FAFSA School Code: 001146

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require CSU, Chico to establish, publish, and apply satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards for all student financial aid recipients. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive financial aid at CSU, Chico meet these standards. SAP standards apply for all federal, state and institutional grants, loans, and work-study.

Evaluation Criteria

CSU, Chico measures SAP in the following areas:  Cumulative GPA, Pace, and Maximum Units.  In order to satisfy the requirements of the CSU, Chico satisfactory academic progress policy, students must meet three evaluation criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA - All financial aid recipients must maintain the minimum cumulative GPA requirements set forth in the table below:
Undergraduate Cumulative Units Completed Required Minimum Cumulative GPA
Freshman 0 to 29 cum units 1.5 GPA
Sophomore 30 to 59 cum units 1.7 GPA
Junior 60 to 89 cum units 1.85 GPA
Senior 90+ cum units 1.95 GPA
Post-Baccalaureate Cumulative Units Completed Required Minimum Cumulative GPA
Masters All 3.0 GPA
Unclassified Masters All 2.0 GPA
Credential All 3.0 GPA
Second Bachelor's All 2.0 GPA
  • Pace - The rate at which a student completes his or her graduation requirements at CSU, Chico. Pace = cumulative units completed divided by cumulative units attempted. In order to meet Pace requirements, this value must be 67 percent or higher. Completed units are coursework for which a grade of A, B, C, D, RP, or CR is earned.
  • Maximum Units (Maximum Time Frame) - If you are an undergraduate, you are no longer eligible for aid after you have attempted 180 units.  A post-baccalaureate student is no longer eligible after attempting 60 post-baccalaureate units.  Maximum units will be monitored prior to the beginning of each academic year.  All attempted units, including transfer units and units completed through consortium agreements, are counted, whether or not you received financial aid or successfully completed the coursework.  A student who has exceeded maximum units will be denied financial aid.
  • CSU, Chico Academic Disqualification - If a student is academically disqualified, he/she is no longer satisfying the graduation requirements at CSU, Chico.  He/she will not be considered meeting the CSU, Chico Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, even if all other evaluation criteria are satisfied.

Evaluation Frequency

CSU, Chico evaluates satisfactory academic progress annually, after spring term grades are posted in June.  In order to receive federal and state financial aid for the following term, a student must satisfy all areas of the CSU, Chico SAP policy, as set forth under the evaluation criteria.

Treatment of Non-punitive Grades, Repeated Courses, Audited Courses, Credit/No Credit Courses, Withdrawals, and Incomplete

Course grades of A, B, C, D, RP (report in progress) or CR (credit) count as completed units.  A grade of CR or RP does not impact a student's cumulative GPA, but is counted toward completed units.  Limits on CR/NC coursework are defined in the university catalog.  Grades of F, WE, WU, NC (no credit), AU (audit), RD (report delayed), W, I, and challenged course grades do not count as completed units.  A grade of I (incomplete) may be made up within one year, according to university policy.  However, for determining satisfactory academic progress, it will not count until a passing grade is posted.

Per university policy, undergraduate students may repeat courses if the earlier attempt resulted in a grade of "C-" or lower and graduate students may repeat courses if the earlier attempt resulted in a grade of "B-" or lower.  Repeated courses are included in the satisfactory academic progress evaluation. Repeated courses that do not meet these requirements will be counted as attempted but not completed units.

Although all repeat coursework is included in the satisfactory academic progress evaluation, financial aid for repeat coursework may be withheld.   If a financial aid eligible student earns a grade of D- or higher, he/she receive aid only once for retaking the course.  A financial aid eligible student may continue to receive aid for failing the same course or withdrawing from the same course.

Grades of WE, WU, and W (official and unofficial withdrawals) are not completed units, but do count as attempted units when evaluating satisfactory academic progress.  In rare, compelling, and documentable cases (e.g.: death of a close relative or friend, medical circumstances, a necessary change in employment status which interferes with the student's ability to attend class, other unusual or very special cases considered on their own merit), a financial aid advisor may choose to exclude these units in the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress.

Treatment of Remedial Courses

A student may receive financial aid for up to 30 units of remedial coursework, as defined in the university catalog.  Remedial courses are taken as credit/no credit.  They do not count toward a student's cumulative units when determining grade level, but they do count as completed units when determining satisfactory academic progress.

Treatment of Transfer and Consortium Courses

Per university policy, no more than 70 semester units in coursework at a two-year college may be accepted toward the bachelor's degree.  Only accepted transferred/consortium units will be used in evaluating satisfactory academic progress at CSU, Chico.

SAP Status and Consequences of Not Meeting SAP

At the time satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is evaluated, a student will either meet or not meet SAP requirements.  Students who fail to meet the requirements of the CSU, Chico SAP policy, as set forth under the evaluation criteria, are no longer eligible for federal and state financial aid.

Notification

Students who fail to meet the requirements of the satisfactory academic progress policy are notified individually, via e-mail and through their Student Center, when they apply for financial aid at CSU, Chico.

Reestablishing Eligibility

A student who fails to meet the requirements of the CSU, Chico SAP policy is not eligible for federal and state financial aid. Eligibility can be reestablished by completing one of the steps below:

  • Enroll in and complete courses at CSU, Chico without financial aid.  The student must meet all the requirements of the CSU, Chico SAP policy in order to reestablish financial aid eligibility.  It is the student's responsibility to request recalculation of SAP.
  • Enroll at a community college and transfer earned coursework applicable to the student's degree at CSU, Chico.  The student must meet all the requirements of the CSU, Chico SAP policy in order to reestablish financial aid eligibility.  It is the student's responsibility to provide proof of transferred coursework and to request recalculation of SAP.
  • Successfully file an appeal (Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal or Maximum Units Appeal). A student who fails to meet the requirements of the CSU Chico SAP policy and subsequently loses eligibility for financial aid, may submit an appeal.  Appeal forms are available at http://www.csuchico.edu/fa/forms/printable.html.  An appeal can be approved based on the nature and merit of its circumstances and documentation, but only if two conditions exist:  (1) the student can meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy after one term; or (2) the student signs an Academic Plan/Contract that establishes a way for the student to meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy at some established time in the future. 

If an appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation.  The academic records for probationary students will be reviewed each semester.  At the conclusion of the review, these probationary students must either satisfy the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy or the conditions of their Academic Plan/Contract.  Failure to do so will result in loss of financial aid eligibility.

Appeal Process

Students are notified of the appeal process when they are notified of their SAP denial status via e-mail.  There are two SAP appeals:  Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal and Maximum Units Appeal.

If a student is appealing for the first time, the review of the appeal and decision may be left up to the individual advisor.  A student may submit an appeal as many times as needed.  However, multiple appeals will be held to a higher and more rigorous standard.  A subsequent appeal may be reviewed by an ad hoc committee.  An ad hoc committee is composed of at least two financial aid advisors.

A student must submit an appeal by the census date (fourth week of school) in order to be reinstated for aid during that term.  In rare cases, an appeal may be accepted after the census date.  Each case will be evaluated on its own merit and circumstances.

An advisor may consider many factors including, but not limited to, family or medical circumstances, incomplete grades, input from other professionals, academic history, prior academic plans or contracts, and prior appeals.

Examples of possible circumstances to be considered when evaluating the reasons for a student's inability to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Death of a close relative or friend
  • Hospitalization or other medical circumstance by the student, a relative, or a close friend
  • Change in employment
  • Divorce or separation
  • Safety needs of the student or his/her children
  • Difficult transition to CSU, Chico
During the appeal process, students are given information and conditions for their appeal approval.  Some examples include: taking fewer units, passing all attempted units, maintain a certain GPA, etc.

A student may be required to submit additional documentation, such as a doctor's note or other third party documentation.

If an appeal is denied, the student may request review by the Assistant Director, Associate Director, or the Director.  The Director is the last line of appeal.

Acceptable Documentation

Third parties may sometimes be used to document the mitigating circumstances surrounding a SAP appeal.  Examples of acceptable documentation might include but not limited to:

  • Newspaper obituary or death certificate
  • Physicians' statements to substantiate illness or accident
  • Statements from clergy, counselors, advisors, or relatives who know the student's situation
  • Statements from academic advisors or professors

Failure to Submit Requested Documentation

If a student does not submit all requested documents or does not submit a SAP appeal after he or she fails to meet the requirements of the CSU, Chico SAP policy, the student is ineligible for federal and state financial aid.

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