Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards I-1

Policy number05-02
Responsible officeOffice of Student Financial Aid
ClassificationBoard of Trustees-delegated Policy
Category05. Admissions and Financial Aid

Statement of policy

Students need to make satisfactory academic progress, or SAP, toward a degree or certificate to remain eligible for institutional, federal and state financial aid programs. 

 Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards I-1

Effective Summer II 2011, to remain eligible for institutional, federal and state financial aid programs, students need to make satisfactory academic progress, or SAP, toward a degree or certificate. 

Standards are applied to all students who wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility at Western Michigan University, regardless of whether they have received financial aid in the past.

STANDARDS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

To maintain eligibility, a student must:

  1. Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of all attempted hours at WMU;
  2.  Maintain a minimum of 2.00 cumulative grade point average by the end of the second academic year; and,
  3. Complete all degree requirements (this includes credit hours transferred to WMU) within 150% of the minimum numbers of credits to graduate (i.e., 122 minimum X 150% = 183 credit hours). 

Academic progress will be monitored by the Office of Student Financial Aid each term. A student’s eligibility for financial aid may be in jeopardy for the upcoming term if the standards are not met. 

In addition to these standards, Student Financial Aid may use professional judgment to terminate eligibility. This may occur when a student falls significantly below a standard and does not have a realistic chance to meet the requirement by the end of the warning period, or when a student fails all of their courses in a term.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate students are required to meet the above criteria; however, the maximum attempted hours are evaluated at the graduate course level based on the standards through the University’s Graduate Academic Standards policy.

FACTORS THAT AFFECT SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

CREDIT HOURS PASSED

Credit hours passed are defined as having grades of A, B, BA, C, CB, D, DC, CR, FA, FB, FBA, FC, FCB, FD, FDC, TCR or CR. 

CREDIT HOURS NOT PASSED

Grades of E (failure), I (incomplete), W (official withdrawal), X (unofficial withdrawal), NC (no credit), AU (audit), R (repeat), FE, FI, FW, FX, NA or TNC are not considered as hours passed. Any of these negatively impact a student’s completion percentage as well as count toward the maximum credit hours attempted.

TOTAL HOURS ATTEMPTED

“Attempted hours” consist of all hours, which include courses passed, incompletes, withdrawals, as well as failed classes.  

  • WMU classes that are dropped within the drop/add period do not count as dropped courses and do not count towards total hours attempted.
  • All attempted hours at WMU, as well as all credit hours transferred from other institutions, are counted in the total hours attempted.

CHANGE OF MAJOR/DOUBLE MAJOR/EXTENDED PROGRAMS/SECOND BACHELOR’s DEGREE

If a student elects to double major, complete more than one degree at a time, and/or start a degree and then change majors, then all classes previously taken will count toward SAP.

REMEDIAL COURSES

Remedial courses are counted either as a letter grade or as credit/no credit. The grades earned for these courses are included in calculating the student's grade point average. Remedial courses are counted as part of the total attempted hours for both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

DROPPING OR WITHDRAWING FROM COURSES

Reducing a student’s enrollment may have serious consequences. 

  • Students who withdraw from all classes in a semester may be required to return some, or all, of the financial aid paid to their student account.
  • This includes when dropping or withdrawing from courses after the drop/add negatively impacts the student’s 67% completion percentage as these hours would still be included in total attempted hours. 

If a student is considering dropping one or more classes after their financial aid has been paid, or after the end of drop/add period, the student should contact Student Financial Aid to determine how this may affect their awards.

CLEARING UP ATTEMPTED HOURS DEFICIENCIES

Financial aid awards may be reinstated if an attempted hour deficiency has been cleared. To clear up an attempted hour deficiency, students could have a grade change, complete coursework to remove an incomplete, or pass greater than 67% of all future attempted hours. 

Students will need to inform Student Financial Aid once the attempted hour deficiency has been cleared and the academic record at WMU has been updated.

CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT AVERAGE

A student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) at WMU must meet the minimum academic standards by the end of the second academic year. Good academic standing for juniors and seniors requires a minimum grade point average of 2.00.

Transfer credits will not be included in the cumulative GPA.

The student’s GPA requirement will be monitored and enforced by Student Financial Aid. If the University dismisses the student, the student is not eligible for financial aid.

 SAP REVIEW PROCEDURES

REVIEW PROCEDURES

  • After grades are posted each term, Student Financial Aid will review academic history files of financial aid students for the 67% and GPA standards.
  • After the census date of each term, Student Financial Aid will review the academic history files of financial aid students for the maximum total hours attempted.

Student Financial Aid will notify students via their WMU email account of their academic progress status for financial aid purposes. Whether a student has received financial aid in the past is not relevant.

 ACADEMIC PROGRESS STATUS CODES SATISFACTORY

  • The student meets the overall standards for financial aid.
  • The student is eligible for financial aid.

WARNING

  •  The first semester that a student falls below either the 67% completion rate, or the 2.00 cumulative GPA, and the overall attempted hours do not exceed 150% of attempted hour maximum.
  • Student is eligible for financial aid; however, the student must meet SAP the semester following their semester of Warning.

PROBATION

  • The student has not met one or more of the standards of SAP and is not eligible for Warning status, and has filed an appeal which has been approved on the condition that the overall standards of SAP will be met by the end of the term.
  • The student is eligible for financial aid for the term of Probation.

ACADEMIC PLAN

  • The student has not met one or more of the standards of SAP and is not eligible for Warning status, and has filed an appeal which has been approved.
  • The student is eligible for aid for semester in which the appeal was approved.
  • The student will maintain eligibility for future semesters as long as the student meets the conditions of the academic plan, or meets the overall standards of SAP by the end of the term.

UNSATISFACTORY

  • The student has not met one or more of the standards of SAP.
  • The student is not eligible for financial aid.
  • The student may regain eligibility for financial aid if the student either is:
  1.  able to bring their academic record within standards (i.e., brings cumulative GPA back over 2.00, or is able to bring completion percentage back over the 67% minimum); or,
  2. Files a financial aid Academic Progress Appeal, and that appeal is approved by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

SAP APPEAL PROCESS

If the student has received a “not eligible” notice due to not meeting SAP, the student may appeal for reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility based on extenuating circumstances. A written appeal and supporting third-party documentation are required to be submitted within 30 days of notification—but no later than 30 days prior to the end of the term for which the student is requesting financial aid.

Appeal forms are available on the financial aid website at www.wmich.edu/finaid/resources/forms.

Reinstatement of financial aid is dependent upon professional judgment and awards are based on the availability of funds.

Each request will be considered on an individual basis; appeals may take up to two weeks to process (depending upon the time of year). 

The following are examples of “extenuating circumstances” that may be considered for an appeal:

  • Significant medical illness or injury;
  • Death of a close relative;
  • Change in academic program of study along with another significant event;
  • Obtaining a second bachelor’s degree; or,
  • A significant event, or personal tragedy.

After reviewing the appeal, the student will be notified of the decision.

 If an appeal is denied, the student must clear up the deficiencies in order to receive financial aid in the future. 

If a student’s appeal has been approved, the student will be placed on probation or an academic plan and will be eligible to receive financial aid for the term of their approval period.

Students who do not meet the conditions of probation or the academic plan will not be eligible for financial aid, effective the next term. If there are extenuating circumstances, students may appeal. If an appeal is denied, the student must clear up the deficiencies in order to receive financial aid.

 Note: If a student has received the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and has a GPA below 2.00, the student is not eligible for reinstatement of the scholarship until their GPA is 2.00 or higher.

QUESTIONS & CONCERNS

If students have questions, they should call (269) 387-6000, email finaid-info@wmich.edu, visit Bronco Express in the Bernhard Center, or visit the SFA website at www.wmich.edu/finaid.

 

History

Effective date of current versionJune 30, 2011
Date first adoptedJune 30, 2011
Proposed date of next reviewJune 1, 2021