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Satisfactory Academic Progress Eligibility
Southern Oregon University is required to establish and monitor academic progress standards for students who are Federal and state financial aid applicants. This policy ensures that any student who receives or applies for financial aid is making progress toward a degree. The student’s total academic history is monitored regardless of whether he has previously received financial aid. In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, a student must meet the Standard Requirements; two quantitative measures and one qualitative measure. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the loss of aid.
Programs affected by the Standards Requirements are:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG
- Federal Direct Loan
- Federal Work Study
- Designated Southern Oregon University Foundation Scholarships
- Designated State Scholarships
Satisfactory completion means that a student has received a minimum grade of “D” or “P.” Grades of “I” (Incomplete), “F” (Failure), NC (No Credit), and “W” (Withdrawal) are not considered successfully completed classes. Students who receive an updated grade change to a passing grade will have SAP recalculated. Grades of I ( Incomplete) are not counted in the GPA calculation but are counted in the Attempted Credits Calculation. Repeat courses will be counted in attempted and completed credits. The Office of Financial Aid has the right to refuse aid to students who abuse the inclusion of repeat courses to obtain funding. Inappropriate selection of courses is not an acceptable reason for not maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Students should contact an SSC located within their major.
Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed prior to the awarding of any Federal Financial Aid, institutional awards, and foundation scholarships. It will also be reviewed and monitored at the end of fall, winter, spring and summer terms, and prior to the disbursement of aid for the following term.
Establishing Initial Eligibility
In order to establish initial eligibility for Federal Financial Aid, a student’s past academic transcripts will be reviewed according to the following guidelines:
- Students who have never previously attended Southern Oregon University nor any other college will be considered in good standing with regard to minimum Quarter credits completed and minimum GPA requirements; this will result in a blank status.
- Students who have prior college credits(s) that transfer in 220 credit hours or more from outside institutions (or have prior degrees) will be placed on Maximum Time Frame status with the option to appeal, assuming these students cannot mathematically complete their degree with Southern Oregon University within the 150% federal time frame requirement.
- Students who have previously attended Southern Oregon University will have their past academic transcripts reviewed regardless of whether financial aid was received for any previous attendance.
- Transfer credits from other institutions will be considered in determining eligibility under the maximum time frame criteria.
- Students who have graduated or obtain a previous degree will be placed on Good SAP status to begin. Students will be reviewed every term on their progress.
Maintaining Qualitative and Quantitative Eligibility
The following requirements are for all Federal Financial Aid programs.
Students are considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress and will be eligible for Federal Financial Aid at Southern Oregon University as long as all three of the following requirements are met at the end of each term:
- Completion Rate (67% Pace Rule) – Students must, at a minimum receive a satisfactory grade in courses attempted by completing 67% of all the credit for which they enrolled. The calculation is performed by dividing the number of credits earned by the number of credits attempted (Withdrawals, audits, and grades of “F” and “NC” are not considered successful completions for financial aid purposes). The Office of Financial Aid will consider a pace of 66.67 as 67%, due to rounding.
- Grade Point Average (GPA) – Students must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative and term grade point average; withdrawal will not affect GPA, but will affect completion rate. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 term and cumulative GPA.
- Maximum Time Frame – Per Federal Student Aid Regulations, students must complete a degree or certificate program in not more than 150% of the minimum length of their program. Time frame limitations include all credits pursued, earned, dropped, repeated and failed. All applicable transfer hours are counted regardless if the student did or did not receive financial aid; students pursuing additional degrees are likely to reach maximum time frame.
- The maximum time frame may be adjusted upon receipt of an appeal.
The quantitative measure for satisfactory academic progress requires that a student must successfully complete 67% of enrolled credit hours. This will be measured on a cumulative basis. Example: If the student enrolls for a total of 24 credit hours their first academic year, the student must satisfactorily complete 16 credit hours (24 credit hours x .67 (67%) = 16 credit hours). The Office of Financial Aid will consider a pace of 66.67 as 67%, due to rounding.
In addition, the student must achieve completion of the academic program in 150% of the published length of the program.
The qualitative measure for satisfactory academic progress requires that a student maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average. During the entirety of a student’s program, the student must maintain a minimum cumulative and term GPA of 2.00.
SAP Eligibility Statuses
Warning and Loss of Eligibility
Financial aid warning and loss of eligibility apply only to a student’s status for purposes of financial aid eligibility at Southern Oregon University. This does not become part of the student’s permanent record and is not transferable to other institutions. Please be aware, each student’s financial aid eligibility status may differ from the student’s academic eligibility status.
Students who do not complete the minimum number of credits or who do not possess a satisfactory grade point average will be placed on warning status for their next term of enrollment provided they can bring their pace and/or GPA back to satisfactory status within one term. A student remains eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid while on warning status, and the warning status should only last for one term. If both the minimum number of credits and GPA requirements are met at the end of the warning term, the student will be removed from warning status and put back on Good SAP Standing and eligible to receive aid.
A student will lose Federal Financial Aid eligibility if the requirements for maintaining eligibility are not met during the warning term and are allowed to appeal for reinstatement for the next term. Students who have reached or exceeded the maximum time frame for completion will be placed on immediate loss of eligibility status (MTF), but do have the option to appeal for reinstatement of eligibility within the next term.
Students on denied status will have all future aid removed until, and if, they appeal and their appeal is approved.
A student is placed on probation if they have an approved appeal. Once on probation status, the student can receive aid for one term under the conditions of the appeal. If the student does not maintain SAP standards during this term, they will return to denied status and will lose eligibility for further aid. Probation status usually requires 100% completion of all attempted credits in that term with no withdraws, failures or incompletes along with the GPA requirement of a 2.00 cumulative and term GPA for undergraduates and a 3.00 for graduates. Probation terms only last one term and only by exceptions can a student remain on probation for two or more consecutive terms.
If you are submitting an appeal for the second or more times, you will need to include an up to date Academic Plan from your advisor. This plan should include all of the classes that you are registered for and those that you still need to complete. This form will need to be signed by your advisor and submitted along with your appeal.
Maximum Time Frame
Students who are mathematically unable to complete their program within 150% of the published program length are automatically put onto Maximum Time Frame (MTF) status with the option to appeal.
Reinstatement of Eligibility (Appeal Process)
Completion of Credits and Cumulative GPA
Students may appeal loss of Federal Financial Aid eligibility for any of the following reasons: personal injury, illness, death of a family member or other special circumstances. To appeal for any of the aforementioned situations, students must submit a complete appeal packet.
To submit an SAP Appeal login to sou.verifymyfafsa.com with your InsideSOU information then click the plus button in the top right to request a SAP Appeal. Make sure to request the appeal for the correct aid year and to indicate in the request which term you are appealing. Please note: MTF’s are the only appeal that is still completed on paper as of now.
If the appeal is approved, then the student will be reinstated with the status of probation. Financial aid awards will be based on funds available at the time of reinstatement. If the student does not adhere to the submitted conditions of approval, then the appeal that granted eligibility becomes null and void. Reinstatement of Federal Financial Aid will be effective for the current term or next term of enrollment as determined by the Office of Financial Aid at SOU.
Maximum Time Frame
Students are allowed to appeal for the maximum time frame (MTF). To appeal, a student must submit a complete appeal packet.
The packet includes:
- A written statement indicating why the student should be allowed to exceed the maximum time frame
- Documentation as needed
- A SOU Satisfactory Max Time Frame Appeal Form
- A degree evaluation will be run by the Director of Student Financial Assistance as the time of the appeal review
If the Max Time Frame appeal is approved, then the student will be reinstated on MTF status for the length of the submitted academic plan. Financial aid awards will be based on funds available at the time of reinstatement. If the student does not adhere to the submitted academic plan, then the appeal that granted eligibility becomes null and void. Reinstatement of Federal Financial Aid will be effective for the current term or next term of enrollment as determined by the Financial Aid Office.
If the Max Time Frame appeal submitted is two terms or less, it is the policy of SOU to approve that appeal without the SAP committee. If an MTF appeal is longer than two terms to complete the appeal, that appeal will go forward and reviewed by the SAP Committee.
Max Time Frame appeals are calculated based on 150% of the remaining hours to complete the students’ program as indicated on the appeal paperwork and as indicated by the advisor. Financial Aid Counselors still review the courses on a student’s MTF plan to ensure the courses count towards the student’s degree.
SAP Appeals ( Not Max Time Frame)
Appeals that are not Max Time Frame appeals, but are second appeals for not making Satisfactory Academic Progress as listed above will be required to go before the SAP committee. The first time SAP appeals will be automatically approved.
There is no secondary appeal process. If an appeal is denied, students can only be reinstated for aid eligibility if they satisfy all deficiencies. If an appeal is approved and the student does not fulfill the conditions of her/his approval conditions via the SAP Committee, the student may appeal again for forthcoming terms. However, any new information must be considered with any new appeal. If you are appealing your SAP status for the second or more times, you will be required to submit an academic plan along with your appeal.
The academic plan should include:
- Courses left in d egree completion
- Length left till you complete your degree
- Major/Faculty/SSC signature
The SAP Appeals are determined by the SAP Committee and are final. The Committee will review all elements that contribute to a student’s current SAP status, including current GPA and pace, number of programs attempted or completed, the documentation supporting the student’s appeal, the student’s proposed academic plan, and the number of previous SAP appeals that have been submitted by the student.
Courses Taken for Audit
Classes taken for audit will not be considered when determining term award amounts or minimum term credits completed. Classes taken for audit will not be considered as attempted credits toward the maximum time frame for completion. If a student changes a class to an Audit status, the timing of the change will be checked. If the student has met the 60% point in the term the student has been deemed to earn full aid for that class. If the change occurs before the 60% mark, the Office of Financial Aid will recalculate the student’s aid package accordingly.
Remedial, Developmental or Pre-Requisite Courses
Remedial credits that are considered to be part of the student’s selected program of study will be eligible for Federal Financial Aid up to 30 credits. Any remedial credits that are not considered to be part of the student’s program of study will, under no circumstance, be eligible for Federal Financial Aid disbursement.
To count toward enrollment status for financial aid purposes, a previously passed course may be repeated once, and still qualify for disbursement of Federal Financial Aid. A failed course may be repeated until passed, but will only be covered by Federal Federal Aid once after the first failure.