Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

Satisfactory Academic Progress


Federal regulations require Chico State 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 Chico State meet these standards. SAP standards apply for all federal, state and institutional grants, loans, and work-study.

Evaluation Criteria

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

  1. Cumulative GPA - All financial aid recipients must maintain these minimum cumulative GPA requirements:
    • Bachelors - 2.0
    • 2nd Bachelors - 2.0
    • Credential - 3.0
    • Masters - 3.0
  2. Pace is the rate at which you complete your graduation requirements at Chico State. Pace is comprised of 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.
  3. Maximum Units (Maximum Time Frame) - An undergraduate student is no longer eligible for aid after attempting 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.

Evaluation Frequency

Chico State evaluates satisfactory academic progress annually, after spring semester grades are posted in June. This annual SAP evaluation is applied to enrollment in previous summer, fall, and spring semesters. In order to receive federal and state financial aid for the following semester, you must satisfy all areas of the Chico State 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, they will 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.

Treatment of Support/Prepatory Courses

You may receive financial aid for up to 30 units of support/prepatory coursework, as defined in the university catalog. Support/prepatory 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 Chico State.

SAP Status and Consequences of Not Meeting SAP

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

Notification

If you fail to meet the requirements of the satisfactory academic progress policy you will be notified via a message center message and through your Student Center. 

Reestablishing Eligibility

If you fail to meet the requirements of the Chico State SAP policy your are 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 Chico State without financial aid. You must meet all the requirements of the Chico State SAP policy in order to reestablish financial aid eligibility. It is your responsibility to request recalculation of SAP by contacting the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.
  • Enroll at a community college, or other college or university, and transfer earned coursework applicable to your degree at Chico State. You must meet all the requirements of the Chico State SAP policy in order to reestablish financial aid eligibility. It is your responsibility to request recalculation of SAP by contacting the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.
  • Successfully file an appeal (Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal or Maximum Units Appeal). If you fail to meet the requirements of the Chico State SAP policy and subsequently loses eligibility for financial aid, you may submit an appeal. Appeal forms are available at our Forms page. An appeal can be approved based on the nature and circumstances indicated by supporting documentation, but only if two conditions exist: (1) you can meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy after one term; or (2) you sign an Academic Plan/Contract that establishes a way for you to meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy at some established time in the future.

Appeal Process(opens in new window)

  1. You will be notified of the appeal process via the message center if you are no longer meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress. There are two types of these SAP appeals: Satisfactory Academic Progress and Maximum Units appeal. If you are appealing for the first time, the review of the appeal and decision may be left up to the individual advisor. You may submit an appeal as many times as needed. However, multiple appeals will be held to a higher and more rigorous standard. If you are submitting an appeal based on the same circumstances, you must provide information about what has changed that would allow you to meet SAP requirements. A subsequent appeal may be reviewed by a committee composed of at least two financial aid advisors. There is no limit on the number of appeals a student can submit.
  2. You must submit an appeal by the census date (fourth week of school) in order to be reinstated for aid during that semester. In rare cases, an appeal may be accepted after the census date. Each case will be evaluated on its own merit and circumstances.
  3. If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. The academic records for probationary students must be reviewed each semester. At the conclusion of the review, you must either satisfy the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy or the conditions of your Academic Plan/Contract. Failure to do so will result in loss of financial aid eligibility.
  4. SAP and Maximum Unit appeals are not retroactive, and funding, if approved, will begin in the semester the appeal was approved.
  5. If your appeal is denied, please know that it went through a second review with a supervisor. If you have additional information to consider, please schedule an appointment. 

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 you, a relative, or a close friend
  • change in employment
  • divorce or separation
  • safety needs of you or your children
  • difficult transition to Chico State

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 knows your situation
  • statements from academic advisors or professors

Failure to Submit Requested Documentation

If you do not submit all requested documents or do not submit a SAP appeal after he or she fails to meet the requirements of the Chico State SAP policy, you are ineligible for federal and state financial aid.

Confidentiality

Please note: One of our responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. We seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible. However, Financial Aid staff are required to share information regarding sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, or stalking with appropriate University officials. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting the Wellcat Counseling Center at 530-898-6345 or Wellcat Safe Place at 530-898-3030. Information on campus reporting obligations and other title IX related resources are available at: www.csuchico.edu/title-ix