Standards of Academic Progress

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, LMM has established a minimum Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) Policy.  All federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs administered by Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry are covered by this policy.

In order to receive financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. This includes all students that have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and wish to receive aid, whether or not they have in the past. These requirements apply to all credits attempted, for part-time and full-time students, for all semesters of enrollment within an academic year, including those semesters for which no financial aid was received. Review of SAP is conducted at the conclusion of each semester by the Financial Aid Office once grades are posted. This review looks at grades received, courses attempted, GPA and pace towards graduation.

Students will be considered to be making satisfactory progress if they meet ALL of the following requirements.  Failure to comply with any ONE may result in a loss of financial aid eligibility.   Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated after the completion of each semester. The U.S. Department of Education measures SAP based on the following:

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA):
  • Undergraduate Students: must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and earn a term GPA of not less than 1.0.
  1. Minimum Credit Hour Completion Percentage:
  • All students must complete at least 67% of their courses each semester.
  • Grades of W, X, F and I will be counted as hours attempted but will not be counted as hours successfully passed.
  • Students may receive financial aid for developmental classes as defined in the School catalog. Developmental courses are taken as no credit because they do not count toward graduation credits, but they do count in determining the percentage of credit hours attempted for SAP.
  1. Maximum Time to Complete a Degree/Program (MTF):
  • When an undergraduate student’s attempted hours reach 150% of the required hours for the degree (192 hours), the aid will be suspended unless the time frame is extended. This can be done by speaking with your advisor about a max time frame (MTF) plan. All transfer credits count towards the MTF. The act of adding majors or minors is not a plausible circumvention.
  • Graduate degrees must be completed by the length of time standards established and monitored by Graduate Studies.

How Transfer Credit Affects SAP

  • From Another Institution: All transfer credit that is accepted towards a student’s academic program will be counted as both credits attempted and credits earned for purposes of the rate of completion and maximum timeframe calculations. Grades for these transfer courses are not used to calculate CGPA.
  • Internal Transfer (Change of Program): Every course a student takes at LMM remains on the transcript and is used to calculate the Cumulative GPA. In general, all courses attempted at LMM will count as both credits attempted and credits earned for the SAP calculation.

How Repeated Courses Affect SAP

  • Any repeated course that is designated as an “R”, whether repeated because of a failed grade or to receive a better grade, will be counted as credits attempted but not as credits earned for SAP calculations to determine rate of completion and maximum time frame calculations.
  • Financial aid regulations permit students to repeat a course that has been passed (not an “F” grade) only once in order to earn a better grade. Any additional repeats of previously passed courses are not eligible for federal financial aid nor will they be used to calculate the student’s enrollment status for determining federal financial aid eligibility.
  • When a course is repeated, the grade of the most recent repeat will be used for the purposes of calculating CGPA. The “old” grade will remain on the transcript and will be followed by an “R”. “R” grades are not used in calculating the CGPA.
  • Repeating courses can have an adverse effect on the student’s rate of completion and maximum timeframe calculations and may affect the student’s ability to meet SAP requirements. For this reason, students that are receiving Financial Aid are strongly advised to work closely with their Academic Advisor and the LMM Financial Aid office in order to maintain their eligibility for loans under Title IV.


Financial Aid Warning

Students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements will be placed on financial aid warning during their next semester of attendance.  Students may still receive financial assistance while on financial aid warning; however, they must meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements to receive financial assistance during subsequent semesters.  Students who are placed on financial aid warning will be evaluated at the end of their warning semester.  Failure to meet these SAP requirements will result in the student being placed on financial aid cancellation.

Financial Aid Cancellation

A student’s financial aid may be cancelled for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to make progress toward a 2.00 (3.00 for graduate students) Institutional and Overall Cumulative GPA
  • Failure to meet the pace (completion rate) required
  • Failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements during a warning semester
  • Complete withdrawal from the school during a semester for which aid was received
  • Failure to complete any credit hours attempted during the semester with a passing grade
  • Failure to meet terms of the conditional admission status
  • Exceeding the maximum time frame required for completion of your degree
  • Being placed on academic suspension by the Office of Records and Registration
  • Failure to meet stipulations as mandated by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee in the granting of your financial aid cancellation appeal


Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy

Refund Policy for Students Participating in Federal Title IV Student Aid Programs:

If a student participates in Federal Title IV Financial Aid, the college will first calculate the Return to Title IV and then apply the Institutional Refund Policy. For those students not participating in Federal Title IV Financial Aid, only the Institutional Refund Policy will apply. Federal Title IV funds include Federal Pell Grants, Federal College Work-Study, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Direct Loans and Direct PLUS Loans. A student’s Title IV monies are adjusted when the student drops a course or earns an NS (no show) grade. An NS grade does not establish attendance. Each NS grade results in a $500 charge. Title IV Funds cannot be used for this $500 charge.

Return of Title IV Funds:

The school must return any unearned portion of monies received under any of the Title IV programs. This calculation is based on the parameters set forth in section 668.22(e)(1) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. This is a proportional calculation based upon the student’s date of withdrawal. Students must attend 60.01% of an enrollment period in order to earn all of their financial aid for the applicable semester. Students will be notified of any balance owed to the college as a result of the refund calculations. Students who withdraw and reenter are subject to all the regulations and policies in effect at the time of reentry.

Appeal Procedures

If a student fails to meet the requirements of financial aid warning and subsequently loses financial aid eligibility, he/she may file an appeal.  All appeals must be made in writing.  Students are strongly encouraged to work with the Academic Director to develop an academic plan that successfully meets the requirements of both their academic program and the satisfactory academic progress financial aid policy.

Students will have the option of attending/enrolling in classes when an appeal is necessary. However, financial aid eligibility will not be calculated and released unless the appeal is approved. If the appeal is denied, the student is responsible for any balance owed to LMM. The student must also meet all SAP requirements in order to be considered for future reinstatement.

Please refer to the SAP Appeals Process below for more information.

SAP Appeals Process

If a student did not meet the GPA standard, complete a minimum of 67% of their attempted courses in a semester, or registered for courses outside of their advisor’s degree plan, they will no longer be authorized to receive aid until they have regained compliance.

If extenuating circumstances existed, then an SAP Petition can be completed and submitted to the Academic Director. These situations include, but are not limited to:

  • Serious injury or illness of the student or immediate family member
  • An emergency situation
  • Death of an immediate family member

The student must explain in the appeal the circumstances that led them to not meeting SAP, as well as provide supporting documentation including, but not limited to:

  • An obituary notification or death certificate
  • Physician statement or medical documentation
  • Corroborating statement from an academic advisor, a faculty member or a counselor

A Maximum Time Frame (MTF) appeal can be done through the academic director with an academic plan laying out the courses needed and the timeframe in which these courses are to be taken. After the completion of this plan, no changes can be made by either party.  A change to this plan will lead to an SAP denial.

If a federal aid suspension is initiated and the student does not file an appeal or the appeal is denied:

  • No further appeal is possible (for denials); the committee’s decision is final.
  • Students who wish to continue will be 100% out of pocket until requirements are met and eligibility is reestablished for future semesters.
  • Your eligibility will automatically be reinstated for the next term of enrollment upon successful completion of a term of enrollment in which you meet the required SAP standards. No appeal for reinstatement is required.