Satisfactory Academic Progress


Federal regulations require institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for recipients of financial aid. These standards must equal or exceed the academic standards for students not receiving financial aid. In keeping with these regulations, Claremont School of Theology has established the following policy governing Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is cumulative and made up of both a qualitative component and quantitative component. Students must meet both aspects of the standard in order to maintain their eligibility during all periods of enrollment, even those for which the student did not receive or request financial assistance. The satisfactory academic progress policy is printed in the Claremont School of Theology catalog. All students are urged to review this policy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some scholarships have additional grade point average requirements that may be higher than those listed below. Review the catalog for the specific grade point average requirements for your scholarship or contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information.


From the Catalog

(Based on Federal Code of Regulations 668.34)

The Higher Education Act and California state government require that in order to receive any Title IV Aid (Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct GRAD PLUS Loan, Federal Work –Study [FWS]), a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress towards a degree. All academic semesters are utilized to determine Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) eligibility regardless of whether federal financial aid was received. In addition, The Higher Education Act standards apply to all students, whether or not they have ever received any federal financial aid.

The following criteria apply:

  • Full time students are expected to enroll in twelve (12) credit hours or more each semester. A full time student will be allowed three (3) years to complete a two-year program (M.A.), and four (4) years to complete a three-year program (M.Div.).
  • Part-time students are expected to enroll in at least six (6) credit hours each semester to be eligible for federal financial aid. A part-time student will be allowed four (4) years to complete a two-year program (M.A.), and six (6) years to complete a three-year program (M.Div.)
  • Students in a Ph.D. program will be allowed six (6) years to complete a program.
  • At the end of each academic semester, full-time students must have earned at least 12 credit hours and part-time students must have earned at least 6 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

All students are required to meet both cumulative grade point average (GPA) and cumulative hours earned to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. A review will be made at the end of each semester to determine if the student meets the criteria. Failure to meet both the cumulative grade point average and the cumulative hours earned will result in the student becoming ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

Financial Aid Warning

Full time students who have earned at least 12 credit hours but do not have a 3.0 cumulative GPA; or have a 3.0 cumulative GPA but have not earned 12 credit hours will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester. Part-time students who have earned at least 6 credit hours but do not have 3.0 cumulative GPA; or have a 3.0 cumulative but have not earned 6 credit hours will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester. During the semester a student is on Financial Aid Warning, s/he will still be eligible to receive their federal financial aid. The student will be required to meet with the Dean’s Office to develop an academic plan for meeting SAP by the end of that semester. At the end of the semester, if the student has not met the requirements of SAP, the student will become ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

If the student becomes ineligible for Federal Financial Aid, the student can appeal the decision by following the guidelines as set forth in the Financial Aid Appeal Process.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Waivers for Satisfactory Academic Progress will be considered only under exceptional circumstances (if, for example, the student has suffered undue hardship such as death of an immediate family member, injury or illness of the student). Students requesting an appeal must submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office requesting reinstatement. The letter should explain the circumstances which affected the student’s academic performance and provide accompanying documentation.

All appeals should be submitted, via US Postal mail and addressed to the attention of the Financial Aid Director: 1325 N. College Ave, Claremont, CA 91711.Appeals must be submitted no later than June 30th for the next Fall Semester, and January 15th for the next Spring Semester. All appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Financial Aid and the Vice Dean of Academic Programs. In some instances an interview may be scheduled to meet with the committee that reviews the appeal to answer any questions. (Please note that any information mentioned in the appeal is subject to verification and all information will be taken into consideration. If an appeal is recommended for approval, an Academic Success Plan must be devised, signed and agreed upon by the Vice Dean and the student. A copy of the original signed Academic Success Plan must then be filed in the Financial Aid Office prior to any aid being dispersed.

The financial aid appeal letter must:

  • Be properly addressed and should include the student’s name, address, phone number, student ID number and Major
  • State clearly why the student was not able to make SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)
  • State what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation
  • Describe what the student will do differently academically if s/he is authorized to continue receiving financial aid at Claremont School of Theology

If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. During the student’s course of study, the student will not be allowed to appeal a financial aid warning more than two (2) times. Once a decision has been rendered, no further information will be considered

Financial Aid Probation

Only students whose appeal has been granted will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. Financial Aid Probation is for one academic semester only. At the end of the academic semester, the student’s academic record will be reviewed to determine if the student has met the requirements specified in the academic plan.

Re-Establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress

Any students whose federal financial aid has been terminated may reestablish Satisfactory Academic Progress by any of the following methods:

  • Repeating and passing failed courses
  • Removing incomplete grades

The following evaluation criteria are important to note:

Withdrawals (W Grades), which are recorded on the student’s transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The successful completion of a course is defined as receiving one the following grades: A, B, C, or D. Courses with grades of F, I, or W will not qualify in meeting the minimum standard for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Repeated Courses will be counted as hours completed only once, provided the student meets all other criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Change of Degree. A student may change from one major to another during attendance at Claremont School of Theology. Students who change from one major to another are still expected to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. They also must complete the course work within the time frame or hours limitation stated unless an appeal is otherwise approved.

Class Load. The number of hours in which a student is enrolled on the day following the published last day to add or drop a class or Claremont School of Theology census date will be used as the official enrollment date for financial aid purposes.