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’s 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 Starting 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 Resources 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 36 courses within 6 full-time semesters to earn their degree, whichever comes first. A student who enters as a third-year has a maximum timeframe of 36 courses within 4 full-time semesters to earn their degree, 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.

    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. 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 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” 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 semester. See Appeals section for more information.

    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. 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.

    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.

    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.

  • SAP Policy Prior to Fall 2018

    Qualitative Standards (Grade Based- the quality of your performance)

    During the first four semesters of enrollment for a student entering as a first-year, full-time student, the qualitative standards for making progress will not be monitored by the Financial Aid Office but by the Academic Standards Committee in accordance with Pitzer’s policy. During the first four semesters, a student who is allowed to re-enroll and is placed on an Academic Standards Committee contract is eligible for financial aid and will be expected to meet the minimum standards outlined by the Academic Standards Committee for continued enrollment.

    In accordance with federal regulations (sections 668.16(e), 668.32(f) and 668.34), a student must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the second year of enrollment to be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for continued participation in federal aid programs. A student who does not achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be ineligible to participate in federal, state, or institutional financial aid programs until this deficiency is corrected.

    Students who are receiving financial aid while on an academic contract must resolve all incomplete grades before the Financial Aid Office can make a final determination that they have met the satisfactory academic progress guidelines.

    Quantitative Standard (Number of courses attempted and completed)

    For a full-time student at Pitzer to be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress, the student must complete a minimum of six courses at the end of two semesters, a total of 14 courses after four semesters; a total of 22 courses after six semesters, and a total of 32 courses in order to receive the bachelor’s degree at the end of eight semesters.

    A student is expected to complete four courses per semester to graduate in four years, and for satisfactory academic progress the minimum completion rates by semester are shown in the table below :

    The percentage of normal completion is calculated by dividing the minimum course completion by the normal course completion. (For example, 6 courses completed/8 courses to advance grade level = 75% completion rate.)

    Normal Completion to advance grade level Minimum completion % of normal completion
    At end of two semesters 8 courses 6 courses 75%
    At end of four semesters 16 courses 14 courses 87.5%
    At end of six semesters 24 courses 22 courses 91.6%

     

    Attempted courses are those courses for which the student was still officially enrolled after the last date to drop courses. Withdrawals showing as a W on the student’s academic transcript are counted as attempted courses. All courses count in calculating a student’s academic progress, including any for which the student did not receive financial aid.

    Maximum time frame to earn the degree

    At Pitzer, the maximum time frame for federal financial aid recipients to receive a degree cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in courses attempted. The maximum time frame for students is 48 attempted courses (32 X 150% = 48). Students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after 6 years of full-time enrollment (4 years X 150% = 6years).

    A student entering Pitzer as a first-time, full-time freshman is eligible for eight full-time semesters of financial aid in which to complete the degree. As expressed in years, this means that students are normally expected to complete their degree by the end of 4 years of full-time study. Students who require additional semesters to complete their degree are eligible for federal aid but not for state or institutional aid administered by Pitzer College.

    Financial aid eligibility for transfer students is limited to the number of full-time semesters remaining for successful completion of the Pitzer degree after transfer credit is awarded. This determination is made during the transfer student’s first semester of enrollment at Pitzer and the student will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office.

    Financial aid eligibility for New Resources students is limited to the number of courses remaining for successful completion of the Pitzer degree. Any semester in which the student is charged full-time tuition will be considered to use four courses of the student’s financial aid eligibility. The determination of the number of courses of eligibility is made during the New Resources student’s first semester of enrollment at Pitzer and the student will be notified in writing b y the Financial Aid Office.

    How Courses Count

    Withdrawals: Grades of W are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame.

    Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credit for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of “attempted courses.”

    Repeated Courses: Academic policy at Pitzer states that if a student does not receive a passing grade for a course (no academic credit accepted), the course may be repeated 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 will be posted and will calculate into the student’s grade point average. Both the original course and the repeated course will be considered as attempted in the calculation of “attempted courses” for purposes of determining satisfactory academic progress.

    Pass/Fail Courses: Courses taken on a pass/fail basis count toward the total of attempted and completed courses.

    Transfer Credit: Transfer credits from another institution accepted by Pitzer College are counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree. Pitzer does not accept for credit any transfer grades lower than C (2.0). Consult the Pitzer Course Catalog for information about how transfer credits are evaluated.

    Consequences for not making SAP

    The student’s record will be reviewed at the end of each semester to determine that the student is meeting both the qualitative and quantitative standards described above. However, the student has the first four semesters in which to attain a 2.0 GPA. If a student has reached the maximum number of attempted courses without earning a degree, the student is ineligible for further participation in federal, state, or institutional financial aid programs.

    Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students receiving financial aid, even to first-time aid applicants who have previously enrolled at Pitzer, or to those who have not been formally placed on probation.

    A student who fails to meet the qualitative and/or quantitative standards will be assigned the following SAP Status designation: Financial Aid Warning, Financial Aid Probation, Loss of Eligibility.

    Financial Aid Warning

    The first time a student fails to achieve either the quantitative or qualitative standard, the student will receive a “Financial Aid Warning” letter, which will remind him/her of the minimum academic requirements for receiving financial aid and will strongly encourage him/her to take advantage of academic services that are available to the student. A student will be eligible to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid during this semester. The student will be notified that his/her records will be reviewed again at the end of the “warning” semester and that further action may be taken if there is not significant improvement during that semester. Students can only receive financial aid for one semester under this warning status. Students who fail to achieve satisfactory academic progress by the end of the Financial Aid Warning period are ineligible to receive further federal, state or institutional financial aid.

    Financial Aid Probation

    A student who receives a Financial Aid Warning and who still does not meet satisfactory progress standards may be placed on Financial Aid Probation after a successful appeal to reinstate eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Students will normally be allowed only one probationary semester during their academic program.

    A student on financial aid probation will receive a separate letter that will outline the academic requirements the student must meet in order to receive aid the following semester. If the student on financial aid probation meets the terms of the probation, he/she will be eligible for federal financial aid in the next and subsequent semesters. The Financial Aid Office will review the record of a student who is on financial aid probation at the end of the semester. A student who does not meet the terms of the financial aid probation will lose eligibility for all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.

    Loss of Eligibility

    A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal, state, and institutional student aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at Pitzer at his/her own expense and demonstrating that s/he is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete the degree requirements. The mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory academic progress.

    Students who have been dismissed from Pitzer for academic reasons but who are subsequently readmitted are not automatically eligible to participate in federal, state, or institutional aid program and will be placed on financial aid warning. Admissions decisions are separate from funding decisions.

    Appeal Approved

    An appeal will be approved if it is determined that the student will be able to meet Pitzer’s satisfactory academic progress standard by the end of the subsequent semester; or an academic plan is developed for the student that will ensure that the student is able to meet Pitzer’s satisfactory academic progress standards by a specified point in time.

    A student whose appeal is approved will receive aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The conditions will be outlined in the letter sent to the student approving the appeal. The Financial Aid Office will review the student’s record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester. A student who fails to meet the conditions outlined in the individual letter during the conditional semester will not be able to submit a subsequent appeal.