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SJU Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal Financial Aid Title IV Recipients

Every school that administers federal student aid must have policies for measuring a student’s academic progress (SAP). This directive ensures that schools are actively monitoring the use of taxpayer funds and ensuring those funds are being used to advance a student in the actual attainment of a degree. An institution has the authority to set its own standards; however, the standards must include both qualitative and quantitative measures. Institutions have the authority to evaluate and grant a reprieve, on a case-by-case basis, to students who are not meeting the standards.

In an effort to make the terminology schools use in their SAP policies easier for students and faculty to understand, as well as to encourage schools to monitor students more frequently, SAP regulations have been changed and clarified in recent years: Specifically, Program Integrity Rules, 34 CFR 668. These changes also provide additional clarification on how transfer credits and repeat classes are treated, and seek more involvement by the academic side of institutions in making decisions about financial aid eligibility.

Common Terminology:

Financial Aid Warning

If a school chooses to measure academic progress more than once a year, they have the option of placing students on Financial Aid Warning. This status allows students not meeting the qualitative and/or quantitative standards an additional semester to improve their academic performance prior to losing financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet the standards during the warning semester, they must file a financial aid appeal requesting an additional semester to return to good standing.
 
Financial Aid Appeal
Students have the right to file a financial aid appeal after a determination has been made that the student is ineligible for federal aid for failure to meet the Institutions qualitative and/or quantitative standards. The appeal allows the student to cite extenuating circumstances that had an impact on their academic performance and to provide supporting documentation in support of their appeal.
 
 Financial Aid Probation         
After a student’s financial aid appeal has been reviewed and approved, the student is placed on financial aid probation. This status provides the student one additional semester of eligibility for federal aid.
 
Academic Plan
If it is mathematically determined that a student cannot meet the qualitative and/or quantitative standards of the institution within a one semester period, then an academic plan is required before a financial aid appeal can be approved. The academic plan is typically created for the student by an advising center or academic department and outlines steps to assist the student in returning to good academic standing. 
 
SJU’s Standards     

SAP is measured annually after the spring semester. Generally, this will be two semesters of academic credit. If the student was not enrolled in the fall, only the spring semester will be considered for determining SAP in that year. If the student was enrolled for the fall and not the spring, only the fall semester will be considered for determining SAP in that year.

-Qualitative Standards (Undergraduate)*

End of Freshman Year (Spring) at least 1.6 GPA, and at least 24 successfully completed attempted hours.

2+ years of attendance or junior standing (whichever occurs first), at least 2.0 GPA

*To receive Federal Financial Aid, a student must be enrolled at least half-time each semester.

-Qualitative Standards (Graduate)*

2.0 GPA after the first 2 semesters of attendance

*To receive Federal Financial Aid, a student must be enrolled at least half-time each semester.

-Quantitative Standard

Undergraduate students must earn 67% of cumulative credits attempted in any given academic year

Graduate students must earn 75% of cumulative credits attempted in any given academic year

-Students may not receive federal aid for more than 150% of the total credits required for their program

Students must complete their degree or certificate within a maximum time frame measured by attempted credits equal to 150 percent of the number of credits required for their primary degree program. The examples shown in the chart below represent minimum requirements for the degree programs listed, and the corresponding maximum attempted credits allowed for purposes of student financial aid eligibility. If a student's degree or certificate program requires more than the minimum credits shown on the chart, the student's maximum credits allowed will reflect 150 percent of the actual program credits required.

Degree Program

Credits Required

Maximum Credits Allowed

Associate's

60 credits

90 credits

Bachelor's

120 credits

180 credits

Master's

30 credits

45 credits

Other Grades:

-Transfer Credits: must be counted in the attempted/completed ratio in the SJU measure of quantitative progress

-Grades of I, W, WA, and FA, F: are counted as attempted credits but not as earned credits

-Repeated Classes: are counted once in the cumulative earned measure

Appeals:

Students not making satisfactory academic progress will receive an email from Student Financial Services informing them of their option to contact their academic department to file an appeal. The student must file an appeal before an academic plan can be contemplated, and the appeal must be based on extenuating circumstances. The department will review the appeal to determine if an academic plan would allow the student to return to good standing. For a student’s appeal to be considered, the appeal must:

-Describe the extraordinary circumstances that led to the failure to meet the standards

-Describe the changes that will allow the student to return to good standing

Extenuating circumstances may include:

-Loss of job or major financial life event

-Personal illness

-Illness or death of family member

-Other special circumstances

The academic department and/or designee is responsible for collecting the documentation and approving the plan. Documentation for approved plans should be sent to faid@sju.edu for inclusion in the students financial aid file

Academic Plan

For SJU, an Academic Plan is required for an appeal to be approved. The plan will be formulated with input from both the student and the academic department. Approved plans, and all supporting documentation, must be sent by the academic department and/or designee to the Financial Services Office (faid@sju.edu) to be scanned into the student’s permanent record. Some stipulations of an Academic Plans may be:

-Payment period restrictions

–Number of credit/clock hours taken

–Registration in specified courses

–Requirement of certain grade point average

-May be as simple as a calculation or as detailed as a class by class schedule

-May require collaboration with other offices

-Other stipulations as determined by the Academic Department

Student Advising FAQ’s

Q. What impact will it have on me if I withdraw from this class?

  1. It will not impact your GPA, but it may impact your quantitative measure of academic progress for the semester. If you are a state grant or Federal Aid recipient, it may impact your ability to receive a state grant or Federal Aid next year as these require 24 completed credits per academic year.

Q. When will my academic progress be evaluated?

  1. Your academic progress is reviewed annually, after the spring semester.

Q. What will happen if I complete less than 24 credit hours in a year? (Undergrad Day Student)

  1. You may lose eligibility for a state grant/Federal Aid if it is part of your financial aid package.

Q. What happens if I am determined to not have met the minimum GPA and/or the completion ratio

associated with my grade level?

  1. You will be ineligible to receive federal aid beginning the next semester after the spring, and will remain ineligible until an academic plan is approved or until you attain the cumulative GPA and completion requirements.

Q. How can I appeal the school’s determination that I am ineligible for federal aid?

A. You should contact the Dean of your academic program to obtain an appeal form. As part of your appeal, you will need to describe in detail the circumstance preventing you from making progress, and outline what will enable you to make progress in the future. You must provide documentation in support of your appeal. If you appeal is approved, you will need to create an academic plan with your Dean’s Office to ensure your future success.

Examples of Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory Progress

Student #1 (Fall) Making Satisfactory Academic Progress

Course

Grade

Grade Points X

Number of Credits =

Total Points

Eng 101

B-

2.7

3

8.1

Math 101

C

2.0

3

6.0

Spanish 101

A

4.0

4

16.0

Psych 101

A-

3.7

3

11.1

Lit 101

F

0

3

0

16

41.2

Fall GPA=41.2/16=2.5 Fall Completion (13 completed/16 attempted)=81.25%

Student #1 (Spring)

Course

Grade

Grade Points X

Number of Credits =

Total Points

Eng 102

D

1.0

3

3.0

Math 102

C

2.0

3

6.0

Spanish 102

A

4.0

4

16.0

Psych 102

A-

3.7

3

11.1

Lit 102

W

0

3*

3

13

39.1

Spring GPA=39.1/16=3.0 Spring Completion (13 completed/16 attempted) =81.25%

Total GPA=80.3/29=2.76 Total Completion (13 completed/16 attempted) =81.25%

*W grades do not count in GPA calculation, but they do in the Completion Ratio

Student #2 (Fall) Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress-student withdraws from too many classes because of level of difficulty or other reasons

Course

Grade

Grade Points X

Number of Credits =

Total Points

Eng 101

B-

2.7

3

8.1

Math 101

A

4.0

3

12

Spanish 101

W

0

4*

0

Psych 101

A-

3.7

3

11.1

Lit 101

W

0

3*

0

9

31.2

Fall GPA=31.2/9=3.4 Fall Completion (9 completed/16 attempted)=56.25%

Student #2 (Spring)

Course

Grade

Grade Points X

Number of Credits =

Total Points

Eng 102

A

4.0

3

12.0

Math 102

W

2.0

3*

0

Spanish 102

W

4.0

4*

0

Psych 102

A-

3.7

3

11.1

6

23.1

Spring GPA=23.1/6=3.85 Spring Completion (6 completed/13 attempted)=46.15%

Total GPA=80.3/29=3.62 Total Completion (15 completed/29 attempted)=51.71%

Opportunities for Additional Reading

FINAID.org (general FA information) http://www.finaid.org/educators/pj/sapappeals.phtml

US Department of Education Guidance- http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/sap.html

For questions regarding this policy, please contact Eileen Tucker, Director of Student Financial Services and Compliance.

*Disclaimer: Federal Work Study jobs are not guaranteed. Eligible students may apply for jobs available via Career Development Center. FWS awards are dependent on the availability of funding and may be withdrawn or subject to change depending on this availability. Any financial aid package could be adjusted at any time according to federal and institutional regulations. Please read carefully the “Conditions Governing Financial Aid Awards” for further information found at www.sju.edu/srfs.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 16125-49
  • Date Created: 7/1/2012
  • Last Modified Since: 4/12/2014
  • Viewed: 5206
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