Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy addresses the importance of students’ commitment to academic excellence and outlines the criteria for remaining in good standing at BVU.  

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all federal financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion. In addition to receiving financial aid from one or more of the various federal funds, receipt of state or institutional funds will also rely on a student meeting these standards. These standards apply to a student’s entire degree program including terms in which financial aid was not received. Specific aid programs or departmental standards may require more than the minimum standards described below.

The Standards

Satisfactory academic progress will be measured in qualitative terms by the student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and in quantitative terms by the percentage of hours earned in relation to those attempted (pace).  Both qualitative and quantitative progress will be reviewed for status determination.  In addition, maximum timeframe for degree completion will be reviewed for continued federal/state financial aid eligibility.

Pace (quantitative progress) - Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by an appropriate ratio of credit hours earned in relationship with credit hours attempted. Students must complete 67% of the hours attempted to be making quantitative progress. Withdrawing from courses and/or failing courses may ultimately result in not achieving the necessary completion rate which would allow a student to graduate in the time allowed (see Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance below). A student will be making adequate pace (quantitative progress) towards degree completion if the 67% is met.All courses completed at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing. BVU does not use incompletes as a grading option; students should be familiar with the change of grade contract process on page 34 (2010-11 Academic Catalog). Students also may choose to repeat courses they have failed or in which they earned a NC. The repeated attempt counts in the hours attempted by the student for purposes of calculating quantitative progress toward degree completion. See Repeating Courses on page 32 (2010-11 Academic Catalog).

  • Cumulative grade point average (qualitative progress) - Because the transition to university learning is challenging, first and second year students are allowed time to build their CGPA to a 2.0 as they accumulate credits. A student will be making qualitative progress by earning a CGPA within the ranges detailed below. A student’s CGPA will include those grades associated with BVU credits only; grades earned at other institutions are not included. The second and any subsequent grade(s) for repeated coursework will be used in the CGPA computation. Only the first grade will be omitted from the grade point average.

    Credits Earned

        Cumulative GPA

    Less than 24

       1.75 or above

    24-55.99

       1.90 or above

    56+ or 2 years of enrollment, whichever comes first

       2.0 or above

  • Pace (quantitative progress) - Adequate progress towards degree completion is measured by an appropriate ratio of credit hours earned in relationship with credit hours attempted. Students must complete 67% of the hours attempted to be making quantitative progress. Withdrawing from courses and/or failing courses may ultimately result in not achieving the necessary completion rate which would allow a student to graduate in the time allowed (see Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance below). A student will be making adequate pace (quantitative progress) towards degree completion if the 67% is met.
  • Maximum Timeframe for Financial Assistance-Undergraduate students will be allowed to attempt up to 192 total credit hours, or for transfer students, 150% of the hours it is determined are needed to complete the attempted BVU degree/program at the time the student enrolls. If the attempted program is not completed within this time frame, even in situations where there has been a change of course of study, financial aid eligibility will be terminated. Appeals will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and should be made to the Office of Financial Assistance. Students who enroll in a second degree or teacher certification may be eligible for aid and will have their academic progress calculated from the credit hours attempted beyond the first degree.  Students returning only to complete a major may not eligible for financial assistance.

Upon admission, transfer students are assumed to be making satisfactory academic progress. Courses successfully completed at another institution that fulfill degree requirements at BVU will be included in pace calculations.

All courses completed at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing. BVU does not use incomplete as a grading option. If a course is repeated, the repeat(s) will count in attempted hours for pace calculation purposes.

Students should be familiar with the change of grade process.  If a grade(s) changes after the initial SAP review, the change(s) will require the committee to revisit the student’s status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review Process and Statuses

The Academic Standing/SAP Review Committee is chaired by the Provost and includes an Academic Dean, the Dean of Students, the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, the Director or of Financial Assistance, and a representative from the Registrar’s Office.

The committee will review students’ progress three times each academic year (following fall, spring and summer semesters). That review will be used to notify, via email, those students whose academic record falls short of the standards for both continued enrollment and financial assistance eligibility, as detailed above.

Financial aid warning/academic probation would be the result during the first review period after which a student fails either of the standards mentioned above. If a student is placed on financial aid warning, financial aid eligibility will continue for that warning period.

Financial aid probation is defined as a status assigned after a student has failed to make satisfactory academic progress, has appealed, and has had eligibility reinstated for only a single semester.  At the end of that probationary semester, the student is required to achieve good standing.  BVU will normally not use financial aid probation as a status.  We will instead use an academic plan.

A student who fails to achieve good academic standing after a financial aid warning period will be suspended from the University unless an appeal is submitted and approved.  Appeals may be granted in cases of extenuating circumstances such as, but not limited to; illness or injury of the student;  the death of a relative; family difficulties, such as divorce or illness, interpersonal problems, difficulty balancing school and work, athletics, and family responsibilities; or financial difficulties that may affect a student’s ability to achieve SAP.

Following a successful appeal, a student may be placed on academic probation for the next semester, with an academic plan that may encompass more than one review period. If placed on academic probation with an academic plan, the student is expected to achieve good academic standing following the time line detailed within the plan. A student placed on an academic plan may continue to receive financial assistance if the terms of the plan are being met. 

A student without a successful appeal will be suspended.

Suspension Appeal Process

All appeals should be submitted using the University’s appeal after suspension form. Students who are unable to access this appeal application are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to submit the necessary information to the SAP committee. Students will be encouraged to submit an appeal prior to the appeal review committee meeting.  Rarely will an appeal that is submitted after the next semester has begun, be reviewed.

The appeal includes an explanation the circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP, what has changed in the student’s situation, and the specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, when those classes will be taken. Before a decision is made, the student’s progress, along with details in the appeal, will be reviewed by the Academic Standing/SAP Committee to determine if and how the student can regain good academic standing. 

If the student’s appeal is approved, the student will be permitted to return. The student will remain eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid consideration for the amount of time stipulated by the Academic Standing/SAP Committee in the academic plan.  At the end of the next review period, the student will either continue with a multiple semester/term academic plan, return to good academic standing or be suspended. 

Typically, an appeal will be granted only once.  Under limited circumstances, a second appeal may be considered.  However, to continue to receive financial assistance, the student must either provide circumstances that hindered the student from making SAP that are different from the previous appeal or, if using the same circumstances as the previous appeal, the student must provide information that details what has changed that would now allow him/her to meet SAP requirements at the time of the next evaluation.   

The final decision on continued financial aid eligibility will be made by the Office of Financial Assistance/Vice President of Enrollment.

Re-establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress

Other than in situations where an appeal is granted, a student who has lost eligibility for federal, state, or institutional aid can only regain eligibility by taking action that brings them back into satisfactory academic progress. Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student’s academic standing so neither is sufficient to re-establish financial assistance eligibility. However, if a previously suspended student applies for re-admission to BVU after an academic suspension, that student may be allowed to return, with the benefit of financial assistance, if an appeal is submitted and approved and an academic plan is created to assist the student in attaining satisfactory progress. The student would continue to be eligible for financial assistance if plan specifics are being met.  (See above for limitations on the number of appeals allowed with financial aid consideration.)
 

Process for Re-Admission after Suspension

Students suspended from the university because of failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements as outlined above wishing to apply for re-admission should: 

  1. Consult with their academic advisor for assistance in preparing the application for re-admission , which asks the applicant to discuss circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP in the past, what has changed in the student’s situation, and the specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken.
  2. Submit a appeal after suspension form, which can be found at this web address:  https://na3.docusign.net/Member/PowerFormSigning.aspx?PowerFormId=0dc8763f-677c-41e9-94ca-2e40182fb9ff&env=na3-eu1.  Students who are unable to access this appeal application are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to submit the necessary information to the SAP committee.  Readmission applications must be received in sufficient time for processing of those requests.  It is recommended that these requests should be submitted a minimum of one month prior to the beginning of the semester/term in which the student wishes to re-enroll.
  3. The re-admission/appeal application will be reviewed by a committee composed of Provost and includes an Academic Dean, the Dean of Students, the Director of the Center for Academic Excellence, the Director or of Financial Assistance, and a representative from the Registrar’s office.
  4. Upon return, the student will be eligible for federal, state, or institutional aid so long as an academic plan has been created and approved by the Office of Financial Assistance.   

Notification of Academic Status

Students will receive notification of their status after application for re-admission within two weeks of the review dates. 
Notification of probation or suspension is sent from the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty to the student and copied to the student’s advisor or appropriate Online and Site personnel. However, it is the student’s responsibility to know the standards of academic progress (see “The Standards” above) and failure to receive the notification will not nullify the academic status. Qualitative probation and suspension will be noted on the academic transcript for the semester/term in which that status is earned.

Dismissal

The University reserves the right, upon recommendation from the Academic Standing Committee, to dismiss a student who fails to meet the standards even after being placed on probation or suspension. A student who has been dismissed from the university is not eligible for re-admission.

Appeals

A student has the right to appeal the decision of the Academic Standing Committee in cases of suspension and dismissal. The appeal is made to the Provost and consists of an explanatory letter submitted to that office within two weeks of receipt of notification of suspension or dismissal. The decision of the Provost is final.  
Appeals related to continued financial aid eligibility must be made through the Vice President of Enrollment Management.