May 21, 2024  
2016-17 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-17 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission & Financial Aid


General Requirements

Berry College seeks to admit those students who could be academically successful at the institution while meeting their personal educational goals. Each applicant’s record should reflect promise of growth, seriousness of purpose and a sense of responsibility.

The college reserves the right to admit only those applicants whose general records indicate potential for success in a college environment. The college also reserves the right to examine further any applicant by the use of psychological, achievement or aptitude tests and personal interview.

Berry College admits students of any race, creed, color, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, or qualified handicap to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to its students. Berry does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, or handicap in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other college-administered programs. Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, Berry College permits the student access to educational information maintained on her or him by the institution.

Admission to the college does not guarantee entry into or successful completion of any particular course of study.

Berry College reserves the right to change admission requirements.  Failure to provide accurate and true information on the admissions application or to submit work that is not their own on the admission application may cause the college to revoke or invalidate the admission of any student.

Undergraduate Application Procedures

The prospective student should accomplish these tasks in a timely fashion:

  1. Submit the application for admission.
  2. Ask the high-school counselor to send a transcript to the college’s office of admissions along with a counselor recommendation. A student transferring from another college must submit official transcripts from each college or university previously attended.
  3. Include Berry among the colleges to receive the SAT I or ACT scores (along with TOEFL or IELTS scores if the applicant is a graduate of a high school in a non-English-speaking country).
  4. Notify the office of admissions immediately of any change in status or address.

If granted admission, the applicant will be given instructions on payment of the enrollment deposit. Applicants for the fall semester are encouraged to submit applications by November 1 in order to receive full consideration for scholarships and financial aid.

Applications for admission should be filed no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester for which admission is sought. Further, all transcripts and scores must be in the admissions office at least 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester for which admission is sought.

Candidates for Readmission

Former Berry College students must submit an application for readmission by the stated deadline. In addition to the application for readmission, the student who has been enrolled elsewhere since attending Berry College must submit an official transcript from the other college or university along with the transfer recommendation from the other college or university.

Test Requirements

The student should submit satisfactory scores on the SAT I of the College Board or the ACT. Students who choose to take the ACT or the SAT are encouraged to submit scores from the optional writing portion of the exam. In addition, other minimum scores on standardized tests may be necessary. An international student from a non-English-speaking country should take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examinations.

Supplying information, administering and grading the tests and reporting the scores to the college are functions and services of the testing agency.


Admission to the freshman class is based upon probable success determined from a holistic review of high-school grades and college-entrance test scores, grade trends, rigor of coursework and other factors.

The prospective student is a high-school graduate with at least 20 units of high-school work. Adequate academic preparation for college should include these minimum recommendations:

  English 4 units
  Mathematics (Algebra I and II and either Geometry or Trigonometry and the fourth unit higher than Algebra II) 4 units
  Social Studies 4 units
  Natural Sciences 3 units
  Foreign Language 2 units

High School Equivalency Certificate

An applicant who presents a valid High School Equivalency Certificate and General Education Development test scores in lieu of a high-school diploma may be considered for admission. Such applicants must also submit the results of either the ACT or SAT I.


A rising high-school senior may study during the regular academic year or the summer session at Berry College and receive credit for successfully completed work if he or she

  1. Preferably has a 3.5 Berry calculated GPA in core classes.
  2. is recommended by the senior counselor, high-school principal and a high-school teacher; 
  3. Preferably SAT (or PSAT) scores including 600 Math, 600 Critical Reading for 1200 (or 120) total or better, or an ACT composite score of at least 26.
  4. Potentially requires interview (either with an admission representative or faculty member) to inquire about student’s intent to be at Berry based on selectivity of process.
  5. Completes standard application for Berry admission which includes traditional essay and short answer regarding desire to be at Berry.
  6. agrees to abide by the regular policies of the college;
  7. takes no more than six semester hours per term.

Auditor, Non-Degree, & Senior Citizens

Normally students are admitted to Berry College primarily as degree seeking students.  Occasionally, a student may desire to take a limited number of courses without working toward a degree.  Students who seek to take classes as a non-degree student should meet the same entry standards as degree seeking students.  Non-degree students who are admitted will register for coursework after the degree-seeking students have registered and may use the library facilities and attend any concerts, lecture, or events that are open to the public.  Since part-time students and senior citizens who take courses as an auditor or non-degree student do not pay the student activities fee, they are not eligible to use the Cage, gain free student entry to athletic events, or participate in events supported by the student activity fee.


After admission to the college, a student who desires to enroll for a course without receiving academic credit may enroll as an auditor. The student must seek the approval of the instructor prior to registering, auditors will not be permitted to change to credit status after the end of the add/drop period.  The tuition for auditing a class is listed in the table of tuition and fees.

A student under suspension may not enroll in any course as an auditor without having been reinstated.


After admission to the college, a student who desires to enroll in courses for academic credit but is not working toward a degree may enroll in coursework as a non-degree student.  Typically non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.  Without the special permission of the provost, students are limited to no more than 30 semester hours as a non-degree student.  Non-degree students are subject to the same tuition outlined in the table of tuition and fees.

Credit earned as a non-degree student will be evaluated for degree applicability when/if the student enrolls as a degree seeking student.  Non-degree students must meet course prerequisites or obtain the consent of the instructor to enroll in a course.

Successful completion of course work as a non-degree student does not ensure admission to degree-seeking status.

Senior Citizens

Berry College allows senior citizens over the age of 65 to enroll as non-degree students.  Senior Citizens with a prior baccalaureate degree or who meet the enrollment standards of the college may audit or take courses as a non-degree seeking student.  The criteria and permissions noted above for auditors and non-degree students apply to senior citizens.  Senior Citizens may register for courses after all degree-seeking students have registered, may take one course each semester and are limited to a maximum of 30 credit hours of coursework as a senior citizen.  While senior citizens are not charged normal tuition, a nominal $50 per course administrative fee is required.

Transfer Students

To qualify for admission to Berry, a transfer student must:

  1. be eligible to return to the college or university last attended;
  2. have a grade point average that the Admissions Committee sees as clear evidence of potential academic success at Berry College;
  3. submit a transfer recommendation form signed by the dean of students at the last college or university attended.

Transfer applicants must arrange to have sent to the college’s office of admissions an official transcript directly from each college or university previously attended. Prior college work, about which Berry College is uninformed at the time of the student’s application for admission, will not be later accepted for transfer credit. Failure to report such work also may be grounds for dismissal.

Transfer Credit

These policies apply to students transferring work from another institution to Berry.  Further details about Berry College’s policy on awarding of credit are included in the Academic Standards section of the College Catalog.

  1. In the computation of a student’s grade-point average (GPA) at another school, all course work except developmental or other remedial-type courses enters into the computation. Pluses and minuses are calculated using the Berry grading system.
  2. Berry does not accept D grades in transfer.
  3. Once a student is enrolled at Berry, her or his Berry cumulative GPA reflects Berry work only, except for determining Phi Kappa Phi membership, class rank and graduation with honors when the combined GPA is used.
  4. For students transferring to Berry, 3.33 semester hours will be granted for a five-quarter-hour course; 2.66 semester hours for a four-quarter-hour course; 2.00 semester hours for a three quarter-hour course; 1.33 semester hours for a two-quarter-hour course; and 0.67 semester hours will be granted for a one-quarter-hour course.
  5. A maximum of 62 semester hours of credit including other credit by examination is transferable from accredited colleges and
  6. Developmental, orientation, student-assembly and cultural-events credits are not transferable
  7. Generally, credit is not given for course work unrelated to Berry’s offerings (e.g., auto mechanics and other terminal vocational, technical and occupational courses).
  8. Transfer credit will not be granted by Berry College for course work from non-accredited institutions or for prior experiential learning. Students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in an area covered by specific Berry courses may do so by applying for course challenge. See the section on Course Challenge for further details.
  9. Only official transcripts sent directly from the colleges attended will be evaluated.


An applicant who has been attending another institution and desires to enroll for a course(s) at Berry must:

  1. Have a collegiate grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale at the last institution attended, 
  2. be in good standing at the last institution attended, and
  3. obtain permission from the last institution attended to take a course(s) at Berry.

Admission as a transient student is granted for only one semester. Successful completion of coursework as a transient student does not ensure admission as a degree-seeking student.

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements for a specific admissions category, an applicant from a non-English-speaking country must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores, along with translated transcripts.

Admission to Graduate Study

For information on admission to graduate study for the Master of Business Administration degree, Master of Education degree or Education Specialist degree, see the Graduate Catalog.

Veterans Administration - Information for Veterans

Berry College has been approved by the Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs for study and veteran’s assistance. The veteran seeking admission to the college should promptly notify the registrar so that applications for educational benefits may be filed. All applications for benefits are subject to the approval of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Berry College is qualified to receive benefits from the Veterans Administration through their numerous programs.  Students may learn more about the benefit programs from the Veterans Administration website.  The Registrar’s office coordinates a student’s application and certification to the Veterans Administration and works closely with the Financial Aid office to ensure a seamless application of awarded benefits.  Student with questions may speak with the Registrar about the application/eligibility for benefits or with the Financial Aid office for questions about the integration of these benefits with other forms of aid.  All benefits are subject to approval by the Veterans Administration.

Financial Aid;

Berry College is committed to assisting students and their families in securing resources to attend the college through the use of institutional, federal and state funding. Every student is encouraged to apply for financial aid by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To meet general eligibility requirements to be considered for financial aid, a student:

  • Must be admitted to Berry College as a regular admitted, degree seeking student;
  • Must be a U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen, U.S. national or have an acceptable immigrant visa; 
  • Must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN); 
  • Must be in compliance with Selective Service registration requirements (if male);
  • Must not be in default on prior education loans, nor owe repayment of federal grant programs; 
  • Must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress and be in good academic standing with the college as defined in this Catalog. 
  • Must be enrolled as a full time student to receive institutional scholarships and grants. (minimum of 12 credit hours per semester at the undergraduate level and 9 credit hours at the graduate level).
  • Must be enrolled at least half time to receive federal aid and private student loans. (minimum 6 credit hours per semester for undergrads; 5 credit hours for graduates);
  • Must be in compliance with federal regulations regarding drug convictions for federal aid
  • Must be in compliance with the Georgia Drug-Free Post-secondary Education Act of 1990 to receive state of Georgia program funds.

Some scholarships have additional requirements needed to receive and maintain funding. Examples of such requirements may include but are not limited to financial need, minimum grade point average, major, year in school and student work. Students should be familiar with their financial aid award conditions and requirements, which can be viewed anytime from the student portal on VikingWeb.

Applying for Financial Aid

Information about applying for financial aid can be found on the Berry College website, The website provides links to state programs for Georgia residents, and the federal website for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, All new and returning students are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid about scholarship awards received from outside sources.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Submission of the FAFSA (or renewal FAFSA for continuing students) is required to determine eligibility for need-based assistance.
  • The FAFSA is required to participate in Federal Direct Loan programs.
  • The FAFSA is required for all of Georgia’s state programs.
  • The FAFSA is submitted to the federal processing center online at
  • In order for Berry College to receive FAFSA information, our Title IV School Code (001554) must be included.
  • Once processed, FAFSA information is released electronically to Berry College.

FAFSA Verification

Verification is a process in which information on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed by schools for accuracy and completeness. Triggers that could cause the federal processor to select a FAFSA for verification include incomplete or inconsistent information. However, verification selection is also random. Berry College also reserves the right to select each student’s FAFSA for verification.

Financial Aid Resources

The most common sources of financial assistance are federal, state and institutional aid.

Federal Programs; 

Federal programs provide the financial aid foundation for students who demonstrate financial need. Application for federal funds is made by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal programs available to qualified students include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Student Loan and Federal PLUS Loan programs.

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant does not need to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor or a professional degree.

Maximum and minimum Federal Pell Grant amounts change yearly and are determined by the federal government. The amount a student is awarded depends on their financial need, cost of attendance, status as a full time or part time and attendance for a full academic year or less. Federal Pell Grant funds cannot be received at more than one school at a time. The maximum time a Pell Grant can be received is 150 percent of the time it takes to earn a degree.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

Federal Work Study provides part time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The FWS program is campus based with limited funds.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG does not need to be repaid. The student must be Pell eligible and have maximum financial need for FSEOG eligibility. The FSEOG program is campus based and, therefore, administered by the participating school’s financial aid office.

Each participating school receives limited FSEOG funds annually from the U.S. Department of Education, and these funds are awarded first come, first served.

Federal TEACH Grant

The TEACH program provides grants to students who are teaching or who plan to complete coursework needed for career in teaching. To receive a TEACH Grant, a student must agree to serve in a low income school in a high need field. The student has eight years to fulfill four years of teaching service. Berry College undergraduates can receive the TEACH Grant at junior and senior levels. The Charter School of Education determines TEACH eligibility within federal guidelines.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the service obligation is not met, TEACH grant funds received convert to an unsubsidized loan with interest dating back to first grant disbursement.

Federal Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan is a campus-based program with limited funds that are administered by each participating school. The loan is low-interest, has a nine-month grace period and is offered to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Since the school is the lender, funds must be repaid to Berry College.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Subsidized loans are available to undergraduates who enroll at least half time and have financial need. The school determines the amount that can be borrowed, and the amount may not exceed financial need. Loan amounts are also based on year in school and financial need. The interest rate is fixed and determined by the federal government. For a subsidized loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest. For the most up-to-date interest rates and policies governing Federal Direct Loans we encourage you to refer to or

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Unsubsidized loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students who enroll at least half time; financial need is not required. The school determines the amount that can be borrowed by considering the cost of attendance and other financial aid received. Loan amounts are also based on year in school. For the most up-to-date interest rates and policies governing Federal Direct Loans we encourage you to refer to or

For an unsubsidized loan, the student pays the interest during all periods. If the student chooses to defer the interest while in school and grace, deferment or forbearance periods, the interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount of the loan.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

PLUS loans are available for eligible graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students. Other PLUS loan requirements include:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  • The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  • Loans have a fixed interest rate
  • The maximum loan amount is the school’s cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.

Georgia State Programs

Students must complete the FAFSA application or the GSFAPPS at to be eligible for GTEG and HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship funds.

Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG)

The state of Georgia funds the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (GTEG) for eligible students. The GTEG is offered to full time undergraduates who are residents of Georgia and attend Berry or other eligible private schools. Funding for GTEG is available in the fall and spring semesters only.

HOPE Scholarship

The HOPE scholarship is a lottery-funded program. This scholarship is available to eligible Georgia residents who demonstrate academic achievement. The Hope scholarship is offered to undergraduates enrolled at least half time who attend HOPE eligible colleges or universities in Georgia. For continuation of the HOPE scholarship, a 3.0 HOPE grade point average is required for undergraduate students.

Zell Miller Scholarship

The Zell Miller scholarship is a lottery-funded program. This scholarship is available to eligible Georgia residents who demonstrate academic achievement at a higher level than the Hope scholarship. The Zell Miller scholarship is offered to undergraduates enrolled at least half time who attend HOPE eligible colleges or universities in Georgia. For continuation of the Zell Miller scholarship, a 3.3 HOPE grade point average is required for undergraduate students.

Note: For continued eligibility of HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships, grade point average is reviewed after 30, 60 and 90 attempted credit hours and at the end of each spring semester. Undergraduates who are not initially eligible for Hope or Zell Miller or who lose their scholarship may gain eligibility with the required grade point average after having attempted 30, 60 or 90 credit hours.

For information on state programs and regulations governing these scholarships, contact Georgia Student Finance Commission at 1.800.546.HOPE or Information about these programs can also be provided by Berry College’s Office of Financial Aid.


Student Access Loan Program

The Georgia Student Access Loan (SAL) is a limited resource loan program that is designed to assist undergraduate students who have a gap in meeting their educational costs. Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Be considered Georgia resident and United States citizens or eligible non-citizens.
  • Complete a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to apply for this program.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in accordance with the SAP policy at your college or university.
  • Have applied for and exhausted all other student financial aid programs including federal and state student loans, scholarship, and grant programs.
  • Be randomly selected to participate in the program (Note: Selection does not guarantee approval and applicants may or may not be selected each application year).

Institutional Financial Aid Programs

Full time enrollment is required in order to receive institutional funds. Enrollment changes that place a student below full time may also require an adjustment to the financial aid package. In addition, institutional funds are limited to four years (eight semesters) of enrollment.

  • Most of the institutional funds Berry College awards are limited to direct costs, which are defined as tuition, fees, room, board and books.
  • Students are responsible for the conditions of their award and the renewal criteria required for specific financial aid awards.
Academic Scholarships

Academic scholarships require a specific grade point average (GPA) for renewal and are evaluated at the end of each spring semester to determine eligibility for the next academic year. Berry calculated GPA is used to determine renewal of institutional scholarships awarded at Berry.

To renew academic scholarships, a 2.0 Berry cumulative GPA required at the end of each spring semester. Note: Beginning with the 2011-12 academic year, renewal of the academic scholarship requires a Berry calculated GPA of 2.0. For students who entered Berry prior to this date, renewal criteria are listed on the back of their academic scholarship letter from the Office of Admissions.

Presidential - 3.2 Berry cumulative GPA required at the end of each spring semester

Out of State Grant - Students who are not Georgia residents may be eligible for a Berry College Out of State grant. Grant amounts and eligibility requirements are determined during the admissions process. If awarded an out of state grant, a 3.0 Berry cumulative GPA is required for scholarship renewal.

Leadership Fellows Scholarship

The Leadership Fellows Program recognizes high school graduates with extraordinary leadership and service records. The program also identifies Berry students who work to make a difference in providing and teaching leadership in the Berry community.

WinShape College Program

Created by S. Truett Cathy, Founder and Chairman of Chick-fil-A, Inc., the WinShape College Program equips students in the areas of discipleship, community and leadership.

Departmental Scholarships

Several Berry College academic departments offer talent-based scholarships. Examples include art, creative writing, communications, forensics, entrepreneurship, theatre, music and drum line. Prospective students should contact the Office of Admissions for further information. Berry Upperclassmen can apply for departmental scholarships through their major and should contact academic departments for the application and selection process.

Need Based Grants and Scholarships

Need based financial aid is awarded by Berry College in the form of institutional grants and scholarships. The FAFSA is required for each academic year the student desires consideration for need based financial aid. Need based grants and scholarships may be adjusted as FAFSA corrections and/or additional financial aid is received. Other unique features may be required for these programs listed below.

  • Bonner Scholars Program - This need based program supports students with passion for community service and is reserved for students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving others in their communities.
  • Gate of Opportunity - This need based and work based program is distinctive in that it offers students an opportunity to graduate debt free.

Berry College need based grants are often replaced with named donor scholarships throughout a student’s academic career. The student is notified of these award replacements via email.

If federal, state and institutional financial aid programs do not meet the student’s cost of attendance, private loans are available to qualifying students. Private loans should be used as a last resort option. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to learn more about private loans.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

A copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Brochure is available by clicking here.  

U.S. Department of Education regulations require that higher education institutions establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving federal aid. In addition, Berry College policy and State of Georgia financial aid program regulations require students to meet SAP policy standards.

By definition, SAP means a student is progressing through an academic program and fulfilling degree requirements at a reasonable pace. Each school administering Title IV federal aid must develop its own SAP policy in accordance with federal guidelines.

According to federal law, a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy must contain these three measurements:

  1. a qualitative measure of progress (minimum grade point average requirement, this standard must be the same or stricter than the college academic policy.
  2. a quantitative component for completing degree objectives (the pace at which a student is working to complete degree requirements) and, 
  3. a measurement of progress toward a degree (maximum time frame).

Berry College’s SAP policy requires the following standards as established within federal guidelines. A student must meet all SAP policy standards to remain eligible for federal, state and Berry College financial aid programs. These SAP standards are cumulative in their measurement.

Standard one: Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students are required to maintain a cumulative SAP GPA of 2.0 or better to meet the standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The calculation of SAP GPA does not account for grade forgiveness from repeat courses. Each time a course is taken, the hours will be included in the cumulative attempted hours, and both grades will be included in the SAP GPA calculation.

Standard two: Pace of Completion

Berry College students are required to earn 67% of all attempted credit hours.Grades of A, B, C, D, P and S (including pluses and minuses) are considered earned for purposes of this policy. Grades of F, U, H, X, I, W, WF, WS and NR are not considered earned.

Standard three: Maximum Time Allowed to Receive Aid

Berry College scholarship and grants are limited to 8 semesters. Also, students may receive federal financial aid for no more than 150% of the credit hours required to earn their degree. For example, a degree which requires 124 hours will result in a maximum of 186 hours for federal financial aid.

SAP Evaluation Period, Notification and Status

Student academic records are reviewed for SAP status at the end of each semester. Once SAP status is determined, students who do not meet Berry College policy standards are notified by letter. Students who meet SAP standards are not notified of their good standing. Each student’s financial aid record is also updated with the appropriate SAP status after every semester review. The following SAP status indicators are utilized: Meets SAP, Financial Aid Warning, Financial Aid Suspension and Financial Aid Probation.

Meets SAP

All students are evaluated at the end of each semester to determine if they meet SAP policy standards. If the end of semester review determines the student is in compliance with SAP standards, a Meets SAP status is assigned. The student is eligible for financial aid is this status.

Financial Aid Warning

If the student is in a Meets SAP status and fails to meet SAP standards during their next semester review, the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning. A student on warning may continue to receive federal, state and institutional financial aid for one semester.

Financial Aid Suspension

If the student is in a Financial Aid Warning status and fails to meet SAP standards during their next semester review, the student is placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

While on suspension, a student is not eligible to receive federal, state and institutional aid or private loans. The student has the option to appeal for financial aid while on suspension only in cases of extenuating circumstances.

Financial Aid Probation

A student on Financial Aid Suspension who has documented extenuating circumstances beyond their control can appeal for a Committee Review. If the SAP appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation and may receive financial aid for one semester.

SAP Appeal Process

The circumstances under which an appeal can be made include death of a relative, injury or illness of the student or their family member, or other extenuating circumstance, which the student can document. The Berry College Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form must be utilized for the written appeal.

The appeal form outlines the acceptable documentation required to be submitted with the student’s appeal. Each appeal must include an academic plan developed under the counsel of the student’s academic advisor. The academic plan must provide clear terms and conditions to be achieved to regain a Satisfactory Academic Progress. These terms can include taking a reduced course load, enrolling in specific courses, tutoring options as well as other terms which the student and advisor considers appropriate.

Student appeals are initially reviewed by financial aid staff. Appeals that cannot be approved without a consult with the academic division are reviewed by the Appeal Committee. The committee review can take up to two weeks from the appeal submission date. Students are notified by letter of the appeal results and if the committee must review their request.

If the appeal is approved and SAP probation status granted, eligibility for federal, state and institutional funds is gained for a maximum of one semester. At that point, the student must meet college SAP standards or the requirements of the established individual academic plan to maintain eligibility for financial aid. If the student is meeting the requirements of the educational plan agreed upon with the academic advisor, the student can continue to receive financial aid.

Information about SAP is also located on the financial aid awards page accessible from the VikingWeb student portal. This site includes a general information tab with links to the SAP appeal form, brochure and calculation chart.

A student can be approved for financial aid as part of SAP status and still be ineligible for specific scholarships such as HOPE, Zell Miller, Presidential, etc. It is, therefore, important to note that a student must meet the GPA needed to renew specific scholarships. Renewal criteria for the student’s scholarships are located on their admission scholarship letter.

Academic Changes and SAP

Change in Major

Students who change majors or degree programs during the academic year are strongly encouraged not to withdraw from classes since this could impact the 67% SAP completion pace for attempted credit hours. It is also recommended that majors or degree programs are changed early in the academic career to prevent jeopardizing future financial aid eligibility. A major or degree program change does not justify exceeding the 150% maximum time frame required for SAP.

Incomplete Grades

Grades and attempted credit hours for which an Incomplete is assigned are counted in the total attempted hours for SAP policy and review purposes. The GPA will be updated when the Incomplete is replaced with a grade.

It is possible to be in a Meets SAP status after the incomplete grade is assigned. Once the incomplete grade is replaced, the SAP status could then change to Financial Aid Warning. The SAP status could also change to Financial Aid Suspension if the student is in Financial Aid Warning status before the incomplete grade is assigned. Likewise, it is possible to not meet SAP standards based on an incomplete grade and then move to a Meets SAP status after the final grade is assigned.

Repeat Courses

Students may repeat courses already passed or failed one time for federal aid purposes. Each time a course is taken, the hours will be included in the total cumulative attempted hours and both grades will be included in the SAP GPA calculation.

Second Degree at the same level (undergraduate or graduate)

A student who is working on a second degree at the same level (undergraduate or graduate) will have 50% of the usual time frame and measure of progress toward the subsequent degree. If approved, federal financial aid will be available for a student working on a second degree (i.e. B.A. in addition to a B.S.). A SAP appeal will not be granted for a second major in the same degree (i.e. history in addition to English).

Study Abroad/Student Exchange Programs/Transient

It is the student’s responsibility to work with the other institution attended to insure grades are reported to the College Registrar on a timely basis. A student will remain on Financial Aid Suspension until all grades are received from the other institution and the transcript evaluation is complete by the College Registrar.

After grades have been placed on the student’s Berry transcript and the Office of Financial Aid has been notified by the Registrar, a final SAP review will occur. The student’s SAP status will be evaluated and their status will be updated to reflect the additional classes.

Total Attempted Hours

All attempted credit hours are counted to determine SAP. This includes transfer hours, credit hours attempted for which the student did not receive financial aid, repeated courses, incomplete courses and withdrawals.

Transfer Students

Transfer hours and grades accepted by Berry are included in the cumulative career attempted hours and GPA calculations for SAP.


Grades of ‘W’ are considered in the total attempted hours when determining pace of completion percentage for SAP.