SAP for academic advisors

What is the advisor's role in SAP?

The advisor's role is to assist the student in identifying needs and in strategizing specific steps to help them return to good standing.

  • If it is mathematically impossible for a student to graduate, you should not sign-off on a SAP Improvement Plan.

  • Remember that failing SAP standards only cancels the student's ability to receive aid at WSU. The student may still attend unless academically dismissed.

SAP is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office is not trained to provide academic advising. We are required to monitor our compliance with SAP standards before disbursing federal aid to students.

What is the SAP Student Improvement Plan?

  • An academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards by a specific point in time.

  • This form is not required if this is a first SAP appeal. If the student submitted a SAP appeal at any time in the past, then they must complete this form.

  • This form is to be completed by the student with the academic advisor and requires a student and advisor signature.

  • The Student Improvement Plan includes targets and specific plans for improvement.

Advisor role - first appeal

Advisor role - second appeal

What is SAP?

To be eligible to receive federal student financial aid, a student must meet and maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate.

Why is SAP important?

  • Maintaining SAP is key in minimizing loan debt as many students rely heavily on loans to meet costs.

  • Students who take longer to graduate can reach cumulative loan limits that may prevent them from graduating.

  • Students who drop out are more likely to default on their loans, limiting their financial options and affecting WSU's participation in aid programs.

  • SAP is required by the U.S. Department of Education.

What are the SAP standards?

  • Minimum GPA: 2.0 for undergraduate and PharmD programs, 3.0 for graduate programs

  • Pace (completion rate): At least 67% of all credit hours attempted must have successfully passing grades. The pace of progress is calculated by dividing cumulative hours that you have successfully completed by the cumulative hours you have attempted.

    • Passed/Attempted

  • Maximum Time Frame: Students must complete a degree or certificate in no more than 150% of the length of their program. Includes transferred credits.

    • Undergraduate degrees require a minimum of 120 credit hours
      • Attempted credit hours must be 180 or less (120 credits x 150% = 180 credits)
    • Master's degrees generally require 45 credit hours
      • Attempted credit hours must be 68 or less (45 credits x 150% = 68 credits)
    • Doctoral degrees generally require 90 credit hours
      • Attempted credit hours must be 135 or less (90 credit hours x 150% = 135 credits)

How are SAP standards applied?

  • SAP is evaluated at the end of each term to determine a student's eligibility for federal financial aid.

  • If a student is not meeting SAP standards, they will either receive a Warning or Unsatisfactory SAP status
    • Students are placed into a Warning status after the first semester in which the student does not meet the SAP standards. These students have one term in order to meet SAP standards again. They are eligible for aid during the warning status.
    • Students are placed into a Unsatisfactory status if they are unable to meet SAP standards after their Warning semester. The student may appeal this decision. If approved the student is placed on Probation status. They are eligible for aid while on probation.
  • If a student has completed a SAP appeal in a previous term, in addition to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal & Academic Action Plan, they will also need to submit the Student Improvement Plan – SAP Part 2 form. The Student Improvement Plan –SAP Part 2 form will require the student to meet with their advisor to either lock their POW or submit a signed paper POW along with their appeal.

  • Students on probation must meet the requirements of their SAP Approval. If they do not meet the requirements, their aid is denied. They may appeal again.

  • If it is not mathematically possible for a student to complete the program, they will be denied aid.

What is the SAP appeal process?

  • Financial aid will notify students of their Satisfactory Academic Progress Status.

  • If the student has an Unsatisfactory SAP status they are ineligible for financial aid. They may file an appeal. If the appeal is approved they will be eligible for financial aid.

  • First time appealing:

    • The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal & Academic Action Plan form is required.

    • Meeting with an advisor is not required, but encouraged.

  • Second time appealing:

    • The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal & Academic Action Plan AND the Student Improvement Plan – SAP Part 2 forms are both required.

    • The student must meet with an advisor as an academic plan in Degree Works that has been locked by an academic advisor, OR an academic plan signed by an academic advisor is required.

  • Incomplete appeals will be denied.

  • Third party documentation to support the appeal may be requested.

  • If it is not mathematically possible for a student to complete the program, they will be denied aid.

What are the Academic Action Plan requirements?

The student and the institution must develop a plan that ensures that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

  • For students with a GPA less than 2.0, we must be able to determine the number of terms the student must complete and the minimum GPA required to get the student above a 2.0 within 150% of their required coursework.

  • For students with a Pace of 67% or less, we must be able to determine how many terms, FT time status, a student must successfully complete to bring their rate above 67% within 150% of their required coursework.

  • Students who are exceeding the 150% time frame must have an academic plan that takes them to graduation.

How are repeat courses counted?

  • Students may receive aid for failed courses, however if the student has received a passing grade in the course, he or she may only repeat the course once.

  • Students may see aid disbursed at ¾ or ½ time even though their enrollment status if full time.