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History [top]

  • Policy Number: SA.10.013
  • Version: Revision 3
  • Drafted By: Richard Montiel
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 5/16/11
  • Effective Date: 5/16/11
  • Supercedes: SA.10.010

Purpose [top]

In accordance with regulations that govern federal and state financial aid programs, California State University, Channel Islands (CI) is required to establish, publish, and consistently apply reasonable standards for measuring a student's academic progress.

Background [top]

This policy is required by federal regulation and is based on the [Code of Federal Regulations] [Title 34, Volume 3] [Revised as of July 1, 2009] Title: Section 668.34 - Satisfactory progress. Context: Title 34 - Education. Subtitle B - Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education (Continued). Chapter VI - Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education. Part 668 - Student Assistance General Provisions. Subpart C - Student Eligibility.

These regulations stipulate that Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students must include a qualitative component (e.g., grade point average), a quantitative component referred to as the student’s pace (e.g., percent of units completed), and maximum time frame (e.g., 150% of the published length of the program).  Each component must be cumulative in nature, and must be evaluated by the University at least once per year to certify the student's SAP.  For the benefit of students, CI has elected to evaluate SAP at the end of each term. Students who fail to meet these standards are considered to have not made satisfactory academic progress and are no longer eligible for financial aid. 

Policy [top]

Accountability [top]

Financial Aid office

Applicability [top]

All registered students at CSU Channel Islands receiving financial aid assistance.

Definition(s) [top]

Appeal - A process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student’s eligibility for title IV, HEA program assistance.

Financial Aid Probation - A status assigned by an institution to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated.

Financial Aid Warning - A status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at an institution that evaluates academic progress at the end of each payment period. Schools that evaluate SAP at the end of each payment period (including summer terms) have the option to add a warning payment period, followed by a probationary payment period, prior to any termination of federal student aid eligibility.  The student may receive aid under the warning and probationary periods.  The warning option is not available to schools that evaluate SAP less frequently.

Note: A Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation (relating to financial aid eligibility) is different from Academic Probation (relating to your overall academic standing with the University).

Maximum Timeframe -

  1. For an undergraduate program measured in credit hours, a period that is no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured in credit hours;
  2. For a graduate program, a period defined by the institution that is based on the length of the educational program.

Text [top]

This policy meets the requirement for strictness as it matches the institutional policy for a student enrolled in the same educational program who is not receiving Title IV assistance.  The policy is organized in the following sections that illustrate the standards required to maintain good standing and satisfactory academic progress to retain Title IV funding:

  1. Quantitative Component - units completed
    1. Pace - percent of units completed
    2. Maximum unit limit
    3. Treatment of Repeated Coursework
    4. Treatment of Credit/Noncredit Coursework
    5. Transfer Units
    6. Change of Major - effect on unit load
  2. Qualitative Component - grading
    1. Grading
    2. Academic Disqualification
    3. Remedial Coursework
  3. Evaluation of Academic Progress Over Time
    1. Maximum Time Limit
  4. Consequences
    1. Financial Aid Warning Period
    2. Requirements to Re-establish Financial Aid Eligibility
    3. Appeal Process
    4. FR Funding/Reinstatement Rules following a SAP Appeal

SAP REVIEW CRITERIA
Any financial aid award is tentative until the academic record is reviewed.  For entering transfer students, the review is based on the academic record on file at the time of first consideration (or when information becomes available).


SECTION I: Quantitative Component

Pace (e.g., percent of units completed):
Pace is determined by calculating a student’s ratio of overall cumulative CI units earned to their cumulative CI units attempted.  The following schedule designates the minimum percentage of amount of work that a student must successfully complete at the end of each increment to complete his or her educational program within the maximum timeframe.  As a student progresses toward graduation, the expected ratio or percentage increases. 

Pace Table
Number of Cumulative Units AttemptedMinimum Percentage of Units Earned (Percentage of cumulative units taken with passing) grade divided by cumulative units attempted.)
Undergraduate Degree 1 to 29.9975%
30-59.9980%
60-89.9985%
90- 18090%
Second BA 1-45.01 90%
Post-Baccalaureate / Credential1-52.5090%
Graduate Degree1-49.5090%

Maximum Unit Limit:
The maximum unit limit for undergraduate student aid eligibility is 150% of the unit requirement for graduation, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and CI. Since most undergraduate majors at CI require 120 units to graduate, the maximum unit limit is therefore 180 attempted units (120 x 1.5 = 180). In addition, regulations require that all undergraduate transfer units MUST be considered in determining progress toward graduation within the 150% maximum time frame (regardless of whether or not the student received prior financial aid, completed the coursework, or if the course work counts or not toward their degree objective).The maximum unit limit for 2nd BA / BS student aid eligibility is 150% of the unit requirement for graduation, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and CI. Since most undergraduate majors at CI require 120 units to graduate, and the student has already completed three years (approximately 90 units) of general education coursework, the maximum unit limit is therefore 45 attempted units (120 - 90 = 30 x 1.5 = 45). In addition, regulations require that all undergraduate transfer units MUST be considered in determining progress toward graduation within the 150% maximum time frame (regardless of whether or not the student received prior financial aid, completed the coursework, or if the course work counts or not toward their degree objective).

The maximum unit limit for post-baccalaureate Teacher Credential student aid eligibility is 150% of the unit requirement for graduation, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and the CI. Since most Credential programs at CI require 35 units to graduate, the maximum unit limit is therefore 52.50 attempted units (35 x 1.5 = 52.50).  In addition, regulations require that all post-baccalaureate transfer units MUST be considered in determining progress toward graduation within the 150% maximum time frame (regardless of whether or not the student received prior financial aid, completed the coursework, or if the course work counts or not toward their degree objective).

The maximum unit limit for graduate aid eligibility is 150% of the unit requirement for graduation, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and CI. Since most graduate programs at CI require 33 units to graduate, the maximum unit limit is therefore 49.50 attempted units (33 x 1.5 = 49.50).  In addition, regulations require that all graduate transfer units MUST be considered in determining progress toward graduation within the 150% maximum time frame (regardless of whether or not the student received prior financial aid, completed the coursework, or if the course work counts or not toward their degree objective).

Note: Maximum Unit limits for post-baccalaureate and graduate programs may be greater than those listed above if a student’s program(s) requires more than the typical unit requirement.

Treatment of Repeated Coursework:
The Financial Aid office accepts repeated courses consistent with University Policy limiting these units to 16 semester earned units in which a student earned a prior C- or lower grade. Additional repeated coursework may demonstrate unwillingness or inability to progress.  In such cases, the financial aid staff may determine that a student is not making satisfactory academic progress, according to policy. Please be aware that repeat courses are not identified in the computer system as "repeat courses" until your grades are entered for the term.  Therefore, repeat courses that have been previously completed (with a passing grade) will be averaged into your GPA and cumulative units earned, which may negatively affect your SAP. Treatment of Credit/Non-credit Coursework: Because the University limits to 12 the number of general education CR/NC units that can be used toward graduation, the Financial Aid Department views CR/NC courses in excess of the limit as not applicable toward the degree. Students who exceed the maximum while receiving aid funds are subject to review of continued eligibility.

Transfer Units:
The government requires that all transfer units MUST be considered in determining progress toward graduation within a 150% maximum time frame.

Change of Major:
When considering a change in major, it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of the maximum unit limit guidelines, as outlined in this policy.


SECTION II: Qualitative Component: Acceptable Grade Point Average

All students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (overall "C" average) to maintain financial aid eligibility. Students placed on academic probation will also be placed on financial aid probation for not making satisfactory academic progress.  Being on probation will allow a student to receive financial aid assistance for one semester.  At the conclusion of the semester, the Financial Aid office will review the student’s academic record and determine if they are in good standing and therefore able to receive aid for the subsequent semester(s).

Students disqualified by the University are automatically ineligible for financial aid based on qualitative standards of not achieving a 2.0 (C average) grade point average.

Grading:
The quality of an aid recipient's coursework is also monitored. Units are counted as earned only if one of the following grades is received: "A" through "D-", Credit (CR), Satisfactory Progress (SP)

  • The following grades are NOT counted as earned for satisfactory progress:
    • Incomplete (I)*
    • Incomplete Fail (IC)*
    • Withdrawal (W)**
    • Failure (F)
    • Unauthorized Incomplete (U)
    • Unauthorized Withdrawal (WU)
    • No Credit (NC)
    • Report Delayed (RD)
    • Audit (AU)

*Any student who was granted an incomplete "I" grade and failed to meet the conditions of the incomplete grade contract after one year, will be given a grade of "IC" which is equivalent to an "F" and will be assessed under the qualitative standards of the SAP policy.

**If a student has withdrawn from the university three times, this may demonstrate unwillingness or inability to progress.  In such cases, the Financial Aid staff may determine that a student is subject to a more extensive review by the either the Director of Financial Aid, or the SAP Appeals Committee.  Aid will remain on hold until this review is completed.

Academic Disqualification:
Students who are academically disqualified from CI by the Records Office are not eligible for financial aid. 

Remedial Coursework:
CI does not consider remedial coursework in determining a student’s SAP.


SECTION III:  Evaluation of Academic Progress over Time: Maximum Time Limit

The maximum time limit for undergraduate student aid eligibility is 150% of the normal length of time required to complete a program of study as a full-time equivalent student, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and the CI. It will take 5 years to complete most undergraduate programs if a student is enrolled in only 12 units per term (120 units / 24 full-time units per year = 5 years). Thus, the maximum time limit is 7.5 years (150% * 5 years = 7.5 years).

The maximum time limit for 2nd BA / BS student aid eligibility is 150% of the normal length of time required to complete a program of study as a full-time equivalent student, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and the CI. It will take 1.25 years to complete most 2nd BA / BS programs (since the student has already completed their general education coursework) if a student is enrolled in only 12 units per term (120 units ? 90 GE units = 30 / 24 full-time units per year = 1.5 years). Thus, the maximum time limit is 2.25 years (150% * 1.5 years = 2.5 years).

The maximum time limit for post-baccalaureate Teacher Credential student aid eligibility is 150% of the normal length of time required to complete a program of study as a full-time equivalent student, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and CI. It will take 1.5 years to complete most Credential programs if a student is enrolled in only 12 units per term (35 units / 24 full-time units per year = 1.46 years). Thus, the maximum time limit is 2.25 years (150% * 1.46 = 2.19 years).

The maximum time limit for graduate aid eligibility is 150% of the normal length of time required to complete a program of study as a full-time equivalent student, as set forth by the Federal Department of Education and CI. It will take 2 years to complete most graduate programs if a student is enrolled in 12 units per term (49.5 units / 24 full-time units per year = 2.06 years). Thus, the maximum time limit is 3.0 years (150% * 2.06 = 3.09 years).

Note: Maximum Time limits for post-baccalaureate students may be greater than those listed above if a student’s program(s) requires more than the typical 35 units.


SECTION IV: Consequences

Financial Aid Warning Period:
If a student does not meet the SAP policy guidelines, as stated above, they will be placed on Warning for the next term.  A student on financial aid Warning may continue to receive Title IV aid despite a determination that the student is not meeting SAP standards.  This will allow the student time to get back into good SAP standing, while continuing to receive financial aid.  If the student continues not to meet the SAP policy guidelines after the Warning term, they will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid.

Requirements to Re-establish Financial Aid Eligibility:
Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility due to insufficient Percentage of Units Earned, or low GPA, and do not appeal, or their appeal is denied, may generally reestablish eligibility as follows:

  • GPA: The qualitative requirement (i.e., CI cumulative GPA) is associated with units completed while at CI; therefore the additional units needed to increase your CI GPA must be completed at CI.
  • Units: The quantitative requirement (i.e., CI cumulative units earned) may be re-established either:
    1. Permanently (i.e., regain eligibility form this point forward, pending any future unit deficiencies) by completing the total number of units needed to increase your Percentage of Units Earned to an acceptable range for your appropriate grade level without receiving financial aid. Deficient units may be completed at CI, or they may be completed through CI Extended University, if the coursework is transferable and satisfies your CI graduation requirements; or,
    2. Temporarily (i.e., regain eligibility on a term-by-term basis for the remainder of the academic year.  A new appeal may need to be submitted for the next academic year) by transferring in units completed at another college (completed after financial aid was denied at CI) that are equal or greater than the total number of units deficient at CI. Units must satisfy your CI graduation requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to meet the reinstatement requirements, provide academic transcripts for transfer units to the CI Admissions & Records Office (AR), and to provide proof of completed units to the financial aid office.

Appeal Process:
If the student has mitigating factors that have hindered their Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward graduation, including death of a relative, injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances, they may submit a SAP Appeal., If the Appeal is approved, a student's financial aid eligibility may be re-instated.

After being notified by the financial aid office student has 21 days to submit a petition.  The appeal must specify why the student failed to maintain SAP and what has changed to allow them to maintain or progress toward making SAP in the future. 

Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee and determined on a case-by-case basis. The criteria for approving an appeal will be based on the student's circumstance, documentation, and a reasonable expectation that the student can reestablish progress toward a degree objective, and regain academic standing that meets the requirements for graduation.

After consulting with the SAP Appeals Committee, the Director of Financial Aid will render a decision and notify the student within 21 days of receipt of the appeal documentation.  If a student’s appeal is granted, s/he will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for a semester and granted one semester of financial aid eligibility.  At the end of the semester, his/her academic record is re-evaluated to determine if he/she are off of probation and found to be in good standing. 

If the student's Petition is denied by the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Committee, the student may either:

  1. continue enrollment and make payment arrangements with the Student Business Services Office; or
  2. withdraw and submit required documents to corresponding departments as delineated in the withdrawal policy.

FA Funding/ Reinstatement Rules following a SAP Appeal:
A student cannot be paid for any payment period in which an academic progress standard was not met.  If a student fails to meet SAP policy at the beginning of an academic year but meets it later by evidence of sufficient documentation, the following rule applies:

For Federal, State, campus-based, aid types may be paid only for the payment period in which he/she regains progress. No retroactive disbursements are allowed.

Exhibit(s) [top]

Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook:>
Volume 1 Student Eligibility Chapter 1 School Determined Requirements
http://www.ifap.ed.gov/sfahandbooks/0304FSAHBVOL1StuElig.html