Satisfactory Progress

SAP The Department of Education requires colleges to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to ensure that only students demonstrating progress toward completion of their academic program continue to receive financial aid.

Academic success measurements differ slightly depending on the type of assistance received.

Maintaining Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid
Southwestern College's policy for monitoring progress measures a student's performance in the following areas: cumulative grade point average (GPA), successful completion of classes and overall pace toward degree, and maximum credit hour limit for completion of degree.  Satisfactory progress measurements are calculated at the end of each semester (summer, fall, spring). 

Cumulative grade point average - students who's work is below the levels described in the academic suspension policy are failling to make minimum progress toward their degree.

  • Undergraduate Academic Suspension Policy (from Office of Registrar). Student's whose semester grade point average is below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters and whose cumulative grade point average is below 2.0 are not making progress toward the degree and therefore will be suspended from the college.  Additionally, students who complete a semester with an "F" average will be suspended.
  • Graduate Academic Suspension Policy (from Office of Registrar).  After completing 12 credit hours of coursework, students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 with no grade below a C or the student will be suspended from the graduate program.  

Successful completion of courses and overall pace toward degree - this measurement examines completion of courses in two ways.  First, it compares the number of credit hours attempted in the most recent completed semester with the number of credit hours earned.  Second, it compares the student's cumulative number of credt hours attempted over the student's academic career with the cumulative number of credit hours earned.  Both ratios must equal 70% or higher to remain in good standing.  The following letter grades do not count toward earned hours, but do count toward the calculation of attempted hours: AU - Audit, F - Failure, I - Incomplete, WD - Withdrawal, WF - Withdraw Failure.

  • Example: Sophomore Gary Goodgrades attempted 18 credit hours in the fall term.  He dropped one 3 credit hour course in the drop/add period with a WD grade and completed the remaining 15 hours with successful grades.  During his freshman year, he attempted and passed 30 total credit hours (15 hours in both fall and spring).  Gary's term completion ratio is 83%  (15 earned hours divided by 18 attempted hours).  Gary's pace to degree ratio is 93% (45 cumulative earned hours divided by 48 attempted hours).

Maximum credit hour limit for degree completion - undergraduate students are eligible to receive federal financial aid for up to 186 attempted credit hours.  Graduate students are eligible to receive federal aid for up to 54 attempted credit hours.  Once a student has exceeded the maximum hours without earning a degree, all financial aid will be suspended for subsequent semesters unless the student submits a successful financial aid appeal.

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Maintaining Eligibility for State Financial Aid
Students receiving Kansas Comprehensive Grant, Kansas State Scholarship and Kansas Ethnic Minority scholarship must maintain full-time status (minimum of 12 credit hours).  A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required to renew all State of Kansas Kansas finandial aid.

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Maintaining Eligibility for Institutional Financial Aid
Except where noted on the scholarships and grants page, Southwestern College institutional financial aid is renewable as long as students maintain full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours) status and a 2.0 cumulative GPA.  Students may experience a reduction if the FAFSA is filed past the April 1 priority deadline or if they choose to live off campus.

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Warning, Probation, Suspension
Students who fail to meet the cumulative GPA, successful completion of classes or pace to degree requirements for satisfactory progress will be placed on warning for one semester.  A student on warning is eligible to receive financial aid for the next semester of attendance.  Students on warning who again fail to meet the progress measurements will be placed on financial aid suspension.  Students placed on suspension are given the chance to appeal the decision.  

Students who exceed the maximum credit hour limit for degree completion will be immediately suspended without a warning period.  Students placed on suspension for this reason will also be given the chance to appeal the decision.

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Conditions for Reinstatement
Students may appeal financial aid suspension by submitting an appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid for consideration by a committee of student services administrators.  Appeal forms are available from the financial aid office and will be mailed along with the notification of suspension.  If an additional copy is required, contact the Office of Financial Aid.  With the exception of three months (January, May and August) appeals are considered once per month.  Deadlines for appeal submission each month are noted on the appeal form.

Special circumstances, such as but not limited to medical problems, illness, death in the family, relocation or employment changes may be considered for an appeal.  Rationale for the special circumstances should be accompanied by documentation in support of the appeal.  The committee will review the contents of the appeal and inform the student of the decision within two weeks of the appeal deadline.  Students who are approved will be sent an academic plan to read, sign and return.  Upon receipt of the signed academic plan, the student will be placed on probation and allowed to once again receive financial aid as long as they meet the requirements of the academic plan.  The committee's decision is considered final and may not be appealed further.  Alternatively, students may choose to pay their expenses using private resources and continue to enroll in subsequent semesters without appealing.  

If a student fails to meet the requirements stated in their academic plan, the financial aid file will again be placed on suspension and the student may choose to pay their expenses using private resources to re-establish eligibility for federal financial aid by rehabilitating their satisfactory progress measurements.

In all circumstances, students will have their financial aid reinstated and will be removed from financial aid warning, suspension or probationary status when all satisfactory academic progress measurements are once again restored.

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