Federal regulations require all schools participating in Title IV financial aid programs to have a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy. Title IV financial aid programs include: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Work-Study. The requirements of this policy apply to all students receiving federal and state aid, and institutional aid per university policy.
To remain eligible for federal grants, loans, and work-study, students must meet the standards indicated below at the end of each semester. Please note the standards to establish and maintain eligibility for Title IV assistance are more stringent than the University’s academic standards for continuous enrollment. At the end of each term of enrollment, students must earn the minimum cumulative GPA, minimum number of credit hours, and be within the maximum timeframe. Failure to meet the minimum cumulative standards may result in a loss of financial aid eligibility.
Qualitative Measure of Progress
The qualitative requirement sets a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for the degree level at which a student is classified. Note: This is the GPA used to determine one’s status and includes grades from courses taken at all other schools that are accepted by the university. To remain in compliance, a student must maintain the following cumulative GPA after each period of assessment:
- Minimum Cumulative GPA for undergraduate students is 2.0
- Undergraduate academic scholarship requires a cumulative GPA 2.5
- Undergraduate Honor’s Scholarship requires a cumulative GPA 3.3
- Undergraduate Presidential Honor’s Scholarship requires a cumulative GPA 3.5
- Minimum Cumulative GPA for graduate students is 3.0
- Minimum Cumulative GPA for graduate MAED students is 3.25
Quantitative Measure of Progress
The quantitative requirement contains two components, (1) Pace of Progression and (2) Maximum Timeframe.
Pace of Progression/Completion Rate
The credit hour completion rate reflects the pace at which students must progress to ensure that they are able to complete their degree program within the maximum timeframe. The pace of progression is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the student has successfully earned by the cumulative number of hours the student has attempted. All students regardless of classification must earn 67% of all hours attempted. This is a cumulative calculation and includes credits attempted at all schools before and while attending Concordia.
The maximum timeframe for undergraduate students to complete their degree cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the academic program. Hours are counted starting with the semester the student entered school, even those semesters in which he/she did not receive financial aid. The maximum timeframes are listed below:
- Bachelor Degree’s 180 or 192 Hours Attempted
- Graduate Degree’s Hours Attempted required for program
Hours Attempted: Hours attempted include all hours pursued in the student’s career and are counted in the maximum timeframe whether or not financial aid was received. Attempted hours also include the following: withdrawals, incompletes, failing grades, repeated coursework, and transfer credits accepted by the University.
Financial Aid Warning
Students who do not meet the SAP standards will be placed on Financial Aid WARNING. While on WARNING status, students will continue to receive financial aid. All students who are notified of their WARNING status should seek academic counseling and take advantage of all other student services available to ensure student success at the university.
Financial Aid Termination
Students who do not meet the SAP standards for more than one term will be PROHIBITED from receiving all financial aid. Being on PROBATION status does not prohibit a student from continuing their education. Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility may be reinstated once they demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.
Only appeals for the following reasons will be accepted:
- A death of an immediate family member of the student.
- Medical/hospitalization of the student.
- Mitigating circumstances beyond the student’s control that affected their academic progress
All appeals must be submitted in writing, and include the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form, with supporting documentation attached, to the Financial Aid Office. Acceptable documentation for each circumstance must be stated in the appeal letter and supporting documentation must be attached, such as medical records, death certificates and any documentation that supports the student’s mitigating circumstances. The Director of Financial Aid will approve or deny appeals as they are submitted. Results of an appeal will be sent to the student in writing. Any student whose appeal is denied by the Director of Financial Aid has the right to appeal to the Financial Aid Committee. The Financial Aid Committee will use the same criteria in rendering its decision.
If a student’s appeal is approved:
- The student will be placed on PROBATION. A student on PROBATION will continue to be eligible for financial aid on a semester by semester basis provided they meet the required terms and conditions as indicated in the student’s approval. Failure to meet these requirements on a term by term basis will result in TERMINATION of financial aid.
If a student’s appeal is denied:
- The student must meet SAP standards before any further financial aid may be awarded as long as the student hasn’t reached the maximum units.
Reinstatement of Financial Aid
To reinstate financial aid a student must have an approved Financial Aid Appeal or must meet the financial aid satisfactory academic progress cumulative qualitative, quantitative, and maximum timeframe standards. Neither paying for classes out of pocket, nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to re-establish a student’s financial aid eligibility.
Treatment of Grades:
- Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of A, B, C, D, P or CR are included in the calculation of cumulative credit completion percentage as courses successfully completed.
- Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of IP, I, N, NP, IF, F, W or GD will be treated as credits attempted but not successfully completed.
Credits for which a grade of “W” is received are considered attempted credits but not successfully completed credits. A grade of “W” does not impact GPA but does negatively impact the cumulative completion percentage and counts toward the maximum time frame.
Undergraduate students are allowed to repeat a course as often as allowed by the academic policies of the university. Students are allowed to repeat a previously passed course and have it count toward enrollment for financial aid eligibility only once. However, all repeats count against the maximum timeframe (total attempted credits) and reduce the pace/completion rate because they count as earned credits only once.
Transfer credits accepted by the institution and applied toward a student’s degree, diploma, or certificate requirements to graduate will apply toward the maximum time frame calculation. If at the point of admission a transfer students prior academic record does not meet the colleges minimum cumulative qualitative or quantitative SAP standards, the university may immediately place the student in a probation status for financial aid eligibility.
Credits for which financial aid is received under a consortium agreement will be included in the calculation of cumulative GPA, completion percentage, and maximum time frame.
Audited courses will not be funded by financial aid and are not included in any financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.