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Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to receive federal financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. SAP for financial aid is different than academic progress as defined by the Registrar’s Office. All students who complete the FAFSA and apply for financial aid must meet the requirements for SAP to continue receiving financial aid. SAP is measured for all students regardless of whether or not they receive or have ever received financial aid.

Aid programs affected by SAP include:

  • Pell Grant
  • SEOG
  • TEACH Grant
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • OCOG
  • Some Private Education Loans
  • Some SSU Grants and Scholarships

Standards of Satisfactory Progress (SAP) is measured in three components: Cumulative Grade Point Average; Completion Ratio (Pace); and Maximum Time Frame Limitation.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

Students who attempt credit hours must maintain a cumulative GPA as indicated below:

Credit Hours Attempted 0 - 27.99 28 - 36.99 37 - 43.99 44 - 50.99 51 - 57.99 58+
GPA 1.01 or above 1.31 or above 1.56 or above 1.81 or above 1.91 or above 2.00 or above

 

Completion Ratio (Pace)

Students must successfully complete (earn) 67% of all attempted credit hours. The following grades are considered attempted: withdrawals (WD), incomplete (I), no credit (NC), failure (F), repeated course (R), transfer hours (TR), and all passing grades (A, B, C, D, & P).

All courses attempted are included in this measure even if the student did not receive financial aid at the time the courses were taken.

Maximum Time Frame Limitation

Students are eligible to receive financial aid for up to 150% of the credit hours required to complete their degree. Bachelor degree students may receive financial aid through the semester they attempt their 186th credit hour. Associate degree students may receive financial aid through the semester they attempt their 96th credit hour. Students in approved certificate programs or graduate programs may attempt hours equal to 150% of the program length.

Exceeding the maximum time frame limitation results in immediate financial aid suspension. There is no warning semester granted.

Financial Aid Warning

A student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning at the end of the first semester the student fails to meet the required GPA and/or pace for academic progress. The student may continue to receive financial aid for the next semester. If the student does not meet the required GPA and/or pace for academic progress at the end of the semester while on Financial Aid Warning, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension and Appeals

A student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension at the end of the Financial Aid Warning semester if he/she does not meet the required GPA and/or pace for academic progress. If a student is on Financial Aid Suspension, he/she is no longer eligible to receive financial aid.

A student may appeal this decision by completing the Standards of Academic Progress Appeal form, submit a written statement as to why the student did not meet SAP and what has changed that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. The student may also be required to provide supporting documentation. Reasons for appeal include the following:

  • Death of a relative;
  • Injury or illness of the student; or
  • Other extreme circumstance.

SSU may approve the appeal and reinstate the student's financial aid eligibility if:

  • The school has determined that the student will be able to meet SAP standards after the subsequent semester; or
  • The school develops an academic plan with the student that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

If SSU approves the student's appeal for reinstatement of financial eligibility, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation or an Academic Plan.

Academic Plan

SSU may create an academic plan to help put the student on track to successful program completion. The academic plan will be developed based on the individual student's needs. While on an academic plan, the student must meet the terms of the academic plan to maintain financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet these terms, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the second time and will no longer be permitted to receive financial aid until the student is meeting Standards of Academic Progress. A student may register for classes while on financial aid suspension; however, all tuition and fees will be the responsibility of the student. Once SAP is met, financial aid may be reinstated.

Financial Aid Probation

A student may be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. While on Financial Aid Probation, the student is eligible to receive financial aid. At the end of the probation semester, the student must meet Standards of Academic Progress to maintain financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet SAP at the end of the probation semester, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the second time and will no longer be permitted to receive financial aid until the student is meeting Standards of Academic Progress. A student may register for classes while on financial aid suspension; however, all tuition and fees will be the responsibility of the student. Once SAP is met, financial aid may be reinstated.

Consequences of Suspension or Appeal Denial

Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress lose eligibility for financial aid until they are back in compliance with the policy. All decisions are final and subject to federal guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

If the student does not meet SAP at the end of the probation semester or meet the terms of his/her academic plan, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the second time and will no longer be permitted to receive financial aid until the student is meeting Standards of Academic Progress. A student may register for classes while on financial aid suspension; however, all tuition and fees will be the responsibility of the student. Once SAP is met, financial aid may be reinstated.

If the student experiences an extreme situation that prevents him/her from meeting the terms of his/her probation or academic plan, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the possibility of an additional appeal process.

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