Satisfactory Academic Progress

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It is important to be aware of your academic progress and how it impacts financial aid eligibility.

Incoming students’ Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be assessed after each term. If you have not made satisfactory academic progress, the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will work with you to get you back on track academically and help you keep your financial aid eligibility. Click here for the complete SAP policy for all undergraduates who have attempted between 0-45 undergraduate credits. If you are an undergraduate with 46 or more attempted credits,

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships encourages you to come to our office for regular counseling to assess your academic progress and establish plans for the future so that you continue to achieve your academic goals and maintain your financial aid eligibility

Purpose

The purpose of consolidating the institutional academic standing and federal satisfactory academic progress requirements are as follows:

  1. Ensure compliance with federal satisfactory academic progress guidelines;
  2. Streamline academic appeals and enhance efficiency (eliminate duplication of effort);
  3. Enhance student retention and increase enrollment; and,
  4. Reduce student frustration.

Overview

For purposes of determining student eligibility for financial assistance under Title IV, HEA programs, the College establishes, publishes, and applies Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards that meet all federal and institutional requirements.  To be eligible to receive federal financial aid, a student is required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in one’s course of study according to the college’s published standards.  SAP standards are based on cumulative measures of a student’s progress toward degree completion. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive financial aid meet these standards.

To be eligible to receive institutional funds, a student is also required to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. For additional information regarding institutional funds eligibility, a student should contact the Financial Aid Office.

It is important to note that SAP standards (federal and institutional requirements) are consolidated and constitute new academic standing requirements.

Sections included in this policy are:

  • Overview
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
  • Definitions
  • Appeals
  • Regaining Eligibility

 

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

There are three components to the College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy:

Component I:  Qualitative Standard

Each student must meet the cumulative grade point average to remain eligible for federal aid:

Attempted Hours Required GPA
Freshmen 0 – 29 1.50
Sophomores* 30 – 59 1.75
Juniors and Seniors 60 – above 2.00

NOTE: STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE AN OVERALL 2.00 GPA AT THE END OF THEIR SOPHOMORE YEAR.

Component II:  Quantitative Standard

The College measures a student’s progression toward degree completion using a fixed grade point standard on a 4.00 grade point average scale.  Each student must successfully pass a minimum of 67%of their credit hours attempted during the preceding fall and spring semesters at the College.  Drops, withdrawals, incompletes, repeated and non-credit remedial coursework will be counted toward the hours attempted.  Students cannot receive federal student aid for repeating a passed course (received credit) more than ONE time, regardless if credit is provided again.  Transfer credits are also used in determining compliance with the College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.  Transfer credits are counted as attempted and earned credits for Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes.

Component III:  Maximum Time Frame           

Students are expected to complete degree requirements within reasonable time-frame based on the average length of their program.  Students must complete graduation requirements in no more than 150% of the average length of their program.  For example, students seeking an associates degree requiring 70 credit hours to graduate from a program may not attempt more than 90 credit hours and still receive aid.  Students seeking a bachelors degree requiring 124 credit hours to graduate from a program may not attempt more than 186 credit hours and still receive aid.  In the event the student elects to change one’s major, all attempted hours, including transfer credits, withdrawals, repeated courses, will be counted in the evaluation of the 150% timeframe.

Increments.  College policy divides the maximum timeframe into equal periods of enrollment known as semesters or terms.

Pace. The College has established a schedule designating the minimum percentage of work, known as Pace, that a student must successfully complete at the end of each semester to complete one’s degree within the maximum timeframe.  Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits that the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits that the student has attempted.

Pace = Cumulative Number of Credits Successfully Completed
  Cumulative Number of Credits Attempted

 

To be eligible to receive federal, state, and institutional financial assistance, a student is required to successfully complete a minimum of 67%of all attempted credits.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Process

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the end of each semester (e.g., fall, spring, summer).  Students will be notified in writing of the results of an evaluation that impacts academic standards and the student’s eligibility for federal, state, and institutional assistance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress reviews will result in a student being placed on one of the following statuses:

GOOD ACADEMIC STANDING.   A student who has met the College’s academic standards listed above is making satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion.  This student is in good academic standing with the College and is eligible to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs during the next semester of enrollment.

WARNING. The first time a student has not met all Satisfactory Academic Progress qualitative and quantitative standards listed above, one will be placed on academic warning.  The student is not making satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion and must repair the deficiencies during the next term of enrollment. A student on academic warning may continue to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs during the next semester, providing the student remains in good academic standing with the College and meets all other program requirements.  The academic warning status will be assigned automatically without an appeal or other action required by the student.

A student can not be placed on two consecutive terms of academic warning.  A student must return to good academic standing by the end of the warning period to remain eligible to receive financial aid.  A student who has returned to good academic standing but at a later date does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards can be placed on the second term of academic warning.

PROBATION.A student on academic warning who has not met all Satisfactory Academic Progress qualitative and quantitative standards by the end of the next semester of enrollment is no longer eligible to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs unlessthe student has an approved Academic Appeal on file with the Academic Appeals Committee.  All Academic Appeals must be submitted to an academic advisor in the Department of Retention according to the process outlined in the Appealssection of this policy.  If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on academic probation.  A student on academic probation is eligible to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs during the next semester of enrollment.

SUSPENSION. A student on academic warning who has not met all Satisfactory Academic Progress qualitative and quantitative standards by the end of the next semester of enrollment and who does not have an approved appeal on file with the Office of Academic Affairs is no longer eligible to receive assistance under federal Title IV, state, and institutional financial aid programs.  The student will be placed on academic suspension and will be required to make up all Satisfactory Academic Progress deficiencies to regain eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid.

 

 

Definitions

Academic Clemency. Academic Clemency provides an opportunity for persons to apply for a new undergraduate academic beginning at Arkansas Baptist College by disregarding their prior academic record.  For federal student aid purposes, ALL attempted hours will be included in determining a student’s financial aid eligibility, including those disregarded on the basis of Academic Clemency.

Pace. A student’s Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted. College policy defines the following terms for the calculation of Pace and review of credits counted toward the maximum time frame of 105 credit hours for students pursuing an associate’s degree and 186 credit hours for students seeking a bachelors degree:

Credits Successfully Completed.  Credits successfully completed include all courses for which a student receives a passing grade of “D” or better, or pass. In addition, all transfer credits are counted as credits successfully completed.

Credits Attempted. Credits attempted to include all courses for which a student receives a passing grade of “D” or better, pass, incomplete, “W”, “NC”, “F”, or “XF”.  In addition, all transfer credits are counted as credits attempted.  All credits attempted must be counted toward the maximum timeframe.

Incompletes. All courses for which a student receives a provisional designation of “incomplete” must be counted toward the maximum timeframe and included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.

Remedial Courses (noncredit).  Remedial courses are counted toward the maximum timeframe and are included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.

Repeated Courses.  All repeated courses must be counted toward the maximum timeframe and included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.  Repeated courses for which a student receives credit are counted both in the cumulative number of successfully completed and attempted credits.  Repeated courses for which a student does not receive additional credit are not counted in the cumulative number of successfully completed but are counted in the cumulative number of attempted credits.  Students cannot receive federal student aid for repeating a passed course (received credit) more than ONE time, regardless if credit is provided again.

Transfer Credits. All pre-matriculation (including AP credits) and post-matriculation transfer credits must be counted toward the maximum timeframe and included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.  Transfer credits are counted in both cumulative number of successfully completed and attempted credits.

Transfer credits are not counted in the calculation of a student’s GPA.

Second Majors. A student who elects to declare a second major must complete all degree requirements within the maximum timeframe. Credits applicable to second majors are included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.

 

Additional Degrees.  A student pursuing a second undergraduate degree at the College is only eligible to receive Federal William D. Ford Direct Loans.  All credit hours applicable to the second degree are counted toward the maximum timeframe and included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.

APPEALS

As stated above, a student on academic warning who has not met the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards by the end of the next semester of enrollment is no longer eligible to receive financial aid and will be placed on academic suspension. If mitigating circumstances prevented the student from meeting the requirements, a student may appeal to have one’s eligibility reinstated for one term of probation.  Such circumstances would include:

  1. The death of a relative;
  2. An injury of the student;
  3. An illness of the student; or,
  4. Other special circumstances.

A student who wishes to appeal one’s suspension must adhere to the following procedures:

  1. Complete and sign an Academic Appeal Form;
  2. Attach supporting documentation to the Academic Appeal form; and,
  3. Submit the Academic Appeal Form with documentation to the Office of Retention, according to the deadline schedule listed on the form.

Submitting an Academic Appeal does not guarantee approval or reinstatement of academic and financial aid eligibility

Decisions are made after a careful evaluation of the student’s unique circumstances, federal Title IV requirements, and College policy.  In some cases, it may be necessary for the Director of Financial Aid to consult with the Academic Appeals Committee before appeal decisions can be made.  Notification will be sent in writing to the student as to the outcome of the appeal review. Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal reviews will result in one of the following outcomes:

Not Approved.  A student whose Academic Appeal is not approved by the Academic Appeals Committee will remain on academic suspension and will not be eligible to receive financial aid until all Satisfactory Academic Progress deficiencies have been repaired (See Regaining Eligibility).

Approved with Probation.  A student whose academic appeal is approved with probation will be placed on probation and is eligible to receive financial aid during the next semester of enrollment.

A student on probation may be required to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses.  A student on probation must repair all academic deficiencies during the next term of enrollment in order to remain eligible for financial aid and remain in academic good standing.

Approved with an Academic Plan. In some cases, it may be mathematically impossible for a student to repair one’s academic progress deficiencies with one term of enrollment. In such cases, a student’s academic progress appeal may be approved with an academic plan to restore academic progress deficiencies over more than one term.  The student should work closely with the Office of Retention to develop an academic plan with the student, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet the College’s academic standards by a specific point in time. The academic plan may require the student to fulfill specific terms and conditions, such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses.  This plan must be submitted in writing to the Office of Retention and the Academic Affairs Appeals Committee.

A student on an approved academic plan is eligible to receive financial aid during the next semester of enrollment and each subsequent term of enrollment, provided the student meets the academic standards outlined in the student’s specific academic plan.  The student must remain in good academic standing with the College and meet all other program requirements.

Regaining Eligibility

A student who has been placed on academic suspension may reestablish one’s eligibility to receive federal, state, and institutional financial assistance by one of the three paths described below:

  1. The student successfully appeals the suspension and is approved for a term of probation or approved with an academic plan.
  2. The student meets the minimum academic quantitative and qualitative standards by completing a course(s) at the College without receiving financial assistance.To enroll in a course(s) at the College, all students must meet the academic standing requirements of the College as overseen by the Office of Retention and the Office of Academic Affairs, respectively.
  3. The student meets the minimum academic quantitative and qualitative standards by completing a course(s) at another institution without receiving financial assistance. A student who wishes to take a course(s) at another institution must receive prior approval according to College policy.  The following explains the impact of transfer credits on academic standards:
    1. Impact of transfer credits on academic quantitative standards. All transfer credits must be counted toward the maximum timeframe and included in the calculation of a student’s Pace.  Transfer credits are counted in the both the cumulative number of successfully completed and attempted credits.
    2. Impact of transfer credits on academic qualitative standard (GPA). According to College policy, post-matriculation transfer grades will be indicated on the transcript, but will not be included in calculations of grade point average, rank-in-class, or other academic standings.  Therefore, a student will not be able to repair the academic qualitative standard by completing a course(s) at another institution. A student who needs to restore one’s GPA to the minimum academic standard will need to enroll in a course(s) at Arkansas Baptist College without receiving financial assistance or successfully appeal one’s academic suspension.  However, transfer grades may be considered when reviewing and approving academic appeals.

Undergraduates with 46 or more attempted ABC credits

Who is Affected

Federal financial aid regulations require that students receiving financial aid be monitored for satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of their program of study. All applicants for state and federal student financial aid are evaluated. Recipients of some alternative loans and scholarships also must meet these policy requirements.

What is Evaluated

  1. Completion Rate
  2. Grade Point Average
  3. Maximum Enrollment Limit
  4. Multiple Withdraws in One Year
  5. Multiple Terms Without Passing Grades

Details of each requirement are given below. You must comply with all four elements listed in this section to be placed in Good Standing for financial aid eligibility.

Completion Rate

You must have passing grades for at least 67% of your Overall attempted credits.

Overall attempted credits are ABC attempted credits plus all attempted transfer credits which appear on your grade record, with grades of : A, B, C, D, F, I, IP, M, NP, P, W, or X. Passing grades are courses with grades of: A, B, C, D, or P.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

You must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA for Overall Attempted Credits: ABC credits plus all accepted transfer credits

Maximum Enrollment Limit

The Maximum Enrollment Limit is 192 attempted credits. This includes all ABC attempted credits plus all accepted transfer attempted credits. You will be immediately placed in Suspended eligibility status if your transcript shows 192 or more attempted credits.

Impact of Multiple Withdraws

If you receive federal or state financial aid and then withdraw from all classes within the University’s Add/Drop period two times in an academic year, you will be placed in Suspended eligibility status immediately after the second withdrawal.

Impact of Multiple Terms Without Passing Grades

If you receive federal or state aid and then have two terms in the academic year without any passing grades, you will be placed in Suspended eligibility status immediately after the second term of all non-passing grades.

When Academic Progress is Evaluated

Your academic record is reviewed at the end of each term of enrollment.

If you do not meet the Completion Rate and/or the Cumulative GPA requirement at the end of fall, winter or spring term, you may continue to receive available financial aid the following term. An advisory notice of your status will be made. You have through the end of summer term to improve your academic record to reach the Completion Rate and GPA requirements.

If you have reached the 192 credit Maximum Enrollment Limit, you will be placed in Suspended eligibility status immediately.

If you have a second term of total withdrawal within the Add/Drop period for the academic year, you will be placed in Suspended eligibility status immediately.

If you do not meet all components of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at the beginning of fall term or your first term of enrollment in the next academic year, you will be placed in Suspended eligibility status.

Suspended Eligibility Status and Appeals

Students placed in Suspended status are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid. In addition, some alternative loan and scholarship programs require students to be in Good Standing under satisfactory academic progress guidelines.

If you are in Suspended status, you may submit an appeal in writing to the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships which documents special or unforeseen circumstances that interfered with the completion of your coursework or in meeting any other part of the policy.

Submitting an Appeal

The appeal must include an Academic Plan that will bring you into Good Standing or that will satisfy any remaining requirements to complete your degree.

Appeals must be submitted by the end of the second week of the term. Appeals submitted after the deadline will be reviewed but late petitions may result in the loss of funding for the term.

If an appeal is approved, you will be placed in Probation status and will be eligible to receive financial aid.

You must follow this Academic Plan for each term of Probation status until you reach Good Standing. If you do not pass the credits and/or earn the GPA given in the Academic Plan, you will be placed in Suspended status again.

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