Graduate Student Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) for Financial Aid Eligibility

Overview

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion to receive financial aid from Federal, State, or WWU programs. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Maintain the required minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0. (See the Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy in the Graduate Bulletin.)
  2. Complete 66.67 percent of the credits registered for on the 10th day of the quarter on both a quarterly and cumulative basis for the duration of studies.
  3. Complete a degree program within a maximum time frame for which Walla Walla University (WWU) awards financial aid. (See the "Maximum Time Frame for Aid Eligibility" section of this policy.)

This satisfactory academic progress requirement applies to a student's entire period of attendance as a graduate student at WWU, including any periods during which the student receives no financial aid.

Academic progress is reviewed quarterly after grades are posted. At the end of each term, students who have not maintained satisfactory academic progress are notified by Student Financial Services and placed on Financial Aid Warning. If a student on Financial Aid Warning fails the SAP policy the next quarter of enrollment, the student becomes ineligible for financial aid.

Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress may seek financial aid eligibility reinstatement. (See the "Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility" section of this policy.)

Students are responsible for monitoring their own academic progress.

Definition of Terms Related to this Policy

ATTEMPTED CREDITS - The number of credits a student was enrolled for on the 10th day of the quarter. Financial Aid is awarded based on these credits. (Incompletes, withdrawals, classes taken for satisfactory/no credit, and failed classes are counted toward the total attempted credits. A repeated course is counted as attempted credit each time the course is taken.)

COMPLETED CREDITS - The number of credits which count toward a degree. Only courses for which the student received a passing grade are included. (Incompletes/C- and below, withdrawals, failed courses, and audits are not counted as completed credits. A repeated course is counted only once.)

FINANCIAL AID WARNING - The status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at the end of a quarter. The student may continue to receive financial aid for one more quarter without appealing.

FINANCIAL AID INELIGIBLE - Financial aid will be cancelled for a student who does not meet the SAP policy two quarters in a row.

FINANCIAL AID PROBATION - The status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and been approved to receive financial aid the following quarter enrolled. At the end of a probation quarter the student must be meeting the SAP policy or be successfully following an Academic Plan outlined by the Financial Aid Committee.

MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME - The maximum amount of time allowed for a student to finish a degree.

APPEAL - The process by which a student who is not meeting the SAP policy petitions for reconsideration of aid eligibility.

Special Considerations

TRANSFER STUDENTS - The accepted transfer credits a student earns will count toward both attempted and completed credits. The GPA from transfer credit is not considered in terms of this policy.

FIRST-TIME AID RECIPIENTS - When a student first applies for financial aid, the student's entire period of attendance--even periods during which the student may not have received financial aid--is evaluated in terms of the SAP policy. A student who has not maintained satisfactory academic progress will not be eligible for aid until the student completes the deficiency.

STUDENTS WHO DROP A CLASS BUT REMAIN ENROLLED - Financial aid awards are based on credits for which a student is registered on the 10th day of the quarter. Courses dropped before the 10th day of the quarter are not counted in the SAP review. (Dropping a course before the 10th day may affect the current financial aid award.)

Dropping a course after the 10th day does not affect financial aid for the current quarter, but may impact aid the subsequent quarter. SAP reviews are conducted at the end of each quarter, and any financial aid a student is awarded for future quarters is not valid until the student has passed the quarterly review.

REPEATED COURSE - A repeated course is counted toward attempted credits each time the course is taken, but is counted toward completed credits only once.

REMEDIAL COURSES - Any remedial course-work designed to increase the student's ability to pursue a program of study is counted in terms of attempted and completed credits.

INCOMPLETES - An incomplete is counted toward attempted credits the quarter in which it was received. An incomplete/C or higher is counted in completed credits for the quarter in which the student registers for the course.

IN-PROGRESS COURSES - An in-progress course is counted toward attempted and completed credits the quarter in which the student registers for it.

AUDITED COURSES - Audited courses are not counted toward attempted or completed courses.

Eligibility Requirements

MINIMUM CREDIT REQUIREMENTS - Graduate students are required to complete 66.67 percent of their attempted credits on both a quarterly and cumulative basis.

A student involved in research, thesis or teaching-assistantship and taking fewer than four credit hours during the quarter may receive aid for reduced hours for a maximum of four quarters. A letter from the department chair must be submitted to Student Financial Services verifying the student is involved in one of the approved exceptions and confirming the student's satisfactory academic progress.

A graduate student's academic progress as an undergraduate prior to starting the graduate program is not considered in determining financial aid eligibility.

MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME FOR AID ELIGIBILITY - Graduate programs have varying academic requirements. Therefore, a student's academic progress will be evaluated in terms of the number of quarters expected to complete a given degree program.

The maximum number of quarters for which a graduate student may receive financial aid is as follows:

Degree ProgramMaximum Quarters of Aid Eligibility
Biological Sciences7
Counseling Psychology11
Education       
    Curriculum and Instruction7
    Educational Leadership8
    Elementary/State Certification 10
    Secondary/State Certification
    Literacy Instruction
8
 7
Social Work
    Advanced Standing8
    Regular Standing12

MINIMUM GPA FOR AID ELIGIBILITY - Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative program GPA of at least 3.0.

QUARTERLY REVIEW - At the end of each quarter after grades are processed, a student's progress is measured using a series of four tests. The student must pass all four tests each quarter in order to meet the SAP policy.

  1. Maximum Attempted Terms Test - The total number of terms enrolled must be less than the maximum for the program listed above.
  2. Minimum Cumulative GPA Test - The student's cumulative GPA must be at least 3.0.
  3. Current Earned Units Test - Term credits completed divided by term credits attempted must be at least 66.67 percent.
  4. Cumulative Earned Units Test - Cumulative credits completed divided by cumulative credits attempted must be at least 66.67 percent.

PROGRAM SPECIFIC CONDITIONS

Federal Direct Loan borrowers who drop to fewer than four credits will have their remaining loan canceled. They will need to reapply for the loan if funding for subsequent quarters is desired.

Recipients of the Washington State Need Grant or the Washington State Work-Study Program must complete either 12 credits or the quarter's attempted credits, whichever is less. If a student completes less than 50 percent of the attempted credits for one quarter or at least 50 percent but less than 100 percent of the attempted credits for two consecutive quarters, subsequent disbursements will be canceled until the student makes up the deficiency and again becomes eligible.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

A student's financial aid eligibility may be reinstated by one or more of the following:

  1. If the deficiency was caused by an incomplete, a student may make up the incomplete in the allowable time and request a reevaluation of academic progress.
  2. If the grade for a course is changed, a student may request a re-evaluation of academic progress.
  3. If the student's cumulative GPA is below the minimum, adequate grades must be earned to bring the cumulative GPA back to the required level.
  4. The student may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee. The appeal must include an explanation of why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what circumstances have changed that will allow the student to meet the SAP policy at the next evaluation. An Academic Plan Form for a minimum of three quarters (or until graduation), signed by the student's advisor, is also required. If the appeal is approved, the student will be put on Financial Aid Probation and aid will be reinstated. Subsequent quarters of aid eligibility are contingent upon the student meeting the SAP policy or successfully following the approved Academic Plan.
  5. A student who has reached the maximum timeframe for aid eligibility and needs additional time to complete a degree may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Committee. The appeal should explain why the degree could not be completed within the allowable timeframe. An Academic Plan, signed by the student's advisor, should accompany the appeal and explain which credits are needed to finish the degree.

Note: Reinstatement of Financial Aid awards is based on available funding. Therefore, students may not receive their original Financial Aid awards.

    Page maintained by Stephanie Onthank
    Last update on October 14, 2013