Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

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Statement of Purpose

Federal regulations require Midway University to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for student financial aid recipients. These standards measure a student’s performance in the following three areas: completion rate (PACE), cumulative grade point average (GPA), and maximum time frame. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive financial aid are meeting these standards. The standards of SAP apply for all financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loans, (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS), as well as assistance from the state and the institution.

Enrollment in Degree Program

Financial aid recipients must only take courses that are required for the degree program. Courses which do not apply toward the degree, are audited, or which are earned through CLEP testing do not count toward a student’s enrollment status for financial aid.

Completion Rate (PACE)

A student’s academic pace will be measured by comparing the cumulative number of attempted credit hours with the cumulative credit hours earned (i.e., received a grade of P, A, B, C, D, or S). This includes any courses for which the student has remained enrolled past the Add/Drop period. A student must earn 67% of the cumulative credits attempted to maintain SAP.

Example: 70 cumulative hours x .67 = 46.9 so 47 earned hours are required to meet pace [1]

The following are considered when evaluating a student’s completion rate:

  • Withdrawals, incompletes, and failures are considered attempted but not earned
  • Passing grades received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned
  • Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned A student may only receive aid for repeating a previously passed course one time.
  • Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or
  • Transfer credits, including those received during consortium study, do not count in the calculation of the GPA, but they are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours and will be counted as attempted hours even if Midway University does not accept the grade for
Completion Rate

Course Type

Counts Toward Attempted

Counts Toward Earned

Counts Toward GPA

Withdraws or incompletes








Passing grades received for pass/fail courses




Failing grades received for pass/fail courses




Repeated courses



Only the grade received in the most recent attempt

Audited Courses




Transfer credits, including those received during consortium study




Cumulative GPA

To retain financial aid eligibility, the student must maintain a cumulative GPA of

  • 2.0 for undergraduate students
  • 3.0 for graduate students

Maximum Time Frame

A student will not be eligible to receive financial aid once they have attempted more than 150 percent of the normal credits required for the degree program. At Midway University, this means that students in programs requiring 120 hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid during the first attempted 180 hours as an undergraduate. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours accepted toward the degree program, whether financial aid was received or not, or the course work was successfully completed.

Note: The maximum time frame requirement may be adjusted for students pursuing a second degree. Generally, students will be allowed to attempt up to 150 percent of the additional credit hours required to earn the second degree.

SAP Reviews

Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester each year. Students not meeting the completion rate, Max Time Frame, and cumulative GPA requirements stated above will no longer be eligible for financial aid. Students will be notified of the suspension in writing if they fail to meet SAP standards. 

Financial Aid Suspension

If the student does not meet the standards for completion rate, Max Time Frame, and cumulative GPA, they are no longer eligible for financial aid from federal, state, and institutional sources until such standards are met, or until eligibility has been reestablished through a successful appeal.

Academic Fresh Start

Granting of Academic Fresh Start does not extend to Financial Aid. Courses that may be included in the Academic Fresh start approval are required by federal policy to still be included in the calculation of SAP. Students who are granted Academic Fresh Start who were previously held for SAP will need to contact the Financial Aid Office and will be responsible for submitting the required SAP appeal.

Appeal Procedures and Reinstatement

A student may appeal their SAP suspension if they believe they have mitigating circumstances that contributed to their performance. Mitigating circumstances may include but are not limited to personal or family illness, tragedy, or other circumstances the student feels have bearing on the situation. Documentation verifying the situation must be provided. 

Note: The Financial Aid SAP Appeal is not the same as an Academic Appeal, or a Scholarship Appeal. Students must file a separate appeal with each department.

SAP appeals may fall into one of the following categories and supporting documentation must be included with the appeal:

Personal Injury or Severe Illness

Examples: cancer, stroke, broken bone, mental illness

Documentation required:

  • Official documentation from medical provider confirming diagnosis and dates of injury or illness.
  • If recurring illness or health issue, provide a statement detailing what has changed to allow better performance in the future.
  • If there is a change in medication for a recurring illness, provide additional documentation explaining how this will help improve performance.

Severe Personal or Family Event

  • Examples: Divorce, death of immediate family member, incarceration
  • Documentation required (dependent upon mitigating event):
  • Divorce decree or letter from an objective third party (lawyer, officer of the court, pastor, counselor, etc.).
  • Death certificate or copy of obituary and supporting documentation confirming family connection.
  • Copy of police report.
  • Court documentation reflecting period of incarceration and proof of family connection if person incarcerated was not the student.

Academically Related

Examples: Academic Fresh Start, Change of major, second degree

Documentation required:

  • A completed Academic Timetable for Program Completion Form

Extenuating Circumstances

Examples: Military Obligations, Work Conflict

Documentation required:

  • Official documentation from the military verifying required training or deployment timeframe.
  • Letter from employer on company letterhead verifying termination of employment or reduced work hours.
  • Other documentation supporting stated circumstance.

The Financial Aid Office will review all appeals within three weeks of submission. Students selecting the option to meet with the Appeals Committee will only be contacted to schedule a meeting in the event the initial review indicates the appeal may be denied. The student will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal.

An appeal may be approved, denied, or approved with conditions set forth in an Academic Plan. Students who are granted an appeal will be placed on financial aid probation for one term. At the end of the next term of enrollment (including the summer term if applicable) the student’s academic progress will be reviewed. At that time, students who do not meet SAP, or the conditions agreed upon in the Academic Plan, will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

The Financial Aid SAP Policy does not preclude a student from enrolling in subsequent semesters. Students may continue coursework using alternative means of payment and will have their financial aid reinstated by the Financial Aid Office once all SAP standards are met.

[1] Round to the nearest whole number – If the first digit after the decimal is 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, rounding digit rounds up by one number.