Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress is achieved by maintaining an appropriate academic average and a minimum number of successfully completed hours.  The purpose of the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard is to make students aware of the minimal rate at which they must progress toward graduation if a degree is to be awarded within a 10 semester period.  The standard provides clear feedback to students about their academic standing at the university and assists the university in identifying students who are in need of academic intervention so that the university can provide these students with support and opportunities for improvement if they fall below the stated standards.  Niagara University reviews Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of every payment period (fall, spring and summer semesters). Students on Academic Alert, Academic Warning and Academic Probation (if reinstated) are eligible to receive institutional and federal aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress: occurs when a student earns a quality point average of 2.0 (C) with an average of 12 credit hours completed each full time semester.

When a student fails to achieve a quality point average of 2.0 (C) with an average of 12 credit hours completed each semester, the student is placed on Academic Alert. First-year students on Academic Alert are required to participate in the Academic Success Program. Upperclass students are required to participate in a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) workshop.

When a student's achievement level is no longer acceptable to the university, the student is subject to dismissal from the university. Students who are subject to dismissal are notified of their status by the dean of their college.

The first time a student is subject to dismissal, the student may receive an automatic waiver of the dismissal. The student will be permitted to remain matriculated at Niagara University and will be on Academic Warning for the following semester.

Students who are subject to dismissal for a second or subsequent time may appeal the dismissal if the student has reason to believe there are circumstances that should considered. The circumstances under which a student can submit an appeal include: death of a relative, injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances.

To appeal a dismissal, a student must submit a letter of appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Committee. The letter must include:

  1. a description of why the student failed to make academic progress
  2. an explanation of what has changed in the student's situation that would enable him/her to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation period.
  3. a description of how the student will meet SAP during the next evaluation period, or, in the case where it will take more than one semester to regain SAP, an academic plan that, if followed, will enable him/her to make SAP in a specific timeframe.

Students who submit an appeal of dismissal are encouraged to contact their dean's office to discuss their academic status and identify option for regaining satisfactory academic progress.  Information about Satisfactory Academic Progress and the appeal process can also be found on myNU.

The SAP committee will review the letter of appeal and will make a decision to accept or deny the appeal. If the committee accepts the appeal, the student will be readmitted to Niagara and will be on Academic Probation for the semester of reinstatement.  If the committee denies the appeal, the student will be dismissed. Dismissal requires total separation from the university.

Appeal of Decision: A student may appeal the decision of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA) for Programs and Policies. The decision of the AVPAA will be final.

Status Action Decision Follow-Up
Satisfactory Academic Progress None    
Academic Alert Student will receive a letter notifying him/her of academic standing. The student will remain matriculated. First-Year students will participate in the Academic Success Program. Upper-class students will attend an individual meeting to discuss their academic standing.
Subject to Dismissal: First Occasion Student will automatically receive a waiver. The student will be on academic warning. First-Year students will participate in the Academic Success Program. Upper-class students will attend an individual meeting to discuss their academic standing.
Subject to Dismissal: A second or subsequent time: Student may appeal for reinstatement.   If the appeal is accepted, the student will be reinstated and will be on academic probation.  If the appeal is not accepted, the student will be placed on academic dismissal. At the end of the semester on academic probation, students will be required to meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress or the requirements of the academic plan that was established as part of the appeal process.

Certain majors may have a higher grade point average requirement for retention in the major, e.g., education, social work and nursing.  Retention in the major is determined by the appropriate department and college.

Semester
Satisfactory Academic Progess
Academic Alert
Subject to Academic Dismissal
At completion of this full-time semester or its equivalent* A student who earns this cumulative grade point average and this number of credits is making satisfactory academic progress A student who earns a cumulative grade point average or successfully completes the number of credits in the stated range is on alert A student who falls below this cumulative grade point average or these completed credit hours is subject to academic dismissal.**
1 2.00/12 1.00-1.99/6-11 1.00/6
2 2.00/24 1.25-1.99/18-23 1.25/18
3 2.00/36 1.50-1.99/30-35 1.50/30
4 2.00/48 1.70-1.99/42-47 1.70/42
5 2.00/60 1.90-1.99/54-59 1.90/54
6 2.00/72 below 2.00/66-71 2.00/66
7 2.00/84 below 2.00/78-83 2.00/78
8 2.00/96 below 2.00/90-95 2.00/90
9 2.00/108 below 2.00/105-107 2.00/105
10 2.00/120 below 2.00/108-119 2.00/108
Action None Required A student must sign a satisfactory academic progress (SAP) contract and must earn a 2.0 semester grade point average during the semester on alert. A student may appeal the dismissal using the guidelines outlined in the Niagara University catalog.

*Equivalent full-time semester: 15 transfer credits equal the equivalent of one full-time semester and a total of 15 credits accumulated by part-time enrollment equals the equivalent of one full-time semester.

**The first time a student falls into this range, the student will be placed on academic warning. If a student falls into this range another time, s/he may submit an appeal to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) committee for reinstatement.  If the appeal is accepted by the committee, the student will be placed on academic probation.

Certain majors may have a higher grade point average requirement for retention in the major, e.g., education, social work and nursing. Retention in the major is determined by the appropriate department and college.

Readmits

Any student who was on academic dismissal status when s/he left the university and applies for re-admission must be reviewed by the satisfactory academic progress committee before admission can be granted. In order to ensure that all appeals can be processed in a timely manner, we recommend that all paperwork be submitted at least one month before the start of the semester for which the student seeks re-admission. All re-admission decisions must be completed at least one week prior to the start of the semester.

Part-Time Students

Part-time students will be included on the progress chart but they will have their completed hours divided by 15 hours for placement in the appropriate semester. The requirement for the quality point average will be the same as indicated on the chart.

Transfer Students

Transfer students will be entered on the progress chart after the number of accepted hours is determined by the dean. The hours will be divided by 15 to determine the semester on the chart. The requirement for quality point average begins at that point. Only NU quality point credits will be counted. Grade point averages from previous college work will not be considered.

Tap Waiver

If a student is unable to complete a semester of study and is receiving New York Tuition Assistance Plan aid, he/she may apply for a TAP Waiver. To receive such a waiver, the student should be able to prove one of the following:

  1. Illness or death in the student's family
  2. Serious illness of the student
  3. Academic hardship

Applications for TAP waivers are available from the chair of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee in Seton Hall, 1st floor.  The waiver must be approved by the chair and documentation will be required.