SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS APPEALS FAQs
- What does SAP stand for?
- What is the purpose of SAP?
- What are the standards for failing to make SAP?
- How often is academic progress reviewed?
- What should I do if I receive a letter stating that my financial aid has been suspended?
- Can I come in and talk to someone in the Financial Aid office to discuss my situation?
- Should I appeal?
- What information should be included in my appeal?
- Where do I send my appeal?
- Who will determine the outcome of my appeal?
- If I had a successful appeal for fall aid, do I have to appeal again for spring?
- Can I meet with the committee in person to plead my case?
- If I appeal, what are the chances that my appeal will be granted?
- How soon will I get a response to my appeal?
- What do I need to do if my appeal is denied?
- If my appeal is denied how do I go about having my eligibility for financial aid reinstated?
- If ORI denies my appeal, can I re-appeal with additional information?
- If ORI will not allow me to re-appeal, who do I need to talk to next?
- What if the answer to my question is not on this list?
What is the purpose of SAP?
Institutions of higher education are required by the federal government to monitor the academic progress of all students receiving financial aid. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress toward their academic objective become ineligible for further aid, as required by federal guidelines.
What are the standards for failing to make SAP?
a. Below required grade point average: Your cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 as an undergraduate or less than 3.0 as a graduate student.
b. Inadequate completion of attempted course work: You have successfully completed less than 67% of your attempted coursework.
c. Too many credit hours for your degree objectives:
- Certificate or Associate’s Degree – no more than 24 hours (Certificate), 90 hours (Associate) attempted
- Bachelor's Degree – no more than 180 hours attempted
- Graduate Degrees:
- MLS, MSEd, & MSCC – no more than 54 hours attempted
- MPA & MBA – no more than 77 hours attempted
- MSW – no more than 90 hours attempted
How often is academic progress reviewed?
Your academic progress at IU Northwest will be checked when you apply for aid, submit a FAFSA, or after spring grades from the prior year are recorded, whichever is later.
What should I do if I receive a letter stating that my financial aid has been suspended?
Follow the instructions outlined in your letter. You will be directed to a website that will go into more detail about what your options are. Unless the deadline for appeals has passed you will likely want to appeal the suspension of your aid.
Can I come in and talk to someone in the Financial Aid office to discuss my situation?
No. The Office of Financial Aid does not handle the SAP process. In order to get the quickest response to your questions, please follow the instructions in your SAP letter. If, after reading your letter and this document, you still have any questions you should e-mail the Office of Retention Initiatives at email@example.com.
Should I appeal?
You should appeal the suspension of your financial aid if, 1) you believe that there were circumstances beyond your control that contributed significantly to your making unsatisfactory academic progress, AND/OR, 2) you believe that there were concrete things that you could have done differently that would have helped you to make satisfactory academic progress. In either case, your argument should be strong enough to convince the University that you can overcome past difficulties and fulfill the requirements to complete your degree.
What information should be included in my appeal?
In your appeal, give us a thorough explanation of why you believe the University should support continued investment in your education. You should include any and all information that will help us make a well-informed decision. Successful appeals generally include not only an explanation of past circumstances, but also a concrete and detailed plan for how you will achieve academic success in the future. In other words, your appeal should outline the specific changes you will make to insure future academic success. Supporting documents may also be included, although they are not required, e.g., letters of support from professors and/or employers.
If your reasons for poor performance were medical in nature, please provide documentation from your physician or therapist. The documentation should indicate that, according to his or her professional opinion, the medical issues that impaired your success and/or the psychological challenges that you confronted are under control and will not be a problem in the future. If applicable, your physician or therapist should identify the treatment plan that he or she recommends to insure your future success.
If you are currently enrolled in classes, ask your professors to provide you with a progress report that states what your grade is in the class at that point in the semester. If your professors tell us you’re doing will, it will help your appeal. Otherwise, we may have to wait until your grades are recorded to make a decision about your appeal.
Where do I send my appeal?
Appeals can be hand-delivered to Savannah 223 when the office is open, faxed to 219-980-6587, or sent by U.S. mail to the Office of Retention Initiatives, Savannah 223, Indiana University Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408.
If I appeal, what are the chances that my appeal will be granted?
It is impossible to say. The Committee examines appeals on a case-by-case basis. The more concrete your plan, however, and the closer you are to making satisfactory academic progress, the better the chances that your appeal will be granted and your eligibility for aid will be reinstated.
What do I need to do if my appeal is denied?
If your appeal is denied and you have enrolled for classes for the upcoming semester you should withdraw from your classes, unless you have an alternate plan to pay for school. Otherwise you risk receiving failing grades in those classes.
If my appeal is denied how do I go about having my eligibility for financial aid reinstated?
Successfully complete coursework that improves your IU cumulative GPA and/or completion rate to meet the SAP standards. As noted earlier, you are evaluated on an annual basis. However, you may request a SAP review at the end of any semester of enrollment.
If ORI denies my appeal, can I re-appeal with additional information?
Because the decision on your appeal is final, it is very important that you provide ALL possible supporting documentation when you initially submit your appeal. If new information becomes available, you are welcome to submit it for reconsideration.
If ORI will not allow me to re-appeal, who do I need to talk to next?
The Office of Retention Initiatives makes the final decision on all SAP-related matters. There is no higher authority with whom you can discuss your situation.
What if the answer to my question is not on this list?
If you have a question that isn’t answered above, contact the Office of Retention Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, your question will be answered by the next business day.
Please do NOT contact the Office of Financial Aid.