Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to measure the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) of federal student loan recipients on a per term basis. The federal SAP policy is more defined than the seminary’s policy related to student academic progress. In order for students to receive financial aid they must remain in good academic standing.
Financial aid for this policy includes both Luther Seminary-originated and federal aid.
Academic standing for financial aid purposes is measured in two ways – qualitative and quantitative. The current SAP will be used for qualitative and a new measure will be added for quantitative.
Learn more about exceptions and the appeal process.
One grade of Fail and one grade of D (or marginal), or more than one grade of Fail, or more than two grades of D or Marginal, in any three successive terms (or less), places a student on academic probation. The January term and summer term count as academic terms in this respect.
The student remains on academic probation until all academic work taken in a semester has received a letter grade of C (or better) or Pass. This assumes at least three full courses or the equivalent in a semester. A maximum load of four full courses per semester is allowed while on academic probation. For part-time students placed on academic probation, a total of three successive courses must receive a letter grade of C (or better) or Pass in order to be removed from academic probation.
A student may not graduate while on academic probation. A student who remains on academic probation after two successive terms is subject to dismissal from school. The January term and summer term count as academic terms in this respect.
When a student is placed on academic probation they will also be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students on Financial Aid Warning/Academic Probation must complete all courses attempted with a passing grade (see below for an explanation of "passing grade"). Failure to do so will result in Financial Aid Suspension. At this point students would have the option of continued attendance, but would ineligible for financial aid both Luther Seminary financial aid and federal student loans.
As with Good Academic Standing, financial aid recipients must complete two-thirds (66.7%) of their attempted courses each semester to be eligible for financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured after each semester (J-term will be paired with spring semester and all summer terms will count as one semester). Additionally students must have an overall completion rate of 66.7% to remain eligible. Only grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C or P (pass) count as completed credits. Courses with grades of M (marginal), I (Incomplete), H (Hold), C-, D, F (Fail), NR (None Reported), NS (Not Satisfactory), NC (No Credit), WF (Withdrawal Fail), and W (Withdrawal) are not completed credits.
If a student has failed to meet the 66.7% cumulative rate they will be able to continue receiving financial aid until they have exceeded 10 courses (M.Div.) or 9 courses (M.A.) provided they complete all courses attempted while under a financial aid warning.
Further, students are also subject to a maximum timeframe for the receipt of aid. Student must complete their programs within 150% of the expected length of the program. Maximum timeframes are as follows:
- M.Th. – This is monitored by the Graduate Theological Education Office (GTE). Students who exceed the departmental time frames may petition for additional time from the GTE. These time frames are found in the Academic Catalog. Approval of additional terms of study by the GTE supersedes the above policy with respect to maximum timeframe.
- Ph.D. – This is monitored by the Graduate Theological Education Office (GTE). Students who exceed the departmental time frames may petition for additional time from the GTE. These time frames are found in the Academic Catalog. Approval of additional terms of study by the GTE supersedes the above policy with respect to maximum timeframe.
Students who fail to meet any of the above standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students may continue to receive aid while on Financial Aid Warning for a period of one term. Following the completion of a term under Financial Aid Warning students will be reevaluated. If they have failed to meet the above standards their financial aid will be suspended. At this point students would have the option of continued attendance, but would ineligible for financial aid both Luther Seminary financial aid and federal student loans.
Exceptions and appeals
Student may request exceptions to this policy, as noted above, by presenting a written description of their extenuating circumstances and their plan for establishment of good academic standing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The student will be advised in writing of the decision after review by the Director of Financial Aid.
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form:
Use this form to appeal the suspension of your financial aid.
You may submit a satisfactory academic progress petition for one or more of the following reasons:
- A death in the family
- Other performance factors that were outside of your control
If you meet one or more of the reasons listed above and wish to petition, you must submit ALL of the following written documentation to the Office of Financial Aid within 30 days of the date on your suspension letter. In order for your petition to be considered, it must include each of the items.
A detailed letter explaining the mitigating circumstance that affected your ability to make Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- An academic plan that has been created and approved with your academic advisor or the Student Resource Center. This form must be signed either by a representative of the Student Resource Center or your academic advisor.
- Documentation of illness or medical condition. You must provide a letter from your attending physician stating the condition will longer hinder your ability to make satisfactory academic progress. The letter must also include the dates the condition occurred. The dates must coincide with the period you failed to make satisfactory academic progress.
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the petition and notify you of a decision within 30 days of submission. After review, the student will be advised in writing of the decision by the Director of Financial Aid. Decisions of the Committee will be final.