Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Marilyn Baker
Angela Karlin
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Crafting your policy and procedures
Best practices
Satisfactory Academic Progress
• Citations
– Federal Regulation §668.42(c)(2)
– FSA Handbook Chapter 1
• Schools and Students have equal responsibility
– Student – Maintains satisfactory progress in the
enrolled program of study according to the schools
published standards
– School – Establish, publish, and apply reasonable
standards for measuring Satisfactory progress in a
student’s educational program
SAP Standards
• Apply to all Title IV programs
• Consistently applied to all students
• Measure SAP at the end of a term that is not
longer than an academic year
• Two cumulative components
– Qualitative (grade-based)
– Quantitative (time-based)
UCM SAP requirements
• Undergraduate
• 180 attempted hours
• 67% completion per year
• Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
• Graduate Students
– 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA
– Maximum hours depend on program hours that
may vary program to program
SAP and Notification
• Measure at the end of the spring semester
• Immediately have aid suspended
• Students with active aid term receive formal
letter with reason for not meeting SAP
• Students without active financial term will be
– What should the letter say?
Crafting your SAP policy/procedures
• Guidance in FSA handbook Chapter 1
– Must specify standards of measurement
– Must explain how course incompletes, repeats,
transfer work and withdrawals will affect the
• Appeal process
– How to appeal, documentation and how the
appeal process works
Missouri Western SAP process
• Undergraduate
• 186 attempted hours
• 67% completion per year
• Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
• Graduate Students
– 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA
– 52 attempted hours
Maximum Time Frame & Alignment
• Misalignment of pace of progression and max
time frame is a frequent audit program review
Degree program requires 124 credit hours
Max time frame is 124 x 150% = 186
The quantitative measure is 124/186 = 67%
Student must earn 67% of credit hours attempted
Pace of progression and maximum time frame are in
• According to the Federal Government, a
student may appeal the loss of eligibility if
he/she had mitigating circumstances beyond
his/her control that affected his/her ability to
meet the minimum SAP standards.
• What is your process?
To Grant appeal or Not to grant?
• What benchmarks do you use?
– Is the reason for the appeal legitimate?
– Has the student had a history of SAP?
– Is the deficiency able to be fixed?
– Other thoughts?
To grant or not to grant?
• Top reasons for denial of appeal
1. Never successfully completed a semester or never earned a
2.50 semester GPA
2. Academic plan is unrealistic
3. Student did not have mitigating circumstances
Internal Appeal Process
• What is the make up of your committee that
reviews appeals?
• Does the group meet on all students or just
the sticky situations?
• Process for review of appeals
What does the committee review?
• Has student shown a practical plan to progress toward
• Has student ever met the criteria that will be required to
continue receiving financial aid on probation?
• Has student’s academic advisor set the student up for
• Did the student have truly mitigating circumstances for
which he/she could not plan, influence, or prevent?
• Has the student planned the quickest path to graduation?
• Decisions are final and not subject to further review.
SAP training for staff/advisors
• Focus on mitigating circumstances in narrative (with
specifics), explaining reasons for failing grades,
withdrawals, incompletes, etc.
• Advise student to ensure academic/graduation plan is
realistic based on his/her academic record (Ex. You have
never completed 15 hours in a semester without dropping
a course or earning a 2.00 GPA so it would be wise to work
out a schedule with your advisor attempting fewer hours
(at least for the next two semester, if not a time-limit
• Advise student to specifically outline how he/she believes
he/she can succeed if we decide to approve appeal. What
resources will he/she utilize to ensure he/she would meet
GPA: 1.79; Comp%: 85%; Att. Hours: 143
• Submitted academic plan for BA in Sociology
• Planning to graduate in two semesters; must earn 3.3
each semester to bring cumulative GPA to minimum
2.00 in order to graduate
• Student has never earned higher than a 3.00, which was
four semesters prior
• “Made mistakes of not working hard enough, diligently
enough, and consistently”
• “My schedule is set and forces me to do homework
without delay”
• “My plan is to concentrate on classes and the work
required from them”
GPA: 2.10; Comp%: 75%; Att. Hours: 190
• Submitted graduation plan for BS in Biology; 7 hours
remaining; needs to earn 4 hours of B’s or two hours of A’s
in 3000+ level BIOL courses to raise major GPA to 2.00
• Has not earned a B or better in a BIOL course since 6
semesters prior; has attempted 19 HIST hours, which do not
apply toward degree (12 in last two terms)
• Last semester: Grandfather died, friend was murdered, mom
was in custody battle for niece; Two semesters ago: sister
died unexpectedly, family dog died; Three semesters ago:
close family friend died; Four semesters ago: another friend
murdered; Five semesters ago: another friend murdered
• Has Federal loan debt of $50,500
• No documentation provided

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