Federal regulations require students to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward an eligible degree or certification program to qualify for financial assistance. Students who are no longer eligible for financial aid due to one or more of the federal requirements and have documented extenuating circumstances may submit an SAP appeal to allow the Office of Financial Aid to determine if aid may be reinstated.
Maintaining Eligibility for Institutional and Federal Aid
Your academic record will be reviewed at the end of each Fall and Spring term. If you are found to not be meeting one or more of the requirements listed below, you would not be meeting SAP standards.
- Completion of credits: Students must successfully complete 75% of the credits attempted per semester and cumulatively. Receiving grades of F, W, WF, WP, or I, does not constitute successful course completion. Completion of undergraduate or graduate programs cannot exceed 150% of published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted as determined by your program requirements. For example, an undergraduate student with a degree that requires 128 credit hours may not attempt more than 192 credits to earn this degree.
- Minimum grade point average (GPA): undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative and semester GPA of 1.7 for first year students (0-31 credits attempted) and 2.0 for all other undergraduate students (32 credits or higher). Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 for most programs, however some graduate programs will cause SAP failure if one-two individual course grades fall below a B-.
Loss of Eligibility and Notification
If you fail to meet SAP standards, Emerson grants a grace period of one semester to improve academic performance. During this term, you will be considered to be on SAP Warning and will maintain eligibility for financial aid. Failure to meet SAP requirements for a second term in a row will result in loss of eligibility for future financial assistance, including all types of federal, state, and institutional aid. In some cases, depending on the lender, you may not be able to borrow alternative loans. In both cases, you will be notified via your Emerson email that you have failed to make SAP and are either in an SAP Warning or not making SAP status.
Should your semester grades change after you have received an SAP notification, for example, if you have completed course work and had a grade submitted for an incomplete course, you must notify the Office of Financial Aid and request an SAP review. If you are then determined to be making SAP, your eligibility for financial aid will be restored. Similarly, should you lose eligibility for a term and choose not to appeal, or if your appeal is denied, and you subsequently are determined to be making SAP, your eligibility for financial aid will be restored for the next term.
SAP Appeal Process
Students who are no longer eligible for financial aid due to one or more of the federal requirements and have documented extenuating circumstances may submit an SAP appeal to allow the Office of Financial Aid to determine if aid eligibility may be reinstated. This appeal form must be submitted along with:
- A letter explaining the circumstances that prevented you from achieving satisfactory academic progress in the past and how those circumstances affected you. Describe how these circumstances have been resolved so that you can make satisfactory academic progress in the future. Indicate any steps/resources you intend to take to improve your academic record.
- Attach any third-party documentation to support of verify the circumstances sited in your letter (for example, medical emergencies/illness can be documented with medical records) if applicable.
- An authorized academic plan, developed with Academic Advising, that will outline the steps necessary to achieve satisfactory academic progress.
- Graduate students will need to supply their academic appeal results and Speech@Emerson students will need to provide a copy of their academic improvement plan. Please see the appeal form for complete instructions.
Once your appeal is submitted, you will be notified of your appeal decision via email. Please note that failure to maintain SAP after appealing for and regaining aid eligibility will result in the loss of financial aid for the next enrolled term, unless there is a new reason or extenuating circumstance for appeal.