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Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

A federal aid recipient is required to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward degree completion. This is measured in 3 ways, Term GPA, Cumulative GPA and PACE (length of time). Any student not making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) may appeal by completing the Federal Financial Aid Probation request form and meeting with ALAC to develop an academic plan.

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Undergraduate SAP

Federal Regulations require all schools who participate in Federal financial aid programs (i.e. Direct Loans, Perkins Loan, Pell Grant, SEOG, and Work-Study) to measure a student’s progress toward meeting graduation requirements or Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  These SAP requirements only impact eligibility for Federal aid programs.  They do not impact any Rensselaer merit or need-based scholarships or grants.

 

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Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations require schools to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy to enforce the statutory requirement that a student must be making Satisfactory progress toward degree completion throughout enrollment in order to remain eligible for any Federal Student Aid Program funds. These SAP requirements only impact eligibility for Federal aid programs.  They do not impact any Rensselaer merit or need-based scholarships or grants.

The policy must be cumulative and it must include any periods of enrollment in which the student attended classes regardless of them being a federal aid recipient.  The Rensselaer Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy includes the following:

  • Qualitative measures – the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and the minimum term grade point average (GPA)
  • Quantitative measures– the percentage of degree required attempted credit hours which are completed (PACE) and a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete their program.(Pursuit of program POP)

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy at Rensselaer has been developed to ensure that the financial aid program adheres to the requirements set forth by federal aid regulations. An assessment of the student academic progress will be made after each term of enrollment.

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Qualitative Measures - Required GPA for term and cumulative

Federal Regulations require students to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the 2nd year of enrollment in their academic program. Rensselaer Undergraduate programs require students maintain a minimum term gpa of 1.5 every semester. In addition, see the graph below for the progression of GPA required to remain in good standing, based on number of terms enrolled.  The Rensselaer requirements meet progressive GPA provisions of Federal Regulations.

This chart below shows the progressive cumulative GPA requirements for Rensselaer along with the minimum term GPA and the “pace of progress” expectation for percentage of attempted credit hours to be completed.

At the end of the student’s semester:  1 2 3 4 5 and each semester thereafter
Minimum CGPA:  1.5 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0
Minimum Semester GPA: 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Completed Credits Divided by Attempted Credits must be >= to:  67% 67% 67% 67% 67%
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Quantitative Measures: PACE AND POP

In addition to the general environment described in the Qualitative Measures section, students’ quantitative Federal Student Aid Satisfactory Progress is monitored by the Financial Aid Office using the following guidelines:

  • Students must complete at least 67% of the total number of courses they attempt each term. This is based on cumulative attempted credits, Based on Federal Student Aid Handbook guidance, 66.67% or higher is rounded up to meet the 67% requirement.
  • Students must maintain the 67% “Pace of Progress” throughout enrollment so their academic outcome trajectory indicates they will complete their degree requirements prior to attempting 150% of the total credits needed for program degree requirements.
  • Students with Pace of Progress issues which indicate it is no longer mathematically possible to complete their degree within this 150% timeframe requirement, become ineligible for Federal financial aid, regardless of GPA.
  • Students are eligible for Federal financial aid for a maximum of twelve semesters of attendance or 150% of the normal 4 year program of study.
  • Course withdrawals and incomplete courses are counted in the hours attempted and are counted towards the quantitative measurements.
  • Transfer credits are always counted as both attempted and completed credits.  AP (Advance Placement) courses are treated in the same way.  However, grades from transfer credits or AP courses are not included in your GPA or your CGPA. However, because transfer credit and AP credit are counted toward meeting your degree requirements they can impact the CGPA that you have to attain in order to make SAP. 
  • An “Attempted Credit” is any credit on the transcript for a term of enrollment that is not dropped within the established drop timeframe for the term of enrollment, even if the student withdraws before receiving a formal grade in the class.
  • A “Completed Credit” indicates that the student attended the full term and received a grade other than “Incomplete”. A Completed Credit can be either a pass or a fail grade.
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When Students Fall Below Satisfactory Standards

Students not meeting the Satisfactory measurements receive information describing how their academic status impacts their eligibility for financial aid funding. Here are key terms related to our academic progress policy and procedures.

SATISFACTORY STANDING

To be considered in Satisfactory Standing for Federal Student Aid programs, students must:

  • Maintain a 1.5 term gpa every term
  • Complete a minimum of 67% of all attempted credits
  • Attain and maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of their second year of enrollment

Rensselaer Institutional Awards, Eight Semesters of Eligibility:  To be considered in Good Standing for Rensselaer Scholarships and Need-based Gants, the student must also complete an average of 16 credit hours per semester of enrollment.   This pace of progress is needed in order to complete degree requirements within the Institute policy to provided Institute awards for eight (8) semesters of enrollment, or ten (10) for architecture majors.  

It is possible for a student to remain eligible for Federal awards although Rensselaer award eligibility has expired, and vice-versa.

WARNING

When the student is not meeting Satisfactory standards at the end of any semester that began with the student in Good Standing they are notified they have been placed on Warning for the next term they attend.  The warning may be based on any of the SAP requirements (term GPA, cumulative GPA or Pace of Progress (67% completion). Each student is typically allowed one Warning period during their enrollment. This status is granted automatically to a student, NO APPEAL is required. If the student has not returned to Satisfactory standing at the end of their next semester, student will be moved to Suspension (failure to make Satisfactory Academic progress).

The student is notified of their Warning status and reminded of the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The notice also provides information about the campus-based resources available to help them succeed in the classroom. The student is not required to submit any documentation at this stage.

SUSPENSION (FAILURE TO MAKE SAP)

After the second semester a student is not meeting the standards, (they are given a Warning after the first semester of not making SAP),  the student will be notified their financial aid eligibility is suspended.

Suspensions are effective for the next term of enrollment.  If a student is suspended based on the review at the end of Fall Semester, their financial aid for the next term of enrollment (typically Spring) will not be disbursed until the student completes the Probation request process.  The Suspension notice provides information to remind the student of the academic progress expectations and encourages them to file a Probation request which includes an ALAC (Advising and Learning Assistance Center) plan. The Probation request form will ask the student if unusual circumstances have impacted the student’s ability to succeed in class along with requesting information on how the student plans to regain Satisfactory academic standing.

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PROBATION STATUS

Rensselaer strongly encourages students to complete the Probation request process so they may have a clear plan on how to regain their Satisfactory Academic standing.

The completed Probation Request form, along with the signed ALAC plan, typically allows a student to be on Probation for one, two or three terms and thus, receive federal aid, provided the student meets the terms of the plan or meets the federal standards. A student may be on an approved plan for no more than 3 semesters in a row. In addition, a student is only allowed 2 Probation plans during their enrollment at Rensselaer. If a student is on Probation and regains Satisfactory Academic progress after meeting the terms of the plan or the federal standards, and subsequently fails to meet academic standards, the student will be placed on another Warning term before being placed on Suspension.

To summarize, a student may be granted Federal Financial Aid probation two times, with each probation lasting a maximum of three semesters.

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Undergraduate Glossary of Terms

The following Glossary of Terms will assist you in understanding the terminology, requirements, and process surrounding Federal SAP.

Probation Request Form

This form directs the student to provide a signed statement indicating the reasons why they feel they are not meeting Good Standing expectations and what they plan to do to eliminate the barriers to success. The student must meet with their Academic Advisor and/or the ALAC advising center to discuss their academic support needs: an “advisor signature” is required on the form.

Academic Plan Requirement

The student must obtain and provide a copy of an updated academic plan, typically from ALAC, which describes the remaining required courses and other academic requirements for their degree as well as the per-term requirements for returning to Good Standing. 

Probation Approvals are Effective Immediately

This means that the student will be eligible for funding for the term during which the Probation is approved or for their next term of enrollment if they do not attend the term during which they file their Request.

Probation Denials

Students are notified if their Request is denied which means their aid remains Suspended.  Our policy is to approve no more than two Probation requests for any student throughout their enrollment.

Review Each Semester

Regardless of the number of terms provided to return to Good Standing described in the Academic Plan, the student’s progress is still measured at the end of each semester enrolled.   If the student does not meet the per-semester requirement, they are immediately returned to Suspended status and they must file a new Probation Request prior to receiving any additional aid.  If the student meets the per-semester requirement, they continue to receive aid for the next term of their Academic Plan under a Probation or they will have returned to full Good Standing.

Differing Rationales Required

Federal Student Aid Program Rules require that students may not receive approvals for multiple Petitions based on the same rationale.

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Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions

We have developed some common questions in anticipation of the new guidelines.  We will add/update questions that we believe are useful to students in general.  We know the new process might be confusing.  Please feel free to contact us at 518.276.6813 or email to finaid@rpi.edu with any questions you may have.  

How do you determine if I am making Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Remember, there are 3 points that have to be reviewed:  Pace (POP), Cumulative GPA (CGPA), and semester GPA (GPA).  You can lose federal aid eligibility if you do not meet the standard for any of these 3 points. 

1. Pace

A. In order to assess your pace, or Pursuit of Program (POP) we take the number of credits that are normally required to earn your degree multiply it by 150% to determine the maximum number of attempted credits you can have while pursuing your degree.

Schools of HASS, Management, and Hydrogeology & Geology majors in School of Science
124 Credit Program = 186 maximum attempted credits, except GSAS 128 Credits, 192 maximum

School of Science and Information & Web Science
128 Credit Program = 192 maximum attempted credits, except Physics & Math 124 Credits, 186 max.

School of Engineering, Except Chemical Engineering
Aeronautical, Biomedical, Civil/Environmental, Materials, Industrial & Management, Electrical Engineering
128 Credit Program + 192 maximum attempted credits

Mechanical Engineering
129 Credit Program = 194 maximum attempted credits

All others, 130 credit program = 195 maximum attempted credits

Chemical Engineering
132 credit program = 198 maximum attempted credits

Architecture
168 credit program = 252 maximum attempted credits, for students enrolled fall 2014 and after
171 credit program = 257 maximum attempted credits for students enrolled before fall 2014

B. Next, we take the total number of completed credits you have earned divided by the total credits you have attempted.

This gives us the percentage of attempted coursework you must complete each time you are evaluated.  At Rensselaer, this value is 67% (no rounding is allowed).  So, if you are an undergraduate student, we will look to the total number of credits you have completed divided by the total number of credits you have attempted.  If the result is less than 67% you will be considered not to be making POP and potentially lose your federal aid eligibility.  This rule applies to co-terminal a student too.

For example, Roberta Red is a HASS student, who has attempted 85 credits and completed 60 credits. She is making Pace because she has completed 70% of her attempted credits.  Ian Trouble is a Engineering student who has attempted 32 credits and completed 20 credits.  He is not making Pace because he has only completed 62.5% of his attempted credits.   

2. Cumulative GPA (CGPA), and semester GPA (GPA)

A. You must meet the minimum CGPA and semester GPA as outlined on the following chart:

At the end of the student’s semester:  1 2 3 4 5 and each semester thereafter
Minimum CGPA:  1.5 1.5 1.8 1.8 2.0
Minimum Semester GPA: 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Completed Credits Divided by Attempted Credits must be >= to:  67% 67% 67% 67% 67%

 

B. Some additional items for you to know:

  1. Please bear in mind that it does not matter if you attend full time or part time, you still must meet the CGPA and GPA requirements above.
  2. Repeat coursework can influence your Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Repeated coursework is always counted as attempted hours.  However, only a passing grade is counted in the CGPA.  You should also be aware that the most recent grade of a repeated course is considered for your CGPA.  Repeated coursework can also influence your eligibility for federal aid within a particular semester without regard SAP.  Federal regulation stipulates that you may only receive federal aid for a repeated course once unless you previously had not received a passing grade.  Thus, if you were taking a course a third time, that course cannot be considered when determining your cost of attendance or enrollment status which could impact on the amount of federal aid you can receive.
  3. Incomplete grades are not calculated in your completed credits and are assumed to be failing grades when determining your CGPA and GPA.  You cannot retroactively restore your eligibility for Federal aid programs for a following semester unless you make up the incompletes PRIOR to the start of the next semester you would attend after receiving an Incomplete grade or by being placed on Financial Aid Probation.
  4. Transfer credits are always counted as both attempted and completed credits.  AP (Advance Placement) courses are treated in the same way.  However, grades from transfer credits or AP courses are not included in your GPA or your CGPA. However, because transfer credit and AP credit are counted toward meeting your degree requirements they can impact the CGPA that you have to attain in order to make SAP.  The following rules apply:
Required CGPA  
1.5 Freshman status with < 16 total completed credits (including AP/Transfer credits) 
1.8 Freshman/Sophomore status with => 16 total completed credits (including AP/Transfer credits) 
2.0 Junior/Senior status with any computed AP/Transfer credits 

 

 

If I don’t meet the at least one of the standards required, how do I appeal?

Complete the Request for Federal Financial Aid Probation form.  Remember, your request must include: 

  1. The reason(s) why you were unable to meet the SAP requirements, provide complete documentation as appropriate (i.e. medical reasons must have appropriate medical documentation to support the claim),
  2. What you will do in order to regain Federal SAP.  You MUST include an academic plan provided by the designated individual within your school that will outline what you need to accomplish each semester you are requesting Financial Aid Probation in order to regain SAP. For information about the designated individual in your school to assist you in your academic plan, contact ALAC (Advising & Learning Assistance Center) Associate Director, Jeannie Steigler at 518.276.6269.
If I appealed for Federal Financial Aid Probation, and my appeal is approved what happens?

If your appeal is approved, you will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  

Financial Aid Probation may only last for one semester of attendance UNLESS your academic plan approved by the appropriate individual in your school and/or the Health Center as appropriate indicates you may take longer (however no academic plan may take longer than three semesters to regain SAP).  The plan MUST outline what you will need to accomplish each subsequent semester in order to regain SAP.  Remember, the academic plan may differ from what you may need to accomplish in order to meet the academic requirements of the school.  Federal financial aid eligibility can differ from the academic standard.  If your academic plan approved requires that you meet certain objectives that will allow you to regain federal SAP, it will be necessary for you to be evaluated at the end of each semester to ensure you are meeting the goals outlined for you.  If you are not, then you will be removed from Financial Aid Probation and no longer considered eligible for federal aid until you regain federal SAP.    

Also, remember if you are on Financial Aid Probation your federal SAP eligibility is reviewed at the end of every term you attend even if you are not receiving federal aid, including summer sessions.

Students placed on Financial Aid Probation will be reviewed after each term of enrollment to determine if they have met the terms of their Probation or if they have returned to good standing based on Federal guidelines.   Students meeting Federal SAP standards after this review is completed will have their Probation status removed and their financial aid eligibility reinstated whether or not they have met all aspects of their Probation criteria.

You may only be on Financial Aid Probation twice as an undergraduate student.  Each Financial Aid Probation may not exceed three semesters. 

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Graduate SAP

Graduate Students Federal Regulations require all schools who participate in Federal financial aid programs (for graduate students this includes Direct Loans, Perkins Loan, Graduate PLUS, and Work-Study) to measure a student’s progress toward meeting graduation requirements or Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  

These SAP requirements only impact eligibility for Federal financial aid programs.  They do not impact any Rensselaer aid such as fellowships, research assistantships, or teaching assistantships.  In addition these rules do not apply to an international student who is not a US citizen and/or is not an eligible non-citizen (does not possess a valid Alien Registration Card).

 

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Graduate Glossary of Terms

The following Glossary of Terms and Frequently Asked Questions will assist you in understanding the terminology, requirements, and process surrounding Federal SAP.

Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

An institution must have a qualitative measurement as well as a quantitative measurement to ascertain if a student is making progress toward his/her degree program.  Depending on the student’s program of study, these measurements may occur by semester or annually.  In addition, a student may need to demonstrate other successful benchmarks demonstrating that he/she is making progress toward degree requirements.

Examples of qualitative measurements are: Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), having less than two “F” grades in his/her academic history as a graduate student attending RPI, and/or having a satisfactory Research grade.

Examples of quantitative measurements are: having an approved Plan of Study, meeting Pace toward your degree by completing the appropriate percentage of attempted coursework, a satisfactory dissertation, assignment to a dissertation committee, a successful defense of thesis, and/or having successfully completed a candidacy exam.

Those students not making Federal SAP are notified of their status. A student may review his status using his RPI Student Information System (SIS) access.  To do so using SIS, go to http://sis.rpi.edu; log in using your User ID and PIN.  Then click on the Financial Aid Menu tab -> Select Aid Year ->Academic Progress tab.  Your most recent academic progress status will be displayed.     

To determine the requirements necessary for you to be making Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) based on your program of study, review the charts below. If you are unsure of the degree your program of study follows, please contact the Office of Graduate Education at 518.276.6488

Appeal of loss of Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student who has been notified that s/he is not making SAP may request Financial Aid Probation by completing the Graduate Federal Financial Aid Probation Request Form.  The request must articulate the reason(s) why the student was unable to meet the SAP requirements, provide complete documentation as appropriate (i.e. medical reasons must have appropriate medical documentation to support the claim).  

Incomplete requests will automatically result in a denial.  All requests are reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid Federal SAP Committee.  Any request that is denied means that the student cannot receive federal aid until such time as s/he attains SAP.   

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Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement Charts

 Please note that for all the charts: There is no rounding. For example, if an individual’s Pace was 82.5% it would not be rounded up to 83. If a CGPA was 2.9 it would not be rounded up to a 3.0.

 

Professional Master’s Degree (Federal SAP reviewed at the end of each semester)
Criteria Lally Master of Science Lally Master of Bus. Admin Master of Fine Arts Master of Engineering Master of Architecture (112 credit program) Master of Architecture (30 credit program) Master of Information Technology
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
2 'F' grades in academic history as a graduate student at RPI? No No No No No No No
Pace
(cumulative completed credits divided by cumulative attempted credits) >=
83% 89% 91% 83% 95% 83% 83%
Plan of study completed by end of second semester of study? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Master’s Degree Programs (Federal SAP reviewed at the end of each semester)
Criteria Master's w/ Thesis Master's w/out Thesis
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) 3.0 3.0
2 'F' grades in academic history as a graduate student at RPI? No No
Research Grade (if exsists) for semester being assessed = S? Yes N/A
Pace
(cumulative completed credits divided by cumulative attempted credits) >=
83% 83%
Plan of study completed by end of second semester of study? Yes Yes

 

Doctoral Degree (Federal SAP – reviewed annually at the end of each Spring semester)
  Applicable to Post-Master's &Post-Baccalaureate programs Post-Baccalaureate only
End of year of study: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average CGPA 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
2 ‘F’ grades in academic history as RPI graduate student? No No No No No No No
If exists, all research grade(s) for academic year being assessed = S? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Approved Plan of study completed by end of 1st year? Yes            
Candidacy Exam completed by end of 4th year?       Yes      
Annual Doctoral Student Review? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Doctoral students may also find the following websites useful:

Academic Information and Regulations Preparation Guide for Dissertations & Thesis

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Federal Financial Aid Probation Chart

 A student’s program of study determines the maximum number of times Federal Financial Aid Probation may be granted and the maximum number of consecutive semesters each Federal Financial Aid Probation is allowed. Please review the following chart:

 

Federal Financial Aid Probation Chart
  Maximum # of Federal Financial Aid Probation Maximum # of Semesters Allowed on Each Federal Financial Aid Probation
< 36 Credit Hour Professional/Research MS Programs 1 1
> 36 Credit Hour Professional MS Programs 2 2
Doctoral Programs 1 2

For consideration of Financial Aid Probation a student MUST have an academic plan provided by the appropriate individual within his/her school that will outline what the student needs to accomplish academically in order to regain SAP. The student is reviewed on a semester by semester basis. If the student is not meeting the requirements of the plan the student will lose federal aid eligibility. In such instances, the student may appeal again ONLY if the student is provided an additional Financial Aid Probation based within the context of the maximum number of Financial Aid Probations allowed as noted above.

Given the unique nature of Doctoral programs, an exception only to the “Maximum # of Semesters Allowed on Each Federal Financial Aid Probation” may be provided in extraordinary circumstances upon joint approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Director of Financial Aid. No exceptions are granted to the “Maximum # of Federal Financial Aid Probation” category for MS or Doctoral Programs.

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Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

We have developed some common questions in anticipation of the new guidelines. We will add/update questions that we believe are useful to students in general. We know the new process might be confusing. Please feel free to contact us at 518.276.6813 or email to finaid@rpi.edu with any questions you may have.

How do you determine if I am making Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?

Remember, there are a minimum of four points that have to be reviewed: Pace (Pursuit of Program known as POP), Cumulative GPA (CGPA), less than two ‘F’ grades in your graduate academic record while attending RPI, and an approved Plan of Study. Depending on your major, there may be additional criteria. You can lose federal aid eligibility if you do not meet the standard for any of these four points as well as the additional requirements for your major. Refer to the charts in the Glossary of Terms under Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress for additional information on your particular program of study.

Step 1 – Pace

Professional/Research MS Programs

A. If you are pursuing a Professional or Research Master’s degree, we assess your pace, or Pursuit of Program (POP) we take the number of credits that are normally required to earn your degree divided by the maximum allowable attempted credits may have while pursing your degree.

B. Next, we take the total number of completed credits you have earned divided by the total credits you have attempted. This gives us the percentage of attempted coursework you must complete each time you are evaluated. If the result is less than the required percentage, you will be considered not to be making POP and potentially lose your federal aid eligibility. This rule applies to a student who is in the co-terminal program too.

Credits attempted are defined as all classes taken by a student for which a grade is received (i.e. A, B, C, F, S, U, W, I, IP). It also includes accepted transfer credits. Credits completed are defined as all classes taken by a student for which a passing grade is received (i.e. A, B, C, D, S, and P) as well as any accepted transfer credits. For a complete list of grade classifications visit the Registrar website.

For example, Clive Calculator, Mathematics major, is seeking his MS in a 30 credit hour program, has attempted 24 credits and completed 20 credits. He is making Pace because he has completed 83% of his attempted credits, the minimum required Pace in his program of study.
Ida Know is an Electronic Arts major pursing her Professional MFA in a 60 credit hour program who has attempted 48 credits and completed 42 credits. She is not making Pace because she has only completed 87.5% of her attempted credits. Her Pace measurement requires that she complete 91% of her attempted credits.

Doctoral Programs

In Doctoral programs, measurement of Pace is evaluated by annual examination of your Doctoral Student Yearly Review, the successful completion of your Plan of Study, Candidacy Exam, and Defense (presentation of your thesis) all within the prescribed timeframes.

Step 2 – Cumulative GPA (CGPA)

Your CGPA must be at least a 3.0. Your CGPA is reviewed at the end of each semester or annually (at the end of each Spring semester), depending on your program of study. In addition, you cannot have more than one “F” grade in your graduate academic record at Rensselaer.

A. Some additional items for you to know:

1. Please bear in mind that it does not matter if you attend full time or part time, you still must meet the CGPA.

2. While transfer credits are always counted in both attempted and completed credits, grades from transfer credits are not included in your CGPA.

3. Repeat coursework can influence your Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress. Repeated coursework is always counted as attempted hours regardless how many times you take the course. However, only a passing grade is counted in the CGPA. You should also be aware that the most recent grade of a repeated course is considered for your CGPA.

Repeated coursework can also influence your eligibility for federal aid within a particular semester without regard to SAP. Federal regulation stipulates that you may receive federal aid for a repeated course unlimited times in order to gain a passing grade. However, if you have already passed the course and are repeated it for any reason, then federal aid can only pay for one repeat of the course. Thus, if you were re-taking a course that you have already repeated previously with a passing grade, that course cannot be considered when determining your cost of attendance or enrollment status, which could impact on the amount of federal aid you receive.

4. Incomplete grades are not calculated in your completed credits and are assumed to be failing grades when determining your CGPA and GPA. To restore your eligibility for Federal financial aid programs based on incomplete grades, you must receive a letter grade PRIOR to the start of your next semester of attendance.

If I don’t meet at least one of the standards required, what can I do?

First, you should consider applying for Federal Financial Aid Probation is in your best interest. If you aren’t planning on receiving federal loans (Direct Loan, Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, or Perkins Loan) for the next semester you attend, then you should NOT request Federal Financial Aid Probation.

Complete the Graduate Federal Financial Aid Probation Request Form. Remember, your request must include:

1. The reason(s) why you were unable to meet the SAP requirements, provide complete documentation as appropriate (i.e. medical reasons must have appropriate medical documentation to support the claim),

2. What you will do in order to regain Federal SAP. You MUST include an academic plan developed with the designated individual within your school that will outline what you need to accomplish each semester you are requesting Financial Aid Probation in order to regain SAP. For information about the designated individual in your school to assist you in your academic plan, contact your Graduate Program Director.

Incomplete requests for Financial Aid Probation will automatically result in a denial of the request, so make sure you have completed the form and attached all supporting documentation. All requests are reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid SAP Committee. If your request is denied it means you cannot receive federal aid until such time as you attain SAP. Decisions are final and will not be reconsidered.

If I request Federal Financial Aid Probation, and my request is approved what happens?

If your request is approved, you will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. Financial Aid Probation may only last for a maximum of one or two semesters, depending on your program of study. The plan MUST outline what you will need to accomplish each subsequent semester to the point that you will regain SAP. Remember, the academic plan may differ from what you may need to accomplish in order to meet the academic requirements of the school. Federal financial aid eligibility can differ from the academic standard. If your academic plan approved requires that you meet certain objectives that will allow you to regain federal SAP, it will be necessary for you to be evaluated at the end of each semester to ensure you are meeting the goals outlined for you. If you are not, then you will be removed from Financial Aid Probation and no longer considered eligible for federal aid until you regain federal SAP.

Also, remember if you are on Financial Aid Probation your federal SAP eligibility is reviewed at the end of every term you attend even if you are not receiving federal aid, including summer sessions.

If you are placed on Financial Aid Probation, and you regain federal SAP because you meet the standard SAP requirements, your Financial Aid Probation status will cease and you will be considered making SAP.

Example for a student whose program of study provides for more than one Financial Aid Probation.
 

Start of Semester Initial SAP Status Outcome Final SAP Status
Fall 2012 Not Eligible Appeals, approved for Financial Aid Probation for two consecutive semesters 1st Financial Aid Probation for Fall 2012. Eligible to receive Federal aid.
Spring 2013 1st Financial Aid Probation Academic Plan is reviewed; meeting plan. 1st Financial Aid Probation (continued) for Spring 2013. Eligible to receive Federal aid.
Fall 2013 Making SAP Since making SAP, no action required. Making SAP for Fall 2013. Eligible to receive Federal aid.
Spring 2014 Not Eligible Appeals, placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester 2nd Financial Aid Probation for Spring 2014. Eligible to receive Federal aid.
Fall 2014 Not Eligible Because student has been granted 2 Financial Aid Probations may not receive federal aid until making SAP. Cannot appeal. Not eligible to receive Federal aid for Fall 2014 and beyond until attaining SAP.

 

I’m in the Coterminal program. Will I be assessed as a graduate student for SAP purposes?

Coterminal students will be assessed for federal SAP as an Undergraduate until their primary status changes to Graduate upon graduating with their BS degree.  At that time, they will be assessed based on graduate rules for federal SAP.

Where can I go to get questions answered?

The Office of Financial Aid will answer any questions you might have about how SAP for you is determined, your SAP status, or the process for requesting Financial Aid Probation. You can reach us by phone at 518.276.6813 or email us at finaid@rpi.edu.

For assistance on anything related to the development of your academic plan contact your Graduate Program Director in your academic unit.

Questions regarding your official grades, credits attempted/earned, or academic record should be directed to the Registrar at 518.276.6231 or email at registrar@rpi.edu.