Federal legislation mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV financial aid programs.
Students must meet minimum academic requirements at the conclusion of each academic year to remain eligible for most types of financial aid, particularly federal and state assistance. The annual review of a student's SAP is conducted after spring term grades have been posted. Please note: SAP standards are the minimum criteria for maintaining federal financial aid eligibility. Certain forms of financial aid may carry other requirements for renewal.
The federal financial aid SAP requirements include a qualitative measure (minimum cumulative grade point average) and a quantitative measure (maximum time frame for completion of the education program). All periods of enrollment are considered, including summer sessions, whether or not a student received financial aid. Transfer credits accepted at Westminster College are assessed as part of SAP. These credits will be counted as both hours attempted and hours completed. Grades for courses transferred to Westminster College are not included in the student's accumulative grade point average (GPA).
Good Academic Standing – Undergraduate students must attain the following minimum cumulative grade point averages (GPA) to remain in academic good standing:
At the end of the fourth and all subsequent semesters, 2.000 GPA is required.
Failure to maintain these grade point averages can change academic status and impact eligibility for financial aid and intercollegiate athletics. It can also affect choice of major, impede progress toward earning a degree, or render a student ineligible to remain enrolled at Westminster College.
Students are required to earn 67% of the credit hours attempted. For the purposes of calculating the percentage of credits completed standard, and the maximum time frame standard, credits attempted includes any class for which a grade is assigned. Grades include (besides A,B,C,D,F), "I" (incomplete), "W" (withdrawn),"WF" (withdrawn failing), "S" (satisfactory) or "U" (unsatisfactory) in a Pass/Fail course, and "P" (pass), "C" (credit) or "NC" (no credit) in semesters when an alternative grading policy is active due to a disrupted learning environment.
Students are expected to complete all academic requirements for their degree within 150% of the published length of the educational program in which they are enrolled. (See the chart below.)
If at the conclusion of an academic year a student fails to meet the GPA or credit hours standard a student will be placed on financial aid suspension. The student will be notified of the financial aid suspension status by mail (both regular and college email) as soon as possible after all final grades have been submitted to the Westminster College Registrar's Office.
Students have the right to appeal financial aid suspension if they feel that the academic deficiency is a result of extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc.). A detailed explanation of why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation, along with relevant supporting documentation should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Appeals submitted without appropriate documentation will be denied.
Once the appeal has been submitted, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review the documentation. Approval of the appeal will change the student's status to financial aid probation for one semester. An approval of an appeal may also include certain conditions that a student must fulfill. At the conclusion of the financial aid probation semester the student must be making SAP, or successfully following an academic plan if one was included as part of the appeal approval. Students will be notified of appeal decisions by mail (both regular and college email).
If the appeal of financial aid suspension is denied, students have the option of enrolling at Westminster College without eligibility to receive financial aid. If a student enrolls at Westminster College without the benefit of financial aid and subsequently meets satisfactory academic progress standards, they can then regain financial aid eligibility.
Please note: Students are limited to 1 (one) financial aid suspension appeal while enrolled at Westminster College.
For questions regarding SAP standards, please contact us at (724) 946-7102 or visit the Financial Aid Office in Old Main Room 107, Westminster College, 319 South Market Street, New Wilmington, PA 16172.