Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require Reynolds to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory progress to students for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The law also requires institutions to develop written policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Each institution must design criteria which outline the definition of student progress towards a degree and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved. Reynolds students who wish to be considered for financial aid must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.
1. Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule)
Students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only non-remedial courses with grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are not included in this calculation.
Total number of credits attempted GPA Requirement
2. Completion Rate (67% Rule)
Students must be evaluated for the 67% Rule before aid is awarded and after grades are posted for every term, starting with their first term of enrollment. Their completion rate must be 67% or higher. Credits with satisfactory grades are those for which a grade of A, B, C, D, S, or P is earned. Developmental and ESL coursework are included in this calculation. Accepted transfer credits will be counted as both attempted and completed.
3. Maximum Timeframe (150% Rule)
Students must complete their programs before attempting 150% of the credits required for their program. Developmental and ESL course work are excluded in this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all accepted transfer credits are counted. All terms of enrollment at Reynolds are included whether or not the student received financial aid and regardless of the age of the coursework.
4. Developmental and ESL Coursework
Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of Developmental Studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.
5. Automatic Warning Period
Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150% of the credits required for their programs of study) will be automatically placed in a Warning Status for one (1) term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term. Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the end of the warning status term will lose their eligibility for financial aid. However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility. This warning period will be incorporated into the VCCS SAP customization and will be required..
6. Financial Aid Probation
Students who have successfully appealed the loss of their financial aid are placed on probation. Students on probation are eligible to receive financial aid for one (1) semester, after which they MUST be meeting all of the satisfactory academic progress standard or the requirements of an academic progress plan that was pre-approved by the Reynolds Financial Aid Office.
7. Repeated Coursework
Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed. There is no limit assuming all other SAP requirements are met. Students may only repeat a passed course once as long as it is in order to meet an academic standard (i.e., a higher grade is required for their program of study). Repeated coursework will be included in the evaluation of completion rate and maximum timeframe.
The Appeal Process
A student whose eligibility for financial aid has been suspended may submit an appeal if mitigating circumstances prevented the student from achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Circumstances that may be considered include death in the family, accident, illness, or other academic performance factors that were outside the student's control. If a student feels he/she violated J. Sargeant Reynolds’ SAP standards due to one of these or other factors, the student may submit a SAP Appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid.
Appeal decisions are based on the information presented on the appeal form and the SAP criteria; therefore, it is important that the appeal contain as much supporting information and documentation as possible. Lack of supporting documentation is grounds for denial of the appeal. If the appeal is denied due to lack of documentation, the student may resubmit the appeal with the appropriate documentation. Appeal decisions will fall into one of the following categories:
1. Pending – additional information is needed to make a decision
2. Denied – student is not eligible to receive financial aid
3. Approved – student enters into a SAP contract which details the academic performance required in future semesters for continued receipt of financial aid.
College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form
Instructions for Preparing a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal
Financial Aid SAP Appeal Example Letter
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Degree Audit Form
PLEASE NOTE: J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College only allows a student to have two appeal approvals. If a student violates the terms of their financial aid reinstatement after the second time, a third appeal approval will not be granted for any reason.