Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

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FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STANDARDSFederal regulations require South Dakota State University (SDSU) to define and evaluate SatisfactoryAcademic Progress (SAP) for federal student financial aid applicants. The purpose of the review processis to ensure that the federal aid given to a student is used in a constructive manner and that the studentis maintaining satisfactory advancement toward achieving a degree.Although the SAP standards are similar to those set by SDSU or the Academic Departments for allstudents, the financial aid SAP standards are not exactly the same due to the specific federalrequirements. In addition to meeting the academic standard for registration, a student must also meetthe requirements of the financial aid SAP in order to be considered eligible to receive federal, state, andneed-based institutional financial aid assistance.SDSU evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each academic term. If there are lateposted grades or grade changes, the SAP status will be recalculated once notification is received fromthe Registrar's Office of grade changes.In order for a student to maintain his or her federal financial aid, the student must meet the followingstandards of academic progress. Students who do not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standardswill initially be issued a warning, allowing financial aid to continue for one (1) academic term. If thestandards of Satisfactory Academic Progress are not met in that following academic term the studentwill be suspended from receiving federal financial aid. Suspended students can appeal to have financialaid eligibility reinstated by submitting a Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Appeal Form to the SDSUFinancial Aid Office. If the appeal is approved, that student will be placed on financial aid probation forthe following academic term. The student then has one term in which to meet the standards and regaineligibility for financial aid.SAP standards:1. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)All students receiving financial aid must maintain the following SDSU cumulative GPA. Thecumulative GPA includes credits earned in the South Dakota Board of Regents System andtransfer credits.A. Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 orabove.B. Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above.2. Minimum pace of progression (PACE)All students must successfully complete a minimum 67% of cumulative credits attempted. Paceis calculated by dividing the total number of cumulative credits completed by the total numberof cumulative credits attempted.

Credits completed all coursework where credit is earned with a grade A, B, C, D, RS, S, and EX.Credits attempted all coursework where credits were completed PLUS all coursework with agrade of F, I, IP, NP, TR, LR, CR, NG, NR, RI, RU,SP, AU, U, W, WD, WW, and WFL.Repeating Course Policy for Financial AidA new federal regulation limits the number of times a student may repeat a course and receivefinancial aid for that course.If a student gets a 'W' or an 'F' in a course, that student is allowed to repeat the course andreceive financial aid (assuming he/she is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress) until he/shereceives a 'D-' or better. Once the student has received a 'D-' grade or better, he/she can repeatthe course one additional time and still receive federal aid.When a course is repeated the most recent final grade will be used to determine eligibility. Theprior grade is no longer calculated into the GPA at SDSU, however, the previous hoursattempted will be counted as hours attempted when reviewing SAP completion rate andmaximum time frame.3. Maximum credits attempted to complete degree programAll students must complete their degree program with credits attempted that are no greaterthan 150% of the number of credits required to earn the degree. The maximum attempted unitsis calculated by multiplying the minimum units required for the academic program by 150%. Forexample, most undergraduate degrees require a minimum of 120 credits, so that student canattempt a maximum of 180 credit hours before being suspended from financial aid (120 x 150% 180). A graduate program that requires 48 credits would allow for a maximum of 72 creditsbefore the student would be suspended from financial aid (48 x 150% 72). Students canpursue additional academic objectives and receive financial aid as long as they do so within theunits allowed for in their primary major.If you are unable to fulfill the requirements for your degree before reaching this maximumtimeframe your aid will be suspended from financial aid.*Doctoral students are expected to complete the requirements for their degree in a reasonablelength of time, as monitored by Graduate School policy.Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress:Failure to meet either the rate of completion requirement and/or the grade point average requirementwill result in the following:1. Financial Aid WarningStudents who are not meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end ofone term of enrollment will be placed on “financial aid warning” and will be notified of thisstatus through their Jacks email. Note that the financial aid warning only applies to students

who have just completed their first academic term of their program, or who were meeting thestandards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in the prior academic term.During the term of financial aid warning, students will continue to be eligible for federalfinancial aid. This gives the student time to become compliant with the Satisfactory AcademicProgress standards. It is recommended that students who are issued a financial aid warningmeet with their advisors in order to re-evaluate their course of study and take advantage of themany student support services available to them at SDSU. Student Services2. Financial Aid IneligibilityStudents who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards in the semester afterreceiving a financial aid warning will be found ineligible to receive federal financial aid and theirfinancial aid will be suspended at that time. Students will receive notification of their federal aidsuspension through their JACKS email.Appeal Process:Federal regulations limit circumstances for which a suspension of financial aid may be appealed to thefollowing: death of a family member; illness or injury to the student; or other special circumstancesbeyond the student’s control.To appeal a financial aid suspension, a student must submit a completed Financial Aid SatisfactoryProgress Appeal Form to the SDSU Financial Aid Office. The appeal form must explain why the studentfailed to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and what has changed in the student’ssituation that will allow the student to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards by the nextevaluation period. The student must also include documentation to verify the stated circumstance thatprevented the student from meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Requireddocumentation includes, but is not limited to, the following:1. Death of a family member (a photocopy of a death certificate and/or obituary and the nameand relationship of the deceased to you).2. Illness or injury to the student (an explanation of the nature of the illness or injury and thedates you were affected by the illness or injury AND a statement from a physician or healthcare professional and/or a copy of medical bill or discharge forms).3. Other special circumstance (a detailed explanation of the specific traumatic event orunexpected circumstance and what you have done to overcome the event or circumstancesuch that you can go on to meet the standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress ANDsupporting documentation from a third party, i.e. physician, social worker, counselor,police).The Financial Aid Office will review the appeal form and notify the student by letter of the outcome.If a student’s appeal is approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. This means thatthe student will be awarded financial aid for the subsequent academic term, contingent upon thestudent meeting the conditions specified in the approval letter.a. Students for whom it is determined that circumstances are such that it is unlikely they will be ableto meet the standards by the next evaluation period will need to have a student academic plan put

into place in order to demonstrate that the student will meet Satisfactory Academic Progressstandards by a specific point in time.b. Students on probationary status who succeed at meeting the Standards of Academic Progressduring the subsequent academic term will be considered fully eligible for federal student aid.c. Students who, at the end of the probationary term, continue to fail to meet the standards forSatisfactory Academic Progress will be suspended from financial aid eligibility. Students who aresuspended may submit a new appeal form to the Financial Aid Office, however, the new appealcannot be for the same reason any former appeal was granted.Reinstatement of Eligibility:Suspended students who subsequently meet all three of the Satisfactory Progress Standards and are ingood standing regain their eligibility for federal financial aid.Students whose appeals are denied may consider non-federal sources of student financial aid. Pleasecontact the SDSU Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.Academic Circumstances that Affect Your Status: Changes in major, double majors or minors may cause you to reach your maximum attemptedhours, and lose your eligibility before earning a degree. Incomplete grades, missing grades, failing grades, course withdrawals all reduce yourcompletion ratio, because they are counted as attempted, but not earned credits. They alsocount against your maximum attempted hours. Repeated courses count as attempted credit hours each time you register for them. They alsocount against the allowed maximum. This can also reduce your completion ratio becauserepeated credits count as earned credits only once. Only the last completed attempt is includedin the GPA calculation. Transfer credits, credits taken while cross-registered, enrolled in study abroad, transient studycount toward your maximum attempted credits and your completion ratio. Remedial courses count as attempted and earned credits, but are not included in the GPAcalculation. ESL Courses are considered remedial courses, and will count as attempted and earned credits,but are not included in the GPA calculation. Late posted grades or grade changes. Once notification is received from the Registrar's Office ofgrade changes, the SAP status will be recalculated. Dismissal and Return. Students who are suspended academically or choose not to attendbecause of SAP Failure will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon their return.Student must meet both qualitative and quantitative standards of SAP. If below standards, astudent must appeal or use means other than financial aid for educational expenses. Absencedoes not restore eligibility for financial aid. It remains the responsibility of the student to be

knowledgeable of their SAP standard when returning to school after dismissal or choosing not toreturn because of SAP Failure. Summer Term Courses. All hours attempted and completed in the summer terms are treated asany other semester hours in determining SAP status. SAP will be checked following the summerterm as well. Students pursuing dual bachelor's degrees. Students who are pursuing dual degrees are subjectto the maximum time frame rules but may be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Office ofStudent Financial Aid. The Office of Student Financial Aid reserves the right to review deniedappeals, cumulative GPA's and completion rates on a case by case basis. Credits while not receiving Title IV all credits appearing on student transcripts will be countedin calculations for determining SAP status, including those that may have been during terms inwhich a student was not receiving Title IV Aid.Helpful LinksSatisfactory Progress Appeal FormCounseling servicesWintrode tutoring programAdvisingSupplemental instruction programWriting center