Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Updated October 2017

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, mandates that institutions of higher education establish policies to monitor the academic progress of students who apply for and/or receive financial aid. SAP is first calculated when the Office of Student Financial Aid initially receives the FAFSA or TASFA and then again at the end of each academic term in which student enrolls, regardless if the student receives financial aid or not. Some individual awards have stricter guidelines like the TEXAS Grant.

Students enrolling at TAMUK for the first time (including transfer students) are initially considered to be meeting SAP. The SAP status will be determined at the end of the first enrollment term.

Minimum Financial Aid SAP Standards

There are three components (qualitative, quantitative, and timeframe) that make up the SAP Policy and students must meet the minimum requirements for all components.

  1. Qualitative – Maintain required cumulative institutional Grade Point Average (GPA) based on the matrix below, or higher and

Undergraduate Students     

 2.0 GPA for all coursework completed at TAMUK

Graduate Students

 3.0 GPA for all coursework completed at TAMUK

Doctoral Students

 3.0 GPA for all coursework completed at TAMUK

  1. Quantitative (completion rate) – Successfully complete at least 67% of your cumulative attempted credits at TAMUK. To calculate the percentage, divide your completed/earned credits into your attempted credits (example: 9 completed credits divided by 12 attempted credits = 75%), and
  1. Maximum Timeframe – Complete your program of study within 150% of the published program length. To calculate your limit, take the total number of required credits to complete your degree and multiply by 150% (example: 120 required credits X 150% = 180 attempted hours). Graduate and Doctoral students must earn their degree within 150% of the timelines set by the Graduate or Doctoral School of their program.

Financial Aid SAP Statuses

  • GOOD – Eligible status. Student is meeting the minimum SAP standards or has no academic history. Student is eligible to apply for financial aid.
  • WARN – Eligible status. Student did not meet minimum SAP standards for GPA and/or completion rate in the previous evaluation period. Student is still eligible to apply for financial aid but must reach all minimum standards by the end of their next academic term to maintain eligibility.
  • UNSAT – Ineligible status. Student did not meet minimum standards for GPA and/or completion rate in the previous evaluation period after being placed on a warning status. Student is not eligible to apply for or receive financial aid.
  • MTF – Ineligible status.  Student has attempted more than 150% of the published program length towards a degree (including all transfer hours). Student is not eligible to apply for or receive financial aid.

Additional Things to Consider:

Non-Passing Grades: Unsuccessful grades of I, Q, QE, QF, QI, U, or X will be used in determining completion rate and maximum timeframe. Letter grade of F is used to calculate GPA, completion rate and maximum timeframe. In the case of I and X grades, students are responsible for notifying the Office of Student Financial Aid if these grades change so SAP can be recalculated.

Withdrawals: All institutional withdrawals are factored into the completion rate and maximum timeframe.

When is academic progress determined? A student’s SAP will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring and Summer). Students will not be eligible to receive financial aid during this time if placed into an ineligible SAP status.

New financial aid students with prior academic history: TAMUK students with prior academic history will be evaluated at the time they apply for financial aid.

Transfer students and transfer credit Hours: Students transferring to TAMUK are required to have all prior college transcript evaluated for transfer credits by the Admission’s Office. All credit hours accepted by TAMUK will be used to determine the maximum timeframe of 150%.

Repeat courses: Students repeating courses can receive aid for the repeated course for the first time only. All repeat courses will be used in determining completion rate and maximum timeframe. Actual letter grades are included in the GPA calculation.

Audited credit hours: Any courses taken on an audit basis will not be counted when determining a student’s SAP status.

Dual credit hours: Any courses taken as dual credit will be used in determining the GPA, completion rate and maximum timeframe.

Second Degree/Double Majors: Students seeking second degrees and students with double majors are monitored like any other student under this policy. All attempted hours from prior or second degrees are used in determining the GPA, completion rate and maximum timeframe. If the student exceeds the maximum timeframe allowed for their respective programs, the student will be ineligible for financial aid.

How to Re-establish Eligibility?

  • A student must bring his/her institutional GPA and completion rate up to the minimum standards or have a SAP Appeal approved by the SAP Appeal’s Committee. A student is ineligible to receive financial aid while UNSAT or MTF and cannot be reimbursed during this time.
  • Mitigating or unusual circumstances: If a student has experienced unusual circumstances (illness, family illness, death of close family member or friend, change of major, etc.) during the most recent evaluation period, they may submit an appeal to be reviewed by the SAP Appeal’s Committee to potentially reinstate financial aid eligibility. There is a deadline in which a student can appeal and it will be published each semester and be provided on the appeal form and SAP communication email notice.
  • To appeal, the student must complete the Appeal Form and explain what happened or what caused them to not meet SAP and what has changed to ensure they meet SAP in future semesters. The student must also submit supporting documentation of their unusual circumstances.
    • Examples of documentation can include: doctor’s notes, hospital discharge papers, police/accident reports, death certificates, obituaries, or other relevant, official documentation. Students should also submit proof of how many required credits needed for graduation. 
    • All appeals are reviewed by the SAP Appeal’s Committee and their decision is final. If the request is not granted, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid until they meet all standards.

If the request is granted, the student will be placed on one of the following SAP statuses:

Probation – The student is eligible to apply for financial aid but must meet the minimum standards by the end of their next semester to avoid being placed back into an UNSAT status. A student cannot be on probation for two consecutive semesters.

Academic Plan – The student is eligible to apply for financial aid. However, student cannot be expected to improve to minimum standards within one semester. Therefore, the student and TAMUK will agree to an Academic Plan which will map out student’s future terms with reasonable, expected grades. This will allow student time to meet minimum standards within a fix period of time. The student is eligible to apply for financial aid as long as they are following the plan. Any variations or violations to the plan will cause the student to be placed back into an UNSAT status and become ineligible for financial aid. If a student meets minimum standards anytime while on an academic plan, their financial aid SAP status will be updated to GOOD.

Timeframe Success Plan – The student is eligible to apply for financial aid. The student and TAMUK have agreed to a timeframe success plan which maps out the student’s remaining semesters. The student is eligible to apply for financial aid as long as they are following the plan. Any variations or violations to the plan will cause the student to be placed back into an MTF status and become permanently ineligible for financial aid.

Students will be notified of their SAP Status via an email to their TAMUK student email each semester

 

 

NOTICE TO APPLICANTS

Student Financial Assistance Programs Disclosure of Social Security Account Number

 

Section 7(a) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5U.S.C.552a) requires that when any federal, state, or local government agency requests an individual to disclose his or her Social Security Account Number, that individual must also be advised whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the number is solicited, and what use will be made of it. Accordingly, applicants are advised that disclosure of the applicant’s Social Security Account Number (SSAN) is required as a condition for participation in student financial assistance programs sponsored by the federal government, state, or the local government, in view of the practical administrative difficulties that would be encountered in maintaining adequate program records without the continued use of the SSAN.  The SSAN will be used to verify the identity of the applicant and as an account number (identifier) throughout the life of the loan or other type of assistance in order to report necessary data accurately. As an identifier, the SSAN is used in such program activities as determining program eligibility, certifying school attendance and student status, determining eligibility for deferment or repayment of student loans, and for tracing and collecting in cases of defaulted loans.  Authority for requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s SSAN is grounded on Section 7(a)(2) of the Privacy Act, which provides that an agency may continue to require disclosure of an individual’s SSAN as a condition for the granting of a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law where the agency required this disclosure under statute or regulation prior to Jan. 1, 1975, in order to verify the identity of an individual.