Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal law requires all students who receive financial aid to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree. The Office of Financial Aid monitors your SAP at the end of every semester. If you do not meet the requirements for SAP, you have the right to appeal and provide information about extenuating circumstances that may have hindered your progress. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that SAP and minimum enrollment requirements for individual financial aid program eligibility may vary.
There are three components to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Failure to comply with any component may result in a loss of aid eligibility. The three components are as follows:
1. Minimum Financial Aid Grade Point Average (GPA) – Qualitative Measurement
- HSU Hours 6-32: one must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.60
- HSU Hours 33-48: one must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.80
- HSU Hours 49 or more: one must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2:00
- Graduate: one must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00
All graded courses are included in this calculation, including failed courses. This could be different from the academic GPA. The academic GPA is used to determine HSU scholarships and institutional aid.
2. Completion Rate (Pace) – Quantitative Measurement *Change from 75% to 67% was approved on February 15, 2023. 22 Summer and 22 Fall calculations reflect the previous policy. 23 Spring calculations will include the updated policy change.
While students are expected to enroll full-time to be eligible for financial aid, each student must successfully complete a minimum percentage of all credit hours attempted. This percentage includes all institutional and transfer credit hours, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.
- Students must earn at least 67 percent of the credit hours which they attempt for each program level (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate degree).
This component is measured at the conclusion of each semester (summer, fall and spring) and is calculated using the total number of transfer hours as well as completed hours at HSU divided by the total number of attempted hours. Drops and withdrawals are considered unsuccessfully completed coursework when determining SAP and will impact completion rate. All repeated and remedial courses are calculated in this quantitative measure.
All Pace calculations are rounded up or down to the nearest full percentage (e.g. 0.664 is rounded down to 66% and 0.665 is rounded up to 67%)
3. 150% Maximum Credit Hours – Max Time Frame
Students are expected to complete their degree pursuits within a maximum timeframe and are limited to receiving aid for up to 150% of the attempted credit hours required for completion of their program of study. Transfer credits are included in the attempted hours calculation.
Credit hours are cumulative; thus, students working towards obtaining more than one degree in the same category (e.g., double major, undergraduate nursing) may reach this maximum timeframe before completing their course of study and may need to appeal eligibility.
The HSU Office of Financial Aid monitors student’s SAP at the end of every semester (Summer, Fall, Spring). GPA’s are assessed at the end of each semester except for the first semester for first-time freshmen. Student’s minimum pace for making SAP (i.e., the quantitative progress) is 67%.
Students who fail to meet minimum SAP standards are not eligible to receive financial aid. Students will be notified of the reason(s) for the loss of eligibility through an email sent to their HSU email address as well as via the self-service portal.
After one semester of not meeting the SAP standards, students will be issued a warning and will be permitted to receive financial aid for the next semester. However, after the one semester of warning, students who fail to meet any one or a combination of the SAP components will be ineligible for financial assistance.
Students may appeal ineligibility by providing information on extenuating circumstances, indicating what has changed to allow successful academic progress.
If an appeal is granted, students may be placed on financial aid probation and may be asked to follow an academic plan that will lead to meeting minimum SAP requirements in the near future. If students do not meet the terms of probation, eligibility for financial aid will cease and all remaining aid will be cancelled. Subsequent appeals of the same nature are not permitted. Once a student falls from his/her academic plan and loses eligibility, the only way to regain eligibility for financial aid is to meet the SAP requirements.
Students may appeal ineligibility by providing information on extenuating circumstances that caused them to fall below satisfactory academic progress standards. As part of the appeal process, students should explain:
- why they have failed to meet SAP;
- what has changed in the student’s situation; and
- what campus or other resources will be utilized that would allow the student to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards in the future
*Supporting documentation of extenuating circumstances may be asked to be included with appeals.
Examples of documentation include but are not limited to:
- Newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate deaths
- Physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident
- Written statement from clergy, family member, or other third party who knows the student’s situation
- Written statement from academic advisor or professor
The submission of an appeal is only a request and does not guarantee that financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. The appeal must be submitted online through the online portal or appeals may be submitted to the attention of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and must be received by the first day of classes for the Fall semester and the first day of classes for the Spring semester.
If an appeal is granted, students may be placed on financial aid probation and asked to follow an academic plan that will lead to meeting minimum SAP requirements in the near future. If students do not meet the terms of probation, eligibility for financial aid will cease and all remaining aid will be cancelled. Subsequent appeals of the same nature are not permitted. Once a student falls from his/her academic plan and loses eligibility, the only way to regain eligibility for financial aid is to meet the SAP requirements.
Changes to recorded grades that take place after SAP evaluation has occurred will be included in the next official SAP evaluation at the end of the subsequent semester. If a grading error is corrected after the SAP evaluation was completed or if an incomplete grade is updated, students may contact our office by phone, email, or in person to request a recalculation of SAP status using the corrected grade.
What is SAP? – Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) means that you are satisfactorily progressing toward degree completion by qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (Pace and Maximum Timeframe) measures. The HSU Financial Aid Office is required by Federal Student Aid (FSA) regulations to complete this review at minimum every year. At HSU, a student’s SAP status will be reviewed at the end of each enrollment term (fall semester (December), spring semester (May), and summer semester (August)), after grades are transcripted by the Registrar’s Office. Semesterly review allows students a warning semester and time for improvement. All enrollment terms must be considered in the determination of SAP, even enrollment terms for which the student did not receive financial aid.
What are the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress?
Pace: Students must successfully earn 67% of cumulative, attempted credit hours;
GPA: Undergraduate students who have attempted 6-32 hours must meet or exceed a 1.60 GPA, 33-48 hours meet or exceed 1.80 GPA, and 49 or more hours meet or exceed 2.00 GPA.. Graduate students must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.0.
Maximum Timeframe: Students must not exceed more than 150% of the hours required to complete your degree. For example, if your degree requires 120 hours to complete, you may attempt no more than 180 hours total before you reach the 150% maximum. Once you reach the 150% maximum you are no longer eligible for financial aid. In addition, if you are unable to complete your degree within the 150% timeframe, you are no longer eligible for financial aid.
What is a Financial Aid Warning? Financial Aid Warning means that you are not currently meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for FSA. Students are eligible for just one semester/session of financial aid warning as they work toward completion of their degree programs. If you are placed on warning, you should take steps to ensure that you are meeting requirements by the end of the warning semester/session. At the end of the warning semester/session, if you still are not meeting SAP requirements, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
Can I still receive financial aid while on Financial Aid Warning? Yes, if you are otherwise eligible, you may receive aid for the semester/session you are on financial aid warning.
What is Financial Aid Suspension? Financial Aid Suspension means that you have not met the requirements for satisfactory academic progress and are ineligible until you can either demonstrate to the Financial Aid Office that you are meeting the requirements or successfully appeal your suspension status.
Is Financial Aid Suspension the same as Academic Suspension? No. Academic suspension from the University is monitored by the Registrar’s Office. If you are uncertain whether or not you are on academic suspension, you should contact the Registrar’s Office. Financial aid suspension applies only to your financial aid eligibility.
Why am I not making Satisfactory Academic Progress if my GPA meets the requirements? SAP is a review of both GPA and Pace. You may be suspended for not meeting the requirements of either GPA or Pace or both. Also keep in mind that your academic GPA may be different from your Financial Aid GPA. All graded courses are included in the Financial Aid GPA calculation, including failed courses.
What financial aid is affected by Financial Aid Suspension? Students on financial aid suspension are ineligible for all financial aid.
How can I find out what my Satisfactory Academic Progress status is? Financial Aid will notify you by HSU email and on your HSU Self-Service account if you are placed on financial aid warning or suspension. Students may also consult with a Financial Aid Office staff member.
May I appeal my Financial Aid Suspension? Students who have extraordinary, personal circumstances have the right to appeal their financial aid suspension. Students who wish to appeal must follow the appeal process Financial Aid website.
What kind of supporting documentation is required for an appeal?
- A signed, type-written, personal statement that fully explains:
- a summary of the circumstances that impacted your academic performance
- measurable steps you have taken to prevent the problem from affecting your academic performance again
- how those circumstances have improved or changed
- evidence that your issue has been resolved
- One letter of support from an objective, non-relative, adult professional that verifies the extraordinary, personal circumstances that are the basis for this appeal. Typically, these letters come from clergy/minister, physician, police officer or other professional who has personal, first-hand knowledge of the student’s situation. The letter must include the professional’s contact information including name, address and phone number for verification purposes.
- A letter from the student’s HSU academic advisor that summarizes the agreed upon academic plan going forward to address the current situation.
If I successfully appeal my academic suspension, does that mean my financial aid eligibility will be reinstated? No. If you are academically suspended, you cannot appeal your financial aid suspension. If you are academically readmitted after a successful academic suspension appeal, you may submit a financial aid appeal.
How will my appeal be handled? All complete appeals will be reviewed, and a decision will be rendered by SAP Committee members or the Director of Financial Aid.
How will I be notified of the decision regarding my appeal? Notification will come in the form of HSU email address.
May I use next semester classes to remedy my Financial Aid Suspension? Yes, if you are otherwise eligible to enroll, you may enroll at your own expense to make up your deficiencies. If you complete credit hours at another, accredited institution, they can only be considered for SAP review purposes after they have been added to your official HSU academic record as maintained by the Registrar’s Office.
I’m beginning a new level of study (i.e. going from undergraduate to graduate). Will my financial aid warning and/or suspension carryover to the new program? No. If you begin a new level of study, you are in good standing as far as the satisfactory academic progress requirements for the new program are concerned.
How do incomplete grades affect Satisfactory Academic Progress? Financial Aid must wait until all your grades are complete and recorded by the Registrar’s Office in order to determine your SAP status. You cannot receive federal aid for the following semester/session until all grades are complete and has been determined that you have made satisfactory academic progress. It is important to complete your incomplete coursework as soon as possible. You should contact Financial Aid upon completion of all incomplete courses to request a SAP review.
How does study abroad or consortium classes affect Satisfactory Academic Progress? If you complete a semester abroad or have a consortium agreement with HSU and another university, the Financial Aid Office will wait until your grades have been recorded by the Registrar’s Office in order to determine your SAP status. You cannot receive federal aid for the following semester until a review of your grades from the other institution has been determined and you have made satisfactory academic progress. It is important to make sure your grades are recorded by HSU as soon as possible. Once your grades are recorded, you should contact Financial Aid to request a SAP review.