Satisfactory Academic Progress

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What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Fresno Pacific University is required to establish standards for measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students to be eligible for Title IV aid in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress.  Although the academic progress standards set by Student Financial Services are similar to those set by specific academic departments and/or university standards, the financial aid standards for SAP are not the same.  A student must meet the requirements of the financial aid SAP policy to be eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid assistance at Fresno Pacific. The information below will provide you with a general overview of the policy. For complete Satisfactory Academic Policy details, please review our complete SAP Policy.

SAP has 3 components you must meet in order to retain your eligibility for financial aid. You are held to this standard regardless of whether you have received financial aid in the past. The 3 categories are:

  1. Grade Point Average (qualitative)-You must meet the Fresno Pacific University minimum GPA of 2.0 undergraduate/post baccalaureate,  2.5 for all Seminary programs, and all Graduate Programs 3.0 in order to retain your eligibility. This is based on your Fresno Pacific GPA, not your overall GPA. If you have questions about how your GPA effects your attendence, Fay Nielsen at fay.nielsen@fresno.edu.
  2. Completion Rate/PACE (quantitative)-You must complete at least 67% of ALL attempted coursework (including courses from the community college). Your PACE is the your EARNED HOURS/TOTAL ATTEMPTED HOURS. For example, 67 earned/120 attempted=55.8%.
  3. Maximum Timeframe-You have 150% of the published time it takes to receive your degree to complete it and remain eligible for financial aid. For example a Bachelor’s Degree requires 124 credit hours to complete, which means you would have a TOTAL of 186 hours to complete your degree before you are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.

Eligibility to enroll for classes does not mean that Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements have been met.

How am I notified?

Satisfactory Academic Progress is monitored at the end of each term and students will receive an email to their FPU student email address regarding their status for the upcoming term.  Students meeting the GPA and Pace components of the SAP policy are considered to be in GOOD standing and retain their aid eligibility (except as noted below).

You will be placed on financial aid WARNING if you were meeting the requirements in the prior term but are now not meeting the GPA or PACE measures of this policy. If you are on financial aid warning, you may continue to receive financial aid for one term. If you fail to meet the SAP standards by the end of your warning term you will be placed in an INELIGIBLE status. If you are in an INELGIBLE status you will be sent notification that future financial aid disbursements will be terminated.  Students in the following status at any time will become INELIGIBLE for financial aid:

  • Exceeded maximum time frame for degree.

You may submit an appeal for review of your circumstances to reinstate your financial aid eligibility, or you may attend without the benefit of financial aid until you reach the SAP policy standards.

How can I appeal?

You will need to submit a SAP appeal with the required documentation for your appeal to be considered. Please review the form and submit the documentation appropriate to your reason for appealing. It is also important that you meet with your academic advisor prior to submitting your appeal. In some cases you will be required to have an academic plan created for you in Campus Cruiser by your advisor in order for your appeal to be considered. In any case it is good practice to check in frequently with your academic advisor to be sure you are on track to graduate!

If your GPA/PACE appeal is approved it will either be:

  • Probation - If your appeal is approved for 1 term it will be defined as on PROBATION and you may receive aid for one term.  After that term you must be meeting the SAP policy in order to receive future terms of aid. If you fail to meet SAP policy after a term on PROBATION will become aid ineligible until such time as you meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • Academic plan - If it will take you more than 1 term to meet SAP standards in one probationary term you may submit an appeal that includes an Academic Plan approved by your advisor.  You may be approved for aid based on the terms of the Academic Plan but you will be required to meet the terms of your plan as outlined in the satisfactory academic progress appeal letter you will receive from the financial aid advisor reviewing your appeal.        

For a Maximum Timeframe Appeal we will need to know the total number of remaining credits you must take to achieve your 1st Bachelor’s degree, and those courses must be included in an academic plan from your advisor as part of your appeal. We CANNOT consider coursework needed to earn a minor or double major for a Maximum Timeframe extension.  If additional credits are granted, you will be ineligible for financial aid once those credits have been attempted, regardless of the grade earned. Appealing more than once for additional credits is difficult and requires not only extenuating circumstances, but a great deal of documentation for consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions ** Financial Aid Eligibility – SAP

  1. What is SAP?
    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federally required evaluation of a student’s progress towards completion of their degree. The evaluation includes the following three components:
    1. Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative FPU GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates, 2.5 for seminary students, and 3.0 for graduates.
    2. Successfully complete at least 67% of their attempted coursework. 
    3. Complete their degree within 150% of the published time frame for undergraduates.
  2. How do I know whether or not I have been selected for not meeting the SAP standards?
    A notification will be sent to your Campus Cruiser email account notifying you if you have been selected as not meeting the minimum SAP standards.
  3. How often will I be evaluated for SAP?
    Students are evaluated at the end of each term to determine whether or not they meet the SAP standards. Evaluation begins once grades have been posted to transcripts and continues throughout the student's time at FPU. Should you feel that your progress now brings you above the minimum standards, please request a reevaluation from our office.
  4. What do I need to do if I receive a SAP warning email notification?
    At the end of every term we will evaluate your progress.  The first term in which you do not meet SAP performance criteria you will receive a warning and aid will apply for the next term. This notification is a warning only, but should cause you to reevaluate your current academic performance and seek assistance through your academic advisor and other campus resources.   Carefully review the SAP standards and your coursework for the next term to determine what plan of action may be needed to improve your GPA, course completion rate, or to graduate within the 150% standard.  Do not hesitate to use the many resources available to you on campus, including the Academic Support Center and the FPU On-Site Counseling Program.
  5. If selected as not meeting the SAP standards, what action(s) do I need to take?
    The next step is to complete an appeal and submit it to our office. Please make sure that you are using the form(s) for the aid year in which you were selected and include all necessary information. An incomplete appeal can delay review and subsequently delay the availability of financial aid awards.
  6. How will I know the result of my appeal?
    Once review of an appeal is complete, you will be notified of the decision at your Campus Cruiser email account.
  7. What do I need to do after my appeal is approved?
    If your appeal is approved, please check Campus Cruiser for the overall status of your Financial Aid to see if you have any unsatisfied student requirements for this aid year.
  8. What do I need to do after my appeal is denied?
    If your appeal is denied, you are ineligible to receive financial aid until you have reestablished your eligibility. You should refer to your denial letter for additional information and explanation. If your appeal was denied due to pace of completion rate or GPA issues, you may reestablish eligibility by taking classes and paying for them on your own in order to bring your GPA or completion rate up to  the SAP  standard (see question on “What is SAP?” ).
  9. Are there deadlines for submitting an appeal?
    Appeals should be submitted by the deadline listed in the SAP status email notification.  Appeals received after deadline may not be reviewed before the next term of attendance; therefore, we recommend submitting a complete appeal as soon as possible.
  10. What happens if I do not appeal?
    For those that do not wish to submit an appeal, financial aid will not be awarded until eligibility has been reestablished. The only way to do this without submitting an appeal is to bring your GPA and/or pace of completion rate to the minimum standards of a 2.0 FPU GPA as an undergraduate, 2.5 as a seminary student, or 3.0 as a graduate and at least a 67% pace.  Student that have exceeded their maximum time frame must file an appeal.