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2023-24 Undergraduate Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)     

To be eligible for federal, state and institutional aid, students are required by federal and state guidelines to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree objective. Student academic records will be reviewed at the end of fall and spring semester for students not enrolled in credit bearing courses during J-term, and at the end of J-term and spring semester for students enrolled in a credit bearing course during J-term after grades are transcripted by the Registrar’s Office. All enrollment periods, including summer, must be considered in the determination of SAP, as well as enrolled semesters for which the student did not receive financial aid.

Students are required to pass enough hours (quantitative measure), maintain a grade point average (qualitative measure) and complete their programs within a maximum time frame to be considered making satisfactory progress toward their degree. SAP policies and measures must be adhered to regardless of any changes to majors, minors, or pursuit of a second major or minor.

  • The Office of Financial Aid will be notified of grade changes for students in statuses other than good standing and SAP will be re-evaluated based on the grade change(s).
  • If students elect to change their major during their enrollment at Augustana, they will be held to the maximum time frame rule (150% rule) as noted below. All coursework taken at Augustana will continue to be counted in the Qualitative Measure (GPA) and the Quantitative Measure (Pace) requirements as outlined below. SAP status will be applied in continuation from one major to the next.
  • Full-time enrollment is defined as 12 (or more) course credits per semester.

Qualitative Measure – GPA

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA to remain eligible for financial aid. Students who drop below the minimum cumulative GPA will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Federal regulations require students attain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or ‘C’ average by the end of the second academic year.

Note: Due to Department of Education requirements, students enrolled in a program with a stricter GPA standard than the general college standard (2.0) will have their SAP evaluated based on that higher GPA.

Cumulative Credits Attempted
(including Transfer and AP credits)

Minimum Cumulative GPA
(Transfer and AP credits do not affect calculation of cumulative GPA)







Quantitative Measure (Pace-Cumulative (overall) Progress)

Students must also be making incremental progress (consistently earning credits) at an acceptable pace towards a degree by completing at least two-thirds (67%) of all their attempted credit hours. Students who do not successfully complete at least 67% of all attempted credit hours are placed on Financial Aid Warning.

The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours a student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours a student has attempted. (Transfer and AP credits accepted by Augustana count as both attempted and completed credits.)

"Successfully completed credit" is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, CR, NR and P. 
Credit hours completed with Audits (X), Withdrawals (W), Academic Withdrawals (AW), Incompletes (I), Work in Progress (IP), Missing (M), No Credit (NC) grades and zero-credit courses will not be considered as successfully completed credits. 
Attempted Credits:  Credits are counted as attempted as of the last day to add a class within a semester. Classes that are dropped, withdrawn from or failed after that day will continue to be counted as attempted credits. If a student drops a class after the “add” date, with a “W” on the transcript, that course is counted as an “attempted” course. Incompletes (I), In Progress (IP) and Missing (M) grades are counted as attempted credits but not considered as successfully completed credits until a satisfactory grade has been received. I and M grades are also calculated as F’s in the GPA. Repeat courses are counted as attempted each time the course is taken but will only be counted once in determining completed credits. Courses with a No Credit (NC) grade are counted as attempted credits.

    Audited courses and zero-credit courses are not evaluated in the review of the student’s satisfactory academic progress.

    Remedial coursework will be counted and calculated in the appropriate SAP formulas.

    Repeat courses are counted as attempted credits but only one passing grade is counted towards the credit completion pace rate. The repeat grade is treated in the cumulative GPA in accordance with college policy. Federal and state regulations allow students to repeat coursework as long as the student has not previously passed the course and meets Satisfactory Academic Progress. A passed course is considered any grade higher than an “F” or its equivalent. Once a student passes a course, he/she can only receive federal and/or state funds to repeat the course one more time.

    Transfer and AP credits, on the student academic record, are considered toward the credit completion pace rate and maximum time frame but are not considered in the GPA.

Maximum time frame (to complete the program)

The SAP policy also contains a maximum time frame component which specifies the number of credit hours for which a student may receive federal aid and may not exceed 150% of the credit hours required to complete the degree. The college requires a minimum of 124 credit hours for graduation. For most students, the maximum is considered to be 186 attempted credits. Students are normally expected to complete their degree program by the end of four years of full-time study. Therefore, students will lose their financial aid eligibility after 6 years of full-time enrollment (4 X 150% = 6). (Transfer and AP credits accepted by the college will be counted toward the maximum time frame but will not be counted toward the GPA.) Part-time students must complete their degree program within a maximum of 12 years of enrollment. A review of attempted credit hours is performed at the end of each semester. Students who change majors are still expected to complete their program within the maximum time frames noted.

Note: Institutional funds (merit and need based) are available for a total of 8 semesters.

Monitoring Satisfactory Academic Progress

SAP is monitored at the end of fall and spring semester for students not enrolled in credit bearing courses during J-term, and at the end of J-term and spring semester for students enrolled in a credit bearing course during J-term after grades are transcripted by the Registrar’s Office.

Students who meet all SAP requirements are considered to be in Financial Aid Good Standing and can view this status on Arches.

Students who do not meet SAP requirements jeopardize their eligibility for financial aid and are placed in one of the following statuses: Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Suspension. Students will be notified by letter of their SAP status and may also view the status on Arches.

Financial Aid Warning: Students who fail to meet SAP requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester they enroll at Augustana. During the warning semester, students remain eligible to receive financial aid. At the end of the semester students will again be evaluated for SAP. If he/she has met all SAP requirements, he/she will be removed from Financial Aid Warning and considered in good standing. Students who have not met all SAP requirements will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension: Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of their warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students with  mitigating circumstances may appeal to have their financial aid reinstated. An explanation of the appeal procedure will be included with the status notification letter. Without an approved appeal, students who are on Financial Aid Suspension are not eligible for federal, state, or institutional aid.  

Students may appeal the suspension by submitting an appeal letter.

Appeal procedures for students on Financial Aid Suspension:

For an appeal to be considered the student must either be able to meet SAP requirements by the end of the next semester; or the student must be placed on an academic plan which, if followed, will ensure that the student will be able to meet SAP at a future date. 

An appeal must document extenuating circumstances addressing why the student failed to meet SAP requirements, these may include  but are not limited to 1) a severe injury to the student, 2) a severe illness of the student, 3) a death of an immediate relative of the student, or 4) other unusual circumstances that interrupted his/her ability to perform academically. Appropriate third party documentation (e.g. letter from counselor, minister, priest, etc.) is also required.

Appeals must also address what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to achieve progress and address steps that will be taken to meet the SAP requirements in future semesters.

The decision of the Financial Aid Committee is final. Students will be notified of the committee’s decision via letter.

Appeals will result in one of the following:

    Appeal is denied and student is not eligible for aid for the semester (see Re-Establishing Eligibility below)

    Appeal is granted and student is placed on Financial Aid Probation with an Academic Recovery Plan

Financial Aid Probation with an Academic Recovery Plan

Students who have an approved appeal will be eligible to receive aid on a probationary basis for one semester.

Students on Financial Aid Probation will be reviewed at the end of the semester. 

To continue to receive aid, for the next semester of enrollment, students will be expected to have either met SAP requirements or the following requirements as set forth in their probation letter:

  • Participate and successfully complete Augustana’s Academic Recovery Program. Students must meet with the Director of Advising.
  • Obtain above a 2.0 semester GPA if suspension was due to not meeting the minimum GPA requirement.
  • Earn 100% of all attempted credits if suspension was due to not meeting the minimum 67% completion rate.

Students who do not meet SAP requirements, or the criteria set forth in their probation letter during their probationary semester, will no longer be eligible for financial aid. (See Re-Establishing Eligibility)

Re-establishing eligibility

A student may re-establish eligibility for financial aid by enrolling at the college without the benefit of financial aid until satisfactory academic progress is met. Once a student has met SAP standards by increasing the GPA and/or cumulative (overall) pace, the student may be eligible for financial aid the following semester. Students, who are considering attending another institution, and transferring credit back to Augustana to re-establish eligibility, should discuss this option with the Office of Financial Aid prior to making this decision.

This option is not available to students who are no longer eligible for financial aid due to exceeding their maximum time frame.

Re-admitted students

All students who are readmitted to the college will have their SAP status reviewed. Those re-admitted who are on SAP suspension must submit an appeal. An appeal must be approved before financial aid will be awarded and SAP will be re-evaluated at the end of the semester.

If a student is pursuing a second degree, they are no longer eligible for federal or state grants, but may pursue federal student loans. If so, this new program of study is subject to the above mentioned satisfactory academic progress standards.

Aid is available to assist students in obtaining a degree. A student who completes the academic requirements for a program but does not have the degree is not eligible for further additional federal funds for that program.

Please note: the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy pertains only to the requirements for continued eligibility for financial aid. A separate review for academic standing is performed by the Academic Affairs Office. Their policy is located in the Academic Information section of the Augustana College Catalog under “Academic Standing Policy.” Questions concerning your academic standing should be referred to the Academic Affairs Office.

Updated 11-2023