Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements
Students receiving federal financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with FIDM’s SAP policy. A student who does not meet SAP standards is subject to loss of financial aid. The standards for financial aid SAP are stricter than those for students who do not receive financial aid.
Financial Aid SAP Standards
SAP is monitored periodically during the program of study. At each monitoring period, the student must meet SAP standards in two areas:
GPA: A student in an undergraduate program must maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. A student in the Master’s program must maintain a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Pace: A student must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of the units attempted on a cumulative basis. For financial aid SAP purposes, “units attempted” are defined as units for classes for which the student has a grade at the completion of a quarter, with the exception of the classes Writing Skills and Financial Skills Workshop. Units for classes dropped prior to the deadline to drop in a quarter are not considered attempted, but units for a class with a grade of “W” are considered as units attempted. “Successfully completed” units are units for classes with grades of “A”, “B”, “C” “D” or “P”. Units considered to be not successfully completed are units for classes with grades of “F” or “W.” Units for classes with a grade of “I” can be either successful or not, depending on the eventual resolution of the incomplete.
Except as noted*, a student’s financial aid SAP will be monitored at the completion of three quarters of attendance (once per academic year). To be in compliance with SAP standards, the student must meet both components of SAP at the point of monitoring, meaning the student must: 1) Have successfully completed at least 67% of the units they have attempted and 2) Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (3.0 for Master's). A student who is not meeting both of these standards is subject to SAP disciplinary action.
See the chart below for examples of monitoring periods for some programs.
|Program Description||Program units||SAP Monitoring point|
|3 quarter P.D. or Advanced A.A.||45||at the end of every quarter of attendance|
|3 quarter Advanced A.A.||48||at the end of every quarter of attendance|
|1 year Bachelor||46||at the end of every quarter of attendance|
|2 year A.A.||90||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|2 year Bachelor||91||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|Master’s MBA||61||at the end of every two quarters of attendance|
|5 quarter P.D.||72||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|5 quarter P.D.||60||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|4 quarter P.D.||66||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|4 quarter P.D.||60||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|4 quarter P.D.||57||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|4 quarter P.D.||54||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
|4 quarter P.D.||51||at the end of every three quarters of attendance|
*Exception for students enrolled in the Master’s program. A student’s financial aid SAP will be monitored at the completion of two quarters of attendance.
*Exception for students enrolled in a 3 quarter Professional Designation, Advanced AA, or Bachelor program. The SAP for students in a program of study of three quarters or less will be monitored on a quarterly basis. If a student in one of these programs fails to meet SAP standards, they will be placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status. A student in “Warning” status may receive financial aid for one additional quarter. If the student fails to meet SAP standards in that additional quarter, they are subject to SAP disciplinary actions as described below.
Satisfactory Academic Progress SAP Disciplinary Actions
A student who has not met all financial aid standards and who wants to retain financial aid eligibility must appeal their SAP determination. If the student does not appeal, the student will lose their financial aid eligibility in the quarter immediately following the period of monitoring. For example, if the student is determined to have not met SAP standards at the end of their third quarter of attendance and does not appeal that determination, the student loses their aid eligibility beginning with their fourth quarter of attendance. Likewise, if the student appeals and the appeal is not approved, the student loses their eligibility for aid in the first quarter following the period of monitoring. The school will notify the student if the outcome of the review of the appeal effects the student’s aid eligibility.
A student who appeals their SAP standing may regain their financial aid eligibility only after the appeal has been reviewed and approved by FIDM Staff. In some cases, adherence to an academic plan may be required for the student to regain their aid eligibility. An academic plan is specific to the individual student, and may require the student to successfully follow a schedule of specific coursework, unit loads, etc. If a student’s SAP appeal is approved, they are considered to be on “SAP Probation” status, and are eligible for one additional quarter of financial aid eligibility. If the student’s SAP appeal is approved and requires adherence to an academic plan, the student will retain financial aid eligibility as long as the student meets the terms of the plan.
If a student who is on SAP Probation subject to the terms of an academic plan meets the minimum SAP requirements at a standard monitoring period, the SAP probation status can be removed at the discretion of FIDM financial aid staff. Should a student meet the terms of their financial aid academic plan but nonetheless be placed on FIDM academic disqualification or academic dismissal, the student would also be considered to be disqualified for financial aid purposes. If the student is allowed to return to school after academic dismissal or academic disqualification, a new SAP appeal and academic plan would be required.
Students who have not met SAP standards at the point of monitoring (and are not entitled to “Financial Aid Warning” status) will lose their eligibility for financial aid. The student will receive a communication from the Financial Aid Office with instructions on how to appeal. The student must follow all the instructions, including the time frame for return of the appeal form. The appeal form must be returned to the Student Advisement Department unless otherwise directed. FIDM Staff will review and respond to the appeal. The response will inform the student if:
- The appeal has been accepted and aid has been reinstated,
- The appeal has been accepted and aid has been reinstated subject to the student’s successful adherence to the terms of an academic plan, OR
- The appeal has been denied and the student has been disqualified from receiving further aid.
FIDM Staff may accept a subsequent SAP appeal from a student who has failed to meet the terms of an Academic Plan. A subsequent appeal will only be approved if the student has encountered challenges in addition to those on which a previous appeal was approved. A revised Academic Plan would be created. To maintain financial aid eligibility, the student would then need to meet the terms of that new Plan.
For purposes of pace, units for a class with a grade of “I” are counted as units attempted but not completed. If the grade is changed prior to the final SAP monitoring for the previous quarter, appropriate action will be taken, depending on the changed grade (SAP status will be changed to warning, disqualification, “OK”, or no action if the SAP status is not affected). If the grade is changed after the final SAP monitoring for the previous quarter, the student’s SAP will be monitored as usual at the next monitoring marker.
Grades for classes with a grade of “W” are not included in the calculation of GPA. Units for classes with a grade of “W” are counted as attempted but not successfully completed for purposes of pace.
Quarters of Non-attendance
Quarters of non-attendance are not included in SAP monitoring. Students are required to meet standards of attendance in addition to standards of SAP. FIDM’s policies that limit the number of quarters of non-attendance can be found in FIDM's Student Consumer Handbook.
If a student repeats a class, only the higher grade will be included in the calculation of the cumulative GPA. For purposes of pace, repeated classes with grades of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “P” are considered as successfully completed; repeated classes with grades of “F” or “W” are considered as not successfully completed. However, a student who repeats a class for which they received a passing grade (“D-” or better) may only receive federal financial aid for one repeat of that class.
Changes of Major
A change of major within a program (for example, a student in a two-year AA program changes her major from Fashion Design to Product Development) will often result in a “reset” of an academic year that could change the SAP monitoring periods. Regardless, the student must continue to meet Pace and GPA requirements.
Transfer of Credit from Previous Institutions
For purposes of the measurement of pace, credit accepted in transfer from previous colleges is counted as both units attempted and units completed. The student’s GPA at FIDM is not affected by transfer units.
Reestablishing Aid Eligibility
As described above, a student may retain their aid eligibility by meeting the terms of their academic plan. A student who has been disqualified for reasons of SAP may also regain aid eligibility if they meet the minimum standards of SAP for their program at the next period of monitoring.
All questions pertaining to this policy should be directed to the Student Financial Services Office.