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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Effective Fall 2015

Why monitor academic progress?

Federal Regulations require that students that apply for and/or receive Title IV Aid must be monitored for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Title IV Aid includes the following programs:
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans (Parent and Grad)

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed each semester (including summer) and during the application process.

How is progress measured?

Satisfactory Academic Progress determination will be based on the following:

Qualitative Progress
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
Quantitative Progress
  • Successfully completing at least 67% of cumulative hours attempted
Attempted Hours includes:
  • Developmental/Remedial Hours
  • Repeat Hours
  • Incomplete Hours
  • Academic Clemency Hours
  • Transfer Hours
  • Concurrent (High School) Enrollment
  • All hours regardless of whether a student received Financial Aid

Students seeking their first undergraduate degree must complete their program within 150% of the published timeframe of their degree program.

  • Ex: Degree program that requires 120 hours. 120 X 150% = 180 hours maximum

Student Eligibility (Undergraduate Students)

  • Students must be admitted and enrolled in an eligible Degree Program
  • Students must complete at least 67% of cumulative hours attempted and maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • Students may not exceed 150% of the published length of their degree program

Student Eligibility (Graduate Students)

  • Students must be accepted into the Graduate School and enrolled in an eligible Degree Program
  • Students must complete at least 67% of cumulative hours attempted and maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA

Additional Eligibility Information

Transfer Students

  • Financial Aid eligibility cannot be determined until all official transcripts have been received and evaluated by the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration.
  • Unofficial Transcripts cannot be accepted to determine eligibility.
  • Eligibility will be based on the hours accepted by Arkansas State University.

Incomplete and Repeat Coursework

  • Incomplete Coursework will be evaluated as a failing grade until the course has been satisfactorily completed.
  • Incomplete coursework must be completed by the end of the next semester.
  • Students who have Repeat coursework must contact the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration to have their academic transcript recalculated.

Prerequisite Coursework

  • Students taking prerequisite coursework to gain admission to a graduate degree program must submit a Preparatory Coursework Form and Degree Completion Plan to the Financial Aid Office to determine financial aid eligibility.
  • Prerequisite coursework must be completed within one calendar year to be eligible for Federal Student Aid
  • Please note: that taking coursework to improve the students GPA to gain admission to a program is not considered prerequisite coursework and therefore is not eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Pursuing a Second Undergraduate Degree

  • Students must submit a Degree Completion Plan signed by themselves and their Academic Advisor. The Plan must indicate the courses and timeframe required to complete the additional degree
  • Students pursuing a second Bachelor's Degree must complete the program within 60 hours.  Students pursuing an Associate's Degree must complete the program within 30 hours.  Students who are unable to complete their program(s) within these timeframes will be denied financial aid.
  • Students pursuing a degree in a high-need area must meet specific criteria to receive aid for their program.
    View High-Need Areas >> 

Failure to meet SAP requirements

  • All students that fail to meet SAP requirements will notified via their A-State email within seven days of the posting of final grades for the semester
  • This information is also available on the Financial Checklist found on the mycampus.astate.edu portal.
  • Failure to receive notification does not dispute or reverse the termination of eligibility to receive Financial Aid.
  • Students that do not meet cumulative GPA requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next semester of enrollment.
  • Undergraduate students who have attempted 60 or more hours and have a cumulative GPA below 2.0 will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible to appeal.
  • Students that do not successfully complete 67% of their cumulative attempted hours will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next semester of enrollment.
  • Students receiving all FNs for a semester will be required to return a portion of the Federal Student Aid funds they received for the semester.
  • Students that do no complete their program within 150% of the published timeframe will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • If at any point it is clear that a student will not be able to complete their degree within the allotted timeframe, they will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
  • Although a student may be pursuing more than one degree, only one degree will be considered in the maximum timeframe calculation.
  • Changing degrees does not affect the formula used in calculating the maximum timeframe.

Financial Aid Warning

  • Students placed on Financial Aid Warning must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and have completed at least 67% of their cumulative hours attempted by the end of the semester.
  • Failure to meet these requirements will result in Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid until they meet cumulative SAP requirements and are approved through the appeals process.

  • To regain Federal Financial Aid eligibility there are two options:
  • If there were no extenuating circumstances, the student must use their own resources to complete coursework until they meet cumulative SAP requirements.
  • Once the student has brought their academic record back in line with the cumulative SAP policy, they must submit an appeal
  • If there were extenuating circumstances that affected their academic performance, students must submit an appeal to have their eligibility restored.

Notifications of Financial Aid Status

  • Students that do not meet SAP requirements will be notified via A-State email within seven days of the posting of final grades for the semester.
  • This information is also available on the Financial Aid Checklist found on the mycampus.astate.edu portal.
  • For transfer students, notifications will be sent once all transfer work has been reviewed and evaluated by the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration.

Submitting an Appeal

  • Students may appeal to have their eligibility restored if there are extenuating circumstances that affected their academic performance.
    • Extenuating circumstances may be defined as situations beyond the student’s control that do not allow them to successfully complete their semester.
      • Examples include: prolonged illness, accidents that require hospitalization of the student or immediate family member, death of an immediate family member, or divorce of the student or the student’s parents.
  • Students must appeal to have their eligibility restored once they have brought their academic record back in line with the cumulative SAP policy.
    • Sitting out for a semester or extended period of time does not restore eligibility to a student who failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress or had their appeal denied.
    • If hours were completed at another institution, the student must submit official transcripts to the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration for evaluation.
  • Appeals must include:
    • An appeal request form, which is available online.  Download the Appeal Form >>
    • A letter explaining the circumstances that affected the student’s academic performance, as well as an explanation as to what has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress.
    • An Academic Plan, stating what specific steps the student will take to get back in line with the SAP policy.
    • Undergraduate students who have attempted 90 hours or more must submit a Degree Completion Plan, which is available online.  Download the Degree Completion Plan >>
      • Incomplete or unsigned Degree Completion Plans will not be reviewed.
      • Deviation from the Degree Completion Plan may result in loss of financial aid eligibility.
    • Students who have attempted 60 hours or more, and have less than a cumulative 2.0 GPA are not eligible for an appeal.
  • Supporting documentation that can validate the student’s situation must be submitted with the appeal.
    • Documentation may include: medical records, police reports, court records, letter from your physician.
  • Submission of an appeal does not guarantee that financial aid eligibility will be restored.

Appeal Meeting Information

Appeal Meeting dates, deadlines, and forms can be found on the Financial Aid website www.astate.edu/finaid

  • Documents are also available in the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office, Room 2078 in the Student Union.
  • Appeals will be reviewed prior to the start of each semester.
  • No new appeals will be reviewed once the semester begins.
  • Appeals received after the published deadline will not be reviewed.

Appeal Decisions

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will notify the students of their appeal decision through their A-State email address.

  • Decision results will not be released until the committee has reviewed all appeals.
  • Decision information may also be found on the MyCampus portal.
  • If the student’s A-State email address is not available a letter will be mailed to the student.
  • Results will not be given over the phone.

Scholarship Appeals

Please note that the above appeal process is for Financial Aid only. Students appealing the loss of a scholarship due to extenuating circumstances should contact the Scholarship Coordinator at dbolar@astate.edu for additional information