Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students receiving federal and/or institutional aid must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in their degree program. SAP entails both qualitative and quantitative elements, which must be met in order for the student to remain eligible for aid. The Financial Aid Office (for federal aid recipients) and Student Accounts Office (for institutional scholarship recipients) evaluate SAP before every term for those students enrolling in that upcoming term.
The qualitative element is measured by the cumulative grade point average (GPA) for the student. Bachelor and master-level students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher and doctoral students must maintain a minimum GPA of at least 3.00. Grades that impact GPA are A, B, C, D, F, and WF. Courses with zero-tuition hours and transferred courses from another institution are not considered in the qualitative evaluation. Academic requirements for degree programs periodically change, so the specific degree program (including the year) in which the student is enrolled (e.g., 2016-17 BARC) will be the program used to calculate the qualitative element for SAP.
The quantitative element is measured by the course completion rate for the student (courses completed ÷ courses attempted). The student must maintain a course completion rate that allows him to finish his degree program within the Maximum Time Frame, which is 150% of the published time of his degree program. For example, an undergraduate student should finish his 120-hour degree program without attempting more than 180 hours, which is 150% of 120 hours (see the various degree programs in the Luther Rice Catalog for the required credit hours for each degree). In order to accomplish this, a student must successfully complete (no withdrawals or F’s) at least 67% of his classes. This completion rate must be attained every term and cumulatively for all classes included in the measurement. For Bachelor and Master of Divinity students, the grades of F, R, W, WF, WH, and WP negatively affect the completion rate. For Master of Arts students, the grades of D, F, R, W, WF, WH, and WP negatively affect the completion rate. For Doctor of Ministry students, the grades of C, D, F, R, W, WF, WH, and WP negatively affect the completion rate. Courses with zero-tuition hours are not considered in the quantitative evaluation.
Note: An Incomplete Grade (I) is considered as an F in the measurements of both the qualitative and quantitative elements until it changes to a permanent grade. The permanent grade is then used for the measurements of both the qualitative and quantitative elements.
Bachelor and Master of Divinity Students
Qualified Bachelor and Master of Divinity courses in which the student originally received a grade of D or F are repeatable and are included in the calculation for SAP (retake course included in qualitative calculation; original and retake courses included in quantitative calculation). Certain conditions exist to be eligible for financial aid for a retake of a course in which the original grade was a D. Contact the Financial Aid Office for details. Repeated courses in which the original grade was C or higher earn zero hours and are not included in the student’s GPA, so they are not included in the SAP calculation and are not eligible for financial aid.
Master of Arts Students
Master of Arts courses in which the student originally received a grade of D or F are repeatable and are included in the calculation for SAP (retake course included in qualitative calculation; original and retake courses included in quantitative calculation). Repeated courses in which the original grade was C or higher earn zero hours and are not included in the student’s GPA, so they are not included in the SAP calculation and are not eligible for financial aid.
Doctor of Ministry Students
Doctor of Ministry courses in which the student originally received a grade of C, D, or F are repeatable and are included in the calculation for SAP (retake course included in qualitative calculation; original and retake courses included in quantitative calculation). Repeated courses in which the original grade was B or higher earn zero hours and are not included in the student’s GPA, so they are not included in the SAP calculation and are not eligible for financial aid.
Change of Degree*
If a student changes degree programs laterally (i.e., bachelor to bachelor, master to master, or doctoral to doctoral) within Luther Rice without graduating or completing the required classes within a degree program, all classes of the previous program(s) are included in the quantitative element of SAP measurement. Only those classes transferred into the new degree program are included in the qualitative element of SAP measurement.
If the student graduated or has completed all of the courses necessary for his degree program and is moving laterally or vertically (i.e., bachelor to master, master to doctoral) to another degree within Luther Rice, the GPA and completion rate of the classes in the completed degree program, and any courses taken prior to the completed degree program, are not calculated in the student’s eligibility for financial aid except for those transferred into the new program.
*Note: In an effort not to negatively affect students because of changes contained within this current SAP policy, all students (active and inactive) were reset as of May 4, 2015. This means that the current degree program as of that date, and all future programs, will be the programs measured for SAP. A student inactive on the reset date is not considered in a degree, so the program into which he reactivates (if reactivation occurs after May 4, 2015) will be the degree used to calculate SAP.
If a student is not making SAP immediately upon reactivation from inactivity after the May 4, 2015 reset or fails to make SAP in the first term after reset or reactivation from inactivity after the May 4, 2015 reset, though, the prior program(s) will be used in the determination of eligibility for a Financial Aid Warning and/or aid eligibility. The student may regain financial aid eligibility via one of the methods addressed below (see Regaining Eligibility below). After the reset of May 4, 2015, a change of degree and/or reactivation will be subject to the conditions contained in the SAP policy.
Transfer Grades from Another Institution
Transfer grades from another institution are not factored (positively or negatively) into a student’s GPA, but the transferred classes are considered with regard to the student’s completion rate. Courses transferred into the student’s Luther Rice degree program count as courses attempted and completed.
If a student that was ineligible for financial aid because of his completion rate returns to Luther Rice after a time of non-enrollment at Luther Rice, he remains ineligible for aid unless he is moving to a higher degree or the transfer credits enable him to regain eligibility (i.e., he successfully completed at least 67% of his classes in the last term at the prior institution and his cumulative completion rate at Luther Rice is now at least 67%).
Financial Aid Warning
If a student fails to make SAP for one term (but has made SAP in the previous term or the term in consideration was his first term at Luther Rice or in a higher degree/ new degree after completing a degree at Luther Rice), he will be issued a Financial Aid Warning for his next term and he will remain eligible for aid. At the conclusion of the term for which he received a Warning, he must be making SAP (i.e., have at least the minimum cumulative GPA, completed at least 67% of that term’s classes, and have an overall completion rate of at least 67%) in order to remain eligible. If he is not making SAP at the conclusion of the Warning term, the student becomes ineligible for aid and must regain eligibility either academically or through a successful appeal (see Regaining Eligibility below).
One exception to the issuance of a Financial Aid Warning is for a student for whom it is mathematically impossible to complete his degree within the Maximum Time Frame, which is 150% of the hours required for the respective degree program. A student who meets this condition is ineligible for aid and must be granted an appeal to regain financial aid eligibility. For example, a student who has attempted 180 hours in a 120-hour degree program, or a student who has attempted 150 hours in a 120-hour program but has 36 hours remaining will not be issued a Financial Aid Warning and must be granted an appeal to become eligible for aid.
A student that lost eligibility because of a low GPA must raise his cumulative GPA to at least the minimum mark for his respective degree level. A student that lost eligibility because of his completion rate must successfully complete at least 67% of his classes in his next term and also have a cumulative completion rate of at least 67% for all courses included in the calculation at the completion of that next term.
Payment must be from means other than financial aid until the student regains eligibility.
If the student regains eligibility, he will be eligible for aid in the following term.
The student may appeal the denial of aid in writing (email is acceptable) to the Financial Aid Office (for federal aid) or the Student Accounts Office (for institutional aid) explaining why he failed to make SAP and what has changed that will now enable him to make SAP. Conditions for an appeal can include personal injury, death of a relative, or other special circumstances. The student should include any third-party documentation (e.g., signed letter from physician, obituary, etc.) to support his appeal.
A group within the respective office will evaluate the appeal (majority vote carries) and if the appropriate office grants the appeal, the student will be eligible for aid, be placed on financial aid probation for one term, and may also be placed into an academic plan determined by the respective office and agreed to by the student. The office that granted the appeal will review his progress after the completion of the next term to see if he made SAP or met his academic plan. If he did not succeed in making SAP or meet his academic plan, he will be ineligible for future aid until he regains eligibility by the normal academic procedures described above. A student may only be granted one successful appeal per degree level (i.e., only one appeal granted for bachelor level, one for master level, and one for doctoral level).**
If the respective office denies the appeal, the student may then appeal either to the Director of Financial Aid (for financial aid appeals) or to the Director of Student Accounts (for Institutional Aid appeals) for another evaluation of the appeal. The decision of the Director is final.
The student’s appeal must be granted before the last date of the term in order for the student to be eligible for aid in that same term.
If a student’s appeal is granted but the student does not enroll during the same financial aid year or prescribed time period(s) communicated to him via the Luther Rice office that granted the appeal, the student must submit a new appeal.
If a student has a prior year balance due on his student account, the balance must be paid in full before an appeal will be evaluated.
**Note: The reset addressed in the change of degree section will also apply to the condition of only one successful appeal allowed per degree level (i.e., bachelor, master, or doctoral). A student that previously received an SAP appeal before May 4, 2015 will be eligible to apply for another appeal within that same degree level if he becomes ineligible due to a failure to make SAP.
Communication of Failure to Make SAP
If a student pre-registers for courses using Federal Aid or scholarship funds, the Financial Aid Office or Student Accounts Office will measure the student’s SAP. If he failed to make SAP, the respective office will send an email to the student issuing a Financial Aid Warning or denial of aid. The denial email contains information on how the student may regain eligibility.