It is the policy of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix (COM-P) that students receiving financial assistance are required to follow federal law and regulations (§668.16, §668.32, §668.34) which require they maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as the successful completion of degree requirements according to established increments that lead to awarding the degree within published time limits. 

Federal Student Eligibility Requirements (eligibility for financial aid):

  • Demonstrate financial need through their financial aid application materials.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or eligible non-U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security Number (unless from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress towards the medical degree program.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan. Review Pell Grant and Loan History at
  • Use aid only for educational purposes.
  • Enroll for coursework that is accepted for credit by the medical degree-granting program.
    • If a student enrolls in coursework that does not count toward their degree, it cannot be used to determine enrollment status.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service (if required).
  • Students must attend all courses for which they enroll. Failure to attend courses may result in the adjustment of aid.

Students not meeting the Standards of Academic Progress will not be eligible to receive Title IV, Title VII, and university grant funding. Scholarship awards will follow the terms as outlined in the scholarship agreement.

Course* = Any component of the curriculum where a grade is earned


How and when is financial aid and SAP monitored?
SAP qualitative and quantitative standards (specific to federal financial aid standards and requirements) are continuously monitored and progress is reviewed according to COM-P policies. To be eligible for financial aid, students are required to successfully complete all COM-P required courses* and examinations in order to graduate with the MD degree. Both qualitative (measurement based) and quantitative (pace or time-related) standards must be met (see Promotion Policy). The COM-P Office of Student Affairs will keep the student, Office of Financial Aid, and the Student Progress Committee (SPC) informed of student progress on a regular basis. 

Qualitative standards
COM-P does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average, but rather with grades of Pass or Fail or of Honors, High Pass, Pass, or Fail, depending on the grading scale used in the course*. Students are expected to Pass all courses* in order to maintain SAP.  A failing grade that has been successfully remediated within the academic year will be reviewed based on its last grade. 

Quantitative standards  
The following are outlined as part of the federal law and regulations:  

Minimum standard – The standard timeframe for completion of required coursework for the MD degree is four academic years. Due to academic or personal difficulties or scholarly enrichment activities, a student may require additional time. In such situations, an academic plan may be established for the student that may require the repetition of all or part of a year of study (i.e., subsequent to incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or an approved leave of absence). To be making SAP, students must complete the first two years of the curriculum by the end of the third year following initial enrollment; the remaining requirements of the curriculum ordinarily must be completed within six years of matriculation into the program (as per the Dismissal and Removal from Academic Environment Policy). Requests for exceptions are subject to review by the SPC (as per the Dismissal and Removal from Academic Environment Policy), and would require the student to appeal for additional financial aid eligibility with an approved academic plan.

Maximum standard – The maximum time frame for a student to earn the MD degree cannot exceed 150 percent (six years) of the published length of the four-year program. Dual-degree students in the COM-P MD-PhD program may not exceed ten years to satisfy the requirements for the combined degree. All time limits include leaves of absences, the repeat of an academic year, and retakes or remediation of any course*, exam, or other requirement. Exceptions to these time frames may be granted by the SPC.

For financial aid purposes, SAP will be evaluated annually at the end of the spring semester once final grades have been posted. A student with qualitative and/or quantitative standard deficiencies will be placed on financial aid suspension. A student cannot receive federal or institutional financial aid while in Financial Aid Suspension status. Students may appeal financial aid suspension and have their financial aid reinstated as described below. 

Repeat Coursework 
Financial aid is available for the first repeat of any previously passed course*. Students may receive financial aid funding for the repeat of any course* that was previously failed or from which the student withdrew . Repeat of the same course* may only be funded one additional time and counts towards the pace of completion. Each attempt is factored into the SAP review.

Repeat of Entire Year Coursework 
In a situation where a student is required to repeat an academic year for both the coursework they failed and passed, the student can only receive funding once for the repeat of the same academic year. See the following progression policies: 

For students who receive financial aid and take a leave of absence, withdraw, or are dismissed from COM-P, federal and university regulations require that the institution recalculate the eligibility for aid disbursed in a given semester to determine whether any of the aid needs to be returned. This calculation is based on the percentage of time the student was enrolled for the semester.

A student who is not approved to continue enrollment is ineligible for all sources of financial aid.

Appeal of financial aid suspension 
Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be reestablished if the student subsequently meets SAP requirements, or if the student successfully appeals the decision to the dean, student affairs/or designee. The appeal must state the reasons for failing to meet SAP requirements, including, if applicable, special circumstances that contributed to the student’s failure to make SAP (e.g., an injury or illness of the student, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances), and the changes in circumstances that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation. If the dean, student affairs/ or designee determines that the student’s appeal should be approved, an academic plan must be established for the student by the SPC and then, after review by the Office of Student Financial Aid, the student’s aid may be reinstated and the student placed on financial aid probation.

Financial aid probation
Once a student has successfully appealed their financial aid suspension they will be placed on financial aid probation and are eligible for financial aid. The SPC, in conjunction with student development staff in the Office of Student Affairs, will develop an academic plan for the student that will ensure, if followed, that the student is able to meet the COM-P SAP standards by a specific point of time. Ordinarily, this time frame will be for one academic year. The student is eligible for financial aid during the time frame stated in the academic plan. At the end of the time frame stated in the academic plan, the student must have met the SAP standards. A student who does not comply with each SAP standard by the end of the financial aid probationary period and/or does not comply with their academic plan is suspended from financial aid eligibility. A student shall be reinstated for financial aid eligibility when they have satisfactorily completed sufficient coursework to meet the SAP within the maximum timeframes delineated above.

Denied appeals
Students who are ineligible for federal or institutional loans and financial aid may still be eligible for private loans and can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to discuss. If there are new or additional extenuating circumstances, a student may file a second appeal, following the same process described above. The student should submit additional information which explains the circumstances during which the student was unable to meet the standards for SAP. Students are notified by the dean, student affairs/or designee of the decision of the second appeal in writing, and the decision is final. Upon successful second appeal, federal financial aid eligibility will be subject to limitations listed in the Repeat Coursework section above.

A student who is denied financial aid for failing to maintain SAP may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting both quantitative and qualitative standards of SAP towards the MD degree.

Curriculum Committee
  • Original Approval Date:
  • Revision/Reaffirmation Date:
  • Current Effective Date: