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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

 

Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Policies (SAP) 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies require all students receiving federal, state, and/or institutional aid meet and maintain specific academic standards. All forms of financial aid are affected by this policy, except for some externally funded scholarships and private alternative loans.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) is required to perform a qualitative (grade point average) and quantitative (completion rate) evaluation of a student’s academic record before financial aid can be disbursed.  At MSU Denver, the evaluations occur at the end of each term (semester).  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.

Students who are in an ineligible status will not be eligible for financial aid. All students have the right to appeal their ineligible status.

 

SAP is measured using four (4) factors:

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • Students must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  2. Cumulative Completion Rate
    • This is calculated by percentage of completed credit hours vs. attempted credit hours.
    • Students must complete at least 67% of all attempted credits.
  3. Term Completion Rate
    • Students must complete at least one (1) attempted course in a term (semester).
    • If a student completes 0%, they automatically become ineligible for the next term of enrollment.
  4. Program Length: Maximum time-frame
    • Students cannot attempt more than 150% of the number of credit hours required for their degree.
    • At MSU Denver, this is equivalent to 180 credit hours for undergraduates.

 

SAP Status Definitions

SAP status is calculated at the end of each term. All credit hours (including transfer credit hours) are used in this calculation.

"GOOD STANDING"

You are in good standing during the first 130 credit hours of course work you attempt:

  • By maintaining a cumulative 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.

"ALERT"
You will be placed on alert status (which will not affect your financial aid for your next term of enrollment) 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.

"WARNING"
You will be placed on warning status (which will not affect your financial aid for your next term of enrollment) if:

  • During any term, your cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0 and/or your cumulative completion rate drops below 67% and you were not on SAP.
  • NOTE - You have one term of warning to meet SAP standards.

"SAP"
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 a 2.0 for at least two (2) terms.
    • This includes your warning semester
  • You fail to complete at least 67% of all credit hours you attempt.
  • You complete 0% of your attempted credits during a term.
  • You have attempted over 180 credit hours – including transfer credits.  (NOTE:  see Teacher Licensure and Post Baccalaureate Sections for possible exceptions)

"NOAID"
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 degree without earning your degree.
    • Your entire academic record, including all transfer credits, are counted toward the 180 credit hour maximum. undergraduate degree. 
  • It is mathematically impossible for you to graduate within the 180 attempted credit hour 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. 

"PROBATION" You will be placed in a probation status for one term (which makes you eligible for financial aid) if:

  • You have a SAP appeal approved.
  • While on Probation, you must have a term GPA of 2.20 and complete 100% of the classes you attempt.

  

Teacher Licensure Students

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 2.20 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 meeting SAP standards and will have to appeal to be considered for further aid.

For both appeals, students are required to submit a Degree Works report to show successful completion of courses, as well as any remaining coursework. Also, the OFAS will review course selection per term to ensure that all courses attempted are pertinent to your selected degree program.

 

Post-Baccalaureate Students

If you have received your first MSU Denver degree and have now come back to get a second undergraduate 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 2.20 for each semester after the original 180 attempted credit hours.
  • There are no guarantees that your appeal will be approved.

For both appeals, students are required to submit a Degree Works report to show successful completion of courses, as well as any remaining coursework. Also, the OFAS will review course selection per semester to ensure that all courses attempted are pertinent to your selected degree program.

 

Appeal Process

If you are in a SAP or INELIGIBLE status, 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 mustbe submitted with the appeal. The appeal must also explain why the circumstances no longer exist and what you will do to ensure meeting SAP standards are met in the future.
  • A plan for future academic success should also be included.

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.

 

You may turn in SAP appeals one of two ways:

The appeal will be reviewed by the SAP Committee. You will be notified by email of the result of the appeal. If the appeal is denied, you may submit additional documentation in writing to the Professional Judgment Committee.

 

Things you Should Know about MSU's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

  • If you are not meeting SAP standards, 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 awards students who are not meeting SAP standards. Students need to submit an appeal and have it approved before they will be awarded financial aid.
  • 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 SAP requirements for credit hour completion. The credit hours you attempt but do not complete will be counted when determining the total number of credit hours 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 term (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 and Scholarships to recalculate their SAP status.
  • Your entire academic record is taken into consideration when an appeal is reviewed. Please note that this does include any terms in which you paid for classes without financial aid assistance.
  • Credit hours 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 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 meeting SAP standards, you will be responsible for repayment of funds received.
  • 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 their attempted hours 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 SAP.

  • 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.

 

Study Abroad and Satisfactory Academic Progress

Your financial aid will likely be delayed the semester following your study abroad term.  The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships cannot calculate your SAP status 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.  


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