withdraw, you may be required to return a portion of financial aid funds received. The calculation of Return of Title IV funds received is based on published schedules, and the date you withdraw (officially or unofficially), cancel your registration, or drop all your classes.
*Title IV funds include Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Work-Study and Federal Loans. STATE GRANTS (ex: Cal Grant) and UNIVERSITY GRANTS (ex: University Grant, Blue and Gold Opportunity Award, Scholarship Recognition Award, etc.) will also be subject to reduction and billing. The calculation of return of grant aid is based on published schedules and the date you withdraw, cancel your registration or drop all your classes. Information regarding withdrawal calculations is available in our Guide to the Return of Title IV Funds.
*Please note that the percentage of aid that may need to be returned to financial aid may not be the same as the percentage of fees that may be refunded to you by the Registrar’s Office when you withdraw.