Student studying in North Lantern of Honsey Hall on a rainy day

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require that an institution establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory progress in his or her course of study in order for the student to receive financial aid under a Title IV program of the Higher Education Act. Minnesota regulations apply the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress rules to Minnesota financial aid programs. Bethany Lutheran College also applies the federal regulations to institutionally-controlled financial aid programs.

All students must maintain satisfactory progress toward completion of a degree program to be eligible to receive financial aid. This requirement applies to all terms, whether or not the student received financial aid. The GPA requirements in the SAP Policy for Financial Aid mirror the GPA requirements in the SAP Policy for Academics, but the SAP Policy for Financial Aid also includes a Maximum Time Frame and a Pace component, as shown below:

1. Maximum time frame: Students must complete their Bachelor of Arts Degree in a maximum of 192 attempted credit hours (if they enrolled at BLC prior to Fall of 2019) and in a maximum of 180 credit hours (if they enrolled at BLC Fall 2019 or later). Students are no longer eligible to receive financial aid after they have reached this maximum, or when it is determined that it is mathematically impossible for the student to graduate within this maximum time frame. Students will not be considered to have reached the attempted credit hour maximum until after the term in which they reach or exceed 192 (or 180) attempted credit hours. Transfer students who will transfer in more than 50% of the credits needed for their program of study should request that only the credits that apply to their program of study be accepted by Bethany to ensure that they do not exceed the maximum timeframe prior to completing their program of study. Change of major or pursuit of a double major has no impact on the maximum timeframe requirement.

2. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid will be evaluated at the end of each semester. The evaluation will take the following into account:

A. All coursework attempted at Bethany will be used regardless of whether financial aid was received at the time the course was taken.
B. Transfer credits accepted by Bethany will not be used in calculating the GPA, but will be used to determine the maximum time frame listed in #1 above. Transfer credits accepted by Bethany will also be included in the number of credits attempted and earned to determine the necessary GPA to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, which are shown in #4 below.
C. The student may repeat a course only once in order for the first grade not to be used in determining the student’s cumulative GPA for satisfactory progress purposes. Credits attempted in repeated courses are included in the cumulative credits attempted.
D. Withdrawals: Courses from which a student withdraws following the first week of class are included in cumulative attempted credits. A grade of W or WP will not affect the GPA, but will affect the pace, shown in #3 below. A grade of WF will affect both the GPA and the pace.
E. Incompletes: Courses assigned an incomplete grade are included in the cumulative credits attempted. These are not counted as credits earned until a satisfactory grade is assigned. Incompletes do not affect the GPA, but once a grade is assigned, the GPA is affected, and is factored into Minimum Grade Point Average Requirement shown in #4 below.

3. Pace: A minimum of 67% of the cumulative credits attempted must have been earned.

4. Minimum Grade Point Average requirement :

Credits Attempted Cumulative GPA
Less than 251.50
25 but less than 491.75
49 and above2.00

5. A student who does not meet the minimum required GPA and/or earned credit requirement at the end of a semester will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester, provided the student has a chance to meet the SAP guidelines by the end of the following semester. The student continues to receive financial aid during the warning period. Failure to meet the requirements by the end of the warning period will result in financial aid suspension and termination of financial aid for the next semester of attendance, and until satisfactory academic progress standards are met. Students who are placed on either financial aid warning or financial aid suspension will be notified via email and a formal letter.

6. Appeals: A student may appeal the termination of financial aid to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee if he/she believes that failure to meet minimum standards was caused by circumstances beyond his/her control, and provided the student has a chance to meet SAP guidelines by the end of the following semester. Acceptable reasons for appeal may include injury or illness of the student, illness or death of an immediate relative of the student, or other extenuating circumstances. Written appeals must be addressed to the Financial Aid Committee for consideration. A letter of appeal must include an explanation of the circumstances affecting the student’s progress, and must explain what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. If the appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the student will be considered to be on Financial Aid Probation for that semester, and is eligible to receive financial aid.

7. Regaining Eligibility: Students whose financial aid was terminated due to lack of satisfactory academic progress may choose to enroll without financial aid. If the standards are met by the end of that term, financial aid eligibility is restored for subsequent terms of enrollment, provided the standards continue to be met by the student. Students should consult with a member of the Financial Aid Department regarding any questions about this policy, the appeal process, or reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.

8. Interpretation and Enforcement: The Director of Financial Aid has primary responsibility for the interpretation and enforcement of this policy.

(Updated 10/8/2021)