Federal SAP Policy - Undergraduate
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the process used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress toward a degree or certificate. At the end of each payment period (semester), a review of a student's progress is conducted. A student's failure to meet any of the three of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (for all terms enrolled, not just those terms that aid was received) may result in loss of federal aid eligibility. Click here for examples.
An electronic notification detailing the student's SAP status will be sent to the student’s Buffalo State College e-mail address; if unavailable, a hard copy notification will be mailed to the permanent address on file.
All three of the following Satisfactory Academic Progress standards must be met:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) - Qualitative Component
a. A student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (Buffalo State's GPA only).
- Minimum Pace rate (formerly known as Completion rate) for Attempted Credit Hours - Quantitative Component
a. A student must complete at least two-thirds (66.67%) of all cumulative attempted credit hours.
b. New freshmen are required to successfully complete at least half (50%) of the credits they attempt during their first two semesters. Starting with their third semester, they are then required to successfully complete two-thirds of their credits.
c. The following designations are considered to be attempted credit hours but are not considered to be successfully completed: I, N, X, W, U, E, and F grades and grades and courses removed through the academic clemency process. Noncredit remedial courses are counted at their credit equivalence (1 to 3 credits). Effective Fall 2013, noncredit remedial courses will no longer be considered in the pace calculation.
d. Transfer credit hours posted to the official transcript record and all courses removed through the academic clemency process will be counted as attempted credit hours.
- Maximum Timeframe/Degree Completion within 150% of the average Length of the Program - Quantitative Component
a. Students must complete their first baccalaureate degree within 150 percent of the normal time required to complete a bachelor’s degree, not to exceed 180 attempted credit hours for a program with a published length of 120 credit hours.
b. Federal financial aid eligibility will be terminated when a student
has attempted 180 credit hours; there is no waiver of the maximum
time frame standard for any reason.
c. A student pursuing a double major or degree must earn his/her
first bachelor’s degree within the 150 percent maximum time frame standard.
d. A student that completed all coursework required for a major or
degree is ineligible for a PELL grant even if an Application for Undergraduate Degree form is not on file.
All students must be accepted into a major prior to completing 60 credit hours to continue to be eligible for federal aid.
Courses that are repeated to improve a grade are counted as attempted each time they are taken but are only counted as completed once.
Readmission to the college after an absence does not automatically mean reinstatement of aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Warning
A student who fails to maintain cumulative GPA or meet Pace requirements is placed on Financial Aid Warning as long as it is mathematically possible to recover in one payment period. There is no action required by the student; federal aid eligibility continues for one payment period/semester.
Appeal Process for Special Circumstances
If the student is still not making satisfactory academic progress after the Financial Aid Warning semester, he or she is ineligible for federal financial aid until the required standard is achieved.
A student has a right to appeal the loss of federal financial aid eligibility if mitigating circumstances (events totally beyond the student’s control) existed). All SAP Appeals should be submitted to the Academic Standards Office, Twin Rise 100.
Financial Aid Probation
A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA and/or meet the Pace rate standard is placed on Financial Aid Probation only if the student has successfully appealed. The student will continue to receive federal financial aid for one payment period/semester. The student must meet SAP at the end of the probationary period or comply with the Academic Plan requirements.
If the student is still not making Satisfactory Academic Progress or fails to meet the Academic Plan requirements after the probationary period, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid until all three SAP standards are successfully met.