Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

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 are established to ensure that students who receive financial aid are progressing toward degree completion.  The SAP policy aligns with the college’s standards used for academic probation and dismissal. 

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

SAP is evaluated at the end of each academic year, following the spring semester.  Students not meeting the SAP policy are notified by mail that they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. Students not making SAP are given the opportunity to appeal their SAP status following an evaluation period.

Measuring Progress

SAP is measured both qualitatively by 1) a minimum cumulative grade point average, and quantitatively by 2) completion percentage.  Students must meet the minimum cumulative GPA and completion percentage requirements, relative to the number of credit hours attempted as outlined in the chart below.  

Number of Credit Hours AttemptedPercent Completion RequiredCumulative GPA Required
16 or fewer 66% 1.00
17 - 31 66% 1.30
32 - 49 68% 1.45
50 - 67 70% 1.60
68 - 85 72% 1.75
86 - 104 74% 1.90
105 - 123 77% 2.00
124 or more 80% 2.00

 

Additional Notes & Definitions:

  • 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 credits a student is registered for after the first week of class each enrollment period.
  • 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.
  • 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 impact institutional GPA or the qualitative measure of SAP.
  • 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.
  • Credit hours from repeated coursework count as attempted credits each time a course is repeated.  Repeated courses only count toward completed credits once.
  • Audit hours are not considered in the SAP evaluation and are not included as attempted or completed credits.
  • A student’s SAP status can be reconsidered if credits are earned in the summer term following the SAP evaluation at the end of the spring semester.
  • Courses required by Academic Services that do not count toward degree completion are not included as attempted or completed credits.
  • Degree-seeking Post Baccalaureate students must also meet the SAP policy in order to qualify for financial aid.  Post BA students are evaluated based on credits attempted since completing their original degree program.

Maximum Timeframe:

  • Undergraduates in a standard 124 credit program, who have attempted more than 155 credit hours, are no longer making SAP and therefore are not eligible for financial aid. (The credit ceiling for students in programs that require more than 124 credit hours to graduate will be determined on an individual basis, based on 125% of credits needed to graduate.  Example: If a program requires 136 credits to graduate a student could attempt up to 170 credits before losing financial aid eligibility.)
  • Graduate students who have attempted more than 40 credit hours or 125% of the program requirements are no longer making SAP and therefore not eligible for financial aid.

Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress:

  • Qualitative Measure: Students who fail to meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement at the time of evaluation are subject to academic probation or dismissal and are no longer eligible for financial aid.
  • Quantitative Measure: Students who fail to meet the minimum completion percentage requirement are subject to academic probation or dismissal and are no longer eligible for financial aid.
  • Maximum Timeframe:  Students who exceed the maximum timeframe of attempted credits 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.

  • Students will remain ineligible for financial aid until they are meeting the qualitative and quantitative measurements of SAP.  This is reevaluated at the end of each academic year following the spring semester.  Students who achieve compliance with SAP standards between evaluation periods may contact the Office of Financial Aid for consideration of reinstatement.
  • Students not making SAP, who are ineligible for financial aid for failing to achieve the minimum grade point average, the minimum completion percentage, or have reached the maximum timeframe, may appeal their status by submitting a letter of appeal to the Office of 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 either changed or been overcome.
    • Goals for achieving academic progress in the future and an anticipated graduation date.
  • 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.
  • Students who successfully appeal are granted one semester of financial aid eligibility under a probationary status of, Financial Aid Probation.  Student must fulfill their probationary requirements in order to continue receiving financial aid in subsequent semesters.
    • By achieving SAP by the end of the probationary semester.
    • By successfully following an academic plan during the probationary semester.
  • 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 meeting the requirements of their Academic Plan at the end of a Financial Aid Probation semester will continue receiving aid in the following semester.  Students on Academic Plans must continue meeting the requirements of their Academic Plan at the standard SAP evaluation periods in order to keep financial aid eligibility.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy 2011-12 (pdf)