Satisfactory Academic Progress


Federal Student Aid Regulations require the University to establish, publish, and apply standards to monitor a student’s progress toward the completion of their degree program, known as, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP is evaluated by the Financial Aid Office and is separate from the Good Academic Standing policy.

Federal Student Aid Eligibility

To be eligible for Federal Student Aid, a student must be in Good Academic Standing and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. 

Frequency of SAP Evaluation

A student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of the first completed term and then subsequently at the end of each academic year, which equals three completed 10-week terms or two completed 16-week terms, depending on the structure of the student’s academic year. The Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation applies to the student’s current degree program.

Qualitative and Quantitative Measure

Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured by both a qualitative and a quantitative standard.

Qualitative: This standard requires the student to meet a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of a 2.0 for undergraduate students and a 3.0 for graduate students. The CGPA is the weighted average of the numerical grade values for each completed course.

Quantitative: This standard requires the student to successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all credit hours attempted that apply to the student’s program of study. Pace of Completion (POC) is the percentage of total credits successfully completed compared to the total credits attempted. The POC standard is the same for both undergraduates and graduate students.

Credits completed include courses where a passing grade was awarded or any Transfer Credits/Portfolio Credits awarded by the Office of the Registrar. Credits attempted include courses where a passing or failing grade was awarded, courses that ended in a Withdrawal, or any Transfer Credits/Portfolio Credits awarded by the Office of the Registrar. For example, if a student attempted a total of fourteen (14) 3-credit courses, withdrew from two (2) courses and successfully completed 12 courses, the student would have successfully completed 36 credits [(14-2) x 3)] while having attempted 42 credits [(14 x 3)]. The student’s Pace of Completion is 36/42 = 85.7%.

Maximum Timeframe (Undergraduate Programs Only)

The maximum timeframe for completing a degree program is defined as 150% of the total number of credits in the degree program. The student may not attempt more than 150% of the credits required for graduation from his or her program of study. For example: If a program requires 120 credits to complete, the Maximum Timeframe for that degree program is 180 credits. Periods when a student doesn’t receive Title IV aid are counted towards maximum timeframe. 

Failing to Meet SAP

Students who fail to meet the required minimum POC or the minimum CGPA at any evaluation point will be considered as not making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Students who fail to meet the SAP standards at the first term evaluation point will be placed on Financial Aid Warning and will be notified in writing. Students who fail to meet the SAP standards at an annual evaluation point or after a warning term will become ineligible for financial aid and will be notified in writing of their loss of eligibility and their right to appeal.

When it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete his or her program within 150% of the program length, the student becomes ineligible for additional Federal Student Aid. Students who become ineligible for Federal Student Aid for maximum timeframe may not appeal.

Financial Aid SAP Statuses

Eligible

A student will remain “Eligible” for Federal Student Aid as long as he or she continues to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements at each evaluation point.

Financial Aid Warning

A student will be placed on “Financial Aid Warning” if he or she fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements at the first term evaluation point. Warning status is not available for any other evaluation point. A student on Financial Aid Warning will be eligible for one term of Federal Student Aid and will have one term to meet the SAP requirements in order to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid. Students who meet the SAP requirements after the completion of their Financial Aid Warning period will be reinstated as Eligible for Federal Student Aid. Students who are unable to meet the SAP requirements after the completion of their Financial Aid Warning period will become Ineligible to receive Federal Student Aid for their subsequent term(s).

Ineligible

A student becomes “Ineligible” for Federal Student Aid when he or she fails to meet the minimum SAP standards at any annual evaluation point or at the end of an unsuccessful warning term. The student may continue his or her studies with a different payment method. When the student again meets the minimum SAP requirements, he or she may request a SAP review through the Financial Aid Office and may re-apply for Federal Student Aid.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who are ineligible for Federal Student Aid due to failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements may appeal this status. If the University approves the appeal, the student will be placed on “Financial Aid Probation.” Financial Aid Probation status is applicable for one term only and the student is eligible for Federal Student Aid during this probation period.

Probation – Academic Plan

Students who are unable to meet the minimum SAP requirements within the Financial Aid Probation period are placed on “Probation – Academic Plan” status. The academic plan will provide, in writing, the required academic standards that will assist the student in meeting SAP requirements within a particular time period. Students are reviewed against their modified SAP academic plan requirements at the end of each term. It is the full responsibility of the student to adhere to the academic plan they are given.

Students, otherwise eligible for Federal Student Aid, are eligible for Federal Student Aid during the Probation – Academic Plan period. Retaking previously completed coursework may be required to increase the possibility of the student meeting SAP and/or graduation requirements; this may impact Federal Student Aid eligibility. Failure to meet the modified SAP requirements at any evaluation point during the Probation – Academic Plan period, will result in the student becoming ineligible for Federal Student Aid for their subsequent terms. 

Appeals Process

A complete appeal must be submitted within 10 days of notification of the failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and loss of Federal Student Aid eligibility. If an appeal is not submitted within that timeframe, the student remains ineligible for Federal Student Aid until SAP requirements are met.

For an appeal to be considered, a student must have extenuating circumstances that caused the academic difficulty. These circumstances include student illness, death in the family, car accident, and other emergency beyond the student’s control. The appeal must include an explanation of these circumstances, when these circumstances occurred, and what has changed to ensure future academic success. 

The Director of Financial Aid will notify the student of the Appeal Committee’s decision via email within two (2) days following the appeal review. Students with an approved appeal will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and students with a denied appeal will be withdrawn from the University and will be ineligible for any future Federal Student Aid.

If the appeal is approved, the student will have one term to meet SAP requirements during which he or she is eligible to receive Federal Student Aid. Meeting SAP requirements at the end of the Financial Aid Probation period will result in re-instatement of the student’s eligibility for Federal Student Aid. If the student needs more than one term to meet the minimum SAP standards, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation – Academic Plan. Failure to meet the SAP requirements at the end of the Financial Aid Probation term or failure to meet the terms of an academic plan will result in a loss of Federal Financial Aid eligibility. 

If the student has extenuating circumstance during the probation term and failed to meet the minimum SAP standards at the end of the probation term, the student may appeal again. If approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation – Academic Plan status until the student returns to good SAP standing, graduates from the program, or becomes ineligible for Federal Financial Aid for failing to meet the terms of the academic plan.  

Transfer, Withdrawal, Repeat, and Incomplete Grade Impact on SAP

Transfer credits have no impact on the CGPA and count as both attempted and completed credits in the POC and maximum timeframe calculations.

The grade W (withdrawal) has no impact on the CGPA calculation. A course with this grade is included as attempted but not completed credit in the POC and maximum timeframe calculations.   

The grades of WA (Administrative Withdrawal) and WU (punitive withdrawal) are included in the CGPA as 0.0% and count as attempted but not completed credits the POC and maximum timeframe calculations.

Repeat courses are included as credits attempted in the POC and maximum timeframe calculations and are only included as completed credits if the student earns a passing grade. Only the latest grade in a repeated failed course is counted in the CGPA.

Incomplete courses are included as attempted but not completed credits in the POC and maximum timeframe calculations. Incomplete courses do not affect the CGPA until the grade is changed to the earned grade.

Change of Program or Major, Pursuit of Second Degree

The Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation is applied to the student’s current degree program. Any credits already previously taken will be counted towards the new degree program if they are part of that degree program. 

Students who pursue multiple majors or decide to change their majors will still be monitored for maximum timeframe limitations in the same manner as all students. In circumstances where length of time is impacted, loss of aid eligibility may result. Students should review their situation to prevent loss of eligibility before the completion of any degree requirements. In adherence with Federal Regulation, once it has been determined a student has met the graduation requirements in a degree program, their aid eligibility will cease.

Students who would like to pursue a second degree should speak with both the Registrar and Financial Aid Office to determine the impact on their Satisfactory Academic Progress and Maximum Timeframe (if applicable). 

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility

Students who have become ineligible for Federal Student Aid may have their eligibility reinstated by meeting the minimum SAP standards.

Students may petition to continue as a non-matriculating student improve his or her CGPA and POC. The student may be re-evaluated for reinstatement of their Federal Student Aid at any standard SAP evaluation point.