Financial Aid

Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

This policy applies to students receiving federal and state financial aid. UWest is required by law to establish for all federal and state financial aid recipients – both qualitative and quantitative standards for “satisfactory academic progress” toward the completion of the degree objective. Aid programs covered by these standards are: Federal Pell Grant, and SEOG Grants, Federal Work Study, Federal Loan programs (Direct, PLUS, Grad PLUS), and some State aid programs. These academic standards apply for all periods of enrollment regardless of whether or not aid was received.

The Financial Aid Office, in consultation with the Registrar, reviews all aid recipients for compliance with the satisfactory academic progress policy at the end of each payment period.

Qualitative Standard (GPA)
The GPA is based on grades for credits earned at UWest and does not include grades transferred from another institution. An undergraduate student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. A graduate student is required to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA for graduate level coursework. Students who fall below these requirements will not be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress.

Quantitative Standard (PACE)
Students receiving aid must successfully complete a minimum 67% of attempted credits each semester, applicable to their degree, and consistent with their enrollment/funding status. For example, if a student enrolls in 12 credits (minimum required for full-time undergraduate enrollment) in a semester, he/she must complete a minimum of 8 credits in that semester to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students who fall below this requirement will not be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress.

The attempted credit hours include all earned, unearned, and transfer credits, i.e. all courses for which a student is registered at the end of the drop/ add period.

Earned credits, for the purposes of this policy, are grades of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “P” and all plus or minus variations on these grades.

Maximum Time Frame:
Students must complete their degree by attempting no more than 150 percent of the credits normally required for attainment of the degree. students are no longer eligible to receive financial aid after this maximum is reached. Pace of progression is calculated by dividing cumulative credit hours student earned by cumulative credit hours attempted. For example, undergraduate programs can normally be completed with 120 credit hours. Therefore, a student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended once the student reaches 180 cumulative attempted credit hours, whether the student has attained the degree or not. The 150% maximum time frame applies to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Financial Aid Warning, Probation and Termination
Students who do not meet the standards of the Financial Aid SAP policy at the end of each payment period will be placed automatically on financial aid warning. Students who are on financial aid warning are eligible to receive Title IV financial aid during the warning period for one payment period. Students are placed on financial aid warning, without an appeal or other action.

At the end of the warning period, which is one payment period, if students are still unable to meet SAP after the subsequent payment period, students can appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office (see SAP Appeals below). After a successful appeal, students are placed on financial aid probation for the next payment period. During the probationary period, students are required to meet with their academic advisors to develop a plan of action to get them back on track.
Students who fail to meet SAP standards at the end of the probation period will become ineligible to receive further financial aid.

A student’s financial aid will be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  • Cumulative GPA is lower than the required minimum standard for two consecutive semesters;
  • Failure to complete 67 percent of cumulative credits attempted for two consecutive semesters;
  • Accumulation of credits attempted equal to 150% of credits normally required for attainment of the degree (undergraduate or graduate).

Reestablishing Financial Aid Eligibility:
Students whose financial aid is terminated due to lack of academic progress may reestablish their eligibility upon meeting the SAP standards again. To regain financial aid eligibility, a student must:

  • Raise GPA
    To increase the GPA, a student must enroll and complete coursework at UWest. Grades transferred from other institutions are not included in the calculation of UWest GPA;
  • Correct a Credit Deficiency
    Credit deficiency can be made up by taking and completing additional courses at UWest.Undergraduates may also take general education courses at a college with whom UWest has a written transfer agreement. All transfer coursework must be applicable toward the student’s degree objective and not exceed the number of credits that are transferable to UWest.

Students will not receive financial aid from UWest until they are determined to be making satisfactory academic progress, except in the case of a successful appeal (see SAP Appeals below). Such students must be prepared to pay for their education while making up the deficiency.

SAP Appeals
Students who have lost their financial aid due to unsatisfactory academic progress may appeal to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must be made in writing describing the circumstances that have been affecting their academic performance, must be submitted within 30 days of notification of unsatisfactory status, and must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents.

Acceptable reasons for appeal include, but are not limited to, personal or family accident, illness or injury of the student, death of a close family member, or other extenuating and unavoidable circumstances beyond the student’s control. On-going, chronic medical problems do not meet the definition of “extenuating circumstances.” If the condition existed at the time aid was offered, it should have been taken into consideration when the student planned his/her classes and credit load.

Factors considered in reviewing an appeal include, but are not limited to, the student’s entire academic history, level of borrowing in relation to credits completed, class standing; number of semesters of aid; previous deficiencies and appeals; and “extenuating” and “unavoidable” circumstances.

If a student’s eligibility is reinstated because of an appeal, his/her satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed again within one semester.