Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Federal regulations require the financial aid office to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether you are making progress toward a degree. Making progress toward a degree is important for your academic success and a key factor in reducing student debt.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is a term used to describe successful completion of coursework toward a degree or certificate. This policy applies to all students who receive federal and state financial aid, WPU scholarships, grants, departmental awards, tuition pledge programs and some awards from external university sources.

If you want to continue to receive federal and state aid, make sure you stay eligible by doing the following:

  • Maintain a satisfactory grade point average (GPA).
  • Complete enough classes to maintain an acceptable pace towards successfully completing your degree. All students must complete at least 67 percent of all courses attempted at any college attended.
  • Complete your program within the maximum time frame allowed.

The following could affect your ability to maintain the SAP standards for GPA, pace towards completion and time frame:

  • Class withdrawals – Pace and time frame can be affected.
  • Repeated coursework – Pace and time frame can be affected.
  • Change of major – Time frame can be affected.
  • Failing class – GPA, pace and time frame can be affected.
  • Transfer credits from another school – Time frame can be affected.
  • Incomplete coursework – Pace can be affected.
  • Academic Renewal – Pace and time frame can be affected.
  • Remedial coursework – Pace and GPA can be affected.

For more information on SAP, login to iGrad and search “SAP”.

How is SAP Measured?

Minimum Grade-Point Average (GPA) 

Undergraduate financial aid applicants must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average based on the total number of attempted credits (includes  transfer credits). 

Cumulative GPA Requirement for Financial Aid

Hours Attempted Required Cumulative GPA
0 – 29 1.7
30 – 59 1.8
60+ 2.00

Minimum Pace Requirement 

The minimum pace requirement is 67%. Use the formula below to determine your  pace. Transfer credits that are accepted from another institution are included in  the pace calculation and count as both attempted and completed hours. 

Completed Semester Hours (grades of A, B, C, D, S or P) divided by Attempted  Semester Hours (completed semester hours plus grades of F, N, U, W, O or I) 

Example:

Fall Semester + Spring Semester = Total
Completed Hours 6 + 10 = 16
Attempted Hours 12 + 12 = 24

16 ÷ 24 = .67 (67 %) 

Maximum Length of Study 

To remain eligible for financial aid, students must complete their degree  requirements within 150 percent of the published length of their academic  program. At WPU, this means that students in programs requiring 120 hours for  graduation are eligible for financial aid during the first 180 attempted hours as an  undergraduate. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether  or not financial aid was received, or the course work was successfully completed. 

SAP evaluation frequency

SAP evaluation frequency for undergraduate and graduate students

Satisfactory academic progress is monitored at the end of every semester. This  includes the fall, winter and all spring and summer semesters. Outstanding grades  may change or delay your SAP status decision. If you have been meeting SAP  standards and then fail to meet GPA or pace requirements you will be given a  warning semester. 

During the warning semester, you may continue to receive financial aid, but you  are expected to improve your academic standing and degree progress to meet  SAP standards at the end of the semester. 

If you do not meet the conditions of SAP at the end of the warning semester, you will be denied financial aid beginning the following semester. You will have  the option to submit a SAP Appeal to request financial aid consideration. If  your appeal is approved you will be on probation for one semester. 

Note: There is no warning period for students who have exceeded 150 percent of  program requirements. If you have earned over 150 percent of the credits required  for your program, you are not eligible for financial aid and must submit a SAP  Appeal to request financial aid consideration. 

Satisfactory academic progress definitions

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal 

If you are not meeting SAP standards you may file an appeal to request  reconsideration of your eligibility for financial aid funds. An appeal must include an  explanation of what happened and what has changed as well as supporting  documentation. 

Financial aid warning status 

If your SAP status is reviewed every semester and you are failing to make  satisfactory academic progress, your financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for  one semester. No SAP appeal is necessary. During the warning semester, you  are expected to improve your academic standing and degree progress, to meet  standards of SAP at the end of the semester. If you fail to achieve SAP at the end  of the semester, you will be denied financial aid beginning the following semester. 

You will have the option to submit a SAP Appeal to request financial aid  consideration. 

Financial aid probation status 

Probation status is assigned to a student who is failing to make satisfactory  academic progress and who successfully appeals. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one semester/payment period and during this time, you must make  

Notification of SAP Status

You can view your SAP status at any time in Self Service. If you are an active student  with a FAFSA on file, you will be notified by email if you fail to meet SAP standards. If  not all of your grades are posted when we run the SAP evaluation, be aware that your  status may be delayed or changed.

SAP Appeal

When you lose financial aid eligibility for failing to make satisfactory progress, you may  appeal that result based on: injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special  circumstances. You should not assume that a SAP appeal will be approved.  Decisions of SAP appeals review are final. Be aware, that if you enroll for classes  and a SAP appeal is not approved, you remain responsible for paying all charges  without financial aid. If you have experienced extenuating circumstances that prevented you from satisfying  the requirements to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), you may appeal  that status.

Extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control include but are not limited to:

  • Death of an immediate family member (spouse, mother, father, guardian,  sister, brother, son or daughter)
  • Major medical issue (i.e. requires hospitalization) experienced by the student  or an immediate family member of the student (as designated above)
  • Domestic violence
  • Involuntary call to active military duty
  • Other extreme circumstances (case by case basis)

The following circumstances are not considered extenuating and beyond the student’s  control, but based on personal choices.

  • Not knowing the deadline or procedure
  • Work conflicts
  • Incarceration resulting from a guilty verdict
  • Voluntary overtime
  • Not needing or wanting a class, not doing well in a class, or having too heavy  of a course load
  • Wishing to improve your GPA
Submitting an Appeal

A complete SAP Appeal includes submission of a web appeal listing an explanation and  plan for improvement and supporting documentation. Click on the link below and  complete the web appeal. 

Explanation of Circumstances 

Appeals must be submitted online and include a detailed explanation of how  extenuating circumstances beyond your control prevented you from meeting the  requirements. 

What has Changed

You must explain what has changed and why you feel ready to return to WPU and be  successful in your courses.  

Plan for Improvement 

All appeals must include an explanation of the strategies you will use to allow you to  maintain academic progress moving forward. 

Documentation 

Submit date-specific documentation from an unrelated third party. Documentation  includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Letter from a physician or counselor on letterhead indicating the dates you  were under their care 
  • Copy of a death certificate, obituary or third-party documentation of death ● Accident reports, police records, court records, etc. 
  • Documentation to support explanation of attempting more than 150% of the  required number of credits for your program (for maximum timeframe  appeals) 

Do not submit original documents, they will not be returned. Make sure all copies are  legible. 

Letters from family, relatives, and friends are not recommended. If this is the only  information that can be provided, you must meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to  determine what is acceptable. 

Documents must be submitted according to the requirements listed above. Appeals  submitted without supporting documentation will be considered ‘Incomplete’. You will  not have an opportunity to meet in person with the Committee. Therefore, it is important  that your appeal includes all necessary information.

The SAP appeal form can be found at https://forms.gle/tGNRY8qJyUad4VMt7. You  must sign in with your WPU email account. Only students with an active WPU email  account have access to this form 

After your completed SAP Appeal is reviewed by the Financial Aid Office, you will  receive a decision via email to your WPU email account. Status will also be posted in  Self Service. Appeals are reviewed on a rolling basis as they are submitted. Incomplete appeals will be denied. We will make every attempt to notify you of an appeal decision  within 15 business days.

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