Satisfactory Academic Progress
All undergraduate and graduate students must meet the SAP requirements in order to receive financial aid at Shenandoah University. Federal regulations require each college or university to have an academic progress policy, which establishes the minimum standards of eligibility for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured by:
- Cumulative grade point average or GPA.
- Cumulative number of credits attempted compared to credits earned, often referred to as pace of progress. Students must earn credits toward their degree at a 67% rate when compared to credits attempted.
- Total number of credits attempted overall (maximum time). Students are not eligible for aid once they have reached 150% of the credits allowed for their specific program. This includes all coursework taken for a specific academic level (undergraduate or graduate), even if the student is no longer pursuing that degree.
Please note that students who have not received financial aid in previous years, but are applying for financial aid assistance for the first time will also be held to the requirement of maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed for all semesters of a student’s enrollment regardless of whether or not the student was eligible for assistance during a term.
If students are not meeting the requirements as outlined above, the student will be considered in Financial Aid Suspension and must appeal and be approved to regain eligibility for financial aid. To appeal, please follow the instructions below under Appeal Procedures.
Students pursuing undergraduate programs, must adhere to the GPA requirements outlined below, earn 67% of the cumulative credits they have attempted, and not exceed 150% of the published length of the educational program in their attempted credits. Withdrawn courses will be counted in this calculation:
|Credit Hours Attempted||Minimum Cumulative GPA|
|1.00 – 23.99||1.6|
|54.00 and above||2.0|
Additionally, even if a student does not progress in their anticipated full-time credit load, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 at the end of their second year or fourth semester.
Students pursuing graduate programs must adhere to the GPA that is outlined in their program, earn 67% of the cumulative credits they have attempted, and not exceed 150% of the published length of the educational program in their attempted credits. Withdrawn courses will be counted in this calculation.
Students who have earned a passing grade in a course can only take it one more time for Title IV aid, where a “D” is considered a passing grade. Once they have earned two grades of “D” or above, any subsequent enrollment in the course is not eligible for Title IV aid and will be excluded from the R2T4 calculation. Withdrawals, drops, or failures while in attendance at Shenandoah University will not count towards Title IV eligibility, however, may count for pace calculations.
At Shenandoah University there are some courses that share the same name, but are not the same course and are required multiple times in the same degree for degree completion. These courses are evaluated based on the number of instances per required completion, not on the total number of attempts overall.
Pass or Fail Courses
Courses that are graded as pass/fail are included in the calculations for pace and GPA if they have a credit-load attached to them.
Transfer credits will count towards both courses attempted and completed for pace, but will not be considered for GPA calculations.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Review
The Financial Aid Office will review each student’s SAP status at the end of each semester. Email notifications of SAP standards will be sent to the student’s SU email account. Students not meeting the SAP requirement will be placed on either Financial Aid Warning or Suspension. Students on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal the suspension. If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.
Students who are not meeting SAP at the end of a semester will be placed on a one-time warning status. While no further action is required from the students, it is strongly recommended that students meet with an advisor to ensure that their course load is appropriate and that any courses taken will apply to the student’s degree. Following the one semester warning, any student who fails to meet SAP will automatically be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
Students who fail to meet SAP following their warning semester are placed on financial aid suspension. Students have the option to appeal this suspension. An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously affected your academic performance.
Some examples of circumstances include: death in the family, disabling illness or injury, emotional or mental health issue, and other special circumstances beyond the student’s control such as divorce, natural disaster, extreme change in financial or legal circumstances, etc.
Financial Aid Suspension does not prohibit a student from continuing his or her education at Shenandoah University, but it does prohibit the student from receiving financial aid until they are in good standing.
Please note: Neither paying for classes without financial aid or sitting out for one term will restore satisfactory academic progress, so neither is sufficient to reestablish eligibility for financial aid.
Students who are successful in their suspension appeal will have their aid reinstated for one semester. Students will be notified of the conditions of their probationary period. Following the probationary semester, the Financial Aid Office will review the student’s record to determine future eligibility.
If a student will require more than one semester to return to good standing, they may be required to submit an academic plan.
If an academic plan is required to be developed by the student and their academic advisor, it will be monitored each semester. If the student fails to meet the conditions of the plan, they will no longer be eligible for aid until they re-establish eligibility on their own.
Students on Financial Aid Suspension or have their appeal denied may re-establish their eligibility for financial aid assistance by achieving satisfactory academic standards. This will be at the student’s own expense, as they are ineligible for federal and state financial aid. Sitting out one semester will not accomplish this. Students who have earned the required GPA or have completed the required number of credits, should submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office to have their financial aid reinstated.
- Submit your appeal using the SAP Appeal Form below. Please submit your appeal within 14 days of receiving your SAP notice so that there is ample time to review the appeal documents. Include an appeal statement explaining why you failed to meet SAP standards and how you intend to improve your progress at the end of the term.
- If you are failing for maximum time frame (150%), you will need to submit an academic plan that has been approved by your advisor using the template below. This plan will be monitored at the end of each semester and any deviations will result in the cancellation of financial aid. This plan should indicate how the student will complete their degree at SU and when. All appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Students should submit any and all supporting documentation that supports the reason for the appeal.
- All appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students will be allowed to submit only one appeal.
- You will be notified of the outcome of your appeal within 14 days of submitting it and any conditions required to be met if the appeal is approved.
Students not meeting SAP may appeal in writing.