Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Requirements of Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

Federal Programs

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Satisfactory academic progress must be achieved in order to be eligible for federal aid (Federal Pell Grant/SEOG Grant/Federal Work Study/Stafford student loans/PLUS Parent loans). Several factors can affect your financial aid eligibility. SAP has three components-Pace, GPA and maximum hours limit. Academic records are reviewed at the end of each semester in which the student is enrolled.

Pace: Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours completed by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted. Students must maintain a pace equal to 67% of their cumulative credit hours attempted. Coursework attempted during all semesters will be evaluated. 'F' grades, 'I' (incomplete) grades, courses dropped after the change of schedule period, withdrawals and repeated classes do not count as completed hours. For example, a first-time student attempts 15 credit hours for a semester and completes nine credits (60%) of attempted coursework which is below the required 67%. The student would be on financial aid warning going into the next semester. While on financial aid warning, the student can continue to receive financial aid. In the next semester, the student attempted 12 and completed ten. That would be 19 total completed divided by 27 total attempted which is 70%. Student is now in good standing and removed from financial aid warning. If the percentage is below 67%, the student would be placed on financial aid probation and would not be eligible for federal financial aid.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement: Financial aid recipients must have a cumulative GPA high enough to prevent them being placed on Scholastic Probation. From 1-29 hours attempted, the minimum GPA is 1.75; with more than 29 hours attempted, the minimum GPA is 2.00. Students transferring from another post-secondary institution, or who may have attended Missouri State-West Plains for a term or more prior to applying for federal aid, must also meet the GPA requirement. A student's previously completed work that is applicable to their current program will be used when calculating remaining eligibility.

Maximum Credit Hours Requirement: Students may only receive aid until they reach the maximum hours limit which is 150% of the hours required for their program of study. The typical Associate degree requires 65 credit hours, the limit for maximum attempted hours would be 97 credit hours required for their program of study. Students who have completed all the courses required for their degree or certificate but have not yet received the degree or certificate are not eligible for financial aid for that program. The academic plan must list "all" courses required to complete your associate degree and must be signed by your academic advisor. Students may be restricted to limited hours or specific courses.

Review for Compliance: Academic records of all aid recipients are reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if they are in compliance.

Repeated Coursework

When a student retakes coursework, previously-failed coursework counts toward a student's federal financial aid enrollment status. Previously-passed coursework that is repeated may be counted only once more toward a student's federal financial aid enrollment status. Criteria for other grants and scholarships may vary. Upon review, financial aid award amounts may require adjustment.

Automatic Termination of Aid:

  1. Failure to meet special requirements of academic progress imposed by the Financial Aid Committee.
  2. Default on a federally funded student loan or failure to repay a grant overpayment.

Reestablishing Aid Eligibility: A student must meet the SAP standards or the requirements of the established individual academic plan to maintain eligibility in order to have financial aid reinstated.

Appeal Procedure: Exceptions are occasionally made when the difficulty arises from a one-time event largely outside the control of the student. If you feel your academic deficiencies are the result of unusual and extenuating circumstances, you may explain those circumstances to the Financial Aid Committee on an Academic Progress Appeal Form and supportive documentation. An Academic Appeal Form is available for this purpose in the financial aid office and on the website. Students appealing the maximum hours limit will need to submit (with the appeal) a list of required courses needed to complete their degree. If it is your first appeal, the committee will inform you of their decision within approximately two weeks of the receipt of your appeal or completion of the current semester. If it is your second or subsequent appeal, you will have to complete a written appeal, supply an academic plan and meet with the Financial Aid Committee. Contact the financial aid office to schedule an appointment.

State Programs

Access Missouri Student Assistance Program/Missouri Bright Flight Scholarship: Must enroll in at least 12 credit hours and maintain 12 credit hours during the semester with at least a cumulative 2.5 GPA. Audit hours do not count.

A+ Program: A+ eligible students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits in fall and spring semesters or 6 hours in summer. A cumulative 2.5 GPA (less any high school dual-credit grades) is required. A+ students' grades and hours are monitored at the conclusion of each semester. If eligibility is lost for one semester, it may be regained by removing the deficiency the following semester. Student eligibility expires 48 months after high school graduation, upon receipt of an associate's degree from any institution or upon completion of 105 percent of the student's current program of study.

Note: A+ will not pay for dropped or withdrawn classes. If you drop or withdraw from a class during the semester, your A+ award will be reduced. You will be responsible for any resulting balance.

Please Read

Dropping/Adding Classes – Each semester has a financial aid Freeze Date. At the beginning of a semester, your aid (PELL and SEOG) is paid based on your enrollment status (full-time, ¾-time, ½-time or less than ½-time). During the change of schedule period, you may increase or decrease your credit hours. If your enrollment status changed during that period, your aid will be readjusted. Example: If you are paid full-time Pell then drop to ¾ or ½ enrollment, your Pell will be recalculated and may cause you to have to repay Pell. If enrollment increases, your Pell could also increase. After the change of schedule period (Pell Freeze Date), your aid will not be adjusted. Students taking block courses must be registered for those classes prior to the end of the change of schedule period. Loans require minimum enrollment of at least six credit hours. Scholarships – check the scholarship enrollment criteria.

Official or Unofficial Withdrawal from all Classes (Federal Refund Policy) – If you withdraw from all classes during a semester, you may have to repay some of your federal student aid (see below).

To quality for federal financial aid, you must be in attendance. Class attendance could be verified before financial aid funds are disbursed.