Marian University Policy on Measuring Satisfactory Academic Progress for the Purpose of Awarding Federal Student Aid Funds

Background: The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires in section 484(c) that in order to receive Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress, and a school must have an established Policy for monitoring that progress. Note that this Policy is separate from any other policies established by any other office or department at Marian University.

Students Affected: All students in any program of study at any course-load level who are receiving FSA funds are subject to the standards and procedures described in this SAP Policy.

Payment Periods & Evaluations: Financial Aid Office staff will evaluate each student’s academic progress at the conclusion of each payment period in which that student was enrolled. At Marian, these payment periods are referred to as “Fall”, “Spring”, and “Summer”. If a student is enrolled in a given payment period (Fall, Spring, or Summer), his/her academic progress will be evaluated at the conclusion of that payment period, regardless of whether or not the student actually received FSA funds in that period.

Grade Point Average: The following table shows the Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) that a student must achieve at each evaluation. This table applies to all students in any program of study at any course-load level.

 At the conclusion of the student’s: The student must have achieved at least this Cumulative GPA:
First payment period at Marian 1.5
Second payment period at Marian 1.75
Third payment period at Marian 1.9
Fourth (and subsequent) payment period at Marian 2.0

 

Maximum Timeframe: A student may not continue to receive FSA funds beyond a timeframe of 150% of the published length of the program as measured in credit hours. For example, a student enrolled in an undergraduate program of 128 credits is not allowed to receive FSA funds for more than 192 credits while in pursuit of a degree in that program. As another example, a student enrolled in a graduate program of 30 credits is not allowed to receive FSA funds for more than 45 credits while in pursuit of a degree in that program.

Calculating Pace: To ensure that a student is progressing toward a degree in a manner sufficient to meet the Maximum Timeframe provision stated above, each student must successfully complete at least 2/3 (two thirds) of the courses he/she has attempted cumulatively. Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credits the student has attempted.

Incomplete / In Progress Courses: Courses marked as Incomplete or In Progress at the time of evaluation will be included in the GPA and Pace calculations. For example, a student who attempted 12 credits in a given payment period, but had 6 credits marked as Incomplete at the time of evaluation would not be in compliance with the Policy, as he/she had only successfully completed 1/2 (one half) of the credits attempted in that payment period.

Withdrawals / Permanent Incompletes: Courses marked as WD or PI at the time of evaluation will not be included in the GPA calculation but will be included in the Pace calculation as credits attempted but not successfully completed. Courses marked as WF at the time of evaluation will be included in both the GPA calculation and the Pace calculation.

Repeated Courses: Only the credits and grades earned in the most recent attempt in a specific course will be used in the GPA and Pace calculations. Earlier credits and grades from a course more recently repeated will be ignored.

Students Transferring Courses to Marian: Courses transferred to Marian will not be included in the GPA calculation, but they will be included in the calculation of Pace (credits transferred will be included in credits successfully completed and credits attempted).

Changes in Major: For students who change majors, credits and grades that do not count toward the new major will not be included in the satisfactory academic progress evaluation. Students struggling to maintain the standards described in this policy are encouraged to work with Marian’s academic advising staff to determine if a change in major is warranted.

Students in Pursuit of a 2nd degree: Only credits and grades that count toward the degree program student is currently enrolled in will be included in the satisfactory academic progress evaluation. Once a degree is earned, the credits and grades that pertained to that degree only will be excluded from SAP evaluations for payment periods in a degree program beyond the first degree earned.

Financial Aid Warning: After one evaluation in which it is determined that a student is not meeting all of the terms of this Policy, that student will be automatically placed on Financial Aid Warning, and will be notified of such placement via regular U.S. Mail. Students on Financial Aid Warning can receive FSA funds for one payment period. At the next evaluation, it must be determined that he/she is now in compliance with the terms of this Policy. Students may be placed on Financial Aid Warning at more than one time during their academic career, but never for consecutive payment periods. Financial Aid Warning cannot be appealed.

Ineligibility for FSA Funds: A student who, after one payment period of Financial Aid Warning, does not bring him/herself into compliance with all aspects of this Policy is ineligible for FSA funds for the next payment period. Students who have been ruled ineligible (based on evaluation) will be notified by Certified U.S. Mail.

Appeal Process: Students may only appeal a determination of Ineligibility for FSA Funds. This appeal should be in the form of a letter to the Director of Financial Aid. Appeal letters must be received in the Financial Aid Office no later than 3 weeks after the date on the letter notifying the student of his/her ineligibility, and will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Appeal letters must contain at least the following information:

1) All of the student’s relevant contact information.

2) The basis of the appeal. Some examples include the following:

a) The death of a relative.
b) An injury or illness of the student.
c) Other special circumstances, which may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

3) A detailed description of how the basis of the appeal negatively impacted the student’s academics.

4) A detailed description of what has changed in the student’s situation compared to the basis of the appeal, and how these changes will allow the student to meet the terms of this Policy by the next evaluation.

Result of Appeal Process: Upon review of the appeal letter submitted by the student, the Financial Aid Director will make one of these three determinations. The student will be notified of the Result of the Appeal Process via U.S. Mail.

  1. The appeal is denied. The student remains ineligible for FSA funds. If the student continues to be enrolled at Marian University, he/she will need to make other arrangements to pay any charges. At the conclusion of the next payment period, the student may re-apply for financial aid, at which point he/she will be evaluated for eligibility for FSA funds under the terms of this Policy.
  2. The appeal is granted. The student is placed on Financial Aid Probation, and is eligible for FSA funds for one payment period. At the conclusion of the payment period for which they are on Financial Aid Probation, he/she will be evaluated again to determine compliance with this Policy. If still not in compliance with all aspects of this Policy, the student is once again ineligible for FSA funds, and will be notified via Certified U.S. Mail. If determined to be ineligible, the student may start a new Appeal Process.
  3. The appeal is granted conditionally. The Financial Aid Director may, at his/her discretion, request that the student and his/her academic advisor develop and submit an academic plan. The academic plan must indicate that, if followed, the student will be able to be in compliance with this Policy by a specified date. Upon acceptance of the academic plan by the Financial Aid Director, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Academic Plan status, and will be eligible for FSA funds. At the conclusion of each payment period covered by the academic plan, Financial Aid Office staff will review the student’s academic record for compliance with the academic plan. If the student is not complying with the academic plan, he/she will be ineligible for FSA funds for further payment periods, and will be notified via Certified U.S. Mail. Upon such a determination, the student may start a new Appeal Process. At the conclusion of the period of time covered by the academic plan, Financial Aid Office staff will evaluate the student’s academic record for compliance with this Policy, and determine his/her eligibility for FSA funds in the next payment period. If determined to be ineligible, the student will be notified via Certified U.S. Mail, and he/she may start a new Appeal Process.

Decisions of the Financial Aid Director: In all cases where a decision or determination is made by the Financial Aid Director, that decision or determination is final. There is no further avenue of appeal.

Statutory & Regulatory Authority: Congress has granted the United States Secretary of Education the authority to regulate SAP in 20 U.S.C. 1091(d). The Secretary of Education has imposed the SAP regulations found in 34 CFR 668.34.