Satisfactory Academic Progress


Students receiving financial assistance are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress during their enrollment at Simpson College.  Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) measures both a qualitative and quantitative component.  SAP is achieved when a student maintains both the required grade point averages and the required completion rate.

Required Grades (Qualitative Measure):  At the end of each academic term (fall, spring, summer), the student’s cumulative grade point average will be monitored.  If the student has a grade point average lower than that required to be considered making satisfactory academic progress for financial assistance, he/she will be placed on financial aid warning for the following semester.  During the warning period, the student may be able to receive financial assistance, but if the student fails to achieve the required cumulative GPA at the end of the next semester, the student’s financial assistance will be suspended.

When   academic process is measured: Students   must achieve:
For credits 0.1 – 29 A 1.80 cumulative grade point   average
For credits 29.01 – 61 A 1.90 cumulative grade point   average
For credits 61.01 and above   (includes Masters and Certificate Students) A 2.00 cumulative grade point   average

Required Completion Rate (Quantitative Measure):  In addition to maintaining the grades specified above, the student must be progressing toward completion of a degree program within a specified time frame.  In order to meet these minimum requirements, Simpson students must complete two-thirds, or 66.67%, of all cumulative attempted credits.  If a student falls short of the 66.67% completion rule, the student’s financial assistance will be placed on warning for the following semester.  During the warning period a student will be able to receive financial assistance.  If the student fails to successfully complete 66.67% of the cumulative attempted credits after the next semester of enrollment (the semester of the warning period) financial assistance will be suspended beginning with the next term.  Suspension of aid is the loss of financial assistance eligibility and will result in no aid package until deficiencies have been met.  Suspension of aid is not the same as academic suspension which is handled by the Academic Dean’s office.  Successful completion of credits means that a student completes and successfully passes said credits.

Students cannot receive financial assistance for any coursework beyond 150% of the credits that are required for their specific program.  Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program at Simpson College may receive financial assistance for a maximum of 192 attempted credits at either a part-time or full-time pace to be considered making progress under the 150% rule (128 undergraduate credits required for graduation x 150% = 192 credits).  Simply stated, a Bachelor of Arts student cannot receive financial assistance for any credits that are in excess of 192.  The 150% rule also applies to the Bachelor of Music degree.  Graduate programs are allowed to receive financial assistance for only 100% of the hours in the program.  Please see the chart below for the maximum credits/time frame for which each program may receive financial assistance dollars.

Program UndergradCredits Credits   for Specific Program Total   Credits 150%   maximum credits for SAP
Bachelor of Arts 128 0 128 192
Bachelor of Music 132 0 132 198
Masters of Teaching 42  42  42
Transition to Teaching 38  38  38
Masters of Criminal Justice 36  36  36

Incomplete Grades:  An incomplete or “I” grade will be treated as a failing grade in the cumulative GPA.  If a grade is later given for the course, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the office of financial assistance so that academic progress may be reassessed.

Withdrawals:  Credits from which the student has withdrawn or received a grade of “W” will be counted as attempted credits for purposes of determining academic progress.

Repeated Coursework:  When a student repeats a course, the most recent grade received will be used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.  Each time the course is taken, the credits for the course will count as attempted credits.

Transfer Students:  Transfer credits that are accepted at Simpson College will be counted toward the total attempted credits in determining whether the student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress and thus also count towards the maximum 192 credits and will be used in the 67% rule calculation.

Only credits earned from a course in which the student was actually enrolled are counted in calculating SAP.  Advanced Placement credits, CLEP credits, credits earned from challenge exams, proficiency exams, or life experience are not used in calculating Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Changes in Major or Degree or Certificate Program:  A student who changes majors will still be required to stay within the maximum 150% rule to receive financial assistance.

Re-establishing Eligibility:  A student, who has lost financial assistance eligibility, can regain eligibility by making up deficiencies while not receiving aid.  It is the student’s responsibility to notify the office of financial assistance to request aid reinstatement when this has been accomplished.

 Appeals:  A student may appeal a determination that he or she is not making satisfactory academic progress as follows:

If a student does not meet the minimum 67% credit completion rule and/or GPA requirements to be considered as maintaining satisfactory academic progress, he/she may appeal in writing to the Director of Financial Assistance for extenuating circumstances, such as the death of a family member or an illness or injury to the student.  All appeals must be made in writing and MUST include information regarding why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP after the next term of enrollment.

The appeal MUST also include an academic plan that details how the student will complete his/her degree.  The plan MUST demonstrate how the student will progress both GPA and cumulative credits to get back on track in seeking his/her degree.  This academic plan must detail out each term/semester from the time of the appeal until the student will graduate with their intended degree program.  The student must be able to demonstrate that it is reasonably possible to get back on track towards successful program completion while staying within the 150% rule.

An appeal committee will review the student’s request and notify the student of their decision in writing within one calendar week of receipt of appeal.  If a student is granted an appeal, they will remain on SAP warning and the office of financial assistance will monitor the student’s academic plan.  If the student strays from the plan, he/she will again have all financial assistance suspended immediately.