SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP) POLICY
Definition of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal Regulations specify that a student must be making progress towards his/her academic degree to receive Financial Aid. To remain eligible for federal, state, and institutional aid, a student must maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress” as outlined in the following 3 measures:
- Cumulative GPA (Qualitative Measure)
- Undergraduate Students = reach a 2.0 minimum (equivalent to a C average) by the mid-point of the program and maintain this level throughout the rest of the program
- Pace of Completion (Quantitative Measure)
- All students must complete at least 67% of their credits attempted each trimester. (Pace of Completion = Total credits completed / Total credits attempted).
- Duration of Progress (Quantitative Measure)
- Once a student has attempted 150% of the required number of credits for his/her degree, he/she is no longer eligible to receive financial aid. Federal regulations specify that “a student becomes ineligible when it becomes mathematically impossible for him to complete his program within 150% of its length.”
Details Regarding SAP
Grades, Cumulative GPA and Pace of Completion
The only grades that meet SAP completion standards are grades for which credit is awarded; A, B, C, D, P & CR (credit). Grades of F (failure), W (withdrawal), and I (incomplete) are not passing grades, but they are included in the credits attempted. To maintain SAP, students need to meet the minimum Cumulative GPA for their program.
Withdrawals, incomplete courses, repeated courses, non-credit remedial courses and credits transferred from other colleges affect the Pace of Completion. Withdrawals lower the number of successfully completed credits. Incomplete courses calculate like a withdrawal and lower the number of successfully completed credits. Each repeat of a course counts as another attempt. Passing the course counts as one completion. Credits transferred in from other colleges may help the Pace of Completion, as these credits are counted on a 1:1 ratio for credits completed and credits attempted.
Repeating and passing a failed or previously passed class will replace the previous grade to recalculate into the new Cumulative GPA. Both attempts will count toward the Pace of Completion and Duration of Progress. Students who pass a class (A, B, C, D) and choose to repeat it for a higher grade may receive financial aid only once (a total of two attempts) for that repeated class. Students may receive financial aid for a failed class (F) that they repeat until they pass.
Time Limits for Duration of Progress
Federal financial aid for all programs cannot exceed 150% of the total credits in the program, including credits that result from transfer credits and repeated courses. Students will not be eligible to receive aid after attempting the number of credits listed below:
- A.A. program: 135
- B.A. program: 208.5
Pace of Completion
To determine the Pace of Completion, divide the cumulative credits successfully completed by the cumulative credits attempted. If this percentage stays at or above 67%, a student will complete degree requirements in the federally required time frame.
Financial Aid SAP Statuses
- SAP Met
- Student has met or exceeded the minimum SAP requirements.
- SAP Warning
- Student has not met one or more SAP requirements and was not on SAP Probation Status or SAP Suspension Status the previous trimester they attended. A student may only be in SAP Warning Status for one trimester in a row.
- SAP Probation
- Student was on SAP Warning Status the previous trimester he/she attended, he/she did not reach the minimum SAP program requirements, and he/she successfully appealed his/her SAP Suspension Status.
- SAP Suspension
- Student has not met the minimum SAP requirements while on SAP Probation Status the previously attempted trimester and is disqualified from receiving financial aid.
Evaluation of Student Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each trimester; Fall, Winter, and Spring. At each review, a student’s qualitative (Cumulative GPA) and quantitative (Pace of Completion & Duration of Progress) progress will be evaluated. If a student is not making sufficient progress, as explained above, he/she will receive a SAP Warning Notice, delivered to the student’s SUM email address, and will remain eligible to receive aid for one more trimester. If, at the end of the warning trimester the student has not met all requirements, his/her financial aid will be suspended, and the student will receive a SAP Suspension Notice. In certain cases (illness, death in the family, special circumstance), a student may appeal the aid suspension by completing the “Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.”
Appeals should address the circumstances surrounding the student’s insufficient progress and describe a plan of action to correct the insufficient progress. Students must specify what has changed in their circumstances that will allow them to make progress in the upcoming trimester. If the insufficient progress was related to “Duration of Progress,” the student must specify how many credits he/she intends to complete each trimester to complete his/her degree.
If the Appeal is approved, a probationary period of one more trimester may be granted. In extreme cases, when one more trimester will not be sufficient to reach Satisfactory Academic Progress, the Financial Aid Committee, in cooperation with the Cohort Advisor, may create an Academic Plan for the student, which will specify the academic requirements the student must meet and the deadline for when these requirements must be met. They will include (but may not be limited to) the following minimum requirements:
Academic Plans and Cumulative GPA:
If a student is granted an Academic Plan regarding Cumulative GPA, the student must achieve the required minimum GPA (2.0 for undergraduate and 2.5 for graduate students) for his/her classes in the following trimester. If the required minimum GPA is not achieved in that trimester, the Academic Plan will be revoked, and the student’s aid will be suspended again.
Academic Plans and Pace of Completion:
If a student is granted an Academic Plan regarding Pace of Completion, he/she must pass the lesser of: 100% of the attempted credits in the next trimester or a percentage that would bring him/her up to the minimum SAP requirements. If the student does not complete the required percentage of the attempted credits in the following trimester, the Academic Plan will be revoked, and the student’s aid will be suspended again.
Academic Plans and Duration of Progress:
If a student is granted an Academic Plan regarding Duration of Progress, he/she will be expected to complete all credits that are listed in the Academic Plan. If any credits are not completed in the approved time frame, the Academic Plan will be revoked, and the student’s aid will be suspended again.
In the event of extenuating circumstances, such as medical problems, family emergencies, a death in the family, or other unique circumstances determined applicable by SUM, a student who has failed SAP and been placed on SAP Suspension status has the right to appeal to the Financial Aid Committee.
An appeal is a request for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility and is initiated by completing the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Form, available at http://sum.edu/forms. A copy of the appeal form is also attached to the SAP Suspension Status notice letter. The appeal must address why the student failed SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation which will allow him/her to successfully achieve SAP by the next evaluation period.
Financial aid eligibility may or may not be reinstated at the discretion of the Financial Aid Committee. If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on SAP Probation and financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for one trimester. Specific criteria for moving off SAP Probation as well as a student-specific timeline for meeting those criteria will be outlined in the Official Decision section of the appeal form and delivered to the student’s SUM email address. The timeline will generally be the next trimester but can be extended if the Financial Aid Committee deems an Academic Plan is necessary. Failure to satisfy the trimesters of the SAP Probation will result in immediate loss of financial aid eligibility for subsequent trimesters.
A student who fails to meet the trimesters of the SAP Probation may submit a subsequent appeal for reinstatement by repeating the appeal process outlined above. Generally, a student will not be granted SAP Probation again until he/she achieves satisfactory progress without any financial aid. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
It is possible for a student to fail SAP (and not be eligible for financial aid) but not be academically dismissed from the school. In this situation, a student has successfully earned the right to completely pay for school out- of-pocket. Financial Aid SAP Policy and SUM’s Servant-of-All (SOA; Academic Probation/Dismissal) policies are different. Please refer to the most recent copy of SUM’s Academic Catalog (http://sum.edu/catalog) for specific details on Servant-of-All/Academic policies.
SAP Chart – AA Degree
Associate of Arts students who meet the requirements outlined on this SAP Chart are eligible for financial aid.
|Required Cumulative GPA|
|Required Completion Ratio|
SAP Chart – BA Degree
Bachelor of Arts students who meet the requirements outlined on this SAP Chart are eligible for financial aid.
|Required Cumulative GPA||1.10||1.20||1.30||1.40||1.50||1.60||1.70||1.80||1.90||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00||2.00|
|Required Completion Ratio||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%|
SAP Appeal Guidelines and Procedures
Students who have been disqualified from receiving financial aid due to failure to meet SAP requirements may appeal that decision by completing the SAP Appeal. Please follow the following guidelines in completing the appeal.
- Before completing and submitting this appeal, review the SAP Standards Financial Aid to ensure you have met the necessary requirements. Lack of knowledge of the SAP Standards will not be grounds for the approval of an appeal.
- Be specific when explaining your circumstances. Lack of information will result in a delay of an appeal review, or may result in a denial of your appeal. If there were problems in your physical or mental health that played a role in your circumstances, please attach supporting documentation from a doctor, counselor, or hospital (if no documentation is available, be sure to explain in the appeal).
- Do not discuss your need for financial aid in your appeal, as this is not a valid reason for approval of an appeal.
- Complete all items on the appeal form. Incomplete appeals will delay decisions; the appeal form is 2 pages (not including this cover sheet). If you have questions about completing the appeal form, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
- Complete the SAP Appeal Form
- Review the SAP Plan
- Submit documentation of extenuating circumstance (if applicable)
- Submit a letter signed by an advisor outlining a plan to remedy grades
- Review of Appeals may take up to three weeks. You will be notified via email of the decision of the Appeals Committee
- If your appeal is approved, you will be expected to adhere to the plan outlined below
(Undergraduate / Bachelor Degree candidates)
- Signed and completed Financial Aid Probation Appeal Form.
(which includes a description of the extenuating circumstances that led to the financial aid disqualification (examples: illness, injury, family emergency etc.), as well as the steps you have taken for future success (using a tutor, medical assistance, counseling, etc.).
- Completed plan outlining how you intend to complete the program within the established guidelines.