Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid
Federal regulations require students to be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree or certificate in order to receive Title IV funds. “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP) is a measurement of a student’s successful academic performance and the Standards of Academic Progress apply to all recipients of federal (Title IV) funds, as well as Wittenberg institutional aid.
Academic progress is measured using standards that are both Qualitative (cumulative grade point average; CGPA) and Quantitative (total credits completed versus attempted within the specified time periods). To comply with current regulations, the Office of Financial Aid at Wittenberg University will evaluate our students’ academic performance annually, at the end of the spring semester of each year. The exception are students who start their studies in the spring semester. Students who enroll in the spring semester will be evaluated for SAP after the following spring semester at which time they must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above to retain their federal aid eligibility.
Financial aid programs subject to Wittenberg University’s SAP policy include:
- Federal Pell & Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG) Grants
- Other federal grants (TEACH)
- Federal Work-Study & Student Employment
- Federal Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS Loans
- State of Ohio Scholarships & Grants
- Wittenberg Scholarships & Grants
1. Academic Performance as Measured by Grade Point Average; Qualitative Standard.
- To satisfy this requirement, a student must meet and maintain the minimum required academic performance levels as listed here below. Please note that while a student may choose to change majors before completing their original degree program it will not change the formula for calculating compliance.
- Transferred credit hours do not count towards the GPA requirement.
- Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D and F are included in the cumulative GPA calculation.
- Undergraduate students; CGPA > 2.0 for federal aid renewal
- Graduate students; CGPA > 3.0 for federal aid renewal
2. Academic Performance as Measured by Total Credits Earned; Quantitative Standard.
- Every undergraduate and graduate student must successfully complete 66% of total attempted credits during their academic career at Wittenberg University at their current degree level.
- The percentage of earned credits is calculated by dividing completed credits by all attempted credits. Rounding does not apply (e.g., student completes 16 of 24 attempted credits. Percentage complete is 16/24=66%).
- The successful completion of a credit attempted for undergraduate students is credit for which a grade of A, B, C, D, P or S is received. Withdrawals, Incompletes, and F grades represent unsatisfactory completion of a course.
- Any student who receives an Incomplete (I) grade in any course must notify the Office of Financial Aid when the “I” is changed into a letter grade, in order for the credits earned to count toward the quantitative standard of performance.
- Withdrawal (W) grades received after the add/drop period are not included in the GPA calculation and count as attempted but not completed credits.
- Withdrawal (W) grades received after a voluntary withdrawal count as attempted but not completed credits.
- Accepted transfer credits are included with attempted and completed credits but do not count towards the cumulative GPA calculation.
- Audit courses are not eligible for federal aid and are not included in the SAP calculation.
- Repeated courses count as attempted and completed credits.
- A grade of “D” is not considered a satisfactory completion of a course for a graduate student.
- Transfer credit hours and repeated coursework are included in your total attempted credit hours.
3. Academic Performance as Measured by Maximum Time for Degree Completion; Quantitative Standard
- The maximum time frame for degree-completion is 150% of the published length of the program for undergraduate students receiving federal aid. For example, a program requiring 128 credits for graduation would allow 192 credits attempted (128 x 150% = 192). If it becomes mathematically impossible for a student to complete their degree within the maximum timeframe, the student will lose eligibility for federal aid.
- Attempted credit hours are those credit hours for which you have received a grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, L, NC, S, W, NR, X, and XF.
- If you are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program that is longer than 126 credit hours, you must indicate this information in your SAP appeal.
- Overall cumulative hours attempted and hours earned are used when reviewing SAP, regardless if you have a change in major or are pursuing a second degree. However, you can appeal to receive financial aid based on a change of major or pursuing a second degree.
|Student Level and/or Degree Program
|Maximum Number of Total Attempted Credit Hours
|Undergraduate/Bachelor's Degree Programs
|189 semester hours
|Graduate/Master of Science in Analytics
|44 semester hours
|Graduate/Master of Arts Coaching
|48 semester hours
|Graduate/Master of Arts Education
|54 semester hours
The following SAP statuses are used at Wittenberg University and will be included in your SAP notification and are also visible on the Wittenberg self-service portal on the Financial Aid pages.
- Financial Aid Satisfactory: You have met SAP requirements for federal student aid purposes. You have continued eligibility for federal financial aid.
- Financial Aid Unsatisfactory: You have not met SAP requirements and you are ineligible for federal student aid. You will remain ineligible for federal student aid unless you successfully appeal or re-establish your eligibility on your own. You are not eligible to receive federal student aid for any term in which you have been assigned an Unsatisfactory SAP status.
Losing Financial Aid Eligibility
Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards at the time of the evaluation will be ineligible for federal aid in future semesters. In the event that a student fails to meet any of the above criteria, the student will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid via their Wittenberg email address. Current SAP status is also available to the student via Wittenberg self-service portal, on the Financial Aid pages.
Students may re-establish eligibility for federal aid in one of the two following ways:
- The student may take classes and pay for tuition and other charges without utilizing federal aid. Once the student has met the eligibility requirements, they will re-qualify for federal aid.
- The student may submit an appeal (see process outlined below) which will be evaluated by the Office of Financial Aid and if approved, the student will re-qualify for federal aid for the subsequent SAP period.
If a student has been found to be ineligible for federal aid due to failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards, the student may appeal this decision to the Office of Financial Aid at Wittenberg University. The appeal document can be accessed via the Wittenberg self-service portal, on the Financial Aid pages. The completed appeal document should be uploaded and submitted via the portal or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reasons for appeal may include such extenuating circumstances as prolonged illness, hospitalization, accident or injury to the student or a significant person in his/her life, death of a family member or a significant person in the student’s life, divorce experienced by student or parent or other documented over-whelming personal problems.
Appeals must be submitted to Office of Financial Aid via email, explaining in detail the reason(s) why the minimum requirements were not met. The student should also include an explanation of how the condition or situation has changed and how it will not impact their future academic success.
If a SAP appeal has been approved, the student will complete a SAP Academic Plan Agreement that will outline the student’s plan to achieve a minimum of a 2.0 upcoming term GPA and passing at least 66% of credits attempted.
If, at the end of the next SAP period (spring semester) the expectations have been met but the student is still not meeting SAP Standards, a new plan should be revised for the subsequent period, until such time that the student has renewed eligibility due to meeting SAP or has graduated.
If a student fails to meet the expectations listed, they are not eligible to appeal again and are not eligible to receive federal aid during subsequent aid periods.
Federal aid renewal requirements
Federal aid (grants and loans) will be available for renewal each year provided the student:
- Files a new FAFSA each year at www.StudentAid.gov.
- Retains federal aid eligibility (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility)
- Maintains a minimum CGPA of 2.0 as listed in the University’s SAP Policy
- Maintains at least half-time enrollment:
- a minimum of 6 credits for undergraduate level studies.
- a minimum of 3 credits for graduate level studies.
Wittenberg University Institutional Aid Renewal Policy
All Wittenberg University scholarships and grants require student recipients to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as mentioned above. Wittenberg merit and financial aid awards are renewable each year providing the following:
In addition to living on campus, the student must be enrolled full time in order to retain the rate. The student’s enrollment status must be full time (12-19 credits) for each semester. The only exception to the full-time enrollment requirement is for seniors in their final semester, if they need fewer than 12 credits to graduate and this has been confirmed with the Registrar’s Office. The rate will then be prorated to the number of credits they are taking.
Nonrenewal of Institutional Aid
Wittenberg University scholarships and grants are not renewed when students fail to meet one or more of the SAP requirements as outlined above. All Wittenberg University scholarships and grants have set time limits for eligibility- normally 4 years/8 semesters of eligibility in total. Students who have not met the renewal criteria for institutional aid will receive an emailed notification of their aid status at the end of the spring semester. They can submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid, via email, outlining any special circumstances that may have led to the loss of aid as well their plan to take corrective action.
If such an appeal is approved, the student will be required to complete the requirements outlined in the Academic Plan Agreement until such time that they have met the renewal standards or graduated.
Students who do not meet the expectations set for them during their aid meetings with the Office of Financial Aid, will lose eligibility for institutional aid.