financial aid: Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective August 25, 2013: To be eligible for Federal and State of California financial aid (loans and grants), students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations. Students are evaluated for SAP at the end of each enrolled trimester for which they received state or federal aid. Students must continue to meet the university's SAP standards as they pursue their academic programs in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

SAP STANDARDS

A student's SAP is measured in three ways:

1. Qualitatively - Cumulative Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.
  • Graduate and doctoral students must maintain a minimum cumulative program GPA of 3.00.

2. Quantitatively - Completion Rate
  • Undergraduate students must achieve a cumulative sixty-seven percent (67%) completion rate for all units attempted toward their academic programs. In addition, they must achieve a cumulative sixty-seven percent (67%) completion rate for GGU institutional units (not including transfer units) attempted toward their academic programs. This rate is equivalent to successfully completing two out of three courses attempted.
  • Graduate students must achieve a cumulative seventy-five percent (75%) completion rate for all units attempted toward their academic programs. This rate is equivalent to successfully completing three out of four courses attempted.

  • 3. Maximum Attempted Units Allowed

    Students must complete the requirements for their academic programs within 150 percent (150%) of the minimum units required to complete their academic programs. (For example, a student enrolled in a degree program that requires a minimum of 123 units may attempt up to 185 units to complete the program). Units attempted also include all units transferred into GGU from prior institutions that can be used to satisfy students' academic program requirements. Students who have reached their maximum attempted units allowed are ineligible for additional financial aid. Students may appeal for financial aid probation status if they feel their circumstances warrant an exception to this standard.

EFFECTS OF REPEATING COURSES

When students repeat courses for which they failed to earn passing grades, or when students repeat courses to earn better grades, all course attempts are calculated in the students’ quantitative measure of progress (standard #2 above) and total units attempted toward their maximum units allowed (standard #3 above).

EFFECTS OF NON-LETTER GRADES

"I" (incomplete), "UW" (unofficial withdrawal), and "W" (withdrawal) grades award no academic credit and have no grade point value and are not used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

"CR" (credit) and "NC" (no credit) grades have no grade point value and are not used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average. However, "CR" (credit) grades do award academic credit, while "NC" (no credit) grades do not.

All courses with non-letter grades are included in the calculation of the quantitative measure of progress (standard #2 above) and in the maximum attempted units (standard #3 above).

Refer to the GGU catalog section "Grading Practices and Academic Transcripts" for further information.

FINANCIAL AID WARNING STATUS

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress will be placed on financial aid warning status for one trimester following the trimester after which they did not meet the university's SAP standards. Students must meet the SAP standards at the end of the warning trimester or they will become ineligible for additional financial aid. Students on financial aid warning status are eligible for financial aid for only one trimester. If a student has already been awarded aid for two trimesters at the time of the SAP evaluation, the student's awards will be canceled and reprocessed for one trimester only.

FINANCIAL AID PROBATION STATUS WITHOUT AN ACADEMIC PLAN

Students who become ineligible for financial aid due to failure to achieve satisfactory academic progress at the end of a warning trimester or due to reaching the maximum units allowed for their academic program (standard #3 above) may appeal in writing for financial aid probation status. To be eligible for financial aid probation status, it must be mathematically possible for students to achieve satisfactory academic progress by the end of the subsequent trimester. The calculation assumes enrollment in a maximum of 9 units.

Students should appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and explain the reason for their failure to make SAP and what has changed that will allow them to make SAP at the end of the next enrolled trimester. Some possible reasons for appeal include: a death in the family, injury or illness, or other unusual or unexpected circumstances.

In support of the appeal, students should submit at least one professional reference letter on letterhead or other record (such as a death certificate) to document their changed circumstances. Students may obtain professional references from doctors, counselors, clergy, lawyers, school officials, therapists, social workers, etc. Students who experienced illness or injury should submit copies of medical records in support of their appeals. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review each appeal on its own merits and will send a response to each appeal via e-mail within 10-14 business days.

Students approved for financial aid probation status will be eligible for financial aid for one trimester only. At the end of the financial aid probation trimester students will be evaluated against all three SAP standards. Students who fail to meet the SAP standards at the end of a probation trimester become ineligible for additional aid. Students in this circumstance may see the section "How to Reestablish Financial Aid Eligibility" in this catalog for further information.

FINANCIAL AID PROBATION STATUS WITH ACADEMIC PLAN

Students for whom it is mathematically impossible to achieve satisfactory academic progress at the end of the subsequent trimester by attempting 6 to 9 units and who would require two or three trimesters (maximum of 27 units) in order to achieve satisfactory academic progress may be eligible for probation status with an academic plan. Students may appeal for probation status with an academic plan as described above. If approved, students may receive financial aid for up to three trimesters (maximum of 27 units) in order to achieve the university’s SAP standards or graduate. All other financial aid program eligibility requirements, such as aggregate loan limits, continue to apply.

Students approved for probation with an academic plan must meet with their student services advisors and have their schedules approved prior to registration. Students will be allowed to register once their student services advisor notifies the Financial Aid Office of their approved academic plans. In addition to completing the approved courses, students must satisfy the following requirements each trimester while on an academic plan:


1. Qualitatively - Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate students must earn a minimum trimester GPA of 2.00; if the student is not required to repeat any courses, the academic plan may require the student to earn a higher trimester GPA in order to raise the student’s cumulative GPA.
  • Graduate and doctoral students must earn a minimum trimester GPA of 3.00; if the student is not required to repeat any courses, the academic plan may require the student to earn a higher trimester GPA in order to raise the student’s cumulative GPA.

2. Quantitatively - Completion Rate

Students must achieve a one-hundred percent (100%) completion rate each trimester for all courses attempted in accordance with the student’s academic plan.

Students are evaluated at the end of each probationary trimester to determine whether they have met the requirements of the academic plan. Students who meet the requirements of the academic plan may continue on financial aid probation status for the next trimester. Students who fail to meet the requirements of the academic plan after any probationary trimester become ineligible for additional aid. Students in this circumstance may see the section “How to Reestablish Financial Aid Eligibility” in this catalog for further information.

HOW TO REESTABLISH FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY

Students may reestablish financial aid eligibility by enrolling at GGU and completing one or more trimesters of at least half-time status (usually six units per trimester for undergraduate students, and four units per trimester for graduate students) without federal or state financial aid and achieve the applicable cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate standards.

UNSATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS EXAMPLE

A student who fails to meet the qualitative (GPA) and/or quantitative (completion rate) standards at the end of the fall semester will be placed on financial aid warning status for the spring semester. If the student fails to meet either of these two standards at the end of the spring semester, the student becomes ineligible for financial aid. If the student submits an appeal for probation and the appeal is approved, the student will be allowed one trimester on probation status. At the end of the probation trimester, if the student fails to meet either of these standards the student is again ineligible for financial aid. In order for the student to reestablish eligibility after a probation semester, the student must complete at least one trimester at GGU without the use of financial aid. Once the student has achieved each of these standards, the student is again eligible to receive financial aid, provided the student has not exceeded the maximum attempted units allowed standard.