Satisfactory Academic Progress


When students accept financial aid at Trinity Lutheran College, they also accept the responsibility for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The policy at Trinity is to allow students to continue to receive financial assistance as long as they are in “good standing.” To do otherwise could cause a severe hardship on students who devote their efforts to achieving satisfactory progress.

This progress is based on the following criteria:

  • The numbers of credit hours students enroll in per semester,
  • Term and cumulative grade point average,
  • Length of enrollment at Trinity and,
  • Any transfer courses accepted by Trinity.

To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress at Trinity:

  • Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.0 and,
  • Successfully complete 67% of the classes they enroll for each semester and annually.
    124 (credits needed to graduate) ÷ 186(maximum credits allowed to receive aid) = 67%

Students applying for financial aid must be in compliance with the SAP policies as a condition of eligibility.

Financial aid will be denied to students who fail to maintain progress under the Trinity SAP policy.

At the end of each term and year, a review will be made to check compliance with semester and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA), maximum time frame limit, and minimum credit hour completion requirements.

Entering students or continuing students applying for aid, who have previously attended Trinity must also be in compliance with the SAP policy even if they have not received aid during periods of prior enrollment.

What is SAP?

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is a requirement set by Federal and Washington State financial aid regulations that requires students to make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the completion of a degree. Students at Trinity receiving federal, state or college aid, in addition to meeting other financial aid eligibility requirements, must be in good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress in their degree program. This policy is reviewed on a yearly basis. Should the policy change students will be notified.

Notification

Letters and electronic mail notifications (email) will be sent after grades are posted at the end of each semester to notify students who failed to meet the SAP standards.

  • A “Warning” status will be assigned to students failing to meet the standards for the first time.
  • A “Probation” status will be assigned to students who successfully appeal for reinstatement after a “termination” period.
  • “Termination” status means denial of financial aid. A student in a Termination Status may appeal for reinstatement of eligibility (placed in Probation Status with an approved appeal). Appeal instructions will be sent within the context of the notification letter.

General Policies

Grade Point Average

All students enrolled at Trinity are expected to stay in good academic standing. Good standing requires a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.

Maximum Time Frame Limits

For full-time undergraduate students receiving federal/Title IV aid, the maximum number of credit hours that may be attempted is 186 (150% of required credits) and the maximum time-frame for completing a baccalaureate degree is six years.

124(credits required to graduate) ÷ 4 years = 31 credits per year. 31 X 6 years = 186

For undergraduate students receiving Washington State Financial Aid, the maximum number of credit hours that may be attempted is 155 (125% of required credits) or a maximum of 10 semesters, whichever comes first.

Even if a student changes his or her major or academic program, only 186 credit hours may be taken qualifying for federal financial aid and 155 credits for state aid, and the maximum time-frame of six years for receiving a degree is enforced. Some financial aid programs (e.g. most college gift aid programs) allow aid to be awarded for a maximum of four academic years for entering first year students, and two years for entering transfer students or a maximum of 153 credit hours.

For part-time undergraduate students, a minimum of 12 credit hours must be completed each academic year and achieve a degree with a maximum time-frame of ten years. (The maximum number of credits allowable is 186)

Undergraduate Need-based Credit Completion Requirements
ENROLLMENT STATUS
MINIMUM PER TERM
MINIMUM PER YEAR
Full Time
12
24
3/4 Time
9
18
1/2 Time
6
12
Less than 1/2 time
All credits attempted
All credits attempted


Repeated Courses

Courses may be repeated one time. The grade earned when the course is repeated is the grade which will be placed in the permanent record and which will be used in computing the cumulative grade point average. All credits attempted will count toward the total allowable credits of 186.

Courses transferred from other schools

courses transferred from other schools do not affect the cumulative GPA at Trinity. Only Trinity grades are considered at Trinity. All credits attempted, transferred and taken at Trinity will count toward the total allowable credits of 186.

Satisfactory Course Completion

Grades that are considered satisfactory are A, B, C, D, and P.

Audited Courses

Audited courses are not funded by Financial Aid but are counted toward the total allowable credits of 186.

Credit Hour Completion Requirements

Full Time Enrollment: 12 credit hours or more passed and completed per semester.
3/4 time enrollment: 9 to 11 hours passed and completed per semester.
½ time enrollment: 6 to 8 hours passed and completed per semester.

Evaluation Period

Evaluation of credit hour requirements is performed at the end of each semester after grades are posted. An annual review is performed to determine whether a student is in satisfactory or termination status. Students below 67% annual completion and/or below 2.0 cumulative GPA are terminated.

Warning Period

The first semester in which a student does not make “Satisfactory Academic Progress” will be a “Warning Period”. The student will remain eligible for aid. A notice will be sent to the student explaining the warning period and the requirements for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress at Trinity.

Termination Period (Denial of Financial Aid)

May appeal for reinstatement

Probation Period

The semester after a “Termination” period when a student successfully appeals for reinstatement.

Appeal Procedures

An Appeal may be made one time for SAP purposes.

Appeals must be in writing to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must include an explanation of why the student failed to meet SAP and an academic plan to regain satisfactory academic standing at Trinity. An academic plan is an agreement between the student, Trinity Advising and the Financial Aid Office of the students plan to progress with passing grades and completed classes.

Approved Appeals
  • Student will be notified via letter or email of approval.
  • Approved appeals are for one term unless otherwise stated.
  • Student may be required to sign a Satisfactory Academic Progress Agreement of the SAP requirements expected for the following term.
  • The following term of enrollment must be passed and completed.
  • If the terms of enrollment/SAP Agreement while on probation are not completed/fulfilled, aid will automatically be denied for the following terms of enrollment.
Denied Appeal

The appeal submitted by the student that is not approved by the Financial Aid Office. The student will not qualify for aid and will be responsible for paying all college costs without the benefit of financial aid. The student will receive notification of this decision by email or letter.

To regain compliance in SAP

When a student is terminated a student must complete a term (6 credit hours minimum) while earning at least a 2.0 semester GPA  and completing all classes attempted without the benefit of financial aid. It must be mathematically possible to have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher by the end of the academic year.

Programs With Specific Academic Progress Requirements

Washington State Aid Program Requirements

To retain Washington State Financial Aid (WSFA) eligibility, recipients must earn the required number of hours based on the number of credits in which they are enrolled at the time the WSFA is disbursed. Less than half-time students (3, 4, or 5 credit hours of enrollment) must earn all credits attempted to retain WSFA eligibility. Half-time students (6, 7, or 8 credit hours of enrollment) must earn a minimum of 6 hours to retain WSFA eligibility. ¾ time students (9, 10, or 11 credit hours of enrollment) must earn a minimum of 9 hours to retain WSFA eligibility. Full-time students (enrollment of 12 or more credit hours) must earn a minimum of 12 hours to retain WSFA eligibility. WSFA recipients who fail to satisfactorily warning or termination.

A WSFA recipient who fails to satisfactorily complete at least 50 percent of the minimum required credit hours for their Washington State Financial Aid enrollment status will be denied further WSFA funds. Less than half-time students who do not satisfactorily complete at least 2 credit hours will be denied further WSFA funds. Half-time students who do not satisfactorily complete at least 3 credit hours will be denied further WSFA funds. Three-quarter time students who do not satisfactorily complete at least 5 credit hours will be denied further WSFA funds. Full-time Students who do not satisfactorily complete at least 6 credit hours will be denied further WSFA funds. Students’ who are denied further Washington State Financial Aid funds for failure to meet the requirements must satisfactorily complete the required minimum credit hours in a subsequent semester of enrollment to re-establish eligibility.

WSFA Recipients who satisfactorily complete at least 50 percent of the required minimum hours for their WSFA enrollment status but fail to satisfactorily complete the minimum program completion requirements for which they are enrolled, will be placed on Washington State Financial Aid warning. Students who are on Washington State Financial Aid warning must satisfactorily complete the required minimum credit hours during the next semester of enrollment. See above for the minimum credits for less than half-time, half-time, three-quarter and full-time enrollment. Students may receive any WSFA funds for which they are otherwise eligible during the one semester probationary period. Failure to satisfactorily complete the required minimum credit hours during the probationary semester will result in denial of further eligibility for WSFA funds.