Sinclair College Catalog

Skip to main content
Sinclair College

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Process Overview and Responsibilities
Federal regulations require students receiving federal student financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of a federal aid eligible program. The following sources of federal student aid may be awarded, if a student qualifies:
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan (parents of dependent students only)
The Financial Aid SAP Policy evaluates qualitative and quantitative components to determine federal financial aid eligibility. Failure to meet both requirements results in financial aid warning status for the following semester of enrollment, if the SAP status was satisfactory in the prior semester of enrollment. If the student does not meet the SAP requirements after the warning semester, federal aid is suspended for subsequent semesters. The student may appeal for reconsideration if an extenuating circumstance prevented successful completion of the semesters in which the requirements were not met.

Qualitative Measure
Students must maintain a fixed, cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 when the SAP evaluation is completed after each semester of enrollment. The financial aid GPA is computed by dividing the total number of grade points by the total credit hours in which grades were earned at Sinclair.
The GPA calculation is based on grades reported by faculty to the Registration & Student Records office. Financial Aid staff initiate the SAP evaluation each semester, which systematically determines if the GPA requirement is met.

Quantitative Measure
Maximum Timeframe (MTF) and Pace of Completion (Pace) are the quantitative measures used to evaluate students' progress through their program of study. The MTF component requires students to complete their active program of study within 150% of the published program credit hours. The Pace component requires students to receive a passing grade in 66.67% of the total credit hours attempted to ensure students will complete within the maximum timeframe established for their program.

Maximum Time Frame (MTF)
Students must not attempt 150% of the published credit hours required for their program of study. Maximum Timeframe is calculated by multiplying the published program credit hours by 150%. Students with unsatisfactory SAP status due to maximum timeframe are ineligible for financial aid warning, although financial aid probation status may be assigned if the student successfully appeals.

Pace
Students must receive a passing grade in 66.67% of the total credit hours attempted to ensure program completion within 150% of the published program credit hours (MTF). The Pace component is evaluated at the end of each semester by dividing the completed credit hours by the total number of attempted credit hours. The Pace component evaluates the percentage, not the number, of successfully completed classes, which allows students flexibility in their enrollment statuses.

Categories of Students
The Financial Aid SAP Policy applies consistently to all categories of students, regardless of enrollment status, program of study, or any other category of student.
 
Evaluation Periods
The Financial Aid SAP Standards are evaluated at the end of each payment period (Fall, Spring, Summer Semesters) for students who were enrolled for the semester and for whom Sinclair has received a FAFSA.

Note: An intersession course is combined with the following payment period. Credit hours attempted during intersessions are included in following payment period's SAP evaluation.

Students may be reviewed outside of the evaluation period on a case-by-case basis as determined by a Financial Aid Officer or Director. For instance, students on financial aid probation and identified as not meeting academic plan requirements before the end of semester evaluation are notified of their option to appeal. Any such evaluation does not replace the official end of term evaluation completed for all applicable students.

Financial Aid SAP vs. Academic Progress Policy
Sinclair's Financial Aid SAP Policy and Academic Progress Policy each require students maintain a cumulative 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). The Academic Progress Policy applies to all students, including non-federal financial aid recipients, to ensure students meet the required 2.0 graduation requirement upon program completion.

The Financial Aid SAP Policy evaluates quantitative measures (pace of completion and maximum timeframe) to ensure students can graduate within the maximum number of credit hours required for their program of study. The Academic Progress Policy does not evaluate quantitative measures to determine satisfactory academic progress. Additionally, the Financial Aid SAP Policy imposes stricter consequences for failing to meet the requirements (see below). Therefore, the Financial Aid SAP Policy is stricter than the Academic Progress Policy.

Evaluation Period

GPA

Requirement

Financial Aid SAP Policy

Federal Aid Eligible

Academic

Progress Policy

Academic Eligible

to Enroll

Semester 1

2.0

Warning

Yes

Academic Intervention

Yes

Semester 2

2.0

Suspended

No

Academic Probation

Yes

Semester 3

2.0

Academic Dismissal

No


SAP Status Notification
Students are emailed when their financial aid eligibility has changed due to the end of term SAP review. The notification is sent to the my.sinclair email account by the Friday after the last date of the semester.

Financial Aid Warning
Financial Aid Warning status is assigned for one semester of enrollment following an unsuccessful GPA and/or Pace evaluation. This status may be assigned if a student's prior SAP status was Financial Aid Satisfactory (or its equivalent).

The student must meet the minimum cumulative GPA and/or Pace requirements at the end of semester evaluation for the warning semester to continue federal financial aid eligibility. If the requirements are not met, the student's federal financial aid is denied until regaining eligibility by meeting the requirements through completed coursework, or by successfully appealing for reconsideration of federal financial aid eligibility.

There is no limit to the number of times a student may be placed on a Financial Aid Warning status. However, no Financial Aid Warning status may be assigned to consecutive terms of enrollment, i.e., the student must be in a Financial Aid Satisfactory status (or its equivalent) the term prior to being assigned to a Financial Aid Warning status. There is no Financial Aid Warning status for MTF status. Students receive an alert when 24 credit hours of eligibility remain and again when 12 credit hours remain for maximum credit hours attempted.

SAP Appeal Process
Students may appeal federal financial aid suspension if extenuating circumstances prevented academic progress during the semester(s) of unsatisfactory SAP status. Students who are not meeting SAP after the end of term evaluation are notified of their financial aid suspension and the appeal process via Sinclair email. The SAP appeal must be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships office for review by the SAP Review Committee. The appeal must include the items listed below for initial consideration. Incomplete appeals will be denied. The SAP Review Committee may request additional documentation if clarification is needed or the appeal documentation does not support the timeline or circumstances of the appeal.

SAP Appeal Requirements
  • SAP Appeal Form
  • Submit correct form based on the reason for your suspension (GPA/Pace/MTF or MTF only)
  • Personal statement addressing the extenuating circumstances that contributed to unsatisfactory academic progress during the corresponding semester(s).
  • Statement addressing how circumstances have changed to achieve satisfactory academic progress within a reasonable period of time
  • Third party, unbiased documentation of the extenuating circumstances. Letters from individuals must be signed, and professional statements must be signed on company letterhead.
  • Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness, accident, grievous personal loss, employment change or relocation, or other circumstances beyond the student's control. The following are examples of third-party documentation:
  • Obituaries or death certificates
  • Physician statements verifying extenuating circumstance described in the student's statement
  • Written statement from college staff supporting the student's statement
  • Extenuating circumstances do not include, for example, a dislike of an instructor or mode of instruction or a circumstance for which a previous appeal was approved.

SAP Appeal Decision Notification
Appeal decisions are sent Sinclair email typically within 7-10 days after the appeal is submitted.

Financial Aid Probation Status
Financial Aid Probation status is assigned when a student successfully appeals a Financial Aid Unsatisfactory or Financial Aid Maximum Time Frame status. The student is assigned an academic plan that defines the requirements to maintain federal aid eligibility for each semester of enrollment. If the academic plan requirements are not met, the student's federal aid is denied until either regaining eligibility by meeting the requirements through completed coursework (GPA and Pace only), or by successfully appealing for reconsideration of federal financial aid eligibility.

Academic Plans
The Academic Advisor and student develop the academic plan to define the probationary period for each student. Successful completion of the academic plan results in program completion or Financial Aid Satisfactory status and continued aid eligibility.

Failure to meet the academic plan results in federal financial aid suspension for future semesters (Financial Aid Unsatisfactory or Financial Aid Maximum Time Frame status). A student may file a SAP appeal to regain federal aid eligibility. The SAP appeal may be approved if the student documents extenuating circumstances during the probationary semester.

Academic Plan Calculation
Students with an approved appeal are placed on a Financial Aid Academic Plan as a condition of Financial Aid Probation. This plan is calculated based on remaining credit hours for the active program completion, which the academic advisor certifies on the Financial Aid Academic Plan Calculation Form and the student submits with the SAP appeal. Financial aid staff evaluates the program and cumulative GPA to determine if institutional graduation requirements can be achieved within the remaining program credit hours.

The academic plan includes the required GPA and Pace for each semester of enrollment to maintain federal financial aid  eligibility. The academic plan states the first semester of federal aid eligibility authorized by the approved appeal, and each subsequent semester. The active program of study for which the appeal was approved is the only program authorized by the academic plan. If a student on financial aid probation changes programs, federal financial aid is suspended at the end of semester evaluation. The student may re-appeal based on the new program of study.

Revised Academic Plans
A revised Financial Aid Academic Plan Calculation Form may be submitted due to change in required courses or other necessary changes, such as admission to a limited enrollment Health Sciences Associate's Degree program. This must be completed and signed by the academic advisor and student. Revised calculation forms are reviewed by Financial Aid Officers, and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. It's possible some revisions could result in suspension at the end of semester evaluation.

Academic Plan Evaluation
Academic plans are reviewed at the end of semester SAP evaluation. The evaluation first assesses satisfactory status of the cumulative qualitative and quantitative SAP components. If the cumulative standards are satisfactory, the financial aid status is Satisfactory and the student is no longer monitored under the terms of the academic plan. If the student does not meet the cumulative standards but meets the academic plan requirements for the semester, the student remains in financial aid probation status and retains federal financial aid eligibility. If cumulative and academic plan standards are unsatisfactory, federal financial aid is suspended for future semesters. Students may appeal to regain their eligibility if they have a different extenuating circumstance for which the prior appeal was approved.

Academic Plan Notification
The financial aid academic plan is sent via my.sinclair email and U.S. Mail.

Regaining Eligibility
Students ineligible to receive federal financial aid due to unsatisfactory SAP status and did not file a successful appeal will be evaluated at the end of the next semester of enrollment if Sinclair has received a FAFSA for the corresponding award year. If the cumulative SAP requirements are met, federal financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. Federal financial aid cannot be paid retroactively for a semester during which a student was ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

There is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit; however, if choosing to re-appeal a previously denied appeal, documentation not included in prior appeals is necessary for re-consideration, and approval is not guaranteed. 

For example, documentation of successful completion of college level courses since the previous denial could be submitted to demonstrate academic progress.

Treatment of Nonpunitive Grades, Repeated Courses, Audited Courses, Pass/Fail Courses, Withdrawals, and Incompletes

Grade Definitions and Treatment in SAP Calculation
Institutional credit hours include college level, developmental (DEV, ACA, and EXL subject codes), and English as a Second Language (ESL subject code).

Grades

GPA

Attempted

Completed

Testing/Other Grades

GPA

Attempted

Completed

A - Excellent

Y

Y

Y

Y - Proficiency Credit

N

Y

Y

B - Good

Y

Y

Y

AA - Articulation Agreement

N

Y

Y

C - Average

Y

Y

Y

AP - Advanced Placement

N

Y

Y

D - Passing

Y

Y

Y

CL (CLEP)

N

Y

Y

F - Failure

Y

Y

N

CT - Career Tech Credit Transfer

N

Y

Y

S - Satisfactory

Y

Y

Y

DS - (DSST)

N

Y

Y

P - Pass

Y

Y

Y

 

-  A, B, C, D, P and S followed by  ":" are fresh start courses and calculated in the quantitative/qualitative SAP components the same as the grade preceding the ":"?.

-  A, B, and C followed by a "#"? are grades earned through proficiency testing and calculated in the quantitative/ qualitative SAP components the same as the grade preceding the "#"?.

-  SAP is calculated using a 2.0 GPA for grades of S and P.

-  SAP is calculated using a 0.0 GPA for grades of U and N.

U - Unsatisfactory

Y

Y

N

Z - Nonattendance

Y

Y

N

I - Incomplete

N

Y

N

W - Withdrawal

 

N

 

Y

 

N

N - Progress

N

Y

N

 

X - Audit

N

N

N

IP - In Progress

N

Y

N

-- No grade assigned

Y

Y

N


Transfer Credit
Transfer credit hours accepted from other institutions are included in the attempted credit hours calculation for Pace and MTF, but not in cumulative GPA.

Repeat Coursework
Sinclair's Financial Aid SAP Policy aligns with the institutional Repeating a Course policy by including all attempted course credit, including repeated coursework, as attempted in the pace of completion and MTF calculation. Both policies typically include only the first grade earned in the GPA calculation; therefore, grades earned in repeated coursework are excluded from the SAP calculation. The Repeating a Course policy may grant certain exceptions. Refer to Sinclair's complete Academic Repeat Coursework Policy for additional information. 

Unlike the Repeating a Course policy, the SAP policy includes repeat course credit as completed in the pace of completion and MTF calculation.

Dropped Courses
Attempted credits include all courses in which a student remains enrolled beyond the last day of the add/ drop period of the course, whether or not the student began attending. Courses in which the student drops after the add/drop period are given a grade of "W."

Incomplete Grades
Students who do not complete their work in a course by the end of the semester may be given a grade of "I"?. For the purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress, "I"? grades are considered as attempted credits, but not completed, credits in the Pace and MTF qualitative components. Incomplete grades are excluded from the GPA calculation under the quantitative review. Once the incomplete grade converts to an earned grade, SAP will be recalculated at the end of that payment period.

Grade Changes
In the event a grade is replaced or changed, the new grade will be considered as part of the next SAP calculation at the end of that payment period.  

Fresh Start
The College's academic amnesty policy is superseded by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy when calculating a SAP status to determine financial aid eligibility.

Treatment of Remedial and English as a Second Language Courses
Remedial (Developmental) and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are included in attempted and completed hours in the Pace and MTF end of semester SAP evaluations. If a grade of pass or fail is received in a remedial or ESL course, a passing grade is calculated as a 2.0 in the financial aid GPA and a failing grade is calculated as zero.

Treatment of Consortium, Change of Major, Second Degree, and Second Major Courses
Consortium Agreement Grades
Grades received through a consortium or contractual agreements are not included in the end of term GPA calculation. Consortium grades are included in the Pace and MTF end of term SAP calculations as attempted and completed credit hours if a passing grade was earned.

Single Program of Study Requirements
Students may not be enrolled in multiple academic programs concurrently to register for classes. If the student was granted an exception to this policy and has more than one active program of study, the active, highest-credential program with the most recent start date will be evaluated for satisfactory academic progress. The SAP standards will include all Sinclair credits and grades and transfer credits.

A student must be enrolled in a federal financial aid eligible program before the GPA, Pace or MTF SAP calculation occurs. The student is assigned a SAP status of ineligible program (or IEP) until an eligible program is declared. Federal aid ineligible programs include, but are not limited to, Ohio. Transfer.Module, SCC.Graduate, and non-degree programs with program code ending in ND. Additionally, many certificates are ineligible until approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and some programs are permanently ineligible for federal financial aid. Students should contact an Academic Advisor for information on program federal aid eligibility.

Second Degree or Certificate
Second or subsequent degrees or certificates after graduating from a Sinclair program are permitted under the Financial Aid SAP Policy but are subject to the SAP evaluation requirements. There is no limit to the number of programs a student may complete, and receive federal financial aid, if eligible. If federal aid is suspended due to the SAP evaluation, the student has the option to appeal as described in the Financial Aid SAP Policy.

Change of Major
Changes of major are permitted as long as the student meets the SAP evaluation requirements. Students who have changed their major and federal aid subsequently suspended may appeal in accordance with the SAP Appeal Policy. If the student is on financial aid probation and later changes their major, this may result in federal financial aid suspension at the end of term evaluation.

Policy Review
The Financial Aid SAP Policy reviewed by the Financial Aid & Scholarships leadership staff and approved by the Director of  Financial Aid & Scholarships at least annually. The online catalog and website policies are updated if policy changes occur after the annual review. In addition to the Sinclair Online Course Catalog, students may also access the SAP Policy on Sinclair's Financial Aid & Scholarships website or obtain a copy in person at the Financial Aid & Scholarships office located in Dayton Campus Welcome Center.


  • Last Revised: 04/15/2021