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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) determines whether you qualify for financial aid. SAP will be measured on the three metrics required by federal regulations. Students who do not meet the following requirements risk having their financial aid suspended.

  • Cumulative Grade Point Average:
     A student must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA to retain financial aid eligibility.

    The cumulative grade point average is computed by adding the grade point values for college-level, developmental, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and transfer courses for which grade point values (A, B, C, D, and F) are assigned and dividing this total by the appropriate number of credit hours attempted. Only credits for which grades are awarded are used in calculating grade point average.  If a course is repeated, the highest grade is the permanent grade.

     

  • Cumulative Completion Rate:
     A student must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted hours.

    The cumulative completion rate is computed by dividing the number of credit hours earned (completed) by the number of credit hours attempted for college-level, developmental, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL),and transfer courses. Successful completion results in grades of: A, B, C and D.  Note:  The grade of "D" is treated as unsuccessful completion in some program areas, including  developmental studies and nursing..  (See College Catalog for more detail.)  Unsuccessful completion results in grades (or marks) of F grade, W (Withdrawal), I (Incomplete), and/or NR (No Grade Reported).  In addition, marks of P, NC, and/or X, which are no longer used, are treated as unsuccessful completion.   Repeated courses, courses for which the student has been granted Academic Fresh Start at LSCS, and credit hours previously earned at another institution that are accepted by LSCS will be counted as both attempted and earned, i.e., if successfully completed, in the calculation of the cumulative completion rate.

  • Maximum Time Frame:
    A student must declare an academic program other than "undecided" and must be taking courses that apply to that degree or certificate.

    A student must complete the declared academic program within 150% of the published length of the program in credit hours to maintain aid eligibility.

    To determine maximum timeframe multiply the published credit hours needed to complete the program of study by 1.5 (150%). The result will determine how many attempted hours are allowed for the program to Meet SAP and be aid eligible. Once the maximum timeframe hours are reached, student is ineligible for financial aid.
    Transferred credit hours previously earned at another institution that are accepted by LSCS will be counted toward the maximum timeframe at LSCS. Developmental and ESOL courses are also included in maximum timeframe calculations.

    A student who changes academic programs will have all course credits taken under previous academic programs count towards the maximum timeframe of the new academic program.

Submission Deadlines

Appeal must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by:

  • October 1 (Fall semester)
  • February 15 (Spring semester)
  • June 15 (Summer semester)

Appeal Committee Review (Second Appeal) must be submitted to the campuses to the Financial Aid Office by:

  • October 15 (Fall)
  • March 1 (Spring)
  • July 1 (Summer)

Academic Plans must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by:

  • November 15 (Fall semester)
  • April 1 (Spring semester)
  • July 15 (Summer semester)

Policy

All LSCS aid applicants must meet three Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, prescribed by federal regulation, to receive financial aid. Those SAP requirements include maintaining at least a 1) 2.0 grade point average, successfully completing 2) 67% of cumulative credits attempted, and 3) earning a degree or certificate within 150% of the published length in credit hours of the declared program of study.

To qualify for aid a financial aid recipient must maintain satisfactory academic progress, i.e., “Meets SAP”. Failure to meet satisfactory academic progress will result in ineligibility for aid, i.e., “Failed SAP (Not Meet)”, except that there is one term of eligibility when placed on “Warning”. If extenuating circumstances result in failure to meet SAP after one term of Warning, an appeal process is provided. If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on “Appeal Approved (Probation)” until an academic plan is submitted. Future terms of aid eligibility are contingent on satisfactorily performing the work required in the academic plan. During those terms, a financial aid recipient is placed on “Academic Plan” and is aid eligible. Student can request one and only one modification of the academic plan if new extenuating circumstances exist, otherwise, if aid eligibility is suspended at any time, i.e., “Failed SAP (Not Meet)”, student is no longer eligible for federal or state aid at LSCS. Eligibility can be reinstated by meeting all SAP requirements.

Lone Star College System's (LSCS) policy is designed to encourage students to achieve their academic goals and graduate.

 

Download the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) Policy 
Effective August 29, 2011

Evaluation Period

LSCS will evaluate satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at the end of each term, i.e., Fall, Spring, and Summer, for which a student receives financial aid.

An aid recipient's cumulative record, i.e., all enrollment periods at LSCS, regardless of whether or not aid was received during the periods, along with transfer credits, will be evaluated.

An admitted student that files a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and for which there is no SAP status on the student record will have a SAP evaluation performed based on the student's prior LSCS enrollment record and any transfer credits, as applicable.  A first time student with no prior college enrollment  will always be assigned "Meets SAP" and be aid eligible.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Statuses

LSCS uses four satisfactory academic progress (SAP) statuses.

  • Meets SAP:  A status assigned to a student that meets all three SAP requirements and is aid eligible.
  • Warning:  A status assigned to a student that did not meet the SAP cumulative GPA and/or cumulative completion rate requirements and had a SAP status of "Meets SAP" in the prior term.  For one term, the student is moved automatically to "Warning" and is aid eligible.  

    At the end of the "Warning" term, the student must have met SAP, i.e., "Meets SAP" and remain aid eligible or be moved to "Not Meet" and lose aid eligibility.  

    Note:  No appeal is required to be placed on "Warning".

  • Not Meet SAP:  A status assigned to a student that did not meet one of the three SAP standards.  When placed on "Not Meet" the student is ineligible for financial aid.  This unsatisfactory status can be appealed. 

    Aid eligibility is reinstated when a student meets all three standards satisfactorily.

  • Probation: A status assigned to a student that did not meet a SAP requirement, was placed on "Not Meet", filed an appeal, and the appeal was approved.  "Probation" status is aid eligible.  

    • Students are required to meet with an academic advisor to develop an academic plan.  Students must submit the academic plan to the Financial Aid office by the deadline for each semester (see Academic Plan section). Once the plan is received, the SAP status will be changed to  “Academic Plan 1”. If the plan is not submitted, before the deadline, and the student does not meet all SAP requirements at the end of the term, the student’s SAP status will be changed to “Ineligible (Not Meet)” and the student is not aid eligible. The status of “Ineligible (Not Meet)”, based on non-submission of academic plan, cannot be appealed. 


Appeal Process

A student that is ineligible for financial aid for failure to meet the SAP requirements may file a SAP appeal. If approved, the student will be placed on "Probation" and be aid eligible.

Students must appeal their financial aid suspension through the myLoneStar Student Portal.

  • Log in to the myLoneStar Student Portal and click on the SAP Appeal Form
    • Students not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will see a notice in the Student Center with a link to the SAP Appeal Form. Students must fill out the form completely
    • Choose reason(s) for losing financial aid eligibility. This information will be sent via e-mail to each student’s Lone Star e -mail address.
    • Indicate the problems that contributed to being unable to maintain satisfactory progress
    • Attach all supporting documentation of mitigating circumstances including medical bills, doctor’s statements, unemployment verification, death certificate, obituary, etc.
    • Documents must be in only .doc, .docx, .txt and .pdf format.
  • Enter a statement regarding what’s been done to address the problems that prevented satisfactory academic progress
  • Attach a copy of the Academic Advising Report prepared and signed by an Academic Advisor in the Advising Department that outlines the sequence and term in which courses must be taken and successfully completed to achieve satisfactory academic progress and be on track to graduate from your academic program within the Maximum Time Frame for financial aid eligibility.
  • Mitigating or extenuating circumstances may include:
    Extenuating Circumstance Supporting Documentation
    Medical (personal or family illness) Timeframe of illness, relationship to person with illness (if applicable) medical documents, letter from doctor
    Death of a family member Death certificate, obituary, program, funeral home certificate, letter from a family member (if not listed on the program, obituary, etc.)
    Traumatic Event (assault, abuse, other personal violations) Supporting Documentation
    Job Loss Proof of job loss; unemployment letter
    Natural Disaster (Fire, hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake, etc.) FEMA documents, insurance claim, statement from landlord
    Military Deployment Military Orders, DD214
    Car Accident Police report, insurance documents, dated photos
    Legal Issues (divorce, separation, incarceration) Divorce decree, relevant court documents
    Lack of college preparation Transcripts that show progress (if applicable)

  • Students who have reached maximum timeframe must also:
    • Submit a program acceptance letter if participating in the Occupational Therapy Assistant, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy, or Accounting programs.
      and
    • An academic plan signed by an Academic Advisor in the Advising Department of the campus that offers the program. The academic plan must outline the sequence and term in which courses must be taken and successfully completed to achieve satisfactory academic progress and be on track to graduate from the academic program.
    • Submit the academic plan with the appeal.
  • Students submitting a request for academic plan modification must also:
    • Submit a detailed letter describing the new extenuating circumstances.
    • Meet with an academic advisor on the campus where the degree plan is offered to revise the academic plan.
    • Submit the revised academic plan with the appeal.
    • Appeal decision:  An appeal will be reviewed within 30 days of receipt in a College's Financial Aid Department by the Financial Aid Director, or designated staff. 

      Your appeal will be considered if the documentation:

      • substantiates the extenuating circumstances,
      • explains the student's prior situation and what has changed to allow the student to perform satisfactorily is adequate, and
      • indicates the student could achieve satisfactory academic progress status and complete the program of study within the maximum time frame if the student follows the academic advising report and successfully completes the coursework. 

      The student will be notified by email of LSCS's decision. 

      If an appeal is approved, Students are required to meet with an academic advisor to develop an academic plan.  Students must submit the academic plan to the Financial Aid office by the deadline for each semester. If the plan is not submitted, before the deadline, and the student does not meet all SAP requirements at the end of the term, the student’s SAP status will be changed to “Ineligible (Not Meet)” and the student is not aid eligible. The status of “Ineligible (Not Meet)”, based on non-submission of academic plan, cannot be appealed. 

    • If an appeal is denied, the student may choose to file a written appeal to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. The request for Appeal Committee Review form must be attached to the appeal. That decision is final. 

    Academic Plan Requirements

    Download Academic Plan

    Student must meet with an academic advisor on the campus in which the degree plan is offered to complete the academic plan.  The plan must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the submission dates listed above.
               
    While on an academic plan, student must:

    • maintain a 2.0 GPA each term.
    • complete 75% of the courses attempted each term.
    • have a 2.0 cumulative GPA at the 70% point of the degree plan.

    Progress is reviewed by the Financial Aid Department at the end of each term. If at the end of the term, the student makes progress as stipulated in the academic plan, the student’s SAP status will remain “Academic Plan 1” until the student “Meets SAP” or fails to meet the requirements of the plan.

    If not making progress as stipulated in the academic plan, the student’s status will change to “Failed SAP (Not Meet)” and does not have aid eligibility.

    Reinstatement of Financial Aid

    A student that fails to meet the SAP requirements and is placed on "Not Meeting SAP", and may or may not have filed an appeal that was denied, will have financial aid eligibility reinstated when the student meets all three SAP standards.

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