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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations (34 CFR 668.34) require all students receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid funds maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) while in the pursuit of their degree. There are qualitative and quantitative standards in measuring progress, all of which are outlined below. These standards consider cumulative grade point average, attempted and earned credit, and "pace of completion" in determining whether a student maintains aid eligibility. A student's entire academic history is considered, whether or not the student received federal aid. The standards in this document are separate and distinct from the College's Standards of Academic Progress policy administered by the Academic Performance Committee (see the Beloit College Catalog).

For the purposes of federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, student academic records will be reviewed at the end of each payment period (semester) using the standards defined below in order to determine whether the satisfactory academic progress required for continued eligibility has been met.

Three standards are used to measure academic progress for financial aid eligibility:

1. Cumulative Grade Point Average

To retain financial aid eligibility a student must academically progress towards their degree by maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or greater.

2. Completion Rate

The completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of units satisfactorily completed by the number of units attempted. Attempted units are those in which the student is enrolled after the semester add/drop deadline. To retain financial aid eligibility a student must earn 67% or more of the credit units attempted. For example, a student who successfully completes 3 of 4 units attempted has a 75% completion rate and is considered to have met Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid eligibility.

3. Maximum Timeframe

A student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid once s/he has attempted 150% or more of the units required to complete the degree for which the student is currently enrolled. For example, a program requiring 31 units of credit to graduate would allow 46.5 attempted hours (31 x 1.5 = 46.5). The maximum time frame is not increased for changes in major, double majors, or adding a minor in another subject area. Teacher certification is a stand-alone program and will be calculated on its own.

Special Provision for Change in Policy

As of the 2018-2019 award year, the cumulative GPA required to meet satisfactory academic progress is 2.0. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated using this GPA beginning with the 2018 Fall semester. Since this change will affect students who started at Beloit prior to this semester, we will make the following provisions:

  • If a student was in Good Standing based on the previous cumulative GPA requirements, the student will remain in Good Standing until the end of the Fall 2018 semester. At that time, the student will be evaluated based on the new cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  • If a student was on Warning based on the previous cumulative GPA requirements, the student will remain in Warning until the end of the Fall 2018 semester. If at the end of the Fall 2018 semester the student is unable to meet the 2.0 GPA requirement, the student will be placed in a suspended status. When a student is in a suspended status, they may submit an appeal (SAP Appeal). When reviewing a student's appeal, the Financial Aid Office will take the change in GPA requirement into consideration.

Additional Factors

Grades and units considered when evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress:

Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, CR are considered attempted and earned hours. These grades are considered "successfully completed units."

Grades of NC, W, F, U are considered attempted but not earned.

Credit transferred from other institutions is included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.

Grades of I and X are counted as a 0.0 grade and as a unit attempted but not completed until the required work is completed and a grade is given. Once a grade is given, the academic progress will be recalculated based on whether the student has successfully completed the course. NOTE: If the coursework required to complete the course is not received and a grade not assigned within eight weeks of the last final exam day of the semester, the grade equivalent to F will stand for both cumulative GPA and credit completion rate evaluations.

The grade point average includes all courses taken, including repeated courses. Remedial courses are not addressed in this policy because Beloit College does not offer remedial courses.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review

Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester.

Transfer credits converted to units are not taken into consideration for satisfactory academic progress until after receipt of official transcripts.

Warning Status

Warning Status is assigned the semester following when a student fails to meet SAP for GPA, completion rate, or maximum timeframe.

• The student is notified through their email account.

• Warning Status lasts one semester during which a student may continue to receive federal, state and institutional aid.

Suspended Status

If a student is unable to meet SAP at the end of the Warning semester, the student will be placed in a Suspended status for the following semester. The suspended status prevents the student from receiving additional federal, state and institutional aid in any future semester.

Financial Aid Suspension may be appealed to the Office of Financial Aid. The Appeal Process follows below.

The student is notified through their email account.

A student may be removed from Suspended Status after successfully appealing or meeting SAP in a subsequent semester, at which point the student will be eligible for all aid programs.

Probation Status

If a student who is in Suspended Status successfully appeals, the student will be placed in Probation Status for the following semester.

Federal, state and institutional aid may be received for one payment period while on Probation. To regain eligibility after that, the student must meet SAP or the requirements of the approved individual academic plan.

Appeal Process

The loss of financial aid eligibility may be appealed if extenuating circumstances interfered with the student's ability to meet satisfactory academic progress. To appeal the loss of financial aid, submit the SAP Appeal Form explaining the extenuating circumstances that impacted the student's ability to make academic progress and provide supporting documentation.

When it is impossible for a student to meet the SAP requirements by the end of the following semester, an academic plan will be requested. The plan must include a timeline to demonstrate when the student will be able to meet the academic requirements to be in good standing. This plan is developed with the Dean of Students Office or the Registrar, and/or their Academic Advisor(s) in consultation with the Office of Financial Aid.

Appeals of financial aid termination must be received by the Office of Financial Aid no later than two weeks before the start of the semester in which aid is being requested.

Extenuating circumstances include:

• Prolonged illness, medical condition, or injury to student or immediate family member.

• Death of an immediate family member

• Significant trauma in the student's life that has impaired the student's emotional and/or physical health

• Unforeseen and/or extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control

The letter must include the following information:

• The circumstances and how the circumstances affected academic performance.

• Include dates and time periods involved.

• Explain how the situation has changed and the steps you are taking to resolve the circumstances and improve your academic performance.

Documentation may include:

• Physician' letters and hospital records (must include dates of illness and recovery time).

• Death certificate or obituary.

• Court or police documents.

• Letters from third party professionals on official letterhead.

Students who have exceeded the maximum time frame must include additional information:

• Explain why you were unable to complete your program within the Timeframe allowed for your degree.

• An academic plan that includes the number of hours needed to complete your current degree and your intended graduation date.

• A copy of your degree plan listing all remaining classes needed to graduate is required. It must be approved and signed by the student's advisor and the Registrar.

Appeal Decisions

Appeals cannot be reviewed until all required documentation has been submitted.

All appeal decisions are final and affect the student's eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

The student's academic advisor, the Registrar and the Dean of Students office will be advised of the decision.

Appeals are only approved for one semester at a time.

Academic Plans are reviewed each semester.

If student is progressing according to the Plan, a new appeal is not required.

If an appeal is approved, financial aid will be awarded on a probationary basis for an additional semester.

Terms and conditions of appeal approval will be included in the decision notice.

Notification of the decision will be sent to the student's email account.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Students whose financial aid was terminated due to lack of satisfactory academic progress may choose to enroll without the benefit of financial aid. If standards are met, federal, state, and institutional financial aid eligibility is restored for subsequent terms of enrollment. Please consult with the financial aid office if there are questions about this policy, the appeal process, or reinstatement of financial aid eligibility. Taking a vacation term or transferring in credit from a different institution is not sufficient to regain financial aid eligibility.