Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactiory Academic Progress Standards and Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) ensures students are completing their academic program in a timely manner while achieving and maintaining compliance with minimum academic standards. Eligibility for the Federal Direct Student Loans is contingent upon students achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress toward the Doctor of Medicine degree. These standards are for Title IV Federal Financial Aid purposes only and neither replace nor override academic policies outlined in the SOM Student manual.  However, these standards are intended to be at least as rigorous as SGU's SOM academic policies. 

Evaluation Points

Students in the Basic Science portion of the MD program (Year 1 and Year 2) are reviewed each academic term and students in the clinical portion of the MD program (Year 3 and Year 4) are reviewed annually. Students must meet all of the minimum standards below at each evaluation point or be subject to sanctions.  

Qualitative Standard

  • Have no more than 1 failing grade in the Basic Science terms
  • Have no more than 1 failing grade in the Clinical terms
  • Have no more than one term in which minimum cumulative Weighted Mean Percentage Grade (WMPG) was not achieved
    • Minimum cumulative WMPG Term 1- 70%
    • Minimum cumulative WMPG subsequent terms -75%

Quantitative Standard

  • Have earned at least 50% of the total attempted credits for the first 2 terms of enrollment in basic sciences
  • Have earned at least 60% of the total attempted credits in the remaining Basic Science terms
  • Have no more than two fully repeated Basic Science terms
  • Have earned at least 67% of the total attempted credits thereafter

Maximum Timeframe

  • Progressing toward completion of Basic Science terms within 3 years of matriculation
  • Progressing toward completion of graduation requirements within 6 years of matriculation   

Treatment of Non-Earned Grades

Courses in which a student earned a grade of ‘W', ‘I', ‘CR' or ‘NG' will count toward hours attempted but not earned for maximum timeframe and pace of progression but will not be included in the qualitative measure.  Courses in which a student earned a grade of ‘F' count toward the qualitative, quantitative and maximum timeframe calculations.

Transfer Credits

For purposes of financial aid, only transfer credit hours officially accepted for the student's program of study will be automatically counted in the attempted and successfully completed credit hours toward the quantitative and maximum timeframe calculations. Transfer credits are not included in the GPA calculation.

Sanctions

The student will be notified in writing of any change in his or her SAP standing that may impact Title IV eligibility.

Basic Science terms:

Students failing to meet any of the satisfactory academic progress standards will be placed on a one-term ‘Financial Aid Warning' and will remain eligible to receive federal financial aid for the term.  If the student does not meet the satisfactory academic progress standards by the end of the warning term, the student will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid unless he or she files an appeal and it is approved.

Clinical terms:

Students failing to meet any of the satisfactory academic progress standards will be ineligible for federal financial aid unless he or she files an appeal and it is approved.

Loss of Title IV Eligibility:

A student who has not met the minimum SAP standards after an annual evaluation, a warning semester, a probation semester, or has failed to adhere to the terms of the academic plan will become ineligible for financial aid funding.  In addition, students who do not meet the standards for maximum timeframe will become ineligible for financial aid when it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete within the maximum number of years. 

Appeal Process

If a student has lost financial aid eligibility, the student may submit a written appeal with supporting documentation to the Director of Financial Aid petitioning for reconsideration of eligibility for financial aid based on extenuating circumstances.

The appeal must specify all of the following information:

  • The extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control that led to the failure to meet SAP (i.e. death, illness);
  • What has changed in the student's situation to resolve the issue(s) that caused the academic or progress deficit or progress; and
  • That the issue(s) will not affect their performance in the future.

If the student provides all of the above required information, the Director of Financial Aid will review the appeal to determine the validity and reasonableness of the appeal and if students can reasonably be expected to return to a good SAP standing by the end of the next term or within the terms of an academic plan.

Outcomes of Appeal

If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on ‘Financial Aid Probation' for one term and will be eligible for financial aid funding for that term. If the student needs more than a single term to return to a good SAP standing, the student will be placed on an academic plan which allows the student to meet the SAP standards by a specific point in time.

If the appeal is denied, the student may regain financial aid eligibility by becoming compliant with all of the SAP standards while studying at his or her own expense.

Appeal decisions are sent to the student's official SGU email address within 10 days of the receipt of the appeal and appropriate documentation.

Academic Plan

A student on an academic plan will have modified SAP measurements requirements for the duration of the plan. In order to financial aid for the terms while on an academic plan, the student must meet the terms of the academic plan as specified in their Financial Aid Probation letter.  If the student doesn't meet the terms of the academic plan specified in the letter, the student is not eligible for federal financial aid.