Fresno Pacific University is required by federal law to establish specific standards for measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). As part of the university standards for continued enrollment (see above), a student must meet the requirements of the SAP policy below to be eligible to receive federal, state and need-based institutional financial aid assistance. Scholarships and other awards may require students to meet higher standards. Veterans Affairs students have additional requirements. SAP will be reviewed at the end of each semester for all active students, based on the criteria outlined below. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his or her academic progress through Sunbird Central and to be aware of the requirements of his or her program and SAP standards.
Overview of SAP Standards
FPU students are expected to make reasonable and timely academic progress toward their declared program objective (degree, credential or certificate) each semester. Reasonable progress is measured by the following standards:
Standard 1: The GPA Standard
Meet the minimum FPU cumulative and term grade point average required for their program.
Standard 2: The Pace Standard
Satisfactorily complete at least 66.67 percent of cumulative credit hours attempted.
Standard 3: The Maximum Time Frame
Complete a degree/certificate program within the maximum time frame based on total units attempted compared to the units required in the program.
Details of how each standard is measured are found below. However, it is important to understand that a student’s entire academic history must be considered in these standards regardless of whether or not the student received financial aid for that coursework.
Standard 1: The GPA Standard
Standard 1 is a qualitative measure of progress as measured by the student’s cumulative and term FPU grade point average (GPA). FPU academic policies determine how the GPA is calculated, including which grades count in the GPA calculation and the effect of course repeats on GPA. Each student can see his/her current FPU cumulative GPA on the unofficial transcript in Sunbird Central. To meet Standard 1, students must meet the minimum cumulative and term FPU GPA requirement each semester as listed in the chart:
Academic Level Minimum CUM FPU GPA Baccalaureate 2.0 Seminary 2.5 GRAD 3.0
Standard 2: The Pace Standard
Standard 2 is a quantitative measure which attempts to calculate the pace at which a student is progressing toward program completion. Pace is measured by the cumulative percentage of courses attempted that are successfully completed for credit. There are two steps in performing this calculation.
Not all credits posted to the student’s academic record are a good indication of the pace at which they are completing their program. As a result, the various types of post-baccalaureate credit are evaluated based on the following:
Types of Courses and Credit That Are Included in this Calculation:
- All FPU courses not exempted below
- All transfer credits that have been officially accepted to complete program requirements
- Repeated coursework
Types of Courses and Credit That Are Not Included in this Calculation:
- Audited coursework
- Courses dropped with no attendance or last day of attendance in the first week.
- In progress and incomplete courses
Based on the courses that are included above, pace is then calculated by dividing the total number of credits successfully completed (passed with units earned) by the total number of credits actually attempted.
Total Credits Earned/Completed = all coursework where credit is earned with a grade of CR, A and B (including plusses and minuses). C also counts for some seminary courses.
Total Credits Attempted = total credits earned/completed plus all coursework with a grade of W, C, F, I, NR and NC
To meet Standard 2, students must satisfactorily complete at least 66.67 percent of all cumulative and term credits attempted as calculated above.
Standard 3: The Maximum Time Frame
Standard 3 includes two quantitative measures to determine if the student is completing the academic program within a reasonable amount of time and with a limited, reasonable number of units attempted.
The 150 Percent Rule
This rule quantifies the number of units attempted vs. the number of units completed successfully. Students may not continue to receive financial aid once they have exceeded this standard. It is important to emphasize that once the maximum time frame is exceeded the student is considered ineligible for further financial aid and must complete their program without the benefit of these financial assistance programs. There are two steps in performing this calculation.
First, the maximum units allowed for the academic program must be determined. This is calculated by multiplying the minimum units required for the academic program by 150 percent to determine the maximum number of units a student can attempt and still receive financial aid. For example, students in a 40-unit master’s degree program may attempt up to 60 units. For students that are officially pursuing multiple goals, e.g., a financial aid eligible credential or certificate concurrently with a master’s program, the minimum units required of each program will be added together and then multiplied by 150 percent.
The total number of units attempted by students in their post-baccalaureate academic career is calculated and compared to the maximum allowed in Step 1. As not all credit posted to the students’ academic record can count toward the degree program requirements, the following exclusions/adjustments are made:
Transfer credits that have been officially accepted to complete program requirements will count.
Units which apply solely to a program that was dropped will be excluded.
To meet Standard 3, students must have attempted less than 150 percent of units required for the academic program as calculated above.
How Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards Are Monitored
Satisfactory academic progress is monitored at the end of each academic term (fall, spring and summer). Students who fully meet all three standards above are considered in good standing for SAP. Students who are not meeting the standards will be notified via FPU email of the results and the impact on their financial aid and academic eligibility. Students who have exceeded the maximum time frame (Standard 3) are immediately ineligible to receive additional financial aid. Students may appeal this ineligible status (see Appeal Guidelines below).
Students who are not meeting Standard 1 (GPA) or Standard 2 (Pace) are first placed on financial aid warning if they were in good status the prior term. A student on warning status will continue to receive financial aid for one term despite a determination that the student is not making satisfactory academic progress.
At the end of the next enrolled term, students on warning must meet all three standards to be deemed eligible for continued assistance. Students who remedy their deficiency and are fully meeting the SAP standards will be considered in good standing for SAP again.
Students who are on warning status at the end of the term and who do not remedy their deficiency at the end of the term are disqualified. Students may appeal his/her financial disqualified status (see Appeal Guidelines below).
A student whose appeal is approved will be defined as on probation and may receive aid for one additional term. If determined, based on the appeal, that the student should be able to meet SAP standards by the end of the subsequent semester, they will be placed on probation without an academic plan. The students progress will be monitored at the end of the semester, as probation status is only good for one semester. If it is determined, based on the appeal, that the student will require more than one semester to meet progress standards, they will be placed on probation and an action plan will be developed. The status must be reviewed at the end of the semester, to determine if they are meeting the requirements of the academic plan. At the end of the next enrolled term, students on probation must meet all three standards to be deemed eligible for continued assistance and be in good standing for registration. Students who fail to meet the three standards, but meet all the terms of their academic contract, may continue on probation for the length of their academic contract. Students who fail to fully satisfy their academic plan will be disqualified.
Impact on the Disbursement of Financial Aid
Financial aid regulations do not allow for the disbursement of any financial assistance for future semesters until it can be ensured that the student will be eligible to receive the financial aid under these SAP standards. As a result, a hold will be placed on the future disbursement of financial aid for those students who are at risk of becoming ineligible. This includes:
- Students who are on warning.
- Students who are on probation.
- Students who are being monitored based on an approved academic plan.
- Students who are approaching the Maximum Time- Frame Standard.
Once grades are posted and SAP standards can be monitored, the hold will be released for those deemed eligible. The hold will not be released for those deemed disqualified until an appeal is approved.
Request to Have Satisfactory Academic Progress Recalculated
If adjustments have been made to the student’s academic record after their SAP status has been calculated, students may request that their SAP status be reviewed again. This may be necessary when:
- Grades for the term were posted after SAP was calculated
- Grade changes occur, including the resolution of an incomplete
- Transfer credit has been posted
- An academic objective has changed
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 EdPlan by your advisor 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 1 term on probation, you will become aid ineligible until you meet the SAP 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 SAP 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 first 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 requires extenuating circumstances, and a great deal of documentation for consideration.