Satisfactory Academic Progress – Graduate Students
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to remain eligible for federal student aid. An institution’s SAP policy must include a quantitative measurement (maximum time frame and pace of completion), qualitative measure (GPA), and must specify the regular intervals when SAP is measured (not less than once annually). The SAP policy must be the same as or more stringent than the academic policy applied to students in the same program who are not receiving federal student aid.
For programs longer than one year in length, SAP evaluations will be completed at the end of each spring term. This review will determine SAP status for federal student aid for the upcoming fall, winter, spring and summer terms.
For programs lasting one year or less, SAP evaluations will be completed at the end of each semester and will determine SAP status for federal student aid for the following semester. Reviews cannot take place until final grades have been posted.
Students must complete their Master’s Degree Program within seven years from the start of the first semester of course work. The maximum timeframe is not extended for students who change programs.
Graduate students must earn at least 67 percent of their attempted credits.
A credit hour is considered attempted if the student was officially registered for the credit at the conclusion of the drop/add period for the applicable term except that:
- Retroactively added credit hours, added after the conclusion of the drop/add period are considered attempted.
- A credit is not considered attempted if a student is officially registered for a credit hour at the conclusion of the drop/add period for the applicable term but the course professor or Dean’s Office subsequently certifies that the student never began attendance in the course and the course is retroactively dropped.
Students must maintain at least the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 based on the number of credits completed. In addition, students must not have any F letter grade and no more than two C letter grades in their graduate academic record while attending St. Michael’s College.
Treatment of Incompletes, Withdrawals, Audits, Pass/Fail, Repeat Courses and Transfer Credits
Incompletes and Withdrawals
Grades of “I” and “WD” are counted as courses attempted but not completed when calculating pace. These courses also count toward the maximum timeframe.
Audited courses are excluded from SAP and not eligible for federal aid.
These hours count toward the total attempted and if passed, earned hours. They do not impact a student’s GPA.
A course is repeated when a student takes the same course with the same content, more than once. In cases where the course subject and number repeat, but new content is provided the course is not considered to be repeated. All attempts of the course are included when calculating a student’s GPA and attempted and earned credit hours.
- Transfer credits are counted as hours attempted and completed. Transfer credits are not considered when calculating a student’s GPA.
Credits earned before enrolling in a degree program
- Credits taken while a non-degree student at Saint Michael’s College, but which apply toward a student’s graduate degree are included in the calculation of a student’s attempted and earned credits and when calculating a student’s GPA.
For programs longer than one year in length, annual SAP evaluations will be completed at the end of each spring term. For programs lasting one year or less, SAP evaluations will be completed at the end of each semester.
Students are measured against both the qualitative and the quantitative standards. Students are responsible for notifying Student Financial Services of any grade changes which occur after grade processing and satisfactory academic progress evaluations are complete.
If a student is not meeting SAP, the student’s eligibility for federal student aid is terminated and the student is notified. The notice provides students information about the SAP standards and the appeal process.
If a student was placed on Financial Aid Probation based on a previous appeal, their progress will be reviewed after each term to verify that they are meeting the conditions of their academic plan.
Students may appeal a termination of financial aid due to failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) based on extenuating circumstances. Students are advised to appeal within 60 days of the date of their termination notice. All appeals must be submitted using the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form. The student must clearly document why they failed to meet the SAP standards and what has changed that will enable the student to meet the standards in the future. The appeal is reviewed by a committee inclusive of staff from Student Financial Services and Academic Affairs.
Financial Aid Probation
Probation status is assigned to a student who has failed to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and whose financial aid eligibility has been reinstated based on a successful appeal. During a period of financial aid probation, a student who meets all other eligibility requirements remains eligible for federal aid. Students remain on probation provided they comply with the terms of their academic plan.
Academic progress of students on financial aid probation is reviewed each payment period to ensure that the student continues to meet the terms of his or her academic plan. If they are not meeting the terms of the academic plan, eligibility for federal student aid is terminated.
An academic plan indicates the specific actions the student will take to meet SAP. If the student will not meet the SAP standards at the end of the next payment period, the academic plan must show the specific GPA and completion rate benchmarks a student will meet each payment period until they meet SAP standards. Completed SAP appeal forms and supporting documentation should be submitted to Student Financial Services.
The student shall remain on financial aid probation, provided they comply with their academic plan, until they are meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility
A student whose financial aid eligibility has been terminated for failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and who is subsequently found to be meeting the SAP standard(s) and who meets all other eligibility requirements shall be eligible for federal aid.