Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
The U.S. Department of Education mandates that institutions of higher education establish standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving financial aid. SAP means a student is progressing through an academic program in a timely manner and successfully completing degree requirements. Young Harris College (YHC) applies these standards to all students receiving federal, state and institutional financial aid. SAP will be determined at the end of each semester.
SAP for Early College and Non-Degree Seeking Students
As recipients of aid from the State of Georgia, Young Harris Early College (YHEC) students are subject to meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as mandated in the State Regulations. SAP means a student is progressing through their academic classes and completing the requirements of those classes. There are two components to SAP for YHEC/Non-Degree seeking students: Qualitative (GPA) and Pace of Progression (Completion Rate). Click here to access the full policy.
Qualitative (GPA) Requirements
Students are required to maintain a cumulative SAP grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. Transfer and Learning Support grades are NOT counted when determining the SAP GPA. The Office of Financial Aid determines SAP by evaluating the GPA based on the following grades: A, B, C, D and F.
Pace of Progression (Completion Rate)
Students receiving financial aid must demonstrate measurable progress toward the completion of their degree programs. Students are expected to successfully complete a minimum of 67 percent of their total credit hours attempted. Transfer credits, including courses taken as a transient student, are included in Pace of Progression calculation. Grades of A, B, C and D are considered to be successful completion of a course. Grades of F, W and WF are NOT considered to be successful completion of a course. In addition, hours for repeated courses and hours for which a student received grade forgiveness will be included in the attempted hours total. Completion Rate is determined using the following calculation:
Completion Rate = (Cumulative Completed Hours / Cumulative Attempted Hours) * 100 percent
Maximum Time Frame
Students must not exceed 150 percent of the published credit hours required to earn their degree. For example, a degree which requires 136 hours for completion must not exceed 204 hours (136 x 150 percent = 204 hours). Transfer credits, including courses taken as a transient student, are included in the Maximum Time Frame calculation. Frequent withdrawals from courses, change of major, failed courses, repeated courses or courses taken that are not related to the degree program could cause a student to exceed the 150 percent requirement.
SAP Review Process
The Office of Financial Aid will review SAP at the end of each academic semester to determine if students are meeting the minimum standards for each of the components (GPA, Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame) listed above. The following are the statuses to be determined:
Meeting SAP: Students who are determined to be in compliance with all of the SAP components will be Meeting SAP and will be eligible for financial aid.
SAP Warning: Students who are NOT meeting the GPA or Completion Rate components of SAP will be placed on SAP Warning for one semester following the review. Students are eligible for financial aid during SAP Warning. However, if students are not meeting SAP standards for Maximum Time Frame, they are immediately placed on SAP Suspension and will no longer be eligible for any financial aid. Students will be notified of their SAP Warning status and will be required to sign an acknowledgement form before their financial aid will be disbursed for the Warning semester.
SAP Suspension: Students who are NOT meeting the GPA or Completion Rate components of SAP at the end of their SAP Warning semester will be placed on SAP Suspension and will NOT be eligible for ANY financial aid. Students placed on SAP Suspension will have the opportunity to submit an SAP Appeal if they have extenuating circumstances.
SAP Probation: Students who have submitted an SAP Appeal that has been approved will be placed on SAP Probation for one semester and will have their financial aid reinstated. Students will be required to meet with the Success Center as outlined in their SAP Appeal Approval.
Academic Plan: Students whose SAP Appeal was approved but were determined to need more than one semester to meet SAP requirements will be placed on an Academic Plan. These students will be required to meet with the Success Center and follow the requirements of their Academic Plan.
SAP Appeal Process
Students who experienced extenuating circumstances that resulted in their not meeting SAP requirements will be allowed to submit an SAP Appeal form to the SAP Appeal Committee. Extenuating circumstances MUST be due to a situation beyond the student’s control and may include death of an immediate family member or injury or illness of the student or an immediate family member. Documentation of the circumstance MUST be submitted with the SAP Appeal. SAP Appeals must be submitted NO LATER than two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester for which the student is appealing. Decisions of the SAP Appeal Committee are final.
If the SAP Appeal is approved and the student is placed on SAP Probation, the student will have one semester to meet SAP requirements. Students will be eligible for financial aid during their SAP Probation semester. SAP will be reviewed at the end of the SAP Probation semester, and if the student is not meeting the requirements, they will be placed on SAP Suspension for the next semester they enroll.
If the appeal is approved and the student is placed on an Academic Plan, the student will be required to meet all of the requirements set forth in their Academic Plan. SAP will be reviewed at the end of the Academic Plan semester, and if the student is not meeting the requirements, they will be placed on SAP Suspension for the next semester they enroll.
Avoiding SAP Issues
Withdrawing from classes: Sometimes withdrawing from courses is inevitable, however, students should always speak with a Financial Aid Representative prior to withdrawing from courses to see how it may affect their SAP status. Also, students should speak with their professor to see if there may be a way to avoid withdrawing from courses.
Course load: Sometimes students take a heavy course load or take too many demanding courses in one semester. Students should speak with their advisor and/or professors to ensure they are taking the appropriate courses to stay on track academically and to meet the SAP requirements.
Dedication: Before enrolling in courses, students should determine if they have the willingness and ability to put forth the time and effort needed to be successful.
Success Center: Young Harris College has excellent resources in place through the Success Center such as tutoring, peer mentoring, etc. These resources are helpful to ensure students' success in their courses and help them avoid SAP issues.
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 Direct, Unsubsidized Direct 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, Office of Financial Assistance and Planning and the 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 Funds policy assumes that students earn aid based on the period of time they remain enrolled and attending classes. During the first 60 percent 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 percent 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 Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct 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: Within 1st week of class
Timeframe: Within 2nd week of class
Timeframe: Within 3rd week of class
Timeframe: After 3rd week of class
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 Course Load 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 Direct 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 the financial aid office regarding their eligibility for financial aid awards.