Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements
For Financial Aid Recipients
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients Policy
Federal regulations, HEA Sec. 484(c), §668.16, 668.34, require all schools participating in Title IV federal financial aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy that conforms to the requirements detailed below. These requirements apply to all students as one determinant of eligibility for financial aid.
•Your SAP status is based on your entire academic record, at all schools attended (includes all transferrable hours), regardless of whether you received financial aid.
•SAP is calculated each semester after grades have been posted to academic history by the Registrar’s Office.
•If after the first term of attendance you are not making SAP, you will be put on a Warning status and allowed to keep aid for one term. Your continued eligibility will be determined after the next term checkpoint.
•If your SAP status is Failure after the check is performed, you will not qualify for financial aid for the following term.
•If your SAP status is Failure and you cannot mathematically attain SAP requirements following the next term, an appeal will not be permissible. Documented mitigating circumstances may allow continued eligibility on a case-by-case basis and will require an academic plan.
•A student may appeal their SAP Failure status only twice during their academic career at KSU. Documented mitigating circumstances may allow additional appeals on a case-by-case basis.
Quantitative and Qualitative Requirements
1.Quantitative Requirement – The quantitative requirement has two parts:
◦A maximum time frame
◦A required completion ratio
Maximum time frame (maximum attempted credit hours) – You must earn your degree before reaching 185 attempted credit hours, which includes transferrable credits attempted at any school prior to and while enrolled at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU). Students who are seeking a second undergraduate degree different from their first degree may be granted additional hours to complete the second degree requirements. Note “Determining Maximum Time Frame” below.
Once you reach the maximum attempted credit hours, you are no longer eligible for financial aid as an undergraduate student. Federal regulations stipulate that the maximum time frame for an undergraduate student cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the academic program.
Completion Ratio – You must complete and pass at least 67% of all credit hours you attempted. Courses earned include grades of A, B, C, D, or S. Courses attempted include any course in which grades of A, B, C, D, F, W, WF, I, S, U or IP are given.
Maximum time frame – To determine the maximum time frame, multiply the total hours required for the degree by 150%. As an example, if the program required 33 hrs. x 150% = 50hrs. This includes credits attempted at any school prior to and while enrolled at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU).
Completion Ratio – You must earn at least 67% of all attempted credit hours.
2.Qualitative Requirement – The qualitative requirements sets a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average for all students. Each student must maintain a 2.00 GPA each term to remain in good academic standing at SPSU. The cumulative GPA includes grades of A, B, C, D, F, WF and I. The cumulative GPA, which is determined by the Registrar’s Office processes, will be checked each term for SAP.
◦Undergraduate Students – The cumulative GPA requirement is 2.00 for each term.
◦Graduate Students – The cumulative GPA requirement is 3.00 for each term.
When is SAP determined?
•Initial Review – You are considered to be meeting SAP during your first SPSU term.
•End of Every Semester Review- Your SAP status is calculated at the end of each semester, after grades are posted to your academic history by the Registrar’s Office.
What happens when you do not meet the requirements?
•You are no longer eligible for financial aid – including work study, loans, grants or scholarships. If you're on a Warning Status – eligibility may continue (note below).
•Because you do not qualify for financial aid, you must pay your tuition and fees by the payment deadline or your registration will be cancelled by the Bursar’s Office.
Maximum Time Frame (maximum attempted credit hours) – When you have attempted the maximum credit hours, you are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.
Is there extended eligibility for a 2nd bachelor’s degree? – Yes. You may attempt a total of 150% of the hours needed to complete your first degree plus 60 additional hours. The standard is 123 x 150% = 185 + 60 = 245 attempted hours.
Low Completion Ratio – There are two statuses for low completion ratio before your
eligibility for financial aid is cancelled. Probation status is only allowed for one
•Warning Status – The first time you fall short of meeting the required completion ratio, your status is Warning. You remain eligible to receive financial aid while in warning status.
•Failure Status – After attending one semester on Warning status, if you do not meet the required completion ratio, your status becomes Failure Status. You are no longer eligible to receive financial aid until the required standards are met. You must successfully appeal to regain eligibility.
•Probation Status – After being placed on a Failure Status, AND a student has successfully appealed and financial aid has been reinstated, the student is eligible to receive financial aid. This status is only for one term and quite often will carry conditions and/or stipulations for continued eligibility.
How do you regain eligibility?
•SAP Appeal – If extenuating circumstances during a specific term of enrollment prevented you from meeting the requirements, you may file a SAP Appeal.
•A typewritten explanation of extenuating circumstances associated with Failure Status. Indicate how these circumstances have changed so that you can comply with regulations in the future. Attach supporting documents to corroborate extenuating circumstances mentioned in the letter.
•Include a “student plan of action” for academic improvement. This requires that you meet with your Academic Advisor and receive a plan for getting back in good academic standing.
•Attach at least one letter of support from someone that can substantiate the extenuating circumstances. This individual should not be a family member. Examples would include a medical doctor, clergy, professional, etc.
•Attach the SAP Appeal form. http://www.spsu.edu/financialaid/satisfactoryprogress/SPSU%20Satisfactory%20Academic%20Progress%20Appeal%20Form.pdf
•The appeal form must be provided to the Financial Aid Office within the prescribed dates as noted on the SAP Appeal Form. Failure to provide these within the prescribed dates will result in a delayed determination.
•An objective committee, composed of selected individuals outside the Financial Aid Office, determines whether the appeal is approved. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final and cannot be appealed further.
Appeal Denials or Non-appeals – If you are denied an appeal or you decide not to appeal, you must complete the necessary hours and earn the appropriate grades. Once you have reached the prescribed standards you become eligible to receive financial aid.
You change from undergraduate to graduate – If you reach Failure Status as an undergraduate, and then are admitted to a graduate degree program, you will be eligible to receive financial aid as a graduate student. You must be in a degree-seeking status and fully accepted into the graduate program.
Academic Circumstances that Affect Your Status:
•Changes in major, double majors or minors – may cause you to reach your maximum attempted hours, and lose your eligibility before earning a degree.
•Incomplete grades, missing grades, failing grades, course withdrawals – all reduce your completion ratio, because they are counted as attempted, but not earned credits. They also count against your maximum attempted hours.
•Repeated courses – count as attempted credit hours each time you register for them. They also count against the allowed maximum. This can also reduce your completion ratio because repeated credits count as earned credits only once. NOTE: The U. S. Dept. of Education allows only one retake for Title IV credit.
•Academic Fresh Start – count against your maximum attempted credits, and also lower your completion ratio because the credits count as attempted but not earned.
•Transfer credits, credits taken while cross-registered, enrolled in study abroad, transient study – count toward your maximum attempted credits and your completion ratio. NOTE: Credits count as attempted, but not earned, until your official transcript is reviewed and processed by the SPSU Registrar’s Office. This could cause you to be in a Failure Status.
•Remedial courses – count as attempted and earned credits and are included in the GPA calculation.
•Late posted grades or grade changes- Once notification is received from the Registrar's Office of grade changes, the SAP status will be recalculated.
•Dismissal and Return – students who are suspended academically or choose not to attend because of SAP Failure will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon their return. Student must meet both qualitative and quantitative standards of SAP. If below standards, a student must appeal or use means other than financial aid for educational expenses. Absence does not restore eligibility for financial aid. It remains the responsibility of the student to be knowledgeable of their SAP standard when returning to school after dismissal or choosing not to return because of SAP Failure.
•Summer Term Courses – all hours attempted and completed in the summer terms are treated as any other semester hours in determining SAP status. SAP will be checked following the summer term as well.
•Audit Courses – students are not eligible to receive financial aid for audit courses. Audited courses are not included in hours attempted or earned for SAP determination.
Determining Maximum Time Frame:
Undergraduate students maximum time frame is 150% x total number of hours required to complete their degree program. Ex., if a student is a Biology major, and the requirements listing in the catalog require 123 credit hours to complete this program, then a total of 123 hours is required for the degree x 150% = 185 attempted credit hours. The maximum number of hours is therefore 185 attempted hours for this student.
For 2nd BA degree seeking students: The maximum time frame (using the above example) is 245 attempted credit hours or 150% of hours needed to complete the first degree plus 60 additional hours. Ex., 123 x 150% = 185 + 60 = 245.
Graduate & Professional students: To determine the maximum time frame, multiply the total hours required for the degree (i.e., 33) by 150%. For this student, the maximum time frame would be 33 + 17 = 50. Remember: The maximum time frame for graduate students is total hours required for the degree x 150% = maximum time frame.