Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
The SPC Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements are separate from and stricter than the SPC Admissions and Records Office Academic SAP requirements. The same financial aid SAP policies consistently apply to all students. Students across varying disciplines, programs, enrollment statuses and/or other categories are subject to the same SAP requirements and are awarded per Department of Education regulations. Students with the state of Texas Exemptions/Waivers may be subject to non-standard SAP requirements depending on the Exemption/Waiver, per state regulations.
Requirements of SAP
In order to receive financial aid, all three of the following criteria must be met:
- GPA - Earn and maintain a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or above;
- Pace - Maintain a pace of at least 67% (cumulative number of credit hours earned divided by the cumulative credit hours attempted;
- Maximum Timeframe - Graduate with no more than 150% of the credit hours required for the student’s declared major. This limit includes all college-level course(s) a student attempts, even if the student uses his or her own resources. The student becomes ineligible for financial aid when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete his or her program within maximum timeframe.
SAP is calculated at the conclusion of each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer) in which a student is enrolled. A student who falls below this criteria may reestablish eligibility by meeting the SAP requirements after successfully completing subsequent semesters (see Regaining Eligibility).
Financial Aid Warning
The first time a student fails to meet the SAP criteria, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. During the Warning period, a student will continue to qualify for financial aid for one semester. In order to be removed from the Warning status, all three of the SAP criteria must be met.
Financial Aid Suspension
Failure to meet the SAP criteria while on Financial Aid Warning will result in Financial Aid Suspension. While on Suspension, the student will not be eligible for work-study, grants or loans from the Financial Aid Office. Students may still enroll in classes for the next semester but must pay all expenses. In order to be removed from the Suspension status, thereby reestablishing financial aid eligibility, all three of the SAP criteria must be met (see Regaining Eligibility), or a student must have an approved Financial Aid Appeal .
Notification of Status
SPC will notify students of their financial aid status in the following ways:
- On TexanConnect
- Via emails sent to the student's SPC email account
- USPS letter, upon request
Repetitions, Remedial Courses, Withdrawals, and Incompletes
- Only the latest grade for a repeated course is calculated in the cumulative GPA.
- All repeated coursework will be counted in the Pace and against the 150% credit hour limit of Maximum Timeframe.
- If otherwise eligible, a student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 attempted credit hours in remedial course work. Once the 30-credit-hour maximum is reached, additional remedial credit hours cannot be used to calculate the award amount.
- Remedial hours are not included in the calculation of the Maximum Timeframe, the completion rate and GPA unless the student has already taken 30 remedial credit hours.
- Grades of W, X, F, and I will be counted as hours attempted but will not be counted as hours successfully earned.
Course credit hours from another institution that are accepted and officially transcribed as transfer credits by SPC count towards the 150% maximum calculated hours. They also count toward the student’s 67% Pace as both hours earned and attempted. Grades from other schools are not considered towards the student’s GPA in SPC’s Financial Aid SAP Policy.
Financial Aid Appeal Procedure
SPC allows students placed on SAP probation to submit an appeal when they fall below the minimum standards for GPA, Pace, Maximum Timeframe (for change of major only) or combination of any of the three. Students may appeal Suspension status by submitting an appeal packet. Appeal forms may be picked up at the SPC Financial Aid Office or any SPC Student Support Center. You may also CLICK HERE for the Financial Aid Appeal Form. The appeal packet must be complete before submission. Incomplete packets will not be considered. Students may submit appeals to the Financial Aid Office in person, by mail or by email. The decision of the Appeal Committee is final with no opportunity to meet with the Committee members in person or by telephone.
Financial Aid appeal packet consists of:
- Financial Aid Appeal Form (available on the SPC website, or at the SPC Financial Aid Office or any SPC Student Support Center);
- A typed, personal statement that includes an explanation of the circumstances, what has changed, and the student's academic goals and specific plans to achieve them.
Only one appeal will be reviewed in any given semester. The deadline to turn in an appeal is 9 weeks after the first-class day of the semester in question. Students are responsible for checking the status of their appeals under Financial Aid on Texan Connect. They may expect their appeal decision one to two weeks after submission. The student also receives an email to his or her SPC email address with the appeal decision.
Financial Aid Probation
A student with an approved Financial Aid appeal is on Financial Aid Probation. The requirements for continuing on Probation are:
- Complete an academic plan with an Advisor in the Advising and Testing Center. This plan will determine how many semesters it will take to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- Successfully complete all coursework while on Probation. This means the student cannot withdraw, be dropped from, or fail any course while on an Approved Appeal Status.
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 every semester during the Approved Appeal semesters.
Failure to meet the requirements above will result in a status of “Aid Terminated.” Students with an “Aid Terminated” status may appeal again only for extenuating circumstances or change of major.
Students may only regain eligibility by meeting SAP on their own or by an approved appeal. Meeting SAP on their own requires successfully completing courses and raising their GPA or Pace to a satisfactory status using their own funds or other financial means. Simply sitting out a semester will not affect a student’s SAP standing. Once students regain a satisfactory status, they will be eligible to receive financial aid in subsequent semesters provided they continue to maintain SAP requirements.
Appeals and Change of Major
Students who have reached 150% of the hours required for their major may appeal to continue to receive aid if the student is changing their major. This Change of Major must show that the student would no longer have reached the Maximum Timeframe when only the hours for the new major are used in the calculation.
Students who appeal because of Maximum Timeframe and Change of Major must meet the same requirements as any other student on Probation. These requirements are: