Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

 San Juan College

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


Federal regulations require San Juan College (SJC) to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for student financial aid recipients.  The SAP standards measure a student’s performance in all terms of enrollment, including terms in which the student did not receive financial aid.

The following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is effective beginning with the evaluation after the spring 2012 semester.  All students will be evaluated on the basis of this policy at the end of each semester.  All terms are reviewed, including periods in which the student did not receive financial aid.

 
SAP Standards

1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Standard

A student is required to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, which is calculated by dividing total number of grade points earned by the total credits attempted for courses with grades of A, B, C, D, F, or X.

Federal regulations make no provision for academic amnesty (administrative withdrawals).  If a student’s prior coursework was given special treatment under SJC’s provisions for Academic Renewal, the student’s cumulative GPA must be calculated based on the inclusion of all courses attempted at SJC.  If the student does not have/maintain a 2.0 GPA, the student must appeal to the Financial Aid Office for special consideration.  

At the conclusion of a semester (fall, spring, summer) if the student does not have a 2.0 cumulative GPA, the student will be placed on SAP warning and will be eligible for financial aid during the warning period.  At the next SAP measurement (the end of the following semester) if the student’s cumulative GPA remains below cumulative 2.0, the student will be placed on SAP Suspension and will be ineligible for aid.  Students who have previously been on suspension or warning will be placed on suspension if not meeting the 2.0 requirement when the SAP review is conducted.

The student may appeal the SAP status for extenuating circumstances.  See the definition of appeal procedures, extenuating circumstances, and appeal decisions below. 

Reinstatement will only be allowed upon an approved appeal (see appeal process below) or successfully meeting SAP Standards while attending school without financial aid assistance from SJC.  If the appeal was denied, students may appeal again following successful completion of one semester of full-time (12 credits) enrollment or two consecutive semesters of at least half-time (6 credits) enrollment. Successful completion requires a passing grade or accepted earned transfer credit in the course(s) as required for the eligible certificate or degree program.  Enrolled courses must be required for the student’s stated eligible program of study or a required pre-requisite or required developmental course.

 
2.  Cumulative Completion Rate Standard

A student must successfully complete SJC credits equal to at least 67% of the total cumulative SJC credits attempted and accepted transfer credits to be making satisfactory academic progress.  A student earning less than 67% after the student’s FIRST review will be placed on SAP warning and still be eligible to receive financial aid for the following term. All SJC coursework and accepted transfer credits will be treated as attempted credits, including developmental credits.

If, at the next SAP measurement the student’s completion rate remains below 67%, the student will be placed (or remain) on SAP suspension.

The student may appeal the SAP status for extenuating circumstances.  See the definition of appeal procedures, extenuating circumstances, and appeal decisions below.

In addition, students that ONLY enroll in developmental courses and withdraw from all enrolled developmental courses in consecutive semesters will be reviewed independently and be placed on financial aid suspension for failing to complete developmental courses.

Reinstatement will only be allowed upon an approved appeal (see appeal process below) or successfully meeting SAP Standards while attending school without financial aid assistance from SJC.  If the appeal was denied, students may appeal again following successful completion of one semester of full-time (12 credits) enrollment or two consecutive semesters of at least half-time (6 credits) enrollment. Successful completion requires a passing grade or accepted transfer credit in the course(s) as required for the eligible certificate or degree program.  Enrolled courses must be required for the student’s stated eligible program of study or a required pre-requisite or required developmental course.

3.  Maximum Time Frame Standard

A program of study must be completed within 150% of the number of credit hours required for degree graduation or eligible certificate completion to maintain aid eligibility.  The 150% is measured on the basis of SJC credits attempted, regardless of program, and transfer attempted credits.  For instance, if an associate degree program requires 64 credits for graduation, it must be completed within 96 attempted credits. (64 credits x 1.5 = 96 credits)  Because programs’ credit hour requirements vary, students should review the SJC Catalog for the precise number of credits required for a program then multiply the figure by 1.5. 

If the number of attempted credits exceeds 150% of the active program’s requirement for graduation/completion, the student will be placed on SAP Suspension.  (Note: there is no warning status for this standard.)  All SJC coursework and accepted transfer credits will be treated as attempted credits, including developmental credits.

The student may appeal based on extenuating circumstances.  See the definition of appeal procedures, extenuating circumstances, and appeal decisions below.  A change of major/program/certificate may be provided as a reason during an appeal but previous aid accepted and the number and timing of changes of major will be taken under consideration during an appeal review. 

  1. Students may not receive aid for more than 30 attempted or completed credits of developmental courses. Developmental courses typically include math, reading and English courses.
  2. Students must only take courses that fulfill graduation requirements.  Follow the degree or certificate plan closely and regularly communicate with an academic advisor each term.  Failure to do so could jeopardize financial aid eligibility.
  3. If on an academic plan probation status (see below) students MUST maintain the requirements of the approved academic plan.  Failure to do so will result in suspension of financial aid eligibility with a new appeal may not be accepted.   
  4. Financial aid eligibility and/or appeals are not applicable to those students taking classes while ‘waiting’ to get into another program or school.
  5. Students under a Maximum Time Frame probation cannot change majors in the midst of the probation period or academic plan. 
  6. Students are only eligible for financial aid at SJC while pursuing an eligible degree or certificate program.  Students are limited to financial aid eligibility for no more than two (2) Associate Degrees or combination equaling a total of three (3) eligible certificate and degree programs if a separate certificate has been earned.  (Separate certificate meaning one not associated with the current or previously earned degree program.)  Students may attend and earn additional degrees or certificates beyond the limits stated above but will not be eligible for financial aid programs.

  

SAP Status Definitions

Financial Aid Eligible -    The student is meeting all SAP standards and eligible to receive financial aid.

Financial Aid Warning -  The student is failing one or more SAP Standards but is eligible for one semester of aid without an appeal.  Recipients are placed on financial aid warning when they fail to meet the GPA and/or the completion rate standards.  Students will receive financial aid during the warning term.  Students must meet ALL cumulative standards by the end of the warning term or have financial aid eligibility suspended.

Financial Aid Suspension - Students are suspended from receiving financial aid if they do not meet the GPA or Cumulative Completion Rate by the end of the warning term.  Students are also placed on suspension for failing to complete their program by the established Maximum Time Frame.  Students on financial aid suspension will not receive any form of financial aid (grants, loans, work-study, etc.).  Financial aid eligibility may be reinstated once all standards are met.  The financial aid suspension affects only financial aid and does not prevent a student from enrolling and paying for classes on their own.

Financial Aid Probation or Academic Plan Probation - The student was on suspension but successfully appealed the initial status.  Students on probation may recieve aid for one semester.  After completion of one semester the student will be re-evaluated.  See Appeal decisions for more information on probation.

Appeal Procedures

A student may appeal the suspension of financial aid eligibility based on extenuating circumstances (see definition of extenuating circumstances below).  A Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form is available from the Financial Aid Office and on the financial aid website.  If a student wishes to appeal, submit the appeal form and all required documentation directly to the Financial Aid Office.  Appeals should be made in a timely manner, but no later than the appeal deadline announced by the Financial Aid Office for each term. Unless otherwise specified, the deadline is 5 calendar days from the start of the semester.

Appeal reviews will take into account prior appeals submitted and approved; the thoroughness of documentation; GPA; completion rate; length of time until the program is complete; changes of major; resolution of all extenuating circumstances and an explanation of all semesters in which the student failed to meet standards.

Appeals are reviewed in the financial aid office by a committee generally made up of three members of the financial aid staff.  Students will be notified of the appeal decision within 3-4 weeks of submission.  (Review and response time is dependent on the number and punctuality of the appeals submitted.)  All appeal decisions are final. 

Student responsibilities:

  1. Students on suspension and awaiting an appeal decision are responsible for arranging payment for classes.
  2. As part of any appeal, students must explain “why they failed to meet SAP standards” and “what has changed about their stated reason that will ensure it won’t be a problem again and the student will be able to meet requirements.”
  3. Students MUST be following and taking classes from their chosen degree plan.  (Students must be registered in the proper academic program with the Admissions and Records Office & following the course requirements as outlined in the catalog.)
  4. Students are responsible for the completeness of their appeal.  Appeal requests may be denied because the application is incomplete, there is not enough or adequate documentation to support the reason for the appeal, or the student fails to explain how the problem has been fixed.
  5. Students may be required to complete an Academic Success Plan in cases where a single semester of probation will not be sufficient to meet SAP standards.  Upon initial review of the appeal the financial aid staff will determine if the Academic Success Plan is required and send a request to the student to have one completed.  The plan will have to be developed in conjunction with an approved SJC advisor.  Upon completion the plan will be joined with the original appeal documents and reviewed.   

Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are situations beyond the student’s control and created an undue hardship that caused the student’s inability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. 

Examples of extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to death of an immediate family relative, divorce, injury, or illness. Documentation must be provided.

The following reasons may NOT qualify as extenuating circumstances: the difficulty of a course; the teaching method or dislike of an instructor; promises to perform better in the future; immaturity or “didn’t know better;” the length of time since last attended; changing majors; and dropping a course to avoid a bad grade.

Appeal Decisions

All decisions are final and written notification of the decision will be delivered to the student.  Appeals will be one of the following: 

1.   Financial Aid Probation     An approved appeal places the student on Financial Aid Probation.   The probation period is one term only and students MUST meet SAP standards at the conclusion of the probation term.  Student’s progress will be reviewed at the conclusion of the assigned semester.

Failure to meet requirements will result in immediate cancellation of aid eligibility and future appeals may be denied.

 2.  Financial Aid Academic Plan Probation     This probation is an approved appeal that requires students to not only meet SAP standards but they must adhere to an approved academic plan of their design (with assistance from an academic advisor).  Typically this will be applied to students who require more than one academic term to meet SAP standards or those on Maximum Time Frame and near the conclusion of their program requirements.

Students who do not follow their academic plan will lose eligibility and subsequent appeals may not be considered.  Students who withdraw without extenuating circumstances while on an academic plan will not be allowed to appeal until they have met all SAP requirements.

 3.  Denied.  Denial of the appeal will mean the student is not eligible for financial aid benefits. 

Reinstatement

A student that is not meeting satisfactory progress and has had financial aid suspended due to a low completion rate or GPA may enroll in subsequent semesters at his/her own cost.  Financial Aid eligibility may be reinstated once all satisfactory academic progress minimum standards are met.  Students must notify the office in writing of their intent to use financial aid again.  The Financial Aid Office does not monitor academic progress of students on financial aid suspension.

If an appeal was denied students will only be able to appeal again after successful completion of one semester of full-time (12 credits) enrollment or two consecutive semesters of at least half-time (6 credits) enrollment. Successful completion requires a passing grade in the course(s) as required for the degree program or transfer credit.  Enrolled courses must be required for the student’s stated degree of study or a required pre-requisite or required developmental course.  Successful completion will not result in automatic reinstatement of eligibility as the entire academic history will be taken into account.  Sometimes two, three or more semesters of successful completion are required to meet SAP or appeal standards.  In some cases, students may never regain eligibility at SJC. 

Treatment of Academic Program, Coursework, and Grades

The following items describe the treatment of academic programs, coursework, and grades in the measurement of the SAP standards. 

  1. All attempted coursework is included in the measurement whether or not the student received student aid.
  2. Course credits are treated as attempted credits if a student is enrolled in the credits on the census date of the course’s term. 
  3. All SJC coursework and accepted transfer credit will be treated as attempted credits, including developmental credits. 
  4. Grades of A, B, C, D, S, and CR will be treated as attempted and earned credits that are successfully completed.
  5. Failures (grade of F), failing work when student stops attending (grade of X), official student withdrawal (grade of W), unsatisfactory work (grade of U), administrative withdrawal (grade of AW), no credit earned (grade of NC), re-register (grade of RR), no grade reported (grade of NR), and incompletes (grade of I) are considered credits attempted but not earned. 
  6. Credits from coursework that earns an A, B, C, D, F, or X will be included in the calculation of cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  7. Repeated courses and courses for which the student has been granted academic renewal are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned credits.  (Note: The financial aid SAP policy abides by the College’s academic policies regarding the treatment of repeated courses in the determination of the cumulative GPA.
  8. Audit courses, and a grade of AU, are not considered credits attempted or earned. 
  9. Transfer credits are not counted in the calculation of the cumulative GPA standard, but are included in the calculation of the Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame.  They are counted as both attempted and earned credits.
  10. If a student changes program(s) or certificate(s), the credits from the previous program (s)/certificate(s) will be counted in the attempted and earned credits.  A change of major/program/certificate may be provided as a reason during an appeal but the number and timing of changes will be taken under consideration during an appeal review.

Example of SAP Policy Enforcement

Nancy enrolled at San Juan College and completed fall and spring semesters.  She registered for 12 credit hours in the fall semester and earned a B, C, D, and F.  In the spring semester she enrolled for 15 credit hours but dropped one course before census date and withdrew from another course mid-term.  She earned a C, C, C, and W. 

At the end of spring semester, Nancy would have her SAP status evaluated.  All three of the SAP Standards are evaluated after teachers turn in semester grades.

Her Cumulative Completion Rate was 75%.  That is, dividing the number of earned credits by the number of attempted credits while dropped courses (prior to the established add/drop date) and withdrawn courses (grade of W) are not counted.  The student attempted 24 credit hours and successfully completed 18 for a completion rate of 75% which exceeds the necessary 66% requirement. 

The student has not exceeded Maximum Time Frame for the program.

Nancy would be placed on SAP Warning because her Cumulative GPA was below 2.0.  That is, Nancy earned a cumulative GPA of 1.7 because it took the grades of all courses except the W.  

The student would be placed on SAP Warning for one semester because her cumulative GPA was less than 2.0.  To be making Satisfactory Academic Progress the student must meet all three requirements.  While on SAP warning Nancy is eligible for financial aid.  Following her next enrolled semester her standards would, once again, be evaluated.  If she raised her GPA over 2.0 then she would go off warning and back to eligible status.  If she was not making a 2.0 then she would be placed on SAP suspension and no longer receive aid. 

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San Juan College
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Chart

If your SAP Status is:

Satisfactory

Warning

Suspension

Are you eligible for aid?

Yes

Yes

No


Student will be considered achieving satisfactory progress if all three standards listed below are met:

Will be placed on warning if you are failing or not meeting any one of the standards listed below after one semester.

Will be placed on suspension if you are failing one or more of the standards listed below after a warning period (or, currently on probation).

Cumulative Completion Rate
Measures percentage of cumulative SJC and accepted transfer earned credits divided by SJC and transfer attempted credits.

Satisfactory progress equals completion of 67% or greater of all attempted credits.

Placed on warning if total completion rate is below 67% after the student’s FIRST review. 

Placed on suspension if cumulative completion rate is less than 67% at review after a student has been on warning period (or currently on probation).

 Maximum Time Frame
Measures percentage of total number of attempted SJC credits plus transfer credits divided by credits required to graduate from program of study.

You have taken less than 150% of number of credits required to graduate or complete program.

 

Not Applicable

 

You have attempted more than 150% of the number of credits required to graduate or complete the program. 

Cumulative GPA
Measures cumulative GPA, that is, total credits in which grades affecting GPA have been assigned is divided into the total number of grade points earned.

Your cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.

Placed on warning if the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 after the review period and not currently on warning status.

Placed on suspension if the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 after being on warning period (or currently on probation).

  

Do I need to appeal to reinstate aid eligibility?

 

Appeal is not necessary

 

Appeal is not necessary

Warning period is ONLY one semester.

Yes, you need to appeal if you have special circumstances that prevented you from meeting standards.  An appeal Form is available on the Financial Aid website under “Forms.”

Note: Financial Aid SAP is reviewed at the end of fall, spring, and summer semesters.   Students pursuing a 1-year or less certificate program have their SAP measured each term. Students pursuing a degree program have their SAP measured at the conclusion of each semester.