Satisfactory Academic Process (SAP) Process and Policy
The Financial Aid Office has established the following policies and procedures stated to fulfill the requirements expressed in the Higher Education Act (HEA). The Satisfactory Academic Progress process and policy of Belmont College are reviewed when changes at the federal or institutional level require review to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations. All Belmont College students applying for Title IV federal assistance must meet the criteria stated hereafter regardless of whether or not they previously received aid. SAP is evaluated at the end of each semester and those not meeting SAP are sent a letter.
The programs governed by these regulations are:
Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Work-Study (FWS)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant(FSEOG)
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
Satisfactory Academic Progress standards include these elements:
- Qualitative Progress. Students are evaluated at the end of each semester and must meet a minimum cumulative grade point average.
- Quantitative Progress. Students must successfully complete a percentage of credit hours attempted
- Time Frame. Students must complete their degree or certificate program within a maximum time frame of credit hours attempted.
- Graduation. Students who apply for graduation are considered to be ineligible for continuation of financial aid after graduation unless they apply for another degree and are granted approval.
Elements of Satisfactory Academic Progress Defined
Qualitative Progress – The minimum GPA a student must have earned at the end of the evaluation period. Students are evaluated each semester by the following cumulative grade point average (GPA) standards:
- 1.6 or above cumulative GPA in 0-30 attempted hours
- 2.0 or above cumulative GPA in 30+ attempted hours
Quantitative Progress – Students must successfully complete 2/3 of attempted credit hours with a letter grade of “D” or better after each semester.
Grades that are considered successfully complete are A, B, C, D, P. Grades that are not considered successfully completed are F, I, W, NR, FZ, DZ, D+Z.
Time Frame – The required length of time it will take a student to complete a degree program or certificate based on the appropriate enrollment status. Federal regulations allow a student to be eligible to receive aid up to 150% of the time that it would normally take to complete a degree. All credit hours in which a student enrolls or transfers to Belmont College are included in the maximum time frame calculation, regardless of the number of degrees a student chooses to obtain. Belmont College evaluates this per program or certificate, an example is if your major is Office Clerk Specialist Certificate which requires 37 semester credit hours to graduate. Students may not exceed 55 semester credit hours to obtain that degree.
Graduation – Students who apply for graduation are considered to be ineligible for continuation of financial aid after graduation unless they apply for a second degree and are granted approval. Students must complete the SAP Appeal form indicating they want a second degree. If granted a Degree Completion Plan will be done and aid will only be awarded and calculated on courses required to complete that degree.
Financial Aid Warning / Probation - In the event that a student fails to meet any of the Elements of Satisfactory Progress for the first semester, the student is placed on SAP Warning (see definition below). Students will receive a letter indicating they have not met SAP and are being placed on SAP Warning. Students can still receive Federal Aid while on SAP Warning however failure to meet any of the Elements of Satisfactory Progress for a second consecutive semester will cause the student to be placed on SAP Probation (see definition below). SAP Probation will result in the termination of Federal Financial Aid which includes the Pell grant, FSEOG Grant, Federal Work Study and Direct Loans. Students placed on SAP Probation will receive a letter indicating they are being placed on SAP Probation. Students placed on probation will have a financial aid hold placed on their account until they appeal the probation and it is approved or they make payment arrangements with the Business Office. Students placed on SAP Probation can appeal the decision - see SAP Appeal for more details.
SAP Warning – SAP Warning is for Qualitative and Quantitative only. Students not meeting time frame or graduation are automatically placed on SAP Probation. Belmont College students are evaluated at the end of each semester based on the elements of SAP. Students who do not meet one or more of the elements for one semester will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Financial Aid Warning means that you CAN receive federal financial aid for the next semester, but you must meet all the terms that next semester or you will be placed on SAP Probation.
SAP Probation – Belmont College students are evaluate at the end of each semester based on the elements of SAP. Students who do not meet one or more of the elements for two semesters in a row will be placed on SAP Probation. SAP Probation means that you are NOT eligible for federal financial aid for the next semester. You do have an option to appeal this decision.
SAP Appeal – The process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s standards and placed on SAP Probation petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student’s eligibility. Students are evaluated at the end of each semester. At this time, any student not meeting all SAP components for the second semester will be placed on SAP Probation and ineligible for any further financial aid. Students can complete the SAP Student Appeal form. Students must indicate for the reason for not meeting the SAP terms for each of the last two terms and must provide documentation. Students may submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement on a probationary status of no more than one term to resolve all deficiencies. Appeals must provide documentation of circumstances on which the appeal is based. Appeals must also specify why the student failed to satisfy SAP requirements and what has changed in the student’s situation
SAP Approval – For Qualitative and/or Quantitative. If a student appeals a SAP Probation and the appeal is approved the student will be allowed to receive federal aid for the next semester under a probation term. The student must complete all courses with no grades of F, W and/or I and get in good standing with regards to SAP. If a student does not meet the terms as outlined in the approval letter students will lose Federal financial aid permanently at Belmont College until the student can again meet the SAP terms without the use of any Federal financial aid which includes Stafford loans.
SAP Approval – For Time Frame and or Graduation. If the student is placed on SAP Probation because of not completing their degree within 150% or you have graduated and have requested a second degree. If the appeal is approved the student will receive a degree audit and only the courses needed to complete the degree will be approved for Federal financial aid. Courses taken that are not on the degree completion plan will not be counted in calculating financial aid.
SAP Denial – If a student appeals SAP Probation and the appeal is denied they will not be eligible to receive any federal aid until the student can again meet the SAP terms without the use of any federal financial aid which includes Stafford loans.
SAP Notifications – Students who are placed on SAP Warning or SAP Probation will receive a letter after each Semester.
Developmental Courses - Developmental courses carry credit. However the credits do not apply directly toward earning a degree or diploma. A student receiving financial aid is allowed a maximum of 24 attempted credits in transitional courses all of which must be completed in the first year (0-30 credit hours). Once a student has earned 30+ credit hours they are no longer a first year student and not eligible to receive federal aid for those developmental courses.
If a student is on an appeal, financial aid can only pay one time for a course repeat.