Academic Progress Policy
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP) POLICY
To be eligible to receive financial aid, a student must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress as presented in this policy. The student’s entire academic record, whether receiving aid for each term of attendance or not, must be reviewed to determine if a student meets these Satisfactory Academic Progress policy standards. Therefore, final award determinations cannot be made until final official transcripts are received by the admissions office for all transfer credits attempted. This policy is based on requirements set in place by the US Department of Education, the North Carolina Board of Governors and the academic standards of Southeastern Free Will Baptist College. Please note, the financial aid community defines suspension and probation differently than the academic community. Financial aid awarded by the Southeastern Free Will Baptist College Financial Aid Office is affected by this SAP policy. Students with identified learning disabilities would be best served if they make that known to their academic advisor upon initial enrollment in order to be supported from the beginning of their academic career.
Undergraduate GPA (Qualitative Measure) Requirements:
- First and Second year- students must earn a minimum 1.50 Cumulative GPA,
- Third year- students must earn a minimum 1.75 Cumulative GPA,
- Remaining years- students must maintain a minimum 2.00 Cumulative GPA.
Undergraduate Credit Hour Requirements:
- Students must enroll in at least 12 credit hours per semester (or 24 credit hours for the year-Fall/Spring), if amount of aid received is based on full-time enrollment.
- Students must enroll in at least 9 credit hours per semester (or 18 hours for the year-Fall/Spring), if amount of aid received is based on three-quarter-time enrollment.
- Students must enroll in at least 6 credit hours per semester (or 12 hours for the year-Fall/Spring), if amount of aid received is based on half-time enrollment.
- Student must enroll in at least 3 credit hours per semester (or 6 hours for the year-Fall/Spring), if amount of aid received is based on quarter-time enrollment. Enrollment at this level makes a student ineligible for student loans.
Undergraduate Completion Rate (Quantitative Measure) and Maximum Time Frame Requirements:
- Students must earn no less than 68% of the attempted credit hours.
- Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the credit hours normally required to complete the degree program as published in the catalog for all Associates and Bachelors programs.
- At the evaluation point in which it becomes apparent that it is mathematically impossible for the degree to be completed within the maximum time frame the student is no longer eligible at that point.
- The charts below are an example of the minimum progression requirement for most degrees offered at Southeastern Free Will Baptist College. If a student is in a degree program which requires more than the typical amount of earned credits the progression will be calculated accordingly.
Two-Year Certificate Minimum Progression Chart
Bachelor Degree Minimum Progression Chart
Once a student has earned a Bachelor’s Degree they are no longer eligible for federal or state grant aid. They may still receive loans if they have not met the aggregate limit for their enrollment status. However, they must still meet this Satisfactory Academic Progress policy in order to remain eligible.
Grades Used in Determining Satisfactory Academic Progress
Earned Credit Hours:Completed courses with a grade of A, B, C, D, and P will be counted toward Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations as credit hours earned.
Attempted Credit Hours: Grades of A, B, C, D, P, I, W, and F all count toward Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations as credit hours attempted.
Academic Variables That May Affect Your SAP Status
Incomplete grades, missing grades, failing grades, course withdrawals: Courses with these grade designations all reduce a student’s Completion Rate ratio, because they are counted as attempted, but not earned credits. They also count in the calculation of the Maximum Time Frame measure of 150%. Incomplete grades and missing grades will all count as “F” in the GPA calculation at the time of SAP evaluation at the end of each academic year, which may result in a suspension status until the issues are resolved.
Remedial Courses:Initially courses with a “0” level designation are all included in the calculations of GPA and Completion Rate for SAP purposes. As the student establishes an academic record beyond remedial course work, these courses will drop out of the calculation as they do not count toward the graduation GPA. Remedial courses are not included in the Maximum Time Frame calculation for SAP evaluation. A student can be enrolled in up to 30 credit hours of “0” level courses and be considered as enrolled full time for financial aid eligibility, as long they are officially accepted into an aid eligible degree program. Successful completion of remedial courses is required in order to continue with the degree program and maintain financial aid eligibility. Any grade less than a “C” is not considered successful completion for remedial courses.
Transfer Credits: Students who have attended other colleges and universities are required to submit academic transcripts for all previously attempted coursework, even if no credits were earned. These transcripts are to be submitted to the Admissions Office and will be transcripted by the Registrar’s Office as part of the student’s permanent record. Once transfer credits are recorded, the Financial Aid Office will perform a SAP evaluation to determine if the student is eligible for financial aid. For SAP purposes only transferred credits that apply to the
current degree program will be included in the Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame elements of the evaluation.
The exclusion of credits that do not apply to the current degree will be limited to a onetime review upon entering a degree program at Southeastern Free Will Baptist College. Any subsequent degree changes will not warrant a new degree review and all coursework after the initial degree review will count for SAP evaluation. Multiple degree changes may cause a student to reach the Maximum Time Frame limit thus causing them to lose eligibility before earning a degree.
Changes in Major, Double Majors and Minors: Students who change majors will have a SAP evaluation performed at the time of the change. Only previous coursework that applies to the new major will be considered for SAP Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame elements. The exclusion of credits that do not apply to the new degree is limited to a onetime review upon entering the new degree program. Any subsequent degree changes will not warrant a new degree review and all coursework after the initial degree review will count for SAP evaluation. Multiple degree changes may cause a student to reach the Maximum Time Frame limit thus causing them to lose eligibility before earning a degree.
Students who are planning to pursue a double major or pursue a dual degree should carefully plan their academic course work with their academic adviser, to ensure that they remain eligible for financial aid. The best approach is to make sure to complete the requirements for both majors/degrees simultaneously in the same semester. Once the requirements for one major/degree have been satisfied the student will no longer be eligible for grant aid. Loans may still be available if a student has not met their aggregate loan limit.
Probationary Admittance: Students who are accepted conditionally into an eligible degree program due to late submission of documents or test scores or low test scores or low transfer GPAs, will be eligible for financial aid for one semester. At the close of that semester a SAP evaluation will be performed. If at that point, the student has provided the required documentation and/or has proven their ability to receive acceptable grades in their degree program coursework, they will remain eligible for financial aid. For students with low incoming GPAs, they will continue to receive aid in probation status, as long as they are making acceptable progress toward their degree and can reach the required Cumulative GPA within the Maximum Time Frame. If deemed necessary a student may be placed on an academic plan to insure that they achieve the minimum Cumulative GPA in order to graduate within the Maximum Time Frame. If the student is not making progress toward their degree they will be placed on suspension and have the opportunity to appeal.
Repeated Courses: The US Department of Education allows for a previously passed course to be repeated, for the purpose of improving the grade, only once per previously passed course, and have it count as eligible for aid as part of a full time enrollment status. For example, a student enrolled in 12 hours with one 3 credit hour course being a repeat of a previously passed course, would be eligible for aid based on full time status. If that same course is repeated again as part of a subsequent 12 hour semester, the student would only be considered for aid at a three quarter time rate for that semester. For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an “F”. These repeated courses all count as attempted credit hours, each time they are retaken, but only count as earned credits once. Therefore, they will reduce the student’s Completion Rate ratio and count toward the calculation of the Maximum Time Frame measure of150%. If the student withdraws from that repeat course it will not count as the “one” allowed repeat of a previously passed class, but will count as attempted and not earned. Using this option too often may result in failure to meet SAP and Suspension from aid.
Repeating courses that were previously failed will always count as part of a full time enrollment status for aid eligibility and will always count in the calculations for GPA, Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame measure. Having to repeat a high number of courses may result in failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and a suspensions of aid as explained in this policy.
Late Posted Grades or Grade Changes: A student who has appealed for a grade change will be required to submit a written request to have SAP recalculated after it has been confirmed that the Registrar’s Office has posted the approved grade change to their transcript.
Audited Courses: Courses taken as audits never count in the SAP calculations. Also, they do not count toward hours attempted for enrollment status determination.
Second Bachelor’s Degree Students: Students enrolled in a second bachelor’s degree program are required to submit a Credit Summary and letter signed by an academic advisor which states how many hours and (projected) semesters are required to complete the second degree. These students are NOT eligible for Grant aid but may still receive loan funds if they have not reached their aggregate loan limit.
Students Not Eligible for Financial Aid:
- Unclassified or Special non-degree seeking Students
- Correspondence Classes
- High school students taking courses while concurrently enrolled in high school
Suspension, Probation, Reinstatement and Academic Plans
NOTE: Financial Aid suspension and probation are separate and apart from academic probation and suspension as defined by the college academic community.
All applicants for financial aid will undergo a SAP evaluation at the end of each Spring Semester to determine the status of their academic progress. Each student will fall into one of these categories:
1) Good Standing: Status of a student making satisfactory academic progress in all elements of the SAP policy. Student receives financial aid if otherwise eligible according to Department of Ed standards. To maintain Good Standing status a student must meet the minimum GPA and Completion Rate requirements at the end of each Spring Semester according to the policy stated above.
2) Financial Aid Suspension:Status of a student who fails to achieve the minimum GPA and/or Completion Rate elements of this Satisfactory Academic Progress policy or it has been deemed mathematically impossible for the student to earn their degree within the Maximum Time Frame. A student is not eligible to receive any financial aid, including loans, because he or she has failed to meet academic standards.
A student placed on Financial Aid Suspension has the opportunity to appeal the loss of their Financial Aid eligibility. A student placed on Financial Aid Suspension will receive a notification letter sent through their college email account and be offered an opportunity to appeal to the Financial Aid SAP Committee.
Students can initiate the appeals process in the Financial Office by completing and submitting a Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Form and requested supporting documentation. SAP appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis where extenuating circumstances prevented the student from meeting the SAP requirements. Documentation of the circumstances and an explanation of how the student’s circumstances have changed to now enable them to meet the probationary terms required. Appeals must be typed and must include an explanation from the student and one other person such as a doctor, clergy, family friend or someone outside the immediate family who is familiar with the circumstances.
Appealable Circumstances: Circumstances that are unusual and clearly could impact a student’s ability to meet SAP standards will be considered. Examples: Death of an immediate family member, student illness or accident that limits the student’s ability to attend classes, divorce, natural disaster directly impacting the student, medical issues of an immediate family member that requires the student’s care for an extended period of time.
3) Financial Aid Probation:If the appeal is granted, the student will be placed on probation and on an academic plan if deemed necessary. The student remains eligible for one payment period and will have a SAP evaluation at the end of that payment period. If the student is not meeting SAP or the requirements of their academic plan at that point they will again be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. If the student feels that additional extenuating circumstances have again limited their ability to meet SAP they may appeal again.
4) Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility:A student who has been placed on Financial Aid Suspension and chooses not to appeal or an appeal is denied, yet continues to be enrolled at their own expense, will be reinstated to eligibility for financial aid once they meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
5) Hold for Gradesmeans if an aid application for the upcoming year is received before the end of the current spring term, it will be held until spring grades are reviewed. Students who fall into this category are:
- Students who were on financial aid probation for the current year.
- Students who were in good standing but did not meet the minimum GPA requirements after the current fall semester.
“Hold for Grades” students will be notified after spring grades are reviewed if they are suspended. Students found to be in good standing or placed on probation will be notified. These students may lose funds from the following programs; Tuition Waivers, Federal SEOG, Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Work-Study because those funds had been awarded to other eligible students before spring grades were available.