Policy Title: Academic Progress Policy

Responsible Office: Financial Aid
Policy Officer: VP for Enrollment Management

Approved By: VP/Provost

Approved Date: 12/13/2022

Effective Date: 12/13/2022

Category: Student


This policy outlines the standard of satisfactory academic progress for Federal and Institutional Financial Aid. 



To be eligible for federal and institutional financial aid, students at Saint Francis University must be making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree as defined below. Federal student aid includes Federal PELL Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study Program, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and Direct PLUS Loan.

Once degree students have completed two semesters of enrollment, their academic records will be reviewed on a regular basis to determine whether they are making satisfactory academic progress as shown below. During each two semesters (normally one academic year), students will be required to complete a minimum number of credits, depending on the type of program. This review will be done each time final grades are posted. 

Progress is checked two ways depending on when you started full-time enrollment. For example: if you begin the fall semester, your progress will be checked at the end of the spring semester. At this time, you must have maintained satisfactory progress in order to receive aid for the following academic year. If you begin in the spring, your progress will be checked at the end of the following fall semester. At that time, you must have maintained satisfactory progress in order to receive aid for the upcoming spring and fall semesters. 

A student can only repeat a late-drop or failed course ONCE to be counted toward academic progress. If a student repeats a course for a second time, that particular course does not count in the SAP calculations.

Credits to be included in total number completed are those for which the student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, or P (credit by examination).  Credit for which the student receives a grade of W, WP, WF, or I will not be included, although "I" (Incomplete) grades which result in a determination of unsatisfactory progress may be reviewed upon completion of course work. Incomplete grades not completed by the end of the academic contracted date are computed as "Fs." Once students have completed sixty (60) credit hours, a "C" (2.0) average must be maintained for continuance of financial aid. Our institution cannot exclude from SAP courses in which a student remains past the add/drop period and earned a "W" or its equivalent. See Academic Standing Policy.

Time Frame 
Saint Francis expects students enrolled in degree programs to complete all required course work within a given amount of time; therefore, students may receive financial aid for a maximum number of semesters as shown below:

Type of Program

Normal # of Semesters to Complete

Maximum # of Semesters of Aid

2-year associate's degree 4 6
4-year bachelor's degree 8 10


Type of Program 1 Semester 2 Semesters 4 Semesters 6 Semesters 8 Semesters 10 Semesters
Associate 12 credits 24 credits 48 credits 72 credits N/A N/A
Bachelor 12 credits 24 credits 48 credits 72 credits 96 credits 120 credits

Qualitative Standard - Students must achieve the minimal Grade Point Average as set forth by the University and listed in the section "Academic Policies and Procedures; Academic Standing." Students who fail to attain this standard are only eligible for financial assistance if reinstated by the Office of Financial Aid.

Quantitative Standard - Students are expected to progress toward degree requirements at a reasonable pace.  Students that attempt 12 or fewer credits per semester must earn 100% of the credits; if you attempt 10 credits you must earn 10 credits and so on. Students that attempt 13-14 credits per semester must earn 90% of the credits (minimum of 12 credits/semester). Students that attempt 15+ credits per semester must earn 80% of the credits (minimum of 12 credits/semester).

Change of Major - Students who change majors must appeal through the Office of Financial Aid for the additional amount of time needed to complete the new program without regard to time spent in previous course work provided the student was making satisfactory progress at the time of change.

Second Degree - Financial aid for a second degree will be awarded to students only after they present a statement from an advisor indicating the additional courses necessary for the second degree.  Financial aid will be awarded for those credits required for the additional degree.

Transfer Students - Course work transferred to and accepted by Saint Francis University will be included in the evaluation of credits completed toward a degree. Transfer credits earned at other institutions which are applied to the student's program of study at Saint Francis University will be counted as both credits attempted and earned when determining the maximum number of semesters a student may receive financial aid.  Transfer credits will be considered at a rate of twelve (12) semester credits equal to one semester.

Students who have received prior state grant assistance at another institution must submit a copy of their final college transcript to the Registrar's Office at Saint Francis University. Academic progress requirements for the PHEAA State Grant program require the University to verify that you were successfully making academic progress at your prior institution before transferring to Saint Francis University. PHEAA State Grant funds will not be credited to a student's account until the needed transcripts are received and progress has been confirmed.

Part-time Students - When a student receives financial aid, the government and school will expect that student to make Academic Progress. This means that the student must pass all credits attempted each semester.  If a student withdraws from school, drops a class, or repeats a class, financial aid can be affected during the semester that the student is enrolled or in future semesters.

Termination - At the end of every academic year, a student who fails to meet the requirements set forth for satisfactory academic progress will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office that all federal and institutional aid will be terminated.

Reinstatement - A student who fails to make satisfactory progress may apply for reinstatement through the following procedures:

A.  A student must attain a level of progress commensurate with the time spent in school (see Standards of Progress).

B.  If a student takes course work at another school, the student must submit an official transcript to the Registrar's Office and the credits must be accepted by Saint Francis University toward the student's diploma or degree.

C.  The student must, upon completion of course work, notify the Financial Aid Office in writing that he/she wishes to be considered for reinstatement of aid eligibility.

D.  The Financial Aid Office will notify students in writing after determining whether sufficient progress has been made to merit reinstatement.

Appeals - Students denied financial aid due to lack of academic progress or because they have exhausted the maximum number of semesters for which they are eligible to receive aid may appeal if extenuating circumstances exist. Academic progress waivers may be granted for medical emergency/illness of student, spouse, or child; death of parent, spouse, child; or other documented extenuating circumstance.

All appeals must be made in writing to the Financial Aid Office and accompanied by significant documentation to validate the student's reason for not making satisfactory academic progress and what has changed to allow them to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.  The appeal request will be reviewed and the student will be notified in writing of the results of the appeal.

It is the policy of the Financial Aid Office to waive a maximum of six (6) credits toward satisfactory academic progress.  If the student is still short credits after the waiver is granted, it is the student's responsibility to complete the remaining credits to be considered for reinstatement of aid eligibility.  Failure to do so will result in the termination of future financial aid.

Policy History Notes

This policy used to be posted on the Saint Francis University webpage. The "approval" and "effective" dates for this policy reflect when the policy was moved from being housed on the University webpage to being housed in the policy database. It does not reflect the date of when the policy was first published to the institutional webpage.

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