Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Policies
- Academic Status
- Teacher Licensure Students
- Post-Baccalaureate and SAP
- Appeal Process
- Things you Should Know about the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
- Study Abroad
Satisfactory Academic Progress Overview
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies require all students receiving federal, state, and/or institutional aid to meet and maintain specific academic standards. All forms of financial aid are affected by this policy except for some externally funded scholarships and some private alternative loans.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is required to perform a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of a student’s academic record before we can release funds for disbursement. At MSU Denver, the evaluations occur at the end of each term. As part of this evaluation, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also needs to ensure that the student hasn’t exceeded the maximum timeframe of their degree program, which at MSU Denver amounts to 180 credit hours.
Your entire academic record, including all transfer credits and all credits attempted even while you are not receiving financial aid, are subject to the SAP Policy. Your academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester which you attend, and it will be reviewed before any disbursement of financial aid funds for a new semester.
Students who are not meeting the SAP policy will not have their financial aid awards packaged until they have been approved on an appeal, even though they may have completed all other necessary requirements on their file.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress at MSU Denver is evaluated using four categories.
You are considered to be in good standing during the first 130 credit hours of course work you attempt:
- By maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0.
- By maintaining a cumulative completion rate of 75% or higher.
- By having less than 130 total cumulative attempted hours.
- By maintaining the difference between your total cumulative attempted hours and total cumulative completed hours to be less than 36 credit hours.
You will be placed on alert status, which will not affect your financial aid disbursement, if
- You have completed at least 67% of the credit hours you have attempted, but your pace of progression is less than 75%.
- You have attempted between 130 and 180 cumulative credit hours, including transfer credits.
- You have not completed between 36 and 60 of the credits you have attempted.
You will be placed on SAP and will not be eligible to receive financial aid at MSU Denver for one or more of the following reasons:
- Your cumulative GPA is below 2.0. To obtain good standing, you must raise your cumulative GPA to 2.0 without the benefit of financial aid. You may also appeal. Appeal letters must document extreme extenuating circumstances to warrant approval of your appeal. Appeal letters must also include a comprehensive, detailed plan for future academic success.
- You do not attain a 2.0 cumulative GPA after one semester on warning. To obtain good standing, you must raise your cumulative GPA to 2.0 without the benefit of financial aid. You may also appeal. Usually, for an appeal to be approved, your last semester GPA must have been at least 2.0, and you must have shown dramatic improvement and potential for a 2.0 cumulative GPA within one more semester.
- You fail to complete at least two thirds (67 percent) of the total number of credit hours you have attempted at MSU Denver. To obtain Good Standing, you must attain a cumulative completion record equal to two thirds (67 percent) without the benefit of financial aid. You may also appeal and document the reason you were unable to complete at least two thirds of the total credit hours you attempted, including a plan for 100% completion moving forward.
- You complete 0% of your attempted credits during a semester.
- You have attempted over 180 credit hours – including transfer credits. (NOTE: see Teacher Licensure and Post Baccalaureate Sections for possible exceptions )
You will be considered ineligible for financial aid, without the option to appeal, if
- You reach the equivalent of 180 credits attempted toward your first MSU Denver undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree without earning your degree. Your entire academic record, all transfer credits and all credits attempted while you were not receiving financial aid will be counted toward the 180 credit maximum. You are encouraged to speak with a MSU Denver financial aid advisor to discuss available options. In the rare case you may have the option to appeal, you are required to include a CAPP report with your appeal. Generally, only Teacher Licensure students may receive financial aid for more than 180 attempted credits while completing the first MSU Denver undergraduate degree. Approvals, however, are never guaranteed.
- It is mathematically impossible for you to graduate within the 180 attempted credit limit. If you have attempted but not completed 60 or more credits, it is mathematically impossible for you to graduate with the required 120 completed credits without reaching the 180 attempted credit limit. You will not have the option to appeal to receive any Title IV financial aid at MSU Denver.
Students will not be offered financial aid if they have attempted 180 or more credits or if they are mathematically unable to graduate within the 180 credit limit.
What does "PROBATION" mean?
If you have an appeal approved, you will be placed under financial aid probation for one semester. If you continue to complete 100% of your attempted credits with a term GPA of at least 2.25 during a semester on probation, you will not need to submit an appeal in order to receive financial aid for the following semester unless you have reached the overall 180 attempted credit limit.
If you are working on a first degree at MSU Denver and are classified as TLIC – you MAY be approved up to 195 attempted credits as long as you are completing 100% of attempted courses with a GPA of 2.25 each semester.
- If you have posted a MSU Denver degree AND are formally admitted into TLIC (Teacher Licensure Program) you MAY BE ELIGIBLE for financial aid up to 220 credits. Your appeal will be reviewed if you have at least a 75% cumulative completion rate and are continually completing 100% for each semester after the original 180 attempted credit hours. There are no guarantees that your appeal will be approved. You are still coded as Not Making Satisfactory Academic Progress and will have to appeal to be considered for further aid.
For both of these appeals, students are required to submit a CAPP report to show successful completion of courses, as well as any remaining coursework. Also, the Office of Financial Aid will review course selection per semester to ensure that all courses attempted are pertinent to your selected degree program.
If you have posted a MSU Denver degree AND are formally admitted into TLIC (Teacher Licensure Program) you MAY BE ELIGIBLE for financial aid up to 220 attempted credits. Your appeal will be reviewed if you have at least a 75% cumulative completion rate and are continually completing 100% of attempted courses with a GPA of 2.25
If you have received your first MSU Denver degree and have now come back to get a second MSU Denver degree you MAY BE ELIGIBLE for up to 240 attempted credits. Your appeal will be reviewed if you have at least a 75% cumulative completion rate and are continually completing 100% of attempted courses with a GPA of 2.25 for each semester after the original 180 attempted credit hours. There are no guarantees that your appeal will be approved.
For both of these appeals, students are required to submit a CAPP report to show successful completion of courses, as well as any remaining coursework. Also, the financial aid office will review course selection per semester to ensure that all courses attempted are pertinent to your selected degree program.
If you are not making satisfactory academic progress, you have the right to submit a written appeal to our office. Appeals must be based on extenuating circumstances that prevent you from meeting the requirements of this policy. Extenuating circumstances can be defined as medical problems, a death in the immediate family, and/or extreme personal problems. Documentation of these circumstances must be submitted with the appeal. The appeal must also explain why the circumstances no longer exist and what you will do to ensure meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy in the future.
If you are a Freshman who has below a 2.0 cumulative GPA and below a 50% cumulative completion rate, you will be required to submit an Academic Plan (APLAN_) as well as a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (SAPAP_). An academic plan must be done with an advisor in the office of Academic Advising. Academic Advising is located in the Student Success Building, Room 170. SAPAPs cannot be reviewed without the academic plan and vice versa.
If you are placed on academic suspension and have not registered for classes through the office of Student Academic Success (SSB 230, 303-556-4048) by the Friday before the first week of classes, your appeal will be denied.
We do not accept on-line appeals. You can submit an appeal by dropping it off, mailing it, or faxing it. Please visit our office or our forms page to retrieve a SAPAP form to attach to your personal statement and supporting documentation.
The appeal will be reviewed by a financial aid counselor. You will be notified in writing via email of the result of the appeal. If the appeal is denied, you may submit additional documentation in writing to the Professional Judgment Committee.
If you are not making SAP, all financial aid is suspended, including student loans. A student on SAP will not be considered for any federal, state, or institutional awards at MSU Denver.
Starting in Fall 2013, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships no longer packages students who are not meeting SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress). Students on SAP need to submit an appeal and have it approved before they will be awarded aid.
If you have received a Probation letter, you do not need to appeal. Probation Letters are sent only to make students aware of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
You must complete credit hours with a grade of "D" or better. A grade notation of "W", "AW", "AP", "CC", "CL", "EX", "F", "D#", "F#", "I", "NC", "NR", "PL", "PP", "SA", "SN", "U", "U#", "SP", and "UE" does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for credit hour completion. The credit hours you attempt but do not complete will be counted when determining the total number of credits you have attempted toward the 180 credit limit. Remedial courses must have a grade of "C#" or higher to count as completed.
When an Incomplete or grade change occurs, the student has until census date of the following semester (counting from the term of when they initially registered for the course) to have the grade updated and must then notify the Office of Financial Aid to recalculate his/her SAP status.
Your entire academic record is taken into consideration when an appeal is reviewed. Please note that this does include any semesters where you paid for school without financial aid assistance.
Credits removed from your record due to an approved Tuition and Fees Appeal will be included when calculating your overall completion rate and attempted hours.
If you have completed a best grade stands request after retaking a course, the credits from your previous attempt will count toward your attempted hours and thus will affect your cumulative completion rate. This is the result of your previous grade being changed to an "NC" and being replaced by the most recent grade earned. If you have any questions regarding the "Best Grade Stands Policy", please visit the Repeated Courses topic in the current student handbook.
If you attend and pay for summer term in order to bring yourself into good standing, you must also pay for fall semester. You will be reimbursed if you are eligible for financial aid and no longer on SAP, but your financial aid for fall semester will not be ready in time to cover your fall semester bill.
If you are awarded in error while not making SAP, you will be responsible for repayment of funds received.
Transfer credits are included in a student’s cumulative attempted and completed credits and, thus, are factored into the student’s completion rate.
Remedial credits are included in a student’s calculation of cumulative completion rate. However, the remedial hours will not be included in the cumulative attempted credit hours calculation.
In the process of evaluating your appeal, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at MSU Denver may contact previously attended institutions to review your academic history.
For each student that has repeated coursework, all of their attempted will be calculated within the SAP review, even if the repeated coursework was not eligible for financial aid.
Withdrawals count against a student's cumulative completion rate when calculating SAP, but are not included in the GPA component.
A change in major does not affect the overall calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Students pursuing more than one degree must still ensure that they receive both degrees within the maximum timeframe, 180 credits, for their undergraduate degree program if they are working on them concurrently.
Your financial aid will likely be delayed the semester following your study abroad term. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships cannot calculate your satisfactory academic progress until your official academic transcript from the study abroad program has been received and reviewed by the University. All financial aid will be held until this transcript has been evaluated. You may submit an unofficial transcript to our office but that does not guarantee that we can update your status and release your financial aid.