Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is based on federal guidelines that require each college and university to ensure that student aid applicants are progressing through their academic programs at an acceptable pace while maintaining an acceptable cumulative grade point average. The policy is separate and apart from other academic policies at the university.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

SAP standards are composed of two measures: qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (earned credits completion rate).

Grade Point Average (Qualitative)

Grade Point Average (Qualitative) Undergraduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 at SCSU and graduate students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.

Credit Completion Rate (Quantitative)

Students are expected to successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative credits attempted at SCSU.  In addition to standard courses and grades, the following are included when calculating the credit completion rate:

  • Failed courses (F),
  • Incompletes (I) and Incomplete extensions (I+)
  • Withdrawals (W, WF, and WP)
  • Repeated courses
  • Credit awarded via waiver exam (EP)
  • Non-credit remedial courses (SCSU does not offer remedial coursework at this time.)
  • Grades not reported by a professor (R) will be included in this assessment.

Also transfer credits will be counted as attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining SAP.  For example:

Semester Credits Attempted
Summer 2020 3 credits
Fall 2020 15 transfer credits
Fall 2020 15 credits
Spring 2021 15 credits

In this example, the student transferred and registered for a total of 48 credits during Summer, Fall and Spring. Based on 48 credits, the student needs to pass a minimum of 32 credits (48 attempted credits multiplied by 67% = 32 credits) to successfully complete the credit completion rate.  Note: If the student in this example had attempted credits during the winter 2021 and/or spring 2021 intersessions, those attempted credits would have been included in the calculation.

Maximum Credit Hours

Maximum Credit Hours: A student is eligible to receive financial aid for up to 150% of the published credit hours for their educational program.  This means a student in a 120 credit educational program reaches the 150% maximum at 180 attempted credits.  This includes transferred credits.  Therefore, students are not eligible for financial aid for credits attempted in excess of 180 credits.

Students working toward a second bachelor's degree must be aware of the 150% rule. The student pursuing a second bachelor's degree is eligible for up to 60 attempted credits toward the second bachelor's degree if the program is a 120 credit program.

Students must meet the required SAP standards in order to receive financial aid from the following federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs managed by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan (for parents of undergraduate students)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Work Study
  • Connecticut Aid to Public Schools Grant
  • Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Grant (formerly Governor's Scholarship) - Need Based Grant
  • Connecticut State University Grant
  • State Scholarship and Grant Programs
  • Other

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review the academic records of financial aid recipients before disbursing aid for the upcoming semester. Academic records will be reviewed 14 days after the grade published date allowing for any necessary adjustments made by the Registrar. Any changes to pace or GPA made to a student's account after the 14 days will not be taken into consideration until the following SAP assessment period. Only students who meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards will have their aid disbursed.

The first semester in which a student fails to meet one of SCSU's SAP standards, a SAP "Warning" notification will be sent to the student via e-mail. The student will remain eligible for aid in the next term and if at the end of that term they are meeting the minimum SAP requirements the "Warning" status will be lifted.

The second consecutive semester in which a student fails to meet the minimum SAP standards, after the "Warning" semester, the student will be notified via e-mail of their ineligibility to receive financial aid at SCSU. If extenuating circumstances exist which caused the student to fail one of the SAP standards, the student can submit an appeal for review and possible reinstatement of his/her financial aid as determined by SCSU. SAP appeals may be based on factors such as: (1) the death of a relative; (2) an injury to or illness of the student; or (3) other special circumstances.

Filing an Appeal

To file an appeal, a student must:

  • Complete the SAP Appeal Form
  • Attach a written statement that addresses the extenuating circumstances that led to the student not meeting SAP and what has changed that will allow him/her to meet the SAP standards going forward.
  • Provide supporting documentation of the extenuating circumstances. Supporting documentation may include a doctor's note, police report, letter from a counselor, or any other legal document that supports what is indicated in the student's written statement. 
  • Submit the SAP Appeal Form, written statement and supporting documentation to SAPAppeal@southernct.edu for review and resolution.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review each appeal and make one of the following determinations:

  • The student's appeal may be denied thus making him/her ineligible for any Title IV funding and most other financial assistance.  In this case, the student must regain eligibility without financial aid before reinstatement of financial aid.  In rare extenuating circumstances, after one semester of not being aid eligible, a student may make a second SAP Appeal.  In this case the student must have shown significant academic improvement during their semester without aid.
  • The student's appeal may be approved. This student will be placed on “financial aid probation” which allows the student to receive financial aid contingent upon the successful completion of the requirements set forth in the SAP Academic Plan for Financial Aid Eligibility. The conditions of the SAP Academic Plan are individually tailored for each student.  Eligibility for aid may be reinstated conditionally based upon the student agreeing to and following the SAP Academic Plan.