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Satisfactory Academic Progress 2011-2012

In this Section
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal, Institutional, and New York State Financial Aid

A. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Federal and Institutional Aid


A-1: Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion
A-2: PACE Standards
A-3: Qualitative Standards - Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
A-4: Warning Term
A-5: Appeal Process
A-6: Repeated Courses
A-7: Academic Grade Changes & Incompletes
A-8: Readmitted Students

The US Department of Education has issued new Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, effective July 1, 2011. These requirements are part of the Program Integrity Final Regulations issued on October 29, 2010.


The revised Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy that follows includes the requirements of the Program Integrity Regulations and is effective at the beginning of the Fall 2011 term.  All undergraduate students will be evaluated based on the revised standards at the conclusion of the Fall 2011 term and at the end of each subsequent term of attendance.  All students are encouraged to become familiar with the policy as eligibility for federal and institutional aid may be an important factor in being able to continue one’s education at Clarkson.

Students must maintain SAP to retain eligibility for federal and institutional financial aid.   SAP is comprised of three areas as required by federal regulations.  A student must complete their degree within a specified period, demonstrate PACE by earning a minimum percentage of attempted credit hours and maintain a cumulative GPA that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements.  Some institutional scholarships (i.e. Honors, Merit, Endowed and Sponsored Scholarships) may require higher academic achievement than the standards outlined in this section. Students with questions regarding specific scholarships are advised to contact their Student Administrative Services (SAS) representative.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid are based on a student’s cumulative record and are separate from Academic Standing determinations.  A student who is on academic warning, academic probation, or has been approved to continue after separation retains financial aid eligibility provided the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid  (detailed below) are met. 

Federal regulations require institutions to evaluate Financial Aid SAP at the end of the Fall, Spring and Summer terms.   Both full-time and part-time enrollment status must be evaluated as well as periods of enrollment during which the student did not receive financial aid.  

A-1. Maximum time frame for degree completion (top)

Federal regulations specify that a student must complete his/her degree within 150% of the published length of the program. The maximum time frame at Clarkson is measured in attempted hours. A student must earn 120 credits to receive a Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, to retain financial aid eligibility, the maximum time frame to complete the program for full time students cannot exceed 180 attempted credit hours, 6 years, or 12 terms, whichever comes first. A part-time student cannot exceed 180 attempted credit hours. A student pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree concurrently with the first Bachelor’s degree must complete the additional required coursework within the 150% time frame period. There are no appeals to the maximum time frame policy.

Credits counted in the maximum time are all attempted credits and include:
  • Earned hours – Passed (A-D), Pass (P)
  • Repeated Courses – all attempts – refer to the REPEATED COURSE section for detailed information.
  • Withdrawal (LW) and (W) – Maximum time frame regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of ‘W”.
  • Failure (F)
  • Incomplete (I)
  • All accepted transfer credits (including consortium agreements and Study Abroad courses) & test credit (T)
  • All courses attempted at Clarkson, even if they are not used to meet degree requirements.
A-2. PACE Standards  (top)

PACE is defined by federal regulations as steady progress towards degree completion within the 150% time frame.

Clarkson is required to measure a student’s PACE as a percentage as indicated below:
Cumulative # of Earned Hours / Cumulative # of Attempted Hours

Earned credit hours include:
  • Grades of A, B, C, D or P (with credit)
  • All accepted transfer credits and (including consortium agreements & Study Abroad courses) & test credits (T)

Attempted credit hours include:
  • Earned hours – Passed (A-D), Pass (P)
  • Repeated Courses – all attempts – refer to the REPEATED COURSE section for detailed information.
  • Withdrawal (LW) and (W) - PACE regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of ‘W”.
  • Failure (F)
  • Incomplete (I)
  • All accepted transfer credits (including consortium agreements & Study Abroad courses) and test credit (T)
  • All courses attempted at Clarkson, even if they are not used to meet degree requirements.

The chart below ( following #3 ) indicates the PACE required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid.

A-3. Qualitative Standards - Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) (top)

Federal regulations require the student to meet minimum cumulative GPA standards to retain eligibility for aid. As indicated in the following chart, after 60 attempted credit hours a student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to be eligible for financial aid.

Grades earned in prior attempts of repeated courses are excluded from the GPA calculation.

The following chart is used to evaluate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the conclusion of each term the student was enrolled. Fall 2011 is the first term that will be evaluated.

New Transfer Students are placed on the chart based on the number of transfer credits that have been accepted by Clarkson.

Cumulative Attempted Credit Hours

PACE
Minimum required percentage of earned credit hours divided by attempted credit hours
Minimum GPA
Based on the Cumulative Attempted Credit Hours
0-15 50% 1.00
16-30 50% 1.25
31-45 67% 1.50
46-60 67% 1.75
61-180 67% 2.00

A-4. Financial Aid Warning Term (top)

A student who does not meet both the PACE and GPA standards is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid. The student is notified by the Financial Aid Office that he/she is on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent term of attendance. During the Financial Aid Warning Term, the student retains eligibility for both federal and institutional aid.

A student who meets both the PACE and GPA standards at the conclusion of the Warning Term is again meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid and is eligible for federal and institutional aid for the subsequent term of attendance.

A student who does not meet both the PACE and GPA standards at the conclusion of the Financial Aid Warning Term is notified by the Financial Aid Office that he/she is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid and is ineligible for federal and institutional aid. The student is also notified of the Appeal Process.

A student may have more than one Financial Aid Warning Term; however they may not be consecutive.

A-5. Appeal Process (top)

A student may file an appeal based on catastrophic or extraordinary circumstances “beyond the student’s control,” such as personal illness or injury, or the death, illness or injury of a family member, relative or close personal friend. A student is allowed to appeal once based on a change of major and once due to severe adjustment issues as a freshman or new transfer student provided that the appeal is needed based on performance after the first two terms of attendance.

There are 3 required elements of an appeal:
  1. A written statement from the student - Federal regulations require a student who is requesting an appeal to submit a written statement explaining:
    • Why the student was not able to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards.
    • What has changed that will allow the student to meet the standards at the conclusion of the academic plan (see #3 below).
  2. Supporting documentation - A student requesting an appeal must submit supporting documentation such as a physician’s written statement to substantiate illness or accident, a copy of a death certificate or newspaper obituary, a written statement from clergy, family member(s), or other third party familiar with the student’s situation, or a written statement from an academic advisor, professor or counselor.
  3. Development of an Academic Plan - As part of the appeal, the student must work with a Program Administrator to develop an academic plan. The academic plan is designed to enable the student to meet both PACE and GPA standards at the conclusion of the plan. An academic plan may entail one to four terms and includes specific requirements the student must achieve. Although the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, federal and institutional aid is reinstated for one term.

A student interested in filing an appeal must begin the process by contacting the Dean of Students Office at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the term he/she wishes to receive financial aid.

A student filing an appeal must authorize the release of pertinent information as part of an investigation of the facts concerning the failure to meet satisfactory academic progress standards.

Each appeal will be investigated and reviewed by the Dean of Students in conjunction with faculty members from the student’s program of study as well as other Clarkson University personnel as necessary.

The Dean of Students will make a recommendation to approve or deny the appeal and notify the Office of Financial Aid.

The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student by e-mail of the final decision.

Upon approval of an appeal including an academic plan the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next term of attendance.

At the end of the Financial Aid Probationary term, the student will be evaluated according to the requirements specified in the academic plan. Provided that the student is successfully meeting the conditions of the plan, the student may continue to receive federal and institutional aid for the subsequent term. In cases in which an academic plan includes more than one term, the student will be evaluated at the end of each term. If the student continues to meet the requirements of the plan, the student remains eligible for financial aid.

A student who does not meet the conditions of the academic plan or whose appeal is denied is no longer eligible for federal and institutional aid at Clarkson until both standards are met. A student who is ineligible for aid may regain eligibility by:
  1. Taking courses at Clarkson without receiving federal or institutional aid that raises their GPA to the minimum standards and/or increases earned hours to the minimum PACE requirements. The student must contact their SAS representative at the end of the term to request an evaluation of their financial aid satisfactory academic progress standing and financial aid eligibility.
  2. Transferring in course credit - A transferred course must count toward degree requirements. A minimum of a “C” is required for transfer credits. Transfer credits are included in both attempted and earned hours. Transfer credits for repeated courses may have an effect on the GPA. Transfer credits for non-repeated courses have no effect on the GPA. Transfer credits must be received by the 10th day of the term in order to be used in the SAP determination for that term. Transfer credits received after the 10th day of the term will have no effect on a student’s SAP status for the term.
A-6. Repeated Courses  (top)

Courses in which a grade of F or W is recorded on a student’s transcript may be repeated a maximum of 2 times.
  • The earned hours are counted once.
  • The attempted hours are counted each time and may be used to establish full-time enrollment status.
  • The student may receive financial aid for these course repeats.

Courses in which a student has previously earned credit (A, B, C, D)
  • One course repeat per term may be used to establish full-time enrollment status. If a student is repeating more than one course during a term, only one course can be used toward full-time enrollment status.
  • Each course may be repeated once for financial aid eligibility and to establish full-time enrollment status.
  • The attempted hours are counted each time.
  • The earned hours are counted once.
  • The grade from the prior completion(s) is excluded from the GPA calculation.
A-7. Academic Grade Changes and Incompletes (top)

For purposes of determining SAP for federal and institutional financial aid, all grade changes including incompletes must be submitted to SAS prior to the 10th day of the subsequent term. This deadline may differ from academic departmental guidelines. The student must contact their SAS representative to request a recalculation of SAP. Any academic grade changes occurring after the 10th day of the term will have no effect on a student’s SAP status for that term.

A-8. Readmitted Students (top)

A student who has left the University for one or more terms and has been readmitted will have Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid reviewed at the time of readmission. Transfer credits must be received prior to the 10th day of the term in order to be included in the SAP determination.

If the student is determined to be meeting SAP, federal and institutional aid will be offered provided the student meets all other eligibility requirements.

If it is determined that the student is not meeting SAP, the student will be notified by letter of his/her status and the appeal process.

There is no guarantee that a readmitted student will receive the same type or amount of institutional aid they received during prior terms.


B. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for New York State Aid

B-1: Reinstatement of Good Academic Standing
B-2: One-time TAP Waiver
B-3: Part-time TAP

New York State aid includes the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Veteran Scholarships and other merit based scholarships. NYS Legal Residency is required. For dependent students, parent NYS residency is also required.

Students must apply for TAP and other state scholarships at www.hesc.com after filing the FAFSA. The amount of the award is determined by the TAP division of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Students are notified directly by HESC of the amount of their award.

TAP can only be credited toward tuition charges. For students who receive other tuition only scholarships or grants, the total of TAP and the other aid cannot exceed the tuition charge.

TAP and other scholarships require matriculation in a degree program and enrollment in a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Students whose enrollment status is less than full-time at the end of the drop period are ineligible for TAP for that term.

In order to receive TAP and scholarships a student must meet specific academic standards. Evaluations occur at the end of each semester. Good academic standing for TAP involves two components:
  1. Pursuit of Program - HESC regulations require that a student receive a passing or failing grade in a certain percentage of courses each term, depending on the number of state awards the student has received. A completion for TAP includes the grades of A, B, C, D, and F. During the first 2 semesters, a student must complete at least 50% of a full time load, during the 3rd and 4th semesters – 75% and in all subsequent semesters, a student must complete 100% of a full time load. Students who do not meet the pursuit of program requirements will lose good academic standing and are not eligible for an award for the next semester.
  2. Satisfactory Academic Progress - Effective July 1,2011 New York State enacted revised regulations regarding satisfactory academic progress. The regulations changed the number of credits a student must accumulate and the cumulative grade point average that must be achieved each semester. The chart that pertains to you depends upon the year you received your first TAP award and whether or not you are a HEOP student. Please refer to the charts below.
The following chart must be used by all institutions for students who received their first TAP in 2007-2008 through and including 2009-2010 and HEOP students who received their first award in 2007-2008 and thereafter:

Calendar: Semester Program - Baccalaureate Program
Prior to being certified for this payment:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th** 10th**
A student must have accumulated this many credits:
0 3 9 21 33 45 60 75 90 105
With at least this grade point average:
0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0


The following chart must be used by all 4 year institutions for students (excluding HEOP) who received their first TAP award in 2010-2011 and thereafter:

Calendar: Semester Program - Baccalaureate Program
Prior to being certified for this payment:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th** 10th**
A student must have accumulated this many credits:
0 6 15 27 39 51 66 81 96 111
With at least this grade point average:
0 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0


B-1. Reinstatement of Good Academic Standing  (top)

Students who have lost good academic standing may restore this standing in one of the following ways:
  • Make up past academic deficiencies by completing one or more semesters of student without receiving any state grants or scholarships.
  • Be readmitted to the school after an absence of at least one calendar year; or be granted a one-time waiver.


A student may not regain eligibility by changing their program of study.

NOTE: Students who lose good academic standing for failing to achieve a cumulative GPA of a 2.0 can regain eligibility by completing appropriate coursework without state support to achieve a 2.0. Students cannot regain eligibility by remaining out of school for a period of time.

B-2. One-time TAP Waiver (top)

Regulations permit students to receive a one-time waiver of the good academic standing requirement as an undergraduate. Waivers may be issued for students who have experienced exceptional or extraordinary circumstances "beyond the student's control" that resulted in the failure to satisfy the requirements and where there is a reasonable expectation that the student will meet these requirements in the future. Circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the death of a student's relative or a student's personal illness or injury. A change of major or severe adjustment issues are not acceptable circumstances for a TAP waiver.

Students who have lost TAP eligibility will be notified by the TAP Certifying Officer . As part of the notification, students will be given information regarding the One-Time TAP Waiver appeal process.

Students wishing to go forward with an appeal must complete and submit an Appeal for a TAP Waiver with supporting documentation to the Dean of Students Office.

Students must authorize the release of pertinent information as part of an investigation of the facts concerning the failure to meet academic progress regulations.

Appeals will be investigated and reviewed by the Dean of Students in conjunction with faculty members from the student's program of study as well as other University personnel as necessary.

The Dean will make a recommendation to approve or deny the appeal for a TAP waiver and will notify the Office of Financial Aid of the decision via the Appeal form.

The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student by e-mail of the final decision.

Other Scholarships awarded by HESC may have higher minimum GPA requirements.

B-3. Part-Time TAP (top)

NY State Education Law has been amended to create Part-time TAP for students. To be eligible for this program, students must be freshman in the 2006-07 academic year or thereafter, have earned 12 credits or more in each of two-consecutive semesters, and maintain a "C" average.


December 6, 2011