Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility should not be confused with Hampden-Sydney's Academic Probation and Suspension Policy.  Nor should a student accepted for readmission following these conditions assume that he is eligible for financial aid.

Federal regulations require institutions to establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP).  Reasonable standards are the same as or stricter than the school's standards for students enrolled in the same program who are not Title IV recipients, and contain both qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-related) standards.  Title IV programs include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal College Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized loans), and the Federal PLUS (Parent Loan).  This policy also includes all college-funded grants, scholarships, and loans.

Requirements of the SAP Policy

Qualitative Measure:  Students must achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average by the completion of the fourth semester of enrollment (or equivalent).  The 2.0 cumulative grade-point average must then be maintained until graduation. 

Quantitative Measure:  Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours per academic year. 

Maximum Time Frame Measure:  Students are eligible to receive federal and institutional financial aid for a maximum of 8 semesters. 

The Financial Aid Office will review the academic progress of each student receiving financial aid at the completion of each spring semester once grades have been posted.  Any student who fails to meet one or more of the requirements listed above will be notified by the Financial Aid Office (by mail and e-mail) that his financial aid eligibility has been suspended.  The notification will detail the standard(s) not being met and will outline the appeals process the student can use if extenuating circumstances exist(ed).   

Appeals Process

Students who do not meet satisfactory academic progress requirements may appeal the suspension of their financial aid if they believe that extenuating circumstances apply to their situation.  The appeal should be written by the student, describing these mitigating circumstances, providing any necessary documentation to support their claim, and outlining a course of action to resolve the academic difficulties.  The appeal should be written to the Academic Progress Appeals Committee and mailed or e-mailed in care of the Financial Aid Office.  The student will receive written notification of the committee's decision regarding his appeal.  All appeal decisions addressed by the committee are final and not subject to further review. Reinstatement of any aid originally awarded to a suspended student is at the discretion of the Academic Progress Appeals Committee.

If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation and financial aid eligibility is re-instated for one additional semester.  At the conclusion of that semester, if the student meets all standards of SAP, the Financial Aid Probation status will be removed and the student will be considered in good standing again as it relates to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. 

If the appeal is approved and it is determined that the student will not be able to meet all SAP standards by the end of the next semester, he will be required to work with the Office of Academic Success to create an academic plan, outlining the conditions he must meet each semester until graduation or until he meets all SAP standards again. 

Treatment of Incomplete Grades, Repeat Courses, Transfer Credits and Withdrawals 

Incompletes:  Until an incomplete grade is resolved, it will be counted as an F in the calculation of a student's grade-point average and will not count as completed credits.  If the incomplete grade contributes to the student not meeting one or more of the SAP requirements listed above, his aid will be suspended pending the resolution of the incomplete.

Repeat Courses:  A student may repeat once any previously passed course.  The student, however, will receive credit for the course only once.  The grade from the first time the course was taken will remain on the student's permanent record.  Hours attempted and quality points earned will be counted for both times the course is taken and will be included in the computation of the student's cumulative grade-point average.  A student may repeat a course previously failed until he passes it.  However, all failing grades earned during earlier enrollment in the course remain on the student's permanent record and are included in the computation of the student's cumulative grade-point average. 

Transfer Credits:  Credits earned at another institution and accepted for transfer at Hampden-Sydney College will be counted as completed credit hours when reviewing the quantitative measure of the SAP policy listed above.  However, the grades received with these credits will not affect a student's cumulative grade-point average. 

Withdrawals:  Withdrawn courses do not count as completed credits. 

Reinstatement

If a student loses financial aid eligibility, withdraws in poor academic standing, or is suspended at the end of a semester, he must comply with these satisfactory academic progress standards again before financial aid eligibility will be reinstated.  This may mean the student will need to use his own resources, or obtain a private loan to pay for college expenses until he is again in compliance.  The student can also use the appeals process outlined above if extenuating circumstances exist.