A-to-Z Index

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Q: I withdrew from a class. Will it count against me?
A:
Yes, it will affect the pace calculation and maximum time requirement.

Q: If I don't meet SAP, can I still get a Federal Direct Loan? Can my parents get a PLUS Loan?
A:
No, but you may qualify for some alternative loans that do not require SAP. You can explore some of these options at: http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/altloans.shtml

Q: I appealed my suspension and was granted permission to return to JMU, does this mean I qualify for financial aid?
A:
No, admission to the university does not guarantee financial aid eligibility. The financial aid office will notify you if you fail SAP. A separate appeal is required.

Q: If I resolve my academic deficiency, can I receive financial aid?
A:
Yes, but you must notify our office of the change in your status by sending email to the SAP mailbox at finaid_sap@jmu.edu. We will reevaluate your transcript to confirm your compliance with SAP requirements. Remember that your JMU transcript must reflect this change.

Q: Can I get financial aid for summer if I am not meeting SAP?
A:
No, you would need to submit an appeal, with appropriate supporting documentation, to receive consideration. If we grant your appeal, we will place you on probation for one semester and give you an academic plan. Your academic plan will specify the conditions you must meet to continue receiving financial aid for a specified period. Students whose appeals are denied may choose to apply for an alternative loan.

Q: If I qualify for the transfer equivalent policy, will I automatically be eligible for financial aid?
A:
No, all attempted hours count in the SAP evaluation, including those excluded under the transfer equivalent option. Therefore, you will not automatically meet SAP requirements based on this policy. However, if you believe you meet SAP requirements at any time, you may request a reevaluation of your transcript by sending email to the SAP mailbox at finaid_sap@jmu.edu.

Q: You say I haven't earned 80 percent of my attempted hours, but according to my transcript, I meet this requirement. What's going on here?
A:
Our SAP policy requires that we add the following hours to those you attempted at JMU:
•  Transferred hours
•  Withdrawals (includes WP and WF grades)
•  Repeat/forgiveness hours
•  Incompletes

Divide the number of credit hours you earned by your total attempted hours. If the answer is 80 percent or more, you meet the pace (credits earned) requirement.

Q: If I decide not to appeal my unsatisfactory progress or if my SAP appeal is denied, how can I pay my bill?
A:
Some lenders offer alternative loans that do not require you to meet SAP standards. However, you may need a creditworthy cosigner to qualify. You can explore some of these options at http://www.jmu.edu/finaid/altloans.shtml.

Q: During my senior year in high school, I took a couple of classes at a local college. How do these hours affect my SAP status?
A:
Ideally, these dual enrollment hours should count in your favor. However, our automated SAP evaluation process cannot distinguish between dual enrollment and regular transfer hours. You should inform the financial aid office if you believe your dual enrollment hours counted against you in error.

Q: I earned some Advanced Placement credits from high school. How do these hours affect my SAP?
A:
Like dual enrollment hours, your Advanced Placement (AP) credits should count in your favor. However, our automated SAP evaluation process cannot distinguish between AP and regular transfer hours. You should inform the financial aid office if you believe your AP hours counted against you in error.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting a SAP appeal form?
A:
Students who wish to appeal must do so by a prescribed deadline.

2013-14 Appeal Deadlines
•  Summer 2013 – Monday, June 24, 2013
•  Fall 2013 – Monday, September 9, 2013
•  Spring 2014 – Monday, January 27, 2014

2014-15 Appeal Deadlines
•  Summer 2014 – Monday, June 30, 2014
•  Fall 2014 – Monday, September 8, 2014
•  Spring 2015 – Monday, January 26, 2015

We encourage you to submit your appeal as early as possible. An early appeal will receive an early response.

Q: Why was my appeal only granted for one semester?
A:
Federal regulations stipulate that we grant your appeal one semester at a time. You must fulfill the terms of an academic plan to continue receiving financial aid.

Q: Can students receive financial aid for a second degree?
A:
Yes, second-degree students, those pursuing an additional degree and not another major, may qualify for financial aid. For example, a student might earn a B.S. degree, at JMU or another institution, and then return to school for a B.A. degree. Second-degree students must continue to meet SAP requirements as outlined in the undergraduate policy. However, most (perhaps all) will exceed the 150-attempted-hour maximum at some point in their career. To fulfill the requirements of their new program, these students may receive assistance for up to 75 additional hours.

Q: I’m working on a double major and need extra time to complete my degree. The SAP policy says I can’t receive financial aid if I attempt more than 150 hours. What can I do?
A:
You are subject to the same academic standards as students who are pursuing a single major. If you exceed the maximum time limit, you may submit an appeal for consideration. If circumstances warrant, we would grant your appeal, place you on probation for one semester and give you an academic plan. Your academic plan would specify the conditions you must meet to continue receiving financial aid. Many students submit successful appeals and continue receiving financial aid until graduation.