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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require that MacMurray College establish and implement a policy to measure if a financial aid recipient is making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards a degree. The same policy will be applied to measure all students' academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress is measured by evaluating three criteria: quantitative progress, qualitative progress, and progress toward degree completion. These criteria evaluate the quantity of academic work students complete, the quality of academic work completed, and overall progress towards earning the intended degree.

This policy indicates the standards that are used to measure SAP at MacMurray College for purposes of determining academic standing and financial aid eligibility. This policy applies to all students who are enrolled at the College (full time and part time).

Evaluation Method

SAP evaluations will be completed at the end of each academic term (i.e., fall, spring, or summer semester) after final grades have been recorded. Timely submission of grades is essential. The review will determine academic standing and eligibility for the next upcoming term. Any financial aid offered for the year in advance is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress and is subject to cancellation. Each student's record will be reviewed under the direction of the One-Stop Student Services office. Students will be notified of their failure to meet SAP guidelines via letter and college email.

Repeated Coursework

Students may repeatedly retake courses that have been failed and continue to receive financial aid. Courses that a student has passed may be eligible for Title IV federal financial aid only once more, even if the grade resulting from the retake is a failing grade. That failure will count as the paid retake and a student may not receive federal aid for any subsequent attempts.

Remedial Coursework

Remedial, or developmental, courses will not count as college-level coursework towards graduation. The credits will count as eligible credits for enrollment status, federal financial aid (up to 30 credits), and in the SAP evaluation. Credit value will be assigned for purposes of calculating enrollment status and coursework for the quantitative requirement of this policy.

Criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress

Maximum Degree Completion Timeframe

Federal regulations specify that a student must complete his/her degree within 150% of the published length of the program. The maximum time frame for which a student may receive federal financial aid may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours. For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 120 credit hours, the maximum time frame during which a student will be considered in good standing and eligible for financial aid must not exceed 180 total attempted credit hours. Attempted credits include earned credits, repeated courses (both attempts), withdrawn credits, failures, incompletes, and accepted transfer and advanced placement credit. If you change majors, the credits you earn under all majors will be included in the calculation of attempted, earned, and maximum attempted credits, as well as your GPA calculation. Federal regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of "W" from its calculation of the maximum time frame. Periods of time when a student does not receive Title IV aid must be counted towards the maximum timeframe. Students completing a second bachelor's degree must complete their program within a total of 180 attempted credit hours.

Required Completion Rate

A student should make steady progress towards earning their degree by completing a minimum number of credits each semester. Students must successfully complete at least 67% of all credits attempted. Attempted credit hours are defined as any course that the student is enrolled in after the add/drop period expires at the beginning of each term. Successfully completed credits are defined as the number of credits in which the student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, P, or CR. Transfer credits accepted by MacMurray will be counted as successfully completed credits.

Withdrawn credits will be counted as credits attempted if they occur after registration or the add/drop period has ended, whether or not they are recorded as withdrawn/passing or withdrawn/failing. F grades and incomplete grades are counted as credits attempted but not completed. Repeated classes are counted in credits attempted each time a course is taken.

The 67% completion rate is monitored at the end of each academic term and is always cumulative. Developmental, or remedial, coursework will be counted as hours attempted and earned for the purposes of determining cumulative completion rate.

Required Grade Point Average (GPA)

A student must maintain a successful cumulative grade point average (GPA). The below chart illustrates minimum GPA requirements. Transferred courses will not count in the GPA. Developmental, or remedial, coursework will be counted in the cumulative GPA for the purposes of determining satisfactory academic progress. Repeated coursework will count in the cumulative GPA; whichever grade is highest is used. Grade changes received after SAP evaluation is complete will prompt another review to determine SAP status is accurate.

# of semesters at MacMurray College Required Cumulative GPA
1 1.50
2 1.75
3 or more 2.00

Academic Good Standing and Financial Aid Good Standing Status

Students meeting all of the SAP minimum requirements will be considered in Good Standing.

Academic Probation and Financial Aid Warning Status

A student who does not meet any of the SAP minimum requirements will be placed on Academic Probation and on Financial Aid Warning status. Warning status is only for one term during which the student may continue to receive financial aid funding and attempt to regain Good Standing by meeting minimum SAP requirements.

Academic Dismissal and Loss of Financial Aid

A student who does not meet the SAP minimum requirements for a second consecutive semester will be academically dismissed and lose financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal to be readmitted to the College and to regain financial aid eligibility. Any student who is on academic probation is ineligible to represent the College in any campus musical organization, intercollegiate athletics, and other programs where the student representing the College to the public.

Appeal Process

Students may appeal dismissal and loss of financial aid by describing extenuating and/or unusual circumstances, explaining why the student failed SAP, and how the student plans to meet SAP during the next term if the appeal is approved. Unusual circumstances may include, but are not limited to, illness, accident, or injury experienced by the student or a significant person in their life; death of a family member; divorce; successfully following an academic plan yet still under the required completion rate; or other documented situations. Documentation is required to substantiate a student's appeal. Appeals are submitted to the Academic Standards committee via the One Stop Student Services office. Students with approved appeals will be placed on SAP probation, described in the next section. An appeal may be submitted; however, MacMurray College reserves the right to deny students' appeals. Students whose appeals are denied must follow the reinstatement procedures, outlined in this policy. Failure to meet SAP in any subsequent term will result in academic dismissal and loss of financial aid eligibility.

SAP Probation

Students with successful appeals will be placed on SAP Probation. SAP Probation students will be required to complete an academic plan for one or more terms, which must be followed to ensure continued eligibility to remain enrolled at MacMurray and eligibility of financial aid. SAP Probation students have one term to regain good standing unless the academic plan allows otherwise, depending on the student situation. Students who meet the goals outlined in their academic plan after one semester will be automatically placed on another semester of SAP Probation without having to appeal, even if minimum SAP is not yet met.

Reinstatement of Academic Good Standing and Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who earn unsatisfactory academic progress may regain eligibility by raising the cumulative GPA to the minimum standard and/or making up the credit deficiency. Completing a semester at another institution may allow the student to achieve the SAP standards or, in many cases, demonstrate the ability to achieve SAP requirements. Keep in mind that credits taken elsewhere will not resolve the Required GPA component of SAP but may be used to resolve the Completion Rate requirement. Simply sitting out of school for a semester or two will not restore eligibility for a student who has lost eligibility to receive financial aid funding due to not meeting SAP standards. It is necessary to make changes to the GPA or Completion Rate that achieve the SAP standards to reestablish aid eligibility.