Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Financial Aid Implications

Federal regulations require that all students receiving financial aid (Title IV recipients) progress at a reasonable rate toward achieving and completing their program of study. This requirement is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

SAP includes a qualitative measure (grade point average) and a quantitative measure (pace) of a student’s progress toward degree or certificate completion. The policy also includes maximum timeframe limitations. The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive Title IV aid are achieving these standards.

Qualitative (GPA) Measure

The qualitative measure requires a minimum cumulative GPA that is defined based on the student’s program level.

Cumulative GPA by program

  • Undergraduate: 2.0
  • Post-baccalaureate: 3.0
  • Graduate: 3.0

Quantitative (PACE) Measure

Students are required to make progress towards program completion at an acceptable pace (completion rate).

All financial aid recipients must maintain a 67% completion rate, regardless of program.

Credit hours attempted include completed credits, incompletes, withdrawals, repeated or failed classes, as well as transfer credits. Also included are all credits attempted at the College under the same program level (i.e. 01 - undergraduate, 04 – post-baccalaureate, 05 – graduate), regardless of program changes within the program level (unless there is a noted exception).

Pace (or completion rate) is calculated by dividing the total completed hours by the total attempted hours.

Maximum Timeframe Measure

The timeframe for degree completion is limited by federal regulations to 150% of the published credit length of the educational program for undergraduate programs. The College also applies the 150% maximum timeframe to graduate and post-baccalaureate teacher certification programs.

Undergraduate

Educational Program
Published Length
Maximum Timeframe
Associate 60 90
Bachelor 120 180

The maximum number of credits attempted includes transfer credits and all credits attempted at the same program level while at Granite State College. If due to withdrawals, failed courses, change in degree program, etc., it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete their program within the maximum number of attempted credits for their program, then they will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid programs for any future terms.

Students who earn a bachelor degree at Granite State College, then enroll in an associate degree cannot exceed a total of 180 credits attempted at the undergraduate level.

Graduate

Educational Program
Published Length
Maximum Timeframe
M.S. Instruction and Leadership 36 54
MSN Nursing Health Care Leadership Tbd Tbd
M.S. Health Care Management Tbd Tbd
M.S. Leadership 30 45
M.S. Management 30 45
M.S. Project Management 30 35

Our graduate programs do not accept transfer credits. If due to withdrawals, failed courses, change in degree program, etc., it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete their program within the maximum number of attempted credits for their program, then they will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid programs for any future terms.

Students who earn a graduate degree at Granite State College will have their maximum timeframe clock reset one time when they come back for a subsequent graduate degree.

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certifications

Educational Program
Published Length
Maximum Timeframe
Blind & Vision Disabilities 48 72
Deaf & Hearing Disabilities 58 87
Early Childhood Education & Early Childhood Special Education 45 67
English for Speakers of Other Languages 43 64
General Special Education 37 55
General Special Education pathway to AE 37 55
General Special Education & Elementary Education 45 67
Mathematics Grades 5-8 53 79
Mathematics Grades 7-12 57 85
Blind & Vision Disabilities for ACT 48 72
Deaf & Hearing Disabilities for ACT 58 87
Early Childhood & Early Childhood Special Education for ACT 42 63
Education Technology Integrator for ACT 19 28
Elementary Education for ACT 42 63
Emotional Behavioral Disabilities for ACT 23 34
English for Speakers of Other Languages ACT 40 60
General Special Education (K-12) for ACT 20 30
Intellectual Developmental Disabilities for ACT 23 34
Learning Disabilities for ACT 23 34
Mathematics – Grades 5-8 for ACT 50 62
Mathematics – Grades 7-12 for ACT 54 81
Reading & Writing Teacher for ACT 24 36
Reading & Writing Specialist for ACT 31 46

The post-baccalaureate programs do not accept transfer credits. If due to withdrawals, failed courses, change in certificate program, etc., it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete their program within the maximum number of attempted credits for their program, then they will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid programs for any future terms.

Students who complete coursework for a teaching credential at Granite State College will have their maximum timeframe clock reset when they come back for an additional certification, up to two times.

Types of Coursework in SAP Calculations

Definitions of coursework and how they affect various categories when reviewing financial aid SAP.

Credits Attempted but not Completed

The following count as credits attempted, but not considered as credits successfully completed. “F” and “AF” grades are counted in the GPA calculation.

  • “F” failing grade
  • “AF” administrative failure
  • “IC” incomplete
  • “W” withdrawal
Dropped Coursework

Courses that are dropped during the official add/drop period are not included in the evaluation of SAP.

Audit Coursework

Audited coursework receives no credit and are not counted in the evaluation of SAP.

Remedial/Developmental Coursework

Remedial/Developmental coursework receive no credit and are not relative to grade point average. They are not counted in the evaluation of SAP.

Repeated Coursework

Courses that are repeated will count as credits attempted. Repeated courses will also count as credits completed if the student receives a passing grade; however, only the last grade earned is calculated in the GPA.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Credits

Prior Learning Assessment credits are brought in as transfer credits. PLAs are applicable as degree credits that lead toward degree completion. Therefore, PLAs are counted as credits attempted and completed.

Pass/Fail Coursework

Pass/Fail coursework is not calculated in the cumulative GPA, but will be counted as credits attempted. If the coursework is passed, the credits will also be counted as completed.

Transfer Coursework

Transfer credits that are applicable to the student’s degree program are counted as credits attempted and completed.

Subsequent Major/Dual Major

A subsequent major, within the same program level, includes all attempted credits taken towards the previous degree program(s). It includes credits attempted, completed, and GPA.

Change of Major

Change of major, within the same program level, includes all GSC attempted credits taken toward the previous degree program(s). It includes GSC credits attempted, completed, and GPA.

Review Timeframes: Annual SAP Review

Students are required to achieve the SAP requirements during the scheduled review regardless of program length, academic year of study (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), and individual enrollment status.

Granite State College will review SAP for receipt of financial aid at the end of the Spring payment period on an annual basis for the following Title IV undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate programs since these programs are longer than an academic year.

All Undergraduate Degree Programs

  • Associate Degree (60 credits)
  • Bachelor Degree (120 credits)

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Programs

  • Blind & Vision Disabilities (48 credits)
  • Deaf & Hearing Disabilities (58 credits)
  • Early Childhood Ed & Early Childhood Special Ed (45 credits)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (43 credits)
  • General Special Education (37 credits)
  • General Special Education pathway to AE (37 credits)
  • General Special Education & Elementary Ed (45 credits)
  • Mathematics Grades 5-8 (53 credits)
  • Mathematics Grades 7-12 (57 credits)
  • Blind & Vision Disabilities for ACT (48 credits)
  • Deaf & Hearing Disabilities for ACT (58 credits)
  • Early Childhood & Early Childhood Special Ed for ACT (42 credits)
  • Elementary Education for ACT (42 credits)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages ACT (40 credits)
  • Mathematics Grades 5-8 for ACT (50 credits)
  • Mathematics Grades 7-12 for ACT (54 credits)
  • Reading & Writing Specialist for ACT (31 credits)

All Granite State College Graduate Degree Programs

  • M.S. Instruction & Leadership (36 credits)
  • MSN Nursing Health Care Leadership (__ credits)
  • M.S. Health Care Management (__ credits)
  • M.S. Leadership (30 credits)
  • M.S. Management (30 credits)
  • M.S. Project Management (30 credits)

At each review, students are required to meet the minimum qualitative (GPA) and quantitative measures, and be able to complete their degree within the maximum timeframe allowed.

Students who do not meet the minimum SAP standards will lose their eligibility beginning with the summer term (Financial Aid Suspension).

SAP Review by Payment Period

All Title IV students in the following post-baccalaureate programs will be reviewed at the end of each payment period since these programs of study are less than or equal to an academic year per Sec. 668.34(a)(3)(i).

  • Education Technology Integrator for ACT (19 credits)
  • Emotional Behavioral Disabilities for ACT (23 credits)
  • General Special Ed (K-12) for ACT (20 credits)
  • Intellectual Developmental Disabilities for ACT (23 credits)
  • Learning Disabilities for ACT (23 credits)
  • Reaching & Writing Teacher for ACT (24 credits)

At each review, students are required to meet the minimum qualitative (GPA) and quantitative measures, and be able to complete their degree within the maximum timeframe allowed.

Students who do not meet the minimum SAP standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next term of enrollment. They may continue to receive aid while on warning. If, after that term, they are meeting the standards, they will automatically come off of financial aid warning. If, after their next term of enrollment, they do not meet the standards, they will be put into a suspended status.

For students who change from a program that is reviewed annually to a program that is reviewed by payment period, the next scheduled review will be after the end of the first payment period of the new program.

Appeals

Granite State College will allow a student appeal process for students in suspended status for receipt of aid. A student whose eligibility is suspended may request an appeal if they feel that extenuating circumstances existed which affected their ability to achieve the minimum SAP qualitative (GPA) and/or quantitative standards (completion rate). A student cannot appeal a financial aid suspension if they reached or will reach the maximum timeframe before program completion.

Extenuating Circumstances

An extenuating circumstance must exist and be supported by additional documentation in order to file an appeal to regain financial aid eligibility. An extenuating circumstance may include:

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Divorce
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Other extenuating circumstance.

Extenuating circumstances do not include a lack of dedication to studies, not understanding the impact of withdrawals, etc. 668.34(a)(9)(iii)

All submitted documentation of extenuating circumstances is confidential and only used to verify and support a student’s appeal. All documentation will be filed in the student’s financial aid records.

Components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

If an extenuating circumstance exists that can be supported with documentation, then the student may complete the aid-year specific Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. The form involves the following components:

  • Identifying and outlining the extenuating circumstance(s) which did not allow the student to achieve the minimum SAP standard(s)
  • Supporting documentation of the extenuating circumstance(s) is required. May include divorce decree, hospital papers, obituary, etc.
  • An explicit explanation of what has changed in relation to the extenuating circumstance(s) that will allow the student to achieve the minimum SAP standards upon the next review
  • An academic plan approved by the student’s advisor (includes identifying program, credits left for program completion, and course(s) required to take in order to achieve the minimum SAP standards)
  • Signed student acknowledgement of the Financial Aid SAP policy (the explained circumstance, supporting documentation for the circumstance, the adherence to the academic plan and any further requirements outlined in an approval letter, and that all SAP decisions are final)

Deadline to Submit

Students will have an opportunity to appeal a SAP decision for reentry in the Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms. All appeals will include an academic plan that must demonstrate that the minimum SAP standards will be achieved by the next scheduled review. Official deadlines will be published annually on the aid-year specific Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.

Appeal Review

All SAP appeals will be reviewed by the SAP Appeal Committee, which is made up of representatives from the Office of Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office. The Committee will determine a student’s eligibility or ineligibility for continued federal assistance. Any incomplete appeals will not be reviewed and as a result the student will not be eligible for aid. Students must have a current FAFSA on file, resolve any defaulted federal student loans, and pay any outstanding balance due to the College before an appeal will be considered for review.

Documenting Appeal Decision

All appeal decisions will be documented in the College’s official system of record. It will include who made the decision, the date the decision was made, and why the decision was made. The decision will be communicated with the student via email, using the student’s preferred email address listed in student’s official record.

Appeal Approval

An appeal may only be approved if there is sufficient documentation of an extenuating circumstance, an explicit statement of what has changed, and an academic plan that demonstrates the student’s ability to achieve the SAP standards upon the next scheduled review. Decisions for academic plans may involve, but are not limited to, a reduced course load, specific courses, a required GPA by term, etc. Academic plans cannot include more than 8 credits per term. The student and the advisor will be informed in writing of the decision, any additional requirements, and the consequences of failing to follow the academic plan.

Approved students will be required to achieve at least a “C” in each course while completing 100% of the credits in the academic plan. No incompletes, failures, or withdrawals will be accepted. Any higher expectations will be communicated to the student in writing. If the student does not meet or exceed this requirement, their aid will again be suspended.

If a student’s appeal is approved, but the student does not attend the subsequent payment period, the student’s aid will be once again suspended and must submit a new academic plan for approval.

Financial Aid Probation

A student who is approved through the appeal process will be placed on financial aid probation for their first term back.

Students who achieve the minimum SAP standards after probation will have their eligibility reinstated and will not be required to follow the established academic plan, however following the plan is recommended. The student will be reviewed again for SAP at the next scheduled review.

If the student is unable to achieve the minimum SAP standards after probation, the student will be placed on his/her approved academic plan so long as the student achieved the minimum grade required in each course while completing 100% of the credits attempted during probation. Otherwise, the student’s aid will be suspended.

Academic Plan

A student, who successfully completed probation and did not achieve the minimum SAP standards, will follow the academic plan created by their advisor and approved by the Committee. Progress will be reviewed on a term-by-term basis in accordance with the academic plan. Students who fail to meet the requirements of the approved appeal will have their aid suspended and will not have the ability to appeal again until they have met the SAP requirements.

Number of Appeals

Students that are reviewed annually are allowed to appeal at two different times during their academic career at Granite State College, however, students cannot appeal in successive aid years. Post-baccalaureate students who are reviewed term-by-term may only appeal once.

Students who fail to meet the requirements of an approved appeal will have their aid suspended again. The student must work to achieve the standard to regain eligibility on their own. If after regaining eligibility the student is suspended again, that student may appeal once more.

Appeal Denial

If an appeal is denied, the student may not submit another appeal. The student must work to achieve the standard to regain eligibility on their own. If after regaining eligibility the student is suspended again, that student may appeal once more.

Re-Establishing Eligibility without an Appeal

Once suspended students meet SAP requirements, they may regain aid eligibility during the next scheduled review. Students must have a current FAFSA on file, resolve any defaulted federal student loans, and pay any outstanding balance due to the College before an appeal will be considered for review.

If they wish to regain aid eligibility sooner they may submit the Request for Reinstatement of Suspended Aid form. This form is used to alert the Office of Financial aid that the student now meets SAP requirements and wishes to have their eligibility reinstated. The student will be placed on Probation for the subsequent payment period and must continue to meet SAP standards at the end of that payment period. If they do not meet the standards, they will once again be suspended.

SAP Statuses

Not Reviewed

Student has not been reviewed. FAFSA is received for the next academic year, but the Office of Financial Aid has not yet completed the annual review for the end of the current year.

Reviewed and Eligible

Student has been reviewed, meets all SAP requirements, and is eligible for aid.

Warning

Students who are reviewed by payment period who do not meet the qualitative and/or quantitative SAP standards (excluding maximum timeframe) will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next term of enrollment. They may continue to receive aid while on warning. If after that term they are meeting the standards, they will automatically come off financial aid warning. If, after their next term of enrollment, they do not meet the standards, they will be put into a suspended status.

Suspended, Suspended Grad, Suspended Post-Bacc.

A student not meeting the qualitative and quantitative SAP standards, which includes the maximum timeframe, will be placed in a suspended status. Financial Aid Suspension will result in the loss of all federal, state and institutional aid, including grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.

Probation

Student has been suspended and either successfully appealed the decision or completed the Request for Reinstatement of Suspended Aid form. They are placed on probation for the subsequent payment period. If the student meets SAP requirements at the end of this period, they will have their eligibility fully reinstated. They will be reviewed again at the next scheduled review. If a student who submitted a SAP Appeal form does not meet SAP standards at the end of the probation period, he/she will be required to follow their academic plan. If a student who submitted the Request for Reinstatement of Suspended Aid form does not meet SAP standards after the probation period, he/she will be suspended.

Academic Plan

Student has not met the SAP requirements after completion of their probationary term. They are placed on the approved academic plan. Once they meet the SAP requirements, during the academic plan, they will have their eligibility fully reinstated. If the student fails to meet the requirements of the plan they will be suspended again.

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