Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Ridgewater College maintains an open door admission policy, assesses students admitted, and provides developmental coursework and other programs of assistance to support student success. Students must perform at an acceptable academic level to continue enrollment and to receive financial aid. Students will be evaluated both qualitatively (GPA) and quantitatively (completion percentage and maximum time frame).
Qualitative (GPA) Measure of Progress
To earn a certificate, diploma or associate degree from Ridgewater College, a student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better in college-level courses. Accordingly, a 2.0 GPA is the standard for all satisfactory academic progress.
If a program or discipline has academic standard guidelines and procedures that are more stringent than the Ridgewater College Academic Suspension Guidelines and Procedures, the program/discipline guidelines supersede these guidelines and procedures.
Quantitative (Pace) Measures of Progress
- Required Completion Percentage
Students must earn 66.67 percent of the cumulative credits registered. The completion percentage will be calculated by dividing the credits successfully completed by the credits attempted. Courses for which the student receives an F, NC, W, I, and FN are treated as attempted but not successfully completed.
- Maximum Timeframe
Students may continue to receive financial aid through the number of credits required for the completion of a Ridgewater College degree/diploma/certificate multiplied by 150 percent. Students who have attempted over 75-semester credits should meet with their advisor to fill out an academic plan. Students who have double majors will be evaluated based on the required coursework for both programs. Students who change programs or return for an additional degree/diploma/certificate will be evaluated based on their current program of study requirements.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Procedures
Students will be reviewed at the end of each term (fall, spring, and summer). Faculty will submit grades to the Registrar within 72 hours of the end of each term to allow enough time for progress to be evaluated. Reviews will be completed prior to the 5th day of the academic term.
Failure to Meet Standards
If at the end of the evaluation period a student has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 and/or a completion percentage below 66.67 percent, the student will be allowed to continue at Ridgewater College under a warning status for one evaluation period. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisor and/or counselor.
- Reinstatement of Students on Warning Status: If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has met Ridgewater College’s cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards, the student will return to good academic standing.
- Suspension of Students on Warning Status: If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has not met Ridgewater College’s cumulative qualitative and/or quantitative standards, he/she will be suspended immediately.
Maximum Time Frame Suspension
If at the end of the evaluation period a student has failed to meet Ridgewater College’s standard for measurement of maximum time frame, he/she shall be suspended from financial aid eligibility immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
Suspension of Students for Extraordinary Circumstances
Students may be suspended from financial aid in the event of extenuating circumstances including, but not limited to, previously suspended (and reinstated) students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment; students who register for courses, receive financial aid and do not attend any classes; and students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the receipt of financial aid. A student who has been placed on suspension status at another Minnesota State institution within the last five years (at the point of application to the college) shall have that suspension in effect at Ridgewater College. A student would have to follow the appeal process to be considered for reinstatement.
Suspension for Inability to Meet Program Requirements within the Maximum Time Frame
If at the end of any evaluation period Ridgewater College determines that it is not possible for a student to raise her or his GPA or course completion percentage to meet the standards before the student would reach the end of the program for which he or she is receiving financial aid, he/she shall be suspended from financial aid eligibility immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
Students who are suspended due to unsatisfactory academic progress (from this or any other Minnesota State institution) have the right to appeal based on an error of record or on extenuating/unusual circumstances. Examples of extenuating circumstances that may be considered for an appeal include, but are not limited to, death of a relative, illness, hospitalization, injury of the student, or other unusual circumstances the student believes should be given consideration. Students are notified in writing via their suspension letter that sitting out a period of time in and of itself does not re-establish eligibility. The student must submit, as part of the appeal, documentation regarding why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next evaluation period. Students must provide proof of the extenuating circumstances in addition to a written explanation, along with their Appeal Form.
An appeal may be approved only if Ridgewater College:
- Has determined that the student will be able to meet SAP cumulative (Pace and GPA) standards after the subsequent evaluation period, or
- Has assigned to the student an academic plan that will require a term GPA standard of 2.50, and a term completion standard of 85.00 percent. This academic plan shall also determine the appropriate credit load and courses that the student may attempt.
Students who have been suspended for not meeting SAP standards (here or at another Minnesota State college or university) that have successfully completed (at a 2.0 or higher GPA) 12 or more college-level transferable credits at an accredited college or university since that suspension are not required to complete the appeals process.
We will analyze any submitted transcripts to determine whether or not the student would be allowed to reenter on probation.
Results of all appeals shall be communicated to students in writing and shall include the standards that the student is expected to meet and/or the academic plan that the student is expected to complete in order to retain eligibility.
Notifications of denied appeals shall describe the reason for the denial and the process for appealing the denial.
Students who have not registered for at least one term after their suspension or who are suspended from another Minnesota State institution are required to meet with a college counselor to prepare an Academic Improvement Plan to be included with the appeal. Students who have been suspended from the immediately preceding term are strongly encouraged to meet with a counselor to review an Academic Inventory as well as to establish an Academic Improvement Plan to accompany their appeal.
All appeals will be initially considered by the Director of Financial Aid. Appeals of reinstatement denials may be considered by an Appeals Committee that will meet at the end of each evaluation period and as needed throughout the remainder of the year. The Chief Academic Officer will establish an Academic Suspension Appeals Committee that will consist of one to two Academic Deans, the Financial Aid Director, and the Registrar. The committee will also include two to four faculty (with representation from campuses) as well as a counselor from each campus.
Students who have a grade change after the initial evaluation may also appeal for a new evaluation. Students who successfully appeal will be allowed to continue enrollment under their current status as deemed by the SAP guidelines.
A student who has successfully appealed will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester. If at the end of the next semester (evaluation period), a student on probation status:
- Has met the cumulative qualitative and pace standards, the student will be returned to good standing.
- Has failed to meet the cumulative qualitative and Pace standards but have satisfied the conditions specified in their academic plan, the student will be allowed to continue but will need to continue to meet the conditions of their academic plan.
- Has failed to meet the cumulative qualitative and Pace standards and failed to meet the conditions specified in their academic plan, the student shall be suspended immediately.
Students who fail to meet standards and are being placed on warning, probation or suspension prior to the start of the next semester will be notified via email and a letter in the U.S. mail sent to the student’s home address by the Registrar. Included with the notification of suspension will be an Appeal From as well as the date the appeal must be returned.
Students who have been suspended and wish to return to college (or who are currently suspended from any other Minnesota State institution) and who feel as though they have mitigated their extenuating circumstances shall follow the appeals process described above.
Students will not, for general purposes, be readmitted as probationary students for the summer semester. Consideration will be granted to programs who only have summer starts and to other extenuating circumstances.
A. Treatment of Grades:
- Completion Percentage – The completion percentage will be calculated by dividing successfully completed credits by attempted credits. Courses for which a student receives an I, F, NC, W, or FN are considered not successfully completed. In-progress (IP) and audited (AU) courses are not counted in the calculation of completion percentage.
- Grade Point Average – Grade point average (GPA) is the student’s grade point total divided by the grade point credit total. Each grade report shows the student’s GPA for the term and cumulative GPA since admission. An I, AU, P, NC, IP, or W does not carry a grade point value and, as such, is not calculated in the GPA.
- Incompletes – Credits for which an I is received are considered attempted credits but not successfully completed credits for the purpose of monitoring satisfactory academic progress. Thus, an I does not impact GPA but does negatively impact the cumulative completion percentage.
- Registered Credits – The total number of credits for which a student is officially enrolled at the end of the drop/add period each term.
B. Academic Amnesty: Ridgewater College does not offer academic amnesty.
C. Audited Courses: Audited courses will not be funded by financial aid and are not included in any satisfactory academic progress measurements.
D. Consortium Credits: Credits for which financial aid is received under a consortium agreement shall be recorded in the Student Data System to be included in cumulative GPA, Pace percentage, and maximum time frame calculations.
E. Remedial/Developmental Courses: Credits awarded for coursework with a course prefix below 100. Students may receive financial aid for developmental credits up to a maximum of 30-semester credits. Developmental courses do not count toward graduation but will be included in the qualitative and Pace percentage measurement of satisfactory academic progress. Up to 30 developmental credits shall be excluded from the maximum timeframe calculation.
F. Repeated Courses: A course may be repeated for an improved grade. A student will not be permitted to receive financial aid for more than one repetition of a previously passed course. A change of grade request form must be submitted to the records and registration office for the change to be recorded. Only the higher grade will be counted toward graduation and in the computation of the overall grade point average. All attempts are counted toward calculation of the overall completion rate. An R will be entered on the transcript next to the initial grade to indicate the course was repeated. The maximum number of credits that may be repeated is 18. A student may repeat a course no more than two times. If a student wishes to satisfactorily repeat or complete a course for which he/she previously earned an F or NC, the student must register for the course again.
G. Transfer Credits: Transfer credits accepted by Ridgewater College and applied to the student’s program requirements shall be counted as credits attempted for calculation of completion percentage. Grades associated with these credits shall not be used in calculating cumulative GPA. Credits accepted in transfer and applied toward a student’s general education or degree requirements shall apply towards maximum time frame evaluation.
H. Withdrawals: Credits for which a W is received are considered attempted credits but not successfully completed credits for the purpose of monitoring satisfactory academic progress. Thus, a W does not impact GPA but does negatively impact the cumulative completion percentage. (Ridgewater College does not offer withdraw passing or failing grading options.)
Academic Plan – A student who successfully appeals for reinstatement may be required by an institution to complete, during a probationary period, specific requirements contained in an academic plan developed for that student by the institution.
Evaluation Period – Institutions shall measure Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each academic term or at the mid-point of programs less than one year in length.
Suspension of Students on Warning Status – A student on suspension status is not eligible to attend. Students who have been suspended may regain their eligibility only through the institution’s appeal process or when they are again meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards.
Maximum Time Frame – The maximum number of cumulative attempted credits within which a student must complete his or her academic program.
Probation Status – A status under which a student who has successfully appealed a suspension shall regain his or her financial aid eligibility for one evaluation period, after which he or she must either have met the institution’s cumulative GPA and completion percentage standards, or have successfully completed the requirements of an academic plan developed for that student by the institution.
Qualitative Measure – The grade point average (GPA) a student must maintain in order to retain eligibility.
Quantitative Measure – The “Pace” at which a student must progress through his or her program in order to retain eligibility.
Required Completion Percentage – The percentage of cumulative attempted credits a student must successfully complete in order to retain eligibility.
Warning Status – A status under which a student shall continue to retain her or his eligibility for one evaluation period despite a determination that she or he has not met either an institution’s grade point average standards or completion percentage standard or both.
- 06.05.06 Adopted and Implemented
- 06.30.06 Revised; 09.12.06 Revised
- 02.27.07 Revised; Implemented 07.01.07
- 09.29.11 Revised; 01.28.14 Revised
- 09.14.18 Revised