Washington State University

Student Financial Services

Satisfying SAP and Academic Deficiency Requirements

Overview

When students accept financial aid, they also accept responsibility for making Satisfactory Academic Progress (note: the abbreviation SAP will be used interchangeably throughout). This progress is based on the number of attempted credits students enroll in per semester, their term and cumulative grade point average(s) as well as the length of enrollment at Washington State University in addition to any courses taken at another institution.

  • Please read all this information carefully. You are responsible for understanding these requirements.
  • Federal regulations stipulate that a student’s SAP is monitored even if they are not receiving federal student aid. 
    Students who are reinstated to the University are still required to submit an appeal if they wish to be considered for financial aid.
    • Please note: If a student has been reinstated by the University, it does not mean that the student’s appeal with Student Financial Services will be approved.

This summary is given as a convenience to students. We strongly suggest students read the SAP handbook linked below and to clearly understand the requirements mandated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these requirements, please contact our office at (509) 335-9711 or by emailing us at sapappeal@wsu.edu.

What is SAP?

Federal and state financial aid regulations require that recipients of federal and state aid make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of a degree. 
Therefore, Washington State University student aid recipients, in addition to meeting other financial aid eligibility criteria, must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress in their degree program. 
The SAP policy must be as strict as, or stricter, than the university’s academic progress policy. The SAP policy is reviewed on an annual basis and if policy changes are made, they will then be updated to this web page, the SAP Handbook and any printed pieces of information we distribute.

Students will be notified via mail. Any aid released to a student who is subsequently determined to be ineligible under the existing SAP Policy will be returned and the student will be billed unless an appeal is filed and approved.

General Information

  1. Students applying for financial assistance must be in compliance with the appropriate SAP Policy as a condition of initial or continuing eligibility.
  2. Financial aid will be denied to students who fail to maintain progress under the SAP Policies. (GPA, Pace To Degree both term and cumulative, Credit Hours, Maximum Time Frame)
  3. First-time or returning aid applicants who have previously attended WSU must also be in compliance with the policy even though aid has not been received during periods of prior attendance.

Evaluation Period

At the end of each term (fall, spring, summer), a review will be made to ensure compliance with the grade point average (GPA), maximum time frame limit, and pace to degree requirements of the policy.

Endorsements

Students working only on endorsements are not eligible for funding

Notification

  1. At the end of each term students who failed to meet the SAP standards will have a notice of deficiency mailed to them.
  2. Depending upon the severity of the deficiency, financial aid may be withheld.
  3. Deficiency notifications are based on information that is subject to change or correction. Therefore, it is the responsibility of students who have been notified of a deficiency to document any corrections to information (such as grade changes, consortium credits, etc.) used to determine their status.
  4. Because of the limited amount of time between terms, a complete review of all aid recipients’ status may not be possible before the beginning of the next term.
  5. Any aid released to a student who is subsequently determined to be ineligible under the rules for SAP will be returned and the student will be billed

 

Summary of SAP Requirements for Undergraduate Students

Credit Hour/Pace to Degree (term) Completion Requirements
Students who are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours are considered to be full-time. To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, a full-time student must complete all attempted credit hours. (See Handbook for less than full-time.)

Grade Point Average:

Academic standing policies require that all students maintain a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A.

  • Warning Status:After any term of enrollment, students below a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. for the first time will receive a warning notice.

  • Denial Status
    • After any two terms of enrollment with a cumulative G.P.A. below 2.0, the student will be denied further financial aid until the student brings themselves back into compliance with a 2.0 or better cumulative G.P.A or successfully files an appeal and is placed on an academic plan.

Pace To Degree – Term Requirements

  • To be eligible for financial aid, you must complete at least 67% of your overall attempted credits, which includes any courses taken at another institution. This is the minimum rate needed to complete a degree within the 150 percent maximum eligibility time frame (see 2.6.4 of SAP Handbook).
  • If you drop below the cumulative 67% percent completion rate you will be placed on  “warning” status and have one term to bring your completion rate above 67 percent before losing your eligibility for aid. (Please see Table and Examples 1 and 2 Section 3.2.1 in the SAP Handbook for more information)

Maximum Time Frame

Students not completing their degrees within the maximum time limit, as described below are not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. Double degrees or majors will not justify exceeding the maximum time frame limit. Additionally, a change of major or other outside factors are not considered justification for exceeding these limits.

Students will be allowed a maximum of 180 attempted credits in which to complete their first bachelor’s degree. Aid will be denied to students who have not completed their degree within the 180 attempted credits.  This is monitored on a term by term basis. (* See Pace to Degree Term Requirements)

  1. All terms, including summer, Running Start credits, Advanced Placement (AP), or IB credits in which a student is enrolled count toward the maximum time frame and minimum credit hours completed requirement, even if the student completely withdrew from the University.
  2. Terms of enrollment in which no aid is received will count towards the maximum time frame limit. This includes any courses taken at another institution for which no aid was received as well as Running Start credits, Advanced Placement (AP), or IB credits.
  3. If it is determined that the student has completed the requirements for a degree, regardless of whether the student has applied to receive the degree, the student will no longer be eligible for financial aid for that degree.

150 % Rule

If it is determined that a student has achieved 150% of the program requirements for a bachelor’s degree they are no longer eligible for financial aid and would have to file an appeal.

  • This section does not apply to a student who has finished and graduated with one bachelor degree and is pursuing a second. The requirements for this situation are outlined under the Post-Baccalaureate section below.

Summer Session Enrollment
Enrollment in summer session will count toward the maximum time frame, pace to degree, cumulative grade point average, and term credit hour requirements.

Denial of Financial Aid Funds/Successful Appeal
If a student successfully appeals and is placed on an academic plan (contract), the student is considered to be in a probation status.

The SAP Handbook provides more detailed information and examples.

Washington State Need Grant
An otherwise eligible student may receive a Washington State Need Grant for a maximum of five years (ten full-time equivalent terms). The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) monitors the number of terms each student receives the State Need Grant at each college or university the student has attended and is not appealable.

Summary of SAP Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Students (Second Bachelor's Degree Students)

The Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for Post-Baccalaureate or Second-Degree seeking students and students pursuing their Teaching Certificate are similar to that of an undergraduate student but there are some key differences. The following sections will outline the requirements to ensure Post- Baccalaureate students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress compliance. These policies are explained in detail in the SAP handbook linked below.

Credit Hour Requirements

Post-baccalaureate students have the same minimum credit hour requirements as undergraduate students. If you are receiving financial aid and wish to enroll  less than full-time, you should contact Student Financial Services for more information

Grade Point Average Deficiencies

Students enrolled for the purpose of earning a second bachelor’s degree or a Teaching Certification must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of at least 2.0 for all terms of enrollment.

Pace Towards Degree – Credit Completion

  • To be eligible for financial aid, you must complete at least 67% of your overall attempted credits. 
  • If you drop below the cumulative 67% of completion rate you will be placed on  “warning” status and have one term to bring your completion rate above 67% of before losing your eligibility for aid.
  • If you are still below the cumulative 67% ofcompletion rate at the end of the warning term your financial aid will be suspended. You may regain your eligibility for aid if you successfully appeal or complete a term on your own and are no longer in suspension status.

Maximum Time Frame

Students who have earned an undergraduate degree and who are pursuing a second undergraduate degree or teacher certification  must complete their degree or certification within 90 attempted credit hours.

Denial of Financial Aid Funds/Successful Appeal

  • Students who are not on pace to complete their second degree or exceed the maximum time frame limits will be denied financial aid.
  • This maximum time frame calculation is based on all attempted credits as a second-degree or certification student, whether or not aid is received during any of the terms.
  • If a student successfully appeals and is placed on an academic plan (contract), the student is considered to be in a probation status.

The SAP Handbook provides more detailed information and examples.

Summary of SAP Requirements for Graduate/Professional Students

The Washington State University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy monitors the Pace To Degree (PTD) and maximum time frame component. The following section will discuss in detail those requirements that must be met for continued financial aid.

Credit Hour Requirements

  • Please keep in mind that graduate students must be enrolled in at least half-time status (i.e. 5 credits) in order to be eligible for financial aid funding during the academic year.
  • During summer sessions, students must enroll in a minimum of 3 credits.
  • These are federal guidelines, not a Satisfactory Academic Progress guideline.

Grade Point Average Requirements

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) for graduate and professional students follows the Graduate School policies.

Per Graduate Catalog: “Students must earn at least a 3.00 GPA for ALL coursework.  All program courses with grades less than a 3.0 must be repeated.  Any graduate student who fails to maintain a 3.00 cumulative will be dropped.  They may be permitted to re-enroll if the chair makes a special recommendation in concurrence with the Dean of the Graduate School”.

Pace Towards Degree – Term Requirements

  • To be eligible for financial aid, you must complete at least 67 percent of your overall attempted credits. 
  • If you drop below the cumulative 67 percent completion rate you will be placed on  “warning” status and have one term to bring your completion rate above 67 percent before losing your eligibility for aid.
  • If you are still below the cumulative 67 percent completion rate at the end of the warning term your financial aid will be suspended. You may regain your eligibility for aid if you successfully appeal or complete a term on your own and are no longer in suspension status.
  • Students who complete less than 50% of their attempted credit hours are placed on suspension without a warning notice.
  • Audited Courses do not count towards the release of a student’s financial aid nor in the calculation of completed credit hours for SAP purposes.

Maximum Time Frame

Maximum Time Frame restrictions placed on Professional and Graduate students, are outlined in the SAP Handbook and must be met to continue receiving financial aid.

Summary of SAP Appeal Process and SAP Appeal Forms

Overview

You have the right to appeal the denial of financial aid. Appeals will not be reviewed for any student who is not a FAFSA filer and is seeking a loan from a private lenderA list of private lenders who do not monitor academic progress is available on our website (http://www.finaid.wsu.edu/loans.html under "Private Educational Loans"). Filing an appeal is not a guarantee of approval of financial aid. THERE ARE ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SUBMITTING AN APPEAL.. Please refer to the SAP Handbook for this and other information.

  1. All infractions must be submitted  to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress must file an online written appeal..
  2. Students who have failed 2 or more academic plans are not eligible to file an appeal until they are in compliance with the SAP policy. Only under extreme circumstances will an appeal be accepted for review from a student in this situation. (Examples of these circumstances are: a death of an immediate family member or a medical emergency, such as a surgery or the hospitalization of the student or immediate family member.)
  3. Review of an appeal is not a guarantee of approval and a new academic plan (contract)

Submitting Your Appeal

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal process is completed online.You can complete this form entirely online here

  • The appeal must be submitted no later than the end of the eighth week of the term for which you are enrolled or it will not be reviewed and will be automatically  denied. Appeals will not be reviewed until all requested information has been received. Deadlines for submitting requested additional information will be set and if not received by the due date the student’s appeal will be denied.
  • Appeals for summer must be received by the end of the second week of the first class enrolled.
  • The Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will notify you by email or letter if any additional information is required. You must provide your email address in your appeal.  Deadlines for submitting requested additional information will be set and if not received by the due date the student’s appeal will be denied.
  • Appeals that are handwritten or completed outside of the forms available on the website will not be reviewed unless sufficient justification is given as to why the form could not be typed.

Review

The SAP Committee will review your appeal for reinstatement of aid.

  • The committee will review your individual situation, assessing your current and previous academic performance as well as any documentation submitted to determine whether there is significant justification to warrant an exception to the existing SAP Policy for your individual circumstance.
  • It is important to understand that students submitting appeals have had their financial aid denied.
  • The appeal process is a request for an exception to the SAP policy. Not all circumstances will warrant an exception to the SAP policy.

Notification

You will be notified by mail or email of the committee’s decision.

Appeal Approval

  • If your appeal is approved, you will be sent an academic plan (contract) stating the conditions you must meet by the end of the term to retain eligibility.
  • In the instance where your aid has already been delivered, if the academic plan is not returned within two weeks, your  aid will be cancelled and a bill will be created.
  • Your financial aid will be held until the signed academic plan is returned.
  • Academic plans received after the end of the term in which they were written are no longer valid.

Appeal Denied

  • If your appeal is not approved, you will not receive financial aid until you have met the SAP requirements as listed elsewhere.
  • All decisions of the SAP Committee are FINAL.

Regaining Eligibility

A student may file a new appeal after one of the following has occurred.

  • The student has brought themselves back into compliance with the SAP policy by funding themselves.
  • The student has made sufficient academic progress on their own by funding themselves to warrant another review by the SAP committee.

 

For complete information, please consult the comprehensive Washington State University Satisfactory Academic Progress Handbook listed here in PDF format.

Advisors, Faculty, Staff
In order to best assist your students, OFAS highly encourages advisors to review and reference the SAP Handbook whenever issues regarding SAP eligibility are in question. We encourage its review prior to potentially advising students in situations where they may run into SAP complications. When in doubt, please have the student contact our office and we can ensure compliance.

Announcements

 

 

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday

Summer Counselor Hours: 
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m
Monday-Friday


Student Financial Services, Lighty Building Room 380, Washington State University, PO Box 641068, Pullman WA 99164-1068, 509-335-9711.