Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
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:
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 still does not meet the SAP requirements after the warning semester, federal aid is suspended for all 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.
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. However, the consequences for failing to meet the Financial Aid SAP Policy requirements are stricter than those of the Academic Progress Policy. The consequences for each policy are as follows:
Evaluation Period - Semester 1
Evaluation Period - Semester 2
Evaluation Period - Semester 3
The Financial Aid SAP Policy also 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. Therefore, the quantitative component of the Financial Aid SAP Policy is more strict than the Academic Progress Policy.
The Financial Aid SAP Policy is reviewed at least annually by the Financial Aid & Scholarships leadership staff. The online catalog and website polices are updated if policy changes occur after the annual review.
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.
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 grade value (given the successfully completed credit hours) by the total attempted credit hours at Sinclair.
The GPA calculation is based on grades reported by faculty to the Registration & Student Records office. The Financial aid Data Analyst initiates the SAP evaluation each semester, which systematically determines if the GPA requirement is met.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Decision Notification
Appeal decisions are sent via 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.
The Academic Advisor and student develops 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 Sinclair email and U.S. Mail.
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).
Grade: A - Excellent
Grade: B - Good
Grade: C - Average
Grade: D - Passing
Grade: F - Failure
Grade: S - Satisfactory
Grade: P - Pass
Grade: U - Unsatisfactory
Grade: Z - Nonattendance
Grade: I - Incomplete
Grade: W - Withdrawal
Grade: N - Progress
Grade: X - Audit
Grade: IP - In Progress
Grade: -- No grade assigned
Testing/Other Grade: Y - Proficiency
Testing/Other Grade: AA - Articulation Agreement
Testing/Other Grade: AP - Advanced Placement
Testing/Other Grade: CL (CLEP)
Testing/Other Grade: CT - Career Tech Credit Transfer
Testing/Other Grade: DS - (DSST)
Testing/Other Grade: WC - WEBCAPE
Transfer credit hours accepted from other institutions are included in the attempted credit hours calculation for Pace and MTF, but not in cumulative GPA.
All course attempts are calculated in the pace of completion and maximum timeframe. The financial aid SAP policy abides by the College's academic policy regarding the treatment of repeated courses and the replacement of grades in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.
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".
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.
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. 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 Dayton Campus, Financial Aid & Scholarships office.
- Last Revised: 01/25/2018