Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines regulations were issued by the U.S. Department of Education regarding standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP). These regulations are now in effect for the Federal Stafford Loan Program, PELL Grant Program as well as the federal work-study program. Satisfactory Progress (as defined by law) is a combination of hours attempted, hours completed, and cumulative grade point average. Baptist Bible College can or will) may not distribute money to students who do not comply with the following policy. Students on Financial Aid Warning are still eligible for financial aid, but students on Financial Aid suspension are no longer eligible for most financial aid.  Students on Financial Aid Suspension can either continue their enrollment without financial aid OR submit an appeal.

Minimum Academic Standards:

The Financial Aid SAP Policy includes the following standards that comply with federal regulations.

  1. Cumulative GPA:  

Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all credit hours attempted at BBC. The minimum GPA is 2.0 or as defined by the academic degree program.  For a seminary student the minimum GPA is 2.5.

  1. Completion Rate:  

Students must complete at least a cumulative 67% of their registered coursework. This is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours completed by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted


3a. Maximum Time Frame:  

Students are expected to graduate from their program of study in a timely manner within 150% of the published length of the program of study.  This means that students may take up to six (6) years to complete their program at the College. They should be aware that some programs may require them to complete their program in six (6) years. Those students must graduate within that time frame if they plan to secure Federal aid. Students must work closely with their academic adviser to complete their degree in a reasonable time-frame. All credits attempted are counted including change in majors, credits from other institutions and whether or not financial aid was received for credits taken.

Parents and students must be aware that some academic programs require a significant amount of credits beyond the typical requirement of other programs offered by the College. This includes some education programs and nursing. There are two reasons for this. First, the mission of the College anticipates that all undergraduate students complete a Bible/theology program of 29-credit hours. While students should secure employment, there is an expectation that all students are prepared for ministry in a local church. Second, some programs must meet external standards established by the State of Missouri. It becomes very important that students work closely with their faculty advisers to ensure that they are progressing such that they complete their programs in six years or less.  For example, if the typical bachelor’s degree requires 125 credit hours, the limit for maximum attempted hours would be 188.  The maximum timeframe is not increased for changes in major, double majors, or adding a minor in another subject area.  Students who have completed all the courses required for their degree or certificate but have not yet received the degree or certificate are no longer eligible for financial aid for that program.


3b. Exceeding Maximum Timeframe- Excessive Hours

SAP standards require that students complete their program of study in a timely manner within 150% of the published credit length of the program.  Students who have attempted credits exceeding the 150% maximum but have not graduated will receive notification for Denial of Financial Aid.  Credit hours attempted includes ALL hours attempted at BBC regardless of change in majors and all other institutions attended regardless whether financial aid was received for coursework.  The 150% maximum timeframe allowed will be reduced for students working on their 2nd Bachelor’s or 2nd Master’s Degree.  Students on an Excessive Hour Denial have the opportunity to submit an Appeal of the Denial.  See the Appeal Process in this section for procedures.

3c. Excessive Hours

Students with an Appeal Approval of Excessive Hours will receive notification that notes the last semester which they may continue to receive financial aid.  It is important for these students to complete 100% of coursework taken, and maintain the minimum academic degree cumulative GPA for undergraduates and a 2.5 cumulative GPA for seminary students; without any Fs, Ws, or AWs for the remaining terms allowed for financial aid eligibility as stated on the Appeal Approval Letter sent to the student.


SAP Standards and Cumulative Requirements

Minimum Cumulative Requirements Undergraduate Students Seminary Students
Minimum GPA 2.0 or as defined by your academic program All credits

2.5 GPA

Minimum Completion Rate/Pace 67% 67%
Maximum Time for Completion

(150% of published credits required)

150% 150%


SAP Treatment of Grades

For financial aid purposes, passing grades are A, B, C, D, S, and P.  A grade of F, I, U,or W indicates the course was attempted but not passed or completed.  A reminder that these grades do count as credits hours attempted for the purposes of meeting SAP standards for Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame requirements.

Repeated Courses

For financial aid eligibility, failed courses that are required for program completion may be repeated until the course is passed.  However, financial aid may only be used to pay the cost of the class the first time it is repeated.  

Dropped Courses During 100% Refund Period

Courses dropped within the 100% refund deadline, (First day of official seated classes through the second Friday after the first official day of seated classes (Census date)), will not be counted in the credits hours attempted and have no bearing on SAP since financial aid is not processed or if processed, will be returned.

Special Note**

  • If financial aid funds were received (refunded or credited to the student’s account) and based on:
  • Enrollment that included courses later dropped as “No Record”;
  • The student may owe a repayment of a portion or all of funds received by the student.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Evaluation

Evaluation of SAP occurs at the end of each term once grades are posted.

  • Students with previous coursework from other institutions will need to submit official transcripts to the Register’s Office.  Upon posting of grades, SAP evaluation will take place for consideration of financial aid eligibility.  Students with a poor academic history/SAP may be ineligible to receive financial aid.
  • All coursework attempted is evaluated whether or not financial aid was received for credits taken.
  • Students not meeting Table 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements for cumulative GPA and/or the cumulative Completion Rate/Pace will receive notification of the following SAP Statuses:

Warning Status

  • Students who failed to meet SAP requirements as stated on Table 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements at the end of an enrollment term will be placed on a “Warning” status (not to exceed one term) for the next term of enrollment.  Students at a “Warning” status are eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Students who meet the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate/pace requirements by the end of the “Warning” term per SAP Standards and Requirement Table 1 will go off the “Warning” status.
  • Students not meeting cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate/pace requirements by the end of the “Warning” term will be sent a Denial Notification and may not receive financial aid for the next term of enrollment.  Students have the opportunity to submit an Appeal of the denial.  (See the Appeal Process in this section.)

Approved Appeal SAP Status

Students who have submitted an Appeal of Denial for not meeting Table 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements for GPA and/or Completion Rate/Pace that results in an approval may be placed on a “Probation” term, and/or an “Academic Plan”, depending on the cumulative GPA and Completion Rate/Pace provided in Table 2 below.



Current Cum GPA is – Probation Term Academic Plan
1 – 29 hours
30 hours & higher
Less than 1.6
Less than 1.9
Seminary student 2.5 Less than 2.5
Current Sem Completion Rate/Pace (all students) is 65% Less than 65%



Students on a Probation term are eligible to receive financial aid for one term.  At the end of the Probation term, progress will be assessed to determine if Cumulative GPA and Completion Rate/Pace standards were met as listed on Table 1, SAP Standards & Cumulative Requirements.

Academic Plan

The College invites you to be an active member of the academic community. The goal of the learning community is that you successfully navigate what we call the academic pathway. In other words, we desire that you persist, graduate and find a job/ministry. There are times that faculty and staff will be proactive and intrusive to support you along that pathway as necessary. Part of the support involves an academic plan. The Academic Plan is considered to be an integral piece of the College’s Intrusive Advising System.  All students are scrutinized and subject to an Academic Plan at the time of their enrollment or upon failure to meet the institution’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Guidelines.

For new students, the College uses criteria which consists of the self-reported information from the College Student Inventory (CSI), ACT scores (or SAT equivalents), and other relevant enrollment data (e.g., transcripts from other colleges or universities.) The College may place new students on a plan at the beginning of their first semester. For all enrolled students, the College uses cumulative grade point average (GPA) or cumulative completion rate of less than 67%, anecdotal information from the academic advisor and/or Student Life (such as Partners in Excellence [PIE] reporting processes) as well as the individual’s SAP percentages.  After a thorough review of the data those students in need of a more structured, systematic and intrusive support system will be subject to an Academic Plan developed by a team and subsequently implemented by the Director of the Learning Center and Advising. This means that the College may intervene at any point during the semester to provide intrusive support so that all students are successful.

A significant part of the intervention may occur at the end of each semester. At this time, the Office of Student Financial Aid evaluates student progress in relationship to the SAP Guidelines. Those who do not meet those Guidelines are placed on FA Warning. At that time, students will receive a notification letter of their status to include a copy of the Academic Plan. Before the first day of class, the student will meet with a Student Financial Aid Committee to include the student’s adviser.

Once it is determined that the College must become more intrusive to provide support, the student and Committee will discuss the respective academic plan to include specific stipulations which the student must meet during the upcoming semester. Stipulations may include a limit of twelve (12) credit hours, scheduling regular study time in the Learning Center, assignment of an individual tutor, regular meetings with the student’s adviser, attendance at student development and study skills training, limiting co-curricular activities, meeting with staff in the Office of Student Life, and others. The Committee members and the student must sign the plan. Once the student signs the plan, the student may appeal the plan to the Student Financial Aid Appeals Committee. All appeals must be in writing. (See “APPEALS CONCERNING ACTIONS TAKEN WITH REFERENCE TO ACADEMICS” in the Student Handbook.)

As a member of the learning community, it is important for all students to understand the goal and purpose for the intrusive intervention. The College understands the significance of financial aid and thus desires that you do not find yourself in a place where you lose that benefit. Thus, the goal of the academic plan is to facilitate your success which means the student meets the SAP guidelines at the end of the subsequent semester. Students on an Academic Plan are eligible to receive financial aid. Students who fail to meet the stipulations of the plan and do not meet the SAP Guidelines at the end of the warning semester will not qualify to appeal their FA status. Consequently, the respective student will not be assigned to probationary status and thus may lose FA.

For students who meet the stipulations of the academic plan and yet for unforeseen and providential circumstances did not meet the SAP Guidelines at the end of a semester may appeal their FA status. The student must provide the appeal in writing. The Student Financial Aid Committee will review the appeal and make a decision concerning their status. Students will receive a notification letter of their status. If the student’s appeal is accepted, the Committee and the student will prepare an Academic Plan which the committee members and the student will sign. Students who receive notification that their appeal is not granted may appeal that decision to the Student Financial Aid Appeals Committee. (See “APPEALS CONCERNING ACTIONS TAKEN WITH REFERENCE TO ACADEMICS” in the Student Handbook.)

Re-Establishment of Financial Aid Eligibility

This is an option provided for students in the following situations:

  • Students at a Denial status who did not submit an Appeal for an Extenuating Circumstance
  • Students whose Appeal was denied
  • The student must successfully complete all credits attempted (a minimum of 6 credits for undergraduate/5 credits for seminary students), without BBC financial aid and with a minimum term of 2.25 GPA for undergraduate students or a minimum 2.5 for seminary students
  • The student must complete an Appeal Form and provide an explanation of why they initially failed to meet SAP standards and what circumstances have changed that will allow them to meet SAP standards in future terms
  • Hours completed at BBC or another institution must be recorded on the BBC academic transcript
  • The grade of D or F may be changed to RD or RF when is a class is retaken at BBC or transferred in from another institution

Upon review, students will be notified of the Appeal decision within two weeks.  All notifications of financial aid SAP statuses are sent ONLY to the student’s BBC e-mail account.

How To Submit An Appeal:
Students who have received notification of a Financial Aid Denial and believe they had an extenuating circumstance that prevented them from meeting SAP standards may appeal their Denial status.

Step 1: Once you are notified of the Financial Aid SAP probation, contact the Financial Aid Office to acquire the Financial Aid Appeal form.

Step 2: Complete and submit the Financial Aid SAP Appeal form.  The Financial Aid Appeals Form is accessible here (insert link here to our new financial aid forms page), under Financial Aid Forms.  Students should carefully read the instructions on the Appeal form, submitting the following with the Appeal to the Financial Aid Office.

Step 3:  Give a detailed statement explaining why SAP was not met.  You are required to give an explanation of what circumstances have changed that will allow you to meet cumulative standards/requirements for future terms.  Students with an Excessive Denial or students with 100 or more attempted credits must submit a Degree Evaluation from your advisor.

Step 4: Be sure to immediately send copies of the required documents to the Financial Aid Office by scanning and emailing to, submitting in person, or by mail (All documents needing signatures must be signed.  Your name and BBC student ID number must be on each document).

Step 5: The appeals deadline for the Fall semester is July 1st of every year.  The appeals deadline for the Spring semester is January 6, 2018.

A decision to approve or deny your appeal will be made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee within two weeks of the receipt of your Financial Aid SAP appeal form and any required additional documents.  The decision will be communicated to you through your BBC email account.

Support Systems & Advising for Students At-Risk

BBC invites you to be an active member of the academic community. The goal of our learning community is to persist, graduate, and obtain a job/ministry. It is in this context that the College has developed intrusive support systems for at-risk students.

  1. Learning Center

The Learning Center provides resources for all students so that they might be successful and progress through their program, and graduate. There are times, however, that faculty will proactively assign students to the Learning Center.


Faculty may assign (1) new students to the Learning Center based upon scores from the ACT/SAT and self-reported results from the College Student Inventory; and (2) transfer students based upon their previous work completed as reflected on their college/university transcript(s). The College may also assign students to the Learning Center once they are placed on FA Warning or FA Probation. This assignment to participate in the activities of the Learning Center may be the result of an Academic Plan in which case the student’s participation and attendance will be monitored and tracked..


The Director of the Learning Center & Advising may schedule students to participate in Learning Center support programs and meet with Learning Center staff who mentor and collaborate with the students for academic success.

  1. Patriot Success Seminar
  • In an effort to support the students of BBC, the College has implemented a support program, known as Patriot Success Seminar. The goal is to support students so that they are successful, persist, graduate and find a job/ministry.
  • Faculty assigns first-time, first-year students to Patriot Success Seminar during the first semester they matriculate based upon scores from the ACT/SAT and self-reported results from the College Student Inventory (CSI). The course content of the Seminar does not require additional workload as a typical course might. Rather students participate in a seminar‐style course in which the faculty mentors and facilitates their academic, personal, and spiritual skill learning. The goal is to enhance student success so that they meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines of the College. Students will also interact with personnel in the Learning Center, faculty in their respective courses, faculty advisors, and other departments as necessary.
  • Students will be charged one (1) credit hour for the Seminar. There may be circumstances in which they are required to take no more than twelve (12) credit hours during the semester in which they are assigned to PSS. The goal is for them to make satisfactory academic progress their first semester. Students taking the Seminar receive a grade of pass/fail. Those who fail PSS will be assigned to the Seminar for the subsequent semester. Those who pass PSS may elect to enroll in the Seminary the subsequent semester.
  1.   Partners in Excellence
  • Faculty and Student Life and Learning staff collaborate and develop student-specific support systems through a communication system known as Partners in Excellence. The goal of the collaboration is to ensure academic and spiritual development inside and outside the classroom. This is an intrusive system intended to intervene as students demonstrate indicators of being at-risk.
  1.  Prerequisite Courses
  • English Pathway: The mission of BBC anticipates that Christ-like leaders are critical readers; understand the usage of the English language; research and report findings; and apply the concepts and tools of critical thinking. This provides the foundation so that they might collect, interpret, and analyze information and engage in critical thinking about their faith in relation to contemporary global, technological, and social issues and challenges. To ensure success, the faculty has established the following pathway for English courses.
 ACT Score  Required Class(es)
 ACT English ≤ 18  GSCE141 English Grammar
 ACT English ≥ 19  GSCE142 Composition and Research
 GSCE200 Critical Thinking and Advanced Writing

All students must complete GSCE142 and GSCE200. For those with an ACT English score of 18 or less, they will take GSCE141 the pre-requisite for GSCE142. The College anticipates that only GSCE142 and GSCE200 are transferable. GSCE142 is the pre-requisite for GSCE200.

  • Mathematics Pathway: The mission of BBC anticipates that Christ-like leaders are able to understand fundamental mathematical concepts and their applications; develop a level of quantitative literacy that would enable them to make decisions and solve problems; develop competencies which may serve as a basis for continued learning. To ensure success, the faculty has established the following pathway for mathematics courses.
 ACT Score  Required Class(es)
 ACT Math ≤ 18  GSNM030 Elementary Math and Algebra
 ACT Math 19-23  GSNM130 Intermediate Algebra
 ACT Math ≥ 24  GSNM230 College Algebra

All students must complete an upper level mathematics course. They should consult their program faculty concerning the specific mathematics requirement(s). The basis for placement into the pathway is their ACT math score. Students who have an ACT mathematics score of 18 or less, they will take GSNM030 the pre-requisite for GSNM130. Students who have an ACT mathematics score of 24 or greater may be required to take GSNM230.

Finding Additional Academic Help:

Please consider using the following additional resources if you are struggling academically:

  • Tips for college success (insert link here to our new “Tips for college success page)
  • Talk to your academic advisors
  • Schedule meetings with your professors
  • Utilize the Learning Center at BBC