Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy (effective Fall 2012)
In accordance with Title IV Financial Aid federal regulation 34 CFR 668.34, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has established the following policy for evaluating the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of Title IV financial aid recipients. This policy also extends to state and institutional financial aid programs.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the measurement of a student’s academic progress toward their degree. SAP evaluates three components to determine eligibility for financial aid: qualitative measure (cumulative grade point average), quantitative measure (percentage of coursework completed) and maximum time-frame allowed for degree completion.
The review of a student’s SAP status is based on the entire academic record, even if the student did not receive financial aid for previous semesters of enrollment. In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must satisfy all components.
Undergraduate students must meet the following SAP criteria:
- Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
- Minimum completion rate of 67%
- Maximum time frame of 150% of defined academic length for bachelor’s degree and undergraduate certificate programs.
Graduate students must meet the following SAP criteria:
- Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
- Minimum completion rate of 67%
- Maximum time frame of 150% of defined program length for master’s degree and graduate certificate programs.
Completion rate is calculated by total earned credits divided by total attempted credits.
Earned credits include successfully completed courses (i.e. grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-,C+, C, C-, D+, D, P, S) and transfer credits. Audited and remedial coursework not included.
Attempted credits include successfully completed courses (i.e. grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-,C+, C, C-, D+, D, P, S), non-passing grades (i.e. grade of F), Incomplete (i.e. grade of I), withdrawn courses (i.e. grade of W), transfer credits and repeated courses. Audited and remedial coursework are not included in attempted credits or GPA.
Maximum time frame allowed is calculated by multiplying the published program length by 150 percent. Example: published program length of 120 credits X 150% = 180 credits maximum time frame allowed to complete degree requirements.
Evaluations and Notifications
The Financial Aid Office evaluates SAP annually at the end of each spring term for undergraduates and graduates, or upon re-enrollment into the university. Students enrolled in a certificate program are evaluated at the end of each term. SAP is also reviewed at the end of each probationary period, if applicable to student. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive financial aid in a subsequent payment period, including summer term. Financial aid applicants not meeting SAP standards will be deemed ineligible to receive financial aid and will be sent written notification to their permanent address and/or email notification to their University email account.
Financial Aid Termination
Students who do not meet the university SAP standards are not eligible to receive financial aid. SAP status applies to financial aid eligibility and does not impact registration or academic standing.
Students who do not meet the minimum SAP requirements for continuance of financial aid have the right to appeal when special circumstances exist. Conditions when a student may appeal include death of a relative, injury or illness of the student or other extenuating circumstances.
To appeal, a student must complete the following:
- Complete SAP Appeal Form. Student statement must include why the student failed to meet SAP and what has changed to allow student to meet SAP at the end of next evaluation.
- Meet with Associate or Assistant Dean from their College or if enrolled in ASU, LAR, or CCB and have under 45 earned credits, should meet with Academic Advising Office and develop an Academic Plan. Both student and Dean's Office/Academic Advising Office representative must sign Academic Plan Form.
- Submit completed SAP Appeal, Academic Plan and supporting documentation to the University Enrollment Center for Financial Aid Office review.
-Forms must be submitted prior to the last day of add/drop for the semester in which aid is desired.
-Appeal forms submitted for a specific term will not be granted for that term if the student has stopped attending that term or the student withdraws from all courses or the University while waiting for an appeal decision during that term.
-An appeal submitted to the Financial Aid Office does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.
-All appeals are reviewed by representatives of the Financial Aid Office.
-Approved appeals will result in the student being placed on Financial Aid Probation (see financial aid probation section). SAP approval notification will be sent to the student’s University email account.
-Denied appeals will result in the student being ineligible for financial aid. The student may enroll in coursework but will be responsible for payment of their university bill. SAP denial notification will be sent to the student’s University email account. Students may wish to explore private education loans at:
Financial Aid Probation
A student who fails to meet SAP but who has successfully appealed with the Financial Aid Office will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. During the Financial Aid Probation period, the student is considered eligible for financial aid. At the end of the probation period, the Financial Aid Office will evaluate the student’s academic record.
SAP Appeal Limit
Students are allowed a maximum of two SAP appeals for their academic career.
Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility
A student may regain financial aid eligibility by successfully meeting the University’s SAP policy requirements or successfully meeting the requirements of their established Academic Plan.
All information is subject to change based on changes to federal law, regulation, or university policy and procedure. If changes are made, students must abide by the new policy.