Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Effective January 1, 2020.

To maintain satisfactory academic progress and qualify for Title IV federal financial aid and veteran’s educational benefits, a student must (1) satisfy the academic requirements of the university and specific program requirements, and (2) make satisfactory academic progress, as required by federal law. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is measured using qualitative and quantitative standards, including periods during which federal financial aid and veteran’s educational benefits was not received. Qualitative progress is measured by cumulative grade point average. Quantitative progress is measured by completion rate and maximum time frame.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

  • A student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) as calculated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Tables in this policy. If a student is enrolled in an educational program of more than two academic years, the student must have a CGPA of a 2.0 or higher at the end of the second academic year.
  • Incomplete (I), Satisfactory (S), Unsatisfactory (U) and Withdrawal (W) grades are not used in calculating CGPA. Credits earned by examination or transferred from another institution are also not used in calculating CGPA.
  • When a student repeats an NAU course, the highest grade achieved in that course is used in calculating CGPA.

Completion Rate

  • In addition to maintaining a minimum CGPA, a student must successfully complete a required percentage of all credit hours attempted, according to the student’s total credit hours attempted, as calculated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Tables in this policy, including those credits in remedial and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
  • Credits transferred from another institution are included as credits attempted and completed for the purpose of calculating completion rate.

Undergraduate

  • The grades of A, B, C, D and S indicate successful course completion for purposes of this policy.
  • The grades of F, I, W and U indicate a lack of successful course completion.

Maximum Time Frame

  • A student must complete his/her academic program within a maximum of 150 percent of the published length of the education program as measured in credit hours. For example, a student completing a degree requiring 100 credit hours may attempt 150 credit hours to complete that degree. (100 x 1.5 = 150)
  • Credits transferred from another institution are included as credits attempted and completed for the purpose of calculating maximum time frame.
  • Once a student reaches maximum time frame or it is determined to be mathematically impossible for the student to complete his/her academic program within the maximum time frame, the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. The student may continue to attend National American University but must fund his/her education without federal financial aid.
  • Maximum time frame does not affect eligibility for veteran’s educational benefits.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Status

The satisfactory academic progress (SAP) of each student is evaluated for the purpose of determining federal financial aid eligibility and veteran’s educational benefits eligibility and to determine continued enrollment. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee evaluates SAP at the end of each academic term. Students who have received an incomplete grade will be evaluated for SAP after expiration of the incomplete grade period and the determination of a final grade.

Good Standing Status

A student is in good standing status if the student has: (1) successfully completed the required percentage of the credit hours attempted; (2) maintained at least the minimum CGPA; and (3) not exceeded the maximum time frame.

Warning Status

A student will be placed in warning status if the student fails to maintain the minimum CGPA requirement or fails to successfully complete the required percentage of the credit hours attempted. A student in warning status may continue to attend classes but must return to good standing status in one term. A student who does not return to good standing status within one term will be placed in suspension status. Federal financial aid and veteran’s educational benefits are available to eligible students in warning status.

Suspension Status

A student in warning status who does not return to good standing status after one term will be placed in suspension status. A student in suspension status is not eligible to receive federal financial aid or veteran’s educational benefits, but may continue to attend classes if the student makes other payment arrangements. This status continues during periods of non-enrollment.

A student may appeal suspension status by submitting an Appeal of Academic Suspension form, documentation of the extenuating circumstance and documentation of circumstance resolution no later than the stated deadline before the start of the term for which the student wishes to enroll. A student may not use the same extenuating circumstances for multiple appeals. As of January 1, 2020, any active student who is placed in academic suspension status for the first time may appeal his/her suspension no more than two times. If the student’s appeal is successful, the student is placed on probation status, which may last one term or multiple terms.

Probation Status

A student in probation status has been granted such status by the SAP Committee in accordance with the section below entitled Re-Establishing Federal Financial Aid Eligibility.

Federal financial aid and veteran’s educational benefits are available to eligible students in probation status for one term, or longer, if the student meets the terms of an academic plan approved by the SAP Committee.

A student in probation status must have an academic plan with benchmarks approved by the SAP Committee.

  • If the student meets the conditions of the academic plan but has not returned to good standing, the student remains in probation status.
  • If the student meets the conditions of the academic plan and has not returned to good standing, but the academic plan has expired:
    • The student must submit a letter to the SAP Committee requesting a revised academic plan and the reasons for such request;
    • The SAP Committee may allow the student to continue in probation status with a revised academic plan with an extended end term.
  • If the student fails to meet the conditions of the academic plan, but successfully completed all courses for the term AND showed significant improvement in GPA:
    • The student must submit a letter to the SAP Committee requesting a revised academic plan and the reasons for such request;
    • The SAP Committee may allow the student to continue in probation status with a revised academic plan with the same plan end term as the current academic plan OR allow the student to continue in probation status with a revised academic plan with an extended end term. (A student’s academic plan may be revised only once until returning to good standing).
  • If the student fails to return to good standing, fails to meet the conditions of the academic plan, did not successfully complete all courses for the term AND/OR shows no significant improvement, the student will be returned to suspension status and not eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Notification of Change in SAP Status

Students who have been placed on or removed from academic warning status, probation status, suspension status, or who have exceeded the maximum time frame, will be notified by email stating their academic status and their federal financial aid eligibility status.

Limited exceptions to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy may be approved by the provost on a student-by-student basis.

Re-Establishing Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

A student in suspension status may re-establish eligibility for federal financial aid and veteran’s educational benefits if:

  • The student continues to attend classes and improves his/her CGPA and/or completion rate to minimum standards without using federal financial aid and veteran's educational benefits, or
  • The student appeals his/her suspension status and (1) demonstrates to the satisfaction of the SAP Committee that the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress because of extenuating circumstances, such as the death of a relative, serious injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances as defined by the university; (2) explains what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation; and (3) develops and submits an academic plan in consultation with the student's academic support team.

A student who has exceeded maximum time frame for their program cannot re-establish eligibility for federal financial aid.

References

34 CFR 668.16(e)
34 CFR 668.32(f)
34 CFR 668.34
2019-2020 FSA Handbook

Satisfactory Academic Progress Tables

Undergraduate Certificates

 Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)  Completion Rate
Credits Attempted  Minimum CGPA  Credits Attempted  Completion Rate
 0 - 9  1.5  0 - 9  50%
 9.1 - 18  1.75  9.1- 18  66.67%
 18.1 +   2.0  18.1 +  66.67%

Undergraduate Diplomas

 Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)  Completion Rate
Credits Attempted  Minimum CGPA  Credits Attempted  Completion Rate
 0 - 18.5  1.5  0 - 40  50%
 19.1 - 45.5  1.7  40.1 +  66.67%
 46 - 71.5  1.9    
 72 +
 2.0    

Undergraduate Associates and Bachelor's Degrees

 Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)  Completion Rate
Credits Attempted  Minimum CGPA  Credits Attempted  Completion Rate
 0 - 18.5  1.5  0-40  50%
 19.1 - 49.5  1.7  40.1 +  66.67%
 50 - 79.5  1.9    
 80 +
 2.0    

Addendum

All re-entry students are eligible for a third Satisfactory Academic Process (SAP) appeal through May 2020. Those students that re-enter after June 1, 2020 will move to the new SAP policy, which allows students to appeal SAP status two times.