Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients

A financial aid recipient is a student who receives any scholarship, loan, grant, or work-study award administered through Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Federal, state and college regulations require that a student must maintain satisfactory progress to receive most types of financial assistance, though some scholarships have different criteria. The minimum standards at Seminole State are contained in this document and applicable to the financial assistance programs administered by Financial Aid and Scholarships.

At Seminole State, a student's entire academic history, including credits that are transferred from other schools, is evaluated to determine whether he/she is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Eligibility to receive financial aid is established each term, based on a student's ability to meet the criteria for Standards of Academic Progress.

Failure to meet these Standards of Academic Progress will result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension. Students who are on financial aid suspension will be prohibited from receiving any federal and most state financial assistance until they have returned to satisfactory progress. Students on financial aid suspension may continue to enroll and attend classes at Seminole State as long as tuition charges are paid through other resources.

  • Successful completion of a class: Defined as having earned a grade of "A," "B," "C," "D," "S" or "P."
  • Unsatisfactory completion or non-completion of a class: Defined as having earned a grade of "F," "N," "W," "I," "U," "NP" or "X."
  • Enrollment Status: This is established by the number of credit hours for which a student is officially registered each term. Students must successfully complete a specific number of credits as determined by their program of study and their enrollment status.
  • Total hours attempted: Students are expected to earn a degree or certificate within a specified number of attempted hours and are only eligible for financial aid during this time. The number of attempted hours cannot exceed more than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program.

All students receiving any type of federal or most state financial aid must meet the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients. The requirements for these standards are set by federal regulations. Students must meet all three criteria for ongoing eligibility for federal aid.

SAP Requirements

  1. A student must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA);
  2. A student must successfully complete at least 67 percent (student completion rate - pace) of all Seminole State courses taken (including transfer courses accepted by Seminole State);
  3. A student must complete his/her degree within the 150 percent time frame (example: an associate degree requiring 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours). At the point that this is determined to be mathematically impossible, aid will be suspended.

Minimum Cumulative 2.0 GPA

For students who have attended other colleges, the courses accepted as transfer credit by Seminole State, including those taken as part of another program of study, will be included in determining SAP for financial aid purposes.

How to Calculate Student Completion Rate (Pace)

The formula for calculating the completion rate is total hours earned divided by total hours attempted. The resulting percentage must be 67 percent or greater to meet Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients.

For financial aid purposes, successful completion of a course means an earned grade of A, B, C or D, S or P. All other grades (F, I, W1, W2, W3, W4, N, U, NP, X) are attempts or unsuccessful completions and will impact a student's progress. Attempts include any courses in which a student is enrolled for credit beyond the official add/drop refund deadline.

The following chart demonstrates 67 percent completion rate (pace) for attempted hours in a semester. The left-hand column is the attempted hours and the corresponding number in the right-hand column is the number of hours you must successfully complete with a 2.0 GPA or higher to maintain satisfactory SAP.

Example: A student registered for 12 credit hours must complete 8 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA or higher to meet the SAP requirements for the semester. The 2.0 GPA and completion rate (pace) of 67 percent apply to cumulative totals on a student's transcript.

Credit Hours AttemptedEarned Hours Needed
(Passed with a GPA of 2.0 or higher)
15 11
14 10
13 9
12 8
11 8
10 7
9 7
8 6
7 5
6 4

Maximum Time Frame Eligibility

  • Students who have attempted more than 150 percent of the credits required for their program of study are not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress, according to requirements for SAP, and therefore, are ineligible for financial aid funds. Students who do not have a degree and exceed maximum hours will not be able to regain financial aid eligibility at Seminole State College.
  • Students who change their educational program or graduate and reapply to a new program still must adhere to the maximum time frame policy.

Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of every term. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA and Completion Rate SAP standards will be placed on "Financial Aid Warning" at the end of the semester in which they did not meet the standard(s). They will be eligible to receive federal financial aid funding for the following semester and given an opportunity to resume good academic standing. Students given this status are not required to petition for possible reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility.

Students placed on Financial Aid Warning status will be able to see this status on their MySeminoleState portal. Students who do not meet SAP standards after this period of Financial Aid Warning will be denied eligibility for future semesters and placed on Financial Aid Suspension status until they meet the SAP standards or submit a SAP Appeal that is approved.

Financial Aid Appeals Process

Students who have not met SAP standards and are placed under Financial Aid Suspension status must complete the following steps to appeal their status and be considered for reinstatement for their financial aid eligibility.

  1. Students who have extenuating circumstances (example: hospitalization, death of an immediate family member, call to active military duty, etc.) must complete an assessment before they can submit an appeal. This assessment can be found on the Financial Aid website. If this assessment determines you are qualified to appeal, you will be given instructions on how to submit the appeal.
  2. Be sure to submit documentation that supports the extenuating circumstance(s) with the appeal (Examples: statement signed by student's doctor, death certificate).

Incomplete appeals will not be accepted. Appropriate documentation as prescribed above must be provided at the time the appeal is submitted. After a thorough evaluation of the written request and all supporting documentation, the Financial Aid Review committee will make a decision and notify the student of the decision by email communication. The decision of the Financial Aid Review Committee is final.

Students are limited to one time frame appeal and will be required to successfully complete 100 percent of all future coursework if approved. Therefore, it is important that students take only the number of courses that they will complete successfully. A degree audit/grad check will be required for all time frame appeals.

The appeal must include a prescribed academic plan that must be approved by Academic Advising. If the appeal is approved, they will be placed on the academic plan. The student will continue on the academic plan as long as he/she is successfully complying with the prescribed academic plan requirement(s) that is submitted as part of the SAP Appeal. The Academic Plan status will stay on the student's financial aid file until the student meets SAP Standards or completes his/her degree.

Academic Plan

The student's progression will be monitored at the end of the semester to ensure the student is following the prescribed academic plan and successfully matriculating through their program of study. Disbursements will not be made for a semester unless it is verified that the student's prior review (if applicable) was acceptable and the student is in proper classes for the term in question.

A student will be considered successful in an Academic Plan if all three of the following items are met:

  1. All of the classes taken under the plan are required for the student's program of study;
  2. The student maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA for the semester in question (not cumulative GPA) if grades were below 2.0 at time of appeal;
  3. The student successfully completes 100 percent of the classes prescribed in the Academic Plan.

If any one of the three items above is not met, then the student will be considered to not have met the terms and conditions of the Academic Plan, and will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible for financial aid until such time the student regains eligibility by establishing a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and reaching a 67 percent completion rate for all classes attempted.

If a student meets all three criteria above, the student will not have to appeal again for the following semester. Otherwise, the student will remain on the Academic Plan until the student regains eligibility.

Note:  While on an Academic Plan or Warning Status, a student will not be able to defer their fees for an upcoming term until grades have been posted and the SAP process has run at the end of the current term. Tuition due dates will be extended for these students until such time that this happens so that they will have the opportunity to defer their tuition if they successfully completed the term and are in an acceptable status. There is an extremely short period of time between the Spring and Summer terms when these students will be able to defer before classes will be dropped, so it is very important that they do so two days after grades post. A week will be given between other terms whenever possible.

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