Standards of academic progress | Stark State College | North Canton, Ohio
Financial aid

Standards of academic progress

Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) are a series of standards required to maintain eligibility for federal student aid. Requirements include qualitative and quantitative components of completion as defined below. Students who do not meet these requirements will be disqualified from future federal financial aid.

SAP requirements

The following standards must be met to maintain federal financial aid eligibility

  1. GPA (qualitative measure): Overall grade point average of 2.0.
  2. Completion Rate (quantitative measure):  Completion of 67 percent of the cumulative attempted credit hours, including hours of repeated and developmental coursework. All accepted transfer hours will also be included in this calculation. The calculated percentage will be subject to rounding to the nearest whole number based on standard mathematical rounding rules.
  3. Maximum Timeframe (quantitative measure): Completion of an ODHE-approved degree or certificate within the required number of credit hours as listed in the College catalog for the associate or certificate degree, multiplied by 150 percent as determined by Office of Financial Aid. This measure will include all accepted transfer credit hours and up to 30 attempted credit hours of required developmental coursework. If a student changes his or her major or is seeking a second degree, the percentage of completion does not start at zero percent. A student becomes ineligible, via the maximum timeframe element, at the point at which it becomes mathematically impossible for them to complete the program within 150%.
  4. Successful financial aid grade completions are: A, AH, B, BH, C, UC, D, UD, CR.
  5. Unsuccessful financial aid grade completions are: F, W, IN, NC. W, IN, and NC grades do not affect the GPA but are included in the completion rate and maximum timeframe components of the SAP calculation. Once IN grades are changed, the student’s GPA, completion rate and maximum timeframe components are re-calculated. Courses in which a student remained enrolled past the add/drop period and earned a W grade cannot be excluded from the calculation.
  6. Repeated coursework (see Policy 3357:15-13-08) will count toward the number of attempted hours for completion rate and maximum timeframe calculations. Only the highest grade will be used in the calculation of the student’s GPA.
  7. All students are limited to 30 credit hours of developmental coursework. Grades are assigned to developmental coursework and will be counted in the GPA, completion rate, and maximum timeframe calculations.

Failure to meet these measurements will result in the loss of federal financial aid eligibility.

Monitoring progress

At the end of each term attended, a student’s academic progress will be evaluated based upon the standards listed above, regardless of whether the student is currently receiving or has received federal financial aid in the past. If he or she fails to meet any of the above requirements, he or she will receive electronic notification from the College.

After the first term in which the requirements are not met, a student will be placed on financial aid warning for one subsequent term. During the warning period, the student will continue to be eligible for federal financial aid. The College encourages the student to meet with an academic advisor to assist the student with his or her educational goals.

After the second term in which the requirements are not met, a student will become ineligible for federal financial aid. In order to regain federal financial aid eligibility, a student will be required to pay for his or her classes out of pocket until he or she is able to reach the 67 percent completion rate and a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Appeal process

If a student has unusual or mitigating circumstances that prevented a student from meeting the GPA, completion rate or maximum timeframe requirements, he or she may submit an appeal requesting to continue to receive federal financial aid. Mitigating circumstances must be documented and approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Mitigating circumstances that will be considered include: the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. The committee will evaluate whether the circumstances prevented the student from completing the SAP requirements and determine that the student will be successful in future terms. The appeal must be submitted within the term in which a student is applying for continued federal financial aid. A student may only submit two appeals during his or her time at Stark State College. Rare exceptions will be made to this policy.

If federal financial aid is reinstated as a result of the appeals process, a student is placed on probation for one term. During the probationary period, a student must successfully complete all registered courses and achieve a 2.0 term grade point average. After one semester, if the student meets the probation requirements, the student will be placed on an academic plan and must continue to successfully complete all registered courses and maintain a term 2.0 GPA. As long as a student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan, he or she will continue to receive aid. Once a student is at a 67 percent completion rate for all attempted courses and a 2.0 grade point average, he or she will go back to good standing.

Appeal procedure

STEP ONE: A student must complete the Standards of Academic Progress Appeal form and submit it to Gateway Student Services along with an explanation and documentation of the reasons for failing to comply with the stated academic standards. The explanation must include what improvements a student has made that will ensure future academic success.

STEP TWO: The Financial Aid Appeals Committee comprised of a member(s) of the financial aid department will review the appeal and render a decision.

STEP THREE: A student will receive electronic notification of the decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee within ten business days of the committee meeting. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final.

The committee reserves the right to establish parameters as part of the approval process. This includes, but is not limited to, restrictions of credit hours or specific courses, mandatory advising, or adherence to an academic plan.

If a student is approved for financial aid, he or she is encouraged to seek an academic advisor to review an academic plan.

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