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SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS Training. What is Sap?. SAP Intro Appeals Process Appeal Situations. Federal Regulation §668.42(c)(2). Schools and Students have equal responsibility

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Presentation Transcript

What is Sap?

  • SAP Intro

  • Appeals Process

  • Appeal Situations

Federal Regulation §668.42(c)(2)

  • Schools and Students have equal responsibility

    • Student – Maintains satisfactory progress in the enrolled program of study according to the schools published standards

    • School – Establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring Satisfactory progress in a student’s educational program

Sap Standards

  • Apply to all Title IV programs

  • Consistently applied to all students

  • Measure SAP at the end of a term that is not longer than an academic year

  • Two cumulative components

    • Qualitative

    • Quantitative

MU SAP Components

  • Undergraduate

    • 180 attempted hours

    • 75% completion

    • Minimum cumulative MU GPA

      • 1.67 for fewer than 60 attempted credit hours

      • 2.0 for 60 or more attempted credit hours

  • Graduate Students

    • Professional schools have their own system

    • Dismiss students based on requirements stricter than Financial Aid

Other Key Components

  • Explain how remedial, repeats, audits and other grading items are treated.

  • Example from Missouri Western’s web site

  • Remedial and Repeated Coursework

  • Federal regulations allow students to receive financial aid for up to 30 credit hours of remedial coursework. Remedial coursework taken in excess of this limitation must be excluded from the student’s financial aid enrollment status.

  • Federal financial aid regulations allow students to repeat any coursework previously taken in the program as long as it is not a result of more than one repetition of a previously passed course, or any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework.

  • Repeating coursework can affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress status in the following manner: the repeated course and the original attempt will be counted in the calculation of overall attempted hours; and the most recent grade received for the course will be included in the calculation of GPA.

Notification of Students

  • Notify students of their eligibility

  • Students with active aid term receive formal letter with reason for not meeting SAP

  • Students without active financial term will be notified

    • What should the letter say?

Changes to Process

  • Previous

    • Probation could be approved by departments

    • Students appealed by e-mail

  • New

    • All appeals reviewed by SAP committee

    • Form completed by student

    • Academic Plan signed by advisor


According to the Federal Government, a student may appeal the loss of eligibility if he/she had mitigating circumstances beyond his/her control that affected his/her ability to meet the minimum SAP standards.

  • MU Financial Aid SAP Appeals Process:

  • Submit an academic plan (< 90 hours) or graduation plan (90+ hours)

  • Submit a typed narrative detailing mitigating circumstances

  • Submit documentation supporting narrative (optional)

Missouri Western appeal text from website

Examples of circumstances that may warrant an appeal include: lengthy hospitalization or illness; death of a parent, spouse or child at a critical time during the semester; lengthy illness of a child or spouse; or other mitigating circumstance.

Appeals MUST include the following documentation:

A complete Statement in Support of Appeal (link below) which will include an explanation describing how extenuating circumstances resulted in your inability to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

IMPORTANT: If you were previously placed on an academic plan and have lost eligibility due to a violation of that plan, you should address the circumstances that resulted in your inability to abide by the conditions of the established plan.

An explanation of what has changed that will allow you to maintain satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.

Sufficient documented evidence that the extenuating circumstance clearly caused you to fall below the required standards or exceed the maximum timeframe.

A statement of your educational goals (intended major/minor).

A copy of your MWSU unofficial transcript (available on Goldlink).

Examples of documentation supporting the extenuating circumstance include: medical documentation; notice of death; accident reports; court documentation; or other relevant documentation.  

Top Three Reasons forDenied Appeals

Never successfully completed a semester or never earned a 2.50 semester GPA

Academic plan is unrealistic

Student did not have mitigating circumstances

SAP Appointment Talking Points for FA staff

  • Focus on mitigating circumstances in narrative (with specifics), explaining reasons for failing grades, withdrawals, incompletes, etc.

  • Advise student to ensure academic/graduation plan is realistic based on his/her academic record (Ex. You have never completed 15 hours in a semester without dropping a course or earning a 2.00 GPA so it would be wise to work out a schedule with your advisor attempting fewer hours (at least for the next two semester, if not a time-limit appeal)

  • Advise student to specifically outline how he/she believes he/she can succeed if we decide to approve appeal. What resources will he/she utilize to ensure he/she would meet standards?

Student is Submitting an Appeal.What Do You Do?

  • If student submits appeal in some fancy folder, give the folder back to the student (we scan our documents, so it is just a wasted effort).

  • Ensure all required materials are included (completed cover sheet, appeal form, academic or graduation plan, and typed narrative).

  • Advise the student that he/she will be notified of the results via email within four weeks.

Appeals Committee

  • Financial Aid Administrative Assistant

    • Coordinates the process, sends documents

  • 5 Financial aid members (1 year term)

  • Academic advisor

    • External advising member (1 year term)

    • Seeking Volunteers

    • Meets Thursday mornings

How does SAP Committee Make a Decision?(treat each appeal on a case-by-case basis)

  • Has student shown a practical plan to progress toward degree?

  • Has student ever met the criteria that will be required to continue receiving financial aid on probation?

  • Has student’s academic advisor set the student up for success?

  • Did the student have truly mitigating circumstances for which he/she could not plan, influence, or prevent?

  • Has the student planned the quickest path to graduation?

  • Decisions are final and not subject to further review.

Sample AppealsFor Group Feedback

STUDENT A (never appealed before)GPA: 1.263; Comp%: 48%; Att. Hours: 24

Fall Semester GPA 1.509, spring GPA 1.054

Student said she worked too much because dorms were expensive

Student said fall roommate was introverted and had conflict

Student said spring roommate was extroverted and had too much fun

Student had alcoholic mother, father died when young

Student says that she will change to be a better student, that her poor performance was not her fault.

Student altered major from Biology to Communications because student failed all of her biology classes, used Bio advisor to develop communications academic plan

Academic plan calls for 16 hours fall and spring (with 5 hours of French), student has not successfully completed more than 9 hours in a semester.

STUDENT B (never appealed before)GPA: 2.23; Comp%: 40%; Att. Hours: 157

Submitted academic plan for BS in Biology

Began by working on a BA in Film; lost interest, but kept pursuing because of lack of knowledge of other degree options (began dropping classes); left school

Returned four years later; suffering from sleep disorder and fear of pending depression due to economic recession, which is why he wanted to return to school

Became interested in Biology & Chemistry and now wants to pursue degree in that field (has never taken BIO or CHEM course)

No documentation provided

STUDENT C (never appealed before)GPA: 2.10; Comp%: 75%; Att. Hours: 190

Submitted graduation plan for BGS in Biology; 7 hours remaining; needs to earn 4 hours of B’s or two hours of A’s in 3000+ level BIOL courses to raise major GPA to 2.00

Has not earned a B or better in a BIOL course since 6 semesters prior; has attempted 19 HSES hours, which do not apply toward degree (12 in last two terms)

Last semester: Grandfather died, friend was murdered, mom was in custody battle for niece; Two semesters ago: sister died unexpectedly, family dog died; Three semesters ago: close family friend died; Four semesters ago: another friend murdered; Five semesters ago: another friend murdered

Has Federal loan debt of $50,500

No documentation provided

STUDENT D(never appealed before)GPA: 1.79; Comp%: 85%; Att. Hours: 143

Submitted academic plan for BA in Sociology

Planning to graduate in two semesters; must earn 3.3 each semester to bring cumulative GPA to minimum 2.00 in order to graduate

Student has never earned higher than a 3.00, which was four semesters prior

“Made mistakes of not working hard enough, diligently enough, and consistently”

“My schedule is set and forces me to do homework without delay”

“My plan is to concentrate on classes and the work required from them”

Documentation: readmission letter, honor roll letter at Moberly