Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Please Note: The federal SAP policy below is applicable to enrollment terms PRIOR to Fall Semester 2011.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about SAP, click here .
Federal SAP Policy
(for Graduate Requirements, click here )
Once a student has been enrolled at LHU, in order to receive or continue to receive federal financial aid, the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) must be met. In summary, the requirements for undergraduate students are the following:
A full-time student must earn a minimum of 21 new credit hours in each two semesters of enrollment.
A full-time (i.e. student enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits) student enrolled for only one semester of an academic year must earn a minimum of 9 new credit hours during that semester.
A part-time student must earn 100% of credit hours attempted.
A student enrolled full-time one term and part-time another must earn a minimum of 9 new credits during the full-time semester and 100% of credit hours attempted during the part-time semester
A student must have and maintain a grade point average (gpa) equal to the Academic Probation and Suspension Policy. The current policy requires that a student maintain a 2.000 minimum cumulative gpa.
A student must have and maintain a 2.000 minimum cumulative grade point average after two years of enrollment.
A student must complete his educational program within a maximum time frame not to exceed 150% of the length of the program. This includes all semesters of enrollment even if no financial aid was received. Once a student attempts more than 150% of the credit hours that it normally takes to complete his/her program of study, he is no longer eligible for federal financial aid.
Length of Program Maximum Time Frame
60-credit program 90 credits attempted
120-credit program 180 credits attempted
When a student fails to meet these requirements, he is placed on financial aid probation for the next academic semester, with these exceptions:
Any student who has previously failed to meet the requirements will not be eligible for financial aid probation. Therefore the student will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not receive federal financial aid due to failure to make SAP;
Any student who is below a 1.000 cumulative gpa will not be eligible for financial aid probation. Therefore the student will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not receive federal financial aid due to failure to make SAP;
Students who do not have a 2.000 cumulative gpa at the end of their second year will not be eligible for financial aid probation. Therefore the student will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not receive federal financial aid due to specific Title IV regulations for SAP.
During the financial aid probationary period, a student is eligible to receive federal financial aid provided that the student maintains full time status and passes a minimum of 12 new credit hours the next academic term with a 2.000 or better. Students on financial aid probation will be reviewed at the end of the next consecutive term.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is checked after the spring semester of each year, and a student who does not meet the requirements is notified of either his financial aid probationary or financial aid suspension status. Financial aid suspension (i.e. ineligibility) applies to all forms of federal financial aid, including federal student loans and federal parent (i.e. PLUS) loans. The options available to a student who wishes to reestablish eligibility are to: enroll during the summer to make up deficiencies (at the student's expense); pay for the next semester on his own and be reviewed after that; or submit an appeal of the SAP requirements, based on extraordinary, personal circumstances. Any student who takes summer classes to reestablish eligibility must contact Student Financial Services upon receipt of his grades to request that his SAP status be reviewed.
Students who have extraordinary, personal circumstances have the right to appeal their financial aid suspension. Acceptable circumstances are defined as:
the death of an immediate relative
a serious illness or accident requiring medical intervention
significant, unexpected family obligations
catastrophic loss (e.g. flood, fire, etc.)
extreme personal crisis
Students who wish to appeal must do so in writing. Letters of appeal must include:
a signed, personal statement that completely and explicitly explains the basis of the appeal
documentation from an objective, non-relative, adult professional that verifies the extraordinary personal circumstances on which the appeal is based
an explanation as to how those circumstances affected the student's academic performance
a description of the steps that have been or will be taken to prevent the problem from happening again
Note: Appeals that do not contain all required information will be not be accepted.
Signed letters of appeal should be mailed or delivered to:
Student Financial Services
Lock Haven University of PA
123 Russell Hall
Lock Haven, PA 17745
IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE:
A successful appeal of academic suspension does not result in reinstatement of a student's financial aid eligibility. Appealing one's financial aid status is a separate process. In addition, a successful appeal of academic suspension does not guarantee that a student may register for classes. Students who have past due account balances are placed on hold by the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office and are not permitted to register. Any student who wishes to appeal his or her financial aid status or whose student account is on registration hold must contact Student Financial Services for assistance.
Credit hours in which a student receives a grade of “I” (i.e. incomplete) are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count as earned credits hours for SAP purposes. It is the student's responsibility to inform Student Financial Services of all grade changes (e.g. a change from “I” to “B”) to ensure that his SAP status is reviewed.
Many students repeat courses that have been passed in order to raise their grade point averages (gpa). Students are very often unaware that repeating a course in which credit has been earned (a grade of “D” or higher received), will not earn additional (i.e. new) credit. While there may be academic reasons for repeating such courses, it is not the purpose of financial aid to pay for the multiple taking of the same course. Students should plan their class schedules accordingly, or expect to make up classes during the summer, when repeating a class for which credit has already been earned causes them to fall short of the minimum requirements.
Credit hours in which a student receives a grade of "WP" or “WF” are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count as earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Financial Aid is available to students enrolled in remedial courses (e.g. MATH009). These courses are included in the number of attempted hours and also count as earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Transfer Students:SAP will start when the student begins his course of study here. Prior credits will count only towards maximum time necessary to complete the degree. T ransfer credits are included in the total number of attempted credit hours for the measurement of maximum time frame.
Additional Undergraduate Degrees:
Students pursuing a second undergraduate, baccalaureate degree are limited to 90 credit hours of work between the receipt of the first degree and the completion of the second. Second degree students may not receive federal financial aid beyond 90 credit hours of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program.
Students pursuing a second undergraduate, associate degree are limited to 45 credit hours of work between the receipt of the first degree and the completion of the second. Second degree students may not receive federal financial aid beyond 45 credit hours of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program.
PHEAA'S PA State Grant Academic Progress Policy
Academic progress for the PA State Grant, as defined by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), is different from federal satisfactory academic progress. PA State Grant progress is reviewed annually after the spring semester and is defined as successfully completing a minimum of 12 new credits for each full-time semester of state grant received (6 new credits for each part-time semester grant received) during the preceding academic year. Students enrolled in four-year programs may receive a maximum of 8 full-time semester grants (or the equivalent), while students in two-year programs may receive a maximum of 4 full-time semester grants (or the equivalent).
After PHEAA determines that a student is eligible for a PA State Grant, the Student Financial Services Office, on behalf of the University, determines whether the student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress. The University must cancel the student's state grant, even after the initial award is made by PHEAA, if the student is found not to be making satisfactory academic progress. Questions about PHEAA's academic progress policy should be directed to PHEAA at 1-800-692-7392.
Students who believe they have grounds to request an exception to PHEAA's academic progress policy must contact PHEAA at 1-800-692-7392 to request a State Grant Program Academic Progress Exception Form.
(1) Students should refer to the complete written progress requirements sent by PHEAA with their state grant award notice. (2 Non-Pennsylvania State Grant programs may have different Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. Students with those awards should refer to their state grant award letters for program-specific requirements.