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How to Keep Your Financial Aid - Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements are meant to ensure that students are able to complete their academic program in a timely manner through achieving minimum academic standards.  In an age of increasing accountability for the use of federal, state, and institutional student aid funds, institutions of higher education and  their students must demonstrate that financial aid funds are being used to assist students in efficiently completing their academic goals.                 

The University of West Georgia (UWG) has developed the following Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for Financial Aid recipients to encourage student success and accountability  in the use of Financial Aid funds for educational purposes.  While the University of West Georgia maintains an academic progress policy for the determination of a student’s continued academic eligibility for enrollment purposes, the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for Financial Aid purposes may be more stringent in some components in order to maintain compliance with Federal Student Aid regulations (34 CFR 668.34).  

  1. Consistency of Application of SAP Standards
    Unless otherwise noted, the SAP requirements as stated apply to all students regardless of the student’s receipt of financial aid funds, the student’s academic classification as an undergraduate or graduate student, or the student’s academic program.  Exceptions (as noted below) will include but are not limited to the minimum GPA requirement and maximum time frame hours for graduate students.
  2. Frequency of SAP Evaluation
    The UWG Financial Aid Office will evaluate all students’ Satisfactory Academic Progress status at the conclusion of each term of enrollment.  At UWG, the term of enrollment is the semester.  Students enrolled in summer semester will be evaluated for SAP at the conclusion of the summer semester.
  3. Grade-Point Average (GPA) Requirement
    -   Undergraduate students will be evaluated each semester on the basis of cumulative GPA and the total number of hours attempted.  Hours transferred will be included in determining the total hours attempted; however, the cumulative GPA will be computed only on the work completed at UWG (institutional GPA).  The cumulative GPA required to maintain SAP for the total number of hours attempted is given below: 
             *0 – 30 attempted hours = 1.8 minimum institutional GPA
             *31 – 60 attempted hours = 1.9 minimum institutional GPA
             *61 attempted hours & above = 2.0 minimum institutional GPA
    -   Graduate students will be evaluated each semester on the basis of cumulative institutional GPA.   The minimum cumulative GPA required to maintain SAP is 3.00.
    -   Impacts on GPA regardless of undergraduate or graduate level: 
             *Transfer credits will not be included in the quality points or GPA hours.  The GPA standard is based on UWG credits only.
             *The first 30 hours of Learning Support (remedial) credits will be excluded from the GPA calculation. 
             *Incomplete courses taken at UWG will be excluded from the GPA calculation.
             *Grades of W will be excluded from the GPA calculation (not from the pace of progression requirement; see next section)
             *Grades of F or WF will count in the GPA calculation as 0 quality points.
             *For courses which are repeated at UWG, the last attempt will count in the GPA calculation.
             *These Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards do not consider an Academic Renewal GPA.  All prior     
               institutional grades are included in the SAP GPA.  
  4. Pace of Progression
    All students will be evaluated each semester to determine that they are making satisfactory pace of progression through their academic program.  A minimum 67% cumulative completion ratio will be required at each evaluation period.  Pace of progression is defined as the ratio of the cumulative number of credit hours completed divided by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted:                        
                                          Cumulative hours earned/Cumulative hours attempted >= 67%
    -
       Transfer credits accepted toward the student’s UWG academic program will count as both earned and attempted hours in the calculation of the pace of progression ratio.
    -   The first 30 hours of Learning Support (remedial) credits will be excluded from the calculation of the pace of progression ratio.
    -   Incomplete courses taken at UWG will not count as earned hours but will count as attempted hours in the calculation of the pace of progression ratio.
    -   Withdrawn courses (grades of W or WF) taken at UWG will not count as earned hours but will count as attempted hours in the calculation of the pace of progression ratio.
    -   Failed courses (grades of F) taken at UWG will not count as earned hours but will count as attempted hours in the calculation of the pace of progression ratio.
      All repeated courses will count as attempted hours in the pace of progression ratio.  Whether the repeated course counts as earned hours will depend on the status of the first attempt:
             *First attempt not successfully completed, subsequent attempt successfully completed = one course counts as earned
               credits, both courses count as attempted credits.
             *First attempt successfully completed, subsequent attempt also successfully completed = one course counts as earned
               credits, both courses count as attempted credits. 
             *First attempt not successfully completed, subsequent attempt not successfully completed = neither course counts as 
               earned credits, both courses count as attempted credits.
  5. Maximum Time Frame
    A student must complete their degree requirements within a specified number of attempted hours per the table below:
        
    -   A student who is pursuing two majors or a major with minor(s) is still subject to the above Maximum Time Frame limitations.
    -   An undergraduate student who is pursuing two undergraduate degrees (concurrently or separately) will be granted an extension to 240 attempted hours.   No extension of maximum attempted hours is permitted for more than two undergraduate degrees.
    -   A master’s degree student who is pursuing an additional master’s degree (concurrently or separately) will be granted an extension of 40 attempted hours above the first master’s degree requirement.  No extension of maximum attempted hours is permitted for more than two master’s degrees.
    -   Graduate students above the master’s degree will only be permitted the maximum attempted hours for the programs outlined above.
  6. SAP Status
    A student’s SAP status will be evaluated at the completion of each term of enrollment.  At UWG, the term of enrollment is the semester.  Students enrolled in summer semester will be evaluated for SAP at the conclusion of the summer semester.  At each evaluation period, one of the following SAP statuses will be assigned:
    -   Satisfactory – Student is meeting the GPA, Pace of Progression, and Maximum Time Frame requirements.  Student is eligible to continue receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
    -   Warning – Student is not meeting either the GPA or Pace of Progression requirements (or both).  Student is eligible to continue receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid for one semester only.  Continued eligibility beyond the warning semester will be contingent on the student bringing the deficient requirements to the required minimum standards.
    -   FA Suspension – Student is not meeting either the GPA or Pace of Progression requirements (or both) after a Warning semester.  Student is not eligible to continue receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid until the deficient requirements return to the required minimum standards.
    -   Maximum Time Frame Warning – Student is within 10 attempted hours of the allotted attempted hours for Maximum Time Frame for the student’s degree program.  Student is eligible to continue receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid until the completion of the semester during which allotted attempted hours is crossed.
    -   Maximum Time Frame – Student has exceeded the number of attempted hours for the academic program.  Student has exhausted all eligibility to continue receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid.
    -   FA Probation – Student placed on FA Suspension or Maximum Time Frame provided an SAP Appeal which was approved by UWG review procedures.  Student must complete the requirements of an academic plan which will be monitored by the Financial Aid Office in conjunction with other academic support offices.  Student is eligible to continue receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid for one semester only in coordination with the details of the academic plan.  The student’s continued eligibility beyond the probation semester will be determined at the conclusion of each semester in coordination with the details of the academic plan.
  7. Appeals
    A student who has been placed on FA Suspension or Maximum Time Frame may appeal the SAP status decision only in cases of extenuating circumstances.  Examples of extenuating circumstances for which a student may file an SAP appeal may include a student’s injury or illness, serious illness or death of an immediate family member, or other special circumstances.  Each SAP appeal will be reviewed individually and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis as outlined in the procedures given below.

    The SAP appeal process requires the submission of a written statement by the student outlining the extenuating circumstances which led to their academic difficulties, how the circumstances have now changed, and the student’s plan for improving the academic status.  The written statement must be typewritten, signed by the student, and must specifically address the courses, grades, and terms of enrollment which are affecting the insufficient SAP standing.  The appeal must be accompanied by supporting documentation from at least two individuals who can corroborate the student’s circumstances.  If the documentation is provided by a professional (business, medical, counselor, clergy, etc.), the documentation must include the institution’s professional letterhead, the professional’s credentials, and must be signed.  If a letter of support is provided by a personal reference (teacher, family friend, etc.), the documentation must be signed by that reference.   

    SAP appeals will be reviewed by a UWG committee comprised of FA staff and other faculty/staff representatives.  A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee may submit a second appeal to the Director of Financial Aid.  The decision of the Director of Financial Aid is final.  

    If a student’s SAP appeal is granted by either the SAP Appeals Committee or the Director of Financial Aid, the student will gain eligibility for continued federal, state, or institutional Financial Aid eligibility for one semester only.  The student and a representative from the Financial Aid Office will work cooperatively with the student’s academic advisor and the Excel Center to put together an academic plan that will be monitored throughout the semester to be sure the student is making proper academic progress.  In cases where it is mathematically impossible to bring the GPA or Pace of Progression ratio to required standards within one semester, the academic plan may be developed across multiple semesters, but it will be evaluated at the conclusion of each semester to be certain that the requirements at each checkpoint are being properly achieved by the student.  

    If a student’s SAP appeal is denied by either the SAP Appeals Committee or the Director of Financial Aid, the student will not be eligible for federal, state, or institutional financial aid until the student returns the GPA and Pace of Progression ratio to required standards.
  8. Notification of SAP Status
    At each SAP evaluation period, the student’s SAP status will be recorded in BanWeb.  Students who are placed on FA Probation, FA Suspension, or Maximum Time Frame will be notified via e-mail to their UWG email account as well as via a postal letter mailed to the permanent address as recorded in BanWeb.  Students who are placed on FA Warning will be notified via e-mail to their UWG email account.  All notifications will occur within 3 weeks of the conclusion of the semester against which SAP is evaluated.