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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

As a standard for participating in any federal student aid program, CSU Pueblo is required by the U.S. Department of Education to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is making progress toward a degree. The state of Colorado also requires that students meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to receive any state-funded student assistance. CSU Pueblo’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy applies to all students. Both of these requirements are met and apply to CSU Pueblo institutional financial aid eligibility by measuring student academic performance at the end of each payment period (period of enrollment) against the following qualitative and quantitative standards:

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students must maintain a 2.0 for undergraduate programs and 3.0 for graduate programs.

Completion Percentage (Pace)

At least 67% of all credit hours attempted must have successfully passing grades. Students must complete coursework with successfully passing grades by the end of each period of enrollment or put both current and future financial aid eligibility at risk. Successfully passing grades are S or D- and higher; all others (U, F, W, IN, IP, NC, and repeated coursework) count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted.

Course repetition

Students are allowed to repeat a course and have it count toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility only once. Each attempt at the course, however, will count toward a student's pace, and all prior attempts with lower grades will count as unsuccessful credit hours attempted. Please note this is specifically in reference to repeating identical coursework at CSU-Pueblo. Credits accepted as transfer credits that may count as equivalent to coursework offered here at CSU-Pueblo do not count as course repetition.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals (grade of "W") do not affect a student's cumulative GPA for SAP, but do count as credit hours attempted toward both pace and maximum time frame.  Please note that a withdrawal (grade of “W”) is distinctly different from courses which are simply dropped (no grade and no record of attempt).

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who do not earn any passing grades for the period of enrollment (the grade point average for the semester is 0.0) are placed on Financial Aid Suspension without a warning period if cumulative requirements are not met. (see Evaluation below for more details on Financial Aid Suspension).

Incompletes

At the time of evaluation (the end of each period of enrollment), Incompletes (grade of "I") do not affect a student's cumulative GPA for SAP, but do count as credit hours attempted toward both pace and maximum time frame. Grades of Incomplete which become letter grades prior to or during a subsequent period of enrollment may affect financial aid eligibility. Students should contact Student Financial Services for further evaluation.

Transfer credit

Transfer credit does not count toward a student's cumulative GPA for SAP, but does count as both attempted and completed credit hours (100%) toward pace and maximum time frame.

Maximum time frame

Undergraduate students - attempted credit hours may not exceed 150% of the educational program.

Graduate students - attempted credit hours may not exceed 100% of the educational program.

Note that both Pace and Maximum time frame are measured in credit hours only, regardless of full time or part time attendance.

Notification

All students are notified of their evaluated Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each period of enrollment/semester.  Notifications are sent to the student issued email account.  Students can access their SAP status at any time through their student PAWS account.

Evaluation

All students enrolled at CSU Pueblo are evaluated for SAP at the end of each period of enrollment after the Registrar's Office has released official grades. Students can find their SAP status within the Financial Aid menu on PAWS. Listed below are each status and definition:

  • Eligible: Student is eligible for financial aid. This category may include students with no SAP issue, students who have appealed successfully and have successfully completed their Probation period of enrollment, students who are following their Academic Plan, and students who have met SAP after being ineligible previously.
  • Warning: Failure to make SAP, but student is financial aid eligible for one more period of enrollment and must make SAP by the end of that period of enrollment or student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Warning status is not appealable.
  • Suspension: Failure to make SAP after a Warning period or students who earn no passing grades for the period of enrollment will be on suspension. The student is eligible to appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student can continue financial aid eligibility for another period of enrollment under a Probation status. Students may also choose not to appeal and attempt to regain financial aid eligibility by meeting SAP while paying out of pocket (without any financial aid).
  • Probation: Students who have successfully appealed a Satisfactory Academic Progress Suspension status are put on Financial Aid Probation. There are two types of Financial Aid Probation: the first type, Probation, allows the student to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress within one term. The second type, Academic Plan, allows the student, based on an academic plan developed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee, to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time. Both types allow the student to receive financial aid while on probation. If the student does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress within one term or does not meet the terms of their academic plan, the student will be put on a Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible for financial aid.

Appeal Procedure

All students who have their financial aid eligibility suspended may appeal to the Financial Aid Committee to receive financial aid in a subsequent period of enrollment. GPA, Pace, and Maximum time frame are all appealable. Students can contact Student Financial Services with any questions. 

To appeal, students may submit a SAP Appeal Form.  The form can be saved and be completed in more than one sitting. If you need to complete the form in more than one sitting, please make note of the "Save and Resume Later" feature in the directions on the form.  The form and documentation will be sent electronically to Student Financial Services.  Please make sure to complete the appeal form and submit all required documentation.  Only complete applications will be reviewed.  Incomplete applications will be denied.  Items that need to be addressed/completed for your appeal include:

  • Check all reasons that indicate why you are financial aid ineligible (e.g., Cumulative GPA is lower than a 2.0 and/or completed less than 67% of cumulative attempted hours, attempted more than 150% of the total program hours needed to complete currently declared degree and/or certificate (100% for graduate students), or completely withdrew from courses or have 0% completion for a single term)
  • Explain how your situation has changed to support future success in your coursework
  • Complete Financial Literacy Course and upload certificate of completion

Submit appeals by the first day of classes for the semester in which you are appealing your status to ensure your appeal is reviewed by the add/drop period.

Students are notified of their SAP appeal decision via their PAWS account and student email. Financial Aid Committee decisions are final. Students whose appeals are not approved may reestablish financial aid eligibility by meeting the SAP cumulative standards. Students may appeal SAP twice during their entire enrollment at CSU Pueblo. It is not recommended to appeal in two consecutive semesters for SAP suspension. 

During the appeal review, some of the factors that will be considered/reviewed are:

  1. Validity of the reasons for failing to meet the standards.
  2. Resolution of the problems leading up to the student’s failure to meet the standards.
  3. Prior academic history (credits earned vs. credits attempted, GPA, repeat courses, etc.)
  4. Meetings with an academic advisor, along with their notes and recommendations.
  5. Number of previous suspension and reinstatements.
  6. Likelihood of future success.
  7. Number of additional semesters requested.
  8. Overall loan indebtedness.
  9. Number of previously attended institutions.

Academic Plans

All students who appeal successfully and are subsequently placed on Probation will automatically have a minimum Academic Plan consisting of at least 2.0 GPA and 67% completion rate (3.0 GPA and 100% completion rates for graduate students) within subsequent periods of enrollment. The Financial Aid Committee will further develop Academic Plans for individual students based on the particular situation and content of appeal on a case by case basis. The requirements of these more rigorous plans will be made in writing and signed by the student prior to future financial aid disbursements, and the Academic Plans will be monitored by the Financial Aid Committee or designee.

Note that the SAP policy differs from CSU Pueblo's Good Academic Standing policy (see Catalog) and in particular the difference between an SAP Academic Plan and a Center for Academic Enrichment Academic Improvement Plan. The SAP policy reviews both Pace and Maximum time frame, in addition to GPA, and all attempted credit hours are included in reviewing student eligibility, including those excluded by the Registrar's Office in Academic Renewal situations. These two policies also have separate appeal procedures. Courses or programs taken through Extended Studies may also have a separate appeal procedure. 

This SAP policy supersedes all other CSU Pueblo SAP policies published on the web and/or in prior catalogs.

Resources

Student Financial Services encourages students to be aware of the resources available at Colorado State University Pueblo to assist those who might be struggling to maintain the required GPA or completion rate for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

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