Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulations require that Merrimack College measure a student’s progress towards the completion of their degree program, which is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply to all Title IV, state, and some institutional funding. You must meet both the qualitative and quantitative standards below.
Qualitative Standards: Satisfactory academic progress requires a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better by the end of your second academic year.
Quantitative Standards: Students must successfully earn 67% of their cumulative attempted credits. In addition, you will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid once you have attempted more than 150% of the normal credits required for your degree. For full-time students this means the student must complete their degree within 6 years.
- All transfer and summer credits are calculated toward the satisfactory academic progress standard whether taken at Merrimack College or any other institution.
- Grades of F, W (other than medical), unofficial withdrawal or N are considered attempted, but not earned credits.
- Students can repeat courses as many times as required to pass the course. However, if a student wishes to repeat a course to improve their grade, they can only receive aid for courses repeated one time.
Review of Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal and state financial aid will be reviewed at the end of each Spring semester. If the cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum standard and/or the student falls behind in earned credits, the student will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid, and may appeal in writing by completing the required process below. Once the appeal is received, the Office of Financial Aid will notify student of future eligibility.
Note: The review of Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid purposes is based on a student’s entire academic record, even if the student did not receive financial aid during previous semesters of enrollment.
Students who do not meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for financial aid have the opportunity to appeal when special circumstances exist. Conditions when a student may appeal include death of a relative, injury or illness of the student or other extenuating circumstances. In order to appeal, a student must submit a completed Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form, including personal statement and supporting documentation. In addition, the student must meet with The Center for Academic Enrichment or their Dean’s Office to develop an academic plan, outlining the steps required to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
If a student’s appeal is approved, they will be placed on financial aid probation, and will continue to receive financial aid while on probation. At the end of this probation period, the student’s academic record will be reviewed to evaluate progress and determine continued eligibility.
Denied appeals will result in the student being ineligible for financial aid until minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are met.
Appeals will be granted only one time during your enrollment at Merrimack.
After an appeal is granted, if the student fails to meet the terms outlined in their academic plan, they will become ineligible for financial aid until the minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress are met. All courses, including summer and transfer courses, are calculated toward Satisfactory Academic Progress whether they are taken at Merrimack College or any other institution.
Re-Establishing Financial Aid Eligibility:
A student may regain financial aid eligibility by successfully meeting the college’s SAP policy requirements or successfully meeting the requirements of an established academic plan.
See Also: SAP Appeal Form