Students requesting financial aid are required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) according to federal and state regulations. Academic records are reviewed for all students receiving financial aid and those being considered for financial aid from the following sources:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work Study Program
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP)
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)

The review of a student's SAP status is based on the entire academic record, regardless of whether the student previously received Title IV aid.

A student's SAP status will be calculated at the end of each semester. Students who are below the requirements and who have applied for financial aid, scholarships or other funding will receive a notice from the Financial Aid Office if they are not meeting the SAP requirements.

SAP Status is considered Satisfactory when

  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) is 2.0 or greater
  • Cumulative Completion Rate is 67% or more of credit hours attempted
  • the student completes their program within the maximum timeframe defined as 150% times the program's credits

HOW COURSES AND GRADES ARE USED IN THE CALCULATIONS

Final grades of A, B, C, D or P are considered successful completion. Final grades of F, I, W, AUDIT, or U will NOT count as successful completion. Transfer hours accepted by Sandburg are used in calculating the maximum timeframe and Cumulative Completion Rate.  Developmental credits are used to calculate GPA and Cumulative Completion Rate but are excluded when determining maximum timeframe.

Calculating 67% Cumulative Completion Rate

To calculate this rate, divide the total number of cumulative completed credits by the total number of cumulative attempted credits.

Examples
  • Divide 24 Completed credits by 30 attempted credits
    • Result 80% is above the completion rate required
  • Divide 7 completed credits by 12 attempted credits
    • Result 58% is below the completion rate required

Calculating CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT AVERAGE

Cumulative GPA is determined by dividing the GPA grade points earned by the hours attempted for all courses taken at Carl Sandburg. The number of grade points for a given course is found by multiplying the grade point value (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) by the number of semester hours for the course. Examples are found in the Sandburg Catalog under Grades.

Calculating Maximum Timeframe

Maximum timeframe recognizes that a student may need to retake, withdraw or fail a limited number of courses. Maximum timeframe sets a limit as to the number of courses that a student may retake, fail or withdraw from while pursuing their program of study.  To calculate maximum timeframe, add all credits that count toward the students' degree and compare this to the credits in the program of study multiplied by 150%.

  • Courses with a grade of A, B, C, D, F, W, I, Audit or U are included if the course is part of the student’s program
  • Repeated courses count
  • Developmental credits are excluded
  • When students are enrolled in more than one program, the program with the highest credit hours will be used
  • Once it is determined that a student cannot complete their degree within the 150% limit, all financial aid for the student must be stopped even if he or she has not reached the 150% credit hour limit.
  • It is possible for a student to accumulate more than the 'allowance' in unsuccessful work.  In that case, it becomes statistically impossible to complete the degree within the Maximum Timeframe.  Should this occur, the student can no longer receive financial aid for that program of study.  See example below. 

Example of Maximum Timeframe

A student is enrolled in a program of 62 credits and the 150% limit is 93 credits. The student has enrolled in 94 credits that could count toward the program. The student exceeds the maximum timeframe and can no longer receive financial aid for this program.

Example of Maximum Timeframe Statistically Not Possible

A student is enrolled in a program of 62 credits and the 150% limit is 93 credits. The student has enrolled in 80 credits that could count toward the program. The student still needs to complete 15 credits to meet graduation requirements. Since the student needs 15 credits and only has 13 available (93 limit minus 80 that count) the student can no longer receive any aid to complete that program.

Example of SAP Calculations and Status Changes

Fall semester a new student enrolled in 12 credit hours and successfully completed six credit hours with a GPA of 2.0. The student meets the required GPA but has not completed the required 67% of hours enrolled (6 divided by 12 = 0.5 or 50%). Therefore, the student will be on Warning status for the next semester. In the spring semester, the student is enrolled in 12 credit hours. The total number of credit hours attempted is 24 (12 from fall and 12 from spring). The minimum number of credits the student must successfully complete is calculated by taking the 24 attempted credits x 0.67 (67%) = 16.08 credits. Since the student earned six credits in fall, the student must successfully complete 10.08 or more credits in spring and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

If the same student described above only completes 10 credit hours in the spring semester, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid and is now on Dismissal.
 

SAP STATUS

Satisfactory

Students who meet the completion rate and GPA requirement and are within the maximum timeframe for their program of study are considered Satisfactory. 

Warning

When a student falls below the 67% completion or 2.0 GPA requirements, who was previously considered eligible, will be placed on Warning (see exception for immediate dismissal). During the warning semester, students may receive grants, and are expected to meet the cumulative SAP requirements by the end of the semester.  Loans are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Dismissal

A student who fails to meet the cumulative SAP requirements after Financial Aid Warning is placed on Financial Aid Dismissal and is not eligible to receive financial aid without a successful appeal.  Should the student not wish to appeal, the student must meet SAP requirements before aid eligibility can be re-established. 

Immediate Dismissal

A student who does not complete any course successfully their first semester at Sandburg will be placed immediately on Dismissal and is not eligible to receive financial aid without a successful appeal.  Should the student not wish to appeal, the student must meet SAP requirements before aid eligibility can be re-established.

 

Maximum Timeframe (Max Time)

Once it is determined that a student cannot complete their degree within the 150% limit, the student will be considered in violation of Maximum Time Frame and will no longer qualify for financial aid to complete that program. The student could receive aid if they choose another program. The student would file an appeal to re-evaluate their SAP status based on the new program of study.

Academic Improvement Plan

Academic Improvement Plan may be offered to students who appeal.  This allows a student to continue their education and receive grants with the understanding that the term GPA and completion rate exceeds the cumulative requirements in order to get back to Satisfactory status. The Academic Improvement Plan requires that students meet the following stipulations each semester until they attain Satisfactory status. 

  • Term completion rate of 75% or greater
  • Term GPA of 2.2 or greater
  • Meet with an academic advisor to sign an Academic Improvement Plan agreement during the term you are initially placed on AIP.  Appointments can be made by calling:  Galesburg:  (309)341-5237, Carthage (217)357-3129.
  • Additional requirements may be imposed on a case-by-case basis by the Appeals Committee.

Students who fail to meet any of the above requirements while on Academic Improvement Plan will be placed on Dismissal.

Probation

Students who appeal may be placed on Probation.  During the Probation semester, students may receive grants, and are expected to meet the cumulative SAP requirements by the end of the semester.  Loans are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Satisfactory Progress Appeal

A student who loses financial aid may appeal by completing a SAP Appeal Form

The appeal asks the student to explain extenuating circumstances and what has changed that will allow the student to attain Satisfactory status.   Students are encouraged to submit supporting documentation with their appeal. Appeals are reviewed by a committee, with representatives from Financial Aid, Counseling, and Student Services. The student will be notified in writing within 30 days of the results of their Appeal.  Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, unexpected injury or illness of the student; work schedule change; daycare or transportation problems; or death of a close family member.

Appeal Denied (Dismissal)

Student’s whose appeal is denied may appeal again once they have completed six credit hours at their own expense or have six credits of transfer work taken after the student last attended Sandburg.

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