Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require the University to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory progress for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

The law requires institutions to develop policies regarding satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Each institution must design criteria which outlines the definition of student progress towards a degree and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved.

Shawnee State students who wish to be considered for financial aid must maintain satisfactory progress in their selected course of study as set forth in this policy.

Students are notified of the SAP policy in the Shawnee State University catalog. In addition, the University’s SAP policy is listed below.

Institutional Policy

The Financial Aid Office evaluates student academic progress at the end of each semester (including summer). Students are evaluated on the basis of grade point average (GPA), credit hour completion, and maximum time frame. Students are reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress even if they are not receiving financial aid during that time. Courses taken during this time will also count toward the GPA, maximum time frame, and pace.

Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

To receive financial aid, a student must maintain a minimum qualitative measure of progress defined as cumulative GPA as listed below.

Credit Hours Attempted 0-19.99 20-39.99 40+
GPA 1.50 or above 1.80 or above 2.00 or above

Pace (Quantitative Measure)

To receive financial aid, a student must complete (earn) 67% of attempted credit hours.

Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative earned hours by the overall attempted hours.

Students who receive the following grades are considered to have attempted, but not earned those credit hours: withdrawals (WD), incomplete (I), no credit (NC), failure (F), and all passing grades (A, B, C, D, P). Course repetitions (R) and transfer hours (TR) count as hours attempted.

Maximum Time Frame Limitation

Bachelor degree students are eligible to receive federal aid through the semester in which they attempt their 186th credit hour. Associate degree students are eligible to receive federal aid through the semester in which they attempt their 96th credit hour. Students in graduate programs may attempt or earn hours equal to 150 percent of program length. If a student fails to meet the maximum time frame standard, they will immediately be placed on financial aid suspension.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades are considered attempted, but not earned hours. These may negatively affect pace and maximum time frame. Once a grade has been changed, the student needs to notify the Student Business Center. If on financial aid suspension, an appeal form would need to be completed.

Repeated Courses

A student who has received a failing grade in a course may repeat the course and receive financial aid. A student is eligible to receive financial aid for one repeat of a previously passed course. Credit for repeated courses will only be counted in cumulative earned hours one time; however, all repeated courses are included in the total maximum attempted hours.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may receive aid during their first term of attendance. They are reviewed for SAP at the end of this term. All transfer credit will be counted toward the maximum time frame and pace. These hours are counted as cumulative attempted and cumulative earned hours. Only Shawnee State University grades are counted toward the GPA requirement.

Change of Majors

Students who change their major are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress. All attempted hours from a prior degree are included in the cumulative attempted and cumulative earned hours.

Second Degrees and Double Majors

Students seeking a double major or pursuing a second degree may reach the maximum timeframe standard at an accelerated pace under this policy. Students may appeal for an allowance of additional hours to complete their program.

Summer Semester

Students are reviewed for Standards of Progress at the end of summer as well as fall and spring semesters.

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 pace for academic progress. The student may continue to receive financial aid for the next semester. If the student does not meet the 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

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 pace for academic progress. If a student is on Financial Aid Suspension, he/she is no longer eligible to receive financial aid.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

A student placed on Financial Aid suspension can regain eligibility in one of two ways:

  1. Successfully appealing their suspension status.
  2. Attend SSU at their own expense until they are back in good standing with all aspects of the SAP policy.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

A student may appeal this decision by completing the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form and 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 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.

If SSU denies the student’s appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, the student will not receive financial aid. The responsibility of tuition and fees belongs to the student.

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.

An academic plan may extend more than one semester. While on an academic plan, the student is eligible to receive financial aid. However, if the student fails or withdraws while on an 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.

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 or the terms of the academic plan to maintain financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet either of these 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.

Consequences of Denial

Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress lose eligibility for financial aid until they are back in compliance with the policy.

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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