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Federal Standards

Federal SAP Policy 

Federal regulations require SUNY Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) to establish, publish and apply reasonable standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid purposes. These standards ensure the successful completion of coursework, leading to the timely receipt of a degree or certificate. The SAP policy must be the same as or stricter than SUNY Orange’s Academic Policy applied to students in the same program who are not receiving Federal Title IV student aid programs. It must also provide consistent application of standards to all students with categories of students (ie: full-time, part-time, undergraduate, certificate, and educational programs established by the institution.) (34 CFR § 668.34 - Satisfactory Academic Progress)

SAP Policy pertains to Federal Financial Aid and is separate from SUNY Orange’s Academic Policy which can be found in the SUNY Orange’s College Catalog.

Enrollment Breakdown:     Full Time = 12 or more credits
                                             Three-Quarter Time (¾)= 9 to 11.5 credits
                                             Half Time (½) = 6 to 8.5 credits
                                             Less Than Half Time (< ½) = 5.5 or less credits

Federal regulations state that SAP standards must include a review of all attempted credits for all periods of enrollment, regardless of whether or not aid was received. This includes enrolled, transfer credits, repeated credits, developmental credits, etc. The student must meet all minimum standards in order to continue receiving federal financial aid. Federal financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work Study, and Federal Direct Loans. 

In order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid (Title IV funds), a student must make adequate academic progress toward their degree.  Eligibility is determined by reviewing three components:

  • Qualitative: Students are required to maintain a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
  • Quantitative: Students are required to complete 67% of all attempted credits.
  • Maximum Timeframe: Students must complete their degree, or mathematically be able to complete their degree, within 150% of the established program length (total number of credits to earn a degree or certificate). 

A student is considered to be making SAP at the end of a payment period (semester) if the student meets the criteria for the qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame standards.  These standards are cumulative.  A student must meet all of the components above in order to remain eligible for federal Title IV student aid.

When is the SAP Reviewed and How Often?

Beginning Fall 2022, the determination of SAP will be made at the end of each semester (summer, fall, spring) for all undergraduate and certificate programs.  This review includes a determination as to whether or not the student has met the cumulative qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame standards set forth in the college’s SAP policy.

When a student returns from a period of non-attendance from SUNY Orange, all prior academic activity, including transfer credits accepted by SUNY Orange, will be included in the SAP evaluation.  

Components of SUNY Orange's SAP Policy

1. QUALITATIVE COMPONENT (Cumulative Grade Point Average)

Students must maintain good academic standing as measured by the cumulative grade-point average (CGPA). Students are evaluated and expected to maintain a minimum CGPA based on coursework completed at SUNY Orange.  Courses measured for CGPA are defined below.

Associates Degree:

  • .5 – 29.5 credits completed:
    • Cumulative GPA of 1.5 or higher
  • 30 or more credits completed:
    • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher

Certificate Programs:

  • 2.0 GPA or higher is required

Students whose cumulative GPA (CGPA) falls below the established guidelines will fail to meet the qualitative portion of SUNY Orange’s Federal SAP policy and will be rendered ineligible for federal financial aid.

2. QUANTITATIVE COMPONENT (PACE)

Students must complete 67% of all credits attempted during your career at SUNY Orange at the end of each semester. You can determine your completion rate by dividing the total # of completed credits (A) by the total number of attempted credits (B): (A/B=pace). See examples below:

Credit hours for which the student is enrolled:

Pace of Progression (Completion % Calculation)

Credit hours in which the student must earn a passing grade:

3

3 x .67

2

6

6 x .67

4

9

9 x .67

6

12

12 x .67

8

15

15 x .67

10


Students who fall below the established pace guidelines (67%) will fail to meet the quantitative portion of SUNY Orange’s Federal SAP policy and will be rendered ineligible for federal financial aid. 

3.  MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME (150% of established program length)

The number of credits attempted by a student cannot exceed 150 percent (150%) of the published length of their education program. Students must complete their courses to ensure they will finish the program within the allowable timeframe. The Financial Aid Office measures the ratio of credits successfully completed compared to the number of credits attempted according to the chart below. 

Note 1: Credits transferred from another institution are included as credits attempted and completed for the purposes of calculating the maximum time frame.

Note 2: Once a student reaches the maximum time frame or it is determined to be mathematically impossible for the student to complete their academic program within the maximum time frame, the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid unless their maximum timeframe appeal is approved.  If the appeal is denied, students may continue to attend SUNY Orange but must fund their education without federal financial aid.

Attempted credit hours are those hours for which the student officially begins at the beginning of each semester.  Withdrawals are counted as attempted hours.

Example of “Maximum Timeframe” for a student seeking an Associate’s Degree or Certificate Program:

You can determine your maximum time frame by taking the credits required to complete your program and multiply by 150%. Below are examples.

Program Type

Maximum time frame

An Associate’s Degree program requires 66 college-level credits.

The maximum time frame is 99 credits attempted
66 x 150% = 99 credits

An Associate’s Degree program requires 64 college-level credits.

The maximum time frame is 96 credits attempted
64 x 150% = 96 credits

An Associate’s Degree program requires 63 college-level credits.

The maximum time frame is 96 credits attempted
64 x 150% = 94.5 credits

An Associate’s Degree program requires 62 college-level credits.

The maximum time frame is 93 credits attempted
62 x 150% = 93 credits

A Certificate Program requiring 30 credits college-level credits

The maximum time frame is 45 credits attempted
30 x 150% = 45 credits

A Certificate Program requiring 28 credits college-level credits

The maximum time frame is 42 credits attempted
28 x 150% = 42 credits

A Certificate Program requiring 27 credits college-level credits

The maximum time frame is 40.5 credits attempted
27 x 150% = 40.5 credits

A Certificate Program requiring 25 credits college-level credits

The maximum time frame is 37.5 credits attempted
30 x 150% = 45 credits


Students who have attempted credits greater than a 150% of their program length and have not yet earned a degree, or it has become mathematically impossible for them to complete their program in 150% maximum time, will fail to meet federal 150% rule and will be rendered ineligible for federal financial aid.  There is no appeal for the maximum timeframe. 

Attempted credit hours are those hours for which the student officially begins at the beginning of each semester.  Withdrawals are counted as attempted hours.

Maximum hours to earn a 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.

  • Withdrawals: All grades including W are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame. However, grades of W, do not count towards your Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • Repeated Coursework:  Students may repeat a course if they have not received a passing grade in the course while receiving Title IV aid.  A student may only repeat a course once if he/she has passed the course previously while receiving Title IV aid.  All repeated coursework will count within the total calculation of attempted and earned hours.
  • Pass/Fail Courses: These credits count within the total calculation of attempted and earned hours. Pass/Fail courses do not calculate towards the GPA.
  • Transfer credits: Transfer credits that apply to your academic program are counted as courses attempted and earned, and count toward the maximum time frame. However, they do not count towards the GPA. 
  • Incomplete Grades: Courses with grades of incomplete will count towards credits attempted but not count towards credits earned.  If an "incomplete" grade is changed to a "passing" grade by the midpoint of the subsequent semester, the credits may then count towards credits earned and are included in the GPA calculation.
  • Double Majors and/or Minors: If you pursue a double major/minor you will be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 150% of the program length.
  • Change in Majors: If you change your major, you will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching the maximum time frame for your current program. Courses taken in your previous major will still count as attempted and completed credits.
  • 2nd Associates Degree: If you have already been awarded an Associate’s Degree, you may apply for a second degree only if the second degree is different from the first degree. Only credits transferred into your new program will be counted towards your cumulative attempts.  Any course that is inapplicable to the new degree will be excluded from the calculation.  
  • Developmental credits: Developmental credits are counted in attempted and completed credits, but not in GPA because they are graded as Pass or Fail. By Federal regulation, you are only eligible to receive aid for a maximum of 30 developmental/remedial credit hours.
  • Fresh Start: Fresh start rules do not apply to SAP.  All credits and grades earned prior to the Fresh Start are counted when SAP is calculated.

Credits that do not count toward maximum credits or the Pace calculation:

  • Dropped Courses:  Courses dropped before the start of the class or before the add/drop will not count as attempted or completed credits.
  • Audited Courses: You do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. These courses do not count as attempted or completed credits.  Audited courses do not count toward your GPA.

Grades Measured towards GPA:

  • Grades included in the GPA calculation include:  A, B, C, D (including + and – grades), F, ZF.

Student who attempted more than 150% of their program credits, or mathematically can not complete their degree within 150% of the program length are suspended from Federal Financial Aid.  There is no appeal for maximum time frame. 

Students Who Fail to Meet SUNY Orange's SAP Policy

Students who fail to meet SAP standards at SUNY Orange will receive an email from the Financial Office via their SUNY Orange email account stating that they have failed to meet one or more components of the SAP Policy.  Students may review their SAP Status by reviewing the Academic Progress link in their mySUNYOrange Student Portal and/or Degree Works.

The email will also contain a link to SUNY Orange’s Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Form for the student to appeal the Financial Aid Suspension status if they have extenuating circumstances beyond their control that prevented them from being successful in their courses. 

SAP Statuses

Financial Aid Warning
Students who were in good SAP standing but then fail to meet the SAP requirements at the end of a semester will be placed on a one (1) semester Financial Aid Warning for the next semester of attendance.  This warning semester should be used to get back on track academically.  Meeting with your Academic Advisor and a Financial Aid Specialist is strongly encouraged. 

Financial Aid Suspension
Students who do not meet the SAP standards after the Financial Aid Warning semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and immediately become ineligible for federal financial aid. Students who are placed on Financial Aid Suspension may regain eligibility once they successfully return to meeting SAP Standards or successfully appeal the determination based on extenuating circumstances.   Students who do not successfully appeal (or do not submit an appeal) have the opportunity to pay for courses on their own until they once again meet SAP Standards.

HOW WILL A STUDENT BE NOTIFIED
Students will receive an email from the Financial Office, via their SUNY Orange email, stating that they have failed to meet one or more components of our SAP Policy.  Students can review their SAP Status by reviewing the Academic Progress link in their mySUNYOrange Student Portal and/or reviewing their academic plan via Degree Works.

The email will also contain a link to our T4A Appeal Form for the student to appeal the Financial Aid Suspension status if they had extenuating circumstances beyond their control.

REGAINING ELIGIBILITY
Students who lose their federal financial aid eligibility have options.

  • Submit a Financial Aid Suspension Appeal documenting extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from being successful in their courses. Please refer to the “Right to Appeal” section below.
  • Self-pay or use a private alternative loan.
  • Attend another college or university.

In order for an appeal to be approved it must be mathematically possible for a student to return to Good Standing within one semester and to graduate within 150% of credits needed to complete their academic program. In limited circumstances, the committee may grant a student more than one term of Financial Aid Probation in order to allow them to return to Good Standing (e.g. it is in the student’s best academic interest to attend part-time because attending full-time is what led to their academic struggles and as a result it will take more than one semester to meet the academic progress requirements). If a student will need more than one semester to return to Good Standing, they will be required to meet certain conditions of academic performance that will be monitored.

Students on Financial Aid Probation are required to:

  • earn a 2.3 or higher semester GPA
  • complete 100% of credits attempted

Courses dropped during the first 3 weeks of the semester (during the 75%, 50%, and 25% refund periods) are not counted against the attempted credits. Students on Financial Aid Probation must meet the GPA and Attempted Credit requirements above each semester until they are back in Good Standing. Failure to meet these standards during a given semester will result in Financial Aid Suspension.
Federal financial aid is reinstated when students once again meet SAP Standards (achieve Good Standing), or successfully appeal their Financial Aid Suspension.

  • Reasons that may be acceptable for appeal:
  • Personal injury, illness, physical disability, or victim of a crime
  • Death and/or illness of an immediate family member(s)
  • Separation/Divorce
  • Fire or other catastrophic events
  • Legal issues
  • Other circumstances beyond a student’s control that occurred during the term for which a student lost eligibility

Your appeal must include the following items and must be submitted by the deadline:

  • The reasons why you did not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, and
  • What has changed now that will allow you to make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation, and
  • Documentation supporting the extenuating circumstance(s) listed in the Appeal. Appeals submitted without supporting documentation may be denied.


Examples of supporting documentation: Letters from third parties on letterhead including all contact information, note from your physician on letterhead indicating that you had a medical issue and it has now been resolved enough to allow you to be successful going forward, obituary or death certificate, police or fire reports, etc.  Students who submit an appeal without supporting documentation will be automatically denied.
If additional information is requested, the Financial Aid Office will send an email and post the requirement in the student’s mySUNYOrange Banner Self-Service.

Once all documentation is submitted, appeals will be reviewed by the SAP committee which is comprised of at least 3 members of SUNY Orange staff representing offices such as financial aid, advising, faculty, and others. Students who are approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A record of the appeal and the final determination will be maintained in the student’s financial aid file.


Students who are approved are required to meet these terms EACH SEMESTER until they are back in Good Standing for Financial Aid:

  • 2.3 semester GPA*
  • 100% completion of all credits attempted

*We strongly urge students to meet with an academic advisor to develop a more complete academic plan to help them succeed and earn their degree in a timely manner.  Please note, the 2.3 semester GPA is the minimum standard.  Some students may need a higher GPA to get back into Good Standing prior to graduation.  

INFORMATION FOR CCHSP STUDENTS

Student(s) Enrolled in SUNY Orange's Community College in the High School Program (CCHSP)
SUNY Orange's Community College in the High School Program (CCHSP) offers high-achieving juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credits while attending high school.  Students in the CCHSP program are required to meet the same SAP policies as traditional students seeking an Associate’s or Certificate at SUNY Orange.   

CCHSP students are not eligible for federal Title IV or state financial aid while in this program.  If a student plans on matriculating at SUNY Orange, then they will need to meet the same SAP Standards prior to matriculating.  A CCHSP student may start a semester in a “Financial Aid Warning” status if they are not meeting quantitative, qualitative and/or maximum time frame requirement upon matriculation. 
The Financial Aid Office recognizes that grades for the program are not posted until after semester reviews occur. The Financial Aid Office will complete an initial SAP review for students in the CCHSP program after grades have been posted for the Spring which is usually on/around June 30th. Students will then receive communication if they fail to meet SAP Standards.

 

 

Student(s) Enrolled in SUNY Orange's Community College in the High School Program (CCHSP)

SUNY Orange's Community College in the High School Program (CCHSP) offers high-achieving juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credits while attending high school.  Students in the CCHSP program are required to meet the same SAP policies as traditional students seeking an Associate’s or Certificate at SUNY Orange.   

CCHSP students are not eligible for federal Title IV or state financial aid while in this program.  If a student plans on matriculating at SUNY Orange, then they will need to meet the same SAP guidelines prior to matriculating.  A CCHSP student may start a semester in a “Financial Aid Warning” status if they are not meeting quantitative, qualitative and/or maximum time frame requirement.

The financial aid office recognizes that grades for the program are not posted until after our semester reviews occur. The Financial Aid Office will commence with an initial SAP review for those students in the CCHSP program after grades have been posted which is usually on/around June 30th. Students will then receive communication regarding their SAP status.