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Satisfactory Academic Progress

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid (SFA) to monitor the academic progress of all federal financial aid recipients. Recipients of federal financial aid are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree as a condition of receiving their financial aid. At the end of each semester, the SFA Office will monitor each undergraduate and graduate student's academic progress to determine financial aid eligibility. (Optometry students are monitored by their respective academic disciplines.)  Satisfactory Academic Progress is essential to remain eligible to receive funds for any Federal Title IV funds and also state and university aid programs (see note at bottom). Please note that some scholarships may have a higher renewal GPA requirement. 

SAP REQUIREMENTS

GPA Requirements  Students must have an UMSL cumulative grade point average (GPA) sufficient to meet University graduation requirements.  For undergraduate students, this is a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00. Graduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.  

Semester Hour Completion Rate  Students must complete at least 66.67%, or two-thirds of the credits they attempt each semester. Attempted credits are defined as credits a student is enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop and add period (the first week of classes).  If a student does not complete any classes or fails all classes, financial aid will be suspended immediately for future semesters.

Maximum Timeframe  Students must complete their degree program within 150 percent of the semester hour requirements for the degree. In general, undergraduate students must complete a bachelor’s degree within 180 attempted hours.  Graduate students are expected to complete a master’s degree within 54 semester hours. (Cases of graduate students exceeding the maximum timeframe of their degree will be reviewed by the Graduate School in regard to a SAP Appeal).  Transfer credit is included in the maximum timeframe calculation.  Transfer credits are used to determine your class level and progress toward a degree, even if you did not receive financial aid at the previous institutions.

GENERAL SAP STATUS

Meeting SAP requirements
Students who meet all the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress, including GPA requirements, Semester Hour Completion Rate, and Maximum Timeframe. A status of Meeting SAP Requirements guarantees the student’s eligibility for financial aid. 
Not Meeting SAP requirements Financial Aid Warning
Students on Financial Aid Warning who do not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress (GPA or Semester Hour Completion Rate) by the end of their warning semester. The student may have also failed to complete their program by the established maximum timeframe. Students who are Not Meeting SAP requirements are placed on Financial Aid Suspension, which means they are ineligible for federal, state, and UMSL’s institutional aid.

Financial Aid Warning status applies to students who do not complete at least 66.67%, or two-thirds of the attempted credit hours after one semester, and/or are not maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA (Undergraduate Students), or 3.00 cumulative GPA (Graduate Students) at the time of SAP review. Students are eligible to receive federal financial aid funds while on Financial Aid Warning. The SFA office will remind students on Financial Aid Warning of the requirements for SAP, and they will be encouraged to seek additional academic assistance to ensure they meet the requirements in the following semester. 

Probation Academic Plan

If the student files a successful Appeal for their Financial Aid Suspension, the student’s status may be changed to Financial Aid Probation. While on Financial Aid Probation, the student may not be meeting SAP standards, but is allowed to continue to receive aid under the condition that SAP requirements will be met within one semester.

 

If the student files a successful Appeal for their Financial Aid Suspension, the student’s status may be changed to Academic Plan, which outlines all their future courses (including subject, number, and credit value) they need to take in order to improve their academic progress. The student's progress / plan will be monitored at the end of each semester to ensure the student is passing all attempted courses, and registering according to the plan for future semesters. Those students who are adhering to their Academic Plan are kept on plan until they regain SAP or graduate. Students who deviate from their plan have their aid terminated and may re-appeal. Academic Plan is usually used for undergraduate students who fail SAP requirements due to a low cumulative GPA.

SAP REVIEW PROCESS

All students are classified as Meeting SAP Requirements when they first enroll at UMSL.

Students classified as Meeting SAP Requirements who do not meet the semester completion rate or GPA criteria will be put on Financial Aid Warning status for one semester.

At the end of the warning period (semester), students who meet the requirements for SAP will be set back to Meeting SAP Requirements. Students on Financial Aid Warning who do not meet the requirements for SAP will be put on Not Meeting SAP Requirements status, which results in Financial Aid Suspension. At this point, the student's federal, state, and UMSL institutional aid is terminated. (See Financial Aid Suspension below for additional information.)

Students on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal their suspensions, provided there are extenuating circumstances surrounding their failure to meet the SAP requirements. If the student files a successful Appeal (see Appeal Process below), the student’s status will be changed to Financial Aid Probation status, or Academic Plan status depending on the case.  After one semester of Financial Aid Probation, if a student fails to meet SAP requirements, the student’s financial aid will be suspended. Similarly, after one or more semesters, if a student fails to adhere to the requirements set forth in their Academic Plan, the student’s financial aid will be suspended.

Quick reference of SAP Review Roadmap

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

Reasons of financial aid suspension:

Your student financial aid will be suspended for any of the following reasons:

  1. Not making  progress toward the minimum required cumulative GPA during the semester following notification of Financial Aid Warning.
  2. Not completing a minimum of 66.7%, or two-thirds of the attempted credit hours for which you are enrolled during the semester immediately following the notification of Financial Aid Warning.
  3. Not meeting the requirements of your financial aid probation.
  4. Completely withdraw from all classes during a semester for which financial aid was received.
  5. Not completing any credit hours attempted during the semester with a passing grade. Passing grades are A,B,C,D for undergraduates and A,B,C for graduate students.
  6. Attempting more than the number of required credit hours as defined by their program.
  7. Being dismissed from the University for any reason.

Programs affected:

Students in Financial Aid Suspension may not receive financial aid from most financial aid programs.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Federal aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, TEACH, Federal Work-Study, Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, Parent PLUS Loan, Grad PLUS loan)
  • Any UMSL need-based award (UMSL Grant)
  • Any UMSL scholarship with a GPA or SAP requirement, if the student fails to meet the requirement
  • State aid (Access Missouri award, Bright Flight, Marguerite Ross Barnett Scholarship, and other state aid programs.)
  • Any private scholarship with a GPA or SAP requirement if the student fails to meet the requirement

APPEAL PROCESS

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Undergraduate students are expected to contact the SFA office to file a Financial Aid Appeal.

Students may appeal the suspension of financial aid by completing the following forms/documentation: 

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form
  2. A letter explaining the circumstances that have affected their academic performance and what has changed that will allow you to make Satisfactory Academic Progress. 
  3. Supporting documentation (if any) attached to the letter

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate students must contact their Academic Advisors for instruction to file a Financial Aid Appeal. Please see below the typical forms that may be requested for an Appeal (not all forms are required for each case):  

  • Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form
  • Supporting Documentation
  • Probation Plan
  • Degree Program Advising Form

OTHER APPEAL INSTRUCTIONS:

The deadline for appealing SAP suspension is usually the last day to add a regular session class for the semester (i.e., one week after classes start).  Check with SFA office for the actual deadline. It is also listed on the SAP Appeal form.

All forms and supporting documentation submitted in an Appeal must be typed. Handwritten appeal letters or incomplete forms will not be accepted.

UMSLFA 2020-2021 AY SAP Appeal forms are available at https://www.umsl.edu/services/finaid/forms/forms-2020-2021.html

The SAP Appeal deadline for Fall 2020 semester is Monday, August 31, 2020.

Students should be prepared to seek other options if the appeal is not approved.  It is important to point out that unless a student is academically dismissed by UMSL, a student denied financial aid generally may continue attending by funding their educational costs themselves.

For more detailed information about the financial aid Appeal process, see:

OTHER SAP POLICIES

Late Grade Posted Or Grade Change: 

If a student has been notified that their financial aid has been suspended, and a grade is posted late or a professor changes a grade that will make a difference in the student’s academic progress evaluation, the student must notify the SFA Office to request a reevaluation of their academic progress.  There is no automatic process to clear SAP holds for students who have a late grade posted or a grade change.

Repeated Courses  

Federal regulations change the way enrollment status is determined for students who are repeating coursework in which they previously received a letter grade of D- or higher. An institution may pay a student one time for retaking previously-passed coursework. To determine a student’s enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time), the school may not include more than one repetition of a previously passed course.

Example: Two years ago, Michael enrolled in a 3-hour Applied Mathematics course and received a grade of D-. Michael took the same course again last year and received a grade of C-. His major requires that he pass the class with a C or better, and Michael decided to take the course again this semester. Michael is enrolled in 9 hours of other coursework plus the Applied Math class, for a total of 12 hours. The 3 hours from the Applied Math class are NOT included in determining Michael’s enrollment status for the current semester because it is the 2nd time he is repeating a class in which he previously received a “passing” grade. For financial aid purposes, Michael is enrolled in 9 eligible hours. Michael would be paid financial aid as a part-time student because he is enrolled in 12 hours minus the 3 hours of the course he’s repeating for the second time, which do not count. 

Notifications:

Students will be notified by e-mail if you fall below the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.  In the case of approaching the maximum timeframe of your degree/program, you will also receive an ALRT (Alert) email from the SFA Office to inform you the risk of failing SAP requirements. It’s important to mention that you may also check your Satisfactory Academic Progress status at any time at MyView.  It is the student’s responsibility to monitor your academic progress and to be aware of the academic requirements of your program.