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 Direct (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 at least the minimum cumulative grade-point average indicated below corresponding to the number of semesters they have been enrolled at Hampden-Sydney.  A student may have an academic scholarship that requires a higher cumulative grade-point average, though. 

Number of Semesters Enrolled at the College






6 or more

Cumulative Grade-Point Average




Students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average in order to graduate. 

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. Therefore, if a student is only meeting the minimum 24 credits per academic year requirement, he will need to take courses during May Term or the summer if approved for transfer credit by Hampden-Sydney College. 

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 or 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 and it is determined that the student can meet all SAP standards by the end of the next semester, he will be 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 provided with 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:  Adding and dropping repeated courses: A student may re-enroll only in a course at Hampden-Sydney College in which a grade of C- or below has already been received. If the student drops the course before its completion, the former grade and degree credit (if any) will remain as the grade of record. Degree credit is awarded only once for any course.

Limits on repeating courses: For the first 3 courses repeated by a student (whether or not these arise from the same or distinct courses), the new grade will, in all cases, replace the original grade as the grade of record for the purpose of calculating the student’s grade-point average. Although the original grade will remain on the student’s transcript, it will not be included in the calculation of the student’s grade-point average. If the student attempts the repetition of more than 3 courses, all grades beyond the first 3 courses will be grades of record and computed in the grade-point average.

Repeating a course that is a prerequisite for a course already taken: After receiving a grade in the original course, a student may not repeat that course after having passed another course for which the original course is a specific prerequisite. 

Repeating a course in which the student received a WF: Although students may repeat courses in which they received a WF, the WF cannot be replaced.

Honor offenses: Grades received as the result of conviction for an honor offense cannot be replaced.

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. 


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.