Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires Albion College to develop and enforce standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in order to maintain your eligibility for federal financial aid. The standards are developed to ensure that students are succeeding academically while also minimizing student debt.

The standards apply to all state and federal financial aid programs, including but not limited to:

  • Federal programs
    • Pell Grant
    • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    • Work Study
    • Direct Loan
    • Parent PLUS Loan
    • TEACH Grant
  • State programs
    • Michigan Tuition Grant
    • TIP (Tuition Incentive Program)
    • Fostering Futures
    • Gear Up
    • Children of Veterans Tuition Grant

Albion College reserves the right to suspend or maintain any College financial aid for students not meeting SAP standards.

These financial standards are separate from the academic standards required by the College to maintain academic standing.

Criteria and Standards used to measure progress for Undergraduate Students:
The SAP standards use three criteria:

SemesterRequired Cumulative GPA
First Semester1.25
Second Semester1.50
Third Semester1.75
Fourth Semester2.0

Minimum Qualitative Requirement – Grade Point Average (GPA)
Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average indicated in the table below, reaching at least a 2.0 by the end of the second year.

Quantitative Requirement – Cumulative Completion Rate/Pace
Students must earn at least 67% of the units attempted. Pace is calculated by dividing the total number of units the student has successfully completed by the total number they have attempted.

Maximum Time Frame for Completion
Students must complete their degree in no more than 150% of the average published length of the program in units. For example:

Undergraduate degrees require a minimum of 32 units. Attempted units must be 48 units or less (32 units x 150% = 48 units).

SAP Evaluation Toggle Accordion

SAP will be evaluated following the last semester of attendance in the academic year for students who are in a federal financial aid eligible program, including both full-time and part-time students. Only the grades available at the time of SAP evaluation will be used. If a grade later changes, SAP will not be recalculated.

Academic Information Toggle Accordion

Grades and Units
Students’ grades and units are tallied according to these guidelines:

  • Attempted units include grades of 4.0, 3.7, 3.3, 3.0, 2.7, 2.3, 2.0, 1.7, 1.3, 1.0, 0.0, CR/NC, I, P, W, and transfer units.
  • Earned units include grades of 4.0, 3.7, 3.3, 3.0, 2.7, 2.3, 2.0, 1.7, 1.3, 1.0, transfer units.

Dropped Courses
Courses dropped during the drop/add period (coded as DD), or those that are approved through an academic appeal to be counted as a dropped course, are not included in the earned/attempted calculations, nor in the GPA calculation.

Incomplete Courses
Incomplete grades (I) are calculated as an “0.0” until the incomplete grade is changed to a complete grade and are included in earned/attempted calculations.

Withdrawal from Courses
A withdrawal (W) from a course after the drop/add period is included in the attempted units total.

Work in Progress Courses
The work in progress (P) grade is awarded only for directed study and thesis work that requires an extension of time for completion. P grades are not included in the calculation of attempted or earned totals.

Audited Courses
Audited courses (AU) are not included in the calculation of attempted or earned totals.

Repeated Courses
If a course is repeated, units will be added to the attempted/earned unit totals each time the student registers. Only the most recent grade received in the course will be used in the calculation of the GPA.

Transfer Units
Only transfer units that count toward the student’s current program will be counted as attempted/earned hours. Transfer units do not count into the cumulative grade point average.

Changes of Major/Degree Program
Students who change majors or programs are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule, but only units that apply to the new major or degree program are evaluated. The 150% maximum limit will be measured based on the number of units required for the new major/degree.

Credit/No Credit Courses
Courses that are taken as credit/no credit (CR/NC) are included in the attempted/earned totals but are not included in the cumulative grade point average calculation.

Grade Changes
A course grade that is changed after SAP is evaluated for the prior year will be included in the next evaluation process with the updated grade.

Not Meeting SAP Standards Toggle Accordion

Students who are determined to not be meeting SAP standards will be notified before the beginning of the next semester.

Notification of Status
Active students with a FAFSA on file will be sent a notification to their Albion College email address. A letter will be mailed to your student mailbox or home address on file if evaluations happen after the school year notifying them of failing to meet SAP standards.

Financial Aid Suspension
Students who do not meet SAP standards will not be eligible to receive Federal or State financial aid.

Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process Toggle Accordion

Students who are on a financial aid suspension may file an appeal of eligibility if there are circumstances beyond their control leading to not meeting SAP standards. This includes, but is not limited to,

  • Injury, accident, or illness by you or a significant person in your life.
  • Death of a family member or significant person in your life.
  • Other special circumstance

The following are NOT valid reasons for a SAP appeal:

  • Unpreparedness for college coursework.
  • Lack of awareness of course withdrawal policies.
  • The need for financial assistance.

The appeal must include:

  1. Completed Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Request form including an explanation of what happened and what has changed that will allow SAP standards to be met.
  2. Supporting documentation from a third party (as appropriate).

Download Appeal Form

Students may also be required to develop an academic plan to document how they will meet SAP standards by the end of a specified period, ideally the next payment period.

Only one appeal per extenuating circumstance may be submitted. Any future appeals for the same circumstance will be denied.

Only complete appeals will be reviewed. During an appeal review, the students academic history and federal loan debt will be reviewed with the appeal form and academic plan.

Appeal Deadlines
Students not meeting SAP will be notified of the deadline to file an appeal and academic plan. If the appeal is not submitted by this date, it will be denied.

Appeal Denials
If the appeal is denied, the student will lose eligibility for Federal and State aid and will need to use other methods of paying for Albion College until they are back within SAP standards. The student is responsible for all charges if enrolling while on financial aid suspension.

All SAP appeal decisions are at the discretion of the review committee and are final.

What is the outcome of a successful appeal? Toggle Accordion

Financial Aid Probation
Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to meet SAP standards but successfully appeals. During the probation period, the student may continue to receive financial aid if the College can determine that the student is following their academic plan or otherwise meeting the SAP standards.

Students who are not following their academic plan after one semester must file another appeal to continue receiving federal and/or state financial aid.

Academic Plans
An academic plan requires the student to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • The student must pass all courses with a minimum grade of 2.0
  • The student must not have any grades of W, NC, or I

What happens after a term on probation? Toggle Accordion

  • Reinstatement: If the student successfully meets the academic requirements set forth by the Committee while on probation, they will be removed from probation and return to regular financial aid eligibility.
  • Cancellation or Subsequent Appeal: If the academic results required while on probation are not achieved, all Federal and State financial aid will be canceled for future terms. Students must file a second appeal to maintain eligibility for one additional semester. At the end of the next semester, the student must be able to meet SAP. No third appeals will be considered.
  • Regaining eligibility after Cancellation: A student who has been canceled for financial aid eligibility, but not academically dismissed will have to pay for the next term without any Federal or State financial aid assistance. Such a student may petition the SAP committee to suspend the cancellation and reinstate financial aid eligibility after paying for one term on their own.
  • Subsequent Cancellation: It may be possible for a student who was once canceled to regain eligibility and subsequently return to a condition of cancellation. Only in unusual cases will a student be reinstated after a second cancellation. Third cancellations are always final.

Financial Aid Probation vs. Academic Probation Toggle Accordion

The financial aid SAP policy is different from the Albion College academic status. Financial Aid probation only applies to your financial aid eligibility. There are also two separate appeals processes. Students should reference the Student Handbook for details on academic probation and academic standing requirements.