Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility

Overview

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion to receive financial aid from Federal, State, or WWU programs. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Maintain the required minimum quarterly and cumulative grade-point average (GPA). (See the Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy in the Undergraduate Bulletin.)
  2. Complete 70 percent of the credits registered for on the 10th day of the quarter on both a quarterly and cumulative basis for the duration of studies.
  3. Complete a degree program within a maximum timeframe for which Walla Walla University (WWU) awards financial aid. (See "Maximum Timeframe for Aid Eligibility" in this policy.)

This satisfactory academic progress requirement applies to a student's entire period of attendance at WWU, including any periods during which the student receives no financial aid.

Academic progress is reviewed quarterly after grades are posted. At the end of each term, students who have not maintained satisfactory academic progress are notified by Student Financial Services and placed on Financial Aid Warning. If a student on Financial Aid Warning fails the SAP policy the next quarter of enrollment, the student becomes ineligible for financial aid.

Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress may seek financial aid eligibility reinstatement. (See the "Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility" section of this policy.)

Students are responsible for monitoring their own academic progress.

Definition of Terms Related to this Policy

ATTEMPTED CREDITS - The number of credits a student was enrolled for on the 10th day of the quarter. Financial aid is awarded based on these credits. (Incompletes, withdrawals, classes taken for satisfactory/no credit, and failed classes are counted toward the total attempted credits. A repeated course is counted as attempted credit each time the course is taken.)

COMPLETED CREDITS - The number of credits which count toward a degree. Only courses for which the student received a passing grade are included. (Incompletes/F, withdrawals, failed courses, and audits are not counted as completed credits. A repeated course is counted only once.)

FINANCIAL AID WARNING - The status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of a quarter. The student may continue to receive financial aid for one more quarter without appealing.

FINANCIAL AID INELIGIBLE - Financial aid will be cancelled for a student who does not meet the SAP policy two quarters in a row.

FINANCIAL AID PROBATION - The status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and been approved to receive financial aid the following quarter enrolled. At the end of a probation quarter the student must be meeting the SAP policy or be successfully following an Academic Plan outlined by the Financial Aid Committee.

If a student is placed on probation due to an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee and in subsequent terms meets SAP, they are no longer on probation. In future terms, if a student fails SAP, they may appeal the Financial Aid Committee.  There is no limit to the number of terms a student may be placed on probation as the Financial Aid Committee is reviewing these appeals on a case by case basis.

MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME - The maximum amount of time allowed for a student to finish a degree.

APPEAL - The process by which a student who is not meeting the SAP policy petitions for reconsideration of aid eligibility.

Special Considerations

TRANSFER STUDENTS - The accepted transfer credits a student earns will count toward both attempted and completed credits. The GPA from transfer credit is not considered in terms of this policy.

HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH WWU CREDITS - The quarters during which the student was enrolled in WWU courses prior to high-school graduation do not count toward the total number of credits for which the student may receive financial aid. Academic credits earned prior to high-school graduation may not be used to make up an academic deficiency.

FIRST-TIME AID RECIPIENTS - When a student first applies for financial aid, the student's entire period of attendance--even periods during which the student may not have received financial aid--is evaluated in terms of the SAP policy. A student who has not maintained satisfactory academic progress will not be eligible for aid until the student completes the deficiency.

STUDENTS PURSUING A SECOND BACHELOR'S DEGREE - Students enrolling for a second Bachelor's degree with more than 275 transfer or WWU credits must submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee, with supporting documentation, requesting additional financial aid. (See Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility", #5, for clarification.)

STUDENTS WHO DROP A CLASS BUT REMAIN ENROLLED - Financial aid awards are based on credits for which a student is registered on the 10th day of the quarter. Courses dropped before the 10th day of the quarter are not counted in the SAP review. (Dropping a course before the 10th day may affect the current financial aid award.)

Dropping a course after the 10th day does not affect financial aid for the current quarter, but may impact aid the subsequent quarter. SAP reviews are conducted at the end of each quarter, and any financial aid a student is awarded for future quarters is not valid until the student has passed the quarterly review.

REPEATED COURSE - A repeated course is counted toward attempted credits each time the course is taken, but is counted toward completed credits only once.

REMEDIAL COURSES - Any remedial course work designed to increase the student's ability to pursue a program of study is counted in terms of attempted and completed credits.

INCOMPLETES - An incomplete is counted toward attempted credits the quarter in which it was received. An incomplete/D- or higher is counted in completed credits for the quarter in which the student registers for the course.

IN-PROGRESS COURSES - An in-progress course is counted toward attempted and completed credits the quarter in which the student registers for it.

AUDITED COURSES - Audited courses are not counted toward attempted or completed courses.

Eligibility Requirements

MINIMUM CREDIT REQUIREMENTS - Undergraduate students are required to complete 70 percent of their attempted credits on both a quarterly and cumulative basis. (Taking fewer than 12 credits in a given quarter changes a student's enrollment status to "part-time" and will, in most cases, affect a student's financial aid package.)

MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME FOR AID ELIGIBILITY - A student is expected to complete a degree program within an acceptable amount of time. WWU awards financial aid for a maximum of 275 attempted credits to a student working on a four-year degree; a maximum of 137 attempted credits to a student working on a two-year degree. (The 275 hours and 137 hours include any transfer credits a student may have.)

QUARTERLY REVIEW - At the end of each quarter after grades are processed, the student's progress is measured using a series of five tests. The student must pass all five each quarter in order to meet the SAP policy.

  1. Maximum Units Test - Total credits attempted (WWU and transfer) cannot exceed 275.
  2. Academic Standing Test - Current term GPA and cumulative GPA must meet the Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy monitored by the Associate Vice President for Academic Administration.
  3. Current Earned Units Test - Term credits completed divided by term credits attempted must be at least 70 percent.
  4. Cumulative Earned Units Test - Cumulative credits completed divided by cumulative credits attempted must be at least 70 percent.
  5. Two Year GPA Test - At the end of a student's second academic year (six quarters) the student's cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or higher.

PROGRAM SPECIFIC CONDITIONS

Federal Direct Loan borrowers who drop to fewer than six credits will have their remaining loan canceled. They will need to reapply for the loan if funding for subsequent quarters is desired.

Recipients of the Washington State Need Grant or the Washington State Work-Study Program must complete 12 credits or the term's attempted credits, whichever is less. If a student completes less than 50 percent of the attempted credits for one quarter or at least 50 percent of the attempted credits for two consecutive quarters, subsequent disbursements will be canceled until the student makes up the deficiency and again becomes eligible.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

A student's financial aid eligibility may be reinstated by one or more of the following:

  1. If the deficiency was caused by an incomplete, a student may make up the incomplete in the allowable time and request a reevaluation of academic progress.
  2. If the grade for a course is changed, a student may request a reevaluation of academic progress.
  3. If the student's cumulative GPA is below the minimum, adequate grades must be earned to bring the cumulative GPA back to the required level.
  4. The student may successfully complete coursework at another institution. If the credits are transferrable, they will be evaluated against the SAP Policy and in some cases could help the student become eligible. The student must provide Academic Records with an official transcript.
  5. The student may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee. The appeal must include an explanation of why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what circumstances have changed that will allow the student to meet the SAP policy at the next evaluation. An Academic Plan Form for a minimum of three quarters, signed by the student's advisor, is also required. Students graduating within the next three quarters should provide a copy of their approved senior outline. If the appeal is approved, the student will be put on Financial Aid Probation and aid will be reinstated. Subsequent quarters of aid eligibility are contingent upon the student meeting the SAP policy or successfully following the approved Academic Plan.
  6. A student who has reached the maximum timeframe for aid eligibility and needs additional time to complete a degree may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee. The appeal should explain why the degree could not be completed within the allowable timeframe. An Academic Plan, signed by the student's advisor, should accompany the appeal and explain which credits are needed to finish the degree. The appeal should also be accompanied by an approved senior outline.

Note: Reinstatement of Financial Aid awards is based on available funding. Therefore, students may not receive their original Financial Aid awards.

    Page maintained by Stephanie Onthank
    Last update on October 14, 2013