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Receiving Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

SAP Policy versus Academic Standing Policy

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy is different from the Academic Standing Policy.

  • The SAP Policy only affects eligibility to receive financial aid.
  • The Academic Standing Policy applies to all TU students and violations can lead to dismissal from the University. For more information on the Academic Standing Policy, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog or the Graduate Catalog.

SAP Policy Cumulative Progress Standards (Effective June 2011)

Undergraduate and Graduate students must meet all four of these cumulative SAP standards to be eligible to receive most financial aid programs (including student and parents loans; state scholarships; Federal Work-Study funds; and federal, state, and institutional grants).

1) Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Cumulative Attempted TU and Transfer Units
Minimum Cumulative GPA
Undergraduate Students with 1–29.5 attempted units 1.50
Undergraduate Students with 30–59.5 attempted units 1.75
Undergraduate Students with 60 attempted units and above 2.00
All Graduate Students 3.00
2) Minimum Course Completion Rate (Pace) = 67%
  • You must pass at least 67% of your cumulative attempted units.
  • Completion Rate Formula = Cumulative Completed Units / Cumulative Attempted Units.
  • Example:
    • A student attended TU for only two terms, and passed 6 out of 15 fall units and 12 out of 15 spring units.
    • This student's Completion Rate = (6 + 12) / (15 + 15) = 18 / 30 = 60%
3.a) Maximum Attempted Units for Undergraduate Students
  • You must complete all graduation requirements before you reach 150 attempted units.
  • If you reach 150 attempted units, your eligibility to receive aid will be suspended, but you may appeal to request aid for additional terms.
3.b) Maximum Time Frame for Graduate Students

The TU Graduate School monitors and enforces the following time limits to students pursuing graduate certificates, Master's Degrees, and Doctoral Degrees:

  • All requirements for certificate or master's degree must be completed within a seven-year period.
  • All requirements for terminal or doctoral degrees must be completed within a 10-year period.
  • The seven and ten-year time clock begins with the earliest course applied toward the degree program.
  • To appeal for time extensions, please follow these procedures from Appendix E of the Graduate School Catalog*:

    The petition must be directed to the director of Graduate School Operations and must be supported in writing by the Graduate Program Director. Following review, the director of Graduate School Operations shall provide the student written notification of his/her decision on the petition. The student may submit a written appeal of this decision to the Graduate Studies Committee, normally c/o the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. The Graduate Studies Committee shall notify the student of its decision on the petition in writing. Thereafter the student may file a written appeal of the Graduate Studies Committee decision to the graduate college dean. The decision of the Graduate College dean shall be final. A petition filed pursuant to this provision must be filed in writing within 30 days of the date of the letter notifying the student of the decision from which an exception is sought.

*(Citation: Graduate Catalog, Appendix E: Graduate Student Procedures for Appeals and Petitions > Section I. A. Exceptions to Academic Policies)

4) Maximum Developmental Course Units
  • If you reach 24 attempted developmental course units, you must appeal to request aid for additional terms.
  • If you reach 30 attempted developmental units, you will become ineligible to receive any additional aid for developmental courses, but could still be eligible for aid for non-developmental courses if you are meeting all the other cumulative SAP standards listed above.

Definition of Attempted, Completed, Uncompleted, & Developmental Units

  • Attempted Units include all accepted transfer courses and all TU courses that you were still registered for as of each term's change of schedule deadline.
  • Completed Units include accepted transfer courses and courses completed at TU with an earned letter grade (A, B, C, or D) or passed under the Pass/Fail provision. (If you repeat and pass the same course several times, it only counts as Completed Units once.)
  • Uncompleted Units include all Attempted Units that were not successfully completed. This includes all courses with any of the following grades: AU (Audit), W (Withdraw), I (Incomplete), U (Unsatisfactory), and F or FX (Failure).
  • If you repeat a passed course to try to earn a higher grade, it will only count as Completed Units once. All other attempts will count as Uncompleted Units.
  • Developmental courses include DVMT (Math), DVRD (Reading), and DVWR (Writing) courses.
  • TU excludes developmental courses from the Completion Rate formula and Maximum Attempted Units calculations.

Tips on Avoiding SAP Violations

  • If you officially drop a course before the end of the term's change of schedule deadline, it will not count as an Attempted Unit, and will not harm your completion rate.
  • Remember that you reduce your completion rate every time you withdraw from a course after the change of schedule deadline, do not earn a passing grade, audit a course, or repeat a course that you have already passed.

Policy on Disbursing Aid for Repeat Attempts of Passed Courses

  1. Before we can disburse aid for any term, we have to count how many units you are taking that term, but we can only count units from courses that are eligible for aid.
  2. To receive that term’s aid disbursements, your total aid units for that term must meet the minimum enrollment requirements for each of your financial aid awards. (For example, student loans require at least 6 aid units per term.)
  3. Federal aid regulations only allow students to receive aid for one additional repeat attempt of a passed course.
  4. If you choose to repeat a course a second time after you have already passed it, TU must ignore that course when calculating your total aid units for that term.
  5. In the context of this policy “D” grades will always be treated as passing grades.

Example:

  • A student has already completed MATH 115 with a “D” grade, but repeats it two more times.
  • During the term that he repeats MATH 115 for the second time, he also takes one other 3-unit aid-eligible course.
  • Because we must exclude the MATH 115 units, he only has 3 total aid units for that term.
  • If he has any aid that requires more than 3 units, we will have to cancel those aid disbursements for that term.

SAP Evaluation Process

Evaluation Cycle
  • TU evaluates SAP twice per year in January and June.
Suspension
  • If you have violated any of the cumulative SAP standards, we will suspend your eligibility to receive financial aid for all future terms at TU.
  • Suspended students are not eligible to receive any student and parents loans; state scholarships; Federal Work-Study funds; or federal, state, and institutional grants.
Appeal Process
  • Suspended students may appeal to request aid for additional terms.
  • The Financial Aid Office will review the appeal and will e-mail the appeal decision to the student’s TU e-mail account.
Denied Appeals
  • If your appeal is denied, you will remain permanently ineligible for financial aid at TU unless you continue to attend TU without aid and improve your overall record enough to meet all of the required cumulative SAP standards.

Graduate Student Academic Policy References

For additional information on related academic policies for graduate students, please see the: Graduate Catalog.

Relevant Graduate Catalog Sections:

  • Procedures and Policies > Policies on Academic Progress > Academic Standing
  • Procedures and Policies > Graduation Requirements > Time Limitation for Completion of Degree, Certificate Requirements
  • Appendix E: Graduate Student Procedures for Appeals and Petitions > Section I. A. Exceptions to Academic Policies

 

Financial Aid Office
Enrollment Services, Room 339
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Reception Desk)
            Monday - Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Financial Aid Call Center)

Phone: 410-704-4236
Fax: 410-704-2584
E-mail: finaid@towson.edu



 

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