Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the process used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress toward a degree or certificate. At the end of each payment period/semester, a review of a student’s progress is conducted. The first payment period review will be conducted at the end of the Fall 2011 semester. A student’s failure to meet any of the three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (for all terms enrolled, not just those terms that aid was received) may result in loss of federal aid eligibility. An electronic notification will be sent to the student’s UB email address; if unavailable then a hard copy notification will be mailed to the permanent address on file.

All three of the following Satisfactory Academic Progress standards must be met:

  1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)—Qualitative Component
  • A student must be in good academic standing to receive federal financial aid. This means a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (UB’s GPA only).
  1. Minimum Completion Rate for Attempted Credit Hours—Quantitative Component
  • A student must demonstrate progress by accumulating academic credits at a rate that indicates graduation in a timely manner. A student who is not progressing toward graduation at the defined Pace Rate will not receive federal financial aid regardless of his/her GPA.
  • A student must complete at least 70 percent of all cumulative attempted credit hours in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.
    • The following designations are considered to be attempted credit hours but are not considered to be successfully completed: I, J, R, U, W and F grades.
    • Transfer credit hours posted to the official transcript record and all courses removed through the academic clemency process (Second Chance Policy (PDF)) will be counted as attempted credit hours.
  1. Maximum Timeframe/Degree Completion within 150% of the average Length of the Program—Quantitative Component
  • Students must complete their first baccalaureate degree within 150 percent of the normal time required to complete a bachelor’s degree, not to exceed 180 attempted credit hours for a program with a published length of 120 credit hours.
  • Federal financial aid eligibility will be terminated when a student has attempted 180 credit hours; there is no waiver of the maximum time frame standard for any reason.
  • A student pursuing a double major or degree must earn his/her first bachelor’s degree within the 150 percent maximum time frame standard.
  • A student that completed all coursework required for a major or degree is ineligible for a Pell grant even if an Application for Degree is not on file.
  • If at any point a determination is made that a student will not be able to meet the quantitative standards (Pace Rate and/or Degree Completion within 150% of published Program Length) by graduation, he/she becomes ineligible for federal financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for graduate and professional students are defined by the designated school and/or academic units.

Repeated Courses

Only one repeated course will count towards federal aid eligibility if you previously have passed the course but the credits for both courses must be counted in attempted hours.

Financial Aid Warning

A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA and/or meet the Pace Rate standard is placed on Financial Aid Warning as long as it is mathematically possible to recover in one payment period.

  • The student will continue to receive federal financial aid for one payment period/semester (referred to as the warning period).
  • A student will receive an electronic notification to their UB email address regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards that must be met by a specific term in order to retain eligibility for federal financial aid.
  • If the student is still not making Satisfactory Academic Progress after the warning period, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid until all three SAP standards are successfully met.

Appeal Process for Special Circumstances

Immediately upon completion of the payment period/semester and grades are posted the SAP review will take place. Any student that did not meet the minimum requirements for SAP will receive an electronic notification to their UB email address detailing the appeal process for mitigating circumstances. A student has the right to appeal the loss of federal financial aid eligibility if mitigating circumstances (events totally beyond the student’s control) occurred during the preceding payment period/semester.

  • A student must complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form (attach the applicable supporting documentation) and submit it to the appeal committee by the deadline date.
  • The appeals are reviewed by the SAP Appeals Committee. The decisions are final and students will receive an electronic notification to their UB email address regarding the outcome.

Financial Aid Probation

A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA and/or meet the Pace Rate standard is placed on Financial Aid Probation only if the student has successfully appealed.

  • The student will continue to receive federal financial aid for one payment period/semester (referred to as the financial aid probationary period).
  • A student will receive an electronic notification to their UB email address regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards that must be met by a specific term in order to retain eligibility for federal financial aid.
  • If the student is still not making Satisfactory Academic Progress after the probationary period, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid until all three SAP standards are successfully met.

Information subject to change without notice due to changes in federal, state and/or institutional rules and regulations.

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