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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Policy Summary

In order to receive financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the U.S. Department of Education and Ohio University. Our definition of SAP is different from the University's definition of academic standing. All Ohio University students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and wish to be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid must meet the criteria stated in the policy regardless of whether or not they previously received aid. Programs governed by these regulations are:


·         Federal Pell Grant

·         Federal Work Study (FWS)

·         Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

·         Federal Perkins Loan

·         Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan

·         Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

·         Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

·         Federal TEACH Grant

·         Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG)

·         Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Grant (PHEAA)

·         All Ohio University grants

·         Some Ohio University Long-term Loan and Short-term Loan Programs


Our definition of SAP has three components.

Accumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): A first-year undergraduate must have a 1.75 GPA by the end of his or her first year.  This requirement does not consider the number of terms or courses taken.  For example, if a first year student begins attendance in the spring semester, he or she must earn a 1.75 at the end of that semester because it ends the academic year.  Continuing undergraduate students must earn a 2.00 GPA at the end of all remaining years.  A graduate student must have a 3.00 GPA at the end of each year.


Maximum Time Frame (MTF): An undergraduate student seeking an associate’s degree may remain eligible for financial aid through the first 90 semester hours attempted (associate's degree in nursing is aid eligible through 111 hours), an undergraduate seeking a Baccalaureate Degree can have up to 180 hours to complete a degree and a full-time graduate student can have up to 90 hours to complete a degree.


Minimum Completion Percentage: All students must complete 67% of their courses with a grade of:

 A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, CR, P, PS, S, T, TP and/or TD


Students are reviewed annually at the end of the academic year. A student who is found to be deficient in one or more components is ineligible for any future financial aid. A student who is ineligible has the right to appeal if there are extreme extenuating circumstances that contributed to the deficiency. Students wishing to appeal are encouraged to review the SAP Appeal Procedures. Appeal forms for Athens campus students can be obtained online. Regional Campus students must visit the Student Services office on their campus.


Highlights of 2011 Federal Regulatory Changes

The following changes are required by the U.S. Department of Education and are to be implemented at all institutions beginning with the 2011-12 academic year:


No automatic periods of SAP warning are permitted – Students found to be unsatisfactory due to failing one or more components of SAP at the annual review are ineligible for financial aid. No tolerance is permitted.


First-year students must earn a 1.75 GPA – First-year students are given a benefit by having a reduced GPA criteria. Continuing students must earn a 2.00.


Minimum Completion Percentage is a new measurement of academic progression – Students must earn one of the following grades in, at least, 67% of their coursework:

          A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, CR, P, PS, S, T, TP and/or TD


Appeals are approved for documented extreme situations only – Students who appeal will only be approved for the following federally defined reasons:

              Serious physical or mental illness of the student

              Serious physical or mental illness of the student’s immediate family member

              Death of the student’s immediate family member

              Other extreme circumstances       

The circumstance must have occurred during the time the student struggled academically. All appeals must have documentation of the circumstances claimed in the appeal.


Approved appeals can result in no more the one term of financial aid eligibility – Students who have approved appeals are granted one term of financial aid probation. For continued eligibility, students must resolve all SAP deficiencies during this period of probation. Students, who cannot mathematically resolve all deficiencies in one term, may meet with their academic advisor to request an academic plan which outlines the courses needed to successfully progress toward their degree. Students must resolve all deficiencies during completion of their academic plan to regain financial aid eligibility.


Students approved for aid based on an appeal must resolve all deficiencies – Formerly, students approved based on an appeal had to perform successfully during future terms. The new policy requires resolution of all deficiencies before aid can be reinstated.


Attending 12 hours at your own expenses no longer results in financial aid reinstatement – Formerly, if a student attended and paid for 12 hours and performed successfully, financial aid would be reinstated. This is no longer permitted. Students must resolve all deficiencies in order to receive aid.


Students are permitted one appeal per academic career – There is no secondary or director level appeal process. Students may appeal once as an undergraduate and once as a graduate student. Students may not appeal a denial by the SAP committee. Exceptions will be given to students who have left the university for, at least, three academic years.


Appeals for Maximum Time Frame will only be considered up to a limit – MTF appeals will only be considered if the student is at or below 175% of the normal time it would take to complete their degree. Students exceeding MTF limits are ineligible for financial aid. Students are permitted to appeal if they are pursuing a:

              baccalaureate degree and are between 180 and 210 semester hours

              non-nursing associate’s degree who are between 90 and 105 hours

              associate’s degree in nursing who are between 111 and 130 hours

              graduate degree who are between 90 and 105 hours


Please review the complete SAP policy for all changes and updates.