Satisfactory Academic Progress

In accordance with federal regulations, all recipients of federal financial aid must maintain  a satisfactory rate of progress toward the completion of a degree (i.e. pace) and must be in  good standing based on a cumulative grade point average (GPA), regardless of whether  financial aid was received previously. Progress will be measured at the end of each  semester attended (fall, spring and summer semesters). FASAP is calculated on every VWU  degree-seeking student regardless if they have been awarded Title IV Financial Aid funds  or not. 

The following definitions apply to this policy:

  • Financial Aid Programs: All federal programs, VA State grant programs,  scholarship programs offered through the College, federal work-study and private  education loans. 
  • Earned and Attempted Credit hours: Satisfactory Academic Progress uses credit  hours to measure both the Pace and Maximum Timeframe requirements. It is  important to understand the difference between the two types of credit hours. Credit  hours “earned” are courses in which the student receives a letter grade of “D” or “S”  in a Pass/Fail course. “Attempted” credits are all courses in which the student enrolls  and remains enrolled in after the add/drop period of each semester even if the  student withdraws later or fails the course at the end.
  • Pace requirement: Undergraduate Students must complete at least 65% and  Graduate Students must complete at least a 70% (no rounding up) of the cumulative  credits attempted. A full-time undergraduate student who attempts 16 credits in a  semester must successfully complete 10.4 credits to maintain their pace requirement  (16 credits x .65 = 10.4 credits). 
  • Maximum time frame: The maximum period in which students may receive  financial aid based on the degree program in which they are enrolled. Students have a  period of 150% of the credits required to complete the program to remain eligible. 
    Example: Bachelor degree program that requires 128 credits to graduate will  have a total of 192 attempted credits allowed.
    There are limited appeals or extensions of the 150% maximum time frame rule.  Students may continue to receive limited federal financial aid assistance and will  also be able to apply for private loan funding or participate in a tuition payment  plan for their educational expenses. 
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average: The grade point average calculated at VWU from all  credits taken. Coursework transferred from other institutions are included in the total  number of credits attempted and completed but are not factored into the cumulative GPA. 
    • For students with 23 or less attempted credit hours- the minimum cumulative GPA  requirement is 1.8. 
    • For students with 24 to 52 attempted credit hours- the minimum cumulative GPA  requirement is a 1.9. 
    • For students with 53 or more attempted credit hours- the minimum cumulative GPA  is 2.0. 
    • For students in a Graduate program- the minimum cumulative GPA is a 3.0.  ∙ The VWU scholarship programs require you to maintain cumulative GPA of 2.0 to  meet the requirement to retain those awards.  Batten Honors College requires you to  maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 meet the requirement to retain those awards. 

Review Process

Frequency and Notification

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated at the end of each enrollment term (fall,  spring and summer) regardless of whether the student received financial aid in that  enrollment period. Students will be notified through their VWU email address once FASAP  has been calculated. The students not meeting FASAP requirements will be notified by  letter and also have an email message sent to their VWU email account. 

Financial Aid Warning  

When a student fails to meet FASAP requirements, the student will be placed on Financial  Aid Warning for their next enrollment period. A student remains eligible for their financial  aid during the warning period. A student is only eligible for one warning period and will be  notified of their placement into a warning status. A student may not be placed in a warning status if they were not meeting FASAP requirements in the prior enrollment period or were  enrolled in their first term at VWU.

During this term, the student is expected to regain their satisfactory academic progress  through successful completion of their credits or recalculation of their GPA. Students  placed into a warning period will be strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Learning  Resources or their Faculty Advisor for further assistance. Failure to meet the minimum  FASAP requirements after the warning period will result in suspension of the student’s  financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension

Suspension of financial aid eligibility occurs the semester immediately following the  “warning” period. Under suspension a student is not eligible for federal and state financial  aid. In addition, students will lose their eligibility for VWU scholarship or grant  aid. Students have two options to reestablish their federal and state financial aid  eligibility.

These options are:

  • Pay for the next semester or session on your own and have the FASAP status  reevaluated after completion of the semester, or
  • Submit an Appeal of FASAP requirements, as outlined in the FASAP appeal section  below.

Maximum Time Frame Suspension

Any student who has exceeded the Maximum Time Frame requirements for the  appropriate degree program will be placed on a Maximum Time Suspension. Students in  this group will be required to appeal and provide the Office of Financial Aid with an  academic plan that has been approved by their Faculty Advisor. The academic plan must be  followed as prescribed and will be reviewed at the end of each semester until graduation  from VWU. Students will not be permitted to receive institutional grants or scholarship  unless approved through the Office of Financial Aid. In most cases, aid will be limited to  federal financial aid only.

Treatment of Special Grades and Circumstances

Incomplete Grades

Courses for which a student receives a grade of “I” are included in the number of attempted  credits but don’t count as earned credits for FASAP calculations. If a grade change or  incomplete grade is updated after grades are posted, the student may submit a FASAP Re Calculation Request for a manual FASAP review.

Audit Courses

Courses in this category do not count as credits attempted or earned.

Repeating Courses

All repeated courses affect financial aid FASAP calculations. Regardless of whether the  student received financial aid or not, all repeated coursework must be counted as  attempted credits. The grade earned in the repeated course is the grade that determines  the student’s cumulative grade point average. No additional credits will be considered as  earned credits for repeated courses for which credits were earned previously. Before  registering to repeat a course, a student should verify that he or she is eligible to do so  according to Academic Policy. Only courses repeated at VWU can improve the student’s  cumulative grade point average.


Courses for which a student receives a grade of “W” or “WF” are included in the number of  attempted credits but do not count as earned credits for FASAP determination. 

Remedial Courses

Credits earned from CLEP exams will count towards credits attempted and earned, but no  grades or quality points will be given. Credits earned from English 001 and Math 005 (Remedial Coursework) will count towards  credits attempted and earned. All grades and quality points will be used in the calculation  of the cumulative GPA.

The college does not have ESL (English as a second language).

Transfer Credits

Credits are included in both attempted and completed but the grade doesn’t transfer to  VWU and therefore is not used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.

Readmit Students

Upon readmission after any period of non-enrollment, your satisfactory progress  standing will be re-evaluated as it stood at the end of your last semester of attendance. If  you were making satisfactory academic progress in your last semester of attendance,  your eligibility to receive federal financial aid will not be affected when you return. If, on  the other hand, you return after an academic probation or dismissal, you will be on  financial aid suspension and will have to file an appeal to have your eligibility for federal  aid restored. Any action you took during your period of non -enrollment that would have  brought you back into compliance with the progress standard (such as successfully  completing transferable courses at another institution) is factored into the assessment of  your eligibility.

Second Degree Students

If you are enrolled for a second degree, your pace of progression status will be initialized  for measuring satisfactory academic progress by counting the credits accepted toward  the second degree as both credits attempted and credits earned. However, you will not  be entitled to certain federal, institutional and state aid.

Change of Major/Change of Degree

If you change majors within the same degree program, or begin pursuing a different  degree without having earned the first degree, and you exceed the maximum timeframe,  you are required to file a successful appeal to extend the maximum timeframe.

Appeal Process

If extenuating circumstances exist which contributed to the student’s failure to meet one of  the FASAP Standards listed below, a written appeal may be submitted. Examples of  extenuating circumstances which might be grounds for an appeal include, but are not  limited to, a divorce in the family, unexpected death or major hospitalization of an  immediate family member, or extended hospitalization or medical condition of the student.  Issues with instructors/courses, job conflicts, misuse of time management, transportation  problems or child care conflicts do not constitute as unusual mitigating circumstances and  will not be considered.

The appeal must address, and document where appropriate, these extenuating  circumstances, describing:

  • Why the student failed to achieve FASAP
  • What has changed that will allow the student to achieve FASAP during the next  academic term

Download the FASAP Appeal Form and submit to the Office of Financial Aid (along with  required supporting documentation). Appeals that do not address the stipulations above  will be denied.

Questions regarding the FASAP Policy requirements and/or process should be directed to  the Office of Financial Aid via email at and/or by calling (757) 455.3345.

FASAP Appeal Form

SAP Appeal Notification

The student will be notified via their VWU email account regarding the results of the  appeal.

If the Appeal is approved: Aid is continued for one term.

The student should carefully review the FASAP appeal notification which will outline the  unique, individualized FASAP requirements that the student must meet in order to  maintain eligibility for federal and state financial aid. It is possible that the student will still  lose their eligibility for VWU scholarships or grants depending on the requirements of  those programs. The student is strongly encouraged to work with The Learning Center and  their Advisor during the term to ensure compliance with their academic requirements or, if  required, their academic plan.

If the Appeal is denied: Aid is immediately suspended until eligibility is re-established.  The decision is final for the term of enrollment specified in the letter. A student may still be  able to re-establish eligibility on their own, for future enrollment periods, by completing  sufficient credit hours or by improving their cumulative GPA. The student may appeal no  more than two terms at VWU. Requests for multiple appeals must be for different  circumstances.

Financial Aid Probation

This status is assigned to the student who has successfully appealed their financial aid  suspension and had their eligibility for aid reinstated. The reinstatement under probation  may not be for more than two continuous terms of enrollment.

By end of the Probation term, the student MUST:

  • Raise their cumulative GPA to at least a 2.0
  • Complete 100% of their credit hours they attempted while on probation

Students in the Traditional Day Program have to successfully complete the  Academic Renewal Program.

If a student fails to meet the above requirements at the end of their probation period, the  student is placed back into financial aid suspension. The student is not permitted to appeal  this suspension unless there is a new and different circumstance that meets the definition  of the acceptable circumstances discussed earlier in the policy. Any new approved appeal  will only be approved for one term of enrollment and the student would be placed back  into financial aid probation.

Under no circumstances will more than two probation periods be approved for any  student. It is expected that a student regain and maintain their satisfactory academic  progress at VWU.

Plan for Academic Success

Students placed on Financial Aid Warning, Probation or Suspension are strongly  encouraged to schedule an academic advisement appointment with The Learning Center or  with their Faculty Advisor. Through advisement, students will work to create academic  plans and become connected to campus resources that support academic success.  Resources at VWU to help students succeed academically include:

  • The Tutoring Center
  • The Writing Center
  • The Office of Disability Resources

Each of these resources are available to help identify learning issues, provide training for  improving academic skills and developing academic plans that assist our students in  regaining good academic standing.