SAP – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Mary Horgan
Assistant Director, University of Michigan – Flint
Val Meyers
Associate Director, Michigan State University
What is “The Good”?
 Easy to locate on your web site
 Includes all information required by regulation
 Written as clearly and simply as possible
 Includes specific guidelines for appeals (if any are
 Forms linked or provided for download
 Charts if they simplify the information
What is “The Bad”?
 Required information missing
 Information unclear, or full of acronyms
 Web pages buried or otherwise hard to find
 Text is too high of a reading level
 Endless clicks are required to find information
What is “The Ugly”?
 Talking down to students
 Language that discourages appeals
 Links are broken or missing
 Forms have not been updated
 Formatting that doesn’t print well
Regulatory Requirements
 To be considered administratively capable, a school
must have a SAP policy that is at least as strict for aid
recipients as for those who are not.
 Basic elements of a SAP policy must include;
 Annual evaluations (can be more often, not less)
 Qualitative component (GPA or similar factor)
 Quantitative component (maximum time frame)
 Completion measure (pace)
Additional requirements
 Effect of remedial courses on SAP
 How SAP is measured if student changes majors or
adds additional degrees
 How incomplete, repeat, and dropped courses are
 Whether appeals are allowed and if so, what the
procedure is for filing an appeal
Good, bad, or ugly?
At the end of each semester, the records of all matriculated
students are reviewed to determine satisfactory academic
progress. A student’s academic standing at XXXX University
is classified in one of five official standings: Good Standing,
Academic Warning, Academic Suspension, or Academic
A student will remain in good academic standing if he/she
demonstrates satisfactory academic progress in accordance
with the standards listed below. Standards by which a
student will be evaluated include progress in increments of
hours completed (quantitative) and cumulative grade point
average earned (qualitative).
Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Federal regulations require the Financial Aid Office to monitor the
academic progress of all students seeking to earn a degree or
certificate. This monitoring process is called Satisfactory
Academic Progress (SAP). Satisfactory Academic Progress is
required of ALL financial aid applicants at XXXX, including those
applicants who have not previously participated in federal aid
programs. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor academic
progress. Although the Financial Aid Office attempts to sent
students correspondence informing them of their status, students
who do not meet the standards will be ineligible for financial aid even
if they do not receive correspondence.
Satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid are
defined as the successful completion of:
 At least 66.67% of all credit classes attempted* AND
 A term financial aid grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher*
 A cumulative financial aid grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or
*While grades of W(withdraw), EX (extension) or IP (In Progress)
have no impact in the academic GPA calculations, these grades are
included in the financial aid GPA calculation and are included as
attempted credits, as required by Federal regulations. Also, classes
that were dropped at the 80% or 60% time-frame are considered
attempted credits.
Repeated Courses
Qualitative Standard: If a course is taken for a
second time, the latest grade will be figured into the
student’s CGPA.
Quantitative Standard: In determining eligibility for
financial aid, each attempt is included in calculating
total hours attempted.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
To be eligible for Federal grants and loans, state grants and
scholarships, institutional scholarships, and Federal and
XXXX student employment funds, a student must meet all
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as set by the
Federal government (HEA Sec. 484(c), 34 CFR 668.16(e) 34
CFR 668.32(f ) 34 CFR 668.34). Satisfactory Academic
Progress (SAP) does not determine a student’s eligibility for
dependent tuition waivers, tuition waivers for students with
disabilities, tuition waivers for senior citizens, or students in
high school who have received a XXXX scholarship.
 Incoming freshmen, graduate students, or
transfer students will be eligible to apply for
financial assistance upon admission to the university
during their initial term.
Presenting Information
Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Examples of cumulative hours completed:
Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Unusual enrollment history
Beginning in the 2013/2014 award year, in the effort to
prevent abuse in the Federal Pell Grant Program, the
Department of Education (DOE) has begun to
identify students with unusual enrollment
Refer to the complete Satisfactory Academic
Progress Policy for details of each requirement.
Good, Bad or Ugly?
 NEW Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
 Política de Progreso Académico Satisfactorio (SAP
en inglés)
Appeal Process
Good, bad, or ugly?
The following circumstances are not considered extenuating
and beyond the student’s control, but based on personal
 Incarceration resulting from a guilty verdict
 Voluntary pause, lapse, or termination of employment
 Voluntary overtime
 Young and irresponsible
Good, bad, or ugly?
Examples of mitigating circumstances
Learning or functional disability
Loss of family member
Change in work schedule or responsibilities
Other unusual event disrupting academic
Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Appeal Process
If a student is on unsatisfactory or termination status he/she may submit
an appeal with supporting documentation for reinstatement of financial
aid eligibility, only if mitigating circumstances exist. Mitigating
circumstances include:
 Serious injury of the student and/or the student’s immediate family
 Serious extended illness of the student and/or the student’s immediate
 Death of student’s relative
Good sample
Bad Sample
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing because I would like to appeal my aid denial from Ivy University for poor academic
performance. I know my grades were not good last semester, but there were a lot of circumstances that
were not my fault. I would like to encourage you to reinstate my aid for next semester.
I work really hard at my schoolwork, and I have since high school. My grades don't always reflect my hard
work, though, and I sometimes get low grades on tests and essays. In my opinion, my math professor was
not clear about what would be on the final, and did not give us notes to study from. His English is also
really bad and made it hard to understand what he was saying. When I emailed him to ask what I made on
the final, he did not reply for several days, and then just told me I should come by to pick up the exam
without emailing me my grade. In my English class, I think the professor just did not like me and several of
the guys in class; she made a lot of sarcastic jokes that were not appropriate. When she told me to take my
essays to the Writing Center, I did, but that just made them worse. I tried to revise them on my own, and I
worked really hard, but she would never give me a higher grade. I don't think anybody made an A in that
If I am allowed to get my aid back for next fall, I will work even harder and maybe get a tutor for the classes
like Spanish that I was struggling with. Also I will try to get more sleep. That was a big factor last semester,
when I was tired all the time and sometimes nodded off in class, even though one reason I didn't get sleep
was because of the amount of homework.
I hope you will give me a second chance.
Brett Undergrad
Ugly Sample
Please complete your
Thank you!

similar documents