Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulations require that Champlain College review the academic progress of students who receive federal financial aid. At the end of each semester (fall, spring, summer), every financial aid recipient’s progress is reviewed. Students are measured using both qualitative and quantitative standards. The purpose of this review is to measure whether a student is making satisfactory academic progress towards completion of their degree. These standards apply to all types of financial aid: federal, state and institutional aid. Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements may become ineligible to receive financial aid until they are in compliance with these requirements. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement is independent of Academic Suspension; please refer to the catalog for Champlain College academic requirements.
Students concerned about their ability to meet satisfactory academic progress guidelines as outlined in this policy should contact a Financial Aid Advisor for information and an Academic Advisor to help the student develop an academic plan.
The qualitative standard relates to cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) and is verified by the Registrar’s Office. A minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA for graduate students is required in order to receive financial aid and is reviewed at the end of every semester.
The quantitative standard relates to the number of credits which must be completed over a specific period of time and is based on the number of credits successfully completed within any given number of terms attended, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received. The quantitative standard is verified by the Office of Financial Aid at the end of every semester.
Students must successfully complete 67 percent of all credits attempted. For example, a first-year student who enrolls in 12 credits during the academic year must successfully complete at least 9 of those credits by the end of that academic year. Grades of “I” and “W” are counted as credits attempted but not earned and count towards the 67% completion rate.
Maximum Time Limit for Degree Completion Students must complete their degree within a time frame not longer than 150% of the published length of the program, as measured by credits attempted. Example: Master’s degree requires 36 credits, students would reach 150% maximum time limit at 54 credits.
Successful Completion of Credits
For financial aid satisfactory academic progress purposes, credits are counted for completed courses in which students receive a grade of “D-” or higher. Credits are not counted for courses in which the student receives a grade of “W,” “F” or “I” (incomplete). These courses count toward the total attempted credits.
Transfer Students/Consortium Credits
Transfer credits accepted towards the student’s degree are considered as hours attempted and earned. Transfer credits do not impact a student’s cumulative GPA.
Students do not earn any academic credit for auditing courses, so the courses do not count in the calculation for Satisfactory Academic Progress. Note that financial aid is not available to assist with audited courses.
These credits count toward the total of attempted and if passed, earned credits.
The credit hours for both attempts are counted in the GPA calculation as well as the attempted and earned calculation.
For financial aid purposes all grades and credits for courses that are granted Academic Renewal are still considered when determining whether or not students meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. However, per the discretion of the Satisfactory Academic Appeal Committee, a one-time exception maybe made for a student who has changed majors.
Financial Aid Warning
Financial Aid Warning status is assigned students who have failed to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. During a period of financial aid warning, students who meet all other eligibility requirements remain eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid. Financial Aid Warning is granted for one semester which will be the next semester of enrollment for any credits at Champlain College. If, at the end of the warning period, the necessary requirements are not met, the student would be placed on financial aid suspension, and will be ineligible for institutional, federal and state aid. (Please note this would include summer enrollment).
Students on Warning Status that still do not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements after the semester of warning are placed on “suspension” status and are ineligible for financial aid. Students are notified in writing via letter if they have been placed on “suspension” status and of the appeal process they may complete in order to determine if financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. During suspension, students are ineligible for federal, state, and institutional aid.
Students may appeal a suspension of financial aid based on the failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Students are advised to appeal within 30 days of receipt of the “suspension” status letter. All appeals must be submitted in writing using the Champlain College Appeal form; must clearly document why the student failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; what has changed and what the student has put in place to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students are encouraged to submit all appropriate documentation of extenuating or mitigating circumstances with the appeal form. In addition, students must submit a completed Financial Aid Academic Planning Worksheet, signed by the student and an Academic Specialist. Completed Appeal Forms, along with the Financial Aid Academic Plan and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.
Examples of circumstances for appeal include, but are not limited to:
- Serious medical illness or injury to the student
- Death of an immediate family member
- Significant change in employment or military status that prevented the student from attending class
- Significant trauma in the student’s life that impairs the student’s emotional and/or physical health
All appeals will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid as quickly as possible in the order in which they are received. Once the appeal is reviewed, the committee will render one of the following decisions:
Appeal Approved - If the appeal is approved, it will apply to the current or next term of enrollment. Appeal approvals are not retroactive.
Appeal Denied - If the appeal is denied, the student will not be eligible for Federal, State, or Institutional Financial Aid until Satisfactory Academic Standards are met.
If the appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation contingent upon successful completion of the Academic Plan provided with their appeal. The student shall remain on probation provided they comply with their Academic Plan and until they are meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
If the appeal is denied, the student can continue to attend the College and would be fully responsible to find alternative means to pay all costs associated with enrollment.
Financial Aid Probation
Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to students who have failed to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and whose financial aid eligibility has been reinstated based on a successful appeal. During this period of Financial Aid Probation, students who meet all other eligibility requirements remain eligible for federal, state and institutional aid. When an appeal is granted, Financial Aid Probation is granted for one or more semesters based on an Academic Plan provided as part of the student’s appeal. Students remain on Financial Aid Probation provided they comply with the terms of their Academic Plan.
Regaining Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students whose financial aid has been suspended due to not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and who, in future semesters, are meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements shall no longer be on Financial Aid Probation and will move to a status of meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.