What is the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy?

The Olivet College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy consists of standards and requirements concerning academic standing and financial aid eligibility, reflecting new requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education.  Beginning July 1, 2011, students must demonstrate continual progress toward the completion of their academic degree while receiving Title IV funding for their education. If satisfactory academic progress is not sustained, students will lose their educational funding from the federal government.

In order for a student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and continue to be eligible to receive federal financial aid, he or she must:

·     maintain a satisfactory minimum cumulative grade point average; and

·     maintain a satisfactory pace in their academic program.

What is the minimum GPA I need in order to remain in good academic standing and continue to receive financial aid?

New federal regulations require that all federal financial aid recipients earn and continue to maintain a 2.00 cumulative grade point average by the end of their sophomore year. The following chart indicates the minimum GPA that must be maintained to remain in good academic standing for each year of a four-year program:

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Minimum GPA Scale

Academic Year

Hours Earned

Minimum Cumulative GPA

Freshman Year

0 – 23


Sophomore Year

24 – 55


Junior Year

56 – 87


Senior Year

88 – higher


What is “Academic Pace”?

Academic pace is the ratio of total number of semester hours earned relative to the total number attempted. In order to maintain federal financial aid eligibility, students are required to show a pace of degree progression ensuring that the student completes his or her academic program within 150 percent of the published length of the academic program (120 credit hours). The maximum time frame includes transfer coursework and course equivalencies granted for Advanced Placement test scores.

How often is my academic performance reviewed and by whom?

Academic progress for all students is regularly reviewed after both the fall and spring semesters, as well as after summer school sessions are complete. Evaluations are performed immediately following the end of each period and are based on the student’s academic transcript at the time of evaluation. The review is completed by the Academic Performance Committee, a standing committee of the Olivet College faculty. The first review of student performance under the new SAP Policy will occur at the end of the 2011 fall semester.

What happens if my GPA or academic pace falls below the satisfactory level?

Any student not meeting SAP standards is assigned a SAP Warning status for a probationary semester and will be notified by the Office of Academic Affairs regarding this warning status and its implication for receiving further federal financial aid.

How will receiving a SAP Warning affect my financial aid?

During the initial probationary semester, students remain eligible for federal financial aid assistance. However, by the end of the probationary semester, students must meet the standards of the SAP Policy or file a successful appeal for reconsideration of the SAP Warning. Students who do not do so will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid until the SAP standards are restored by the individual.

Why is it critical to appeal my SAP Warning?

After receiving a SAP Warning letter, a student has the option to file an appeal for reconsideration, which will also include reconsideration of eligibility for federal financial aid. This appeal must be filed by the end of the drop/ add period. Information about this appeal process is provided to students with the letter notifying them of their SAP Warning status. 

If a student fails to file a SAP Warning Appeal and is not meeting SAP standards by the end of this probationary semester, he or she will be suspended and will not be eligible for federal financial aid until SAP standards have been restored.

If my appeal is granted, how do I go about restoring satisfactory academic progress?

A successful appeal of the SAP Warning status will restore the student’s federal financial aid eligibility and automatically place the student on SAP Probation. The following two conditions are required to remain on SAP Probation:

1.   Students must sign and adhere to a SAP Contract for improving academic performance with the Student Resource Center (SRC). A student who does not sign a contract with the SRC or who does not meet expectations throughout the semester(s) for which he or she is on SAP Probation will run the risk of immediate administrative withdrawal from all courses and loss of subsequent federal financial aid eligibility.

2.   Students are required to meet the “performance bond” provided to them by the Office of Academic Affairs. This performance bond is a calculation of the grade point average required to be removed from SAP Probation.

As long as a student continues to make academic progress according to the terms of his or her SAP Contract and to meet his or her performance bond, he or she will continue to be eligible to enroll for courses and to receive federal financial aid for subsequent semesters at Olivet College.

What happens if I DON’T meet the terms of my SAP Probation?

Failure to achieve satisfactory academic progress according to the terms of one’s SAP Contract and performance bond will result in suspension for the subsequent semester. Students who have been suspended from Olivet College can secure reinstatement through filing an appeal or through attending another educational institution to achieve SAP standards.  Semester hours of coursework at other institution(s) can help meet the academic pace requirements of the SAP Policy; however, grades earned for these hours are not calculated into the student’s cumulative GPA at Olivet College. Students who are reinstated once suspended will not be eligible for federal financial aid until they have met Olivet College’s SAP standards. A second suspension will result in dismissal from the college with no opportunity for re-admittance.

Does the new SAP Policy affect any other academic policies?

·       After the drop/ add period, any withdrawn courses will count toward the number of semester hours attempted for a student. This will impact the academic pace ratio.

·       An incomplete grade is temporarily counted as an unsuccessful completion of a course until the final grade is submitted.

·       Per federal regulations, a student can receive financial aid to repeat failed courses until they are passed; however, a student can only receive financial aid for a repeated course once if it was previously passed.

·       Audit semester hours are not evaluated in the SAP Policy.

I’m a part-time student.  How does this policy affect me?

Part-time students are monitored in the same fashion as full-time students. Part-time students need to accrue coursework and semester hours at one-half the rate of a full-time student.  Part-time undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least six semester hours during the fall or spring semester to qualify for financial aid.

I’m currently on academic probation.  How does this policy affect my current status?

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Student Resource Center will contact all individuals who are on academic probation as of July 1, 2011 to assist them in transitioning to the requirements of this new policy.

How does this policy affect athletic eligibility?

Athletic eligibility is determined by a variety of factors, discussed in detail within the Academic Catalog. Full-time students who are in good academic standing, meeting both minimum GPA and academic pace requirements, are eligible for athletic competition at Olivet College.

What forms of federal financial aid are affected by this policy?

Olivet College’s SAP Policy affects the following Title IV financial aid programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, TEACH Grant, PLUS Loan, Grad PLUS Loan, and Federal Work Study.

Where can I get more information about the SAP Policy?

More detailed information about the SAP Policy can be found in the Academic Catalog as well as in the Student Services Office and the Student Resource Center. The following individuals can also be contacted for individual consultation regarding the Policy:

·       Nicole Baker, Assistant Dean for Academic Records,
(269) 749-7390