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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that schools monitor the academic progress of each student receiving federal financial assistance and that the school verify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards earning his or her degree. SAP is monitored at the completion of every semester to ensure financial aid recipients are maintaining satisfactory progress in the following two areas:

1. Qualitative Standard (Cumulative Grade Point Average)
2. Quantitative Standard (Maximum Time Frame and Credit Completion Rate)

Qualitative Standard (Cumulative Grade Point Average)
Students must maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average outlined in the chart below to meet the cumulative grade point average requirement. These cumulative grade point average standards are consistent with the academic standards required for graduation.

Credits Attempted* Cumulative GPA
0–26 1.60
27–55 1.80
56–above 2.00

 
According to federal regulation 668.34, students must have a GPA of at least a C (the equivalent of 2.00) after completing their second academic year.

*Included in the credits attempted are accepted transfer credits and all courses attempted at Gordon, which includes withdrawals, incompletes and failed courses.

Quantitative Standard (Maximum Time Frame and Credit Completion Rate)
Federal regulations state that students will not be eligible to receive financial aid once they have attempted more than 150% of the normal credits required for their degree program. At Gordon, students will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid once they have attempted 186 credit hours. To ensure that students will finish their program within this timeframe, Gordon requires that 67% of cumulative credits attempted be completed in order to meet this requirement. A student’s completion percentage is determined by dividing the number of attempted cumulative credit hours by the number of cumulative credit hours that were earned. This figure will be evaluated at the end of each semester.

Important Considerations
The following are considered when evaluating a student's satisfactory academic progress:

  • Withdrawals, incompletes and failures are considered attempted but not earned hours.
  • Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  • Satisfactory grades received for satisfactory / unsatisfactory courses are considered attempted and earned credits; unsatisfactory grades in satisfactory / unsatisfactory courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  • All repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
  • Transfer credits accepted by Gordon College are included in the credit completion rate and maximum time frame calculations, but not the GPA.

What Happens if I Do Not Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress?

At the end of each semester, Student Financial Services will review each student's academic progress to determine if they meet the criteria outlined above. The first time a student fails to meet the SAP criteria, they will be on financial warning. If that student fails to meet SAP criteria for a subsequent semester, they will lose their Title IV eligibility.

Financial Aid Warning
A student who fails to meet the prescribed minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester attended. During the semester the student on Financial Aid Warning is eligible to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid. At the end of the Financial Aid Warning semester, the student must meet satisfactory academic progress standards, otherwise the eligibility to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid will be lost for the following semester.

Appeals
Students who are not meeting the satisfactory academic progress after the Financial Warning semester may appeal to have their situation reviewed by Student Financial Services. Approval of a student’s financial aid appeal will be based on extenuating circumstances outside the normal school activities that had an impact on the student’s ability to achieve the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress. The appeal must be submitted in writing by the student to the Student Financial Services Office and include:

  • Why the student failed to meet satisfactory academic progress.
  • What has changed that will allow the student to achieve the standards of satisfactory academic progress.

Financial Aid Probation
If the appeal is approved, the student will be notified and placed on Financial Aid Probation. This provides the student with one additional semester of financial aid eligibility in which to regain compliance with satisfactory progress standards. Alternatively, an appeal may be conditionally approved, with the requirement that the student have an academic plan in place. If SAP is not met after the probationary semester, or the academic plan is not followed, the student loses eligibility of receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

Regaining Eligibility
Students whose appeals have not been approved may regain eligibility for aid when they reach the minimum standards of satisfactory progress. Students may continue to attend courses at Gordon College without the assistance of federal, state, and institutional financial aid. In addition, students may be able to attend classes elsewhere in order to demonstrate eligibility for the reconsideration of aid. Students are determined to be eligible for funds when they have satisfied the minimum standards of satisfactory progress.