Federal regulations (Sections 668.16, 668.32, and 668.34) require that all graduate and professional students who receive Federal student aid (includes loans, work-study, and grants) make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of their degree to continue receiving Title IV Federal student aid.
This policy is used to determine eligibility for Federal Financial Aid only and is as strict as or stricter than academic policies. Academic programs may have different academic standards and criteria to maintain academic eligibility within the program.
Qualitative (Cumulative Grade Point Average):
Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA as defined by their college/academic program throughout their program of study while attending Midwestern University.
Pace is the rate at which a student completes requirements for their academic program and is calculated by dividing the number of cumulative units completed by the number of cumulative units attempted. Students must progress through their academic program to ensure that they will graduate within the maximum timeframe (as specified by each college/academic program).
Maximum Time Frame:
The maximum time frame is defined by the length of the program. Program lengths are measured in years for clinical programs and credit hours for non-clinical programs. Students must complete the requirements for their degree within the maximum timeframe for completing their program of coursework (as defined by their college/academic program). See chart titled Midwestern University Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility below for specific timeframes by program.
Students become ineligible for Federal financial aid when it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete the program within the maximum time with the right appeal (as specified by each college/academic program).
SAP Eligibility Review:
For programs with a length of one academic year or less, SAP is reviewed on a quarterly basis. Students who do not achieve SAP at the end of one quarter are automatically placed on financial aid warning. Students on warning are eligible for Federal financial aid but must meet the minimum cumulative GPA and pace standard for their program by the end of the quarter. Students in all other programs are reviewed annually for SAP. Students who do not achieve the minimum cumulative GPA and pace standard will be placed on Federal financial aid suspension with the right to appeal.
Email notifications are sent by the Assistant Director of Student Financial Services to the student’s Midwestern University email address if the student does not meet SAP standards. The email notification includes instructions to appeal for continuation of Federal financial aid.
A student who does not meet the SAP appeal policy is considered ineligible for Federal financial aid. However, students who have mitigating circumstances that prevented them from making satisfactory academic progress may submit a SAP Appeal to request to have their aid reinstated due to cumulative grade point average, pace, and maximum time frame. Mitigating circumstances include but are not limited to:
- Death of an immediate family member (spouse, mother, father, guardian, sister, brother, son or daughter)
- Major medical issue (i.e. requires hospitalization) experienced by the student or an immediate family member of the student (as designated above)
- Domestic violence
- Involuntary call to active military duty
- Other extreme circumstances (case by case basis)
The complete appeal will contain:
- an SAP appeal form,
- a written statement typed and signed by the student, describing the student’s mitigating circumstances and what has changed to improve academic performance,
- supporting documentation, and
- an academic plan approved by the student’s advisor.
- Incomplete appeals will not be accepted or reviewed.
SAP appeals are reviewed by the University Financial Aid Committee. Students should allow up to two weeks for their appeal to be reviewed and a decision to be rendered. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed for the same set of circumstances. If the appeal is approved, the student may regain eligibility for federal student aid, and will be placed on financial aid probation.
Students must submit an Academic Plan with the SAP appeal application. Academic Plans are developed by Program Directors, faculty advisors, or the Office of the Dean.
For students who need longer than one quarter (payment period), an Academic Plan is necessary to help ensure the student can meet SAP by a specific point in time. While programs have discretion to determine the length of the Academic Plan, students must be monitored at the end of each quarter to confirm all components as specified in the Academic Plan are being met.
For programs with a length of one academic year or less, a maximum of one appeal is allowed. For all other programs, a maximum of two appeals is allowed.
Any student who has become ineligible to receive Federal financial aid may regain eligibility by meeting the SAP standards or the conditions set forth in the academic plan.
Treatment of non-punitive grades, repeated courses, audit courses, pass/fail courses, withdrawals and incompletes:
Grades of I (Incomplete), W (Withdrawal), WF (Withdrawal/ Failing), and F are counted as attempted hours only (not earned hours) for pace calculation. Grades of I, W and P do not affect GPA. Also, if the “WF” grade occurs after the add/drop period, it will be included in the GPA.
Classes in which students are auditing cannot be included in the amount of credit or contact hours earned when determining eligibility for Federal financial aid.
Please note all repeat coursework grades are included in the GPA and Pace (attempted and completed). Only the most recent grade is used in the computation of the student’s GPA. Also, if an “I” grade remains beyond the 10 calendar days, it is automatically converted to a grade of “F” by the Registrar, which signifies failure of the course.
Program Specific requirements:
Please see appropriate Program Specific sections of the catalog to view the academic standards:
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