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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require students who are receiving Title IV (federal) financial aid to make deliberate and measurable progress toward their degree to continue to receive these funds. This requirement is referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress or SAP. At Loyola, SAP standards apply to students receiving assistance from federal aid programs (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal TEACH Grant), state funds, and Loyola need-based aid.

The Office of Financial Aid evaluates academic progress annually upon completion of the spring semester, after grades are reported. The review is based on the entire academic record, even if a student did not receive financial aid for a previous semester(s) of enrollment.

SAP measures academic performance based on three standards: cumulative grade point average (GPA), pace, and maximum timeframe. To be eligible for financial aid, students must comply with all three requirements. 

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students completing their first year at Loyola must have a cumulative GPA of 1.8 or better and 2.0 or better each year thereafter.

Pace

Students must successfully complete at least 66.67 percent of cumulative credit hours attempted. To calculate pace, divide the cumulative number of credits successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted.

For example, if a student successfully completes 24 credits but attempted 30, the student鈥檚 pace is 80 percent (24 / 30 = 80%)

Maximum Time Frame

Students must complete required coursework within 150% of the published program length.

For example, a student must complete a 120-credit hour program within 180 attempted hours

Treatment Of Grades and Courses

  • Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, and F are included in the cumulative GPA calculation.
  • Credits with grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, P, and S are considered both attempted and completed.
  • Credits with grades of F, NC, U, NG, NR, and GL are considered attempted but not completed.
  • Incomplete (I) grades are not included in the GPA calculation and count as attempted but not completed credits until the coursework is graded with a permanent grade.
  • Withdrawal (W) grades received after the add/drop period are not included in the GPA calculation and count as attempted but not completed.
  • Credits for which an enrolled student receives grades of all W due to an approved personal or medical leave of absence and/or otherwise officially withdraws during the semester count as attempted but not completed.
  • Credits for which an enrolled student receives grades of all F because they cease attending (unofficially withdraw) during the semester count as attempted but not completed.
  • Accepted transfer credits are considered both attempted and completed. Transfer credits are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation.
  • Courses taken because of a change in major or degree program result in all courses considered in the pace and maximum timeframe requirements.
  • Courses taken for Audit are not eligible for financial aid and therefore, not included in the SAP calculation.
  • Repeated courses count as attempted and completed credits.
  • Students may receive financial aid for repeating a previously passed course (D or better) only once.
  • Students may receive financial aid for repeating a failed course until a passing grade (D or better) is received.

Losing Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who fail to maintain the minimum standards for pace, maximum timeframe, and/or fail to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA requirements are ineligible to receive financial aid in subsequent semesters. The Office of Financial Aid will notify students who do not meet the SAP requirements via email at their Loyola email address. A student鈥檚 SAP status, satisfactory or unsatisfactory, is also displayed in the financial aid self-service portal.

Re-Establishing Financial Aid Eligibility

Students may re-establish eligibility for financial aid in one of the following ways:

  1. The student takes classes and pays for tuition and other charges as applicable without the help of financial aid and does well enough in the coursework to satisfy SAP at the end of the subsequent semester(s).
  2. The student submits a successful appeal - see procedures below. Students who are beyond the maximum time frame to completion may regain financial aid eligibility on a semester-by-semester basis through the appeal process.

Appeal Process

Students who wish to appeal must submit the following to the Office of Financial Aid:

  1. A written letter or email describing extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the SAP requirements AND the course of action or change that will allow them to make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.

    Appeal circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may include but are not limited to:

    • Student becomes seriously ill
    • Student is severely injured
    • Student鈥檚 relative dies
    Other cases may be considered if they are determined to have caused physical or psychological stress on a student. An appeal may not be based upon the need for funds nor the lack of knowledge that eligibility for aid was in jeopardy.
  2. An academic plan created with and signed by your academic advisor or an advisor from the Academic Advising and Support Center demonstrating how you will achieve SAP by a specific point in time. Your academic plan should reflect realistic and attainable goals and may include necessary courses to achieve satisfactory academic progress standards. Your academic plan could take you to completion of your program rather than meeting SAP standards at a specific point in time as determined by your advisor.

To expedite your appeal, submit all documents together and be as detailed as possible in your personal statement.

Deadline to Appeal

  • September 15 to receive aid in the fall
  • January 30 to receive aid in the spring

Appeal Decision

The Office of Financial Aid SAP Committee will review an appeal once all required documents are submitted. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation and will be eligible to receive financial aid for one semester. A student may re-establish eligibility by meeting the SAP standards or the conditions set forth in their academic plan.

  • If after the probationary semester, the student is meeting the minimum SAP requirements, the probationary status will be removed, and the student will continue to be eligible for financial aid.
  • If after the probationary semester, the student is not meeting minimum SAP requirements, but they are meeting the terms of their academic plan, their academic plan is rolled over to the next semester and the student will continue to be eligible for financial aid. SAP will be re-evaluated upon completion of that semester.
  • If after the probationary semester the student is not meeting the minimum SAP requirements or the terms of their academic plan, they will be ineligible from receiving financial aid in subsequent semesters. If aid is suspended after probation, the student may submit another appeal.

If the SAP appeal is denied, the student may attend without financial aid to re-establish eligibility. A period of non-enrollment is insufficient to re-establish eligibility. 

Students will be notified of their SAP appeal decision via email at their Loyola email address.

Financial Aid Probation is Not the Same as Academic Probation

Please note that the SAP policy applies to financial aid eligibility and is separate from the academic standards required by the University for continued enrollment. However, if a student is academically suspended or placed on academic probation, the student is also considered to have failed SAP.

Students Returning to Loyola After a Year or More Absence

If a student previously left Loyola after failing to meet the minimum SAP requirements returns and wishes to re-establish eligibility for financial aid, they must follow the procedures listed above.

All information is subject to change based on changes to federal law, regulation, or university policy and procedure. If changes are made, students must abide by the new policy.