Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)
To continue to receive financial aid, students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as sufficiently moving toward successful completion of degree requirements. A student’s SAP status will be reviewed 3 times a year - at the end of fall term, end of spring term, and after the final summer term. All students who were enrolled on or after the first day of the term will have their Satisfactory Academic Progress calculated at the end of the term.
Federal policies require that SAP be measured 3 ways:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average
- Percentage of Credits Earned (Pace)
- Maximum Time Frame
Financial Aid Recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress in all 3 areas whether or not aid was received in the past. Programs affected include:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Direct Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized)
- Federal PLUS Loans
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
- Federal Teach Grants
- Federal Graduate Teach Grants
- Federal Work Study (FWS)
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
1.Cumulative GPA Requirement –Through the summer 2023 semester, by the end of each term, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA:
- Term 1: 1.7
- Term 2: 1.7
- Term 3: 1.7
- Term 4: 2.0
Note: Any terms you were enrolled (including summer and any terms enrolled at another institution) will be counted in number of terms of enrollment.
- a) Starting with Fall 2023, undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0
- b) Graduate and doctoral students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
If you need assistance calculating your GPA, or projecting what term GPA you will need to earn to improve your overall GPA please use the GPA calculators available via your MyShip portal under 'Degree Audit'. Instructions for using the GPA calculators can be found online at https://www.ship.edu/academics/academics-resources/registrar/DegreeAudit/GPA/
2.PACE Requirement: This standard requires all students to complete at least 67% of credits attempted. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, classes from which a student withdrew after the drop/add period, failed classes, and remedial credits. All credits are counted whether or not financial aid was received.
Example: If you have attempted 30 credits, and have passed 21 of them, you have passed 70% of your credits. Alternately, if you attempted 30 credits and passed only 18, you have earned only 60% of your credits.
While the PACE requirement is the minimum completion rate you must earn to be eligible for federal financial aid, students should take into account that in order to graduate in a 4-year time span, undergraduate students should be completing 30 credits per year. Earning less than 30 credits per year will mean taking longer than 4 years to graduate.
3.Maximum Time Frame Requirement: All students must complete their program of study by attempting no more than 150% of the number of credits needed to graduate. The total number of credits needed to complete an undergraduate program at Shippensburg is 120 credits. Therefore, students may attempt no more than 180 credits (150% of 120) before exceeding the maximum time frame requirement.
If your graduate degree requires 30 credits, you may not attempt more than 45 credits (150% of 30) before exceeding the maximum time frame requirement, All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, classes from which a student withdrew after the drop/add period, and any failed classes. All credits are counted whether or not financial aid was received.
Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Review and Notification
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester (fall and spring and after the final summer term). Students previously in good standing who have failed to make SAP will first be given a warning term of aid eligibility. No appeal is needed for a warning term.
Students should work diligently to resolve their SAP deficiency during their warning term. The purpose of a warning term is to allow a student who has failed one or more of the SAP components an opportunity to regain compliance with the SAP requirements for their next term of enrollment. Students who are out of compliance for one or more components of SAP after their warning term are ineligible for further financial aid until all deficiencies are remedied, or they submit a successful appeal (see appeals below).
All students who fail to meet SAP requirements will be notified by e-mail to their official Shippensburg University e-mail address.
Due to FERPA regulations, we cannot give this information to anyone but the student including parents. You may view the university's FERPA policy online. The Authorization to Release Information Form used by the Financial Aid Office does not authorize us to release this information to a parent or any other individual.
Academic Forgiveness and Federal Financial Aid Eligibility
Being granted Academic Forgiveness or Amnesty does not apply to the review of your satisfactory academic progress in determining eligibility for federal financial aid. All applicable coursework and grades earned will be included in the calculation of your cumulative GPA and attempted and earned credits for the PACE and Time frame SAP review.
Grade Changes and SAP Review
An evaluation of your academic progress will be made if any of your grades are changed. If the grade change causes you to fail any of the components of SAP, you may lose eligibility for financial aid. Conversely, if the grade change resolves your SAP deficiency you may regain eligibility for financial aid.
If your current SAP status is pass and the grade change causes you to fail one of the SAP components, your SAP status will immediately be updated to warn. If your current SAP status is warn and the grade change causes you to fail one of the SAP components, your SAP status will be immediately updated to a failed SAP status (GPA, CR and/or TF) and you will lose eligibility for future federal financial aid until you are back in compliance with SAP or make a successful appeal for the loss of your financial aid.
If your current SAP status is “warn” or a failed SAP status (GPA, CR and/or TF, etc.) and your grade change resolves your SAP deficiency your SAP status will be updated to pass. You will regain eligibility for financial aid at the time your SAP status is updated.
Treatment of Special Grades for SAP Review
Spring 2020 ONLY*
*NC (No Credit: no earned credits and no QPA points) The grade of NC is a non-punitive grade used in unique situations where a semester is disrupted (e.g. natural disaster, pandemic, etc.). When use of this grade is invoked, it will be issued in place of a letter grade of “F” for a student who does not successfully complete the requirements for a course. Course credits will be counted as attempted credits, but no credit is earned and hours taken will not enter into the computation of the student’s QPA.However, for financial aid purposes, the grades of ‘NC’ and ‘U’ will NOT count towards the SAP calculation for Spring 2020 ONLY.
I (Incomplete) and Q (Deferred grade) are temporary grades and do not count as earned credits or influence the grade point average in the semester in which the course work has been taken. However temporary grades will count toward total attempted credits and may affect a student’s eligibility for aid. Once the 'I' or ‘Q’ grade has been resolved and a passing grade has been earned, the credits and the grade will then be counted toward satisfying attempted grades that are completed, and the grade point average requirements.
W (Withdrawal): ‘W’ grades do not count as earned credits or influence the grade point average. However, these credits will count as attempted and may affect a student's eligibility for aid.
S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) – ‘S’ and ‘U’ grades will count as attempted credits; only ‘S’ grades will count as completed credits; no credits will be earned if ‘U’ grade is assigned. Neither an ‘S’ nor a ‘U’ grade will be used in determining the cumulative grade point average.
Other types of grades: P (Pass), T (Credit by Exam), R (Repeated - Graduate students only) and TR (Transfer Credit). Credits earned with grades of ‘P’, ‘T’ or ‘TR’ will be counted in your earned and attempted credits but will not affect the student’s grade point average. N (Audit) grades do not earn credits, and do not affect attempted credits or the grade point average.
Once you have completed all the academic requirements for your program of study you are no longer eligible for federal student aid funds for that program.
Federal SAP Appeal Procedures
Federal regulations allow for students to appeal their loss of financial aid if there were circumstances which prevented satisfactory academic progress (SAP). To be sure your appeal is processed before the bill due date, complete appeals must be received by the following priority deadlines:
- Fall Term- August 1st or the following business day, if on a weekend.
- Spring Term- January 1st or the following business day, if on a weekend.
Appeals received after the priority deadline will be considered late and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Such circumstances are significant life experiences and can be verified by documentation from a third party. Examples of reasons to appeal include student illness or injury, or serious illness or death of a family member (parent, grandparent or brother/sister).
Please Note: An appeal to have Financial Aid reinstated is separate from appealing to be academically reinstated if you are dismissed from the university.
To appeal the loss of aid students must submit the following:
- Complete a SAP Appeal form at https://ship.studentforms.com/. Click herefor instructions.
- A letter of appeal, typed and no longer than one page, that explains 1) why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and 2) what has changed in the student's situation that will allow him or her to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. Find guidance on how to write a successful SAP appeal.
- Written documentation of your individual situation from a third party not related to the student. Please note, if your situation involves an injury or illness, we must receive a letter from the doctor's office, on their letterhead, corroborating your claim. Copies of prescriptions or doctor's chart notes will not be accepted.
Students who have their appeals granted and have been evaluated by the Appeals Committee as being able to regain compliance with all components of SAP within the next term of enrollment will be placed on probation and will receive aid for one additional term only. This one term of aid will be called the student’s "Probation Term." (Aid awards may show a full year of aid, but the second term will not be disbursed until the student is reviewed.) All Students on financial aid probation will have their SAP reviewed after their probation term to determine if they are in compliance with the Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
Students who have their appeals granted but have been evaluated by the Appeals Committee to be ineligible to regain compliance with all components of SAP within the next term of enrollment will be required to submit an Academic Plan. Students who are required to submit an Academic Plan will be sent an email with a link to the Academic Plan form. The academic plan (to be developed with your academic advisor or Associate Academic Dean) must bring you back into compliance with the SAP policy and must specify your academic performance requirements (credits earned and term GPA) for each term of enrollment covered by the plan. The Financial Aid Office must approve all academic plans before a student's aid is reinstated. Students on probation with an academic plan must meet the terms of their Academic Plan each term or the student will lose eligibility for any additional federal aid.
Students on probation who fail to regain compliance with all components of SAP after their probation term or students on probation with an academic plan who fail to meet the minimum requirements for each term of their plan are ineligible for further financial aid and all remaining aid will be canceled. Subsequent appeals of the same nature or for the same reason are not permitted. Once you fail to regain compliance after your probation term or fail to meet the terms of your academic plan and lose financial aid eligibility, the only way to regain eligibility for financial aid is to meet the SAP minimum requirements.
If you are experiencing academic difficulties, we strongly encourage you to seek tutoring assistance. This service is offered free of charge through the Learning Center which is located in the Student Success Center right inside the front doors of Mowrey Hall. For an appointment, please contact their office at (717) 477-1420.
Regaining Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid Without an Appeal
- The student may resolve GPA and/or PACE (credits earned) deficiencies by taking courses on their own (no federal aid). When you have successfully completed coursework that resolves your SAP deficiency, please notify the Financial Aid Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cumulative GPA can only be improved by taking courses at Shippensburg University.
- PACE deficiency may be made up with credits earned at Shippensburg or another approved university (see your academic advisor).
- It is the student's responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office once grades have been transferred from another institution. We cannot adjust financial aid awards until the credits appear on your transcript at Shippensburg. You will need to contact the Dean of your school to have your grades reviewed and entered onto your Shippensburg transcript.
- If extenuating circumstances exist, the student may file an appeal, and if the appeal is granted, may have federal funding reinstated.
PA State Grant - Academic Progress for Undergraduates
A review of a student's academic progress for the PA State Grant will be made once a year after the spring semester. To be eligible for subsequent state grant awards, a student who was enrolled full-time (12+ credits per term) must earn at least 24 new credits each year. Students who were enrolled part-time (6 to 11 credits per term) must earn 12 new credits each year.
If you previously took a course and earned a 'D' or better grade, and decide to retake the class again, the second time you take the class will not count as new credits. If you are retaking a course which you failed previously or received a "W" for withdrawing from the class, these credits will be counted as new credits for the PA State Grant progress requirement.
Students can earn credits in the summer, after the Fall and Spring semesters, to meet the credit requirement needed for the next academic year. When you have successfully completed coursework that resolves your credit deficiency, please notify the Financial Aid Office. You may complete and return the Academic Progress Form or email email@example.com.
Please review the following examples:
- A fulltime student attempts 12 credits in the fall semester but only passes 9 credits. The student then attempts and passes 15 credits during the spring term. The student is still maintaining academic progress for the PA State Grant (9 + 15 = 24).
- A fulltime student earns 9 credits in the fall, 9 credits in the spring and attempts and earns 6 credits in the summer. The student is eligible for the PA State Grant the following year (9 + 9 + 6 = 24).
- A part-time student earns 6 credits in the fall but 3 of those credits are for a course the student previously passed by earning a “D” grade. The student earns 6 credits in the spring for a total of 12 credits. The student is NOT making academic progress under PA State Grant guidelines since 3 of the 12 credits are for a course that was already passed once.
Students are only eligible to receive a PA State Grant for a maximum of 8 full-time semesters.
Please contact the financial aid office at (717) 477-1131 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the PA State Grant academic progress requirement.
Contact the Financial Aid Office101 Old Main, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1131 Fax: (717) 477-4028 email@example.com
Fall & Spring Terms: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM / Summer & Winter Terms: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM