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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (sometimes abbreviated as SAP) is a measure of a student’s success in pursuing an academic degree, calculated from your GPA and from the percentage of classes successfully completed compared to those that a student has not completed or has failed.

Check your SAP status in myPellissippi. Under the main “Financial Aid” menu, choose “Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status” and then select the aid year. Click on the “Academic Progress” tab and your SAP status for that semester will be listed.

Federal regulations require that Pellissippi State establishes and applies reasonable standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for the purpose of awarding financial assistance under the Title IV programs authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (34 CFR 668.34).

Pellissippi State complies with this requirement by monitoring each student’s qualitative and quantitative academic progress as well as the maximum timeframe. Qualitative progress is measured by the overall combined cumulative grade point average (GPA). Quantitative progress is measured using a completion ratio of Course Program of Study (CPoS) known as “PACE.” This measures the number of credit hours completed versus the number of credit hours attempted. Maximum timeframe allows for students to complete their course program of study within 150% of the required course load. 

This policy is applicable to all Federal Title IV Programs (Pell, SEOG, Direct and Plus Loans and Federal Work-Study), as well as State programs including the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (Hope). 

The following standards apply whether or not a student received financial aid during the period(s) being measured. SAP is evaluated at the end of every academic term of enrollment, or anytime a student changes their program of study on or before the 14th day known as the enrollment census date. In general, students should be aware that they must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher and pass 67% of all attempted courses in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid.

Qualitative Standard (GPA)
All grades earned, including failed, incomplete, remedial, repeat, transfer and prerequisites, count towards the overall combined GPA. To meet this standard, students must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 each semester. 

Quantitative Standard (Pace) 
A student must pass two-thirds (67%) of the in-program hours attempted on a cumulative basis and be on reasonable “PACE” in order to graduate. Passing grades include all in-program credit hours of an A, B, C, and D.  All grades (in-program and out of program) of W, FA and F are considered unsatisfactory and are counted as attempted hours. A grade of I is considered unsatisfactory until changed to a passing grade. PACE is calculated by dividing “overall combined” earned hours by “overall combined” attempted hours.  
A student who does not meet the quantitative AND qualitative requirements will be placed on financial aid warning. During the warning semester, the student will be eligible for regular financial assistance and will need to re-establish satisfactory progress by the end of that semester to receive future federal aid.
Students who are not able to meet the quantitative and qualitative requirements by the end of their warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid suspension.

Students on Financial Aid Suspension are not eligible to receive aid until they enroll in and complete, at their own expense, sufficient hours to raise their PACE above the required 67%, and overall combined GPA above 2.0. 

Remedial Coursework
All remedial courses (passed and failed) will count towards attempted and completed hours in the pace calculation and towards overall combined GPA. 

Repeat Coursework
In-program, previously passed, repeated courses will count towards attempted and completed hours in the pace calculation and towards overall combined GPA.

Transfer Coursework
A transfer student’s eligibility will NOT be processed until ALL final (no in-progress courses), official transcripts have been received and evaluated by the Records office. All passed in-program transfer courses will be included in the PACE calculation and overall combined GPA.

All unsatisfactory transfer courses (in-program and out of program) of W, FA and F are considered and are counted in the PACE calculation and overall combined GPA.

International Students
All International Students who wish to receive credit from the International College transcript(s) or receive financial aid funding must have his/her transcript evaluated by a credentialing service. International students who have not taken college courses will need to provide credentialed proof of high school completion or take the HiSet to prove they meet high school completion standards. If the student does not choose to have his/her transcripts evaluated the student remains ineligible for financial aid.

Dual Enrollment
All recent high school graduates with dual enrollment hours will be placed in good standing. Dual enrollment hours will be calculated in the student’s SAP status at the completion of their first semester as a degree-seeking student. Dual enrollment hours that are part of a student’s course program of study, will count in both a student’s PACE and their GPA. All unsatisfactory dual enrollment hours including those not that are not part of a student’s course program of study will still be counted in attempted hours and GPA.

Grade Changes
Incomplete grades will be considered unsatisfactory (F) and will count against a student’s PACE until the course is completed and the grade is updated. Incomplete grades that are updated to passing grades (A,B,C,D & P) will be reevaluated for SAP purposes at the time the grade change is processed.  
SAP will be reevaluated for all other grade changes (ex. D to an A) that are completed prior to the freeze date (14th day) of the next semester. Grade changes processed after the 14th day will be evaluated with the end of term SAP process for the next enrolled semester.   

Bachelor’s Degree 
Students (including International students) who have completed a FAFSA and indicated that they have earned a Bachelor’s degree are only eligible to receive Federal loans. The student’s eligibility will be evaluated following regular SAP guidelines.


Time Limit for Financial Aid

A student may be eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 hours attempted learning support coursework.

A student may be eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 90 hours attempted toward a degree.

Lifetime limit. A student may receive the federal Pell Grant for a maximum of 12 full-time semesters (or the equivalent).


Financial Aid Appeals

Students are allowed a maximum of two SAP appeals during their academic career at Pellissippi State. In order for an appeal to be reviewed, the student must be enrolled at Pellissippi State by the 14th day of the semester. Termination of financial aid may be appealed to the Financial Aid office. The student must be able to prove extenuating circumstances for an appeal and provide documentation for the appeal to be reviewed. There are two separate types of appeals in the Financial Aid office; State program (Hope, TN Promise and TN Reconnect) appeals and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeals (for Federal-aid).

Students whose SAP appeal is granted will be placed on financial aid probation for the subsequent semester. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress at the end of that semester will again result in the termination of financial aid. An academic plan may be developed to assist students as a condition of an approved appeal to help a student achieve satisfactory academic progress. Students can only submit a total of two SAP appeals during their tenure at Pellissippi State. 


Deadline to Submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

If you are a currently-enrolled Pellissippi State student, you cannot file an SAP appeal until all of your final grades have been posted.

Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021
September 8 February 2 June 5

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