All degree-seeking students are required to meet standards regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP refers to the student’s success in meeting the minimum standards deemed acceptable for the program of study. Failure to maintain SAP jeopardizes a student’s eligibility to receive University or federal financial aid (subsequently referred to as “financial assistance”). Federal regulations require institutions to monitor each student’s “pace,” which is the progress that a student is making toward earning a degree. Monitoring pace ensures that the student will graduate within the maximum time frame permitted for the student’s degree or course of study (for a description of the maximum length of time permitted in each program, see Programs of Study). SAP standards apply to all degree-seeking students regardless of their financial aid status. The Divinity School has established a set of standards below which a student will be placed on academic probation (see section on Academic Deficiencies, above). Failure to maintain these standards, and/or failure to progress through the program at the pace necessary to complete the degree in the time permitted, means that the student has failed to maintain SAP.
In addition to the qualitative standards referenced in the Academic Deficiencies section, YDS has established the following set of quantitative standards:
- Students must successfully complete 67 percent of credits attempted.
- Courses graded W, F, or NC will be considered credits attempted but not completed.
- For part-time students, the pace calculation will be made after the equivalent of each full-time term.
- If a student fails a course and retakes it, the first enrollment will be considered an uncompleted attempt, and any future enrollment in the course will be considered a separate course attempted.
- Transfer credits accepted from other institutions are not included in pace calculations.
Student grades are reviewed each term to determine whether each student is meeting SAP. The registrar will provide the Office of Financial Aid with a list of students who are failing to meet SAP and have been placed on academic probation. Such students will be placed on one term of financial aid warning. A student on financial aid warning may continue to receive financial assistance for that term. After a term on financial aid warning, students who are still failing to meet SAP may continue to receive financial assistance for the next term only if they are placed on financial aid probation. In order to be placed on financial aid probation, students must (1) successfully appeal the determination that they are not making SAP and (2) meet with the academic dean to create an academic plan for return to good academic standing. Students may appeal the determination that they are not making SAP by submitting a written petition to the academic dean, who will review the appeal and notify the student of the outcome. The student’s written petition to the academic dean should include information about why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation. Once a student is on financial aid probation, the student must follow the academic plan and meet its benchmarks on time, or meet SAP by the end of the term, in order to continue to receive financial assistance.