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2.1.11 Satisfactory Academic Progress Required for Continued Financial Aid Eligibility

Policy

All students who receive federal and state financial aid must meet federal and institutional standards for satisfactory academic progress in order to establish and retain aid eligibility.  Students receiving athletic or other University-administered awards must also meet the satisfactory academic progress standards that have been established by the awarding entity.

Satisfactory academic progress for federal and state financial aid programs is based on three measures:  cumulative grade-point average, completion rate based on credit hours completed compared to attempted, and a maximum timeframe for degree completion.  The following describes the University’s standards for each of these three measures, and when these standards are reviewed:

Cumulative Grade-Point Average (GPA)

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 based on credits earned at Illinois State University.  The first time a student’s GPA is below 2.0, the student is placed on Academic Probation and Financial Aid Warning and continues to be eligible to receive financial aid.  If the student does not raise the GPA to 2.0 in the following semester of attendance, or the GPA falls below 2.0 in a subsequent semester, the student is Academically Dismissed and loses financial aid eligibility.

Graduate Students

Graduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on credits here at Illinois State University.  Students who fail to meet this requirement will either be terminated from that degree program or placed on Academic Probation and Financial Aid Warning by the Graduate School.  Upon recommendation of the department/school, the student can be placed on academic probation and provided with a period of time not to exceed two (2) academic terms (including summer if enrolled) or a number of credit hours not to exceed twelve (12) credits, within which to raise the GPA to the required standard. 

The Graduate School will terminate a student who fails to bring the cumulative GPA up to a minimum of 3.0 GPA during probationary period from that degree program.  The student can receive financial aid during the probationary period. The Graduate School will send a letter of probation/termination to any students who fall below a 3.0 GPA.

Completion Rate

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of sixty-seven percent (67%) of the credit hours attempted at Illinois State University.  Courses with a grade of “D” or higher, as well as “CR” or “CT”, count as completed.  Credit hours attempted (but not earned) include audits, incompletes, withdrawals, and repeated or failed classes.

A student who does not complete a minimum of sixty-seven percent (67%) of credit hours attempted will be suspended from financial aid eligibility until his or her completion rate improves to at least sixty-seven percent (67%).  The completion rate for students readmitted to the University under the New Start program is calculated beginning with the credit hours attempted/completed during the term for which the student was readmitted.  Transfer student completion rate is calculated by counting transferred hours as hours attempted and completed.  Only hours attempted and not completed at Illinois State University are counted in the formula.

Graduate Students

Graduate students must meet the same completion rate requirement as undergraduates.  However, thesis and dissertation credits are excluded from the completion rate calculation because these two types of credits are not graded.

Maximum Timeframe

The maximum timeframe for the completion of a degree is limited by federal regulations to 150% of the published length of the degree program.  This is equivalent to a maximum number of credit hours that includes transfer credits and all attempted credit hours at Illinois State University.  Credit hours attempted include completed credits, audits, incompletes, withdrawals, and repeated or failed classes.  The maximum number of credits allowed for a subsequent degree program at ISU excludes the credits from any previous degree(s) earned at ISU.

Undergraduate Students

The maximum number of credit hours for which a student is eligible to receive financial aid is 180.  The maximum number of credit hours for which a student pursuing a second undergraduate degree is eligible to receive financial aid is 90.  Hours transferred to Illinois State University are counted as hours earned.

Graduate Students.

The maximum number of graduate credit hours for which a student is eligible to receive financial aid is equivalent to 150% of the total hours required for the student’s degree program as published in the Graduate Catalog.

Review of Progress Standards

Cumulative GPA is reviewed at the end of each period of enrollment -- fall semester, spring semester, and the summer session -- for both financial aid eligibility and for continued enrollment at Illinois State University.

Completion rate is reviewed upon submission of a financial aid application (the FAFSA), and at the end of each period of enrollment, including the summer session.  The Financial Aid Office sends a “warning letter” to any aid recipient who has not completed 67% of hours attempted.  If an aid recipient does not meet the 67% standard at the end of any subsequent term, the student will be placed in violation and aid will be suspended.

Maximum timeframe is reviewed upon submission of a financial aid application (the FAFSA), and at the end of each enrollment period, including the summer session.  The Financial Aid Office sends a “warning letter” to any aid recipient who is within 15 hours of reaching the maximum attempted hour for his or degree program.

Notification of Appeals

Undergraduate Students

If financial aid eligibility is suspended as a result of failure to meet the completion rate or maximum timeframe standard, the Financial Aid Office sends a letter to the student including a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. 

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form must include reasons for failure to achieve good academic standing and any applicable documentation. Appeal Forms must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office and are reviewed by the Reinstatement Committee.  For the Completion Rate standard, students can also restore aid eligibility by earning enough additional hours to meet the 67% requirement.

If the student is not meeting the GPA standard, University College first sends the student a “warning” letter.  If the student fails to meet the GPA standard a second time, University College sends the student a dismissal letter, including instructions for writing and submitting a petition for reinstatement.  The petition must be submitted to University College by the date stated on the dismissal letter.

Graduate Students

If financial aid eligibility is suspended as a result of failure to meet the completion rate or maximum timeframe standard, the Financial Aid Office sends a letter to the student including a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. 

The Appeal Form must include reasons for the student’s failure to meet the academic standard and any appropriate documentation. Appeal Forms must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office and are reviewed by the Graduate School.  For the completion rate standard, the student may also restore aid eligibility by earning enough additional hours to meet or exceed the 67% standard.

If the student is not meeting the GPA standard, the student also will receive instructions on Academic Probation from the Graduate School.

Initiating body: Office of Financial Aid

Contact: Office of Financial Aid (309-438-2231)

Revised on: 02/2015


2016-08-04T10:48:16.886-05:00 2016
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