Financial Aid Policies: Satisfactory Academic Progress

Overview:

Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible to receive financial assistance under Title IV Programs.

There are three criteria a student must satisfy in order to be viewed as making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Within each criteria, the requirements needed to satisfy criteria may vary based on the student’s academic level (either Undergraduate, Second Bachelor, or Graduate). The criteria are as follows: 

  • GPA – defined as the minimum cumulative GPA a student must earn.
  • PACE - defined as the percentage of a student’s total attempted hours the student must earn.
  • ATTEMPTED CREDIT THRESHOLD (also known as TIMEFRAME) – defined as the maximum number of credits a student may attempt in pursuit of completing their degree program. Students will be determined to be ineligible for aid due to violation of the maximum timeframe criteria if they (1) have an attempted credit total in their current level which exceeds their maximum timeframe or (2) are determined to be unable to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within their maximum timeframe.
I. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STATUS:
 

Students may review their Satisfactory Academic Progress status through MyFAU by completing the following steps: 

  1. Log on to MyFAU
  2. Click on the "FAU Self-Service" link on the left hand side of the page.
  3. Click on the "Financial Aid" tile box
  4. Click on the "Financial Aid Status" tile box
  5. If prompted for Aid Year, select "Award Year 2013-2014”

As SAP status is re-calculated prior to disbursement each semester, students should review their SAP status on MyFAU at the beginning of each semester (after the grade posting deadline for the prior semester) to confirm they remain eligible for aid.

Students who are not meeting SAP criteria will be sent an email informing them of their SAP status and how the status impacts their eligibility for aid. With this in mind, students are advised to monitor their FAU email for communications from the Office of Student Financial Aid regarding changes in their eligibility.

   
II. FREQUENCY AND BASIS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
  REVIEW:
 

 

Academic Progress for financial aid recipients will be reviewed EACH SEMESTER (prior to the disbursement of aid).

New Freshman Students with no previously attempted post-secondary coursework will be considered to be meeting SAP during their first FAU term.

New Graduate Students with no transfer coursework being applied to their graduate level will be considered to be meeting SAP during their first FAU term.

Continuing/Returning/Transfer Students will have their Satisfactory Academic Progress based on the most recent term listed on their transcript for their current academic level. The review will be based on all institutional and non-remedial transfer coursework attempted by the student at their current level, regardless of whether or not the student received aid for the coursework attempted.

   
III. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS CRITERIA STANDARDS:  
 


Grade Point Average (GPA):

  • Freshman students with less than 24 attempted credits included in their GPA calculation  must have an FAU academic standing at of the end of their most recent semester of FAU enrollment which does not indicate suspension or dismissal. 
  • All other undergraduate students (including second bachelor students) must maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA for all combined institutional and transfer coursework attempted at their current level and have an FAU academic standing at the end of their most recent semester of FAU enrollment which does not indicate suspension or dismissal. 
  • Graduate students must maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA in their graduate career (based on FAU credits only) and meet the academic standards required by their department for continued enrollment.

Consequence of Failure to Meet GPA Criteria Standard
Students who fail to meet the GPA standard of progress will have their future financial aid eligibility terminated. If eligibility is terminated, the student may apply for reinstatement on a probationary basis through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process (see below).

Pace:

All students (undergraduate and graduate) must earn a minimum of 67% of the total cumulative credits attempted in their current level. Pace is determined by dividing the total number of credit hours earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. All non-remedial institutional and transfer credits attempted by the student at their current level are included in determining pace. Pace for graduate students is based on FAU credits only.

Consequence of Failure to Meet Pace Criteria Standard
Students who (1) do not meet the Pace criteria, (2) are meeting both GPA and Timeframe criteria, (3) are mathematically determined to be able to meet the Pace criteria within their maximum timeframe, and (4) were determined to be meeting ALL Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria in their prior review, will be assigned a Satisfactory Academic Progress Status of “Financial Aid Warning” for a duration of one semester. When on “Financial Aid Warning”, the student will be eligible to receive aid for one semester. 

Students who do not meet the Pace criteria and do not qualify for “Financial Aid Warning” status (based on the criteria above) will have their financial aid eligibility terminated. If eligibility is terminated, the student may apply for reinstatement on a probationary basis through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process (see below).

Timeframe:

Federal regulations stipulate that a student’s maximum timeframe cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the academic program. In compliance with this regulation, the following maximum time frame thresholds have been established based on the student’s current academic level:  

  • Student’s Pursuing Their First Baccalaureate Degree: As the majority of undergraduate academic programs require 120 earned credits to complete, the maximum timeframe provided to a student pursuing their first bachelor’s degree is 180 attempted credits. Exceptions made for programs requiring more than 120 credits to complete and cases where the Revised Maximum Timeframe has been extended as a result of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process.  
     
  • Students Pursuing Second (or beyond) Baccalaureate Degree: As the average of post baccalaureate undergraduate programs require the student to earn 30 additional credits to complete, the maximum timeframe provided to a student pursuing an additional post baccalaureate undergraduate degree is 45 attempted credits. Exceptions made for cases where the Revised Maximum Timeframe has been extended as a result of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process.  
     
  • Graduate (Masters or Doctoral) Students: Masters or Doctoral students must earn their graduate or professional degree within the timeframe limitations set by their graduate program, department, school or college.
 

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING TIMEFRAME: Excessive transfer credits, changes in major, double majors, or minors may cause students to reach their maximum attempted credit timeframe, and lose their eligibility, prior to earning their degree.A student’s timeframe will not be extended to accommodate changes in major unless the student was previously in a major that is no longer offered at FAU and is therefore required to change. Students who are determined to be unable to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards of GPA and/or Pace within their maximum timeframe will also be viewed as in violation of the maximum timeframe criteria, even though they have yet to exceed their attempted credit maximum.  

Timeframe Warning Status
Students who are approaching the timeframe maximum for their respective level, and are meeting all other Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, will be assigned a Satisfactory Academic Progress status of Timeframe Warning. Students assigned this status remain eligible to receive financial aid funds. This status is assigned to students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree who have an attempted credit total between 162 and 179 credits at their current level and students pursuing their second (or beyond) baccalaureate degree who have an attempted credit total between 36 and 44 credits at their current level. 

Consequence of Failure to Meet Timeframe Criteria Standard
Students will be determined to be ineligible for aid due to violation of the maximum timeframe criteria if they (1) have an attempted credit total in their current level which exceeds their maximum timeframe or (2) are determined to be unable to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within their maximum timeframe. Students in violation of the maximum timeframe criteria may petition to have their maximum timeframe extended through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process (see below).

   
IV. DATA EVALUATED IN SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
  REVIEW:
 

As stated above, review for the undergraduate GPA, Pace, and Timeframe criteria will be based on all combined institutional and transfer credits attempted by the student at their current level.

Additional information on how specific types of coursework are evaluated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress review is listed below:

Remedial Coursework: Remedial coursework taken as part of an ILP program assigned by FAU is excluded from the Satisfactory Academic Progress review process.

Repeat Courses: Repeated Courses are included in the student’s attempted credit total in evaluating Pace and Timeframe. NOTE: Though both attempts of a repeated FAU course will be counted in the attempted hours total, only the SECOND attempt will be counted in the earned hours total. Considering this, students should be aware of the adverse effect repeated FAU courses have on their calculation of Pace (they reduce the student’s completion percent) and Timeframe (though only one attempt may count as earned towards degree, both attempts count against the maximum number of credits the student may attempt in pursuit of completing their degree program).

Incomplete, Withdrawn, and Drop-Retained Courses: Courses with grades of Incomplete or Withdrawal, as well as Drop-Retained credits (FAU credits which were dropped after the drop/add deadline but prior to the expiration of the University grace period to drop without a “W”) are included in the student’s attempted credit total in evaluating Pace and Timeframe. Considering this, students should be aware of the adverse effect that dropped/incomplete courses have on Pace (they reduce the student’s completion percent) and Timeframe (they count against the maximum number of credits a student may attempt in pursuit of completing their degree program).

   
V. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS APPEAL PROCESS:
 

A student whose aid eligibility has been terminated may apply for reinstatement on a probationary basis by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  

There are 2 different Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal forms, each one based on the criteria the student is appealing. Students should review the forms below make to sure they submit the appropriate form(s):  

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for Pace and GPA – for appeals to cases where the Pace and/or GPA criteria were determined unsatisfied in the Satisfactory Academic Progress review. Common extenuating circumstances reviewed for this type of appeal would include:  
  • Death of a relative
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Physical disability
  • Academic Petitions Committee actions
  • Documentation that standards are now being met
  • First semester at FAU
  • Other extraordinary circumstances

NOTE:  Students MUST submit the required documentation to support the appeal. In most cases, documentation must verify BOTH (1) the dates that the extenuating circumstance occurred/existed and (2) that the extenuating circumstance has been resolved to such an extent that it will no longer impact academic performance.   Graduate students who are failing to demonstrate a cumulative 3.00 GPA in their graduate program after completion of  a semester for which they have received aid on a probationary status must submit a copy of their approved Academic Progression Plan (APP)  as part of their appeal to be considered for continued probationary eligibility. The Academic Progression Plan must specify the future grades the student must achieve to attain a minimum program GPA of 3.00 and must contain all applicable departmental signatures. As the process to obtain an approved Academic Progression Plan can take several weeks, graduate students receiving aid on a probationary status are advised to initiate the process of obtaining an approved Academic Progression Plan immediately after being notified of their probationary financial aid status.

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for Time Frame – for appeals where a student (1) has an attempted credit total in their current level which exceeds their maximum timeframe or (2) is determined to be unable to meet the GPA and/or Pace standards within their maximum timeframe. Students must submit this appeal form to their academic advisor in their college. The academic advisor will complete the form detailing the student’s program length at time of FAU entry to their current level and the remaining coursework needed to complete the program.  

Appeal results will be determined and communicated to the student by mail (or email) within approximately 20 days after the appeal has been received with all appropriate documentation. Should eligibility be reinstated, aid will be awarded based on the availability of funds at the time of reinstatement. Students submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal will be responsible for all financial obligations made to the University, regardless of whether this appeal is approved or denied.  

Students receiving aid on a probationary basis through the appeal process are required to maintain compliance with an academic plan assigned at the time the probationary status is granted. Failure to comply with the assigned academic plan will result in termination of future aid eligibility. Students who have their aid eligibility terminated after a probationary period may re-appeal to again be assigned probationary eligibility status only if NEW extenuating circumstances which are unique from the previous appeal can be documented as existing and now resolved .

Students whose current appeal has been denied are encouraged to submit an appeal for a future term if there is significant improvement in performance since the previously denied appeal and they appear able to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within their maximum timeframe.

   

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 Last Modified 2/25/14