Writing a Successful SAP Appeal

What Happened – What has Changed

Your satisfactory academic progress (SAP) appeal letter must include the following:

  • Explain what happened - Why were you unable to maintain satisfactory progress?
  • Explain what was changed – What corrective measures have you taken to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress?

 If this is not your first appeal:

  • Your explanation must include information about what has changed since your last appeal.
  • Subsequent appeals of the same nature or for the same reason are not permitted.

 Tips for Writing Your Appeal Letter

  • Admit the problem – Take a hard look at your situation to determine what has kept you from making satisfactory academic progress. Being truthful and open about your circumstances will better assist us to help you.
  • Note: Lack of awareness of withdrawal policies or requirements for satisfactory academic progress  will not be accepted as reasons for the purpose of an appeal.
  • Provide supporting documentation – your appeal letter is required to have supporting documentation from a third party.
  • Doctor’s statement on official letterhead
  • Copy of hospital/urgent care/physician’s bill
  • Copy of an obituary, funeral notice or death certificate
  • Note: We are not able to accept personal letters from family members and friends that were aware of your circumstances.

 Valid Reasons to Submit a SAP Appeal

  • Valid reasons for an appeal include:
    • Medical emergencies
    • Severe health issues
    • Severe personal or family problems
    • Serious illness or death of a family member (parent, grandparent or sibling)         
    • Exceeded timeframe for completing the credits required for your degree

Example of a Valid Appeal Statement

Date:                 May 22, 2019

Name:               Stew Dent

Student ID:        000123456

RE:                    SAP Appeal Letter

 What happened:

During the Spring 2019 semester, I was in a car accident on February 17, 2019. I was in the hospital for one week due to a broken leg and severe whiplash. After leaving the hospital, I needed to have physical therapy three times a week for 6 weeks for neck and back issues from the car accident. Trying to attend physical therapy interfered with my ability to attend classes on a regular basis. I was unable to keep up with my coursework and failed 3 of my 5 classes. Since I didn’t do well in the Spring 2019 semester, I am not making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.

What has changed:

My leg healed and my cast was removed. I completed physical therapy and my neck and back are feeling much better. Since I am feeling physically better and healed, I am confident that I am able to continue my coursework and improve my academic progress.

Supporting documentation:

  1. A note from my doctor showing that I was under his care during the above time and why. The note also shows that my doctor released me to return to school for the start of the Fall 2019 semester.
  2. A copy of my hospital bill showing the dates of my stay
  3. A statement from my physical therapist indicating my therapy schedule

 Important Notes to Remember

  • If your appeal is approved, you will be required to complete the Academic Plan Form with your academic advisor as soon as possible.
  •  Your academic plan must show, through the credit and GPA calculations that meeting the SAP standards and graduating from your program is an attainable goal.

 For instructions and information about completing the academic plan form, degree audit or utilizing the GPA calculator, visit the SAP Policy page or the GPA calculator available online via your MyShip portal using Degree Audit.

 Please note: The Financial Aid Office is required to report incidents of sexual violence or sexual harassment disclosed through any appeal letters to the Title IX Coordinator for follow-up and possible investigation. If you have experienced any form of sexual violence and would like to speak confidentially to a counselor for support, please contact the Counseling Center by phone at (717) 477-1481 or by visiting the Wellness Center located in Naugle Hall.