Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal and state regulations require that students meet certain academic standards to be eligible for financial aid. The basic standards are: 

  1. students are expected to maintain a satisfactory grade point average;
  2. students are expected to successfully complete at least 67% of the classes they attempt;
  3. students are expected to complete their program in a timely manner; and
  4. students must also be working on their first associate degree.

All coursework is evaluated for financial aid purposes whether or not financial aid was received for that work.  These standards will be evaluated at the end of each semester.  The following provides more information on each one of these standards:

Qualitative: Term Grade Point Average
Students who do not earn any credits in any one semester will be considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress.  Additionally, these students may be responsible for repayment of federal aid received for that term.

Qualitative:  Cumulative Grade Point Requirement
Students must meet the following standards each semester in order to maintain eligibility.  The overall combined GPA includes remedial and developmental hours and transfer hours, when applicable.  Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 after the completion of 56 attempted hours.

Associate Degree Programs
Overall Combined GPA Hrs Minimum Cumulative GPA
00.1 – 14.0 No minimum
14.1 – 26.0 1.0
26.1 – 40.0 1.4
40.1 – 48.0 1.7
48.1 – 56.0 1.9
56.1 – and above 2.0

Students who do not meet the retention standards will automatically be placed on financial aid warning and may continue to receive financial aid for one payment period (students with more than 56 GPA hours who do not maintain a 2.0 GPA are not eligible for a warning period).   A student who meets the standards while on warning status will return to good standing.  A student who fails to meet the standard while on warning status will be considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress and cannot appeal or regain financial aid eligibility until the minimum cumulative GPA requirement has been met. 

Pace:  Measurable Progress Requirement
Students are expected to maintain progress toward the completion of their degree. Therefore, students must have an overall completion rate of 67% of all college/transfer hours attempted.  The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative overall number of hours successfully completed by the cumulative overall number of hours attempted, using standard rounding rules.  A grade of A, B, C, D or P will be required for successful completion.  Grades of W, AU or F are not considered completions.  Classes that are repeated or dropped during the term are counted as attempted hours. Students who do not keep pace with this progression requirement will be considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress. 

Maximum Time Limit: Reasonable Length of Time Requirement
A reasonable length of time for completion of an educational program is defined as no longer than 150% of the length of the program.  For example, a student enrolled in a degree program that requires 60 credit hours must complete all requirements by the time they have attempted 90 hours (60 hours x 150% = 90 hours).  Students will not be considered to have reached the 150% hour maximum until after the semester in which they reach or exceed the attempted hours allowed.  However, students will be immediately suspended from aid if it is projected that it is not possible for them to meet graduation requirements within the 150% limit.  It is important to note that all transfer hours count toward the attempted hours, including withdrawals. Once the required courses to earn a degree have been completed, students are no longer eligible to receive aid. 

Learning Support Limit
Students can receive aid for up to 30 attempted semester hours of remedial or developmental coursework.  Transfer credits will be included in the total hours of eligibility.  All attempts including withdrawals, repeats, unsatisfactory and PR grades count toward this maximum.  Federal aid for a student who has exceeded this maximum will be based on college level courses only.  This time limit cannot be appealed.

Incomplete Grades
Students with an “I” grade(s) will be held for review since satisfactory academic progress cannot be determined until all final grades are posted.

Repeated Courses
All credits from repeated courses will be counted toward maximum hours.  Students may repeat a previously passed course once and be eligible for payment on the repeat.  Students may repeat a failed course until it is passed and be eligible for payment.

Transfer Students
All academic transcripts must be received and evaluated by the institution prior to determining satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.  All transfer coursework posted by the college will be counted in determining satisfactory academic progress.  Transfer students who have graduated or reached the 150% limit will be ineligible for financial aid.

Academic Fresh Start
Students granted an Academic Fresh Start remain accountable for all academic work on their record and are eligible for the appeal process.

Unsatisfactory Academic Progress
Students who fail to meet any of the above requirements are considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress. Failure to meet these standards results in the loss of eligibility to receive federal aid which includes the grant, loan and work-study programs. Eligibility is also lost for the state grant programs and may result in the loss of eligibility for the lottery program. Once a student becomes ineligible for aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress they are not eligible to receive aid until the standards have been met. Students must attend classes and pay for them from their own resources until satisfactory progress has been re-established.

Appeal to Regain Eligibility
In some cases, a student’s failure to be in compliance with one or more of these requirements is due to events beyond the student’s control.  If unusual or extreme circumstances can be documented for a specific term(s) or relevant time frame, the student may be able to submit an appeal.  Examples of situations that may be considered beyond a student’s control include, but are not limited to: the death of a relative; injury or illness of the student or a family member; family difficulties resulting from divorce, strained relationships, finances, work or balancing family responsibilities.   

Appeal Process
Any loss of eligibility as a result of this policy, with the exception of the cumulative GPA requirement, may be appealed in writing to the Student Aid & Awards Committee.  The appeal request consists of a signed appeal letter, appropriate support documents and an academic plan.  The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory progress by the end of the next semester or by a specific point in time.  All decisions made by the committee are final.  However, the decision may be appealed in writing to the Vice President of Student Services (or designee).  Students will not be granted more than three appeals throughout their enrollment at Jackson State.  The Vice President of Student Services (or designee) may make exceptions to the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy on an individual basis.  

Financial Aid Probation
The status of financial aid probation will be assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and has had eligibility reinstated.  Conditions may be imposed for a student’s continued eligibility to receive aid.  The student may receive aid for ONE payment period, after which the student must be making satisfactory progress, or more than one semester under an approved academic plan.  The school may void an approved academic plan if the student changes majors, violates the plan or does not enroll for the initial term of the plan.

Appeal Deadlines
Appeals and supporting documentation must be submitted within one week of notification of suspension, but no later than the following dates. Appeals submitted after the deadline or without the required documentation may result in an automatic denial, or may be held until the next semester for committee review.  Students pending an appeal decision at the beginning of the semester are responsible for payment of their tuition and fees.  No class schedule will be held due to a pending appeal decision.

Fall Semester August 1
Spring Semester January 4
Summer Semester May 15

It is the student’s responsibility to stay informed of the satisfactory academic progress standards and to monitor their own progress. You may check your status at any time by logging into your jWeb account.  The Financial Aid Office will notify by letter any student that does not meet minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements as well as the results of any appeal.  It is the responsibility of the student to keep the records office informed of their correct mailing address. 

The termination of eligibility to receive financial assistance has no effect on the right to enroll as a student at Jackson State.

Policy effective Summer Semester 2015