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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. Therefore, per the College’s institutional policy, all scholarship and 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. The detailed requirements and the consequences of not meeting those requirements are outlined below:

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 as 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, or D) a minimum of 66.67% or 2/3 of all courses attempted. The percentage of earned credits is calculated by dividing earned credits by all attempted credits.

Example: A student who has attempted four (4), 3 credit hour 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 requirement.

Credits Defined

  • 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 (WP/WF), 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 an undergraduate course remains incomplete by the end of the second week of the following term, the class is coded as a failure (F). Graduate students must clear incompletes by the end of the following term. 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 time frame calculation. Students who do not complete their program within this time frame 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 or at Spring Hill College. 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 their Student Success Coach. At the end of the Financial Aid Warning period the following action will occur: 1) A student is removed from Financial Aid Warning if the student is now meeting all SAP standards; or 2) A student is placed on Financial Aid 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: 1) Enrolls and pays for courses raising his/her GPA and/or completion rate to meet the SAP standards; or 2) 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 (available on BadgerWeb). The appeal must explain why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in their situation to allow the student to now be academically successful.
  • Adequate documentation verifying the special circumstances must be attached (e.g., doctor’s letter, third-party letter).
  • Appeals will be reviewed by the SAP Appeals Committee within two weeks of the date the appeal is received, and notification of the appeal decision will be sent to the student’s school email account.
  • 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 Probation
Upon appeal approval, 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 completed and signed academic plan 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 federal SAP regulations, the probation is lifted and the student is again eligible to receive aid without further action.

If the academic plan expectations have been met, but the student is still not meeting federal 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 will be placed back on Financial Aid Suspension and is not eligible to receive financial aid until he/she meets 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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