As a New College of Florida graduate student, one condition of your eligibility for Title IV Federal Student Aid funds is that you must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Purposes under the College’s published standards. The Graduate SAP Policy also applies to eligibility for institutional funding.
SAP Compliance for Graduate Students
In compliance with current federal regulations, New College of Florida will monitor each graduate student’s academic progress toward degree completion requirements to ensure students receiving Title IV (federal financial aid) funds are successfully progressing through their program of study. In addition, NCF will establish mechanisms to provide additional assistance/guidance to those who are not.
These standards govern all federal aid programs. The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements apply to all NCF graduate students, regardless of whether a student has received previous financial aid or transferred to NCF from another institution.
With the potential exception of one semester of Financial Aid Warning, students will be ineligible for federal student aid and institutional funding if they:
- fail to maintain the required cumulative grade point average;
- fail to complete successfully the required percentage of attempted course work; and/or
- fail to complete their program of study within the prescribed length of time.
SAP Monitoring for Graduate Students
NCF will monitor the qualitative and quantitative components of Satisfactory Academic Progress for all of its graduate students at the end of each semester, in order to provide a formal intervention by the institution for those who do not meet the standards. All quantitative and qualitative components must be met for a SAP status of “Good.”
The standards of academic progress must include your total academic history—meaning all attempted hours (including NCF hours and any hours accepted for transfer credit by exam towards degree completion). In order to receive Title IV aid, you must be making satisfactory academic progress regardless of whether you previously received Title IV aid.
Quantitative Components for Graduate Students
Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion
The maximum timeframe in which NCF graduate students must complete their educational program is 150 percent of the required number of credit hours needed to graduate (whether or not they have received aid for all terms).
Graduate students will not be eligible for aid if they do not earn the degree after carrying 54 credit hours; this includes all cumulative attempts toward the degree (transfer credit by exam, and all NCF graduate credit hours attempted whether or not they are satisfactorily completed). The maximum timeframe may be extended and documented under professional judgment if mitigating or extenuating circumstances exist; this can be done if the student has been placed on an academic plan approved by the Office of the Provost, based on a successful petition for Financial Aid Probation.
Pace to Degree Completion: Credit Hour Completion/Measurement of Progress within Maximum Timeframe
All students must satisfactorily complete at least 67% (2/3) of all hours attempted; this percentage will be calculated on the basis of all cumulative attempts toward the degree (transfer credit by exam, and all NCF graduate credit hours attempted whether or not they are satisfactorily completed).
Cumulative Grade Point Average
Graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. A graduate student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, who is permitted to continue enrollment on Academic Probation by the Graduate Student Academic Status Committee, may be placed on a semester of “Financial Aid Warning.” As conditions of this, the student cannot not have back-to-back semester review periods of failing to meet SAP requirements, and it must be possible for the student to meet the requirements of the next semester SAP review.
Attempted Credit Hours
For graduate students, attempted credit hours include the following, whether or not paid for with financial aid funds:
- Passing grades
- Failing grades – Zero Grade Points: Counted in GPA and Attempted Credit Hours
- No grade reported
Graduate Non-Punitive Grades – Zero Grade Points: Not Counted in GPA but Counted in Attempted Credit Hours
- Course Dropped (officially withdrawn) after the four-week grace period
- Incomplete or no grade reported for the course (note: unless updated to a passing grade by the end of the following term, this will be updated to a failing grade of F for the next SAP review)
No Grade Courses
“No grades” for graduate course work are not considered failing grades for the term in which they are received, and are not computed in the cumulative grade point average at that time; however, they are counted in the number of attempted credit hours. If not updated to a passing grade by the end of the next term for which the student is enrolled, they will be counted as a failing grades and used in computation of the cumulative grade point average.
Audited courses receive no credit and do not influence grade point average. They are not counted in credits attempted and are not eligible for financial aid.
New College of Florida does not offer remedial courses.
Dropped (Officially Withdrawn) Courses
Courses dropped (officially withdrawn) after the four-week grace period count toward the measure of pace to degree completion, and maximum timeframe for degree completion.
Repeated course work counts as hours attempted, as well as counting toward the percentage that measures pace to degree completion, and maximum timeframe for degree completion. Please be aware that financial aid will not be available for more than one retake. (That is, if you enroll in a course more than once after passing the course, the hours for that second retake will not count toward your full-time status for financial aid eligibility.)
Academic Progress Notification
All graduate students receiving financial aid will have notification of whether they meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements on their NewCLEIS accounts after final grades are posted. In addition, all graduate students who are not meeting the SAP standards will receive a written notification.
SAP Financial Aid Warning
Students are not allowed back-to-back semesters of failing to meet the SAP standards. On first failure to meet the SAP review requirements, a student will be placed on a semester of “Financial Aid Warning,” so long as it is still possible to meet the requirements at the next SAP review. (If the student’s GPA is below 3.0, this requires permission by the Graduate Student Academic Status Committee to continue enrollment.) On Financial Aid Warning, a student will be eligible to receive federal financial aid funding for that following term/semester without petition.
Students placed in Financial Aid Warning status will be sent a notification advising them of their status, the impact of their future financial aid eligibility, and the importance of seeking guidance/advising/counseling from staff (NCF graduate program director or faculty, Office of the Provost staff, Counseling and Wellness staff, and/or financial aid staff).
Students who do not meet the SAP standards after this period of Financial Aid Warning will be denied financial aid eligibility for future semesters (placed in a Financial Aid Termination or Maximum Time Frame status) until they meet the SAP standards or have an academic plan approved after successful petition for Financial Aid Probation.
It is also possible for students to be subject to more than one period of Financial Aid Warning in the course of their academic career.
SAP Financial Aid Probation
Students who do not meet the SAP standards after being placed on Financial Aid Warning will be placed in Financial Aid Termination, and denied eligibility for future financial aid until they meet the SAP standards or have an academic plan approved by the Office of the Provost after successful petition for Financial Aid Probation. The length of the Financial Aid Probation status will be determined on a case by-case basis, based on the length of time and/or course load necessary for the student to meet the SAP standards.
The student’s SAP requirements will be monitored during the probation status to ensure the student is following the prescribed academic plan of work and successfully matriculating through the program of study.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Petition
Students have the right to petition (i.e. appeal) academic ineligibility for financial aid with a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Petition coversheet, written statement, and appropriate supporting documentation.
If your financial aid eligibility is either Termination or Maximum Time Frame and you wish to petition, please submit your materials to:
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
(by fax: (941) 487-5010 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Because timing of the petition is important to determining eligibility Financial Aid Probation, it is recommended that SAP petitions and supporting documentation be submitted within 15 days of receiving notification of SAP status and ineligibility for future financial aid funds.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Petition Materials
A SAP petition must include:
- a completed petition coversheet
- the student’s written statement of extenuating circumstances (typed) (Supporting documentation is typically required as well.)
The written statement must be written by the student, and clearly state the extenuating circumstance (illness, emergency, etc.) that prevented meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. It must include the following:
- Date(s) and semester(s) involved.
- The extenuating circumstances that affected the academic record during the specified semester(s).
- How the situation has substantially changed, to allow the student to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
- The student’s signature and the date.
Document(s) Validating the Extenuating Circumstances (Strongly Recommended)
Additional third-party support is strongly recommended, and typically required for a successful petition. All documentation must be date specific and address the extenuating circumstances that occurred during the semester payment period in which the student did not meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. It may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
- A written statement from a medical or mental health professional, NCF course professor or program director, or a credible professional (such as a member of the clergy or other college official), of the impact of an illness or emergency on the academic performance during a specific time period.
- A written statement from the program director which clearly states the courses and hours remaining to earn the degree.
- A written statement from the parent, clearly stating the circumstances and time period during which a personal or family problem occurred.
- An objective report of an occurrence such as a police report, divorce documents, insurance damage reports for natural disasters, bill for services related to an emergency, obituary, etc.
Academic Plan for Financial Aid Probation
If a student successfully petitions for Financial Aid Probation, the Office of the Provost will determine the conditions of the student’s academic plan for Financial Aid Probation, which will address these three components:
- Cumulative GPA (3.0). The academic plan should outline the length of time it will take for the student’s GPA to meet the 3.0 SAP standard. If appropriate it should also include the courses that the student should enroll in that would facilitate successful matriculation to meeting the SAP GPA standard.
- Pace to Graduation (67%). The academic plan should outline the courses or recommended course load that would allow the student to meet the 67% completion rate standard.
- Maximum Timeframe for Degree Completion (54 credit hours). The academic plan should outline the remaining courses required for graduation and the length of time for the student to complete the courses. It should also provide an explanation if the student is exceeding the maximum timeframe of 54 credit hours.