Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial aid is intended to assist students in making successful progress toward completing their degree. Therefore, students who are identified as not making satisfactory progress are no longer eligible for federal and state aid.

Missouri Valley College is required to establish standards for measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order for students to be eligible for Title IV aid in accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress.

The Financial Aid Office monitors SAP for all students at the end of each payment period in which they are enrolled (fall, spring, and summer). Students who enroll in the summer term will have their SAP evaluated at the end of the summer payment period. In general, SAP is reviewed in December, May, and August.


Students are expected to make reasonable academic progress toward obtaining a degree or certificate as a condition to be eligible for federal, state, and certain institutional financial aid. A student's entire academic history, as recorded on their academic record with MVC, is reviewed at the end of each semester as a requirement of timely progression toward graduation - regardless of having received financial aid or not in the past for that course work.

Students who enroll in the summer term will have their SAP monitored at the end of that term.

Eligibility to enroll for classes does not mean that SAP requirements have been met.

SAP requires financial aid recipients to meet each of the following three components:

  • MVC grade point average as outlined below
  • Satisfactorily earn at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted
  • Complete a degree program within the maximum time frame of credit hours allowed

GPA Requirement

One way in which SAP is measured, is through the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA) calculated at the end of each completed term of attendance. Students must maintain the following cumulative GPA to be considered maintaining SAP:

Hours Attempted Cumulative GPA
1-27 1.50
28-60 1.75
61+ 2.00

Transfer credits are not included in GPA calculations except under limited circumstances. If you are taking courses at another institution to assist in regaining SAP, please meet with your advisor, a Student Success Counselor, or the Registrar to confirm the courses you are taking will improve your MVC GPA. For repeated coursework, only the highest grade is counted in the GPA.

Information on calculating GPA can be found online at the Registrar's Office web page.

Pace of Completion Requirement

Students must earn at least 67% of all credit hours attempted.

In addition to a student's GPA, SAP also measures the pace at which a student is progressing toward degree completion. Pace of completion is determined by taking the total number of credit hours successfully earned divided by the total number of credit hours attempted. Students must satisfactorily complete at least 67% of all cumulative credit hours attempted.

Hours Earned: Only credit hours where a student earned a passing grade (A, B, C, or D) are included in the hours earned portion of the equation.

Hours Attempted: All hours in which the student was registered are included in the hours attempted portion of the equation. This includes all classes in which the student received an incomplete or withdrew (regardless of if the student received a W, WP, or WF).

Federal financial aid regulations require that a student's entire academic credit history be considered in reviewing degree progression. All transfer credits from other colleges and universities that are counted toward the student's degree program will be considered in the number of attempted and earned hours.

Maximum Time Frame

Total credit hours attempted cannot exceed 150% the published program length.

  • Students must complete their degree within 150% of their program's published length.
  • Students who exceed the maximum time frame are not eligible for a warning period.
  • Students who exceed the maximum time frame may appeal and be placed on probation.
  • Students completing a second major or students obtaining additional degrees may reach the maximum time frame limit prior to completing their program. These students may appeal and receive aid under a probationary status.
Associates 96
Bachelors (admitted prior to 2014-2015) 192
Bachelors (admitted 2014-2015 and after) 180
Masters 72

Academic Circumstances that Affect Your Status

It is important to know how the decisions you make during your academic career will affect your financial aid eligibility. The following is a list of common circumstances that can affect your financial aid status:

  • Changes in major, double majors or minors – may cause you to reach your maximum attempted hours, and lose your eligibility before earning a degree.
  • Incomplete grades, missing grades, failing grades, course withdrawals – all reduce your completion ratio, because they are counted as attempted, but not earned credits. They also count against your maximum attempted hours.
  • Repeated courses - count as attempted credit hours each time you register for them and count against the allowed maximum. This can also reduce your completion ratio because repeated credits count as earned credits only once.
  • Transfer credits count toward your maximum attempted credits, and your completion ratio.
  • Courses taken for pass/fail grades– count against both your maximum attempted credits and your completion ratio.
  • Late posted grades or grade changes – require that you submit a written request to have your SAP recalculated after you have confirmed with the registrar that the grade change has been posted to your academic record.

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Review & Evaluation

The Financial Aid Office reviews SAP at the end of each payment period. Once it has been initially determined that a student is no longer meeting qualitative and/or quantitative SAP, the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester. If the student fails to meet SAP in the subsequent payment period for which they are enrolled, they are placed on Financial Aid Suspension and ineligible for aid.

Additionally, students are placed on suspension immediately upon receiving notification that they will not be able to complete their degree within the maximum time frame.

Students who are on financial aid warning and enrolled in the summer term will have their SAP reviewed following the summer term. If SAP standards are not met, the student will end up on financial aid suspension and be ineligible for aid during the fall semester.

Students in an ineligible status may regain eligibility as follows:

  • Enroll without the benefit of financial aid assistance and bring their academic record to the acceptable SAP requirements
  • Submit a written appeal - eligibility reinstatement is contingent on the appeal being approved

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Guidelines

Students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the decision as long as their appeal meets the requirements for an acceptable appeal. The appeal must be prepared in writing and must be accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents. Appeals must be submitted prior to the start of the payment period for which the student wishes to receive aid.

The Appeal Committee will meet on dates to be arranged. In order for your appeal to be reviewed by the committee, it must be submitted by 4:00 pm the day before the committee meeting.

All appeals should follow the guidelines outlined in the SAP Appeal Form. In addition to the mandatory written statements, requirements for an acceptable appeal are:

Acceptable Circumstances

  • Medical

    Significant medical problems contributed to not making satisfactory academic progress. Supporting documentation should include birth certificates, medical records, physician statements, etc.

  • Death/Illness

    Death/Illness contributed to the lack of satisfactory academic progress. Supporting documentation should include medical records, death certificate, obituary, funeral program, physician statement, counselor statement, court documents, etc.

  • Other Circumstances

    May include any other extreme or unusual circumstance(s) OUT OF THE STUDENT'S CONTROL. Documentation supporting circumstance(s) must be included. These circumstances MAY NOT include lack of motivation, lack of responsibility, work conflicts, etc.

Academic Plan

You must meet with your academic advisor or a Student Success Counselor to develop a plan that will allow you to reestablish SAP. This is required of all appeals and must be reasonable. If you will need more than one term to reestablish SAP, include a plan for all subsequent terms.


Appeals without proper documentation will be denied. You must submit documentation.

Accepted appeals are reviewed by the Appeal Committee. The decision of the Appeal Committee is considered final. A student with a denied appeal may submit another appeal after attending at least one semester at any institution and showing academic progress.

Students who submit a successful appeal are placed on Financial Aid Probation. Students on probation are required to adhere to the terms of their probation and will have their SAP evaluated at the end of each payment period. As long as the student adheres to the terms of their academic plan, their probation will continue until the student reestablishes SAP.

If a student is placed on probation and subsequently fails to meet the terms of their probation, they will be placed on suspension and are not eligible to file another appeal.

Appeal Checklist

Before submitting your appeal, verify that you have included the following:

  • SAP Appeal Form

    This form must be completed and signed.

  • Student Statement

    This statement must be typed and signed. This statement should include the reason why you failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress and indicate what has changed that will allow you to meet the standards in the future.

  • Student Plan of Action

    This plan should be typed and signed. The plan should outline the specific steps you intend to take in the future to improve your academic performance.

  • Documentation

    You must provide documentation supporting the circumstances that you discussed in the Student Statement.

  • Letter of Support

    Provide a letter of support from an individual who is familiar with your circumstances. This letter may come from a faculty member, advisor, clergy member, counselor, or otherwise informed individual who is knowledgeable of your situation. It is highly advised that this letter come from someone outside your immediate family.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know my SAP status?

A letter will be mailed to you if you are not meeting SAP standards. SAP warning letters are mailed to the home address we have on file. Additionally, financial aid suspension letters are mailed to your home address via certified mail so that we can guarantee you've receive your notification. You can always confirm your status by contacting the Financial Aid Office.


How often will I be evaluated for SAP?

You will be evaluated after each payment period (semester) in which you are enrolled.


What do I need to do if I receive a SAP warning letter?

The first term in which you fail to meet SAP you will receive a warning. You are still eligible for aid. You are not required to do anything; however we strongly advise that all students on SAP warning reevaluate their academic performance and seek assistance through your advisor and other campus resources. Carefully review the SAP standards and identify what criteria you are failing to meet. Don't wait until you've lost eligibility to address the issue. There are many campus resources that you can utilize now, such as the Learning Center and the Office of Student Success


What do I do if I receive a SAP suspension letter?

You are not required to do anything. However, because you are on suspension, you are ineligible for financial aid. Therefore, you need to begin discussing how you are going to pay for the upcoming semester. Our office advises students to investigate alternative funding if they plan to attend MVC on financial aid suspension.

Additionally, if you have an acceptable reason to appeal your suspension letter, you can submit an appeal.


How will I know the result of my appeal?

Once the Appeal Committee has met, an email will be sent to your MVC email account regarding the status of your appeal. The Appeal Committee's decision is final and appeals cannot be reevaluated until at least one payment period has been completed.


What do I need to do after my appeal is approved?

You are required to visit the Financial Aid Office to meet with a Counselor. The Counselor will review the terms of your probation and further explain the importance of reestablishing SAP. You will then sign the SAP contract and your aid will be reinstated. You will also need to determine if the Financial Aid Office has any outstanding documents that are required. If so, you will need to submit the requested paperwork within one week of signing the contract.


What do I need to do after my appeal is denied?

If your appeal is denied, you are considered ineligible for federal and state aid until you have reestablished SAP. You are allowed to attend MVC, however you will be paying out-of-pocket for your courses. If you plan to continue attending MVC, you must meet with the Business Office to arrange a payment plan or find alternative funding.


What happens if I do not appeal?

If you do not appeal, or do not have an acceptable reason to appeal, you are ineligible for federal and state aid. Financial aid suspension does not mean you cannot enroll or attended classes at MVC. What it does mean, is that you will not be able to use federal and state financial aid to assist in meeting your out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, you will need to find alternative funding to fill the gap. Once you have reestablished SAP, your aid will be reinstated.


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