Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

As a standard for participating in any federal student aid program, CSU-Pueblo is required by the U.S. Department of Education to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is making progress toward a degree.  The state of Colorado also requires that students meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to receive any state-funded student assistance.  Both of these requirements are met and apply to CSU-Pueblo institutional financial aid eligibility by measuring student academic performance at the end of each payment period (period of enrollment) against the following qualitative and quantitative standards:

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

2.0 for undergraduate programs, 3.0 for graduate programs

Completion Percentage (Pace)

At least 67%* of all credit hours attempted must have successfully passing grades (all students must complete coursework with successfully passing grades by the end of each period of enrollment or put both current and future financial aid eligibility at risk).  Successfully passing grades are S or D- and higher; all others (U, F, W, IN, IP, NC, and repeated coursework – see below) count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted.

* Please note that for the 2013 / 2014 academic year (through Summer session 2014), the Completion Percentage (Pace) requirement is 75%.

Course repetition

Students are allowed to repeat a course and have it count toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility only once.  Each attempt at the course, however, will count toward a student’s pace, and all prior attempts with lower grades will count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted.  Please note this is specifically in reference to repeating identical coursework at CSU-Pueblo.  Credits accepted as transfer credits that may count as equivalent to coursework offered here at CSU-Pueblo do not count as course repetition.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals do not affect a student’s cumulative GPA for SAP, but count as credit hours attempted toward both pace and maximum time frame.  Please note that a withdrawal (grade of “W”) has great distinction from courses which are simply dropped (no grade and no record of attempt).

Unofficial Withdrawals*

Students who do not earn any passing grades for the period of enrollment (the grade point average for the semester is 0.0) and do not complete the Official Withdrawal process are placed on Financial Aid Suspension (see Evaluation below for more details on Financial Aid Suspension).

* Please note that this portion of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy becomes effective with the Fall 2014 semester.

Incompletes

At the time of evaluation (the end of each period of enrollment), Incompletes (grade of “I”) do not affect a student’s cumulative GPA for SAP, but count as credit hours attempted toward both pace and maximum time frame.  Students with grades of Incomplete which become new letter grades prior to or during a subsequent period of enrollment and that may affect financial aid eligibility for that period of enrollment can contact Financial Aid for further evaluation.

Transfer credit

Transfer credit does not count toward a student’s cumulative GPA for SAP, but does count as both attempted and completed credit hours (100%) toward pace and maximum time frame.

Maximum time frame

Undergraduate students - attempted credit hours may not exceed 150% of the educational program

Graduate students - attempted credit hours may not exceed 100% of the educational program

Note that both Pace and Maximum time frame are measured in credit hours only, regardless of full time or part time attendance.

Evaluation

All students enrolled at CSU-Pueblo are evaluated for SAP at the end of each period of enrollment, after the Records office has released official grades.  Students can find their SAP status within the Financial Aid menu on PAWS.  Listed below are each status and definition:

  • Eligible:  Student is eligible for financial aid.  This category may include students with no SAP issue at all, students who have appealed successfully and have successfully completed their Probation period of enrollment, students who have successfully completed their Probation period of enrollment and are following their Academic Plan, and students who have met SAP after being Ineligible previously.
  • Warning:  Failure to make SAP, but student is financial aid eligible for one more period of enrollment and must make SAP by the end of that period of enrollment or student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.  Warning status is not appealable.
  • Suspension:  Failure to make SAP after a Warning period or students who Unofficially Withdrawal from a period of enrollment (earn no passing grades for the period of enrollment - see Unofficial Withdrawals above), but student is eligible to appeal.  If the appeal is approved, the student can continue financial aid eligibility for another period of enrollment under a Probation status.  Students may also choose not to appeal and attempt to regain financial aid eligibility by meeting SAP while paying out of pocket (without any financial aid).
  • Probation:  Failure to make SAP, but appeal is approved and student is financial aid eligible for one more period of enrollment, or possibly more if following required Academic Plan (which may include documentation requirements not directly related to academic performance).
  • Ineligible:  Failure to make SAP and/or failure to follow required Academic Plan.  This status also applies to appeals that are not approved - the student is not eligible for financial aid until cumulative SAP standards are met and may not appeal. 

Appeal Procedure

All students who have their financial aid eligibility suspended may appeal to the Financial Aid Committee to receive financial aid in a subsequent period of enrollment.  GPA, Pace, and Maximum time frame are all appealable.  There is no form to complete, and contacting Financial Aid is not required, but you may visit a Financial Aid Counselor during our walk in business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday).  Appeals must be in a written format, and:

  • Have student printed name, PID, daytime contact information, and signature
  • Have Academic Advisor name, department, and contact information
  • Include information describing why SAP minimum standards have not been met and how the situation has changed so that SAP will be met at next evaluation
  • Detail any extenuating circumstances, including supporting documentation from a 3rd party (e.g., police reports, detailed hospital bill or physician’s statement, death certificate, etc.)
  • Include enrollment plans for next period of enrollment (e.g., number of credit hours, change in major, Academic Improvement Plan details, any other academic-related documentation, etc.)
  • Be complete and turned in to Financial Aid by the following priority deadlines for each period of enrollment:
    • July 1 for Fall semester
    • Monday before classes begin for Spring semester
    • June 1 for summer

Absolutely no appeals will be reviewed after the first Friday of courses for a given period of enrollment.

Students are notified of their SAP appeal decision via their PAWS account.  Financial Aid Committee decisions are final.  Students whose appeals are not approved may reestablish financial aid eligibility only by meeting the SAP cumulative standards.  Students may appeal SAP only once during their entire enrollment at CSU-Pueblo. 

Academic Plans

All students who appeal successfully and are subsequently placed on Probation will automatically have a minimum Academic Plan consisting of at least 2.0 GPA and 75% completion rate (3.0 GPA and 100% completion rates for graduate students) within subsequent periods of enrollment.  The Financial Aid Committee will further develop Academic Plans for individual students based on the particular situation and content of appeal on a case by case basis.  The requirements of these more rigorous plans will be made in writing and signed by the student prior to a subsequent financial aid disbursement, and the Academic Plans will be monitored by the Financial Aid Committee or designee. 

Note that the SAP policy differs from CSU-Pueblo’s Good Academic Standing policy (see Catalog), and in particular the difference between an SAP Academic Plan and a Student Academic Services Academic Improvement Plan.  The SAP policy reviews both Pace and Maximum time frame, in addition to GPA, and all attempted credit hours are included in reviewing student eligibility, including those excluded by the Records office in Academic Renewal situations.  These two policies also have separate appeal procedures.

This SAP policy is effective Fall 2014, and supersedes all other CSU-Pueblo SAP policies published on the web and/or in prior catalogs. 

Resources

Financial Aid encourages students to be aware of the resources available at Colorado State University-Pueblo to assist those who might be struggling to maintain the required GPA or completion rate for Satisfactory Academic Progress.