|Sections: Minimum Standards | Review Cycle | Notification | Other Considerations | Failure to Meet Standards | Check Your Status|
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the process used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress toward a degree or certificate. A student's failure to meet any of the three of the SAP standards (for all terms enrolled, not just those terms that aid was received) may result in loss of federal aid eligibility. Refer to the two handouts below to further your understanding:
Below details each of the SAP standards for graduate students. All standards must be met for continued federal aid eligibility.
|Standard #1: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) - Qualitative Component|
|Standard #2: Pace Rate for Attempted Credit Hours (formerly called completion rate) - Quantitative Component|
|Standard #3: Maximum Timeframe: Degree Completion within 150% of the average Program Length - Quantitative Component|
SAP is reviewed at the end of each payment period (semester) after grades are officially posted. Below are approximate timeframes of when SAP is reviewed each semester.
Fall Semester: Late December/Early January for students that attended during fall.
J-Term: Late May/Early June for students that attended J-Term. J-Term is part of spring for financial aid processing although billed separately.
Spring Semester: Late May/Early June for students that attended during spring.
Summer Semester: Mid-August for students that attended summer
An electronic notification detailing the student's SAP status will be sent to the student’s Buffalo State e-mail address. Effective summer 2019, duplicate hard copy notifications are no longer mailed.
Financial Aid Warning | One semester below standard
A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA or Pace requirements is placed on Financial Aid Warning as long as it is mathematically possible to recover in one payment period. There is no action required by the student; federal aid eligibility continues for one payment period/semester. A student's warning semester is always their next semester of enrollment whether or not the student receives federal aid.
Financial Aid Ineligible | 2 or more consecutive semesters below standard
If a student fails to meet all the SAP standards after the warning semester, their federal aid is terminated until they meet the standards.
Federal Aid Appeal Process | Special Circumstances
If the student is still not making satisfactory academic progress after the Financial Aid Warning semester, he or she is ineligible for federal financial aid until the required standard is achieved. However, a student has a right to appeal the loss of federal financial aid eligibility if mitigating circumstances (events totally beyond the student’s control) existed). All SAP Appeals should be submitted to the Academic Standards Office, Twin Rise 100, by the deadline indicated on the form. Incomplete appeals or those without supporting documentation will be denied. Students may seek help to complete the appeal form by calling Academic Standards at (716) 878-5222. A committee will review all federal SAP appeals notify the student in writing of the determination.
Financial Aid Probation | Approved Appeal
A student who fails to maintain the cumulative GPA and/or meet the Pace rate standard is placed on Financial Aid Probation only if the student has successfully appealed. The student will continue to receive federal financial aid for one payment period/semester. The student must meet SAP at the end of the probationary period or comply with the Academic Plan requirements (a contractual agreement designed to ensure that the student will make SAP by a specified point in time).
If the student is still not making Satisfactory Academic Progress or fails to meet the Academic Plan requirements after the probationary period, he/she will become ineligible for federal financial aid until all three SAP standards are successfully met.
Review the SAP Status Code handout for an explanation of each of the codes. Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss their status and develop a strategy to come back into compliance (e.g., what grades do they need to achieve; how many credits do they need to complete).
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