What is Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
It measures your semester GPA, cumulative GPA, and progress toward your degree. If you don’t meet all the requirements, you aren’t making SAP. You then become ineligible to receive federal aid programs like Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and Work-Study. If you lose eligibility for Federal Work-Study, you can still work under the RIT Campus Employment Program.
If you have no interest in federal financial aid programs, then these requirements don’t apply to you.
What are the requirements to be making SAP?
You must meet all of these requirements:
|2.0 or greater
|2.0 or greater
|Progress toward degree (total completed credits divided by total attempted credits) aka Pace
|67% or greater. No rounding allowed.
|Maximum Timeframe (credits required to complete your degree x 150%)
You must be able to earn your degree before meeting the maximum attempted credits.
|Varies depending on program of study.
Example: 120 credit program x 150% = 180 maximum attempted credits.
How do transfer credits affect SAP?
Credit hours that you have completed at another institution that are accepted at RIT will be counted as both attempted and completed credits. This does positively affect the calculation of your progress toward degree (Pace). However, the grades for transfer credits are not factored into the calculation of your term or cumulative GPA at RIT.
What impact do incomplete (“I”) grades have on SAP?
“I” grades are equivalent to “F” grades for SAP term and cumulative GPA calculations. The GPA calculations as reported by the Office of the Registrar at the conclusion of every semester/term will always be made with an “I” grade equaling a failing grade of 0.00. The GPA calculations on your academic transcript however are not calculated with “I” grades being equivalent to “F” grades and the “I” grades have no impact on the GPA calculations. Because of this, your term and cumulative GPAs on your academic transcript will always be higher than what is indicated on the SAP reports from the Registrar’s Office.
In the calculation of your progress toward degree (Pace), the credit hours associated with the course for which you have an “I” grade are counted as attempted credit hours. Because the “I” grade is equivalent to an “F” grade and no credit is earned for “F” grades, these same credit hours do not count as completed credit hours.
What happens if I change my pass/fail grade to a letter grade or I have an Incomplete (I) grade and the “I” grade changes?
The grade change will be considered in your next semester of attendance. For example, a grade change occurs in the fall 2022 semester, the change for federal SAP would be considered in the spring 2023 semester. It is not necessary for you to notify us, since we capture the changed grade the next semester we review your SAP.
You may, as an option, notify us of a change in your academic record in writing. Email is acceptable, but you must use your RIT email account. The change in your academic record must occur prior to the start of your next semester of attendance.
For example, you took a course in the spring 2022 semester using an alternate grading option. Your next planned semester of attendance is the fall 2022 semester. Your grade change must be approved by the Registrar prior to the fall 2022 semester and you have to notify us for it to be counted for the fall 2022 semester.
We will verify with the Registrar that the grade change occurred prior to the start of the semester and what impact, if any, on your federal SAP eligibility status. Changes will be reflected in eServices.
How does repeating a course affect SAP?
RIT’s policy on a repeating a course is that last grade will stand as final even if the last grade earned is lower than the grade previously earned. Accordingly, the last grade will affect the calculation of your term GPA and cumulative GPA for the semester/term in which the last grade was earned. The credit hours the repeated course is worth are again counted as attempted credit hours. They will be counted as completed credits only if the last grade earned is a passing grade.
The last grade earned does not impact the SAP status assigned for the semester/term the class was previously taken.
Do course withdrawals have any impact on SAP?
“W” grades, assigned to courses you have withdrawn from past the add/drop period, carry no credit and do not affect your SAP term or cumulative GPA calculations. However, “W” grades can possibly impact your SAP progress toward degree (Pace) and might also affect maximum timeframe because the credit hours associated with the courses you withdrew from are counted as attempted credit hours and they do not count as completed credit hours.
How do I find out if I’m meeting SAP requirements? How will I know if I’m not?
Review a copy of your unofficial transcript. Look at your most recently completed semester. It shows your semester GPA, cumulative GPA, your total credits attempted, and total credits completed. Compare your transcript to the requirements provided above. You can also contact your primary academic advisor.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) monitors Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress at the conclusion of every semester/term (summer/fall/spring) using information received from the Office of the Registrar. The OFAS will only notify you if you aren’t meeting SAP requirements or if it is unable to determine your SAP status.
What happens if I’m not making SAP?
It affects your eligibility for federal financial aid programs like grants, loans, and work-study. Other aid programs like state grants have their own rules. Scholarships and grants funded by RIT are not typically impacted.
NTID sponsored aid programs are determined by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), but if you are not meeting SAP requirements you may not be eligible for NTID scholarships and grants.
The first time you are not making SAP you are placed on Federal Financial Aid Warning for your next semester of attendance. This allows you to continue to receive federal financial aid for one semester even though you don’t meet the SAP requirements. Some students aren’t eligible for Federal Financial Aid Warning because they have had a previous Financial Aid SAP contract and/or have been on Federal Financial Aid Probation.
OFAS will notify you if you are eligible for Federal Financial Aid Warning.
I’ve used my Financial Aid Warning already. What happens now?
If you have good reasons for not making SAP and can demonstrate those reasons won’t happen again, you may request Federal Financial Aid Probation so that you can continue to receive federal aid while you work toward regaining SAP. You need to work with your primary academic advisor to develop a Federal SAP Action Plan that outlines the number of semesters it will take you to meet SAP requirements.
How do I apply for Federal Financial Aid Probation?
Only request Federal Financial Aid Probation if you desire to receive federal financial aid and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Follow these steps to request Federal Financial Aid Probation:
- Complete the Request for Financial Aid Probation form.
- Meet with the appropriate person in your primary academic unit (usually your academic advisor) to create a Federal SAP Action Plan. This tells us what you will achieve academically to meet SAP requirements.
- Submit your Request for Financial Aid Probation and your Federal SAP Action Plan to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the same time.
If you are applying for Federal Financial Aid Probation for a fall or spring semester, all required documents must be submitted no later than the start of the fifth week of the semester. If you are applying for Federal Financial Aid Probation for a summer term, all required documents must be submitted no later than the start of the third week of the full summer term.
What happens after I’ve filed for Federal Financial Aid Probation?
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships notifies you of the decision. If approved, you will need to meet the conditions outlined in the Federal SAP Action Plan to continue to be eligible for federal financial aid. If you don’t meet the conditions or if your request is not approved, then you are not eligible to receive federal aid again until you meet SAP requirements or are allowed to appeal again.
How many times may I receive Federal Financial Aid Probation?
It depends on your degree program:
Baccalaureate - Maximum of two times, each lasting no longer than three consecutive semesters.
Associate - One time only, lasting no longer than two semesters.
Certificate - One time only, lasting no longer than one semester
These are cumulative. For example, if you used a Federal Financial Aid Probation while pursuing an associate degree, but then transfer to a baccalaureate degree, you would only have one probation left.
Where can I find out more information?
Detailed information on RIT Undergraduate Federal Financial Aid SAP policy is available on the Graduate and Undergraduate Bulletins website.
Please note the following addendums:
Undergraduate Bulletin addendum
Graduate Bulletin addendum
Download the Request for Federal Financial Aid Probation PDF.