Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Policy and 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. The state of Florida mandates eligibility requirements for continued access to state grant and scholarships. Stetson University has established minimum academic standards required to continue receiving institutionally funded financial assistance, including merit-based scholarships and need-based grants.

Satisfactory academic progress requirements for all programs are evaluated, on a cumulative basis, by the Office of Student Financial Planning after the end of each scheduled evaluation period, including terms for which the student did not receive financial aid. All federal satisfactory academic progress requirements are measured after the fall, spring and summer terms. All Florida and Stetson University programs are scheduled for SAP review after the spring term of each academic year.

To comply with current regulations the Office of Student Financial Planning at Stetson University will evaluate:

Academic Performance as Measured by Grade Point Average (Qualitative Standard)

To satisfy this requirement, a student must meet and maintain the minimum required academic performance levels as listed below. Please note that while a student may choose to change majors before completing their first degree it will not change the formula for calculating compliance.

Undergraduate

  • Up to 26 total credit hours earned (6.5 units): 1.5 GPA
  • More than 26 total credit hours earned (6.5 units): 2.0 GPA

Graduate

  • More than 9 total credit hours earned (3 units): 3.0 GPA

Academic Performance as Measured by Total Credits Earned (Quantitative Standard)

Every undergraduate and graduate student must successfully complete 66% of total attempted credits during his/her academic career at Stetson University as measured for each term of enrollment. The percentage of earned credits is calculated by dividing earned credits by all attempted credits. Rounding does not apply (e.g., if a student completes 16 of 24 attempted credits the percentage complete is calculated as 16/24=66%).The successful completion of a credit attempted is defined as credit for which a grade of A, B, C, D or S is received. Withdrawals, incompletes, audits, and F’s represent unsatisfactory completion of a course. Any student who receives an Incomplete “I” in any course must notify the Office of Student Financial Planning when the “I” is changed to a letter grade in order for the credits earned to count toward the quantitative standard of performance. A grade of "D" is not considered satisfactory completion of a course for a graduate student.

Academic Performance as Measured by Maximum Time for Degree Completion (Quantitative Standard)

The maximum time frame for degree completion to remain eligible to receive federal aid is 150% of the published length of the program. For example, a program requiring 128 credits for graduation would allow aid eligibility for up to 192 credits attempted (128 x 150% = 192).The 150% rule does not apply to graduate students. Maximum time frames for state and institutional funds vary by program.

Repeat Course Work

Students who must repeat a course should be aware that specific criteria apply to the continuation of aid, including merit scholarship assistance. If a student is repeating a course due to a failure (F), available financial aid can cover the repeated course an unlimited number of times until a passing grade is achieved, or the student loses aid eligibility due to not meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. If a student is repeating a course for which they previously received a passing grade (any grade other than F), available financial aid can cover the cost of repeating the course one time only, even if the student receives an "F" in their subsequent attempt.

Financial Aid Warning

In the event that a student fails to meet any of the above criteria at the end of an academic semester, the student will be notified by the Office of Student Financial Planning and will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the enrollment period immediately following. While such students are not required to take any action and will be eligible to receive federal aid for one semester (fall, spring or summer), and state and institutional aid for one year, during which they are subsequently enrolled, they are encouraged to meet with the staff at the Academic Success Center.

Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards by the end of a semester of Financial Aid Warning will be ineligible for financial aid unless an SAP appeal is approved. Detailed information about the SAP appeal process at Stetson University is defined below.

Financial Aid Probation

If an SAP appeal has been approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. The student will be required to develop and sign an academic plan as developed by the Office of Student Financial Planning. The plan will outline the terms of approval and the performance expectations for the semester of Financial Aid Probation. Students who require more than one semester to re-establish standard SAP eligibility will be provided with an academic plan that spans multiple terms

The academic plan will be reviewed at the end of the enrollment period and the results will be measured. If the student has met performance benchmarks as established in the academic plan and SAP regulations, the probation is lifted and the student is again eligible to receive aid without further action. If the expectations have not been met, the student becomes ineligible for financial aid.

Evaluation By Credit Type and 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 Stetson University 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 66% 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 Stetson’s SAP requirements.

Appeal Process

The Satisfactory Progress Appeal form is available both online and in the Office of Student Financial Planning.

Submitting an Appeal

Students deemed ineligible for federal aid may appeal the status through the Office of Student Financial Planning. 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 66% 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.

Note: The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is for financial aid purposes. It is used to ensure that recipients of financial aid (Title IV) are making qualitative and quantitative progress towards their degree. It is not to be confused with the academic standards for continued enrollment at Stetson University. A particular scholarship, grant, etc., offered by Stetson University, the state of Florida or another third-party might have different renewal requirements specific to the particular fund. Future federal and state legislation may alter any policy and such changes will not be reflected in this printing. Any questions about the Standards of Academic Progress for financial assistance should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Planning at Stetson University.