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Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

All financial aid recipients are required by Federal and, if applicable, State regulations to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards established by Caldwell University. This policy is applied consistently to all students on any form of financial assistance and is monitored once per year for all students and at the end of each semester for students on probation or appeal. This policy is separate from that of the College’s Standards of Academic Progress outlined in the student catalog.

To continue to receive financial aid, students must maintain both qualitative and quantitative components. Qualitative refers to grade point average, and quantitative includes both earned credits and maximum time frame. Grade Point Average (GPA) is the minimum requirement based on the number of credits attempted. Earned Credits is the calculation performed by dividing the number of credit hours earned by the number of credit hours attempted. Maximum Time is the federal regulation that you do not receive financial assistance beyond 150% of the published length of your educational program (180 credits for a bachelor’s degree). NOTE: Transfer credits count in this calculation. Additionally, terms when no federal or state aid is received must be counted.

Following are examples to illustrate the above for full-time students (defined as students taking 12 or more credits per semester):

  • The attainment of a degree within a maximum of six academic years. Students who are eligible for state aid may lose a semester of eligibility if they progress at the minimum rate of 12 credits per semester rather than at the rate of 15 credits per semester since the state allows for a maximum of four years of funding.
  • The successful completion of at least one sixth of the credits (20) required for graduation at the end of each academic year. Summer sessions may be used to attain the required number of credits.
  • The maintenance of a minimum grade point average of 1.8 during any one semester, a minimum cumulative average of 2.0 after completion of at least one-half of the required credits needed to graduate (Included in the calculation are any transfer credits brought to Caldwell.), and if a student is on a probationary semester after an appeal, usually a 2.2 for the following term is required.
  • Students who are receiving EOF grants should be showing the same standards of academic progress. However, the time limit for the receipt of state funding is less stringent, allowing for 9 to 10 semesters to complete a degree. The EOF Director in conjunction with the Director of Financial Aid, will monitor progress and appeals for all EOF students.
  • Incomplete Courses will be treated like a withdrawal until the course is completed and a grade is submitted. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when coursework is completed.
  • Repeated Courses: When a course is repeated, the number of credits earned will only be counted for one course. The official grade will be utilized in determining the semester and cumulative GPA.
  • Failing grades, incompletes, audits, and withdrawals will not be considered as credits successfully completed.
  • There is a limit on Remedial Courses. In the process of earning a degree a maximum of five (5) remedial courses will be included in establishing eligibility for financial aid. NOTE: These courses do not count towards your degree requirements.
  • A student who is dismissed for academic reasons and returns to the college could be considered for reinstatement of financial aid provided they submit proof of reinstatement from the Academic Dean and files an appeal to the Director of Financial Aid.
  • There is a semester of automatic probation granted one time to all students on financial assistance. During that, automatic appeal students are notified of the requirements that they must meet. If, after that one semester, required credits and GPA are not met, the student must then follow the printed appeal process, which is outlined below.


SAP is evaluated each year, following one year’s attendance, usually after the spring semester. Students are notified in writing of any financial aid denials and are effective immediately. If mitigating circumstances contributed to failure to meet SAP requirements, you may submit a written appeal for consideration. Some circumstances such as medical problems, illness, or death in the family, relocation, or employment changes, or other extenuating circumstances are examples of an appeal and must be well documented in order to be heard by the Appeals Committee. Submission of an appeal does not guarantee reinstatement of eligibility for financial aid. Each appeal is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and students are notified within two weeks of the appeal in writing by the Director of Financial Aid of the outcome of that appeal. If your appeal is granted, you will receive an award with conditions required to continue to receive additional semesters of eligibility. If your appeal is denied, you may choose to apply for an alternative loan. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for guidance.

Evaluation of one or more of the following conditions may result in reinstatement of financial aid:

  • An error was made when determining academic progress.
  • Late grade changes or course corrections were submitted.
  • Student has satisfied the condition leading to aid termination.
  • Successful completion of a specified number of summer and/or winter courses that fulfill the academic guidelines.
  • Meeting the overall SAP standards.

Part-time Students: Part-time students (defined as students taking fewer than 12 credits in a semester) will be pro-rated the amount of time in which they must complete the requirements for a degree. The Office of Continuing Education will review all students within their programs at the end of each semester and notify any student who is placed in a probationary semester. The Office of Financial Aid may also place a part-time student in a probationary semester.

Graduate Students: Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for graduate students are described in the graduate catalog. Your department and the Graduate Studies Office will monitor your satisfactory progress.

Withdrawal from Courses: See the Caldwell University catalog to understand the withdrawal policies and the affect on financial aid.

Disbursements: Funds cannot be disbursed for prior semesters when a student does not demonstrate SAP. Approval of appeals is for the upcoming semester only and cannot be used for a prior term when any funds are not fully disbursed.