Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The U.S. Department of Education requires Pitzer to monitor the academic progress of all students on federal financial aid, as stated in regulation 34 CFR 668.34. In addition, Pitzer also monitors the academic progress of students receiving state and institutional financial aid.

The Office of Financial Aid’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy monitors academic progress for all aid funds (federal, state and institutional). While the SAP requirements for federal, state and institutional aid are often similar, they are not identical. Students should carefully review this policy and contact our office with any questions.

Our SAP policy complies with federal requirements and sets reasonable expectations to ensure students make timely progress toward their degree. Monitoring SAP is not meant to be punitive- it is meant to notify students when they may be in jeopardy and provide enough notice for them to get back on track. Monitoring SAP ensures that students remain eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid throughout their time at Pitzer.

  • SAP Policy

    SAP Policy as of Fall 2018

    Financial Aid Programs

    SAP affects most, but not all, types of awards.

    Programs affected by SAP:

    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal SEOG Grant
    • Federal Work-Study
    • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
    • Cal Grant A
    • Cal Grant B
    • Cal Grant B Stipend
    • Pitzer Need-Based Scholarships
    • Pitzer Merit Scholarships
    • Institutional Work-Study
    • Pitzer College Loan

    Programs not affected by SAP

    • Veteran Benefits
    • Employee Tuition Benefits
    • Outside Scholarships
    • Alternative/Private Loans

    SAP Requirements

    SAP for federal, state and institutional eligibility monitors three components: qualitative, quantitative and maximum timeframe.

    Qualitative & Quantitative Requirement

    Qualitative (grade-based)

    The qualitative component measures grade-based progress and monitors Grade Point Average (GPA). To meet this requirement, students must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA at the end of each semester and a cumulative 2.0 GPA at the end of two years of attendance.

    Quantitative (time-based)

    The quantitative component measures the pace toward completing a degree and uses the following calculation:

    cumulative number of courses earned ÷ cumulative number of courses attempted = pace of progression

    Pace measures the cumulative number of courses earned over the cumulative number of courses attempted. To meet the pace requirement, students must have a cumulative pace of progression rate of 67% at the end of each semester.

    Example 1: A second-year student attempted 12 courses (4 + 4 + 4) by the end of their third semester, but only earned 10 courses (4 + 4 + 2). The pace of progression rate is 10/12 = 83.3%. Since this rate is above 67%, the pace of progression requirement is met.

    Example 2: A second-year student attempted 12 courses (4 + 4 + 4) by the end of their third semester, but only earned 7 courses (3 + 2 + 2). The pace of progression rate is 7/12 = 58.3%. Since this rate is below 67%, the pace of progression requirement is not met.

    Maximum Timeframe

    The maximum timeframe requirement monitors the amount of time it takes to complete a degree. At Pitzer, students complete a degree once they earn a minimum of 32 courses, meet Pitzer’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) requirement and fulfill all major requirements for their declared major(s). The maximum timeframe requirement also limits the number of semesters a student is eligible to receive aid. Maximum timeframe differs between federal, state and institutional aid programs.

    Federal

    The maximum timeframe for federal aid programs for all students is 12 full-time semesters. After receiving federal aid for 12 full-time semesters (at all institutions), students become ineligible for federal aid.

    State

    For the state Cal Grant program, students have a maximum timeframe of 8 full-time semesters. After receiving a Cal Grant for 8 full-time semesters, students become ineligible for the Cal Grant.

    Institutional Aid

    The maximum timeframe for institutional aid eligibility is different for traditional students, transfers and New Resource students.

    Traditional: Traditional students have a maximum timeframe of 36 courses within 8 full-time semesters to earn their degree, whichever comes first. After receiving Pitzer aid for 8 full-time semesters or 36 courses, students become ineligible for institutional aid. To complete a degree within this timeframe, students must complete an average of 4 courses per semester within 8 full-time semesters.

    Transfer:Transfer students have a prorated timeframe based on the grade level certified by Pitzer College at the time of admission. For example, a student who enters Pitzer as a second-year has a maximum timeframe of 6 full-time semesters to earn their degree, or 36 courses, whichever comes first. A student who enters as a third-year has a maximum timeframe of 4 full-time semesters to earn their degree, or 36 courses, whichever comes first. This calculation is based on the standard 8 full-time semesters required to complete a degree. To complete a degree within any given timeframe, students must complete an average of 4 courses per semester.

    New Resources:New Resources students have a prorated timeframe based on the number of courses certified by Pitzer College at the time of admission. For example, a student who enters Pitzer with 10 courses receives institutional aid for 22 courses. This calculation is based on the standard 32 courses required to complete a degree. New Resource students who enroll part-time are expected to take 2 courses and use 2 courses toward their total aid eligibility. New Resource students who enroll as full-time are expected to take 4 courses and use 4 courses toward their total aid eligibility (even if only 3 courses are taken).

    Students in 36+ courses: Students who have or exceed 36 courses at the start of any semester may:

    • not be eligible for federal or state aid for that semester if the remaining courses are not required for their degree.
    • not be considered for aid for that semester. Students may appeal if the semester they are taking is required for them to complete their Pitzer degree.

    How Courses Count

    Not all courses and grades are measured equally for the purposes of SAP. Below is a breakdown of how most courses are counted.

    • Grades A, B, C, D: Passing grades of A, B, C and D count as attempted and earned courses. Grades A, B, C and D count toward the GPA.
    • Grades F: Grades of F are not passing grades. Fs count as attempted, but not earned courses. Fs count toward the GPA.
    • Courses dropped between census and drop deadline (No Ws): These courses are not assigned a W and do not appear on the academic transcript. These courses count as attempted, but not earned and count toward the maximum timeframe.
    • Courses dropped on or after drop deadline (grades of W assigned): Grades of W count as attempted, but not earned courses and count toward the maximum timeframe. Ws do not count toward the GPA.
    • Incompletes: Courses that receive an incomplete count as attempted courses, but not earned. Once a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F, W) is posted by the Registrar, courses with a passing grade count as earned.
    • Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credit for audited courses. Audited courses do not count as attempted or earned courses.
    • Repeated Courses: Pitzer’s academic policy states that students who do not receive a passing grade for a course, can repeat the course for credit. Repeating a course does not remove the original course from the academic transcript. Both the grade for the original course and the repeated course are posted and calculated into the GPA. Both the original course and the repeated course count as attempted courses. Courses with a passing grade count as earned.
    • Pass/Fail Courses: Courses taken on a pass/fail basis count as attempted courses. Courses with a “pass” grade count as earned.
    • Transfer Credit: Transfer credits from another institution accepted by Pitzer College count when measuring the maximum timeframe to complete a degree. Pitzer does not give credit for any transfer grades lower than a C (2.0). Consult the Pitzer Course Catalog for information about transfer credits.
    • AP Courses: AP courses accepted by Pitzer College count as attempted and earned courses.

    Frequency of SAP Review

    The Office of Financial Aid monitors federal, state and institutional SAP requirements at the end of each semester for all enrolled financial aid recipients.

    SAP is reviewed after grade and course information is posted by the Registrar’s Office at the end of each semester. Fall semester SAP is reviewed over the winter break and notices are sent in January before the start of the spring semester. Spring semester SAP is reviewed over the summer and notices are sent in July. Summer semester SAP is reviewed at the end of summer and notices are sent in end of July.

    Leave of Absence

    Students who take a leave of absence for a semester are not monitored for SAP for the semester on leave, so long as the student never enrolled for that semester. Students who begin the semester, but withdraw before the end of the semester, have SAP monitored at the end of the semester. Students on a leave of absence have their SAP eligibility reviewed when they notify the Registrar’s Office of their intent to return from leave.

    Potential Delay in Disbursing Financial Aid

    The Office of Financial Aid cannot disburse funds to the student’s account until SAP eligibility is reviewed. We make every attempt to notify students with SAP issues in a timely manner. However, because the period between the end of the fall semester and the start of the spring semester is brief, SAP notices may be delayed. This may delay disbursing aid for students who are not meeting SAP or who require additional information to complete our SAP evaluation.

    Please note: posting “anticipated aid” or “expected aid” to the student’s account is not an indication of meeting SAP.

    Not meeting Qualitative or Quantitative Requirements

    Students who do not meet the GPA/pace requirements are placed on a one-time, Financial Aid SAP Warning Semester.

    First time not meeting SAP (Financial Aid Warning)

    The first time a student does not meet either the SAP GPA or pace requirements, the student is placed on “Financial Aid Warning.” This “Warning” semester provides the student with the opportunity to regain SAP eligibility. During a “Warning” semester, students are eligible to receive federal, state and institutional funds.

    Students are encouraged to take advantage of all campus resources to meet SAP. The SAP warning notice outlines all expectations required of the student during the “Warning” semester.

    Second time not meeting SAP (Financial Aid Ineligible)

    If by the end of the “Warning” semester, the GPA is not at least a 2.0 or the pace of progression rate is not at or above 67%, the student is SAP disqualified and not eligible for federal, state or institutional financial aid.

    Students who are disqualified have the right to appeal. If the appeal is approved, financial aid may be reinstated for one additional probation semester. See Appeals section for more information.

    Frequency of Warning & Probation Semester

    • Frequency of Warning Semesters: Students can be placed on financial aid warning more than once, so long as the warning semesters are not consecutive.
    • Frequency of Financial Aid Probation: Students can only be placed on Financial Aid Probation once. Students who do not meet SAP requirements at any point after a Financial Aid Probation semester, become disqualified for all sources of aid.

    Students who successfully appeal SAP disqualification and have been reinstated for financial aid must maintain SAP throughout the remainder of their enrollment at Pitzer.  If a student fails to meet SAP a second time during their enrollment, they will not be allowed a second appeal.

    Not meeting Maximum Timeframe Requirement

    Federal & State Aid

    Once students reach the maximum timeframe for a federal or state program, they are ineligible for further federal/state aid from that program. There is no appeal process for reaching the maximum timeframe in federal or state programs.

    For the Federal Pell Grant Program, eligibility is based on 12 full-time semesters of enrollment. Pitzer College does not replace funds for students who would have been eligible for a Pell Grant, but have exhausted eligibility.

    For the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized loan, eligibility is based on 12 full-time semesters of enrollment and maximum loan limits. Pitzer College does not replace funds for students who would have been eligible for Direct Loans Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan, but have exhausted eligibility.

    Institutional Aid

    Students who reach the maximum timeframe for institutional financial aid may appeal for one additional semester of institutional aid IF there were extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control that prevented them from finishing on time. See Appeals below.

    Appeals

    Students may appeal SAP disqualification to be considered for one additional semester of financial aid.

    Appeals based on the following may be considered: extended illness, one-time extenuating circumstances that have since been resolved and enrollment limitations due to academic advisement.

    Appeals based on the following will not be considered: student’s need of financial aid, lack of knowledge about the SAP policy.

    Appeal Format

    Students should carefully consider the information in their appeal. Appeals should be made in writing to the Office of Financial Aid and should be typed. We highly encourage students to seek help from their academic adviser when writing an appeal.

    Appeals must include the following:

    1. Reasons/circumstances that prevented the student from meeting GPA/pace requirements and/or completing their degree on-time
    2. A clarification of how those circumstances have been resolved or addressed
    3. An academic plan outlining courses required and steps needed to meet GPA/pace requirements and/or graduate within an additional semester
    4. Support/acknowledgement from an academic adviser that the academic plan will result in meeting GPA/pace requirements and/or graduating within an additional semester

    Appeal Granted

    Qualitative (GPA)/Quantitative (Pace) Appeal

    If the appeal is granted, the student is placed on “probation” for one semester. During the probation semester, financial aid is reinstated.

    If the student does not meet SAP by the end of the “probation” semester, the student becomes ineligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid. No additional appeals are considered.

    Maximum Timeframe Appeal

    If the appeal is granted, the student receives one additional semester of institutional financial aid to complete their degree. If the degree is not earned within this extra semester, no additional institutional financial aid is granted. No additional appeals are considered for institutional aid. Students with remaining federal or state financial aid may continue to receive those funds

    NOTE: Students who successfully appeal SAP disqualification and have been reinstated for financial aid must maintain SAP throughout the remainder of their enrollment at Pitzer. If a student fails to meet SAP a second time during their enrollment, they will not be allowed a second appeal.

    Appeal Denied

    Qualitative (GPA)/Quantitative (Pace) Appeal

    If the appeal is denied, the student may regain eligibility for future semesters of federal, state or institutional aid by enrolling at Pitzer (at the student’s own expense) and bringing their GPA up to a 2.0 and/or pace of progression rate up to 67%. If SAP requirements are met during this semester, eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial aid will be reinstated for the following semester. Semesters where a student enrolls at their own expense do count toward the maximum semesters or maximum courses of eligibility as listed above in Maximum Timeframe.

    Students may choose to take a leave of absence from Pitzer and pursue transferable coursework at another institution to bring their pace of progression rate up to 67%. However, GPAs earned at other institutions do not impact the student’s GPA at Pitzer. Students who are ineligible for financial aid due to GPA can only raise their GPA by enrolling at Pitzer without financial aid.

    NOTE: Coursework taken for transfer credit must be approved by the Registrar’s Office and meet outstanding degree requirements.

    Maximum Timeframe Appeal

    If the appeal is denied, the student may still complete their degree by enrolling at Pitzer (at the student’s own expense).

    The student may choose to take a leave of absence and pursue transferable coursework at another institution. This allows the student to complete courses at another school and transfer courses to Pitzer to complete their degree. However, not all courses may transfer; students in this situation should seek advice from an academic adviser.

    NOTE: Coursework taken for transfer credit must be approved by the Registrar’s Office and meet outstanding degree requirements.