Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Undergraduate Programs
ECPI University's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Undergraduate Programs measures whether eligible undergraduate students are progressing at a responsible rate towards the completion of their educational objectives. Students must be in compliance with this Policy in order to maintain their continued federal financial aid program eligibility. This Policy applies to all undergraduate students, however, regardless of participation in federal financial aid programs.
The evaluation points contained in the Policy are designed to help identify students who would benefit from an early intervention and/or remediation. Most critical to this Policy is a student's ability to enroll in and complete courses on a consistent and successful manner. Failure to complete courses successfully for any reason may negatively affect satisfactory academic progress. Failing courses or withdrawing from courses could also result in the loss of financial aid and academic dismissal. It is very important that students attend all registered courses and complete them successfully.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
ECPI calculates Satisfactory Academic Progress using both qualitative (cumulative grade point average and quantitative measurements (incremental completion rate and maximum time frame) at specified evaluation periods.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
A student's CGPA is calculated by:
- Multiplying credits for each course by grade points associated with the grade earned;
- Totaling the grade points earned for all the courses (See the Grading Policy for grade points assigned to each letter grade); and
- Dividing total grade points earned by the total number of quality credits.
Example: Cumulative Grade Point Average calculation
|Course||Grade||Credits assigned to the course||Grade Points||Total quality point for the course|
|IST120||B||3||3||3 x 3 = 9.0|
|ENG110||A||3||4||3 x 4 = 12.0|
|CIS102||B||3||3||3 x 3 = 9.0|
|CIS107L||C||1||2||1 x 2 = 2.0|
|CIS107||C||3||2||3 x 2 = 6.0|
|FOR112||A||3||4||3 x 4 = 12.0|
|TOTAL||16||18||Total quality points = 50.0|
CGPA = 50 (total quality points) divided by 16 credits = 3.125 or 3.1 (rounded)
The CGPA is rounded up to the nearest tenth if the last digit is 5 or greater. It is rounded down to the nearest tenth if the last digit if the last digit is less than 5. (For example: 1.95 = 2.0, 1.94 = 1.9)
Undergraduate students must achieve and thereafter maintain at least a 2.0 (or "C" average) CGPA by the end of the fourth semester and thereafter.
Incremental Completion Rate (ICR)
A student's ICR is calculated by:
- Totaling the number of credit hours attempted;
- Totaling the number of credit hours successfully completed; and
- Dividing the total number of credit hours successfully completed by the total number of credit hours attempted.
Credits attempted are those credit hours that the student transfers from another postsecondary institution and any credit hours the student is registered for at ECPI at the conclusion of the add/drop period of each five-week term. All ECPI courses for which a student is registered after that date will be included. Completed course work is defined as the total number of hours in which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, or D, regardless of whether the grade received is considered a passing grade for the student's program.
For the calculation of the ICR, there is no rounding of the percentage; therefore, if a student receives a 66.665%, and the requirement is 66.67% the student would not satisfy this evaluation point.
Example 1: After four semesters, a student has attempted 66 credits and successfully completes 40. The ICR is calculated by dividing 40 by 66, which equals 60.60%. The ICR requirement at the end of four semesters is 66.67% and the student therefore would not meet the ICR requirement at this evaluation point.
Example 2: After two semesters, a student has attempted 30 credits and successfully completes 15. The ICR is calculated by dividing 18 by 30, which equals 60.00%. The ICR requirement at the end of two semesters is 50%; therefore the student meets the ICR requirement at this evaluation point.
Undergraduate students must successfully achieve and maintain a 66.67 % incremental completion rate of courses attempted credits by the end of the fourth semester and thereafter.
Maximum Time Frame
A student may not attempt more than 150% of the credits in his/her program (or remaining credits in his/her program in cases where the student brings in transfer credits from another institution). In the case of advanced standing due to transfer credits from another institution, challenge exams, etc., the number of credits will be reduced to reflect the transfer courses from another institution and the maximum time frame is then calculated based upon those credits.
The minimum number of credit hours required for an undergraduate degree at ECPI varies; therefore the maximum number of credit hours that a student may attempt will vary.
Example 1: In an associate's degree program consisting of 60 semester credit hours, the student must complete the program within 90 attempted semester credit hours.
Example 2: In a bachelor's degree program of 120 semester credits, the student must complete the program within a maximum of 180 semester credit hours.
The maximum timeframe always applies, regardless of whether a student changes his/her program of study or if he/she is pursuing multiple degrees or concentrations.
Students who exceed 150% of the program credits will be dismissed from the University.
Academic Progress Table
The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy evaluation points, required quantitative and qualitative measurements, and the corresponding actions required for failure to achieve and maintain the required academic achievements are summarized in the following Academic Progress Table:
|Evaluation Period Semester||Required Minimum CGPA*||Required Incremental Completion Rate Completion % of Credits Attempted||Required action Academic Status These statuses apply to both academics and financial aid|
|1||1.50||40% of credits attempted||Warning|
|2||1.50||50% of credits attempted||Probation (if on Warning)|
|3||1.75||60% of credits attempted||Probation or Dismissal (if on Probation)|
|4 and each semester thereafter||2.0||66.67% of credits attempted||Probation or Dismissal (if on Probation)|
Change of Program
Students will be allowed one change of program and the student may change his or her program at any point of his or her enrollment. The following changes are NOT considered a change of program:
- Change from a day program to an evening program of the same program
- Change from an associate's program to a bachelor's program in the same program
- Change from one concentration within a program to another concentration within the same program
Courses that apply to the second program will be recorded and will affect the student's CGPA, Incremental Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame. Students who change programs must sign a new program enrollment agreement.
Students are charged tuition and fees and receive grades for the credits attempted. Student enrollment status for purposes of academic achievement and financial aid determination is based upon course attendance. A pattern of course withdrawals could cause a student to exceed the maximum time frame allowed for program completion and therefore fall below the standard for satisfactory academic progress. Additional charges may also result.
The credits attempted total includes any time a student receives a grade for a course. This includes the letter grades of "A" through "F," a passing grade of "P," (for non-foundational courses), an incomplete grade of "I," and a withdrawal with no grade penalty of "W." Courses for which a student enrolls but then drops during the add/drop period at the beginning of a session is not counted as credits attempted for the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. In addition, all credit hours transferred to ECPI for the current enrollment are included and counted as credits attempted.
An evaluation period is used to determine academic progress. ECPI uniquely defines the evaluation period for each student, as the University employs a student-based semester system. At ECPI, each student's semester is uniquely defined as three (3) consecutive terms, which is 15 weeks.
All terms and semesters of a student's continuous enrollment, whether or not the student received financial aid, are also included in the SAP review. In addition, all credit hours transferred to ECPI for the current enrollment for program changes are included and counted towards a student's maximum time frame.
Foundational courses are remedial courses required as a result of the admissions assessment; these courses are graded Pass/Fail. Students who are required to take foundational courses (i.e., ENG099 and MTH099) are required to successfully complete each course on the first attempt, in order to progress in the program. These courses are exempt from the calculations included in this Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, including Cumulative Grade Point Average, Incremental Completion Rate, and Maximum Time Frame. However, any student who is required to complete foundational courses will receive a Foundational Course GPA, as determined by the following:
Pass grade = 4.0 Foundational GPA
Fail grade = 0.0 Foundational GPA
Grade reports are posted in the ECPI Student Portal following the completion of each term. Students receiving a failing grade will be required to meet with a Program Director or designee to develop an Academic Success Plan (ideally prior to registering but at the latest prior to the last day to drop/add for the next term) that details a specific plan for academic recovery. This plan may include actions such as mandatory tutoring, periodic advising as well as taking a reduced number of courses.
Interruption of Enrollment
When a student withdraws prior to graduation, the student may re-enter ECPI within five years (two years for nursing, physical therapist assistant, diagnostic medical sonography, and medical radiography students) and retain full academic credit provided the course(s) is still applicable to the program. Clinical courses may require passing clinical competency evaluations.
After one year, examination may be required when skill proficiency and significant curriculum changes are involved. Re-entering students will be charged tuition and fees at the rate in effect upon their re-entry. These re-entering students will also be required to assume the curriculum taught at the time of re-enrollment.
Minimum Academic Requirements to Graduate
The minimum academic requirements for a student to graduate are: CGPA of 2.0, 66.67% ICR, and completion of the program in no more than 150% of total program credits. Please see Graduation Requirements in this catalog for the complete list of graduation requirements.
A student enrolled in all undergraduate coursework toward a degree or diploma must be able to pass the course after three attempts or the student will be academically dismissed. Students who are required to take foundational courses (i.e., ENG099 and MTH099) are required to successfully complete each course on the first attempt, in order to progress in the program. A student who is dismissed for failure to successfully pass a foundational course may reapply for readmission to the University after one year.
Repeated courses due to course withdraw or failure. Grades achieved in repeated classes will replace withdrawn or failing grades. Withdrawn grades assigned for course attendance beyond the drop/add period and failing grades are included in the maximum allowable time frame and ICR. Whenever a course is repeated because of an earlier failure, credits accrue only when the student attains a passing grade in the course repeated. A pattern of course repetitions could cause a student to fall below the minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress. A course may not be repeated more than once without approval of an Academic Review Board or Campus Director of Academic Affairs. Additional tuition charges apply when a student repeats courses during their program. It is strongly recommended that any student with a withdrawn or failing grade in a particular course register for the same course in the subsequent term to improve his/her academic performance.
Repeated course to improve a grade. A student may repeat a course to improve the grade and subsequently, his/her CGPA. In the case of repeated courses to improve a grade, only the highest grade earned will be calculated in the CGPA while all the credits attempted will be calculated in the ICR and Maximum Time Frame. Students are eligible for Financial Aid for only one repetition of a previously passed course.
Warning, Probation or Dismissal
The Academic Progress Table demonstrates the evaluation points for CGPA and ICR; failure to achieve these milestones will result in a status change that provides the student with an additional semester to improve his/her academic standing. A student who completes his/her first semester and fails to meet the minimum requirements will be placed on warning; a student on warning remains eligible for financial aid. If a student who is on warning fails to achieve the required progress at the end any subsequent evaluation point of a warning period, s/he will be placed on probation or dismissed from the University. Probation may only be granted with a student's successful appeal with an Academic Review Board (ARB). A student who is on probation remains eligible for financial aid, however, a student may remain on probation for only one semester. If a student on probation fails to achieve satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation point, the student will be dismissed from the University.
A student will be removed from academic warning or probation when s/he meets the requirements for satisfactory academic progress.
Please note that a student may be dismissed for academic reasons without previous academic action. In addition, at any given evaluation point, if it is determined to be mathematically impossible for the student to meet the academic requirements for graduation, the student will be dismissed.
Appealing an Academic Dismissal
In order to re-establish eligibility for Financial Aid, a student must appeal the academic dismissal by requesting an Academic Review Board (ARB). The written appeal must state the mitigating circumstances that contributed to the academic determination or dismissal. The written appeal must be supported with appropriate documentation of the mitigating circumstances with explanation on how the circumstances have been remedied or changed. Mitigating circumstances are events that are outside the students control and are unavoidable.
Examples of events that may be considered a mitigating circumstance and which has negatively impacted academic progress include but are not limited to: death of an immediate family member, student illness requiring hospitalization, divorce proceedings, previously undocumented disability, work-related transfer or change in work schedule during the term, natural disaster, financial hardship such as foreclosure or eviction, and others.
The student may be asked to appear in person during the review process when deemed necessary by the Campus Director of Academic Affairs or request an ARB. The appeal process ends with the Campus President on each campus. Appeals may result in any one of the following actions:
- Reinstatement on probation with an academic plan where the student will be held to specific requirements which must be met by the end of the next semester. Reinstatement after dismissal will be granted only if mitigating circumstances exist.
- Denial of reinstatement
- A student may appeal an academic determination or dismissal one time.
- A student who is granted an appeal may be reinstated and, if otherwise eligible, receive financial aid. The student must meet with the Financial Aid Advisor on campus to determine any changes to the student's financial aid. The above minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress will continue to be applied to assess the student's academic performance.
Procedures for Reentry/Readmission after Academic Dismissal
A student who is denied an appeal is not eligible for reentry to the university for a period of one year. A student dismissed for violating satisfactory academic progress must appeal in writing to the Campus Director of Academic Affairs or the ARB for reentry (if within 3 months of dismissal) or readmission (if one year or longer). If applying for readmission, the student must meet with the Campus Director of Academic Affairs at least two weeks prior to the start of the term in which the student wishes to return. Also, any student who ceased attendance and whose grades in the last term of attendance caused him or her to not meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress must go through the same appeal process. The appeal procedure described in the preceding section applies. The student must demonstrate resolution to any mitigating circumstances.
A reentry/readmission student who is granted an appeal may be reinstated and, if otherwise eligible, may receive financial aid. The student will be placed on probation at the start of the next academic term or upon re-entry and may be required to meet certain additional academic conditions as specified by the Campus Director of Academic Affairs or the Academic Review Board in their decision to grant the appeal. The above minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress will continue to be applied to assess the student's academic performance.
A student who has been dismissed and wishes to transfer to another ECPI campus must appeal his/her dismissal at the originating campus and receive reinstatement prior to the transfer. A student is allowed one and only one reentry/readmission appeal after being academically dismissed.
Graduate Program Satisfactory Academic Progress
To be in good academic standing with the college and to be eligible to receive Title IV financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
At the end of each semester, each student is evaluated on three components to determine if he/she is maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)
Students enrolled in graduate-level programs must maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.0.
Incremental Completion Rate (ICR)
Students enrolled in graduate-level programs must complete a minimum of 66.67% of the cumulative credits attempted at the end of each semester to be making satisfactory academic progress
Maximum Time Frame
Student must complete the entire program within 150% of the standard program length in credit hours.
Under no circumstances will a graduate student be permitted to continue past the maximum time frame or graduate with a CGPA of less than 3.0
Students must complete the program with 24 months of matriculation
A student will be placed on probation in the following situations:
Graduate students on probation will have one semester to raise their CGPA to 3.00 and return to good standing. If at any evaluation point it is determined that it is mathematically impossible for the student to meet the minimum requirements, the student will be dismissed from the University.
Veterans Administration – Requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress
Academic Dismissal/Reinstatement and Veterans' Benefits in South Carolina
Veterans who are reinstated for benefits after academic dismissal who fail to attain a GPA of at least 2.0 during that term will be placed on academic dismissal for one semester (three terms).
Non-degree seeking students
Students taking a University course in a Non-Degree status and receiving veterans educational benefits must maintain a 70% or a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in each course to be considered making satisfactory academic progress. If a student does not make a 70% or a 2.0 GPA in any course, the student will be dismissed from enrollment and will be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) for unsatisfactory progress.
If a student is absent for 3 consecutive days in any course, the student will be dismissed from the University, assigned a failing grade, and will be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs for Unsatisfactory Progress. If a student is dismissed due to Unsatisfactory Progress, the student must wait a period of 30 days to be eligible to re-enroll in a course.