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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal and state regulations require that students receiving any federal or state financial assistance must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. All federal and state aid recipients will have their academic progress reviewed at the end of each academic semester (Fall, Spring and Summer). Satisfactory progress requires that students meet specific requirements in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid. Below the detailed requirements are outlined, as well as are the consequences of not meeting them.


Requirement 1: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Undergraduate students receiving federal and/or state financial assistance must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average at Spring Hill College to be considered to be maintaining satisfactory progress. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.

Requirement 2: Completion Rate

Students must successfully complete (with letter grades A, B, C, D, or S) a minimum of 67% of all courses attempted. The percentage of earned credits is calculated by dividing earned credits by all attempted credits.

Example 1: A student who has attempted four (4), 3 credit courses (total of 12 credits) must successfully complete at least three of the courses (9 credits divided by 12 credits = 75%). This student would meet this standard.

Example 2: A student who has attempted three (3), 3 credit courses (total of 9 credits) must successfully complete all classes to meet this standard. If the student only completes 2 courses the student is not meeting the SAP standard (6 credits divided by 9 credits = 66%).

Attempted credits – All credits in which a student has registered are considered attempted credits whether or not the course is completed. Repeated courses as well as grades of F, course withdrawals (W), courses from which a student has been dropped for non-participation (NW), courses with no credit received (NC) and courses that are not completed (I, E and T) at the end of the semester are included as attempted.

Incomplete credits (I) – Credits which are attempted, but not completed (I) are included as attempted credits. If the course remains incomplete by the end of the following term the class is coded as a failure (F). Any student who receives an Incomplete “I” in any course must notify the Office of Student Financial Services when the “I” is changed into a letter grade in order for the credits earned to count toward the quantitative standard of performance.

Repeated credits – These credits are included in the calculation for both attempted and earned credits. If a student retakes a course for which they have already earned credit, they may only receive aid to cover the repeated course once. If a student has taken a course more than three times and has not yet earned credit, eligibility for financial aid to cover the course will follow the academic repeat policy.

Transfer credits – Hours transferred to Spring Hill College and hours enrolled in the summer will be counted as attempted and earned. The GPA (Requirement 1) is calculated using only hours attempted at Spring Hill College.

Requirement 3: Maximum Timeframe (150%).

Students must complete their program within 150% of the published length of the educational program. Part-time attendance counts in the maximum timeframe calculation. Students who do not complete their program within this timeframe are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.

Example: A student is enrolled in a program that has a completion requirement of 120 credit hours over 4 years. The student must complete their degree in no more than 180 credit hours over the course of 6 years.

Additional Information: Remedial courses will not be included in any requirement of the SAP review. Academic amnesty or renewal does not apply to SAP. If you change your major, courses that do not apply in any way to your new major will be excluded from calculation.

SAP Review Statuses

Financial Aid Warning

In the event that a student fails to meet any of the above criteria at the end of an academic semester, the student will be notified by the Office of Student Financial Services and will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next enrollment period. While such students are not required to take any action and will be eligible to receive aid for one semester (fall, spring or summer) during which they are subsequently enrolled, they are encouraged to meet with the staff at the Center for Academic Support and Advising. At the end of the Financial Aid Warning period the following action will occur:

  • A student is removed from FA warning if the student is now meeting all SAP standards.
  • A student is placed on FA suspension if, after the warning period, the student has not met Requirements 1, 2, or 3.

Financial Aid Suspension

Any student on Financial Aid Warning who fails to meet the semester requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and is no longer eligible to receive any form of financial aid, including loans. Financial aid eligibility can be reinstated if a student either:

  • Enrolls and pays for courses raising his/her GPA and/or completion rate to meet the SAP standards, or
  • Successfully appeals the suspension status.

SAP Appeal Process

A student has the right to appeal a suspension of financial aid due to mitigating circumstances such as, but not limited to, illness, military service, or a previously undiagnosed learning disability. The following must be completed and submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services:

  • Appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office using the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. The Appeal Form must be complete, reviewed, and signed by the student as well as an Academic Advisor.
  • Adequate documentation verifying the special circumstances must be attached (e.g., doctor’s letter, third-party letter).
  • A signed Academic Plan is required. The appeal must explain why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in their situation to allow them to now be academically successful. The appeal will be reviewed by a SAP Committee. The student will be notified of the committee’s decision.

Financial Aid Probation

The Financial Aid Office considers all appeals. Notification of the decision is sent to the student’s email account. The student will receive notification of the decision within two (2) weeks of the date the appeal is received or after the semester’s final grades have been posted (whichever is later). If a SAP appeal has been approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. As a condition of the appeal, the student must adhere to all requirements outlined in the academic plan and SAP appeal decision regarding the terms of approval and the performance expectations for the semester of Financial Aid Probation.

The academic plan will be reviewed at the end of the enrollment period and the results will be measured. If the student has met performance benchmarks as established in the academic plan and federal SAP regulations, the probation is lifted and the student is again eligible to receive aid without further action. If the expectations have been met but the student is still not meeting SAP Standards, the academic plan will continue for the subsequent semester until such time that the student has renewed eligibility due to meeting SAP or has graduated.

If a student fails to meet the expectations listed on the Academic Plan, he/she is will be placed back onto Financial Aid Suspension and is not eligible to receive financial aid.

If a student’s SAP Appeal is denied, the student will remain on Financial Aid Suspension until he or she meets the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Financial Aid Warning

Financial Aid Probation


A status assigned to a student who fails to make SAP at the end of any one semester for which they were previously making SAP.

A status assigned to a student who has submitted a Financial Aid Appeal and it was approved.

Required student action

No action is required of the student

Student must submit an appeal, including a written statement, applicable documentation, and a signed Academic Plan.

Eligibility for aid

The student is eligible to receive aid for one subsequent semester prior to being evaluated again.

The student is eligible to receive aid if they are successfully following the Academic Plan, or begin meeting SAP requirements.

Note on Spring Hill College’s Academic Policy and SAP:

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is for financial aid purposes. It is used to ensure that recipients of federal aid (Title IV) are successfully making progress towards their degree. It is not to be confused with the academic standards for continued enrollment at Spring Hill College. A particular scholarship, grant, etc., offered by Spring Hill College, the state of Alabama or another third-party might have additional renewal requirements specific to the particular fund. Future federal and state legislation may alter any policy and such changes will not be reflected in this printing. Any questions about the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services at Spring Hill College.

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