Satisfactory Academic Progress


Minimum academic requirements to remain financial aid eligible are included below:

Financial aid recipients must comply with UWF's satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirement for GPA, Completion Ratio (CR), and Maximum Time Limit (MTL).

1. Minimum cumulative UWF GPA

  • Undergraduate Students:
    • 1 - 29 hours: 1.80
    • 30 + hours: 2.00
  • Scholarship Recipients:
    • 3.00 - unless otherwise noted
  • Graduate, Specialist and Doctorate:
    • 3.00 - at all times

2. Minimum cumulative Completion Ratio for all students: 67%

Satisfactory completion means that a student must complete at least 67% of the courses in which they enroll with the following grades: A, B, C, D, P, and S. Unacceptable grades include F, N, U, I (incomplete), W, WF, WR, TR, V (extended incomplete) and X (audit). Transfer hours from previous institutions and repeat coursework are included in the completion ratio.

3. Maximum Time Limit 

Maximum Time Limit (MTL) is the number of credit hours allowed before a student is no longer eligible for financial aid. For undergraduates this is 180 credit hours; 54 credit hours is the maximum time limit for a graduate student. All coursework taken is included in these totals (transfer hours, repeat coursework, withdrawals, F's, etc.) The maximum time limit for a second bachelor's, second master's, or doctoral student is 150% of the program length. If your academic program requires more than the standard 120 undergraduate or 36 graduate credit hours, the maximum time limit will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Undergraduate students pursuing a first bachelor’s:               180 attempted hours*
  • Undergraduate students pursuing a second degree:                150% of the hours required for 2nd degree
  • Graduate students pursuing a first degree at that level:          150% of the program length

MAXIMUM TIME LIMIT CAN ONLY BE APPEALED IF: 

(1)    The student working on a second bachelor’s or a second graduate degree at the same level as a previously earned degree.

OR

(2)     The student is currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program that requires more than 120 credit hours (per the course catalog).  

If a student does not meet one of the above criteria for appealing maximum time limit, they should consider the Tuition Installment Plan and/or private student loans.  

 

 

I have reached my Maximum Time Limit. Now what

Maximum time limit (MTL) can only be appealed if:

(1)    The student working on a second bachelor’s or a second graduate degree at the same level as a previously earned degree.

OR

(2)     The student is currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program that requires more than 120 credit hours (per the course catalog). 

Students who have reached the maximum time limit and meet one of the above criteria must submit a 2016-2017 Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form through Dynamic Forms. 

If a student does not meet one of the above criteria for appealing maximum time limit, they should consider the Tuition Installment Plan and/or private student loans.  

I am not a second-degree seeking student and my program does not require more than 120 undergraduate credit hours? Why can’t I appeal the maximum time limit (MTL)?

By federal law and regulations, UWF policies for measuring SAP must not only consider the grades earned by the student, but also the pace of progress toward a degree. In particular, the student must be on track to graduate within the maximum timeframe for the degree program. The maximum timeframe, established by the US Department of Education, is 150% of the required timeframe for the program. After violating the 150% maximum timeframe restriction, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid.  The maximum time frame of 180 hours allows for the equivalent of 2 years/8 semesters/60 hours beyond what is required for degree completion. Because this additional time is built into the maximum time limit, the time frame already allows for extenuating personal circumstances that may occur during a student's enrollment, therefore a student cannot appeal based on extenuating circumstances and the only reasons a student may appeal MTL is if their program requires more than 120 hours or if they are working on a second degree at the same level. You do not meet either of these reasons, therefore your appeal cannot be approved. 

If I lose my eligibility for financial aid due to not meeting SAP standards, will I be able to receive federal student loans?

No.  Financial aid includes Pell grants, Florida state grants, federal direct student loans, and most university scholarships and grants. 

 

If I lose my eligibility for financial aid due to not meeting SAP standards, will I be able to receive my private loans?

Students not meeting SAP standards may be able to receive private student loans, depending on the policies of the private loan lender.  When applying for a private student loan, students should inquire if their particular lender requires students to maintain university SAP standards in order to receive the loan.

I have been readmitted to UWF. Does this means that I am eligible for financial aid?

Not necessarily.  Academic suspension is separate from suspension or loss of financial aid.  Students who have been readmitted to UWF should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to determine if they are eligible to receive financial aid.

 

I lost my eligibility for financial aid due to not meeting SAP standards. What can I do to regain eligibility?

Students not meeting SAP standards have the right to appeal the loss of financial aid.  Students must submit a 2016-2017 Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form electronically through MyUWF.  Forms from past years will not be accepted for committee review.

 Students may also regain their financial aid eligibility by successfully completing coursework and bringing the GPA and/or completion ratio up to the SAP standards.  (2. GPA and 67% completion ratio)

Does submitting an appeal mean that it will be approved?

No.  SAP appeals are considered by the SAP Committee.  Each appeal will be considered at a scheduled committee meeting.  

Students on Academic Probation who submit a SAP appeal will automatically be denied. 

Why would a SAP appeal be denied?

Appeals may be denied for several reasons:

  • The student did not list any extenuating circumstances beyond their control which prevented them from meeting SAP standards
  • Third-party documentation was not provided to support the student’s appeal; the supporting documentation does not relate to the time of low academic performance.  

Additionally, SAP students must demonstrate that the extenuating circumstances which impacted their ability to successfully maintain minimum SAP standards has been resolved.  Failure to demonstrate that the circumstances have been resolved may result in the SAP appeal being denied. 

What are extenuating circumstances beyond the control of a student?

Extenuating circumstances beyond the control of a student are events or actions which may have impacted their ability to successfully maintain SAP standards. 

Examples of extenuating circumstances include:

  • natural disaster (fire, flood)
  • illness or injury of the student (cancer, extended hospital stay, mental illness)
  • illness or injury of a parent or family member, and the death of an immediate family member.

Student must be able to provide substantial supporting documents for their extenuating circumstance. 

What are not considered extenuating circumstances beyond the control of a student?

The following issues are not considered extenuating circumstances for SAP appeal purposes:  issues with employment (working excessive hours, time commuting to/from work, conflict between work and classes); difficulty of classes (major requirements, instructors’ teaching styles, transition from high school to college courses, transition from community college to a 4-year college); not being prepared for college (immaturity, lack of focus).   

What is supporting, third-party documentation?

Third-party documentation is documentation provided in a professional capacity by an individual or individuals not related to the student.  This documentation must be date and time specific and address the reason(s) given in the SAP appeal that the student failed to maintain SAP standards.  Third-party documentation should be written on company or office letterhead. 

 

Examples include medical records, statements from medical doctors or psychologists, death certificates or obituaries, and copies of legal or insurance records. 

 

Personal statements and signed statements from friends or relatives are not considered third-party documentation.  

What if I have a low GPA or completion ratio from semesters during which I paid out-of-pocket or did not receive financial aid?

In order to receive financial aid, federal regulations require that each student maintain minimum SAP standards.  Even if you never received financial aid in the past, you must meet SAP standards in order to receive financial aid for the current or future term.

What if I have a low GPA or completion ratio from years or even decades ago?

 Federal regulation requires all students to maintain minimum SAP standards in order to receive financial aid.  Even if you attended years ago, you must currently be meeting satisfactory academic progress standards in order to receive financial aid.

What I have attempted a high number of credit hours due to transfer work? Can these hours be excluded from my maximum time limit?

No.  All attempted coursework at the current academic level (undergraduate, master’s, doctoral) must be included in the maximum time limit calculation.  Hours attempted at other institutions may not be excluded, even if it is a foreign or unaccredited institution.

I have already earned a degree at my current academic level (bachelor’s, master’s). Can I appeal the maximum time limit?

Yes.  Students who are attempting a second degree at their current academic level may appeal their maximum time limit.  The student must submit a SAP appeal form and provide a copy of their course catalog to document the program requirements for their current degree program.  Students must have previously earned a degree at their current academic level to be eligible to appeal the maximum time limit based on enrollment in a second degree program.  

My SAP appeal was approved but I did not meet the terms of my appeal. Can I submit another appeal?

No.  All SAP appeals are approved with specific terms or conditions that the student must meet in order to maintain financial aid eligibility.  If a student fails to meet the terms of their appeal and does not otherwise meet SAP standards, they are ineligible to receive financial aid until they bring their GPA or completion ratio to the minimum SAP standards. 

 

My SAP appeal was approved, now what?

Approved SAP appeals have conditions which the student must meet in order to maintain fianncial aid eligibility. Students must sign a SAP agreement prior to any aid being disbursed. 

I have dropped below the 67% completion ratio and 2.0 GPA and lost financial aid. How can I appeal this?

Students who have lost financial aid eligibility due to GPA and/or CR have the right to appeal if extenuating circumstances, beyond the student’s control, existed during the specific terms of enrollment and caused a student to not meet the SAP requirements. Students must complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form through MyUWF and the appeal must include the following:

  • a personal statement (no pictures) written by the student, which explains the extenuating circumstance(s) for specific terms with unearned, dropped, failed, incomplete grades, for all schools attended.  Extenuating circumstances include personal injury or illness, death of immediate family member or other exceptional circumstances, beyond the student’s control.
  • 3rd party documentation (no pictures) of extenuating circumstances beyond student’s control. The documentation must verify extenuating circumstances, beyond student control, during the semester(s) of poor academic performance and that the circumstances impacted academic performance.  The documentation also must verify that circumstances have been resolved so that the extenuating circumstance will no longer exist or have changed so that it will no longer have a negative impact on academic performance.
  • An academic plan and an academic advisor signature, which is part of the SAP appeal form. 
  • Appeals lacking ANY of the above items will be automatically denied. Appeals must be submitted by noon on the third day of classes for the semester. Appeals are reviewed by a SAP appeals committee consisting of representatives from across campus.  The SAP appeals committee meets several times at the beginning of each semester. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee an approval and students will be notified of committee decisions via their official UWF e-mail.  Students are responsible for paying their bill by the fee payment due date and are responsible for any late fees and/or reinstatement fees incurred as a result of missing the fee payment due date. Committee decisions are final.  If students have questions or concerns regarding a denied appeal, they may schedule an appointment via Grades First to speak with the Financial Aid Director.  SAP appeal denials are only discussed via appointment made via Grades First. This appointment is only for informational purposes, and will not result in a change to committee decision.  Students may only schedule this appointment AFTER the committee has reviewed the appeal.

     

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