Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy – Undergraduate Students

Federal statute and regulations require educational institutions to establish a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for determining if an otherwise eligible financial aid applicant or recipient is making satisfactory academic progress in his or her education program.  If he or she is doing so, the student may receive assistance from the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs.

State of Georgia Financial Aid Programs regulations require applicants and recipients to meet the SAP criteria established for Federal Student Aid (FSA) as does OSFA awarded need-based aid.

SAP consists of two components of measurement: quantity and quality. The University of Georgia (UGA) Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) checks SAP at the end of every semester and prior to awarding aid.  Students are no longer eligible for federal and State of Georgia financial aid once it is determined they are no longer meeting both SAP measurement components.

Financial aid applicants and recipients who were previously maintaining SAP but are identified as failing to maintain either the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion or the Measurement of Quality will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester of enrollment during which they can receive the financial aid for which they are otherwise eligible.  Students who have reached or exceeded their Maximum Total Attempted Hours or are identified as being unable to complete their degree prior to reaching their Maximum Total Attempted Hours are not eligible for the one semester on Financial Aid Warning and immediately lose their financial aid eligibility.

Undergraduate SAP Policy

Measurement of Quantity:

Minimum 67% Pace of Completion

Undergraduate students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of their Total Attempted Hours

Example of 67% Minimum Pace of Completion Calculation:

UGA Attempted Hours

62

Transfer Hours Accepted

+13

Total Attempted Hours

=75

Total Successfully Completed Hours

50

50 successfully completed hours/75 attempted hours = a .6666 (or 66.66%) Pace of Completion which is less than 67%; therefore, this student is not making SAP.

Maximum Total Attempted Hours:

Undergraduate students are not making SAP once their Total Attempted Hours equal 150% of the number of hours required to complete their undergraduate degree, or once it is apparent they will be unable to complete their undergraduate degree before reaching their applicable Maximum Allowable Total Attempted Hours

For most UGA undergraduate degrees, this provides students up to 181 Total Attempted Hours to complete a 121 semester hour degree. The maximum allowable number of attempted hours is proportionally increased for students in degree programs requiring more than 121 hours.

If a student has 166-180 Total Attempted Hours at the end of a semester, the student must be graduating at the end of his or her next semester of enrollment; otherwise, the student will have reached his or her Maximum Total Attempted Hours and be ineligible to receive financial aid during his or her next semester of enrollment.

Measurement of Quality:

Minimum Overall Grade Point Average (GPA):

All Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 Minimum Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) at the end of every semester.  SAP policy uses the official grading scale of the University of Georgia (UGA).  See the UGA Bulletin for more information on the University’s grading scale.

Changing Majors:

Undergraduate students who change majors during the Academic Year are strongly encouraged not to withdraw from any classes as they are still required to successfully complete the minimum 67% of their Total Attempted Hours.

Students who change majors or degree programs are at risk of exceeding their Maximum Total Attempted Hours before obtaining a degree. Students who decide to change majors or degree programs should do so early in their academic career so as not to jeopardize future eligibility for student financial aid at the University. Changing majors is not a justification for failing to maintain SAP.

Mandatory Academic Assistance Credit Hours:

The Maximum Total Attempted Hours allows for any additional attempted hours necessitated by a student’s requirement to enroll in any Academic Assistance/Learning Support courses.

Study Abroad/Student Exchange/Consortium Courses:

Hours based on enrollment in Study Abroad, Student Exchange or approved consortium courses are counted toward Total Attempted Hours.

These courses will not count as Successfully Completed Hours until the applicable academic transcript reflecting successful completion is received by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and grades are entered into Athena.

Students should contact the UGA Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) once Study Abroad, Student Exchange or consortium grades are entered so OSFA can determine if they now meet the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion.

Academic Renewal:

The University’s granting of Academic Renewal does not change or alter the calculation of a student’s Total Attempted Hours.  The student’s Total Attempted Hours will continue to be determined in the usual way.   

Additional Baccalaureate Degrees:

Students who have graduated with a baccalaureate degree and wish to pursue a different baccalaureate degree are still limited to the number of Maximum Total Attempted Hours applicable to one baccalaureate degree; the Minimum 67 Percent Pace of Completion, and the Minimum Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) will continue to be calculated using all undergraduate hours accepted for transfer credit plus all hours attempted at UGA.

Example:  The student has completed a BSED degree and is now seeking an AB degree. She has attempted 147 hours at The University and in transfer which means she is allowed an additional 34 hours of aid eligibility for the second degree before reaching her Maximum Allowable Total Attempted Hours (150%).  Also, should it become apparent she will be unable to complete her second degree before reaching her Maximum Allowable Total Attempted Hours, she will not longer be eligible for aid.

Otherwise Eligible Non-Degree Students

Otherwise eligible non-degree students (those pursuing approved teacher certification or approved preparatory coursework are subject to the undergraduate SAP requirements.

Dual Baccalaureate Degrees

For students simultaneously pursuing two (or more) baccalaureate degrees, the measurement of their Minimum 67% Pace of Completion and Measurement of Quality are still based on their Total Attempted Hours.  Their Maximum Total Attempted Hours will be calculated using the degree with the greater number of required hours.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Evaluation Process:

SAP is evaluated at the end of every semester and prior to making a financial aid Award.  After grades are posted, OSFA e-mails all financial aid recipients informing them of the need to review their SAP status on Athena, which either informs them they are maintaining SAP or provides the reason(s) for their failure to maintain SAP.  Those students not maintaining SAP are informed of the specific SAP standard(s) not being met and provided a link to the SAP Appeal Policy & Procedures.

Financial Aid Warning:

Financial Aid Warning is defined by federal regulation and cannot be altered or modified.

Financial aid applicants and recipients who were previously maintaining SAP but are identified as failing to maintain either the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion or the Measurement of Quality will be placed on Financial Aid Warning status for one semester of enrollment.

Although students placed on Financial Aid Warning status are no longer making SAP, they are still eligible to receive any federal or state financial aid for which they are otherwise eligible during their one semester on Financial Aid Warning.

All financial aid awarded for any semesters subsequent to the Financial Aid Warning semester will be cancelled.

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Warning due to their failure to meet the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion and/or the Measurement of Quality will retain their financial aid eligibility if, at the end of their Financial Aid Warning semester, they are again meeting both of these requirements. Previously cancelled aid for which they are again eligible will be reinstated. See "How to Regain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) on Your Own".

Students who have either exceeded their Maximum Allowable Total Attempted Hours or cannot regain SAP on their own during their Financial Aid Warning semester should skip the following section and read the SAP Appeal Policy and Procedures.

How to Regain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) on Your Own:

This option applies only to those students not maintaining the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion and/or the Measurement of Quality.  This is not an option for students who are nearing or have reached their Maximum Total Attempted Hours.

Jack is not making SAP

How Jack regained SAP

He has not Successfully Completed 67% of his Total Attempted Hours

He has now earned 67% of his Total Attempted Hours

At the end of fall Semester OSFA reviews Jack's SAP status. He had a 3.2 Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) but had successfully completed only 48 of 73 Total Attempted Hours, which is a 48.91% Pace of Completion Rate.  Jack must enroll in and successfully complete enough hours during his Financial Aid Warning semester so that when those hours are added to his previous successfully completed 48 hours and 73 Total Attempted Hours, his Pace of Completion Rate will equal or exceed 67%. If he does not accomplish this, he will not be eligible for financial aid during future semesters until such time he is either in compliance with the 67% Pace of Completion, or he submits an appeal to OSFA that is subsequently approved.

During Jack’s Financial Aid Warning semester he enrolled in 12 hours and successfully completed 10 hours.  His Overall GPA is 3.15.  He now has 85 Total Attempted Hours and 58 Successfully Completed Hours. Since 58 Successfully Completed Hours divided by 85 Total Attempted Hours equals 68.23%, Jack is now making SAP because he is meeting the Minimum 67% Pace of Completion; the Measurement of Quality, and has not exceeded his Maximum Total Attempted Hours.

Jill is not making SAP

How Jill failed to regain SAP

She is not meeting the minimum 2.0 Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) Measurement of Quality.

Jill’s Overall GPA is still less than 2.0.

At the end of the spring semester, Jill is successfully completing 82% of her Total Attempted Hours, but she does not have a 2.0 overall GPA.  During her Financial Aid Warning semester she must earn the grades necessary to raise her overall cumulative GPA to at least a 2.0. If she does not, she will not be eligible for financial aid during future semesters until either she is again in compliance with the 2.0 cumulative GPA Measurement of Quality, or she submits an appeal to OSFA that is subsequently approved.

At the end of Jill's Financial Aid Warning semester she had a 1.98 overall GPA.  Since her overall GPA is still below the minimum 2.0 overall GPA Measurement of Quality, she is no longer eligible for financial aid at UGA until she has raised her overall cumulative GPA to 2.0 or greater. If Jill's failure to maintain SAP was due to mitigating circumstances, she may submit a SAP appeal to OSFA during or after her Financial Aid Warning semester for consideration. See "SAP Appeals Policy & Procedures" below.

 

SAP Appeal Policy & Procedures:

Federal student aid regulations permit (but do not require) colleges to establish a SAP Appeals Policy.  Furthermore, if an institution chooses to implement a SAP policy which permits appeals, it is left solely to the institution to specify when and how such appeals will be permitted as well as how many times a student may appeal.

OSFA has established the following SAP Appeals Policy and Procedures to assist students who failed to maintain SAP due to mitigating circumstances.

Students may appeal to the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) by:

  • using the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal for Student Financial Aid Recipients to submit their written, signed appeal setting forth their mitigating circumstances, and
  • providing any supporting documentation which confirms the occurrence or circumstances, and
  • explaining how the situation has been resolved or stabilized; thereby, enabling the student to now be academically successful, and
  • providing supporting documentation which confirms the situation has been resolved or stabilized.

Academic Plan:

OSFA’s review of student SAP appeals will include consideration and possible approval of an individual student academic plan.

OSFA may work with students on a case-by-case basis to identify an academic plan designed to get the student back on track and become academically successful.

Depending on the individual student situation, an academic plan may be as simple as a mathematical calculation by OSFA specifying the percentage of coursework the student must now successfully complete, the minimum grade point average the student must earn each semester, and the maximum number of hours in which the student may enroll in a specified semester(s).  Conversely, it may be a more complex course by course plan that includes the minimum required grades and maximum hours in which the student can enroll each semester.  In these cases OSFA will instruct the student to meet with his or her UGA academic advisor to formulate a structured plan which clearly sets forth the courses in which the student must enroll, and the minimum GPA or grades he or she must earn each term. The student will then provide a copy of the formal academic plan to OSFA for consideration.

Students for whom OSFA grants an appeal with an approved academic plan can receive the federal or state financial aid for which they are otherwise eligible as long as they strictly adhere to their approved plan. Students on an OSFA approved academic plan will be evaluated following each semester of enrollment and his or her failure to meet ALL the requirements of the academic plan will result in immediate loss of financial aid eligibility.

Financial Aid Probation:

If OSFA finds that the student’s appeal circumstances were sufficiently mitigating, and if either:

  • it is mathematically possible for the student to re-attain SAP by the end of the semester of enrollment following the student’s Financial Aid Warning semester, or
  • OSFA has approved a Financial Aid Academic Plan, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. Students placed on Financial Aid Probation can still receive any federal or state financial aid for which they are otherwise eligible.

At the end of the semester on Financial Aid Probation, the student must either be meeting all SAP criteria, or must be meeting all the requirements of his or her OSFA approved Academic Plan in order to continue to be eligible for financial aid.

Students whose appeals are approved will continue to be reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if they are meeting all SAP requirements, or are meeting all the requirements of their approved Academic Plan.

Student Financial Counseling:

Students who previously received Federal Direct Student Loans or previously failed to maintain SAP may also be required to complete additional financial counseling before eligibility for student financial aid can be re-established.

Effective Semester SAP Students Can Regain Financial Aid Eligibility:

If otherwise eligible, a student may be awarded Federal Student Aid (FSA) and state of Georgia financial aid (HOPE Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, et al.) for the semester in which the student regained SAP or for which an appeal was approved.

Appeal Denial Policy & Procedures:

When OSFA does not approve a student SAP appeal based on its determination the student did not have sufficient mitigating circumstances, the student may request further consideration by the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. This Committee meets once a semester and is composed of the Registrar and two University administrators.

To request further consideration by the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee, the student needs only to send OSFA a signed written request (or e-mail from his or her UGA Mail account).  The decision of the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee is final.

It is important to note that all stipulations and requirements of an OSFA approved Academic Plan are final and are not subject to further consideration by the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee.