Standards of Academic Progress at ACHS

Standards of Academic Progress

ACHS expects all students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of their enrolled program. At the end of each semester, grade-point averages and rate of completion are calculated to determine academic standings.

How Satisfactory Academic Progress is Reviewed

ACHS expects all students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of their enrolled program. At the end of each semester, grade-point averages and rate of completion are calculated to determine academic standings.

SAP has two components all students must meet in order to remain in good academic standing:

  • Grade Point Average – This qualitative standard requires undergraduate students to achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 2.0; 3.0 for graduate students.
  • Completion Rate (or Pace) – This quantitative standard requires students to complete at least 67% (minimum pace) of ALL attempted courses. Also called “pace”, this is a student’s earned (completed) hours divided by his/her total attempted hours. For example, 42 credits earned/48 attempted credits = 87.5%.

Students receiving Title IV federal financial aid must meet the above requirements in addition to the following in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress and remain eligible for federal financial aid:

  • Participation: Students receiving federal financial aid are required to participate in substantive interaction with faculty. Students are required to establish participation within the first 14 days of the semester to be eligible to receive federal financial aid for the semester, and Title IV funds are then disbursed for a student under the assumption that the student will participate for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. Students who fail to participate in course activities through the end of the semester and do not request to withdraw or apply for an incomplete grade will receive a “U” grade on their transcript and financial aid awards will be recalculated. In this case, the date of withdrawal used for the calculation of Return of Title IV Funds will be the midpoint of the semester. A date earlier or later than the midpoint will be used if the college has documentation of the last day the student participated.  This recalculation may require that unearned funds be returned to the Department of Education and may result in a balance due to ACHS. In such cases, students will remain financially liable. Note no student is obligated to tuition for a semester that has not commenced.
  • Maximum Timeframe - Students have 150% of the time it takes to complete their program and remain eligible for financial aid (if applicable). This is measured in credits and reviewed at the end of each payment period. For students with a financial aid appeal, the maximum timeframe is also reviewed for future semesters to ensure the student will be able to regain good standing within the maximum time frame allowed. For example, an Associates Degree requires 60 credit hours to complete, which means students would have a MAXIMUM of 90 attempted credit hours to complete their degree before they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. Additional examples are provided in the chart below:
Program Level Maximum Time Frame (attempted credits)
Associate of Applied Science Degree – 60 credits 90 credits
Undergraduate Certificate – 12-18 credits 18-27 credits
Undergraduate Diploma – 27-42 credits 41-63 credits
Bachelors Degree – 120 credits; 180 credits
Graduate Certificate – 12-15 credits; 18-23 credits
Masters Degree – 36 credits 54 credits

Participation and Maximum Timeframe are reviewed at the end of each semester. Note Participation is also reviewed during the census period following the first 14 days of class to ensure all students are eligible for federal financial aid as described above.

Academic Standings

Academic standings are determined once SAP is calculated at the end of each semester. In all instances the length of academic standing, also referred to as the probationary period, shall be one semester unless notified otherwise.

NOTE: Any student who is not on Academic Warning, Academic Probation, or Academic Suspension is considered in good academic standing.

  • Academic Warning: This occurs after the first semester the student does not meet SAP. Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) or better and a completion rate of at least 67% will be removed from Academic Warning.
  • Academic Probation: This occurs after the second consecutive semester that the student did not meet SAP. Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) or better and a completion rate of at least 67% will be removed from Academic Probation.
  • Academic Suspension (Administrative Withdrawal): Students who are on Academic Probation and do not meet SAP in their subsequent term will be placed on Academic Suspension and administratively withdrawn from the institution. Academic Suspension is recorded on the student’s academic record. Students who are academically suspended are no longer enrolled students and must apply for re-instatement subject to approval by the Academic Standards Committee.
  • Reinstatement to ACHS: Suspended students accepted for re-instatement will be approved on a provisional basis and required to successfully complete nine semester credits of individual courses with a 2.0 GPA for undergraduate and 3.0 GPA for graduate studies to demonstrate good academic standing prior to full re-instatement into an ACHS program.

The Academic Standards Committee, chaired by the Academic Dean, is responsible for enforcement of the Satisfactory Academic Standing regulations and has discretionary authority to grant exceptions and to develop guidelines for administering these regulations.

Students will be notified of their academic standing status by telephone, email, or mail. They will then need to meet (in person or via telephone) with their Student Services Advisor to discuss tools and strategies for future success. Students placed on academic probation may have their registration restricted and are required to have regular meetings (by phone or conferencing technology) with their student services advisor throughout the following semester.

Students are automatically removed from academic probation when they have met SAP requirements.

Students who have received notice of academic suspension have the right to petition the Academic Standards Committee if there are extenuating circumstances. A written petition must be submitted to the Academic Standards Committee within 30 days of the date of notification. Extenuating circumstances should be explained fully in the petition. The Committee may approve the petition, approve the petition with condition, or deny the petition and suggest alternative action. The academic petition can be completed online here.

Financial Aid Standings

If a review of a financial aid student’s record at the end of the semester indicates that they have not met SAP (qualitative, quantitative, participation, and maximum time frame requirements), the student may be placed on financial aid warning or probation and aid may be cancelled with continued failure to meet SAP according to the following schedule:

  • Financial Aid Warning – This occurs after the first semester the student does not meet SAP. Students will need to meet with their academic advisor (in person or via telephone) to identify how ACHS can help. Recommendations might be weekly meetings, tutoring, or outreach to an ACHS Ambassador for peer guidance, for instance. Students will remain eligible for federal student aid for one additional semester, after which SAP will again be reviewed. If a student is still not meeting SAP after a second consecutive semester, they will be required to appeal in order to be considered for continued financial aid eligibility.
  • Financial Aid Probation – This occurs after the second consecutive semester that the student did not meet SAP, and after a successful appeal.   Student eligibility is reinstated for one payment period (or more with an academic plan).
  • Cancellation of Aid - If a student’s cumulative grade point average and/or completion rate is less than the minimum standard after the Probation period and/or the student does not meet the terms of their academic plan, the student’s financial aid will be cancelled. Financial aid eligibility may only be reinstated once the student is again meeting SAP.

Students have the option to appeal the cancellation of their financial aid. An appeal requires an academic plan and submission of appeal online at https://contact.achs.edu/financial-aid-warning-appeal. Students are asked to be specific in their appeal and include all information they would like the Committee to consider.

In certain situations, an appeal may be warranted, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • medical emergencies
  • severe health issues
  • severe personal or family problems
  • financial or personal catastrophe

Financial aid appeals are individually reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee, and students are notified in writing of the Committee’s decision within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. The committee’s decision is final.

If aid is cancelled, students may continue to take courses at their own expense with approval from the Academic Standards Committee, as students on financial aid cancellation are also on academic suspension, until they have regained good academic standing by achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for undergraduate students or 3.0 for graduate students AND meeting the minimum pace by completing 67% of their total attempted credits.

GPA & Pace of Completion Calculations

Course Incompletes – “I” Grade

If a student is unable to complete a course due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the student must request an incomplete “I” grade by the semester end date and indicate his or her intention to complete outstanding coursework (fees apply—view fee information at https://www.achs.edu/other-fees).

An “I” grade does not impact the calculation of CGPA. Credits associated with courses in which an Incomplete grade is received are included in Total Semester Credits Attempted and count toward the Maximum Time Frame for Completion. Please see the Incomplete Grading Policy for more information.

Course Incompletes – “U” Grade

If a student is not able to complete the coursework and does not request an incomplete grade by the end of the semester, the student will receive a “U” grade, Ungraded, and will be required to retake the class or make alternate arrangements with his or her student services advisor to complete outstanding coursework (fees apply—see fee information at https://www.achs.edu/other-fees).

A “U” grade does not impact the calculation of CGPA. Credits associated with courses in which an Incomplete grade is received are included in Total Semester Credits Attempted and count toward the Maximum Time Frame for Completion.  

When courses with an incomplete “I” or ungraded “U” grade are completed and a final grade assigned, the resulting credit and grade point will be included in the CGPA.

Course Withdrawals — “W” Grade

A “W” grade is not included in the calculation of CGPA. Credits associated with courses with a “W” grade count toward the Total Semester Credits Attempted and Maximum Time Frame for Completion.

Course Repeats

Credits from all course attempts will be counted in Total Semester Credits Attempted. Only the highest grade received will be included in the calculation of CGPA. Credits from all course attempts also count towards the Maximum Time Frame for Completion. Students receiving Title IV Federal Financial Aid may repeat a course in accordance with ACHS’s academic policy and Department of Education guidelines.

Transfer Credits from Other Institutions, Readmitted Students, and Students Changing Majors

If a student transfers to ACHS from another institution, the transfer credits that have been accepted by ACHS will count as Total Semester Credits Attempted and Total Semester Credits Completed. The grades from such credits will not be included in the calculation of CGPA.

If a student changes majors, ACHS credits that have been applied to the new major will count as Total Semester Credits Attempted and towards the student’s Total Semester Credits Completed at ACHS. The grades from such credits will also be calculated into the CGPA.

GPA & Grading Scale

Grade Grade Points (grade points per credit) Included in CGPA Included in Total Attempted Credits
A+ 4.0 Yes Yes
A 4.0 Yes Yes
A- 3.7 Yes Yes
B+ 3.3 Yes Yes
B 3.0 Yes Yes
B- 2.7 Yes Yes
C+ 2.3 Yes Yes
C 2.0 Yes Yes
C- 1.7 Yes Yes
F 0.0 Yes Yes
CHAL Challenge Exam successfully passed; credit given, no grade points. No Yes
U Ungraded due to lack of participation, no grade points or credit. No Yes
U/Alt Grade Indicates "U" grade was completed and converted to a passing grade, e.g. U/A or U/R in the event the course is retaken. Grade points and credits are assigned using the alternative grade's measurement. Yes Yes
I Incomplete, no grade points or credits. No Yes
I/Alt Grade Indicates "I" grade was completed and converted to a passing grade, e.g. I/A or I/R in the event the course is retaken. Grade points and credits are assigned using the alternative grade's measurement. Yes Yes
P Credit given, no grade points. No Yes
NP No credit given, no grade points. No Yes
R No credit or grade points. No Yes
T Transfer Credit Awarded - Credit given, no grade points. No Yes
W No credit or grade points. No Yes
AW Administrative Withdrawal; administratively assigned due to withdrawal by the institution. Reasons for AW include, but are not limited to, non-payment or violations of the ACHS Academic Honesty Policy (Honor Code). No Yes