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Satisfactory Academic Progress

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY

EFFECTIVE JULY 2011

Virginia State University is required by Federal Regulations to adhere to minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) that relate to a student’s eligibility for federally funded financial aid programs, state and institutional grants, scholarships, employment and loan programs.

Students must meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards in order to initially receive and maintain eligibility for Title IV funds. The satisfactory academic progress standards apply to all students in degree-seeking programs of study who wish to be considered for financial assistance.

Requirements for Undergraduate Students 

(This Category of Students includes Baccalaureate and Post-Baccalaureate) 

Cancellation letters are mailed as a courtesy to students. Whether or not a student receives a cancellation letter, each student is expected to understand the SAP requirements and monitor his/’her academic performance. A Cancellation letter is a notice that a student is not eligible to receive financial aid. A student will receive a cancellation letter if any one of the following criteria is reached:

  • The students cumulative GPA is less than 1.5 after attempting less than 30 hours, or less than 2.0 after attempting 30 or more hours (transfer credits are included in total hours attempted)
  • The student earns less than 67% of their overall attempted hours at VSU (transfer credit hours are not included)
  • The student attempts more than 150% of the hours required for their degree program (transfer credits included)
  • The student completely withdraws from his/her last two semesters

Example: A student in an undergraduate program that requires 120 credit hours will have eligibility for aid canceled after attempting more than 180 hours

 

Requirements for Graduate/Professional Students 

(This Category of students includes Master, Post-Masters, and Doctoral) 

Cancellation letters are mailed as a courtesy to students. Whether or not a student receives a cancellation letter, each student is expected to understand the SAP requirements and monitor his/her academic performance. A Cancellation letter is a notice that a student is not eligible to receive financial aid. A student will receive a cancellation letter if any one of the following criteria is reached: 

  • The Student’s cumulative GPA is less than a 3.0
  • The Student earns less than 67% of their attempted hours (transfer credit hours not included)
  • The student attempts more than 150% of the hours required for their degree program (transfer credits included)
  • The student completely withdraws from his/her last two consecutive semesters

Example: A student who is in a graduate degree program would be sent a SAP cancellation letter at the point his/her cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 or they fail to pass the required credit hours. 

Financial Aid Status Explanation 

  • Good -Student is in good academic standing
  • Warning—Student is alerted that their financial aid is in jeopardy due to their academic performance 
  • Cancellation—Student is informed by letter that their financial aid has been canceled 
  • Over—Student attempted 180 credit hours or more (Undergraduate); 45 hours or more (Graduate) 

Satisfactory Academic Progress 

(Appealing Cancellation of Financial Aid Eligibility) 

A Student whose eligibility for financial aid has been canceled may submit an appeal if mitigating circumstances prevented the student from achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If a student feels that they violated VSU SAP standards due to mitigating circumstances, the student may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the VSU Office of Student Financial Aid. 

Decisions of the SAP Appeals Committee are Final 

Supporting Documentation 
(All Appeals must include supporting documentation) 

Note:  All documentation MUST be TYPED.


To confirm your circumstance(s), you must attach documentation from an objective third party (Example: physician, counselor, lawyer, social worker, teacher, religious leader, academic advisor, and/or VSU Counseling Center). 

Your third party documentation must: 

  • Be submitted on official letterhead with appropriate signatures or via email from a valid VSU email account
  • Verify that the circumstances occurred during the timeframe referenced in your appeal
  • Verify that the circumstance(s) will no longer influence your academic performance
  • If document submitted is an obituary notice of immediate family member, then your relationship to that family member must also be documented

 

Mitigating circumstances must be documented, and any appeal submitted without documentation will be denied. In some cases, the student will be instructed on the SAP Appeal to submit an Audit form from your advisor. 

We realize that sharing personal information may be difficult. Be assured that your statement will remain confidential. Only Financial Aid Personnel will review your appeal. Appeals without appropriate supporting documentation WILL NOT BE REVIEWED. 

Deadlines 

To insure timely processing, it is your responsibility to initiate an appeal before the specified deadline.

Please submit Completed SAP Appeals to: 

Office of Student Financial Aid
Attn: Vonda K. Fitzgerald 
P.O. Box 9031
112 Gandy Hall
Virginia State University, VA 23806
(804) 524-6818 Fax 

Students will be notified in writing or by email of the results of their appeal. 

Appeal decisions are based on the information presented on the appeal form and the SAP criteria; therefore, it is important that the appeal contain as much supporting information and documentation as possible. Lack of supporting documentation is grounds for denial of the appeal. Appeal will fall into on the following categories: 

  1. A-Deny (Denied) _ Student is not eligible to receive financial aid (Private Loans Only)
  2. Reinstated-Student is approved to receive financial aid for one semester but must meet specified criteria during the term to receive aid for the next term

Please click the links below for the Appeal forms to submit.

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