Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations (Sections 668.16 (e).668.32(f) and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree. This determination of progress must be made at least once a year and before the financial aid office disburses any federal aid funds for the subsequent semester. These guidelines have been updated to meet federal regulations effective July 1, 2011. Please note these guidelines are separate from academic progress as monitored by the Academic Standards Committee.

Students who are aware of learning or other disabilities should immediately contact the Office of Disability Services so that appropriate accommodations can be made. A student with a documented disability and functional limitations is still held to the same academic expectations as other students. If the student is registered with the Office of Disability Services and receiving appropriate accommodations, the student should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility purposes.

Pursuant to Federal regulations, the following constitutes The Sage Colleges policy on satisfactory academic progress for undergraduate students

Maximum hours to earn degree: To quantify academic progress, a school must set a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete a program. For an undergraduate program, the maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted.

The majority of undergraduate programs require 120 hours for graduation. The maximum time frame for students in these programs is 180 attempted hours (120 x 1.5 = 180). Students whose programs require more than 120 hours for a degree will have a higher limit.

  • As expressed in years: Students are normally expected to complete an undergraduate degree by the end of 4 years of full-time study. Therefore, students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after 6 years of full time enrollment (4 x 150% = 6)
  • Withdrawals: Grades of W are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame.
  • Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of "attempted hours."
  • Pass/Fail Courses: These hours do count within the total attempted and earned hours.
  • Transfer Credits accepted for the student's academic program or degree is counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program. The Sage Colleges does not accept any transfer grades lower than C.   
  • Repeat Policy: For federal and institutional aid students can repeat a course once. The most recent attempt will count towards GPA as well as in the calculation for attempted and completed credits.
  • Double Majors and/or Minors: Students who receive permission from their Dean to pursue a double major/minor will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.
  • Change in Majors: Students who change their majors will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.
  • Second Bachelor's Degree: A student who has already been awarded a bachelor's degree may apply for a second degree only if the second degree is different from the first degree. Ordinarily, a second degree at the undergraduate level is discouraged, and a graduate degree is encouraged.
    • Students working towards a second bachelor's degree are no longer eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG grants, Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants, and Federal SMART Grants.
    • Undergraduate students are limited to how much they can borrow under the Federal Stafford Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. These limits are not increased for students working on a second Bachelor's degree.
    • Students seeking financial aid for a second bachelor's degree are monitored for satisfactory academic progress based on the following:
      • Students who have received their first bachelor's degree from another institution will be granted a maximum of 72 credits or six semesters of institutional aid, whichever comes first, to complete their second bachelor's degree at the Sage Colleges.
      • Students who have received their first bachelor's degree from Sage will be granted a maximum of 60 credits or five semesters of institutional aid, whichever comes first, to complete their second bachelor's degree at Sage.
      • Students who enroll in a second bachelor degree program are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule. However, only the credit hours from the first degree which apply to the second degree will be counted as attempted hours.

Satisfactory Progress Definition

Students have a limited amount of time to complete their undergraduate degree requirements. To earn our basic undergraduate degree, students must successfully complete 120 credit hours. Undergraduate full-time status equals 12 or more credits per semester. Federal or institutional aid recipients enrolled less than full-time are required to meet these standards on a basis proportional to their enrollment status.

For transfer students, satisfactory academic progress will be measured by equating transfer credits accepted by The Sage Colleges to the number of cumulative credits earned, and indicated on the chart below. 

For a student to be considered as progressing normally and maintain eligibility for federal and institutional financial aid,  students must achieve specific quality (grade point averages) and quantity (credits earned) standards. Below are outlines of academic standards which must be met to comply with federal and institutional requirements. Academic progress is monitored by the Financial Aid Office through established institutional guidelines.

Baccalaureate Degree Students:

Semester Grade Point Average Credits Completed
1 1.00 6
2 1.25 15
3 1.50 22
4 2.00 30
5 2.00 40
6 2.00 51
7 2.00 61
8 2.00 75
9 2.00 90
10 2.00 105
11 2.00 120
12 2.00 135

 

Qualitative Standards: Grade Point Averages

In accordance with federal regulations, by the second calendar year of enrollment in a post-secondary educational program, the student must have at least a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) to be considered making satisfactory progress for continued participation in federal aid and institutional programs. Students who do not meet this test will be ineligible to participate in federal and institutional financial aid programs until this deficiency is corrected.

Grade Changes

Students who are receiving aid on a conditional or probationary basis must resolve all incomplete grades BEFORE the Financial Aid Office can make a final determination that they meet the satisfactory academic progress guidelines. Students must report any grade changes that impact their aid directly to the Financial Aid Office. 

Procedures

Each aid recipient's record will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester to determine that the student is meeting the standards described above. If the student has reached the maximum number of scheduled hours without earning the degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal and institutional financial aid programs. 

Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students, even first-time aid applicants who have previously enrolled at The Sage Colleges, or to those who have not been formally placed on probation.

Failure to Demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress: Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress will lose their eligibility for federal and institutional aid. Students who do not meet the required qualitative and quantitative standards will be sent a letter indicating that they have not met the required standards and are given the opportunity to appeal the loss of the federal and institutional financial aid. Students that successfully appeal the loss will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester. Students will be allowed only one probationary period during their academic program.

Financial Aid Probation:Students on financial aid probation will receive a separate letter that will outline the academic requirements the student must meet in order to receive aid for the following semester. If the student on financial aid probation meets the terms of the probation, he/she will be permitted to continue to participate in the federal or institutional student aid programs for a subsequent semester.

Students who have been placed on probation shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for the purposes of receiving financial aid as long as the student continues to meet the academic requirements outlined in the Standards of Academic Progress policy. During the time the student is placed on probation, he/she must successfully complete the semester without any failures, incompletes, or withdrawals.

The Financial Aid Office will review the records of students who are on financial aid probation at the end of the semester they are placed on probation. If the student does not meet the terms of the probation, the student will forfeit eligibility for all federal and institutional financial aid programs.

Loss of eligibility due to lack of satisfactory progress:

A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal and institutional student aid programs for reasons of academic progress after being placed on Financial Aid Probation can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at The Sage Colleges at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes,  or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his/her degree requirements in a more regular fashion. The mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory progress.

Students who have been academically excluded from The Sage Colleges but are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal, state, or institutional aid programs. Admissions decisions are totally separate from funding decisions. 

Right to Appeal

Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance unless they have previously been granted an appeal. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of notification that aid eligibility has been lost. An appeal must be typed and sent to the Director of Financial Aid, The Office of Student Services, 65 First Street, Troy, NY 12180. The appeal may not be based upon your need for assistance or your lack of knowledge that your assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal should be based upon some unusual situation or condition which prevented you from passing more of your courses, or which necessitated that you withdraw from classes. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury, or death of a family member.

If you do not have grounds for an appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may still be able to regain your eligibility for future semesters. This is done by enrolling at The Sage Colleges at your own expense - without financial assistance- and meeting The Sage Colleges satisfactory academic progress guidelines.

Appeal Approval Conditions

Appeals can only be approved if the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines

  • The student will be able to meet The Sage Colleges' satisfactory academic progress after the next payment period.
  • There is a letter of support from the student's academic advisor.
  • If an appeal is granted: Students whose appeals are granted will receive aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The conditions will be outlined in the letter sent to the student granting the appeal. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student's record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester. Students who fail to meet the conditions outlined by the committee during their conditional semester will not be allowed to submit a subsequent appeal.
  • During the time the student is placed on probation, he/she must successfully complete the semester without any failures, incompletes, or withdrawals.

Appeal Form

Satisfactory Academic Progress for New York State Aid

To be eligible, and remain eligible for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), students must:

  • be a full-time (12 credits or more per semester) and matriculated student at each level of study,
  • maintain good academic standing by meeting program pursuit and satisfactory academic progress requirements as detailed below.

Program pursuit is defined as:

  • Completion of at least 6 credits during each term of study in the first year for which an award is received; or
  • Completion of at least 9 credits during each term of study in the second year for which an award is received; or
  • Completion of at least 12 credits during each subsequent term for which an award is received.

This chart is for students who received aid in 2007-08 through and including 2009-10 and HEOP students first receiving aid in 2007-08 and thereafter.

Before being certified for this payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
A student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 3 9 21 33 45 60 75 90 105
With at least this grade point average 0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

This chart is for non-HEOP students first receiving aid in 2010-11 and thereafter.

Before being certified for this payment 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
A student must have accrued at least this many credits 0 6 15 27 39 51 66 81 96 111
With at least this grade point average 0 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

 

Summer Accelerated Study

At Sage, enrollment for the summer term is always considered accelerated study. in addition to meeting general TAP eligibility criteria, students qualify for accelerated study awards only upon earning 24 credits applicable to their degree program in the prior two semesters at Sage. Transfer credits cannot be used to meet the accelerated study requirement. The required 24 credits can be earned in any combination (e.g. 6 in the fall and 18 in the spring).

For the purpose of determining eligibility for a state award for accelerated study at Sage, an earned credit is a credit for which the student has taken at Sage, received a passing grade and which is applicable to the student's degree program.

Requirements for accelerated study apply to all full-time study scholarships that do not allow for part-time study. Veteran's Tuition Awards and Part-Time TAP Awards for student with disabilities are not effected by the accelerated study requirement. 

There is no waiver provision available for students who do not meet the accelerated study earned credits requirement.

Loss of Good Academic Standing

Students who lose good academic standing in a term when they received a state grant or scholarship are not eligible for an award for the next term.

Reinstatement of Good Academic Standing

Students who have lost good academic standing may restore this standing in one of the following ways: make up past academic deficiencies by completing one or more terms of study without receiving any state grants or scholarships; be readmitted to school after an absence of at least one year; transfer to another school, or be granted a waiver.

One-Time Waiver

New York State Commissioner of Education regulations permit students to receive a one-time waiver of the good academic standing requirement. The waiver is not automatic, and may only be granted in extraordinary or unusual circumstances which are beyond the control of the student. There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will meet future requirements. To request a one-time waiver, students must submit a completed one-time waiver application along with supporting statements and documentation. One-time waiver applications are available in the Financial Aid office. If granted, the waiver becomes part of the student's financial aid record and the student is expected to meed good academic standing requirements thereafter.

Please note that applying for a one-time TAP waiver is not a guarantee that you will be approved. In addition, the decision made by the appeals committee is final and not subject to appeal. However, in the event that a request is denied, the student may submit additional documentation for review if they feel it is pertinent to the original TAP waiver request.

C Average Requirement

Students who have received the equivalent of two of more full years of state-funded financial aid must have and maintain a cumulative GPA of C (2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale) or better to be eligible for continued state-funded assistance. Cumulative GPA for readmitted students who have previously attended Sage is based on prior grades at Sage. Students who are denied an award for failing to achieve a cumulative GPA of C can regain award eligibility by completing appropriate coursework, without state support, to achieve a cumulative GPA of C. Students cannot regain eligibility by remaining out of school for a period of time.

Waiver of the C Average Requirement

The C average requirement may be waived for undue hardship based on the death of a student's immediate family member; or the student's personal illness or injury; or other extenuating circumstances. To request a C average waiver, students must submit a completed waiver application along with the appropriate supporting documentation. C average waiver applications are available in the Financial Aid office. If granted, the waiver becomes part of the student's financial aid record and the student is expected to meet good academic standing requirements thereafter.

Repeated Courses

Courses in which the student has already received a passing grade cannot be included in meeting full-time study requirements for state-sponsored financial aid. 

Repeated courses may be counted toward full-time study requirements if a student repeats a failed course, if a student repeats the course for additional credit, or when a student has received a grade that is passing at the institution but is unacceptable in a particular curriculum.

 

Resources for Students