Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Institutional Policy

Federal regulations require the College to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The law requires institutions to develop policies regarding SAP. Fisher College students who wish to be considered for financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their selected course of study as set forth in this policy. Please note that satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes is distinct from the College’s Academic Progress Guidelines. 

Institutional Policy
The Office of Financial Aid evaluates student Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of each semester for students in the Day Division.  Students in the Division of Accelerated and Professional Studies (DAPS) are evaluated at the end of every two terms.  Students are evaluated on the basis of grade point average (GPA), credit hour completion (incremental progress), and maximum time frame limitation (degree completion).

Degree-Granting Programs

1. Quantitative – This is the pace of which a student progresses through their program to ensure that they will graduate within the maximum timeframe.  The completion rate is affected by withdrawals, incompletes and repeat courses.

  1.  A minimum of 67% of courses attempted must be completed each academic term.  Progression is calculated by the total number of credits the student has successfully completed by the total number that have been attempted.    
  2.  The maximum time frame allowable to complete a program will be no more than 150% of the published length of the program (measured in total credits attempted, including transfer credits). 

2. Qualitative - The student must maintain a certain GPA to continue to be eligible for financial aid.

The following is how Fisher views your progress: 

Bachelor Programs

1-59 Attempted Credits
Minimum GPA 1.8
60 + - Attempted Credits
Minimum GPA- 2.0

Associate Programs

1-29 Attempted Credits
Minimum GPA 1.8
30 + - Attempted Credits
Minimum GPA- 2.0

Certificate Programs

1. Quantitative

a) The maximum time frame allowable to complete a program will be no more than 150% of the published length of the program (measured in total credits attempted, including transfer credits).

b) A minimum of 67% of courses attempted must be completed each academic year. Courses attempted include
withdrawals, incompletes, and repeats.

2. Qualitative

a) A cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be achieved for each academic term. 

Institutional Procedures
Students are notified of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy in the Fisher College Academic Catalog.

1. Financial Aid Warning

The first time a student fails to meet the SAP standards, they will receive a notice from the Office of Financial Aid and will be placed on financial aid warning for one academic semester.  The student will not lose their financial aid eligibility during the period of warning, and will have one semester to bring their progress up to standards.

2. Financial Aid Suspension

If the student fails to meet the SAP standards at the end of the warning period, the student could lose financial aid, until he or she once again meets the SAP standards. This financial aid that will be cancelled includes federal, state and institutional aid. The student would be responsible for any balance found on the student account.  Financial assistance cannot be provided retroactively for the term during which the student regains eligibility. The student must submit an appeal for consideration to continue receiving financial aid.

3. Financial Aid Probation

If the student fails to meet SAP after the warning period, he/she will be placed on probation only if a successful appeal has been approved.  The required appeal letter must explain why the student failed to reach SAP during the financial aid warning period and what steps they plan on taking to improve.  Depending on the situation and if it will require more than one semester to meet progress, the student may be required to have an academic plan in place.

If the student did not submit an appeal and continues to fail in bringing back their GPA and or Completion Rate to standards, the student will lose financial aid until the standards have been met. 

Appeal Process
Any student who has been denied financial aid due to failure to meet one or more of the SAP standards as defined may appeal to the Financial Aid Office by submitting a SAP Appeal Letter to the Director of Financial Aid.   

In some cases, a student’s failure to remain in compliance with one or more SAP standards is due to events totally beyond the student’s control.

Mitigating circumstances that are outlined on the SAP Appeal letter can be documented to provide the basis for the SAP appeal. The appeal will be reviewed, and a decision rendered, by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee. This Committee is comprised of members of the financial aid staff. The College reserves the right to consult any authorized individuals within the College who may be in a position to provide further information or who can otherwise corroborate the student’s circumstances. The appeal process will result in one of two decisions:  Appeal Approved or Appeal Denied.

Appeal Approved

If the appeal is approved, financial aid will be reinstated and the student will have one additional probationary term (or two terms for DAPS) in which to meet all SAP standards. If at the end of the additional probationary period the student has still not met all SAP requirements, but is showing improvement, they will be reviewed for another probationary period.  This means that the student is keeping with the academic plan per the student’s academic advisor and has met with the Director of Financial Aid to determine further eligibility. This will be done on a case by case situation.   

Appeal Denied

If the appeal is denied, financial assistance will be suspended until such time as the student meets all SAP progress requirements as stated. 

A letter or email will be sent to the student informing them of their SAP status and the requirements of the status.    

1. Financial Aid Warning Letter

This letter notifies the student that he or she has fallen below the Fisher College SAP standards and is being placed on Financial Aid warning for the next academic semester or term.  

2. Financial Aid Probation Letter

This letter informs the student that they have not improved and will be required to submit an appeal letter if they expect financial aid to continue.  Failure to submit the appeal letter in a timely basis will result in the cancellation of all financial

3. Loss of Eligibility (Suspension) Letter

This letter notifies the student that he or she has not regained eligibility during the probationary period and will no longer receive any financial aid beginning with the next academic semester or term and continuing until he or she meets the SAP standards or submits an appeal that has been approved.

4. Removal of Probationary or Suspension Status

This letter notifies the student that he or she regained eligibility for financial aid, either after a period of probation or suspension, because he or she has met the SAP standards.

5. Appeal Approved or Appeal Denied

Students who file a SAP appeal letter will be notified of the outcome of that appeal.


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