Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federal regulation requiring that Park University monitor academic progress for all students, for the purpose of determining eligibility for federal Title IV financial aid as they move toward completing their degree.
Although all students are measured, this policy only applies to students who apply for Title IV programs through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAP regulations require the financial aid office to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether you are making progress toward a degree. Making progress toward a degree is important for your academic success and a key factor in reducing overall student debt.
SAP is measured on three standards: Qualitative, Pace & Timeframe. In order to receive financial aid, you must make satisfactory academic progress on each measurement component. If you do not meet the minimum requirements on each of these measurement components, you will lose your eligibility to receive Title IV funding (Pell and loans) and in many cases state funding.
SAP Standards & Policy
To meet SAP standards, students must pass each of the three testing components outlined below:
- Qualitative: You must successfully meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. This measurement only includes the credit hours you have taken at Park University.
- Pace: The number of Park credit hours and/or transferred courses that apply to your degree program at Park that you have successfully completed, divided by the number of credit hours that you have attempted. You must complete 67% of your attempted credit hours to pass this component.
- Timeframe: You must be making progress toward a degree. To quantify academic progress, there is a maximum timeframe in which you are expected to finish a program. Accumulation of excess credits results in not meeting timeframe standards. Excess credits are anything over 150% of the program length.
Transfer students: The number of transfer hours accepted upon admission that will apply to your selected degree at Park University are used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the 150% calculation and will be included in the quantitative calculation which includes number of credits attempted and completed.
When is SAP Measured?
SAP is measured at the end of the spring semester for all students who attended at least one course during that academic year. Financial aid eligibility for the next payment period is determined by the outcome of this measurement. Students not meeting each measurement component will be placed on financial aid suspension and are no longer eligible to receive future Title IV funding for the next pay period.
How can students regain eligibility for financial aid?
If a student loses financial aid eligibility for failing to make satisfactory progress, they may appeal that result based on: injury, illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances.
Students should not assume that an SAP appeal will be approved. Please be advised, if a student enrolls for classes and an SAP appeal is not approved, that student will be responsible for paying all charges without financial aid.
During the SAP appeal review, your entire academic history and federal loan debt will also be reviewed. Having high federal student loan debt may result in a denial of an appeal. To review your student loan lifetime loan limits, please visit https://studentaid.gov/.
- Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form and upload it to your financial aid portal.
- Upload any supporting documentation to your financial aid portal.
- Request an Academic Recovery Plan from your advisor, your advisor will submit the recovery plan to the financial aid office on your behalf.
- Check your financial aid portal to review the status of your appeal.
- Keep a close watch on your Park email and the email address used on the FAFSA for communications from the financial aid office regarding your appeal. The final decision will be communicated to you by email.
- Explain what happened. Admit the problem, why were you unable to maintain satisfactory academic progress?
- Explain what has changed. What corrective measures have you taken or will you take to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress?
- Upload any relevant supporting documentation to your financial aid portal. This may include a doctor’s statement, copy of hospital/urgent care/physician’s bill, obituary, funeral notice or death certificate.
- Contact your academic advisor to develop an academic recovery plan (academic recovery plans are required for subsequent appeals but may be requested on first appeals).
- Examples of valid SAP appeal reasons
- Medical emergencies
- Severe health issues
- Severe personal or family problems
- Financial or personal catastrophe
- Return for a second degree or certificate
Note: Lack of awareness of withdrawal policies, requirements for satisfactory academic progress or unpreparedness for college coursework will not be accepted as reasons for the purpose of an appeal.
Please note: The Office of Student Financial Aid is required to report incidents of sexual violence or sexual harassment disclosed through this form to the Title IX Coordinator for follow-up and possible investigation.
If your appeal is denied, you will not be awarded financial aid for that semester, you will need to use alternative financial resources to pay for your courses at Park University.
Eligibility can be regained by taking action that brings you into compliance with SAP standards, and you are able to show you are making progress toward your degree. While on SAP, you can continue to enroll in classes, however you are responsible for all charges during that semester.
An academic recovery plan, when followed, will ensure that you will meet SAP standards by a specific time.
If you fail the satisfactory progress check after the end of the probationary semester/payment period, you may only continue to receive aid if we can determine that you are following your academic recovery plan.
If we determine you are not following your academic plan, you will be denied financial aid. You may file a new appeal if your circumstances have changed, and you wish to be considered for aid eligibility.
We encourage you to utilize the student support and academic resources available at Park University to assist you if you are struggling to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Students who have a documented disability should register with the Student Disability Services office as soon as possible. Appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be determined based on the limitations of the student’s disability. Students receiving accommodations are considered otherwise qualified students and are held to the same standards as other Park University students. Student Disability Services is an ADA-compliant office and adheres to best practices to ensure equal access for students with disabilities. For information, please contact the Academic Success Center:
- The Academic Success Center is located in the Academic Underground Mabee Learning Center, Room MA232 (across from the bookstore).
The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and the Park University Policy on Academic suspension differs.
The Financial Aid SAP policy only applies to your eligibility for financial aid and does not prohibit you from enrolling in classes. If you are placed on Academic Suspension, you will have a hold placed on your student account and no longer be able to enroll in classes.
Similar to appealing for financial aid eligibility, you can also appeal your academic suspension status. To learn more about Park University’s Academic Policy, please refer to the Academic Standing policy in the Park University Catalog.