Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Federal Financial Aid
In accordance with federal regulations, this policy applies to all students requesting Title IV federal financial aid regardless of whether federal aid has been received previously. These regulations require that recipients of federal financial aid maintain a satisfactory rate of progress toward completion of a degree (i.e. pace) and must be in good standing based on a cumulative GPA.
Pace requirement: Both undergraduate and graduate students must earn at least 67 percent of the cumulative credits attempted.
GPA requirement: Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 2.0 as transcripted by the Registrar's Office. Graduate students must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Maximum Time Frame: The maximum time frames (i.e. maximum allowable attempted credits) for graduate and undergraduate students to complete their degree programs are listed below. Transfer credits reflected on a student's LHU academic transcript count as attempted credit hours. Students who exceed the maximum time frame are not eligible for federal financial aid.
|Degree Program||Maximum Time Frame
(allowable attempted credits)
|Master of Health Science
|Master of Science
(Clinical Mental Health Counseling)
Students pursuing a second undergraduate, baccalaureate degree are limited to 90 attempted credit hours of work between receipt of the first degree and completion of the second. Second degree students may not receive federal financial aid beyond 90 attempted credit hours of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program.
Students pursuing a second undergraduate, associate degree are limited to 45 attempted credit hours of work between receipt of the first degree and completion of the second. Second degree students may not receive federal financial aid beyond 45 credit hours of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program.
Students pursuing a second graduate degree are limited to 23 attempted credit hours of work between receipt of the first degree and completion of the second. Second degree students may not receive federal financial aid beyond 23 attempted credit hours of enrollment in the second graduate degree program.
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester regardless of whether the student received financial aid during that time or not. Students not meeting SAP requirements will be notified by letter in the mail and a message to their LHU email account.
Financial Aid Warning
When a student fails to meet SAP requirements; the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next enrollment term. A student is only eligible for one warning. If a student has ever been placed on financial aid warning previously and doesn’t meet SAP requirements again, the student is now on suspension of their financial aid.
During the Financial Aid Warning term, a student is eligible for federal financial aid. Students on financial aid warning will be reviewed at the end of their next term of enrollment and are expected to be making satisfactory academic progress, per the above requirements, by that time.
Financial Aid Suspension
A student under Financial Aid Suspension is not eligible for federal financial aid , including federal student loans (e.g. Direct Stafford, Perkins, Direct Graduate PLUS) and federal parent loans (i.e. PLUS).
Below are the options available to students under suspension who wish to reestablish federal financial aid eligibility.
Financial Aid Suspension Options:
- Pay for the next semester/session on your own and have SAP status reevaluated again after that; or
- Submit an appeal of SAP requirements.
Maximum Time Suspension
Any student who has exceeded the maximum time frame for his degree program will be placed on Maximum Time Suspension. A student under maximum time suspension will not receive federal financial aid due to failure to complete degree requirements within the maximum allowable attempted credit hours.
Maximum Time Suspension Options:
- Pay for the remaining semesters/sessions on your own;
- Submit an appeal of SAP requirements
Examples of Pace Requirement
A student who has attempted a total of 12 credits and has successfully completed 6
of those credits has a pace of 50.00%
(i.e. 6 / 12 = 0.5000)
A student who has attempted a total of 18 credits and has successfully completed 12 of those credits has a pace of 66.67%
(i.e. 12 / 18 = 0.6667)
A student's LHU transcript reflects 24 transfer credits. The student has attempted a total of 60 credits of LHU coursework and has successfully completed 51 of those credits. Therefore, the student's pace is 89.29%
(i.e. (24 + 51) / (24 + 60) = 75 / 84 = 0.8929)
Note: Pace calculations are not rounded. Therefore the students in examples 1 and 2 have not met the 67% pace requirement.
Courses for which a student receives a grade of “I” (i.e. incomplete) are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count as earned credits hours for SAP purposes. It is the student's responsibility to inform Financial Aid of all grade changes (e.g. a change from “I” to “B”). A SAP review can’t be completed until the incomplete grade is changed.
Some students repeat courses they have passed in order to raise their grade point averages (GPA). Those students are very often unaware that repeating a course for which credit has been earned (a grade of “D” or higher received), will not result in additional, earned (i.e. new) credit. While there may be academic reasons for repeating such courses, it is not generally the purpose of financial aid to continually pay for the multiple taking of the same course. When repeating courses for which credit has already been earned, students should plan their class schedules carefully to ensure that they continue to meet SAP requirements.
Courses for which a student receives a grade of "W", "WP”, “WF” or “EW” are included in the number of attempted hours, but do not count as earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Courses for which Credit, Credit with Honors, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and/or Pass/Fail grades are received count as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes. If a student receives a "U" or "E" those credits count as attempted but not earned and will negatively impact pace/completion rate. Pass and Satisfactory grades do not impact GPA.
Financial Aid is available to students enrolled in remedial courses (e.g. MATH009). These courses are included in the number of attempted hours and also count as earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Transfer Credits (including credit granted for military training)
Transfer credits reflected on a student's LHU academic transcript are counted as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Credit for CLEP Exams
Credits earned through CLEP exams, as reflected on a student's LHU academic transcript, are counted as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Advanced Placement Credit
Credits for advanced placement courses, as reflected on a student's LHU academic transcript, are counted as both attempted and earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Course waivers, as reflected on a student's LHU academic transcript, do not count as attempted or earned credit hours for SAP purposes.
Students who have extraordinary, personal circumstances have the right to appeal financial aid and/or maximum time suspension. Acceptable circumstances include:
- the death of a close relative
- a serious injury or illness of the student which required medical intervention
- significant, unanticipated family obligations
- catastrophic loss (e.g. flood, fire, etc.)
- other special circumstances
SAP Appeal Form
Students who wish to appeal must complete and submit several items prior to the deadline date published on the academic calendar. SAP appeal information can be located on our Satisfactory Academic Progress page on the Financial Aid section of the LHU website.
An appeal must be submitted with all required documents to be reviewed. Incomplete appeals will not be reviewed. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to request additional information on a case by case basis.
The SAP appeal form along with the student statement should be submitted by using the online form. The academic advisor should submit the academic plan using the online form as well. The third party information can be mailed to:
LHU Financial Aid Office
223 Ulmer Hall
401 N. Fairview St.
Lock Haven, PA 17745
SAP Appeal Notification
The student will be notified by letter and a message to their LHU email account of the results of the SAP appeal.
Approvals: The student should carefully review the SAP appeal notification, which will outline the unique, individualized SAP requirements (i.e. academic plan) the student must meet in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. For example, a student who has failed to meet the 67% pace requirement, may be told in the appeal notification that he must maintain a higher, minimum pace on a term by term basis, as well as earn a certain minimum GPA each term, in order to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid. The student must keep the appeal notification for future reference.
Denials: If a SAP appeal is denied, the decision is final for the enrollment term specified by the student on the appeal form. A student may be able to re-establish eligibility on his own, for future enrollment terms, by completing sufficient credit hours and/or improving his GPA such then he then meets the SAP requirements. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about reestablishing eligibility.
- A successful appeal of academic suspension is unrelated to financial aid suspension and does not result in reinstatement of a student's financial aid eligibility. Appealing one's financial aid suspension status is a separate process.
- A successful appeal of academic suspension does not guarantee that a student may register for classes. Students who have past due account balances are placed on hold by the Student Accounts Office and are not permitted to register. Any student whose student account is on registration hold must contact Student Accounts Office for assistance.