GPA And Financial Aid - How Your Grades Affect Your Student Loans

Created By : Jatin Gogia

Reviewed By : Rajasekhar Valipishetty

Last Updated : May 22, 2023

GPA And Financial Aid - How Your Grades Affect Your Student Loans: If you are a student who is worried about how your GPA affects your financial aid, then this is the perfect article for you. We will explain the GPA that you need to keep, what happens if your GPA drops, and what to do to maintain the ideal GPA. So, keep reading to find out the answers to your questions.

Do my Grades really affect my Financial Aid?

Yep! Your GPA directly affects your student loans and other types of financial aid. Many may know the GPA that you need to be eligible for receiving financial aid, but not many are aware of the GPA that you must maintain throughout your academic journey to be qualified for financial aid.

To understand this, we must first learn about SAP or satisfactory academic progress. Keep in mind that the parameters for SAP differ with each school. You can always find the minimum requirements for SAP, by reaching out to your school and finding out more about its SAP policy. Each school has its own set of rules when it comes to SAP, but in general, they will inform you about the minimum GPA, credit hours, and speed at which you need to complete the course. In addition, they will also tell you the maximum amount of time that you can take to complete the course.

As a rule of thumb, on a 4.0 scale, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. When we convert this to a letter grade, you must keep a minimum of C. For graduate programs, the minimum GPA that you must maintain is 3.0. Even though 2.0 is considered to be a below-average GPA, federal financial aid still provides help for those who are able to maintain this GPA. You may also have other requirements such as attempting a minimum of 67% of cumulative credits. So, to know more, you should definitely talk to your school.

Will I lose Financial Aid if my grades fall?

As we mentioned before, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for you to continue receiving financial aid. However, you probably will not lose your financial aid completely. There is a period known as academic probation, which you will be placed in. Academic probation is essentially a waiting period where your academic performance will be observed. During this period, we advise you to do everything in your power to get better grades and improve your GPA. This might include hiring a private tutor, or an academic advisor.

If your hard work has paid off and you have started getting better grades, then the school will automatically lift the academic probation period. But, if your grades have not improved, then the school will issue a warning to you that your financial aid is in jeopardy. If you fail to improve your academic performance even after this warning, then the school will pull out and terminate your financial aid completely. In many cases, the school will also be required to either dismiss or suspend you.

Do not forget that the rules for SAP differ with each school and type of financial aid, so ensure that you read the fine print beforehand.

Will I lose Financial Aid if I fail my class?

Apart from having a low GPA, your financial aid can also be in trouble if you fail a class. When you fail a class, you do not automatically lose your financial aid. Instead, the school conducts a thorough review of your performance and participation. This is to check whether you purposefully did not try to do better, or whether you actually found the material difficult.

So, if you have less than 60% participation, then there is a high probability that you might lose your financial aid. The percentage of participation might differ for each school.

You might be thinking that since you have a high GPA, failing a single class does not have any consequences. But, this is wrong, since your financial aid could still be pulled regardless.

What can you do to keep receiving Financial Aid?

Basically, to continue receiving financial aid, you must maintain your grades, and make sure that your GPA does not drop below 2.0. If you are concerned that you might lose out on your financial aid because of your academic performance, then it is best to start working on improving yourself. It is better to nip it in the bud, than wait for it to become worse.

Here are a few things that you can try out to maintain your GPA.

  • Receive professional help by reaching out to guidance or an academic counselor. Or, you can hire a private tutor to help you get better grades and figure out a way to keep them.
  • Create an action plan. If you are aware that you might face difficulty with your grades, then you should make an elaborate plan that encourages you to study, revise, and improve. A guidance counselor can help you come up with this plan and keep you in check on a regular basis. Having a plan is incredibly important to achieve success in your academics. It not only sharpens your organizational skills, but it also helps you hone your time management skills, as well as increases your self-awareness.
  • Do the research regarding your SAP and financial aid. Since the rules change with each institution, it is better to learn about your particular school’s policy. You may ask your academic advisor or other staff members who might be knowledgeable on this topic. While doing so, make sure to get information on the consequences of not meeting the SAP requirements, when your performance is reviewed, how your grades can affect your SAP, and more. Once you know this information, you can do everything from your side to ensure that you do not fall below the minimum requirements.
  • Lastly, if worse comes to worst, you can always appeal. But this is only acceptable if you have a genuine reason for not meeting the SAP requirements. This can be due to a sickness, or if you had to work in the military. If you successfully appeal, then you might get a second chance at receiving financial aid.

We know that you might be embarrassed to talk about this, but there is nothing wrong with fighting for education. Do not be ashamed to ask for help from others, since there is always an opportunity to better yourself.

If you want to learn more about your GPA, financial aid, and more topics like these, then we suggest that you visit to get all your doubts cleared.

FAQs on GPA And Financial Aid - How Your Grades Affect Your Student Loans

1. Will my low grades affect my financial aid?

Yes, if your grades drop below a certain level, you are at risk of losing financial aid.

2. How will my low GPA affect financial aid?

If your GPA dips below 2.0, then your school might first put you in a probationary period where you are expected to improve your grades. If you succeed, then the probationary period will be lifted and you will continue to receive financial aid. If you fail to improve, then the school will give you a warning, and if you do not improve once again, then the school is allowed to terminate your financial aid, and/or suspend or dismiss you entirely.

3. What is SAP?

SAP stands for satisfactory academic progress. It is the minimum requirement for students to be able to receive financial aid. If your performance falls below the SAP for your school, then the school may take away your financial aid.

4. Do good grades get me more financial aid?

Unfortunately, many financial aid programs do not give your financial aid based on your grades. So, most of the time, the amount of money you get is not dependent on your grades. However, your grades do matter when deciding whether you are eligible for financial aid in the first place. Some merit-based scholarships and grants do sometimes consider your grades, and the amount of cash they offer is based on how good your grades are.


You wanted to know if your GPA affected your financial aid, and we are here to inform you that unfortunately, it does. Generally, if your GPA drops below 2.0, you have a chance of losing your financial aid. So, follow the suggestions that we explained before to raise your GPA, so you can keep receiving your financial aid.