Satisfactory Academic Progress

Kalamazoo College wants to assure that students progress toward graduation in a successful and timely manner. Furthermore, federal regulations require that students make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards the completion of their degree and maintain good academic standing. Students who fall behind in their coursework,  fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of units, or fail to complete classes in a maximum time frame risk losing their eligibility for federal and state financial aid, external scholarships/grants/loans, and Kalamazoo College grants and scholarships.

SAP is assessed qualitatively (by cumulative grade point average) and quantitatively (by earned units).  Progress is measured annually at the end of each Spring term to determine a student’s scholarships financial aid eligibility for future enrollment terms.  Students not meeting SAP standards are notified by the Office of Financial Aid (by mail to their permanent address and/or through their Kalamazoo College email account) that they have become ineligible for future scholarship and financial aid eligibility. A copy of the letter will also be emailed copying the academic advisors.

Requirements to Maintain SAP                  

There are three components to SAP as detailed below.  Failure to meet ANY one of these requirements may result in the loss of scholarship and aid eligibility:

1. Maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): A student who has been enrolled for three terms of study (first-year) must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.67 by the end of the first academic year regardless of enrollment level. At the end of the second year (enrolled for 4 quarters or more), and each year thereafter, the cumulative GPA must be 2.0 (“C” average) regardless of enrollment level. Grades are reviewed after Spring Term.  Remedial coursework is not offered at Kalamazoo College and therefore will not be included in this assessment.

2. Maintain minimum rate of earned units for all attempted units: Students must earn a percentage of all units attempted according to their grade level.  First-year students are expected to earn 67% of the units attempted.  After the first year, students are expected to earn 75% of the units attempted.  The following table illustrates a sample schedule:

Typical Total Units AttemptedPercentage That Must Be Earned
Up to 967%
9.1 – 1875%
18.1 – 2475%
24.1 – 3675%

3. Complete a degree program in a maximum timeframe of no more than 150% of the program’s average length: The number of academic units (not including PE) it takes to complete an undergraduate degree is 36 units.  That means 150% would equal 54 units would be the maximum number for which a student could receive financial aid (assuming the above requirements are also met). 

Failure to meet any of these standards will result in the student being denied scholarships and financial aid for the next term of enrollment. A student whose financial aid eligibility is cancelled because of a deficient cumulative GPA and/or pace may file an appeal and be granted one additional term under the status of “probation” at which time the student must meet the standards established for success. Refer to the section “SAP Monitoring and Appeals” for information about how to appeal.

Note: Since Kalamazoo College students primarily attend at full-time status, the standards within this policy are established for full-time enrollment. All standards, however, function properly in the occasional term in which a student is not enrolled for three courses.

Change of Major/Double Major

If a student elects to double major or change majors, then all classes previously taken will count towards Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Transfer Students

As transfer students are admitted to the College, the Registrar reviews the applicant’s academic transcripts. This official review establishes the number of units needed to meet our degree requirements and includes enrollment at prior institutions. The number of terms of funding available at Kalamazoo will be based on the remaining credits required to complete the degree, using a standard of 3-class course load per term. The number of transfer credits accepted upon admission will be included in the quantitative calculation which includes number of credits attempted and completed.

Pursuit of a Second Degree

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree cannot be admitted to the College for the pursuit of a second degree.

Definitions for “Attempted Units” and “Earned Units”

  1. Attempted Units are the cumulative units a student has attempted during all enrollment periods at Kalamazoo College whether receiving financial aid or not.  The following grades are included as attempted units and count toward the cumulative maximum:
    • All passing grades (A through D-)
    • Withdrawal (W)
    • No Credit (NC)
    • Failure (F)
  2. Incomplete Grades (I) must be successfully replaced with a passing grade within the timeline established by the Registrar.  See section on “Grading Practices” in the Academic Policies section of the catalog for rules on incomplete grades.
  3. Earned Units are all passing grades (A through D-) and grades of Credit (CR).
  4. CLEP, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate credits are included in both the measurement of attempted and earned units.
  5. Transfer credits accepted by Kalamazoo College are included in both attempted and earned units.
  6. If a student repeats a course, the unit for the repeated unit is included in both attempted and earned units when evaluating SAP.  The units for the first course are included in attempted units but are not included in earned units.
  7. Successful completion is measured using cumulative total number of earned units as reflected on the student’s academic transcript at the time of evaluation.

SAP Monitoring and Appeals

At the end of each Spring term (after grades are posted), the cumulative academic record is reviewed and SAP status is evaluated for all students.  Students not meeting any of the SAP requirements are notified of their loss of scholarships/financial aid in writing.

A student may appeal their loss of scholarship/financial aid eligibility if they believe there were circumstances outside of their control that interrupted their normal academic progression.  Examples of these circumstances include a personal or immediate family member serious illness (physical or mental), death or an immediate family member, pending incomplete grades, etc…

To appeal, the student must submit the Kalamazoo College SAP Appeal Form, which allows the student to explain and document extenuating circumstances.

The SAP Appeal Form, along with all required documentation, must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid 30 days prior to the first day of class for the term you are requesting.  Any appeal submitted for a term after the student has stopped attending will not be granted. The Committee on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (CFASAP) reviews SAP Appeals and includes the Dean of Financial Aid (chair), the Registrar, the Dean of Students, and the Director of Advising.

It must be feasible for the student to return to a state of meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress in the next term of enrollment carrying a normal course load.

There isn’t a limit on the number of times a student may submit a SAP appeal.

If a SAP appeal is approved, the student is placed on SAP Probation for one term and remains eligible to receive scholarships and financial aid during this term.

SAP Probation

If you are put on financial aid probation, your academic progress and financial aid eligibility will be reviewed at the end of the probation term.  While on probation, a student is expected to achieve a cumulative GPA that meets SAP standards (1.67 for First-Years, and 2.0 for all other students), be registered full-time, not receive an “I” in any coursework, and meet the specific conditions and levels of achievement conveyed in a letter from the CFASAP when the appeal is granted.

If the student successfully meets the academic requirements set forth while on probation, they will be removed from probation and return to regular financial aid eligibility.

Failure to Meet SAP Probation Requirements

If the academic results required while on probation are not achieved, all forms of financial aid and scholarships (institutional, federal, and state) will be cancelled for future terms. A written notification is sent to all students who fail to comply with the terms of their probation. 

Regaining Eligibility After Cancellation

A student who has been cancelled for financial aid eligibility, but not academically dismissed, will have to pay for the next term without any financial aid or scholarship assistance. Such a student may petition the CFASAP committee on their own. A meeting with the Dean of Financial Aid and the Registrar is advised before such an appeal is submitted.

Subsequent Cancellation

It may be possible for a student who was once cancelled to regain eligibility and subsequently return to a condition of cancellation again. Only in unusual cases will a student be reinstated following a second cancellation. Third cancellations are always final.

If you find you still have questions or concerns about Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress after reviewing this policy, we encourage you to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

Spring 2020 Credit/No Credit Grading

In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic during spring 2020 quarter, the follow temporary modifications have been adopted by The Offices of the Provost, Registrar and Financial Aid, and will cease at the end of Spring 2020.

  • All students will receive Credit (C)/No Credit (NC) grading.
  • Courses graded on a Credit (C) basis are a result of satisfactory level work. Courses graded on a No Credit (NC) basis are the result of unsatisfactory or failing level work.
  • Grades of Credit (C) and No Credit (NC) do not affect the student’s grade point average. The grade of Credit (C) will result in credits being awarded for the course, a grade of No Credit (NC) will result in no credit being awarded for the course.
  • Both Credit/No Credit grades will be counted toward a student’s attempted units. Only Credit grades will be counted toward completed units.
  • All students will have their Satisfactory Academic Progress standing calculated under the current SAP policy.

If you find you still have questions or concerns about Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress after reviewing this policy, we encourage you to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.