SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

Process Overview & Responsibilities

A student enrolled at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of his/her chosen program of study.  Satisfactory academic progress is defined both with a quantitative and qualitative criterion that must be met. A student who is failing to meet these criteria at any point outlined below will not meet the standard of “Satisfactory Academic Progress.” Any of three remedies may be applied if a student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress. These are as follows: academic probation, restricted class load status and/ or termination from the program of study.

Qualitative Measure

Policies

 

Qualitative Criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress

A Student must comply with the following three criteria in order to make Satisfactory Academic Progress:

  1. Demonstrate a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 2.5 at the end of each evaluation period.
  2. Obtain a 2.5 or higher Semester grade.
  3. Successfully complete a minimum of 80% of all courses attempted each semester

 

Standards of Academic Progress for VA Students

Students receiving VA educational benefits must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 each Semester.  A VA student whose CGPA falls below 2.0 at the end of any Semester will be placed on academic probation for a maximum of two consecutive terms of enrollment. If the VA student’s CGPA is still below 2.0 at the end of the second consecutive term of probation, the student’s VA educational benefits will be terminated.  A VA student terminated from VA educational benefits due to unsatisfactory progress may petition the school to be recertified after attaining a CGPA of 2.0.

 

Procedures

In order to ensure that students are informed of their progress on a regular and timely basis, evaluations for academic purposes are conducted as follows:

 

Mid-Term Reports:  About the middle of each semester the dean will request a progress report from all instructors.  Generally, these reports are limited to students whose work at midterm is “C” or lower.  This is to ensure that the student receives a timely notification of his situation and to give the dean an opportunity to explore with the student any possible need for remedial assistance.

 

At the end of each semester term after grades have been posted, each student’s CGPA is reviewed to determine whether the student is meeting the above requirements. A student will be placed on FA Warning immediately after the first term in which the CGPA falls below the values specified in the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. At the end of the next term, if the student meets the minimum standards they will be removed from FA Warning and return to satisfactory status.  Students on FA Warning will receive aid for the current term.

 

A student that continues to fail the required standards for two consecutive terms will no longer qualify for Financial Aid. The student will have the option to appeal, if the appeal is successful then they will regain Financial Aid for the period outlined in the academic plan and the student will be placed on FA Probation.

 

Quantitative Measure

 

Policies

A student must progress through the program at a pace that will ensure successful completion within 1.5 times the program’s length. In order to meet this standard, all students must earn 80% of the credit hours attempted on each semester.

 

A transfer student’s accepted transfer coursework will be counted in the maximum timeframe and credit hours that count toward the student’s current program will count as both attempted and completed credits.

 

Successful completion of a course is defined as a passing grade.  Incomplete grades are not considered successful completion until the course has been completed and the new grade has been officially recorded.

 

Procedures

At each evaluation period, the student’s completion percentage will be calculated to ensure it meets the 80% requirement.  A student will be placed on FA Warning immediately after the first term in which the completion percentage falls below the values specified in the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. At the next evaluation period, if the student meets the minimum standards they will be removed from Warning and return to satisfactory status.

Students on FA Warning will receive aid for their term.

 

A student that continues to fail the required standards for two consecutive evaluations will no longer qualify for Financial Aid. The student will have the option to appeal, if the appeal is successful then they will regain Financial Aid for the period outlined in the academic plan and the student will be placed on FA Probation.

 

Maximum Time Frame (MTF)

 

Policies

The maximum time frame for receiving aid is equal to 150% of the length of the program.  For example, a program with 103 semester credits would have a maximum time of 103 X 1.5 = 154 credits attempted to complete the program.  Students enrolled in this program cannot attempt more than 154 credits to complete the program.  Students will be withdrawn once it is determined that they have exceeded the maximum timeframe or is not on pace to meet the MTF requirement.

 

All accepted transfer hours and repeat courses will count toward maximum timeframe.

 

Procedures

At each evaluation point the student’s completion rates are monitored to ensure they are on track to complete the program within 150% of the program length.

 

ProgramSemester CreditsMTF
Master of Divinity117175
Master of Arts3349

 

 Evaluation Periods

All programs are evaluated for SAP at the end of the semester after grades are posted.

Financial Aid Probation

 

Policies

A student will be placed on academic probation for not meeting the standards outlined above for a second evaluation period. A student placed on academic probation is ineligible for Title IV (financial aid) funds unless a successful appeal is filed with the school Administrator. The student appeal must include the reasons for which the student failed to meet SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. If an appeal is approved, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and regain eligibility for that payment period or the enrollment period outlined in their academic plan.

 

Procedures

Once a student has been identified as not meeting SAP on the evaluation report, the FA Administrator will check the system to confirm that they are on academic probation.  The student will then be notified in writing and informed of their right to appeal.  If they choose to appeal, then the appeal process outlined in the Appeals Section will be followed.  If they opt not to appeal, then they must make alternative arrangements to pay for the next payment period or the timeframe until they regain good academic standing.

 

Appeals

Policies

When making an appeal, all students including those with Veterans Assistance must be prepared to provide supporting documentation such as a course syllabus, medical records, death certificate and examples of work.  All appeals must be written and submitted to the Academic Dean before the end of the Add/Drop Period of the semester following the one in which the student lost eligibility.

 

Appeals may be approved under unusual circumstances such as:

  • Death in the family
  • Medical Illness
  • Injuries
  • Homelessness
  • Etc.

 

The appeal must explain why they were not able to succeed and what has now changed that will enable them to succeed.

 

Procedures

A student that is seeking an appeal should present substantiating documentation including a definite statement as to why the student failed to meet SAP standards and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to meet SAP standards at the end of the next SAP evaluation.  A student should request an appointment with the Academic Dean to develop an Academic Plan, detailing the courses that were completed, are in progress and are needed for the academic program. The Academic Plan needs to be presented with the written request for appeal and supporting documentation.  A student may appeal only once, and the decision of the committee is final. The Academic Advisory Board will provide a written response to the student within 30 days from receiving the appeal request.

 

A student, who successfully appeals while on Probation status, will be evaluated at the end of the second term of monitoring.  If the student is meeting the measurements in the plan then the aid will be disbursed at the appropriate time, the student’s progress is checked at each disbursement point.  If the student meets SAP at any point during the plan time frame, then they are taken off academic and financial aid probation.  However, if the student fails to meet the requirements of the plan then they are dismissed from school and is no longer eligible for financial aid.  Notification of academic dismissal will be in writing.

 

Documentation

 

Policies

All appeals must be written and any supporting information documented.  As such there are several documents that may be required to process an appeal:

  • Written statement from student
  • Newspaper obituaries or death certificates to substantiate deaths
  • Physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident
  • Written statement from clergy, family member, or other third party who knows the student’s situation
  • Written statement from academic advisor or professor
  • Hospital records
  • Court records

 

Procedures

All documentation is submitted to the Academic Appeals Committee and once approved a copy is sent to Financial Aid.  The FA Administrator will review all documents to ensure the submittal is complete before reviewing.  If additional documents are needed the Academic Planning Officer will contact the student.  Once the file is complete then the FA Administrator will review all documents and upload them to the CORE system.

 

Academic Plans

Policies

Academic plans are developed by the Academic Dean based on the student’s program of study.  The plan can extend beyond 1 term if needed and must outline the minimum standards needed to get the student back on track.  The academic plan is documented and outlines the minimum passing grade the student must achieve.

 

Procedures

Once the Academic Dean creates the academic plan then they will meet with the student and review the plan.  Each course and expected grade is reviewed to ensure the student understands the expectations of the plan.  The instructor will then setup meeting times through the program to meet with the student and review their progress.

 

The FA Administrator will keep a copy of the student’s academic plan in their file.  At the end of each course after grades are posted the FA Administrator will review all students on an academic plan and monitor their progress.

 

Regaining Eligibility

 

Policies

A student not making SAP may reestablish eligibility on his/her own, by retaking previously failed courses so that the recalculated cumulative GPA and maximum time frame levels meet or exceed the minimum requirements.  The student must successfully achieve a 2.5 cumulative GPA and be within maximum time frame.  These students must make alternative payment arrangements for all periods of enrollment that they are not Title IV eligible.  These students will remain on a probationary status until they have regained good SAP standing.

 

Procedures

The student is responsible for monitoring his/her grades and notifying financial aid once they believe they are in good SAP standing.  The student can make an appointment with the financial aid office to review their account.  The FA Administrator will meet with the student and review their academic records.  If it is determined that they are meeting SAP then the Administrator will review their financial aid file and generate a new award letter based on the student’s eligibility.

The award letter is reviewed with the student and if accepted then it is scanned into the CORE system along with all SAP documentation so the funds can be originated.

 

Treatment of Non-punitive Grades, Repeated Courses, Audited Courses, Pass/Fail Courses, Withdrawals, & Incompletes

 

Policies

Non-punitive grades such as incompletes, repeated, audited, pass/fail and non-credit remedial course grades are not factored into the SAP calculations for both the qualitative and quantitative measures.

  • W Grade – Withdrawal from course with no penalty
  • Incomplete – This is a temporary grade which may be given at the instructor’s discretion. Students will have 30 days from the end of the course to complete the missing requirements.  If the course is not completed within the allotted time frame, then the student will receive an F grade.

Procedures

The Registrar will monitor the student’s grades, along with the appropriate values for each grade. The SAP calculation will factor in those values into the GPA and completion formulas.  The FA Administrator and Academic Dean will monitor these reports on a weekly basis to ensure all calculations are correct.