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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal and State regulations require schools to establish Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for recipients of financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) means proceeding toward a timely, successful completion of degree requirements.Standards are set on qualitative progress (grade-based) and quantitative progress (pace and time frame). 

Students receiving funds from any federal, state or institutional aid program, including Federal Grants (Pell, FSEOG), Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS (parent) Loans, Federal Work-Study, state scholarships/grants (Zell Miller Scholar, HOPE, GTEG, et al), and Young Harris scholarships/grants/work-study/loans must demonstrate and maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined below. The Office of Financial Aid will measure Satisfactory Academic Progress on all students who receive financial aid at the end of each semester. Some financial aid programs including Zell Miller Scholar, HOPE, YHC Academic/Talent Scholarship and some federal grant programs may require more than the minimum SAP requirements set forth in this policy. (Consult the Financial Aid Office with any questions.) 

Qualitative Progress

The Office of Financial Aid determines Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by evaluating the cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a four-point scale based upon local (Young Harris College) credit hours attempted. The following grades are used in computing a cumulative GPA: A, B, C, D, and F.  The Registrar’s Office provides the Office of Financial Aid with the Local Credit Hours Attempted,  Local Hours Completed, and Local Cumulative GPA.  The Financial Aid Office will review all students receiving financial aid at the end of each semester. The following chart indicates the required GPA within each credit hours attempted category. Transfer grades are not counted when determining qualitative progress. Part-time students will have their eligibility measured on an equivalency basis.

Credit Hours Earned

Cumulative GPA Required

0 – 29


30 – 59


60 and above


Quantitative Progress

Students receiving financial aid must demonstrate measurable progress toward the completion of their degree program. Young Harris College requires students receiving financial aid to maintain an overall (cumulative) completion rate of 67% of credit hours attempted. Credit hours attempted will be defined by the Office of the Registrar (see YHC Catalog academic information). Only grades of A, B, C and D are considered as successful completion of a course. At the end of each semester, the quantitative progress of each student receiving financial aid will be reviewed. Transfer credits, including courses taken as a transient student, do not count in the calculation of YHC GPA, but are included in the attempted hours, earned hours and maximum time frame standards. Note: If a student is placed on Financial Aid Warning, Probation or Suspension because of Incomplete Grades, it is up to the student to notify the Financial Aid Office upon successfully completing the course(s). If a student withdraws from any course after the drop/add period, the hours dropped will be counted as attempted hours when determining quantitative progress. Repeated courses, for which a passing grade was previously awarded, are included in attempted hours and grade point average calculation but not earned hours. A student’s quantitative progress is determined by dividing credit hours earned by the total hours attempted. Part-time students will have their eligibility measured on an equivalency basis.

Maximum TimeFrame

The maximum time for completion of degree requirements for students receiving aid is one and one-half times the length of the degree program (150% of length of the educational program as published by the YHC Academic Policy found in the YHC Catalog). Frequent withdrawals from courses or school, change of major, failed courses, repeated courses or courses taken that are not related to the degree program could jeopardize financial aid. If a student withdraws from school and re-enrolls at a later date, those withdrawn courses will count towards time spent on the degree program. A student pursuing a double major at the same time must adhere to the 150% time frame. A transfer student's time frame will be based on the sum of the attempted hours at YHC plus the transfer credit hours accepted toward the student's degree program.

SAP Review Process

The cumulative Young Harris College academic history of all financial aid recipients is reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if the student is meeting the quantitative, qualitative and time frame standards. This includes all courses attempted at Young Harris College regardless of whether financial aid was received or not. Transfer credits, including courses taken as a transient student, do not count in the calculation of YHC GPA, but are included in the attempted hours, earned hours and maximum time frame standards. Students who fail to meet all of the criteria outlined above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester in which the student is enrolled. Students placed on Financial Aid Warning are eligible to receive financial aid for one additional semester, or payment period, as long as the aid in question is not subject to a higher GPA requirement. If the student does not meet satisfactory academic progress at the end of their additional semester, or payment  period, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. That means the student will lose financial aid eligibility and future aid will be suspended beginning with the next semester or payment period in which the student is enrolled. The student will remain on Financial Aid Suspension without aid eligibility until SAP standards are met. While students should be aware of this policy and their financial aid standing, every effort will be made to inform students by a letter sent to the last known address of any student placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension. The letter will contain a copy of the YHC Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and the Appeal Process. If students feel that they have circumstances that warrant an appeal, they may request an appeal of Financial Aid Suspension. See the appeal process below. 


Once eligibility has been reestablished by meeting the SAP standards, the student should contact the Office of Financial Aid. 

Appeal Process

The student may appeal a loss of financial aid by writing to the Director of Financial Aid for the Financial Aid Appeals Committee to consider extreme and unusual circumstances. The appeal letter must be submitted no later than the first two weeks prior to the suspension status semester. Each appeal will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee in a timely manner. The Committee may request documentation of mitigating circumstances as indicated by the student appeal. The student will be notified of the Committee’s decision in writing. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final. If the Appeals Committee rules in favor of the appeal the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student placed on Financial Aid Probation is eligible for financial aid for one semester and has to comply with the satisfactory academic progress standards and the requirements outlined by the Appeals Committee. Their academic performance will be reviewed at the end of that next semester for continued financial aid eligibility.   

Note: Full-time students receiving financial aid must enroll for at least 12 hours per semester. 

Part-time students will have their eligibility measured on an equivalency basis.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

This policy applies to students who officially or unofficially withdraw from the College during an academic semester and have Title IV federal financial aid funds as part of their financial aid package. For definitions of “official” and “unofficial” withdrawals see the Academics Section of the YHC Catalog. The term “Title IV Funds” includes the following programs: FFEL program loans (Subsidized Stafford, unsubsidized Stafford, and parent PLUS loans), Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study.     

Date of the withdrawal will be determined by the Office of the Registrar. In case of an unofficial withdrawal, the last date of attendance will be set at the midpoint of the semester or the last documented date of attendance (whichever is later). The College has a policy to identify unofficial withdrawals with the cooperation of the following departments: Office of the Academic Dean, Office of the Registrar, Business Office, Financial Aid Office and Office of Student Life. If an unofficial withdrawal is not determined during the academic semester, an audit of students with failing grades at the end of each semester will be done by the Financial Aid Office.

The Return of Title IV Fund policy assumes that students earn aid based on the period of time they remain enrolled and attending classes. During the first 60% of the semester, students earn Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time they remain enrolled and attend class. Students who attend class beyond the 60% point earn all aid for the semester. The percentage of the semester in which students remain enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of calendar days in the semester, excluding breaks of at least five calendar days. When a student withdraws from the College, whether officially or unofficially, unearned Title IV funds, with the exception of Federal Work-Study, will be returned to the applicable Federal Aid Program and the student’s account will be charged. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student.

Once a determination of a withdrawal is made by the College, the Financial Aid Office will calculate the return of Title IV funds according to Federal regulations and will promptly notify the withdrawn student in writing if there are any changes in financial aid funds. The Financial Aid Office will request the Business Office make any refund payment due to the appropriate federal program and the student account will be charged. If the student withdraws during the post-withdrawal period, the Financial Aid Office will recalculate aid in accordance with the federal regulations and a new award letter will be issued to the student. For post-withdrawal disbursements of loan funds, the Financial Aid Office will provide the student/parent the opportunity to cancel all/part of the loan. In accordance with federal regulations, return of funds is allocated in the following order: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Plus Loan, Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Further details for the calculation of the return of Title IV funds are available upon request from the Financial Aid Office or the Business Office.

Institutional Refund Policy

Refunds for tuition charges for each semester will be made according to the following schedule:

Timeframe Refund
Within 1st week of class 75%
Within 2nd week of class 25%
Within 3rd week of class 10%
After 3rd week of class None

Charges are prorated on a weekly basis from the first scheduled class period until actual withdrawal. Withdrawals made anytime during the week are prorated to the Monday following the week of withdrawal. This means that any portion of a week will be charged as a full week. There is no refund for temporary absences. There are no refunds for labs, special fees, nor for courses dropped after the drop/add period. No refund for tuition and fee charges will be given to any student who is suspended for disciplinary reasons. Institutional aid will be calculated on the same basis as tuition (stated above). In no case will institutional funds generate a refund greater than the amount of funds already received.

Refunds for board charges will be prorated equally over the semester. In no cases will institutional aid generate a refund greater than the amount of funds already received. No refund will be given for room rental.

Reductions in CourseLoad Policy

A reduction in credit hours at any time during the semester may cause a reduction in financial aid, which, in turn, may cause the student to have an outstanding balance due to the College.  Disbursed aid might be reduced if an adjusted cost of attendance results in an aid award that exceeds financial need and/or cost of attendance for the term.  Eligibility for awarded aid that has not been disbursed at the time of the reduction in course load will be reevaluated and paid according to the level of enrollment at the time the funds are to be disbursed.  For example, a student must be enrolled at least half-time at the point of a federal Stafford loan disbursement.  Another example is that a student must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 hours) on the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant/HOPE deadline date. This date is posted in the Guide to Student Life and Planning Calendar.  Please note that a reduction in credit hours can occur if a student fails a short term class which is a prerequisite for their next short term class. 

Students who reduce course load should consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding their eligibility for financial aid awards.

*Last Revised January 2012