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SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGESS (SAP)

Revised: 08/11/2016
Revised 01/13/2017
Revised 01/24/2017

SECTION 1: OVERVIEW

The SAP policy you are about to read can be complex to understand because of federal financial aid program rules. You are encouraged to talk with a financial aid counselor once you have finished reading this document if you have additional questions. Maintaining your financial aid eligibility is very important.

Financial aid recipients are expected to make reasonable academic progress to obtain a degree or certificate as a condition to receive federal, state or CCSU financial aid programs. Your entire academic history at CCSU, transfer credits, remedial classes, repeated classes, consortium agreement credits or college classes taken while a high school student are reviewed to ensure your timely progression toward graduation. Even if you were not a financial aid recipient in the past, your entire academic history must be reviewed, if applying for federal or CCSU financial aid programs.

Your financial aid academic progress for continuation is assessed based upon three items: 1) qualitative, 2) quantitative and 3) maximum time frame measures. You must be meeting all measures or you risk "disqualifying" yourself from financial aid eligibility at CCSU.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requires financial aid recipients to do the following:

1. Meet minimum cumulative grade point averages.
2. Satisfactorily complete at least 67.5% of cumulative credit hours attempted.
3. Complete your degree/certificate program within the maximum time frame of credit hours allowed.

PROGRAMS GOVERNED BY THIS POLICY:

Federal Grant Programs:
Pell Grant
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

Federal Loan Programs:
Nursing Loans
Perkins Loan
Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loans
Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Direct PLUS loans for Graduate Students
Health Professions Loan

Federal Work Programs:
Work Study
Americorp Program

Connecticut Scholarship & Grant Programs:
Capital state Scholarship Program
Robert B. Willis Scholarship Programs
CT Minority Teacher Incentive Grant/Weisman Teacher Scholarship Loans
Governor Jodi M. Rell & Credit Union League of CT Student Loan Program
CCSU Aid Programs:
Institutional Scholarship & Grant Programs
CCSU Grant

Private (non-federal) Alternative Loan Programs:
Eligibility varies depending upon the lender

Private Donor or Third Party Scholarship Programs:
Eligibility varies depending upon the donor's criteria
* Eligibility for graduate assistantships and fellowships, as well as dependent or employee fee waivers are not governed by this policy.

SAP STATUS:

Financial Aid Warning Status
The first time you do not meet SAP standards, you will be placed in Financial Aid Warning. This means you are one term away from losing your financial aid eligibility. You are still eligible for financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension Status
If you are in Financial Aid Warning and do not meet SAP standards, you are immediately placed on Financial Aid Suspension. You will not receive federal or institutional financial aid. You may appeal this status.

Financial Aid Probation Status
If you have successfully appealed a Financial Aid Suspension, you will be placed on Probation for one term. If you meet the SAP standards at the end of the Probation term, your SAP Status will reset back to Meets SAP. If you do not meet the SAP standards at the end of your Probation, you will be placed back into Suspension.

If you are placed on financial aid probation you have one semester (or time as specified by the Academic Recovery Plan) to meet SAP requirements and remain eligible for financial aid.

Students on probation must follow terms of their Academic Recovery plan. They continue to receive financial aid while on financial aid probation but will be monitored.

 
SECTION 2: QUALITATIVE MEASURE DEFINED

The qualitative measure is your cumulative grade point average (GPA) measured at the end of each completed semester of attendance at CCSU while a financial aid recipient.

The minimum GPA you are required to meet depends on if you are considered an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral student, etc. A student is "disqualified" for financial aid if the qualitative measurement is not met.

Undergraduate degree students must meet the University's 2.0 cumulative GPA "Academic Progress" policy found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Master's degree and Doctoral students must meet the University's 3.0 cumulative GPA "Academic Progress" policy found in the Graduate Catalog

SAP GPA

Example of the qualitative measure in use:

Fall semester, Kaizer Blue enrolled in 15 credit hours and received a 1.9 GPA during his first semester at CCSU. Kaizer Blue subsequently received a financial aid "probation" or warning notification indicating he did not meet the financial aid 2.00 GPA or higher for the fall semester. Kaizer Blue is still eligible for financial aid at this time for his next semester of enrollment. Kaizer Blue decided to take the spring semester off. Kaizer Blue re-enrolled for 6 credit hours during the summer semester, received financial aid, but unfortunately obtained another 1.9 GPA. Kaizer Blue had two semesters in which he did not meet the 2.00 cumulative GPA SAP policy standards. Unfortunately, Kaizer Blue's financial aid eligibility is now in a "disqualified" status and he is no longer eligible to receive federal, state or CCSU financial aid programs (see Section 1).

*Transfer Credit Hours from another institution that are accepted towards the student's educational program must count as both attempted and completed hours.

 

SECTION 3: QUANTITATIVE MEASURE DEFINED

The quantitative measure is summarized as your total number of credit hours successfully completed (passed) divided by your total number of credit hours actually attempted based upon your financial aid census date measurement (explained in Section 5). Financial aid recipients must satisfactorily complete at least 67.5% of all cumulative credit hours attempted.

All financial aid recipients must report grade changes to the Financial Aid Office. This is necessary to reassess your current financial aid eligibility. You may have to re-pay financial aid you were not eligible to receive in the event of a grade change.

Federal financial aid regulations require that your entire academic history is considered toward college graduation. This includes:

• Transfer credits from other schools
• Prior semesters of enrollment at CCSU even if you were not a financial aid recipient
• Remedial and repeated classes

Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, P, S are considered to be "satisfactory" grades for maintaining this policy. Grades of E, F, I, NR, NC, U, W, WD, WF, WP are considered to be "unsatisfactory".

Audited class: Letter grade, "AU" is not counted within this policy. No academic credit is being offered for an audited class. A student's financial aid is reduced to exclude an audited class.

Please note: a student who completes zero credit hours and/or withdrawals from all classes for two subsequent semesters (even if financial aid was not received), will automatically be placed on a "disqualified" status even if the 67.5% completion rate is met.

Example of the quantitative measure in use:

Kaizer Blue enrolled in 15 credit hours fall semester during his first semester at CCSU. He dropped a 3 credit hour class 30 days after classes began and passed the semester with 12 credit hours. Kaizer Blue's successful completion rate was 12/15 = 80%. Kaizer Blue would be making satisfactory academic progress for the fall semester because his successful completion rate of 80% was above the minimum 67.5% policy standard.

Kaizer Blue then enrolled in 12 credit hours during the spring semester. He subsequently withdrew from 6 credit hours two weeks after the semester began but he also successfully completed 6 credit hours. At the end of Kaizer Blue's spring semester, his total successful completion rate for all semesters of enrollment was now 18/27 = 66.6%. Kaizer Blue's financial aid eligibility is now in a "probation" or warning status. Kaizer Blue will be provided one more semester to self-correct any academic deficiencies before his financial aid could be disqualified.

Logic: 12 credit hours completed fall + 6 credit hours completed spring, divided by 15 credit hours attempted fall + 12 credit hours attempted spring; 18/27 = 67%.

 

SECTION 4: MAXIMUM TIME FRAME DEFINED:

A student is expected to complete a degree/certificate program within a reasonable prescribed time frame. A student may not exceed more than the allocated credit hours allowed over the course of obtaining their degree. Financial aid eligibility is "disqualified" if the maximum program credit hours attempted are exceeded.

If a student changes majors, repeats courses, has excessive withdrawals, failing grades, etc., this will extend the total amount of time required to graduate. The longer a student stays in school, the more likely the chance of not meeting the satisfactory academic progress policy because of maximum time frame limitations.

A student who is within 30 credit hours of exceeding his or her maximum time frame will receive a "warning" notification from the Financial Aid Office. A student is still eligible to receive financial aid with an assigned warning status. Once the maximum time frame credit hours are exceeded, a student's warning status will be converted to "disqualified" and will no longer be eligible to receive federal, state or CCSU financial aid programs.

Maximum Timeframe Standard

Students must complete their program within a maximum timeframe based on units attempted for their primary academic program. Credits are the unit of measure used for most academic programs at Central Connecticut State University. All attempted credits (as defined below) by the student count for SAP purposes.

Once the maximum timeframe is reached, or the Financial Aid Office determines that it is not mathematically possible for the student to complete the academic program within the maximum timeframe, the student is considered ineligible for financial aid and will be assigned the status of financial aid suspension.

The maximum timeframe is calculated by multiplying the minimum units required for the academic program by 150% to determine the maximum number of units.

Maximum Timeframe = Minimum units required for academic program x 150%

For example, a student pursuing a bachelor's degree that requires 120 credits has a maximum timeframe of 180 credits.

Attempted credits are counted for all payment periods (e.g. semester) and include transfer credits, credits for courses from which a student has withdrawn, credits for which the student did not receive financial aid, as well as those usually waived under academic amnesty (academic renewal).

Following is an example of how a student does not meet timeframe standards:

SAP Units

Repeat Coursework - Financial aid is available for the first repeat of any previously passed course. Each attempt is factored into pace and the timeframe allowance. The UA course repeat policy can be found on the Registrar's Office website.

 

SECTION 5: CENSUS DATE DEFINED

Census Date for Measuring Your Satisfactory Academic Progress:
A census date is used to determine a student's quantitative measure as described in Section 3. The census date is the point in time when a student's enrollment hours are "frozen" for the purposes of determining financial aid eligibility for the semester. The census date is the end of the third week of classes for fall or spring semesters. Summer term will have unique census dates since summer term is comprised of shorter modules.

When the census date occurs, a student's current credit hours enrolled are compared to the credit hours his or her financial aid awards were previously disbursed for the semester. If there are credit hour differences, a student's financial aid award package and cost of attendance may be adjusted upward or downward. Financial aid awards will not be adjusted after the census date occurs.

Example of adjusting credit hours enrolled before the census date:

Fall semester, Kaizer Blue enrolled in 12 credit hours. His financial aid was based upon 12 credits or full time enrollment status. Ten days prior to the beginning of fall semester, Kaizer Blue's financial aid disbursed to his Cashiering account to help pay his tuition and fees. On the first day of classes for fall term, Kaizer Blue dropped a 3 credit hour class and was then enrolled for 9 credit hours. Kaizer Blue did not add another class. At the census date, it was determined that Kaizer Blue had financial aid disbursed at full time (12 credit hours) but he was actually enrolled for 9 credit hours (less than full time). Kaizer Blue's financial aid award and cost of attendance were likely reduced. Kaizer Blue may have had to return a portion of his financial aid back the Cashiering and Student's Account Office depending on his financial aid received. Kaizer Blue's financial aid award was adjusted because he dropped a class before the census date. Assuming Kaizer Blue does not drop additional classes after the census date,

Kaizer Blue would be meeting the quantitative measure as described in Section 3 of this policy at the end of his fall semester of enrollment. His financial aid was adjusted and disbursed to match his credit hours of enrollment at the census date so there was no SAP policy penalty.

Example of adjusting credit hours enrolled after the census date:

Fall semester, Kaizer Blue enrolled in 12 credit hours for his first semester at CCSU. His financial aid was based upon 12 credits or full time enrollment status. Ten days prior to the beginning of fall semester, Kaizer Blue's financial aid disbursed to his Cashiering account to help pay his tuition and fees. Two weeks into the semester for fall term, Kaizer Blue dropped two-3 credit hour classes and was subsequently enrolled for 6 credit hours. Kaizer Blue did not add additional classes to make himself full time enrolled again.

Since Kaizer Blue dropped two-3 credit hour classes after the census date and his financial aid was disbursed at full time (12 credit hours), but he was actually enrolled for 6 credit hours (less than full time), his financial aid awards or cost of attendance would not be adjusted (CCSU scholarships may be an exception). However, Kaizer Blue is now subjected to being evaluated under the quantitative measure as described in Section 3 of this policy.

At the end of fall semester and assuming Kaizer Blue passed his two remaining classes, the satisfactory academic progress policy would review his enrollment for the semester. His continued financial aid eligibility would be based upon the following calculation: Hours successfully completed divided by hours his financial aid was disbursed upon or 6/12 = 50% completion rate of his classes for which financial aid was paid. Kaizer Blue would not be meeting the 67.5% minimum standard. Kaizer Blue would receive a probation notice from the Financial Aid Office notifying him to rectify and take measures to prevent himself from being disqualified for financial aid in the future.

 

SECTION 6: POLICY SPECIFICS DEFINED

Monitoring Intervals & Probation Status:
Satisfactory academic progress is monitored at the end of every semester. A student who does not maintain SAP, as defined in this policy, will receive a "probation" notification at the conclusion of their first semester of not meeting the policy. Probation status is only a forewarning message; encouraging a student to rectify his or her academic progress for the next semester, so that financial aid eligibility can be continued.

A financial aid recipient who does not meet the SAP policy after two semesters will receive a notification indicating their financial aid has been "disqualified" and will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid assistance.

Students not meeting this policy will be notified via their CCSU issued e-mail account or U.S. Postal Service. Students may also view their current SAP status online at the WebCentral.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility:
A student may pay for college expenses at his or her own expense in order to make up any SAP policy deficiencies. Once policy deficiencies are rectified, a student may be reconsidered for financial aid eligibility.

A student may also appeal his or her eligibility status as described in Section 7 of this policy.

Withdrawing From Classes:
As previously described, the entire academic history of a student is reviewed to ensure reasonable progress toward graduation. W, WD, WH, WF & WP grades are included into the quantitative measurement of this policy. The more classes from which a student withdraws, the more likely his or her chances of not completing the 67.5% of all credit hours attempted policy rule.

* Example - Fall semester a freshman student receives the following grades:

Math 3 credits, letter grade A
English 3 credits, letter grade B
Psychology 3 credits, letter grade C
Art 3 credits, letter grade B
This student had successfully completed 12 credit hours and attempted 12 credit hours. 12/12 = 100% successful completion rate fall semester.

* Spring semester the same freshman student received the following grades:

History 3 credits, letter grade A
Political Science 3 credits, letter grade W
Geography 3 credits, letter grade W
Astronomy 3 credits, letter grade W
Statistics 3 credits, letter grade W
This student only successfully completed 3 credit hours and attempted 15 credit hours. 3/15 = 20% successful completion rate spring semester.

However, the total academic history for a student is reviewed: Total credit hours completed fall & spring divided by the total credit hours attempted fall & spring in this example: 15/27 = 55%.

In the example, this student would not be meeting the SAP policy because the quantitative measure of 67.5% is not being met as described in Section 3. This student is not progressing toward graduation in a reasonable time frame and financial aid will be disqualified.

Please note: a student who completes zero credit hours and/or withdrawals from all classes for two subsequent semesters for which financial aid was received, will automatically be placed on a "disqualified" status even if the 67.5% completion rate is met.

Academic Forgiveness:
Academic forgiveness, which may be granted in accordance with CCSU policy, is considered for SAP purposes. It is the student's responsibility to provide notification to the Financial Aid Office regarding the granting of academic forgiveness. This is necessary to reassess your current financial aid eligibility. You may have to re-pay financial aid you were not eligible to receive in the event of invoking the academic forgiveness rule.

College Classes Taken While Still Attending High School:
College classes taken for credit in Connecticut under a program known as, "Dual Enrollment Credit" or college classes taken in other states while attending high school are counted within this policy if transferred to CCSU and counted toward your degree program.

Repeated & Remedial Courses:
Repeated and remedial courses are included for SAP purposes.

 

SECTION 7: APPEALS

A student whose financial aid was disqualified for not meeting the requirements of this policy has the right to appeal mitigating circumstances to the Financial Aid Office. To initiate an appeal, a student must complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.

A student must provide supporting documentation to substantiate mitigating circumstances and demonstrate an academic plan for success. The burden of evidence is upon a student to validate cause for not meeting the policy requirements.

A SAP appeal submitted to the office should be clear, concise, have a well-described timeline of events and must have supporting documentation. Appeals which lack these characteristics will be denied or pended for additional information. Incomplete appeals will add significant review time to determine an answer.

Appeal Deadlines:
Please submit an appeal no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the semester for which financial assistance is desired. Appeals received after this date will still be processed. However, an appeal submitted during our peak processing time does not provide office staff sufficient opportunity to review your documents in a timely manner before your tuition and fees are due.

Students submitting late appeals to the office will want to make other payment arrangements with the Bursar's Office to avoid late fees and disenrollment from classes for non-payment. Please contact the Bursar's Office at www.ccsu.edu/bursar, if necessary.

Appeal Status Notification:
Students will be notified of their appeal status via their CCSU issued e-mail account, the MyCCSU or U.S. Postal Service. It may take up to 30 days to review a properly completed SAP appeal. Incomplete appeals will add significant review time to determine an answer.

Appeal's Committee:
Satisfactory Academic Progress appeals are reviewed by a committee comprised of Registrar office personnel. Individualized consideration is provided to students based upon his or her circumstances and supporting evidence provided within the appeal.

The committee's decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education or other CCSU employee per federal financial aid regulations.

Federal Regulatory Citations:

  • Higher Education Act, section 484(c)
  • 34 Code of Federal Regulations, 668.16(e)
  • 34 Code of Federal Regulations, 668.32(f)
  • 34 Code of Federal Regulations, 668.34

 

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