SAP is a bandage, not cure

Federally mandated changes to the Satisfactory Academic Progress program crack down on students who abuse financial aid. The change aims to alleviate some of the fiscal burden for the federal government but only exacerbates YSU’s budget issues.

Compared to the fall, three times as many students are out of SAP compliance this semester. That means 471 students lost federal financial aid.

We admit that the fault lies with the students who failed to meet GPA and completion percentage requirements.

But if they took classes this semester, loans paid their way. Aside from the fact that these loans will be forgiven in 20 years, we’re worried about the students who didn’t come back.

Fall enrollment for three of Ohio’s public universities decreased from 2010 to 2011. YSU was one of those three, losing more students than any other public university in the state.

And with more students losing financial aid, enrollment numbers will continue to plummet.

Some of the students will drop out of college altogether. Some will find their way to Kent State University or the University of Akron.

The transfer students will be the ones with completion percentage issues, the perpetual class droppers, not the ones with GPA issues.

“If you’re transferring from YSU with a 0.5 GPA, other schools may look at that transcript and not even accept them,” said James Stanger of YSU’s office of financial aid and scholarships.

We agree with Stanger that students with poor GPAs are as unappealing to Kent as they were to YSU, but public universities will gladly take in the others, the ones who simply dropped too many classes.


Students are dollar signs for public universities. Students contribute more than 70 percent of all revenue here at YSU, and any other university’s admissions office would be foolish to not accept a student, pending poor grades.

The practice of slipping from one campus to another is common. We all know students enrolled elsewhere, waiting to get that GPA that might bring them home to YSU, or maybe someone using YSU as a stepping stone to another school.

It happens because of a severe lack of oversight.

There must be uniform accountability across the state. The Ohio Board of Regents needs to look into why students are constantly jumping from college to college and let the universities know who they are before they end up here.