Academic Status


Classification is based on the number of St. Olaf total credits earned/completed: 

First-Year:  0-7.75 credits
Sophomore:  8.00-16.75 credits
Junior: 17.00-24.75 credits
Senior: 25.00 or more credits

Academic Probation

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the policy set forth by the College to ensure students are making progress towards their degree. To maintain good academic standing and eligibility for all types of financial aid at St. Olaf College, students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree. SAP standards are based on federal regulations and apply to federal, state and St. Olaf financial aid. SAP standards are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment, whether or not the student received financial aid.

Overview of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

There are three parts to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Compliance with each of the following is required to maintain good academic standing and eligibility for financial aid:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) - SAP policy requires that students maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain eligible for financial aid. The cumulative GPA is described in the SAP chart below.
  • Cumulative Overall Progress - Federal SAP standards require that students make steady progress toward completion of their degree program by completing at least 67% of all their attempted courses. St. Olaf requires students to meet the course completion requirement based on the chart below.
  • Timely Program Completion - Undergraduate Students: Maximum Time frame Four years (eight semesters) is the normal time for completing an undergraduate degree. All students are required to complete the minimum number of courses in the time frame outlined in the chart below.
Year Semester Courses Completed Cumulative GPA
Credits Earned 0-7.75 Fall/Interim/Spring 67% 1.80
Credits Earned 8-16.75 Fall/Interim/Spring 67% 1.90
Credits Earned 17-24.75 Fall/Interim/Spring 67% 2.00
Credits Earned 25+ Fall/Interim/Spring 67% 2.00

The Academic Standing Committee will evaluate Satisfactory Academic Progress after each period of enrollment (Fall, Interim/Spring, and Summer if applicable). If a student is not meeting the minimum guidelines, they will be notified by a letter sent from the Dean of Students office, followed by an email from the Center for Advising and Academic Support outlining requirements for Success Coaching.

To view the full SAP policy refer to the Financial Aid Program section.


When students do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, their status will be changed from “good" academic standing to “academic probation.” Students are required to meet with their assigned Success Coach prior to, or at the start of the next semester to complete an academic success plan.

Initial Success Coach Meeting Goals:

  1. Explain both SAP standards and Academic Probation requirements
  2. Discuss previous barriers to success; both academic and personal
  3. Identify improvement areas and relevant campus resources
  4. Create individualized SMART goals
  5. Schedule recurring meetings throughout the semester as a time to check in and adjust plans as needed 

Academic Suspension

A student may be academically suspended if the student is on probationary status and fails to achieve minimal academic progress. Minimal academic progress is defined as that combination of course completions and grade points that suggest the probable completion of graduation requirements in four years with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. Such progress is expected to approximate the following scale:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.00 after the completion of 25 credits
  • Cumulative GPA of 1.90 after the completion of 17 credits
  • Cumulative GPA of 1.80 after the completion of 8 credits

Normally, a student is not considered for suspension unless they have been on probation for at least one semester. The college reserves the right, under extraordinary circumstances, however, to suspend a student who has not been on probation.

Decisions resulting in academic suspension or the placement of a student on academic probation are made by the Academic Standing Committee, which includes members of the Dean of Students Office, one of whom chairs the committee; members of the Registrar's Office; student disability and access specialists; a member of the Financial Aid Office; the Director of Student Support Services; the Director of Advising and Academic Support; the Director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion; the Assistant Director of International Student Engagement; the Director of Admissions; and two tenured members of the faculty, appointed by the Dean of Students.

The college notifies the parent(s)/guardian(s) of financially dependent or consenting students when academic suspension occurs.

Students placed on suspension status may appeal the suspension decision to an appeals board composed of the Dean of the College, the Vice President of Student Life, the Chief Diversity Officer, and the Registrar. The appeal must be made in writing and sent to the Dean of Students Office within seven days of the date of receipt of the suspension letter. The decision of the appeals board is final.

Failure to meet minimum academic progress standards may result in academic suspension for one calendar year (two full semesters). All suspended students must reapply to the college for readmission. Students who wish to be readmitted to the college should contact the Dean of Students Office at (507) 786-3615 or for permission to return and re-entry information. Decisions to readmit students who have been suspended are made by the Readmission Committee, which includes two members of the Dean of Students Office, one of whom chairs the committee; a member of the Registrar’s Office; and a member of the Financial Aid Office. The readmission decision will take into consideration the student’s history and actions or circumstances that would justify readmission; for example, successful completion of coursework at another institution. If readmitted, the student will be reinstated on a probationary basis and will be required to meet specific expectations for continued enrollment.