Satisfactory Academic Progress

Western's satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy is consistent with the guidelines set by the Federal Department of Education, and evaluates the student based on qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (Pace) standards. The SAP policy is applied consistently across all majors.

SAP Calculation Information

  • All students will be evaluated each term, including the summer term, regardless of whether they receive a financial aid award. Periods attended when a student does not receive financial aid will be counted toward the maximum timeframe allowed.
  • It is the student's responsibility to inform the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office of any grade changes, including a grade of incomplete that could impact their SAP status. The student's status will be re-evaluated once the SFS Office is made aware of the change. 
  • Transfer credits are not included in the Pace calculation, and are excluded in the GPA calculation. Transfer credits are considered attempted hours toward the maximum timeframe.
  • Repeat courses are counted in both the Pace and GPA calculations. Repeat courses are considered attempted hours toward the maximum timeframe.
  • Incomplete courses or courses from which a student withdraws are counted in the Pace calculation, and are excluded in the GPA calculation.  Incompletes and withdraws are considered attempted hours toward the maximum timeframe. All course withdraws are treated the same.
  • Western does not offer any noncredit remedial coursework.  
  • A student's SAP status does not change when a student pursues a new major. 
  • Students pursuing a second Bachelor's degree are evaluated based on the undergraduate SAP policy. 
  • Upon completion of an undergraduate degree program and enrollment in a graduate degree program, students will begin a new SAP status of "Passing", e.g. BA to MA program. 
  • Courses dropped prior to census will not be included in the Pace calculation. 
  • Courses dropped after census will be included in the Pace calculation, whether it be one course or a complete semester withdrawal. 
  • Students who officially withdraw or fail to complete at least one course in any given term immediately go to suspension for SAP purposes.

Policies for Unusual Circumstances

Grade Changes: A student who is on warning or suspension and has a grade changed, must contact the Student Financial Services office for review to possibly change their SAP standing. Student standings will not be reevaluated automatically. If the grade change does in fact change the standing and the new standing will be placed on ROASTAT manually by a financial aid counselor. It is important to make sure the student is making academic progress in both hours earned as well as GPA prior to adjusting the standing.

Study Abroad: Study abroad students will be monitored until all transcripts have been received. Students will receive their aid since the delay in receiving transcripts can be lengthy. Students are informed that if they do not successfully complete the semester they will either be on warning or suspension depending on the circumstance. 

Students Returning to Western after transferring: Students may transfer out of Western after a semester or more of poor performance. Students who return under these circumstances must complete an appeal to receive funding. Previous courses may also be removed by the Registrar which will allow the student to regain good academic standing.

Students who have exceeded the maximum timeframe allowed: Students who have completed coursework in excess of the 150 percent of the minimum graduation requirement are allowed to submit an appeal to extend their eligibility. The Financial Aid staff will consider mitigating circumstances such as transferability of previous coursework and returning to school after an extended absences as well as the amount of coursework remaining to degree completion when determining any additional eligibility.

Undergraduate Students

A student must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of his or her course of study in order to maintain eligibility for financial assistance in future semesters. It is important to note that scholarships may have their own standards.

A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress if he or she has maintained good academic standing as defined in the Western catalog:

  • Maintain adequate pace toward graduation. Students will be required to maintain a 75 percent credit hour completion rate at all times. Pace is measured by dividing the overall credit hours earned by the overall credit hours attempted. Example - A student who has attempted 100 credit hours and has completed 80 of those credit hours would be meeting this requirement. This student's pace would be calculated at 80 percent. He/she has completed 80 percent of the credit hours attempted. Likewise a student who has attempted 100 credits and has completed 50 due to withdrawing, failing or receiving incomplete grades in courses would not be meeting SAP due to a 50 percent pace toward graduation. Only courses taken at Western will be counted toward your pace progression calculation, transfer hours are excluded.
  • Achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at all times.
  • Completed all course work for graduation within 180 attempted credits (150 percent of the minimum graduation requirement of 120 credit hours); all transfer credits counted toward the completion of degree requirements will also be counted toward the maximum of 180 attempted credits.

If a student does not meet the first two requirements, he or she will receive a warning notification via Western e-mail and will have one additional semester of eligibility in which to return to satisfactory standing. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he or she will be suspended from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.

Financial Aid Warning

Financial Aid Warning is a status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at a school that evaluates academic progress at the end of each payment period and/or term, and chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he or she will be suspended from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.

Financial Aid Suspension

If a student does not meet the first two requirements for two consecutive semesters, he/she will be immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility. If a student does not meet the third requirement, or has not returned to satisfactory standing after his/her warning semester, or withdraws from all courses, or receives the grade of ‘F’, ‘TF’, ’I’, ‘IP’ or ‘W’ in all courses attempted during a semester, he/she will be immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility.

Appeal Process  

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal and all supporting documentation should be submitted no later than census date of each term. Mitigating circumstances such as prolonged illness, injury, a death in the immediate family, or other personal crises are grounds for an appeal. The Appeals Committee will act on the appeal in a timely manner, and notify the student in writing of the determination. If approved, financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for a probationary period, after which the student must have returned to satisfactory standing. A student may appeal the termination of eligibility only twice during his or her career at Western. An adverse determination will count as one of the two eligible appeals.

Financial Aid Probation and Regaining Eligibility

Probation is a status assigned to a student who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated for a probationary period. During the probationary period, students are not allowed to fail any courses and must comply with the specific GPA and completion criteria established in their approval notice. Students will regain eligibility on their own by earning the GPA and completion rate required for maintaining good standing listed previously.

Note: Please contact the Financial Aid Office for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.

Graduate Students

A student must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of his or her course of study in order to maintain eligibility for financial assistance in future semesters.

A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress if he or she:

  • Achieves and maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each semester.
  • Maintain adequate pace toward graduation. Students will be required to maintain a 75 percent credit hour completion rate at all times. Pace is measured by dividing the overall credit hours earned by the overall credit hours attempted. Example - A student who has attempted 100 credit hours and has completed 80 of those credit hours would be meeting this requirement. This student's pace would be calculated at 80 percent. He/she has completed 80 percent of the credit hours attempted. Likewise a student who has attempted 100 credits and has completed 50 due to withdrawing, failing or receiving incomplete grades in courses would not be meeting SAP due to a 50 percent pace toward graduation. Only courses taken at Western will be counted toward your pace progression calculation, transfer hours are excluded.
  • Completed all course work for graduation within 150 percent of the minimum graduation requirements of their program length; all transfer credits counted toward the completion of degree requirements will also be counted toward the maximum attempted credits per program.
  • Successfully completes all credit hours they were enrolled in at the beginning of each semester. If enrolled in fewer than nine credits, students must pass all of the credits for which they are registered.

Financial Aid Warning

Financial Aid Warning is a status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at a school that evaluates academic progress at the end of each payment period and/or term, and chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he or she will be suspended from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.

Financial Aid Suspension

If a student does not meet the first two requirements for two consecutive semesters, he/she will be immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility. If a student does not meet the third requirement, or has not returned to satisfactory standing after his/her warning semester, or withdraws from all courses, or receives the grade of ‘F’, ‘TF’, ’I’, ‘IP’ or ‘W’ in all courses attempted during a semester, he/she will be immediately suspended from financial aid eligibility.

Appeal Process

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress may appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal and all supporting documentation should be submitted no later than census date of each term. Mitigating circumstances such as prolonged illness, injury, a death in the immediate family, or other personal crises are grounds for an appeal. The Appeals Committee will act on the appeal in a timely manner, and notify the student in writing of the determination. If approved, financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for a probationary period, after which the student must have returned to satisfactory standing. A student may appeal the termination of eligibility only twice during his or her career at Western. An adverse determination will count as one of the two eligible appeals.

Financial Aid Probation and Regaining Eligibility

Probation is a status assigned to a student who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated for a probationary period. During the probationary period, students are not allowed to fail any courses and must comply with the specific GPA and completion criteria established in their approval notice. Students will regain eligibility on their own by earning the GPA and completion rate required for maintaining good standing listed previously.

Note: Please contact the Financial Aid Office for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form