Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Financial aid recipients are required to be in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward their degree requirements. SAP is the term used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for student financial aid. Federal regulations require the SU Financial Aid Office to establish, publish, and apply standards to monitor a student’s progress towards a degree. Satisfactory academic progress, as described below, is evaluated annually (end of the spring semester) and cumulatively by the Financial Aid Office regardless of whether financial aid was received at the time. Progress is determined quantitatively (credit hours versus hours earned and maximum time frame) and qualitatively (grade point average). Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress may result in the suspension of financial aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will notify students who do not meet the satisfactory academic progress by mail and by email to their University email account.

SAP for financial aid eligibility should not be confused with the University's academic progress policy. These are two distinct and totally separate policies. It is entirely possible to fail to meet minimum standards of one policy and pass the minimum standard of the other.

Quantitative standard: Undergraduate students receiving financial aid must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and make steady progress toward the completion of their degree as listed below. The maximum time frame for program completion of a degree program is defined as 150% of the credits required to complete the degree. For example, a typical bachelor's degree at Stevenson University requires 120 credits: 120 x 150% = 180. Therefore, 180 credits is the maximum that can be attempted and receive financial aid.

Students must complete a minimum of 67% of the cumulative courses attempted to remain eligible. Transfer credits accepted by Stevenson University will be included in the progress completion requirement as well as in the maximum attempted credits. Please note, students must graduate with a cumulative 2.00 grade point average.

Credits passed/credits attempted = % completed

Attempted credits include the following:

  • Graded credits (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, FX, P)
  • Incomplete grades (I)
  • Withdrawn credits (W, WF)
  • Repeat courses (if taken to replace failing grades)
  • Audited courses
  • Transfer credits
  • Remedial courses may be taken up to a maximum of 24 credits only

Qualitative standard: A student must have a minimum grade point average for specific numbers of credits attempted.

  • 1-18.5 credits attempted 1.5 minimum grade point average
  • 19-29.5 credits attempted 1.9 minimum grade point average
  • 30+ credits attempted 2.0 minimum grade point average

Financial Aid Suspension: Students who fail to meet all of the minimum standards listed above at the time of review, will have their financial aid eligibility suspended. Students who have been suspended cannot merely skip a semester to regain eligibility. No financial aid will be disbursed during subsequent semesters for students on suspension. There are two ways for a student to regain eligibility:

  • The student submits a written appeal in accordance with the appeals process and the Financial Aid Appeals Committee approves the appeal. The student is then placed on financial aid probation, allowing one additional semester in order to bring the academic requirements up to minimum standards.
  • The student attends SU during the suspension semester, pays for tuition and fees without the help of financial aid, and does well enough to satisfy all SAP academic standards.

Appeals Process: Appeals of financial aid SAP suspension must be made in writing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. This committee will review the appeal and notify the student in writing of their decision.

The appeal letter must address the extenuating circumstance(s) as to why satisfactory academic progress was not made, and what has changed in the student's situation that would allow him or her to now demonstrate satisfactory progress after the probation semester. Extenuating circumstances can include, but are not limited to, illness, death of a family member, family difficulties, financial difficulties, etc. In addition, students must meet with a staff member from SU Academic Advising to create an academic plan. This plan must also be presented with the appeals letter.

If the appeal is approved, the student will be reinstated for financial aid on probation for one semester. The student's academic performance in that semester will be reviewed to determine the status for the upcoming semester. Only if the student is now meeting the overall requirements for SAP or successfully following the academic plan, will the student be permitted aid for the upcoming semester.

Potential Outcomes:

  • Students who now meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines will have their eligibility reinstated.
  • Students who fail to meet all conditions set in their academic plan will forfeit their eligibility to receive further financial aid. They can apply to be reinstated once they meet the University's standards. Students who have been given a second chance to receive aid are expected to meet all requirements set forth in their academic plan. Appeals will only be accepted from students who experienced a one-time, unexpected, serious event that precluded them from meeting the conditions of the academic plan.
  • Students who met all the conditions of their academic plan but still do not meet the University's regular academic standards may be allowed to continue with financial aid. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee may make changes to the student's original academic plan based on any changes in the student's situation. Students who meet all conditions of their current academic plan will be allowed to continue to participate in the aid programs on a semester by semester basis.