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Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The U.S. Department of Education requires that to receive student financial aid under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act, a student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (Fin Aid SAP) in the course of study being pursued according to the standards and practices of the institution in which the student is enrolled.

The Title IV programs administered by the university are Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and/or unsubsidized), and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. The Financial Aid Office monitors students for compliance with the three SAP standards: Qualitative, Pace, and Maximum Timeframe.

Traditional students are reviewed at the end of every semester.

Non-Traditional (Online) Students are reviewed at the end of every payment period. Payment period(s) consists of 12 completed credit hours.

Failure to meet these standards may result in the loss of federal financial aid eligibility.

Note: These standards apply to Federal financial aid and do not necessarily reflect the cumulative grade point average (GPA) or units required to maintain scholarships, advance grade levels, or maintain enrollment in the university.

 

Standards

Qualitative: Students must successfully meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. The following grades do not count toward the GPA:

  • Incomplete
  • Withdrawn
  • Transfer credits
  • Remedial/developmental

 

Pace: Students must successfully complete 66.7% of the cumulative units attempted. Pace = Cumulative number of credits successfully completed / Cumulative number of credits attempted.

The following courses do not count as attempted or completed units in the SAP calculation:

  • Audit
  • Credit by exam
  • Non-credit remedial

The following courses count as attempted but do not count as completed units in the SAP calculation:

  • Incomplete
  • Failed
  • Withdrawn
  • More than one repeat of any previously passed course

 

Maximum Timeframe: Students attending ACU must be making progress toward a degree. The federal government defines the maximum timeframe as 150% of the student’s program’s published length, as measured in credit hours. For example, a typical undergraduate degree requires 120 credits, which would result in a maximum timeframe of 180 credit hours (120*150%). An accumulation of excess units results in not meeting timeframe standards. The following is an example of how an undergraduate student does not meet timeframe standards:

 

In this example, the student, whose program requires 120 units for graduation, has accumulated 190 units, thus exceeding the 150% maximum timeframe.
Degree credit requirements 150% Cumulative SAP Status
120 180 190 Does Not Meet

 

Federal Financial Aid SAP Status

Federal Financial Aid “Satisfactory” Status: The student has met all the SAP standards.

Federal Financial Aid “Warning” Status: The first time a student does not meet SAP standards, the student will be placed on financial aid “warning.” This means the individual is one term away from losing federal financial aid eligibility. The student is still eligible for federal financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid “Suspension” Status: If a student is on financial aid warning and does not meet SAP standards, the student is immediately placed on federal financial aid “suspension.” The student will not receive federal financial aid, but this status may be appealed.

Federal Financial Aid “Probation” Status: If a student has successfully appealed a financial aid suspension, the individual will be placed on federal financial aid “probation” for one term. The financial appeal does not supersede any academic appeal for academic suspension. If the student meets the SAP standards at the end of the probation term, the SAP status will reset back to “Satisfactory.”  If the student does not meet the SAP standards at the end of the probation term, the student will be placed back into suspension and will not receive federal financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid “Over Hours Suspension” Status: If a student has exceeded the 150% of the maximum time frame allotted for his or her program of study, the individual will be placed on federal financial aid “over hours suspension.”

 

Federal Financial Aid SAP Suspension Appeal Process

If a student loses federal financial aid eligibility because of not meeting SAP standards, the student may appeal to regain federal financial aid eligibility in the following way:

  • Submit a Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal form with supporting documentation.
  • If a student is also on academic suspension, the student must also provide a letter from the Director of Academic Services approving his or her appeal for academic suspension and readmission.

If the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal is approved, the student will be awarded federal financial aid for the following term and/or payment period subject to federal financial aid eligibility and the availability of funds.

It is important to read the instructions on the SAP appeal form before documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Questions About Admissions?
Contact the Office of Admissions at (602) 489-5300