Office of Student Financial Aid

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SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
OFFICE OF STUDENT FINANCIAL AID
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY

**This policy is subject to change**

Federal and State regulations governing student financial aid programs require the university to ensure that each student who is receiving financial aid maintains satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward his or her degree objective. These regulations allow the institution to set standards of satisfactory academic progress as long as "those standards are reasonable, are applied consistently, are at least as strict as the requirements for all students, and measure progress toward the degree for all periods of enrollment regardless of whether the student is receiving financial aid."

SF State Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy and Requirements

The standards developed for financial aid recipients at San Francisco State University include three major requirements:

#1. Financial aid recipients must successfully complete the minimum unit requirement for all the types and amounts of financial aid they receive each term in order to maintain SAP.

The minimum number of units a student is required to complete may differ from the enrollment requirement. Please refer to the following chart:


Undergraduate SAP Unit Requirements Chart

If You Received You Must Be Enrolled In At Least You Must Successfully Complete At Least You Cannot Have A Deficiency Greater Than
Full-time Award
12 units
10 units
10 units
3/4 Time Award
9 units
9 units
10 units
>1/2 Time* Award
7 units
6 units
10 units
1/2 Time Award
6 units
6 units
10 units
<1/2 Time Award
1 unit
1 unit
10 units
* Greater than half-time = part-time paying full-time tuition fees

Graduate SAP Unit Requirements Chart

If You Received You Must Be Enrolled In At Least You Must Successfully Complete At Least You Cannot Have A Deficiency Greater Than
Full-time Award
8 units
6 units
7 units
>1/2 Time*Award
7 units
6 units
7 units
1/2 Time Award
4 units
4 units
7 units
<1/2 Time Award
1 unit
1 unit
7 units
* Greater than half-time = part-time paying full-time tuition fees

Unit Deficiency: - SAP is monitored each SEMESTER-

Students who complete less than the minimum unit requirement while receiving aid will incur a unit deficiency. A unit deficiency is the difference between the student's minimum unit requirement and the units the student completed during that term. For example, an undergraduate student receiving full-time financial aid must complete a minimum of 10 units during the semester. If he/she successfully completes only 6 units, he/she will incur a 4 unit deficiency for that term. If a student withdraws from all classes, the Financial Aid Office will apply a repayment formula to determine if the student must repay any financial aid. And unless all financial aid is repaid, a deficiency will occur for that semester.

Unit Deficiency Tolerance:

Unit deficiencies at the end of each semester are added to any unit deficiencies from previous semesters (regardless of duration of time) to determine a student's cumulative unit deficiency at SF State. If a student's cumulative unit deficiency does not exceed the unit deficiency tolerance level, he or she will remain eligible for financial aid. For undergraduates the unit deficiency tolerance is 10 units; for graduates the tolerance is 7 units. Once a student's cumulative unit deficiency exceeds the tolerance level, he or she will not be eligible to receive financial aid until the cumulative unit deficiency has been reduced to within tolerance.

Passing Grades:

The quality of the student's academic performance will also be monitored. In order for units to be recognized as successfully completed, the grade must be one of the following: A, B, C, D, or CR. Grades not accepted as units successfully completed are: F, NC, U, W, AUD, RD, I or SP. If a grade is changed after the official posting for a semester, it is the student's responsibility to bring verification of the grade change to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Repeat courses do not count.

#2. Maximum Units:

The Office of Student Financial Aid will adhere to the University's academic standards. Undergraduate students will be monitored by the University for the length of time needed to complete their degree by measuring their total units completed. Graduate students will be monitored by the Financial Aid Office and are eligible to receive financial aid only until they earn their degree or earn 75 cumulative units. Students who change their majors, who are pursuing double majors or minors, who are attempting second baccalaureates, or who transferred units from another school, will be held to the same maximum time frame.
The Office of Student Financial Aid will attempt to notify graduate students when it appears they will exceed the 75 unit maximum. Unless a student can provide information which would justify why the degree has not been granted, his or her financial aid will be on hold.

#3. Grade Point Average (GPA):

Financial aid recipients must be in good academic standing with the University.

The Office of Student Financial Aid will adhere to the University's academic standards. Students are ineligible to receive financial aid if they are disqualified by the University based on the quality of their performance and progress toward their degree objective. Please refer to the University Bulletin.

FAILURE TO MEET THE SAP STANDARDS:

Failure to meet the above standards results in ineligibility for financial aid. Warning letters will be sent to these students via email each semester. Students who have exceeded the maximum units allowed may not receive further aid. Students who have been disqualified by the University are also ineligible for aid until they have been reinstated by the University. Students who have exceeded the unit deficiency tolerance may requalify for aid by reducing their cumulative unit deficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Completing more units in one semester than the minimum unit requirement.

  • Completing classes without receiving financial aid for those classes.

  • Completing units at another accredited institution if the student did not receive financial aid for those units, the units are transferable to SF State and the student made his/her unit contract at SF State for that particular semester.


  • In other words, if your SF State unit contract is 10 units as a full time student and you complete less than 10 units, the units from the other school for that same semester cannot be accepted by the financial aid office to reduce your deficiency.


    All financial aid recipients should speak to a financial aid counselor to discuss the impact of any proposed changes in enrollment such as dropping a course, repeating a course, or withdrawing from the University. Any of these changes may affect his/her satisfactory academic progress and future eligibility for financial aid.




    APPEALS POLICY (SAP)

    The above policy will be considered only for students who can document extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. If a student feels that he/she can document extenuating circumstances, he/she may submit an appeal packet to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee (SAPAC). You may submit a satisfactory appeal one time only as an undergraduate student and/or one time only as a graduate student. The appeal packet consists of an appeal letter, a Graduation Plan, an EOP Contract (if EOP), an unofficial grade transcript, an Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE), and/or DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System), and any documents needed to explain the special circumstances. The SAPAC is comprised of staff, faculty, and student members.

    If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation until which time that student's deficiency is within tolerance again.


    APPEALS PROCESS (SAP)

    If you think you are eligible for the appeal process, select one of the following choices that best reflects your situation.

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Locate the group from the choices below that best reflects your situation.
    2. Print the forms, fill out your part and have faculty and/or academic advisor fill out and sign their part, attach all the required documents listed on the cover sheet and submit to our office by either mailing them or dropping them at our financial aid counter at the One Stop Center in the Student Services Building (SSB).

    (Please allow 2 weeks processing time after our office receives your appeal.)


    *You must have Acrobat Reader 6.0 to open the file; if not (Click here to download)



    UNDERGRADUATE

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    Undergraduate Students With AP Holds (For students who have more than 10 units deficiency).

    Forms are in PDF Format - Please fill out and submit to our office:

     

    GRADUATE

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    Graduate Students With AP Holds (For students who have more than 7 units deficiency).

    Form is in PDF Format - Please fill out and submit to our office:

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    Graduate Students With MAX Units Holds (For students who have more than 75 cumulative units earned).

    Form is in PDF Format - Please fill out and submit to our office:

     

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