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Western Kentucky University

Student Financial Assistance

FAQs About Satisfactory Academic Progress

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What is Satisfactory Progress?
The Higher Education Act of 1965 requires that institutions of higher education establish reasonable standards of “satisfactory progress” toward a degree. A student who does not meet these standards is not eligible to receive federally-funded financial aid. Click here to view the entire SAP policy.
Why does the Financial Aid Office check academic progress?
The US Department of Education requires that students who receive financial assistance demonstrate academic success and progress toward a degree objective. This progress standard must review course completion rate as well as grades received.
What aid programs are affected if I am suspended for financial aid?
Suspension from aid stops a student from receiving any federal aid program (this includes student or parent loans, grants, and work-study), any KY state aid program, or any aid program which requires that the student meet school’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy. It may impact on ability to access private student loans.
How often is my progress checked?
At the end of each term of enrollment (fall, winter, spring, and summer) the academic records of all students are reviewed to determine if the standards are being met.
Why am I considered not to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) when I have no failing grades? I was advised to drop the class rather than receive a low grade.
Even though dropping or auditing a class may help your GPA, the SAP policy considers hours dropped with a “W” as “attempted not successfully completed”. You are only negatively affected if the total number of hours you drop places you under the required 75% completion rate. NOTE: Classes with grades of “AU” (audit) and incompletes are also counted in your completion rate.
Why do all classes count towards my attempted hours even when I was not receiving financial aid at the time?
Federal guidelines require that we count all classes even though you did not receive financial aid.
What is an academic plan?
An academic plan is a recommended course of action that covers one term of enrollment. It may specify courses and/or term grade point averages that need to be reached in order to continue to receive financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will review your academic transcript at the end of each enrollment period in order to determine if financial aid eligibility will continue. An academic plan may also include recommendations for repeating courses (this will not improve your completion rate but may improve grade point average)
How am I notified about my satisfactory academic progress status?
An email is sent to the student’s WKU email account at the end of each enrollment term if the student is not meeting SAP standards and is placed on “warning” or “suspended”. You are responsible for checking your WKU e-mail weekly. Students who appeal are notified through their WKU e-mail of the results of the appeal. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals committee is final.
Once I submit my appeal, how long is the typical review process?
Typically, turnaround is 7-15 business days. If an appeal is submitted near the deadline, it could take three or more weeks.
Why do I have to submit supporting documentation?
Since professional judgment is used to approve an appeal and override your actual SAP status, documentation is required of circumstances that prevented you from being successful. Make certain your appeal and supporting documentation are concise and complete because this will be the material the committee uses to base their decision on for your appeal. All decisions are final.
Where do I go to check my status after I submit an appeal?
After the committee has made a determination, your results are e-mailed to your WKU e-mail account.
How can I purchase books or pay for off-campus housing if my appeal is still pending?
You are responsible for meeting any necessary expenses that are due prior to the results of your appeal. It is in your best interest to submit the appeal form and required documentation as soon as possible.
If my appeal is denied what other options do I have?
You may contact a private alternative lender. The loan will require that you or your co-singer complete a credit check. You also have the options of the TMS payment plan. Contact the WKU Billings Office for details. Federal financial aid can be awarded when you are meeting all of the overall progress standards again. Read more about Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

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 Last Modified 9/25/14