Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Title IV Financial Aid Programs

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Bursar Office

524 West 59th Street
Room L70.00
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.237.8555
Fax: 212.484.1163
Email: bursar@jjay.cuny.edu

Office Hours:  

Mon: 9:00AM - 5:45PM
Tue: 9:00AM - 5:45PM
Wed: 9:00AM - 5:45PM
Thu: 9:00AM - 5:45PM
Fri: 9:00AM - 2:45PM


CUNY's Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standard
The guidelines that follow were first published by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs on May 19, 1995 and have been subsequently revised to satisfy the requirements of the revised SAP regulations set forth in 34 CFR 668.34 which took effect July 1, 2011.

Undergraduate Students
In order to be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, for purposes of receipt of Title IV student financial assistance, an undergraduate student must meet the minimum standards specified below.

A. Minimum GPA – achieve at least the GPA required to meet the college's minimum retention standard, or successfully appeal to be placed on academic probation; if enrolled in a program of more than two years, achieve at least a "C" average, or its equivalent, at the end of the second academic year, or have an academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation.

Credits Attempted

Minimum GPA

5-12

1.50

13-24

1.75

25-upward

2.00

 

B. Maximum Time-frame – may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of the degree.

C. Pace of Progression
For baccalaureate programs, accumulated (or earned) credits must be equal to or greater than a certain percentage of the total credits attempted according to the following:

Cumulative Attempted Credits From

Cumulative Attempted Credits To

Cumulative Earned %Credits

SAP Status

25

30

15%

PASS

31

36

25%

PASS

37

45

35%

PASS

46

48

40%

PASS

49

48

45%

PASS

61

72

50%

PASS

73

94

55%

PASS

95

120

60%

PASS

121

129

61%

PASS

130

138

62%

PASS

139

150

63%

PASS

151

151

64%

PASS

152

156

65%

PASS

157

164

66%

PASS

165

180

67%

PASS

181

999.999

99.99%

FAIL


Examples of Progression

Attempted

15

30

45

60

75

90

105

120

135

150

165

180

Credits Earned

0

5

16

27

39

50

61

72

84

95

106

120


All undergraduate students (whether aid recipients or not) will be measured against each of the three SAP components at the end of the spring term to determine eligibility for receipt of Title IV student financial assistance in the upcoming year.


Graduate Students
In order to be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, for purposes of receipt of Title IV Federal Student Assistance, a graduate student must meet the minimum standards specified below.

  • Minimum GPA – maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better, or have an academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation.
  • Maximum Time-frame – may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of the degree.
  • Pace of Progression – must accumulate credits toward the degree greater than or equal to two-thirds the cumulative credits attempted at the institution.

All graduate students will be measured against each of the three SAP components at the end of the spring term to determine eligibility for receipt of Title IV student financial assistance in the upcoming year.

Students who fail to meet the college’s minimum retention standard but successfully appeal to be placed on academic probation are considered to be meeting the qualitative standard of progress for receipt of Title IV student financial assistance.


Financial Aid Suspension
Undergraduate students who do not meet the minimum undergraduate standard and graduate students who do not meet the minimum graduate standard will be placed on financial aid suspension and lose their eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs. Students on financial aid suspension will remain ineligible for Title IV federal student assistance until they take actions that once again bring them into compliance with the appropriate progress standard.


Right to Appeal
Students who have been placed on financial aid suspension may appeal through the normal institutional academic appeals process to retain eligibility for Title IV assistance. Students may appeal any component of the SAP standard they have not been able to meet including not meeting the minimum GPA and exceeding the maximum time-frame for program completion.

An appeal must be based upon mitigating circumstances resulting from events such as personal illness or injury, illness or death of a family member, loss of employment, or changes in the academic program. The student’s appeal must include: a) the reasons why the student failed to make SAP and b) what has changed in his or her situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation.

The appeal may be granted if the school:

  • Determines that the student will be able to meet the appropriate SAP standard by the end of the next payment period (semester); OR
  • Develops an academic plan for the student that, if followed, will ensure that the student will be able to meet the appropriate SAP standard by a specific point in time.

Title IV appeals will be reviewed by a college committee, made up of representatives from Counseling, SEEK, Student Affairs, Financial Aid and Registrar’s Offices, who can make an accurate academic assessment of the student’s capability to meet the appropriate SAP standard by the next payment period/semester. If the committee determines that the student should be able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next semester, the student may be placed on financial aid probation without an academic plan.

If the committee determines that the student will require more than one payment period to meet SAP, it may develop an individual academic plan that outlines a detailed strategy for the student to regain SAP eligibility within a certain probationary time-frame. The plan can be for one payment period/semester or longer. The academic plan should specify conditions that must be met for the period covered by the appeal such as: the specific coursework that must be taken, the minimum GPA that must be attained, and the number of credits that must be successfully completed.


Financial Aid Probation
A student who has been granted an appeal will be placed on financial aid probation. Students in this status have their eligibility for Title IV program assistance reinstated for one payment period (semester). At the end of the probationary semester, the college will review the student’s academic progress to determine whether the student has met the appropriate SAP standard or has fulfilled the requirements specified in the student’s academic plan. A student who once again meets the appropriate progress standard after the probationary semester will continue to receive Title IV assistance until the next scheduled progress evaluation. Students who meet all the conditions of their academic plan at the end of the probationary semester will continue to receive Title IV assistance on a monitored, semester by semester basis until the next scheduled progress evaluation.

There is no limit on the number of times a student may follow the financial aid appeals procedure. Although a student may file only one appeal per payment period (semester), additional appeals to extend financial aid probation to subsequent semesters are allowed. As in the original appeal, the student would indicate the mitigating circumstances, the reasons why SAP was not achieved, and what has changed that will ensure the student will be able to meet SAP at the next evaluation. If a student fails to meet the conditions of an approved academic plan, he or she may submit an additional appeal to modify or adjust the plan for the subsequent payment period(s) documenting any unusual circumstances that prevented them from meeting the goals established by the original plan. The college may approve or decline the subsequent appeal and may create an updated plan based on the information submitted.


Re-establishing Eligibility
Other than having eligibility restored through filing a successful appeal, a student on financial aid suspension may regain eligibility only by taking action that brings him or her into compliance with the appropriate progress standard. The mere passage of time is insufficient to restore Title IV eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility due to not meeting the SAP standard. Therefore, students may not re-establish eligibility solely by leaving the institution for at least one year because this action, by itself, would not bring the student into compliance for Title IV SAP.

Students who choose to remain enrolled without receiving Title IV aid may request a review of their academic record after any term in which they were on financial aid suspension to determine if they were able to re-attain the appropriate standard.

If a student is on financial aid suspension at the beginning of the academic year for not meeting one or more components of the school’s SAP standard, but meets them at some point later in the academic year, the student may regain Title IV eligibility as follows:

Federal Pell Grant/Campus-based Funds
For Pell Grant and campus-based programs, the student regains eligibility retroactively to the beginning of the most recent payment period during which the student once again met the school’s satisfactory academic progress standards, unless the school’s satisfactory progress policy provides for reinstatement of eligibility at some later point.

Federal Direct Loan Programs
For Federal Direct program funds, the student regains eligibility for the entire period of enrollment. Again, this period generally coincides with the entire academic year, unless the school’s satisfactory academic progress policy provides for reinstatement of eligibility at some later point.


Treatment of Non-Standard Situations

1. Readmitted Students
A student not making SAP cannot re-establish eligibility for Title IV program assistance by re-enrolling after a one year or longer period of non re-enrollment. Upon readmission after any period of non re-enrollment, the student’s Title IV progress standing must be reevaluated for SAP under the standard as the record stood at the end of their last term of attendance. If the student has taken any action during the period of non re-enrollment that would bring him or her into compliance with the progress standard (e.g., successfully completing transferable courses at another institution during the period of absence), this should also be factored into the reassessment. If the readmitted student has not taken any such action, or if the action taken is not sufficient to bring the student back into compliance with the progress standard, the student remains on financial aid suspension and must file a successful appeal to re-establish eligibility.

2. Second Degree Students
Students enrolling for a second baccalaureate, graduate or associate degree shall have their pace of progression status initialized for purposes of satisfactory academic progress measurement by using the number of credits determined to be acceptable toward the degree as both the students’ cumulative attempted credits and cumulative earned credits.

3. Change of Major
Students who change majors within the same degree or certificate program must complete the degree within the maximum time-frame, unless the institution has allowed for such changes by establishing various time-frames for different programs leading to the degree or by individually re-evaluating the time-frame for these students.

4. Change of Degree
If a student changes his or her objective and begins pursuing a different degree or certificate, the institution may make the student subject to the maximum time-frame it establishes for the new objective without regard to time spent pursuing the previous degree or certificate. The institution also has the flexibility to develop a policy that is more restrictive and limits the student to an overall time-frame for the completion of his or her studies.