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  2. Academic Services

Continuing Student Financial Aid Requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement

SFCM is required to implement Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies to ensure that students receiving federal financial aid are making adequate progress toward completing their degree programs. This includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, FWS, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans. These standards also apply to the Cal Grant programs and SFCM scholarship.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Maintain a minimum GPA. The cumulative GPA requirement is the same as that required by the Conservatory (2.5 for undergraduate students, 3.0 for graduate students).
  • Completion of 67% of units attempted, based on Cumulative pace of progression
  • Students must complete their degree with 150% of the time frame required for their degree.
    • A maximum of six years is allowed for the completion of the Bachelor of Music degree.
    • A maximum of three years is allowed for the completion of the Master of Music degree.

Students who fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, will enter Financial Aid Warning status for their next semester of enrollment. The student with a financial aid warning status must raise his/ her GPA and completion rate or else lose eligibility for federal financial aid in the next semester. Students may re-establish eligibility by completing the required units and raising their GPA. If SAP is not met after the warning period, the students may appeal this decision.  In the appeal the student must submit a letter explaining the reason(s) for not attaining the minimum required number of units, as well as an academic plan from the student’s academic advisor stating how and when the student will make up the deficiency. If the appeal is not accepted, the student will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid until such time as SAP is re-established.

Special Circumstances

Drops and Withdrawals
If a student drops a course or reduces their number of enrolled units prior to the Final drop deadline for the semester, the dropped units are not included as attempted units in the SAP status calculation. If a student withdraws from a course after the final drop deadline, they will receive a grade of “W” for the course, and the units for the course will be included as attempted units in the SAP status calculation.

Incompletes
The units for a course in which the student has received a grade of Incomplete are included in the SAP status calculation as attempted units but not as earned units.

Repeated Courses
Certain courses may be repeated for credit, these include private lessons and ensemble courses. Otherwise courses may be retaken, but a second attempt cannot be used to fulfill any graduation requirements unless a failing grade was received in the first attempt.

Remedial Courses
Remedial courses needed will be included in GPA but not count towards degree credits.

Scholarship retention Requirements

Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 grade point average to be eligible for renewal of their scholarships, while graduate students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA. If a student's GPA falls below the required minimum, they will be placed on academic probation for one semester. If the student's GPA is not raised to the required minimum after this probationary period, they will not be eligible to receive any SFCM scholarship funds for the following semester (See the Academic Regulations section in the Collegiate Catalog). Scholarship recipients are required to participate in ensembles as assigned. Scholarship retention depends on the successful fulfillment of all obligations to the Conservatory, including large ensemble, chamber assignments, required GPA, and satisfactory academic progress. Annual juries and the quality of orchestra and/or ensemble participation are used to determine eligibility for continuation of awards. Scholarship retention for students returning after a leave of absence is not guaranteed and those who wish to be considered for their previous scholarship amount must reapply through the Financial Aid Office. Awards for an additional year are not guaranteed. If a student feels the need for an additional semester or year to complete their degree, the student may petition the scholarship committee. Petition forms are available in the Financial Aid Office or online, and must be signed by both the student and the studio teacher and presented to the scholarship committee one semester prior to the anticipated graduation date.