Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal and state regulations governing student financial aid programs require the college to ensure that each student who is receiving financial aid maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the student's degree.

The SAP check occurs after grades are posted each spring semester. Failure to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress (see Academic Progress) may disqualify a student from additional federal, state and institutional financial aid.

A student may appeal the nonsatisfactory academic progress status and be placed on probation for financial aid purposes.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

To remain eligible for financial aid, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better by the end of the sophomore year (see undergraduate GPA requirement below) or graduate cumulative GPA of 2.67.

  • Two consecutive terms with a GPA of 2.0 or better for undergraduates or a GPA of 2.67 or above in both terms for graduate students.

  • Complete 80 percent of attempted credits -- an "attempted credit" is defined as any credit the student remains enrolled in after the add/drop period, including credits the student withdraws from each term

  • Attempt no more than 150 percent of the credits required to complete an academic program.

Undergraduate GPA Requirement

Undergraduate students are required to have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 by the end of the sophomore year. In order to ensure that a student has a GPA of 2.0 by the end of the sophomore year, the following cumulative GPA is required during the student's first and second years:

0-29 credits completed (1.6 cumulative GPA required)
30-59 credits completed (1.8 cumulative GPA required)
60 + credits completed (2.0 cumulative GPA required)

Maximum Time Frame for Receiving Aid

A student has a limited time frame to complete all degree requirements and remain eligible for financial aid. As defined by federal regulations, the maximum time frame is 150 percent of the published program length for degree completion.

The maximum number of credits a student can attempt in order to complete their program and remain eligible for financial aid.

BA (requires 126 credits) 126 x 150 percent = 189 max attempted credits
BArch (requires 165 credits) 165 x 150 percent = 247 max attempted credits
MFA (requires 60 credits) 60 x 150 percent = 90 max attempted credits

Dual degree and MArch graduate students with varying credits for program completion will have their eligibility determined based on their specific degree requirements.

BA/BFA to BArch

Students who change from the BA or BFA program to the BArch program, or vice versa, will have their maximum time frame for aid eligibility adjusted accordingly.

Students who change majors within a BA/BFA degree program will be required to complete their degree requirements within the time frame defined above to remain eligible for financial aid.

Extensions

While receiving an extension in a course or courses has no adverse effect on a student's overall GPA, note the courses a student receives an extension in count as attempted credits.

These attempted credits will be included in determining whether a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes.

The Financial Aid Office may review the student's academic progress upon completion of the class to determine eligibility for future financial aid on a case-by-case basis.

Course Withdrawal

While withdrawing from courses has no adverse effect on a student's overall GPA, note courses a student withdraws from after the add/drop period count as attempted credits.

These attempted credits will be included in determining whether a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes.

Appeal Process

Students who are not making SAP are considered ineligible to received financial aid. Students may appeal for reconsideration of eligibility for financial aid.

Failure to maintain the minimum GPA or failure to complete 80 percent of credits attempted for establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress may be due to circumstances beyond the student's control.

If such mitigating circumstances can be documented for the specific term(s) when the progress standards were not met, the student may submit a completed SAP Appeal form with all required documentation.

An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously affected the student’s academic performance.

Examples of possible mitigating circumstances are:

  • Extenuating medical circumstances
  • Extenuating personal circumstances
  • Death in the immediate family

To appeal for reconsideration due to significant mitigating circumstances, students must submit the following:

  • SAP Appeal Form
  • A detailed letter explaining the circumstances that caused failure to meet the minimum academic requirements for financial aid
  • Supporting documentation of the circumstances cited, e.g. medical documentation
  • An academic plan approved by your academic advisor demonstrating how you will achieve satisfactory academic progress

Students who have attempted more than 150 percent of the required credits for program completion may also appeal for reconsideration. To appeal due to excessive credits attempted, students must submit the following:

  • SAP Appeal Form
  • A detailed letter explaining the reason for excessive credits attempted
  • An academic plan approved by your academic advisor demonstrating how you will achieve program completion

The Financial Aid SAP Appeal Committee will review the appeals. The committee’s decision will be based on the individual circumstances as detailed on the form, letter of explanation, supporting documentation, and approved academic plan.

If an appeal is approved, students must comply with the academic plan specified on the appeal in order to remain eligible for financial aid in future terms.

Submission of the SAP appeal does not guarantee approval. Students are responsible for payment of their tuition and any late fees they may incur regardless of the appeal process.