Policy on

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress for the MD Program

Students are expected to make continuous and successful academic progress toward graduation requirements. The concept of satisfactory academic progress mandates monitoring of a student's academic and professional performance through items including, but not limited to, grades recorded, the number of courses successfully completed, and timely passage of USMLE Step 1.

The Student Advancement Committee (SAC) reserves the right to review academic and professional progress of any student at any time. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in an additional review and possible action, including a recommendation for immediate dismissal by the SAC to the Dean.

Federal regulations require that all students receiving Title IV funds maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) according to both qualitative and quantitative measures. The standards used to evaluate academic progress are cumulative and include all periods of a student's enrollment, including periods during which the student did not receive federal financial aid funds.

Students receive final grades of Pass (P) or Fail (F) in all courses in the first two years of the educational program, as well as in all selective and elective experiences in the third and fourth years of the program.

Students receive grades of Honors (H), High Pass (HP), Pass (P), or Fail (F) for all required third and fourth-year core clinical clerkships and acting internships.

Courses that are attempted but for which credit has not been earned may also receive a temporary designation of Incomplete (I) or Conditional Pass (CP). Courses with "I" and "CP" grades will be changed to completed once a grade is applied. A student may officially withdraw from a course until the midpoint of the course via written notice to the Office of Student Records. A student who withdraws from a course at or before the midpoint will receive a designation of Withdrawn (W). 

To advance, students must receive a passing grade in all courses, as per the Policy on Academic Advancement and Graduation.

The maximum timeframe in which a student must successfully complete the MD degree is 6 (six) years. Students must complete the First 100W in three (3) years and the Second 100 Weeks in three (3) years. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may extend this 6 (six) year period.
Should a student fail a course and successfully remediate that course within a predetermined timeframe, the student is considered to be in good academic standing.


Courses attempted while enrolled in a dual degree program or from other universities (i.e., away rotations) will be included in SAP calculations if appearing on the student’s transcript.

Temporary designations (I or CP) will not be considered when  measuring qualitative or quantitative standards of satisfactory academic  progress. Once the temporary designation is replaced by a final grade, it will  be used during the next evaluation period.

If a student transfers from the MD program to an alternate academic program at the School of Medicine, any coursework accepted to fulfill requirements of the new program will be counted as attempted and completed coursework when calculating Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Repeated courses will be counted twice in both the qualitative and quantitative measures.

Under current federal financial aid guidelines, students who failed a course(s) and are required to repeat an entire year of coursework, which would also include successfully completed courses, will be eligible for federal loans for the repeat of that year. Funding will be provided only once for the repeat of the same academic year.

If a student is on a Military Leave of Absence or taking an approved Academic Leave of Absence to pursue research or an alternate degree, the period of leave for which the student has been approved may be excluded from the maximum time frame in which an individual student will be expected to complete the program.  
A student may also be granted a personal or medical leave of absence for a variety of reasons or be placed on administrative leave. A personal, medical, or administrative leave of absence will count towards the maximum timeframe calculation.

The Office of Student Finance will review the Satisfactory Academic Progress of all federal financial aid recipients at the end of each academic year.
Students who may fail to meet the required financial aid SAP standards (qualitative and/or time frame) will be ineligible for continued federal financial aid funding beginning with the term immediately following the term in which it was determined that SAP requirements were not met.

Students are expected to meet both Qualitative and Quantitative measures to be considered making satisfactory academic progress and maintain federal aid eligibility. 

Students are expected to pass 100% of courses leading to the MD degree. Should a student not successfully pass two-thirds (66.7%) of the student's coursework during an academic year (passing grades include Pass, High Pass, and Honors), the student will become ineligible to receive Title IV funding. 

In addition, once it is determined that a student will be unable to meet the maximum timeframe requirements to earn their MD degree as described above, the student will become ineligible to receive Title IV funding. Students will remain eligible for institutional aid if enrolled in applicable coursework during this time.

If a student has lost federal financial aid eligibility due to not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, a written appeal may be submitted to the Office of Student Finance along with appropriate supporting documentation petitioning for reconsideration of eligibility for federal aid based upon extenuating circumstances.

The appeal should be submitted to the Director of Student Finance for review, and representatives from the Office of Academic Success, and the Office of Student Affairs may be consulted prior to a determination being made.    

The appeal must specify all the following information:

  • The extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control that led to the failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (i.e., illness);
  • What has changed in the student's situation to resolve the issue(s) that caused the academic or progress deficit or progress; and
  • That the issue(s) will not affect their performance in the future.

If the student provides all the above required information, the Director of Student Finance will review the appeal to determine the validity and reasonableness of the appeal and if the student can reasonably be expected to return to a good SAP standing by the end of the next term or within the terms of an academic plan.

If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on "Financial Aid Probation" for one term and will be eligible for financial aid funding for that term. If the student needs more than a single term to return to a good SAP standing, the student will be placed on an academic plan which allows the student to meet the SAP standards by a specific point in time.

A student on an academic plan will have modified SAP measurements requirements for the duration of the plan. To receive federal financial aid for the terms while on an academic plan, the student must meet the terms of the academic plan as specified in their Financial Aid Probation letter.  If the student doesn't meet the terms of the academic plan specified in the letter, the student is not eligible for federal financial aid in future terms.

If the appeal is denied, the student may regain financial aid eligibility by becoming compliant with all SAP standards while studying at their own expense.
Appeal decisions are sent to the student's official Hofstra Pride email address within 10 days of the receipt of the appeal and appropriate documentation.

After one semester on Financial Aid Probation, the student's situation will be reviewed to determine whether the student is making satisfactory academic progress or has met the appropriate milestones of the Academic Plan.

Should it be determined that during the probationary period the student's academic standing is inconsistent with the School's requirements for graduation, the student will become ineligible to receive Title IV funding. Students will remain eligible for institutional aid if enrolled in applicable coursework during this time.

The Student Advancement Committee, with the approval of the Dean, shall notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Director of Student Finance when a student is not making satisfactory academic progress. The Director of Student Finance shall notify students placed on probation and/or who have become ineligible for federal financial aid. At this time, the Director of Student Finance will notify the students that they may appeal the decision.

Last Updated: February 2022

References to Regulations and/or Other Related Policies
Policy on Academic Advancement and Graduation
Policies on Grading
Assessment – First 100 Weeks
Assessment – Second 100 Weeks