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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

SFCM Financial Aid Office Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Under new federal regulations that became effective on July 1, 2011, 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.

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.

Transfer Credits
The level of an undergraduate transfer student is determined by the faculty at the time of the student's audition based on musical ability.

Only undergraduates may transfer credits from another institution. Transfer students admitted to the Conservatory will receive transfer credit for courses in the general education area and music electives completed at other accredited institutions, provided the student received a grade of C or better and the course is ruled an appropriate substitute for a Conservatory course. The Conservatory does not grant transfer credit for Musicianship, Music Theory, Music History, Basic Phonetics, Lyric Diction courses, or major instrument studies completed elsewhere. Students may receive credit by examination for these required Conservatory courses, based on the results of placement examinations administered at the time of registration. Not more than 36 credits of non-music courses will count toward the total credits required for graduation. Transfer students may petition the Academic Affairs Committee for permission to use more than 36 non-music credits toward graduation requirements.

The Conservatory will also grant credit for certain AP and CEEB exams, please see the Registrar.