Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

There are both Federal and State academic progress requirements for maintaining financial aid eligibility:


Federal Aid

Policy & Eligibility Status
Federal regulation mandates that a recipient of Federal Title IV aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal TEACH Grant/Loan, Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, Graduate PLUS, and Federal Stafford Loan) make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of a degree to maintain eligibility for that funding. Satisfactory academic progress requirements for federal aid are evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. Progress must be reviewed, on a cumulative basis, after the fall, spring and summer terms, and includes periods for which the student did not receive financial aid. All federal satisfactory academic progress requirements are measured at the end of each scheduled evaluation period. Each evaluation will result in an aid eligibility determination and assignment of an appropriate status as follows:

Eligible for Federal Aid:

  • Making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)—Assigned to a student who has earned 67% of all attempted credit hours, is meeting the GPA requirement, and has not exceeded the maximum allowed time frame.
  • Financial Aid Warning—Assigned to a student who has not earned 67% of all attempted credit hours, or has failed to meet the GPA requirement or both. This student will receive federal aid in the first subsequent term of attendance that follows the term in which the requirement was not met. Financial aid warning status may be assigned without an appeal or other action by the student. Financial Aid Warning is available one time only. Students must meet SAP requirements at the end of the payment period to continue to be eligible for federal aid. 
  • Financial Aid Probation—Assigned to a student who has not earned 67% of all attempted credit hours, has failed to meet the GPA requirement or both; was previously placed on Financial Aid Warning; and receives approval of an appeal to have federal aid reinstated. At the end of one payment period on financial aid probation, the student must meet satisfactory academic progress standards or meet the requirements of their academic plan, as developed by SUNY Potsdam and the student, to qualify for further federal aid. 
  • Eligible (on Academic Plan) - Assigned to a student who has successfully completed Financial Aid Probation and is meeting the requirements of the Academic Plan as developed by SUNY Potsdam Financial Aid Office and the student, but is not yet making Satisfactory Academic Progress.


Ineligible for Federal Aid:

  • Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress— Assigned to a student who has not earned 67% of all attempted credit hours, or has not met the GPA requirement and has been academically dismissed by the college, and is no longer eligible for “Financial Aid Warning”.
  • Over Maximum Time Frame—Assigned to a student who has exceeded the maximum allowed time frame and has attempted more than 150% of their degree requirements.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements

GPA Requirement
Federal aid recipients must maintain a GPA satisfactory for enrollment as a matriculant, as defined by the Academic Standards Committee, in the “Academic Standards Policy” in the current SUNY Potsdam Undergraduate Catalog or Graduate Catalog.

Credit Hour Requirement

Federal aid recipients are required to earn a minimum of 67% of all attempted credit hours.

Maximum Time Frame
Undergraduate students may receive aid for a maximum of 150% of the degree program requirements. For students admitted before fall 2012, the average length of an undergraduate program of study is 124 credit hours (120 academic hours plus 4 physical education credits). The maximum time frame for most of these SUNY Potsdam students to receive aid is 186 attempted credit hours. For students admitted to SUNY Potsdam beginning in the fall 2012, the average length of an undergraduate program of study is 122 credit hours (120 academic hours plus 2 physical education/health and wellness credits).For most of these SUNY Potsdam students, maximum time frame to receive aid is 183 attempted credit hours. Some music students will have up to a maximum time frame of 199 attempted credit hours.Students in music-related degree programs as well as those in dual degree programs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.Students enrolled in double majors are bound by the same maximum limitations as students in standard programs.

Graduate students may receive federal aid for a maximum of 150% of their degree program requirements. The average length of a graduate program at SUNY Potsdam varies from 30 to 52 credit hours. Graduate students who have a degree program that requires 30 credits are allowed a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Graduate students who have a degree program that requires more credits are allowed to attempt more (up to a maximum of 150% of their program requirement).


Evaluation By Credit Type & Other Considerations

Transfer credits will be included in the evaluation and will count as both attempted and earned hours.
Withdrawals, Incompletes and Repeated coursework are also considered in the analysis. Part-time enrollment counts in the same manner as full-time enrollment. Students earning credits through a consortium agreement and students who change their major are bound by the same requirements as students in standard programs. Students working on second degrees are not bound by the same standards as those working on their first degree.

Students who are readmitted or students who have been granted academic forgiveness for previous coursework are subject to the standards defined in this policy for federal aid eligibility. Academic progress will be reviewed upon readmission and receipt of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All previous coursework at SUNY Potsdam must be included in each review of academic progress for federal aid; therefore, even coursework “forgiven” academically must be considered in the review.


Reestablishing aid eligibility

A student making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) has earned 67% of all attempted credit hours, is meeting the GPA requirement, and has not exceeded the maximum allowed time frame.  Stu­dents who lose federal aid eligibility can regain eligibility for federal aid by meeting SUNY Potsdam’s SAP requirements. 


Appeal Process

Appeal Form
The Satisfactory Progress Appeal form is available both online and in the Financial Aid Office.

Submitting an Appeal
Students deemed ineligible for federal aid may appeal the status through the Financial Aid Office.  Appeals will be considered on the basis of mitigating circumstances, such as personal illness or injury, or the death of an immediate family member. Students may appeal more than once, but must provide new documentation of a mitigating circumstance to justify the request. A written statement from the student must accompany the appeal and must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.

Acceptable Documentation

Acceptable forms of documentation include but are not limited to: physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident, newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate deaths, written statement from clergy, family member, or other third party familiar with the student’s situation, and written statement from academic advisor or professor. Students who have lost federal aid and have an appeal approved are placed on “Financial Aid Probation” for the subsequent term and may receive federal aid for that term.

Appeal Deadline

Appeals must be submitted by the mid-point in the term for which they are seeking the appeal.

Approval Notice
Appeals are received, logged and passed to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee who will review appeals; decisions of the committee will be forwarded to each appellant in writing, and will be final.  Students placed on "Financial Aid Probation" must earn 67% of their cumulative attempted credits at the end of their probationary period in order to regain federal aid eligibility. All students granted an appeal will be provided with an "Academic Plan" that specifies the new pace to which the student must adhere in order to regain federal aid eligibility; an Academic Plan may span more than one semester (term).  Any student on probation who does not meet the requirements of the Academic Plan at the end of any term within the Academic Plan will lose federal aid eligibility; the student must then meet SAP requirements before regaining federal aid eligibility.

State Aid

Undergraduate TAP Eligibility

There are also New York State regulations pertaining to the TAP grant. For more information on these requirements, please visit HESC (Higher Education Services Corporation).

In order to receive any New York State financial assistance (TAP, New York State Scholarships, etc.), students must show that they are making adequate progress toward completion of the bachelor’s degree. This is measured in two ways: program pursuit and satisfactory academic progress. To show satisfactory pursuit, students must finish/complete a certain percentage of a full-time load each semester during their first, second, and subsequent years of State funding.

1st year of State aid funding - finish 6 hours/semester
2nd year of State aid funding - finish 9 hours/semester
Subsequent years of State aid funding - finish 12 hours/semester

Please note that a “W” (withdrawal) is not a satisfactory grade under the pursuit regulations. Students who withdraw from all coursework after TAP certification will lose TAP eligibility for the next semester.  Also note that the repeat of a course in which credit was previously earned cannot be counted as part of the semester load for State funding purposes unless the repeated course is a graduation requirement.

In addition, a student’s eligibility for certain State awards may require that a student be registered or enrolled in an approved program of study. For example, a student must declare a major before receiving a fifth TAP payment. The declaration of major must occur within 30 days of the end of the drop/add period.

The charts below show requirements for satisfactory academic progress, which have been approved for State University colleges offering the bachelor’s degree. Transfer students and students readmitted after a period of absence of at least one year from the College may be placed on the schedule of satisfactory academic progress in accord with either the number of payments received or the number of credit hours earned, whichever is more beneficial to the student.


Standards for Non-Remedial Students Who First Received TAP in 2010-2011 and thereafter: (Non-Remedial Student - Any student at SUNY Potsdam who is not an EOP student)


Before being certified for this payment:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

A student must have accrued at least this many credits:

0

6

15

27

39

51

66

81

96

111

With at least this GPA:

0

1.5

1.8

1.8

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

Standards for All Remedial Students (Regardless of When First Award Received) And Non-Remedial Students Who FIRST Received TAP in 2006-2007 through and including 2009-2010:

Before being certified for this payment:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

A student must have accrued at least this many credits:

0

3

9

21

33

45

60

75

90

105

With at least this GPA:

0

1.1

1.2

1.3

2

2

2

2

2

2


Standards for Non-Remedial Students Who Received TAP Prior to the 2006-2007 Year:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Before being certified for this payment:

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

9th

10th

A student must have accrued at least this many credits:

0

3

9

18

30

45

60

75

90

105

With at least this GPA:

0

.5

.75

1.2

2

2

2

2

2

2


Appeals

Students who lose good academic standing through failure to meet requirements for either program pursuit or satisfactory academic progress are notified by the Higher Education Services Corporation that they have lost good academic standing for State financial assistance purposes. They then have the option of applying for a one-time waiver, if they believe that the loss of good academic standing was the result of extraordinary conditions. The College will consider requests for waivers based upon serious illness of the student, serious illness or death in the immediate family, emotional difficulties, or other detailed and documented unusual personal circumstances. It is expected that students normally will regain good academic standing by pursuing their program satisfactorily and making appropriate progress toward program completion for a minimum period of one term.

The Waiver process for TAP is separate from the appeal process for federal aid and students seeking a TAP Waiver must apply through Jan Felt in the Registrar’s Office.