SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

Federal Financial Aid regulations require Amberton University to monitor students’ progress towards earning a degree. If a student is a financial aid recipient, he or she must meet the University’s minimum progress standards to remain eligible for federal financial aid. If the student is not a federal financial aid recipient and would like to apply for federal financial aid, s/he must meet these minimum progress standards to receive federal financial aid. Failure to meet any one of these minimum requirements will result in the student losing financial aid eligibility. The four components of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy are: 

  1. Degree Seeking Program – A student must be enrolled in a degree seeking program to receive financial aid; AND
  2. Quantitative Measure – A student must complete at least 75% of his/her attempted term hours with a grade of “D” or better; AND
  3. Qualitative Measure – A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for undergraduates or maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for graduates; AND
  4. Time Frame Maximum – Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the credit hours required for the degree program. 

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring that all students applying for or receiving federal, state of Texas, or designated institutional financial aid funds, are meeting these standards. The Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply for all applicable financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Direct Loans, PLUS Loans. (Amberton University does not participate in any Federal Title IV Financial Aid, except the Federal Pell Grant.) 

These standards are applied to a student’s entire academic history at Amberton, including periods when financial aid was not received.If a student meets these standards, he/she is eligible to be considered for Title IV, HEA federal financial aid. If a student does not meet these standards, he/she is not eligible to receive Title IV, HEA federal financial aid.  Procedures for re-establishing federal financial aid eligibility are described in this policy statement. 

For the purposes of this policy statement, “Financial Aid” is defined as all federally funded aid programs and all state-funded student assistance programs. It does not include private funds or private education loans. 

In this policy, “eligible for financial aid” means that a student meets the standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility but must also meet all other financial aid requirements in order to receive financial aid.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Criteria

In order to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements, financial aid applicants and recipients must meet the qualitative and quantitative measurements outlined below: 

1.Degree Seeking Program:

A student must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program to receive federal financial aid. A regular student is defined as a student who is enrolled for the purpose of obtaining a degree offered by Amberton University. A student who is not officially declared as degree seeking is not eligible for federal financial aid. 

2.Quantitative Measure - Minimum semester credit hour completion rate:

In an effort to help students complete their programs on time, Amberton University has selected a Quantitative measure of 75%. A student must earn 75% of the credit hours attempted in an academic year (summer, fall, winter, spring) in order to continue to receive financial aid. Only grades of A,B,C, and D are considered passing grades. All other grades will be counted as if the student received a letter grade of F. The formula used to figure your completion rate is to divide the hours completed by the hours attempted. 

Example: An undergraduate student registers for 12 hours in the Fall Session and drops to 9 hours after the drop/add period. The student goes on to complete all 9 credit hours in the Fall Session with a grade of D or better. In the Winter Session, the same student registers for 12 credit hours and goes on to complete all 12 credit hours with a grade of D or better. For the Spring Session, the student again enrolls for 12 credit hours but drops to 6 credit hours after the drop/add period. The student completes the remaining 6 credit hours with a grade of D or better. Does the student meet the quantitative measure of the AU Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy?

Evaluation:

Fall Session credit hours attempted (12)+Winter Session credit hours attempted (12)+Spring Session credit hours attempted (12)= 36 attempted credit hours 

Fall Session credit hours completed (9)+Winter Session credit hours completed (12)+ Spring Session credit hours completed (6)=27 completed credit hours

Total credit hours completed (27) divided by total credit hours attempted (36)=75% completion rate

In this example, the student does meet the minimum requirement and will retain his/her financial aid eligibility.

 

3.Qualitative Measure – Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA):

Graduate Degree students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. All undergraduate degree programs at Amberton University require students to earn a GPA of at least 2.0 to meet the GPA requirements for graduation. Any undergraduate student whose GPA falls below 2.0 will lose financial aid eligibility. Graduate students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 to meet graduation standards and to retain eligibility for federal financial aid. 

Example: An undergraduate student starts in the Summer Session and earns a 1.9 GPA. After completing the Fall Session, his GPA improves to a 2.1. Upon completion of the Winter Session, the student’s GPA again falls to a 1.9. After the Spring Session, the GPA improves to a 2.5. Does the student retain federal financial aid eligibility?

 Yes!  Amberton University checks for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the conclusion of the Spring Session.  The student maintained the minimum GPA requirement at the time Amberton University performed the SAP Evaluation.

4.Time Frame Maximum:

Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the credit hours required for the degree program. Federal regulations require that Amberton University place a maximum timeframe in which a student can receive federal financial aid to complete a program of study. Amberton University allows students to attempt 150% of the required credit hours it takes to complete the student’s degree of choice. If a student attempts more than 150% of the credit hours needed to complete his/her degree program, the student loses federal financial aid eligibility.

Example: An undergraduate student is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, which will take 120 hours to earn. How many hours can this student attempt and still retain federal financial aid eligibility?

In this example, the student can attempt 180 credit hours before losing federal financial aid eligibility.

Students enrolled in eligible licensure and certificate programs may receive financial aid only for those courses that are required to complete the license or certificate program.

General Information on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Transfer StudentsAmberton University will use your transfer hours to calculate your maximum timeframe to determine financial aid eligibility. Cumulative grade point average will be calculated on work completed only at Amberton University. 

Incomplete Courses - If a coursework extension is approved, an Incomplete will be given for 30 days and will not be considered in the GPA. If the Incomplete is changed to a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F, it will be calculated into the GPA. 

Withdrawals - An official withdrawal from a course will be marked as a “W” and will not be calculated into the GPA. Merely ceasing to attend class does not constitute an official withdrawal and may result in the student receiving a failing grade for the course.

Appeals Process

If a student does not meet Amberton University’s minimum SAP standards and loses his/her federal financial aid eligibility, the student may file an appeal to have his/her financial aid reinstated. These appeals are generally based upon extenuating circumstances that occurred during the academic year that may have caused the student’s GPA or completion rate to decline. These extenuating circumstances might include: prolonged illness, accidents that require the student’s hospitalization or the hospitalization of an immediate family member, and/or the death of an immediate family member, or another type of special extenuating circumstance. 

The student must provide information as to why he or she did not make SAP and what has changed and improved that will allow the student to make SAP by the next evaluation point.

All appeals submitted to the Financial Aid Office MUST have documentation attached before presented for consideration by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Students should submit their appeals no later than July 15 of each year. A completed Appeals Form must have appropriate documentation attached to the form to verify and support the purpose of the appeal.  The decision made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final. 

Financial Aid Probation

Upon approval of a student’s appeal, the student will be placed on financial aid probation and federal financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. If a student is placed on financial aid probation, his/her SAP will be checked after each term completed until the student either loses financial aid eligibility through financial aid suspension or the student proves a satisfactory progression toward earning his/her degree. To prove a satisfactory progression toward earning a degree, the student must complete 100% of the courses attempted for the term the student is under probation with a GPA of 2.0 or higher for undergraduates or a GPA of 3.0 or higher for graduates. If the student does not complete all attempted hours and/or does not meet GPA requirements, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension and will lose financial aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to impose different standards of a student’s probation based on the severity of the student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress offense.

Financial Aid Suspension

If the student’s appeal is denied, he/she will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not receive financial aid. To regain financial aid eligibility, the student will need to attempt and complete, at the student’s own expense, the same number of hours attempted before the student was placed on financial aid suspension. The hours must be attempted at Amberton University.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Evaluation/Appeals Procedures

  1. The student’s academic record is reviewed once a year in May after the conclusion of the Spring Session.
  2. The Financial Aid Office notifies suspended students (students who failed to meet SAP standards) of their status and provides access to the Financial Aid Appeals Form.
  3. Student completes the Financial Aid Appeals Form, attaches appropriate documentation, and files appeal with the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Financial Aid Appeals Committee meets and determines outcome of the appeal.
  5. Financial Aid Administrator informs student of the outcome of the appeal.
  6. Student may be able to reapply for federal financial aid as determined by the outcome of the Appeals Committee.