New academic progress policy could affect student financial aid

On Feb. 24, the Office of Student Financial Assistance announced the implementation of the new Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at NSU. SAP standards are academic regulations that students must meet in order to receive financial aid.

The new standards were put into place July 2011, in accordance with federal regulations.

Eva Goldstein, coordinator of publications and communications for Enrollment and Student Services, said,  “It is really important for students to understand SAP because if a student does not meet SAP during this academic school year, he or she won’t be eligible for financial aid in the upcoming academic school year.”

Goldstein said the major change to SAP is that performance in all academic semesters and all for-credit courses a student enrolls in will be considered in the financial aid eligibility process.

Additionally, Goldstein said all students must now meet SAP requirements, regardless of classification, that incomplete grades will now count against a student’s financial aid eligibility and that the pace at which a student completes his academic program will be monitored.

Joy Khoury, junior business management major, said she agrees with the new changes and hopes it will motivate students to put academics first.

“There are some students who work hard and deserve financial aid, but don’t receive it, while there are others who don’t work hard and receive financial aid. These standards will hold all students  equally accountable,” said Khoury.
All students must now complete at least 66.7 percent of the courses they enroll in during the academic year. Students must also be making progress towards the completion of their degree, as SAP now allows for no more than six academic years of enrollment towards a program.

Cumulative GPA requirements have also changed. Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Most professional programs require no less than a 2.0. However, most doctoral, masters and specialist programs require a 3.0.

The Office of Student Financial Assistance will furnish SAP mid-year and annual reports for each student, which will inform students about where they stand with the policy.

Jose Villafuerte, senior criminal justice major, is hesitant about the changes to SAP and what it means for the general student body.

“While I understand and agree with the changes, I feel that it [might be] a good thing to have an appeals process in place for students who are still adjusting to the new policy,” he said.
For more information on SAP, visit www.nova.edu/sap.

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