Satisfactory Academic Progress

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Applies to:
    • Current Students
  • Approved by:
    • Office of Financial Aid
  • Issued: July 1, 2011
  • Last updated: January 12, 2018

Students need to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to be eligible for financial aid at Calvin College.

Federal and state regulations require Calvin College to maintain a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. These requirements ensure that students who receive financial aid are progressing toward degree completion. The SAP policy aligns with the college’s academic probation and dismissal standards.

All students must meet the minimum SAP requirements in order to qualify for financial aid in the following programs:

  • Federal grants, loans, and work-study
  • Michigan and other state scholarship and grant programs
  • Calvin College scholarship, grant, and loan programs
  • National Merit Corporation scholarship programs
  • Other outside scholarship, grant, and loan programs could also be affected

Evaluating progress

The financial aid office evaluates SAP at the end of each academic year, following the spring semester. Students not meeting the SAP policy receive an e-mail notification explaining SAP status, loss of financial aid eligibility, and the opportunity to appeal.

Measuring progress

Student must meet both a qualitative and quantitative measure to make SAP. Student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to meet the qualitative measure. In addition, students must maintain a minimum completion percentage of 67% to meet the quantitative measure.

Maximum timeframe

Students must complete their academic program in 150% of their program’s credit requirements.

  1. A standard (124 credits) program has a maximum timeframe of 186 credit hours. Programs that require more than 124 credit hours will be determined on an individual basis, based on 150% of credits needed to graduate. Example: If a program requires 136 credits to graduate, a student could attempt up to 204 credits before losing financial aid eligibility.
  2. A standard (32 credits) graduate program has a maximum timeframe of 40 credit hours. Programs that require more than 32 credit hours will be determined on an individual basis, based on 150% of credits needed to graduate.

Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress

  1. Qualitative Measure: Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0, are not making SAP and are no longer eligible for financial aid.
  2. Quantitative Measure: Students with a completion percentage below 67%, are not making SAP and are no longer eligible for financial aid.
  3. Maximum Timeframe: Students who exceed a program’s maximum timeframe, are not making SAP and are no longer eligible for financial aid.

Appeal process & reinstatement

Students dismissed from the college for failing to achieve the minimum grade point average or completion percentage may appeal to the Academic Review Committee.

  1. Students are ineligible for financial aid until they are meeting the qualitative and quantitative measurements of SAP. Students who achieve compliance with SAP standards between evaluation periods may contact the Office of Financial Aid for consideration of reinstatement.
  2. Students not making SAP may appeal their status by submitting a letter of appeal to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Appeal letters must include the following information:
    • The circumstances that lead to the student not making SAP.
    • A description of how those circumstances have changed or been overcome.
    • Goals for achieving academic progress in the future and an anticipated graduation date.
  3. The following types of information may be considered in an appeal:
    • The student is making up incompletes.
    • The student has extenuating circumstance, such as illness or a death in the family.
    • The student withdrew from the college after the first week of the semester.
    • The student has changed majors or programs.
  4. Financial Aid Probation is granted to students who successfully appeal. Students are given one semester of financial aid eligibility under the probationary status. Student must fulfill their probationary requirements in order to continue receiving financial aid in subsequent semesters.
  5. Academic Plans are developed for students on Financial Aid Probation who cannot mathematically attain SAP by the end of a probationary semester. Academic plans ensure that students can be making SAP by a specific point in time. Students who meet the Academic Plan semester requirements will continue receiving aid in the following semester. Students on Academic Plans must continue meeting semester requirements each evaluation periods until back in SAP compliance.

Additional notes & definitions

  1. Attempted hours  are cumulative hours a student attempts during an enrollment period at Calvin College, including courses that are graded (W)ithdrawn, (I)ncomplete, (N)ot completed or (F)ailed. Attempted hours include all registered credits following day 10 (college census date) of each enrollment period.
  2. Completed hours  are the number of hours a student has successfully completed at Calvin College with a passing grade and include any credits the college has accepted that apply toward the students degree completion.
  3. Transfer credits accepted by Calvin College are included as both attempted and completed credits in the quantitative portion of the assessment. Transfer credits do not affect institutional GPA or the qualitative measure of SAP.
  4. Credit hours accepted through CLEP, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Calvin Credit Exam or other external credit exams are included as both attempted and completed credits.
  5. Credit hours from repeated coursework count as attempted credits each course repeat. Repeated courses only count toward completed credits once.
  6. The SAP evaluation does not include Audit hours as attempted or completed credits.
  7. Courses required by Academic Services that do not count toward degree completion are not included as attempted or completed credits.
  8. Degree-seeking Post Baccalaureate students must meet the SAP policy in order to qualify for financial aid and are evaluated based on credits attempted in the new degree program.



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