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Satisfactory Academic Progress

OVERVIEW

An institution must establish a reasonable satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy for determining whether an otherwise eligible student is making satisfactory academic progress in his or her educational program. To be eligible for federal student aid funds, a student must make reasonable satisfactory academic progress toward the attainment of a degree or certificate program. A student’s entire academic history at BGSU (including any transfer or consortium agreement credits and periods during which no federal aid was received) is reviewed to ensure timely progression toward graduation.

Financial aid academic progress is assessed according to qualitative, quantitative and maximum time frame measures that are described within this policy. All measures must be met for continued federal aid eligibility. Students failing to meet any single measure of satisfactory academic policy may request re-consideration through an appeal process. This policy assesses all students equally regardless of enrollment status hours.

Final Program Integrity regulations were published on October 29, 2010 with clarification offered January 2011. In accordance with Program Integrity rule Subpart C, Sec. 668.34, subsection 8(i) Student Financial Aid (SFA) will evaluate SAP annually, place students on probation who are not meeting any one or more of the standard measures for assessment, and require students to fulfill the terms of an Academic Plan to qualify for further Title IV, HEA program funds.

Satisfactory academic progress requires financial aid recipients to do the following:

  1. Be admitted into a degree/certificate seeking program.
  2. Meet minimum cumulative grade point averages.
  3. Satisfactorily complete at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted.
  4. Complete the degree/certificate program within the maximum attempted hours.

PROGRAMS GOVERNED BY THIS POLICY:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS
  • Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Nursing Loans
  • State Scholarship & Grant Programs (Example: Ohio College Opportunity Grant)
  • BGSU Sponsored Scholarship & Grant Programs
  • Private Alternative Loan Programs (Depends on the Lender)
  • BGSU Short Term Emergency Loan Programs

* Eligibility for graduate assistantships and fellowships, as well as dependent or employee fee waivers, are not governed by this policy.

The qualitative measure can be summarized as the cumulative grade point average (GPA) measured once a year at the completion of spring semester or after each approved probationary payment period.   The minimum GPA requirement depends on a student’s academic level i.e., an undergraduate, masters, doctoral student, etc.  Financial aid is suspended if the qualitative measurement is not met and the student will remain ineligible unless the student follows the steps in the SFA appeal process and the appeal is approved, or the student corrects his or her deficiency on their own.

Undergraduate degree students are subjected to the University’s “Unsatisfactory Academic Progress” policy found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Masters degree and doctoral students are subjected to the University’s “Academic Progress” policy found in the Graduate Catalog.

The chart below summarizes the various minimum GPA requirements:

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average

Credit Hours Completed

Required to maintain Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial Aid Eligibility Suspended

1st Baccalaureate degree programs

0-29 credit hours
30-59 credit hours
60-89 credit hours
90 or more hours

 

1.50 GPA or higher
1.70 GPA or higher
1.80 GPA or higher
1.90 GPA or higher

 

0.00 - 1.49 GPA
0.00 - 1.69 GPA
0.00 - 1.79 GPA
0.00 - 1.89 GPA

2nd Baccalaureate degree programs

1.90 GPA or higher

0.00 - 1.89 GPA

Associate degree programs 

0 - 29 credit hours
30 or more hours

 

1.50 GPA or higher
2.00 GPA or higher

 

0.00 - 1.49 GPA
0.00 - 1.99 GPA

2nd Associate degree programs

0 - 29 credit hours
30 or more hours

 

1.50 GPA or higher
2.00 GPA or higher

 

0.00 - 1.49 GPA
0.00 - 1.99 GPA

Certificate programs

Defined by the department 

Defined by the department

2nd Certificate programs

Defined by the department

Defined by the department

* Master’s degree programs including 2nd master’s degree programs

3.00 GPA or higher

0.00 - 2.99 GPA

* Doctoral degree programs including 2nddoctoral degree programs

3.20 GPA or higher

0.00 - 3.19 GPA

Teacher Certification/Education, Licensure, Professional & Associate Renewals

Defined by the department

n/a

Qualifying Graduate Guest Student programs

Defined by the department

Defined by the department

Qualifying Undergraduate Guest Student programs

Defined by the department

Defined by the department

* Graduate students who do not meet the minimum grade point average requirements listed above but whose academic department verifies that they may continue enrollment will be considered to be meeting the minimum cumulative grade point average requirements of this policy.
* Please see Student Financial Aid if you are attempting to attain a 3rd degree/certificate program.

The quantitative measure for all students can be summarized as the total number of credit hours successfully completed divided by the total number of credit hours actually attempted. For example: If a student has attempted to take 50 credit hours but only successfully completed 40 out of those 50 credit hours, the completion rate would be at 80% (40/50 = 80%).  When these measures are applied, federal regulations require that a student’s entire academic history be considered. This includes semesters during which federal aid was not received by the student as well as all applicable transfer hours.

Financial aid recipients must satisfactorily complete at least 67% of all cumulative credit hours attempted. Grades of A, B, C, D, F, W, WF, INC, I, IP, S, U, and NC are considered in the quantitative measure.  Grades of A, B, C, D, IP (for graduate students completing thesis or dissertation), P and S are considered to be satisfactory grades.  All other grades such as F, I, U, WF, W, NC are considered unsatisfactory grades.

Note: Audited classes (letter grade: AUD) are not counted within this policy.  No credit is being offered for an audited class.  Therefore, no financial aid can be provided.

Financial aid is suspended if the quantitative measurement is not met and the student will remain ineligible unless the student follows the steps in the SFA appeal process and the appeal is approved, or the student corrects his or her deficiency on their own.

A student is expected to complete a degree/certificate program within a prescribed time frame. For an undergraduate program the time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in academic years or terms, credit hours attempted, or clock hours completed as determined by the institution.  For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 120 credit hours, the maximum period must not exceed 180 (120 x 1.5) credit hours.

BGSU applies the 150% time frame measure to undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and licensure programs.

Financial aid is suspended if the maximum time frame for a program is exceeded and the student will remain ineligible unless the student follows the steps in the SFA appeal process and the appeal is approved, or the student corrects his or her deficiency on their own.

Maximum Time Frame Credit Hours

Program

Maximum Credit Hours Allowed

1st Baccalaureate degree programs

183 hours

2nd Baccalaureate degree programs

183 hours from 1st degree + 30 additional hours from 2nd degree = 213 hours

Associate degree programs

93 hours

2nd Associate degree programs

93 hours from 1st degree + 93 additional hours from 2nd degree = 186 hours

Certificate programs

48 hours

2nd Certificate programs

48 hours from 1st certificate + 48 additional hours from 2nd certificate = 96 hours

Master’s degree programs 

48 hours

2nd Master’s degree programs

48 hours from 1st degree + 48 additional hours from 2nd degree = 96 hours

Doctoral degree programs 

120 hours

2nd Doctoral degree programs

120 hours from 1st degree + 120 additional hours from 2nd degree = 240 hours

Teacher Certification/Education, Licensure, Professional & Associate Renewals

183 hours from 1st undergraduate degree + 285 additional certification/renewal = 468 hours

Qualifying Graduate Guest
Qualifying Undergraduate Guest

9 hours
23 hours

* Please see Student Financial Aid if you are attempting to attain a 3rd degree/certificate program.

The above limits were based on averages for the University’s certificate and degree programs. When a specific financial aid program has a more limited time frame (example: scholarship programs, athletic grants, etc) individual aid program limits will take precedence when considering continued eligibility for that aid source. Transfer hours and any repeated credit hours shall be included when determining total hours attempted.

Academic Forgiveness

Any credit hours and/or GPA associated with a student’s academic forgiveness, granted in accordance with University policy, shall be considered when determining a student’s satisfactory progress. However, it is the student’s responsibility to provide written notification to Student Financial Aid regarding the granting of academic forgiveness.

Monitoring Intervals

Satisfactory academic progress shall be monitored annually at the conclusion of each spring semester or at the time the student is applying for financial assistance (completing the FAFSA). If a student is placed on probation as a result of appealing their SAP status, their progress will be re-evaluated after one payment period. If a student is academically suspended between monitoring periods, the student’s eligibility for financial aid will also be suspended and must be reassessed at the time the student is readmitted to the University.

Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program (PSEOP)

Course credit taken under a PSEOP program, or equivalent program, must be counted within the quantitative and maximum time frame measures of this policy. If the PSEOP classes were taken at BGSU, the PSEOP GPA will also be counted within the qualitative component of this policy. If the PSEOP classes were taken at a school other than BGSU, the GPA will not transfer to BGSU and the PSEOP GPA is not included within the qualitative component of this policy.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

Periods of non-enrollment or paying for school at his or own expense, does not automatically qualify a student to receive financial aid again in a subsequent semester. Eligibility may be regained by eliminating all satisfactory progress deficiencies at the student’s expense until all requirements of this policy are met or by appealing his or her satisfactory academic progress status and the appeal is approved.

Remedial Coursework

Remedial coursework credits are included within this policy. Students may only take up to 30 credit hours of remedial coursework. Remedial coursework is graded on an S /U basis and does not count as letter-graded hours. Therefore, remedial coursework is not considered in the qualitative measure. Remedial coursework is, however, included in the quantitative and maximum time frame measures.

Repeated Courses

A student may receive Title IV funds for repeated coursework previously taken in a program but may not include more than one repetition of a previously passed course, or any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student’s failing other coursework.

All retake registration hours will be counted in the quantitative and maximum time frame measures.

Withdrawing from Classes

As previously stated, the entire academic history is reviewed to ensure reasonable progress toward graduation. W and WF grades are included in the quantitative measurement of this policy. The more classes a student withdraws from, the more likely the chances of not completing 67% of all hours attempted. An example of how a grade of WF can affect a student’s progress follows:

Fall semester a freshman student receives the following grades:

Math 3 credits Grade = A
English 3 credits Grade = B
Psychology 3 credits Grade = C
Art 3 credits Grade = B

This student has successfully completed 12 credit hours and attempted 12 credit hours. 12/12 = 100% successful completion rate fall semester.

Spring semester the same freshman student receives the following grades:

History 3 credits Grade = A
Political Science 3 credits Grade = WF
Geography 3 credits Grade = WF
Astronomy 3 credits Grade = WF
Statistics 3 credits Grade = WF

This student has only successfully completed 3 credit hours and attempted 15 credit hours. 3/15 = 20% successful completion rate spring semester.

However, the total academic history for a student is reviewed: Total credit hours completed fall & spring divided by the total credit hours attempted fall & spring in this example:  15/27 = 55%. In this example, this student would not be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy because the quantitative measure of 67% is not being met. This student is not progressing toward graduation in a reasonable time frame and financial aid will be suspended. The student will remain ineligible unless the student follows the steps in the SFA appeal process and the appeal is approved, or the student corrects their deficiency at their own expense.

If a student is not maintaining financial aid satisfactory academic (SAP) progress at the end of spring semester the student is considered to be ineligible for Title IV, HEA program funds. A student may follow the appeal process for mitigating circumstances as defined in the 2010-2011 Federal Student Aid Handbook, V, 1, Student Eligibility, pg. 12. Mitigating circumstances may include, among other things, the student being ill, employed full-time, or death or illness of a family member. An approved appeal will result in the assignment of an Academic Plan as outlined by Student Financial Aid. Upon acceptance of a signed Satisfactory Academic Progress Academic Plan, the student will be placed in a probationary status and will be eligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for one payment period.

When it has been determined a student has failed to meet any one or more measures of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended. A checklist indicating the student is not maintaining SAP will be created on the student’s “To Do List” in the Student Services Center, and a notification will be sent to the student. The “To Do List” and notification will direct the student to an on-line appeal. Appeals may be submitted if there are mitigating circumstances that warrant a student to continue to receive Title IV during a probationary payment period. First and second appeals and any supporting documentation will be reviewed by SFA counselors. Third appeals will be reviewed by a SAP committee. A successful appeal will result in the assignment of an Academic Plan as outlined by SFA and a probation period of eligibility lasting one payment period. All appeals must contain information regarding why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation. SFA reserves the right to request documentation to verify the mitigating circumstances described in an appeal. The burden of proof is upon the student to substantiate claims for not meeting the requirements set forth within the policy. SFA has defined, and will assign, Academic Plans that will require the following criteria in order for a student to gain eligibility:

FIRST CITATION – NOT MEETING SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

If an appeal is approved, a Satisfactory Academic Progress Academic Plan will be outlined between the student and SFA and may include:

  1. Expected GPA to accomplish by the end of the probationary payment period
  2. Expected number of credit hours to complete by the end of the probationary payment period
  3. The maximum number of additional credit hours allowed as indicated on Academic Advisor Certification Form (for Maximum Timeframe citations)
  4. Required visits to the Learning Commons as determined by the SFA counselor or advisor.

If the appeal is not approved, that decision is conclusive. The student's eligibility for financial aid would remain suspended at BGSU. A student could regain eligibility for aid by completing courses and bringing their academic record into good standing according to the qualitative and/or quantitative standards outlined above.

SECOND CITATION – NOT MEETING TERMS OF ACADEMIC PLAN

A second appeal may be submitted by the student. If the appeal is approved, a revised Academic Plan will be outlined between the student and SFA and may include:

  1. Expected GPA to accomplish by the end of the probationary payment period
  2. Expected number of credit hours to complete by the end of the probationary payment period
  3. The number of additional credit hours allowed as indicated on Academic Advisor Certification Form (for Maximum Timeframe citations)
  4. Required visits to the Learning Commons as determined by the SFA counselor or advisor.

If the appeal is not approved, that decision is conclusive. The student's eligibility for financial aid would remain suspended at BGSU. A student could regain eligibility for aid by completing courses and bringing their academic record into good standing according to the qualitative and/or quantitative standards outlined above.

THIRD CITATION – NOT MEETING TERMS OF ACADEMIC PLAN

The student may submit a third appeal, which will be reviewed by a SAP Committee. If the appeal is approved, a final Academic Plan will be outlined between the student and SFA and may include:

  1. Expected GPA to accomplish by the end of the probationary payment period
  2. Expected number of credit hours to complete by the end of the probationary payment period
  3. The number of additional credit hours allowed as indicated on Academic Advisor Certification Form (for Maximum Timeframe citations)
  4. Required visits to the Learning Commons as determined by the SAP Committee or advisor.

If the appeal is not approved, that decision is conclusive. The student's eligibility for financial aid would remain suspended at BGSU. A student could regain eligibility for aid by completing courses and bringing their academic record into good standing according to the qualitative and/or quantitative standards outlined above.

Appeal Committee

Students not maintaining the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for a third time will be reviewed by an appeals committee, if the student elects to appeal. The appeals committee has the final authority to determine if financial aid will be extended or denied to a student. The decision of this committee is conclusive and cannot be appealed. The committee will respond to the student in writing of their decision. The student will not meet with the appeals committee. All correspondence will be conducted in writing by mail.

Appeal Deadlines

Appeals must be submitted by the following dates to be considered for eligibility for that semester.
    Summer:  July 1
    Fall:  October 1
    Spring:  March 1
SFA has the final authority to determine if financial aid will be extended or denied to a student. Decisions made by an SFA counselor or the SFA committee are conclusive and cannot be appealed.

Students will receive a response in writing by mail of the appeal decision.

Policy revised: May 7, 2012

If you wish to appeal your satisfactory academic progress status, based on the above policy, please use the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.