Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) denotes a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (OSFAS) to monitor the progress of each student toward degree completion. Students who fall behind in their coursework (fail classes), fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average or fail to complete classes in a maximum time frame, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal and state aid and university aid administered by OSFAS.

Requirement for maintaining satisfactory academic progress:

To maintain SAP, a student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of a 2.0 for Undergraduate students and a 3.0 for Graduate or PhD students. GPA will be reviewed at the end of each semester.
  2. Complete at least 67 percent of all attempted credit hours – This will be reviewed at the end of each semester and the aggregate percentage of coursework attempted and passed must equal 67 percent or greater at each review. (For example: a student who has attempted a total of 12 credit hours and only earns 8 credit hours has completed 67 percent of attempted credit hours).
  3. Complete a degree program in a maximum time frame of no more than 150 percent of the average length of the program. The maximum number of attempted hours for an undergraduate student is 180 hours. The maximum number of attempted hours for a graduate student is 54 hours and for a PhD student is 96 hours.

For transfer students: The number of transfer hours accepted at the point of admission will be used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the 150 percent rule and will be included in the quantitative calculation.

For second undergraduate degree students: Second-degree students will be given 150 percent of stated credit hours required for the second-degree program.

Withdrawal: A “W” grade which is recorded on the student’s transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students who officially withdraw from the University must make up the deficit hours and are encouraged to attend summer school to remove the deficient hours. The successful completion of a course is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, B, C or D. Courses with grades of F, I, U, and W will not qualify in meeting the minimum standard.

Incomplete (I) grade: An incomplete grade indicates that a student has not finished all course-work required for a grade and is included in the cumulative credits attempted. An incomplete will count toward maximum attempted hours but not as hours passed until a final grade is posted in the Registrar’s Office.

Repeated courses: A student who has received a failing grade in a course may repeat the course and receive financial aid. Students (undergraduate and graduate) may only receive federal financial aid for one repetition (repeat) of a previously passed course. Students who have already passed a course with a grade of D or better may only repeat the class one additional time and receive financial aid for that course. All repeated courses are included in the total maximum attempted hours for SAP evaluation.

Change of Major: A student may change from one major to another during attendance at the University. Students who change from one major to another are still expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress and complete the coursework within the time frame or hour limitation stated unless an appeal is approved. All attempted hours from a prior major are included in the total maximum attempted hours.

Audited courses: Courses audited are not eligible for financial aid and are not counted as either attempted or earned hours.

Consequences of failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress

Students receiving federal aid who fail to completed qualitative, quantitative, and completion rate after each semester will result in the following:

Financial Aid WARNING

Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of the semester will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students placed on financial aid warning will not need an appeal; however, failure to make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the financial aid Warning period will result in financial aid suspension.

Financial Aid SUSPENSION

Students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension have the option to appeal for Title IV funding. At the end of the semester, students are notified of financial aid suspension and have the option to submit a typed-written letter of appeal along with all supporting documentation to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Appeals Committee by the established deadline (see Appeals Procedures).

LATE APPEALS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.  The committee will review the appeal and supporting documentation to determine if the student’s financial aid should be reinstated or remain in suspension.

  1. Appeal Denial: All decisions that are rendered by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee will be final and not subject to further review. Student will remain on Financial Aid Suspension until he/she is back in good standing.
  2. Appeal Approval: If the SAP appeal committee determines the student eligible for reinstatement of financial aid, he/she will be considered for aid available at the time of reinstatement and will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.

Financial Aid PROBATION

During the Financial Aid Probation period, the student will be required to sign a financial aid academic plan with his/her academic advisor. The completed form must be turned into the Office of Financial Aid before federal aid is reinstated for the semester. After completing and submitting the financial aid academic plan agreement, the student will be required to meet all stipulations within the academic plan. Failure to do so will result in suspension of financial aid until the student is back in good standing.

Probation Requirements:

  • Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 (Undergraduate) or 3.0 (Graduate) for the semester and must pass all attempted hours enrolled for.
  • Student cannot receive a grade of F, I or W

NOTE: If the student does not enroll for the semester of financial aid probation, the approval stands for the following semester.

Appeal Procedures

Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress may appeal the suspension of their student financial aid. Letters of appeal should be based on a mitigating circumstance that negatively impacted the student’s ability to meet the minimum required standards. Examples of such circumstance may include, but are not limited to:

  • Death or prolonged illness of an immediate family member
  • Medical illness by the student that created undue hardship
  • Natural disasters beyond the control of the student or other personal or family matters/situations that may have negatively impacted the students’ ability to meet the minimum required standards.
  • If applicable, documentation that supports any [1]retroactive changes that may have occurred.

Steps in the APPEAL PROCESS:

  1. Students must upload a completed SAP Appeal form to the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships using the PantherPass document upload system via PantherTracks.
  2. Student must include the following in order to be considered for an appeal review:
      1. SAP Appeal Form
      2. A typed statement of circumstance of why satisfactory academic progress was not met. This statement MUST include specific information that outlines a mitigated change from the prior semester.
      3. Supporting documentation (proof of grade change, current academic transcript, doctor’s statement, death certificate, accident report, etc.)
  3. After the committee review, the student will be notified via PantherTracks and University email of the appeal decision.

[1] Retroactive Change: If errors are made within the grading process and the student is eligible for a grade change that affects satisfactory academic progress, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will allow restoration of federal aid. Students will be allowed one semester of federal aid while grade change process occurs provided a letter from the department head or dean certifying that a grade change has been submitted or approved.