When you do not meet the SAP criteria (Academic Standard and Rate of Progress Standard) based on the required 2.00 cumulative grade point average and the Rate of Progress Standard, automatic sanctions are implemented. In certain instances, there are opportunities to petition your status.
Step 1: Instances of Failure to Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations allow for one semester of "warning" before a student is disqualified due to not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for the completion rate and GPA requirements. If students are still not meeting all SAP requirements at the end of the warning period, they will be placed on financial aid disqualification.
Students that have credits on their record that do not apply to their current program or are pursuing multiple degrees/majors can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by submitting a SAP Petition explaining their unique situation.
Students that did not meet SAP requirements due to extenuating circumstances may submit a SAP Petition with supporting documentation from an appropriate professional. Extenuating circumstances may include:
- Death or illness of a family member or significant person in student's life
- Illness or injury of the student
- Family or personal issues
- Mental health or emotional problems
- Legal issues
Step 2: Petitioning Your Status
Proper documentation must be provided that supports any and all circumstances.
Extenuating circumstances do NOT include:
- Working too much.
- Not understanding the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
- Not knowing important academic and financial dates of the university.
- Being advised by your academic advisor or other university professional.
Students are allowed to petition the Student Financial Aid Office as many times as they would like. In most cases on the third petition, the Student Financial Aid Internal Committee consisting of financial aid advisors, administrators and/or directors will review the petition. The committee may approve, deny, or request additional information. For the fourth and any subsequent petition, unless extreme extenuating circumstances exist the petition will be denied.
Step 3: Appealing a Denial of a Petition
If the Student Financial Aid Office denies your petition you can appeal the decision in writing to Vice President for Student Affairs by taking the following steps:
- Your appeal must be made in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs within 15 days of notification of denial.
- The Vice President for Student Affairs shall assemble a quorum consisting of at least four members of the Student Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Appeal Board within 30 days of receipt of your written appeal.
- This board shall be a standing body, appointed annually by the Vice President for Student Affairs, including: Registrar (or designee), two student representatives recommended by Student Government, four representatives (at least two faculty) representing Academic Affairs appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and two Student Affairs staff, one of which will act as chair.
- Your appeal for reinstatement of financial aid may not be heard following the last day to drop a course for each semester.
- If your appeal is approved by the Appeal Board, you will regain your status as making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- The decision of the Appeal Board is final.
Editorial Note from the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Appeals Board
The Satisfactory Progress Appeals Board defines “attempted hours” as: any course in which a student is registered on or after the financial aid census date. Census date is on the Student Financial Aid Office’s calendar each semester. A course dropped on or after this date is considered as attempted hours for financial aid. These hours appear on, and are monitored on, the official records and transcripts maintained by the University.
There are many reasons for dropping a class such as the suggestion or recommendation of an academic advisor, receiving an unacceptable grade, or part-time employment being too demanding on class schedule, etc. To remain eligible for financial aid, two-thirds (2/3’s) of all hours attempted at UND must be successfully completed. An exception to this policy can be requested through an appeal process but is granted only when acceptable extenuating circumstances exist. Reasons such as those listed above are not sufficient for granting an exception to the policy because financial aid was disbursed based on the total number of credits enrolled in as of the financial aid census date.
Please note: Paying or not attending for one or numerous semesters does not automatically reinstate your federal financial aid eligibility. Federal regulations state that for all enrolled students all credits must be counted as attempted even if no aid was received for the semester that the courses were dropped. Repeating a course can adversely affect the percentage of courses completed. If a student retakes a course, credits for the repeated courses are counted as attempted but not completed.
Questions relative to the policy can best be answered by an advisor or administrator in the Student Financial Aid Office.