Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Under new federal regulations effective July 1, 2011, New York Theological Seminary is required to implement Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies to ensure that all students, including those receiving federal student aid, are making progress toward completing their degree programs.

The following information applies to students in the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Master of Arts in Religious Education, Master of Arts in Religious Leadership and Administration and Master of Arts in Youth Ministry programs.

1. Minimum Cumulative Pace of Progression: 60% of all courses within a term. Cumulative pace of progression is defined as total completed course units divided by total attempted course units. Doctor of Ministry students must successfully complete 100% of all attempted courses.

2. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): 2.00 Students in the Doctor of Ministry program and select Master’s level courses receive Pass/Fail grades. Pass grades are assigned a 4.00 and Fail grades receive a 0.00.

3. Maximum Years of Enrollment: 7 – Master of Divinity, 5 – Master of Arts, 6 – Doctor of Ministry

The Academic Dean’s Department will measure SAP at the end of each term (Fall and Spring). Students receiving federal student aid funds authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act are subject to the following conditions:

Financial Aid Ineligible

If a student fails to meet any of the three SAP conditions for more than a single semester, they lose eligibility to receive any future federal student aid funds at NYTS. Only the Financial Aid Office assigns this status and will notify the student via electronic correspondence.

Appeal Process

Students wishing to appeal their loss of eligibility may submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Office with a detailed explanation along with documentation verifying the circumstance that led to the inability to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Examples of acceptable explanations include:

  • death of an immediate relative
  • injury or illness of the student
  • other special circumstances (such as family issues, legal troubles, employment or other financial problems, etc.)

Students must also describe the changed circumstances that now allow them to meet SAP standards. If an appeal is approved, the student is assigned a Financial Aid Probation designation. A student whose appeal is denied or loses eligibility by not appealing may remain enrolled at NYTS without the receipt of Title IV funding. He or she may request a review of their academic record after any term in which they are enrolled without such benefits to determine whether the appropriate standards for the degree program have been met. If the standards are met, edibility is regained for subsequent terms in the academic year.

Financial Aid Probation

A student in a Financial Aid Probation status is eligible to receive federal student aid funds for the next academic year. If at the end of the academic year the student meets all three conditions for SAP, the student’s Financial Aid Probation status is removed, and the student regains full eligibility for federal student aid funds for the next academic year of enrollment. If, however, the student does not meet all three conditions for SAP, the student returns to a Financial Aid Ineligible status.

Other Circumstances

Drops and Withdrawals
If a student drops a course or reduces their number of enrolled units prior to the Add/Drop deadline for the
semester, the dropped units are not considered attempted units in the SAP calculation. If a student withdraws from a course after the Add/Drop deadline, they will receive a notation of “W” for the course, and the units for the course will
be counted as attempted units in the SAP calculation.

The credits for a course in which the student has received a grade of Incomplete (“I”) are included in the SAP calculation of attempted units but not of completed units. If an Incomplete grade is changed to a passing grade within the required timeframes, as established in the Student Handbook, the student may request a review of their academic record to determine eligibility for retroactive disbursement of federal aid.

Repeated Courses
A student may repeat a course in order to earn a higher grade. When a student repeats a course for the first time (“first repeat”), the credits for this course count as attempted in the SAP calculation, and count as earned units if a
passing grade is obtained at the end of the term. However, if a student repeats a course for a second time (“second repeat”), the units are not included as attempted or earned credits in the SAP calculation.


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