SAP Policy

GENERAL INFORMATION

Federal and state regulations require that students maintain a certain level of academic performance in order to be eligible for financial aid. This is known as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

All students who wish to qualify for financial aid must meet three standards known as SAP.  These standards include:

  • a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • a minimum credit hour completion rate
  • completion of a degree or program of study within a maximum number of credit hours 

All prior coursework, attempted and earned, is reviewed in the determination of SAP.  Students who have been re-admitted as a result of the “two year rule” or “associate rule” (see catalog) are still subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for all attempted coursework at UNC Charlotte. 

The Office of Financial Aid will measure a student’s academic performance annually, at the end of each spring semester. Students who fail to meet one or more of the SAP standards at the time their academic progress is reviewed are not eligible for financial aid. Eligibility to receive aid may be reestablished by remedying all deficiencies. Procedures for re-establishing financial aid eligibility are described in this policy statement (see Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid).

The Office of Financial Aid will notify students of their failure to meet the standards of SAP by email and through the Banner Self-Service system; however, it is the students’ responsibility to stay informed of the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and to monitor their own academic progress.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS REQUIREMENTS

I. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

In order to receive federal financial aid or other need-based aid, a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) must meet the minimum requirement as defined below:

  • Undergraduate Students
  1. Undergraduate students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Graduate Students
  1. Graduate students must meet the GPA requirements determined and monitored by the Graduate School
II. ​Minimum Credit Hour Completion Rate (PACE)

All students must earn a minimum of two-thirds or 66.6% of the credit hours that they have attempted.

Example A:

The student below has earned 120 credit hours at UNC Charlotte and has attempted a total of 123 credit hours.  Divide 120 (earned credit hours) by 123 (attempted credit hours).  This student’s credit hour completion rate is 98%.

 

Attempt Hours

Passed Hours

Earned Hours

GPA Hours

Quality Points

GPA

UNC Charlotte:

76.000

73.000

73.000

73.000

283.00

3.877

Transfer:

47.000

47.000

47.000

0.000

0.00

0.000

Degree:

123.000

120.000

120.000

73.000

283.00

3.877

 

Example B:

The student has attempted a total of 48 credit hours during his entire attendance at UNC Charlotte.  In order to meet the minimum credit hour completion rate requirement and be eligible for financial aid for future semesters, the student must have earned 32 of those credit hours (48 x 0.666 = 32).  In this case, the student has only earned 24 credit hours and is NOT meeting the minimum credit hour completion rate.  (24 divided by 48 = 50%).  This student is not eligible for financial aid.

 

Attempt Hours

Passed Hours

Earned Hours

GPA Hours

Quality Points

GPA

UNC Charlotte:

48.000

24.000

24.000

24.000

60.00

2.500

Transfer:

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

Degree:

48.000

24.000

24.000

24.000

60.00

 

2.500

 

Earned Hours:  A, B, C, D, H, P or S

Unearned Hours:  F, I, IP, W, WE, NR, U or N 

Graduate students who earn IP grades for dissertation/thesis research credits will be evaluated on a case by case basis separate from the initial SAP review process.

Withdrawals (W)

Courses for which a student has withdrawn and a W is posted on their transcript, are counted as attempted but not earned credit hours.

Course Repeats: 

If a student repeats a course, both the original and the repeated courses will count toward the earned and attempted credit hours.  Students may only receive federal financial aid for one repeat of a course that has been successfully completed with a grade    of “D” or higher.

Incomplete Grades (I):

Courses for which a student earns a grade of incomplete (I) are counted as attempted but not earned credit hours.  Once a grade is received it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid by submitting an appeal.

Remedial or ESL Coursework:

Remedial and ESL coursework are treated the same as other course work for financial aid purposes. Both the attempted and earned hours count in the calculation of completion ratio and maximum allotted hours. 

III. Maximum Credit Hours

To remain eligible for financial aid at UNC Charlotte, students must complete their degree program requirements within 150 percent of the published length of their degree program.  All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received.

Undergraduate Example:

If an Undergraduate degree program requires 120 semester credit hours to complete, then a student is eligible for financial aid during the first 180 attempted credit hours as an Undergraduate. 

(120 x 150% = 180 maximum attempted credit hours for financial aid eligibility).

Graduate Students:

Graduate students must complete their degree within the maximum time frame as determined and monitored by the Graduate School.

Second Degree-Seeking Students:

All attempted hours from a prior degree will not count towards the second degree, unless they are needed for that degree. A student pursuing a second undergraduate degree is eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 150% of the hours required for the second degree (Maximum of 228 hours including hours for first degree). 

Mid-Year Transfer Students:

When a student transfers to the University, all of their transfer credit hours are counted towards SAP as attempted and earned hours. Any grades are excluded from the University for SAP purposes. The GPA starts at 0.00 as a new transfer.

 

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS APPEALS

Students who have failed to meet one or more of the SAP standards are not eligible for financial aid; however, financial aid eligibility may be regained in the future if the student’s cumulative performance meets all three standards of SAP.

Students who are not meeting SAP may appeal their eligibility to receive aid by completing the appeal process below.

  • Appeal Submission Deadlines

            July 1st- Deadline to submit a SAP appeal to receive aid for each fall semester

            November 15th- Deadline to submit a SAP appeal to receive aid for each spring semester

  • Number of Appeals: Students are limited to a maximum of two appeals during their program of study. Students who are not progressing due to not completing their degree in the maximum time-frame may only appeal once.  
  • Appeal Form: The appeal form is a paper form that can be located online at http://finaid.uncc.edu/ under the Forms and Publications tab. The form can also be picked up in the Office of Financial Aid, 1st floor Reese Building.

Appeals may be considered if a student’s failure to comply with one or more standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress is due to events beyond the student’s control.  The mitigating circumstances must be appropriately documented for the semester(s) in which the deficiency occurred. 

Appeals must include:

  • A detailed explanation of the extenuating circumstances that occurred during the specific semester in which the student failed to meet the SAP standards. 
  • All necessary documentation to support the existence of the circumstances described (examples would include letter from doctor, clergy, professional, etc…) and evidence that the circumstances have been resolved. 
  • Incomplete appeals will not be reviewed.  If additional information is required, an email will be sent to the student’s UNC Charlotte email account as well as a message posted on the Banner Self-Service system.  After 30-days of being incomplete, the appeal will be denied.
  • All documents received with the appeal form become the property of The Office of Financial Aid.  Students are advised not to submit originals. 
  • Once all required documentation is submitted, students will be notified electronically of the outcome of their appeal.  Appeal decisions will be updated on the Banner Self-Service system.

Appeal Decisions

Students should allow up to 3 weeks for a decision to be received on their appeal. The appeal will be communicated via email and Banner Self-Service, with a status of either Denied or Approved for Financial Aid Probation, with a requirement to submit an Academic Plan of Action.

  • An appeal approval is good for one probationary term only, which means the student is eligible to receive one semester of funding.
  • If the student is not enrolled in the semester for which the Financial Aid Probation status was assigned, the probationary status will remain indefinitely until the student returns.
  • If a student receives approval for an appeal based on exceeding the maximum number of credit hours in their program, the approval will only allow them to receive aid for one additional semester.  

Academic Plan of Action:

All students whose SAP appeals are approved must submit an Academic Plan of Action as their final step in the appeal process. The Academic Action Plan will be included in the decision email, if the appeal is approved. Please note: if a student does not complete the final step of submitting an Academic Plan of Action, then their aid will not disburse to their account, even though their appeal was approved.

  • The Academic Plan of Action requires the student to list their registered courses for the semester and agree to completion of those courses (no withdrawals, incompletes, or failing grades), with a grade point average of a 2.0 or above.
  • A review of the Academic Plan of Action will be conducted by financial aid counselors at the end of the semester. If the student is adhering to the plan and making successful progress, their eligibility will remain intact and the student will sign a new Academic Action Plan for the following semester.
  • If the student deviates from the academic plan, he/she will no longer be eligible for financial aid.