Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Bethel College students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards to remain eligible for financial aid. For purposes of this determination, the following definitions and policies apply. Individual scholarships may have additional requirements for renewal.
- Maximum time frame to complete an undergraduate degree
The time frame, (the Department of Education refers to it as “PACE”) for completion of an undergraduate program cannot exceed 150% of the published program length. The minimum number of credit hours required to graduate from Bethel is 124. Therefore, students who have attempted fewer than 186 hours of college credit, either here or elsewhere, are eligible to apply for financial aid. Withdrawals (WP or WF), incompletes, failures, courses at non-accredited institutions, or non-college level remedial courses not reflected on official BC transcripts, will not be counted toward the determination of the 186 hours attempted.
- Minimum course completion rates and GPA
Students are required to pass or satisfactorily complete (not withdraw from) a minimum of 67% of the courses taken (PACE), with a grade point average (GPA) above the published academic suspension level. The current levels are 1.4 for freshmen and 1.6 for sophomores.
- Federal regulations require students who have attempted 48 credit hours to maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
- Evaluation timing and intervals
Evaluation of this standard is made every semester. The completion rate is based on classes taken during the previous semester, as well as credit hours attempted and GPA. The evaluation of course completion will relate only to courses taken at Bethel, however hours attempted and cumulative GPA will include all hours attempted or transferred to Bethel as shown on the official Bethel transcript.
Interterm can be part of the Fall semester.
Summer can be part of Spring semester.
- Financial aid warning
Students failing to meet the 67% completion rate, or the 1.4 GPA level as a freshman, 1.6 GPA level as a sophomore, 2.0 GPA rate as a junior or senior are placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following term. They will be notified in writing. A student on Financial Aid Warning is eligible to receive aid for the next term. If the student fails to meet the PACE and GPA levels needed, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension status for the next term. If the student successfully completes at least 67% of the courses taken and increases their GPA above the 1.4, 1.6, or 2.0 thresholds, then the student would be back in good standing and would continue to be eligible for financial aid for the next term.
- Financial aid suspension
Students who are on Financial Aid Warning who fail to complete the PACE needed and/or the GPA needed for reinstatement will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Also students who have attempted more than 186 hours of college credit will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students on suspension are not eligible for financial aid. If subsequent course work of at least 6 hours enables them to meet the required SAP their financial aid eligibilities will be reinstated.
- Appeal procedure
Students may appeal either warning or suspension status by writing to the Financial Aid Director listing reasons why they did not achieve satisfactory academic progress as defined herein. Reasons may include but are not limited to: illness, death in the family, other unusual circumstances, or by listing course work completed successfully in summer term or interterm following the initial determination of warning status. Students on suspension due to the 186-hour limit may appeal if their course work attempted while at Bethel has not exceeded the 150% of the minimum hours needed to complete their degree objective. The Financial Aid Director will respond to the appeal in writing. A student may appeal the decision of the Financial Aid Director by writing to the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee.
- If the appeal is approved, students will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. Students on Probation are eligible for aid, but must make SAP to receive aid beyond one semester. At the end of the semester an evaluation will be made to determine if the student has met the SAP as reflected in GPA and PACE. If SAP is met then the student is back on normal status. If the SAP is not met, the aid is suspended.
- Academic plan
If a student has done so poorly that it would be impossible to meet SAP in one semester, the student may ask for and be allowed to work up an Academic Plan (PLAN). The PLAN must be completed with the student’s academic advisor and signed by the advisor, the student and the Director of Financial Aid. The PLAN must indicate the PACE and GPA that is the target goal for the semester and to get the student back to SAP. At the end of the semester the financial aid office will determine if the PLAN was followed and SAP was met. If successful, normal status will return. If not successful, aid will be suspended.