Federal Policy: HEA Sec. 484 (c), 34 CFR 668.1(e), 34 CFR 668.32(f), 34 CFR 668.34 and Federal Registrar.
The United States Department of Education requires postsecondary institutions receiving federal funds (Title IV) to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) that is used to determine eligibility for continued receipt of federal funds. The SAP policy applies to all federal Title IV financial assistance programs including Federal Work-Study, Federal PELL, Federal Supplement Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Direct Loans. The college’s policy for SAP are designed to review a student’s academic performance in terms of quantitative and qualitative measures to ensure the student is making progress towards completion of the academic program. The SAP policy must be at least as strict as that for students who are not receiving FSA funds at your college, and it must apply consistently to all educational programs and all students within categories, e.g. full-time, part-time, undergraduate and graduate students. The policy must require a cumulative academic progress evaluation at the end of each payment term.
Bethany College Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
The SAP policy for Bethany College students receiving Federal Title IV is the same as or stricter than the university’s standards for students enrolled in the same educational program who are not receiving Federal Title IV financial aid. Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress is run at the end of each term shortly after final grades are due. Once the review is complete and the status is calculated, the student account will be updated accordingly. The Financial Aid Office will send an email and letter to your permanent address updating the progress failures.
1. Qualitative (GPA):
Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in good academic standing.
Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in good academic standing.
Grading scales/system can be found online in the Catalogue.
We do not round up the QPA. Nothing below the exact minimum requirement is rounded up in order to meet the minimum standards. For example, if you are an undergraduate student with QPA of 1.9999, you do not meet the minimum QPA requirement.
2. Quantitative (Credit Hours Earned):
All students must complete 67% of overall credits attempted to maintain good standing and be considered making Satisfactory Academic Progress. The completed percentage is determined by dividing credits earned by the number of credits attempted.
We do not round up. Nothing below the exact minimum requirement is rounded up in order to meet the minimum standards. For example, if your number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted equates to .666667, your percentage is 66% and you do not meet the minimum credits attempted requirement.
3. Maximum Time Frame
Maximum Time Frame is defined as the required length of time it will take a student to complete his/her degree. A student will remain eligible for federal aid for up to 150% total attempted credits. All credits transferred to the college and attempted credits will count towards the Maximum Time Frame requirement for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Unless your program is approved for additional credits, you are not eligible for federal financial aid. Undergraduate degrees require 128 credits, which means 150% equates to 192 maximum credits including transfer credits. Graduate degrees typically require 36 credits, which means 150% equates to 54 credits. Graduate degrees that are not the typical credits are reviewed by program requirements.
4. Additional Required Factors
The following factors must also be considered when evaluating a student’s Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress:
- Audited Courses: Audited classes are not considered credits attempted or earned. A student may audit a course with the understanding that he or she will receive neither a grade nor credit for the course.
- Change of Major: If a student changes majors, the hours attempted under all courses of study are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours.
- INC (Incomplete) Courses: An incomplete course does not earn credit or influence the grade point average in the semester the course work was taken. However, an incomplete grade will count towards the total credits attempted. Once the incomplete grade has been resolved, the credits and grade point will then be counted towards satisfying the minimum credit hours and grade point average requirements. If within a year the INC is not resolved, it is automatically turned to “F” and will be calculated in SAP. An INC failure grade counts the same as a failure grade towards both the grade point average and the total credits attempted.
- Military Courses: In some cases, military training and/or service school experience credits can be counted towards the total credit hours earned by a student for satisfying the minimum credit hours requirement for SAP. The credits attempted under all courses of study are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours.
- NF Not Attending Fail (Pending Review & Approval but is mandated by federal regulation): Grade awarded to students who did not officially withdraw from the course. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. No withdrawal categories earn credit towards graduating. An NF failure grade counts the same as a failure grade toward both the grade point average and the total credits attempted.
- Pass/Fail Courses (CR/NCR & SP/UP): Passing credits for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
- Remedial Courses: These courses are treated like any other course with the exception that credits do not count towards graduation. However, each student registers for a course, those credits are counted towards the student’s Maximum Time Frame requirements.
- Repeated Courses: The last grade earned will be used in calculating the student’s grade point average with the credits being counted only for the semester in which it was repeated. However, each time a student registers for a course, those credits are counted towards the Maximum Time Frame. These courses will also be counted towards satisfying the minimum earned credit hours standard. A student is allowed to repeat a course only once. Any additional repeats of the credits will not count towards financial aid eligibility.
- Transfer Credits: All credits transferred to the College will be counted towards the Maximum Time Frame requirement for SAP. These courses will also be counted towards satisfying the minimum earned credit hours standard.
- W (Withdrawal) Courses: A grade assigned when a course is removed from a student’s schedule after the current term’s Add/Drop period. No withdrawal categories earn credit towards graduation or towards satisfying the minimum credit hours requirement of the federal SAP policy. However, these credits will count towards the total attempted credits and could possibly affect the Maximum Time Frame requirement.
- WF (Withdrawal while failing): Indicates a withdrawal while failing from a course after the Add/Drop period. No withdrawal categories earn credit towards graduation or towards satisfying the minimum credit hours requirement of the federal SAP policy. However, these credits will count towards the total attempted credits and could possibly affect the Maximum Time Frame requirement.
- WP (Withdrawal with passing): Indicates a withdrawal while passing from a course after the Add/Drop period. No withdrawal categories earn credit towards graduation or towards satisfying the minimum credit hours requirement of the federal SAP policy. However, these credits will count towards the total attempted credits and could possibly affect the Maximum Time Frame requirement.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that withdrawing from courses can affect your Financial Aid eligibility in future terms. Remember, Federal Title IV financial aid is measured both quantitatively & qualitatively. So even if your GPA is not negatively impacted by withdrawing from courses your credits attempted/completed will be affected. It is important to consult the Financial Aid Office before dropping classes after the term’s Add/Drop.
Bethany College Satisfactory Academic Progress Procedures
Once the SAP calculation is complete, students are assigned a SAP status that requires action when they do not meet the minimum SAP requirements. A sequential status assignment order is followed to determine your financial aid eligibility for the present and future terms.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Status Sequence and Explanation:
- Financial Aid Warning (You are eligible for federal aid): Financial Aid Warning is a status assigned to a student who fails to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at a school that evaluates progress at the end of each payment period (term), and chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid. While on the Warning status, you will be eligible for federal aid. However, if at the end of the term, you are not meeting the minimum (2.0 undergraduate, 3.0 graduate QPA and 67% cumulative attempted credits) Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, you will be put on Financial Aid Suspension.
- Financial Aid Suspension (You are not eligible for federal financial aid unless you complete the academic plan appeal.) Financial Aid Suspension is a status assigned to a student who fails to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) while on the Financial Aid Warning status. Since after your warning period you are not meeting the minimum requirements (2.0 undergraduate, 3.0 graduate QPA and 67% cumulative attempted credits) Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, you are not eligible for federal financial aid. In order to gain federal financial aid eligibility, you must complete the SAP Financial Aid Academic Plan Appeal Form. This form can be found on the Forms section on the Financial Aid website. The appeal process is defined beginning on page 5 of this policy.
- Financial Aid Probation (You are eligible for federal financial aid.) Financial Aid Probation is a status assigned after you complete the SAP Academic Plan appeal process. You are eligible for federal Financial Aid for the current term. If at the end of the term you are meeting your SAP Academic Plan but not meeting the cumulative minimum (2.0 undergraduate, 3.0 graduate QPA and 67% cumulative attempted credits) Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, you will be put on Financial Aid Suspension and will have to appeal each term until you meet the cumulative minimum requirements. If at the end of the term you do not meet the SAP Academic Plan or the minimum cumulative SAP requirements, you will be put on Permanent Financial Aid Suspension status. You will then not be eligible for federal financial aid nor an appeal until you meet the minimum overall cumulative SAP requirements minimum (2.0 undergraduate, 3.0 graduate QPA and 67% cumulative attempted credits.)
- Permanent Financial Aid Suspension (You are not eligible for federal financial aid.) If the student fails their Academic Plan for the approved term and does not meet the overall qualitative or quantitative measures mentioned above then the student will not be eligible for another SAP Appeal nor Academic Plan. The student is placed on Permanent Financial Aid Suspension. The appeal process is no longer permissible when assigned the status. In order to regain financial aid eligibility, a student must successfully meet all requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students may use any term(s) of the academic year to eliminate his/her deficiency. However, he/she is financially responsible for all expenses incurred during the time it takes to regain eligibility. Course work taken at another college or university may be used to resolve the minimum credit hours earned requirement. The only possible exception to this strict guideline would be if the student was impacted due to health reasons or hospitalization. Such an exception requires extensive documentation proving the medical emergency affected the current semester academic achievements. Students can apply for Private Alternative loans but they are not eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid until they achieve the minimum SAP requirements and are considered to be in good standing. We will consider Financial Aid Suspension for previous non-borrowers only if the previous term the student earned a minimum of 2.0 GPA and attempted 100% attempted credits.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Students that exited the College not in “good academic standing” are potentially subjected to bypassing the Financial Aid Warning status and immediately progressing to the Financial Aid Suspension status. If you are returning with Permanent Suspension that will not change until the overall requirements are achieved. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right (at any time for all students: newly admitted, readmitted and continuing) to progress the status sequence as deemed necessary (including but not limited to) as per academic performance, inconsistent enrollment, excessive unofficial and official withdrawal grading assignments and signs or concerns of fraudulent activity.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Financial Aid Academic Plan Appeal Process:
Students are strongly encouraged to complete the SAP Academic Appeal Process. Even if you submitted a previous Academic Plan and passed, you must complete this process each semester in order to retain federal financial aid. Students will not be eligible for federal financial aid until all document requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress have been achieved and submitted accordingly.
If you are on Financial Aid Suspension, you are eligible to complete the SAP Financial Aid Academic Plan Appeal Process in order to be eligible for federal financial aid for the current term.
The following information is required before financial aid processing:
- Appeal Form: The Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Academic Appeal form can be found on the Forms section of the Financial Aid website. Students are required to complete all sections of the form. This form explains all requirements and collects informational data and your required signature.
- SAP Explanation: A student may file an appeal if there is an unusual and/or mitigating circumstance that affected their academic progress. Such circumstances may include a severe illness or injury to the student or immediate family member; the death of a student’s relative; activation into military service or other circumstances. Please be specific and provide any supporting documentation that would substantiate your appeal. All information will be strictly confidential. All SAP explanations must also outline the steps you are planning to take to ensure future success at Bethany College in addition to your academic plan. If you pass your plan and are resubmitting the SAP explanation for continued federal financial aid eligibility, you are only required to explain the steps you plan to continue to achieve academic success.
- Academic Plan: An academic plan must be completed with your Academic Advisor. If your Academic Advisor is not available, contact your Department Academic Dean.
This plan will help you work to maintain the overall cumulative SAP requirements and assist you with your graduation plan and requirements. Once the academic plan is complete, submit it to the Financial Aid Office.
Readmitted Students: Readmission to the University does not reinstate your funding or automatically mean you are eligible for federal financial aid. If you are readmitted to the College, you should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding your financial aid eligibility. You must meet the SAP requirements stated in the policy in order to receive federal Financial Aid.
Academic College Policies that affect the Federal Satisfactory Academic Policy:
It is important that you understand and reference all College policies before making a decision on change in your enrollment. All policies that involve grading and adjustments to your schedule after the Add/Drop period will ultimately have an impact on Satisfactory Academic Progress. Below are examples of Academic Policies that can affect your ability to successfully maintain the minimum requirements of the SAP policy.
All academic polices listed below can be found in the Catalogue.
- Withdrawal Policy
- Unofficial Withdrawal Policy