Satisfactory Academic Progress

Undergraduate Standards

What Are the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress?

The United States Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of “satisfactory academic progress” for students receiving federally funded financial aid.  These standards have been established to encourage students to complete courses for which financial aid is received and to progress satisfactorily toward a degree.  Dominican University has also been directed to apply these same standards of academic progress to the recipients of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

What financial aid does this apply to?

  • Federal, State, and Institutional grants and scholarships
  • Federal and Private Student Loans
  • Federal Work-Study and Dominican Employment

Who must meet these criteria?

Students currently receiving financial assistance under the aid programs listed above and who are classified as undergraduates. This includes students who have not applied for financial assistance, but have attended Dominican University. Satisfactory academic progress is determined considering all periods of enrollment, whether or not the student received financial aid.

When is a satisfactory progress determined?

Students are reviewed for Satisfactory Academic progress at the end of each semester with the various summer terms are considered together as one term.

Qualitative Measure

Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00. Some academic scholarships have more stringent requirements, such as a higher GPA to be renewed. Please refer to your original scholarship announcement regarding its stipulations.

Quantitative Measure

Students must complete 67% of all credit hours attempted. Note that a completion rate of 66.6% is rounded to 67%.  Attempted hours are defined as the hours for which the student is enrolled in a term. Earned hours are defined as the sum of hours for which a student has earned a grade of A, B, C, or D. Grades of  F, I, W, WW, WU, WX, NC AND NR are considered attempted hours but are not considered as completed credit hours. IP grades are considered earned until a final grade is posted once the course is completed.  At that point the grade received determines if the credits are earned.  Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned hours; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.  
 
If a student receives an “incomplete” for a course, it is considered credits not earned. When the incomplete is replaced by a passing grade, then those credits are considered to be completed.  
 
If a student repeats a course, each attempt is counted toward credits attempted but only the most recent grade is calculated in the GPA and the student only receives credit for the course once.
 
If a grade is changed for a student on probation or suspension, his/her status will be reevaluated.

Retaking Coursework

Federal regulations permit a student to retake a failed course and have that course count as attempted hours. The regulations also permit a student to retake a previously-passed course (e.g., to earn a higher grade) and to have that course count as attempted hours.  Only one repetition of a previously-passed course may be included in the student’s enrollment status and a student can only repeat a previously passed course once during their academic career.

Maximum Time - Frame

A student should not exceed 150% of the number of credits it takes to obtain a degree.  For example, the majority of bachelor's degrees  from Dominican University require 124 credit hours, therefore undergraduate students in those programs must not exceed 186 attempted credit hours in order to remain eligible for financial aid. Transfer credits are used in the calculation of the maximum time frame requirement.  Courses taken under a consortium agreement that are not transferred back to the university are considered attempted not completed credit hours.
 
Courses that are attempted but not completed (such as withdrawals) are still counted toward the 150% limit.
 
For students not in compliance with these standards, the following action will be taken:
 
Financial Aid Warning
In the first semester that a student is not in compliance with the standards, the student will receive a warning letter from the Financial Aid Office explaining what standard was not met.   The student will have one additional semester to regain compliance.  If the student meets the minimum standards at the end of second period of enrollment, he/she will return to good standing.
 
Financial Aid Suspension
When a student fails to comply with the above standards for a second consecutive semester, eligibility for all State, Federal and Institutional Aid will be withdrawn.  The student will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office stating the reason for the suspension and the procedure for appealing the suspension.  Financial aid will not be reinstated unless the student’s appeal is granted or the student requests reinstatement after making satisfactory academic progress (e.g. the deficiency is removed, I or IP’s are completed) .
 
Reinstatement
Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a term affects a student’s academic progress standing, so neither is sufficient to reestablish financial aid eligibility. If a student’s aid is cancelled due to not maintaining satisfactory academic progress, the student can have their eligibility reinstated once he/she is in good standing with all SAP requirements. Students may re-establish eligibility for financial aid at any point during the academic year and be given the same consideration for aid as other students maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Depending upon when students regain their eligibility, they may become eligible for financial aid for the payment period in which it is determined they have met the SAP requirements, otherwise it would become effective the following payment period. Students should track their progress as it is their responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing if they feel they have regained their financial aid eligibility.
 
Appeals
Students may appeal based on mitigating circumstances which could include(but are not limited to) death/prolonged illness of an immediate family member, medical illness of the student, natural disasters or other acts of God and/or other personal or family matters which may have impeded the students ability to meet the required standards.
 
Appeals must be in writing and appeals should contain supporting documentation (transcript, doctor’s note, death certificate, accident report, etc.) as well as an academic plan created with the student's advisor.
 
If the appeal is approved the student will be reinstated and the student will be eligible for one additional semester of financial aid and be considered on probation.
 
The student will reviewed again at the end of the probationary semester and is required to have met standards at that time unless a valid academic recovery plan is adhered to.
 
A reinstated student who once again fails to meet standards will only be able to re-appeal with the support of an academic advisor recommendation.
 
If the appeal is denied, no further appeals will be considered.  The only option would be to complete the requirements for reinstatement (see above).

Other considerations

Changes in majors
Students who change majors or degree plans are still subject to qualitative and quantitative measures of this policy. A change in majors or degree plans may be considered in an appeal of financial aid probation or suspension.
 
Second degree
Students admitted for a second bachelor’s degree may petition for a waiver of the maximum time frame standard not to exceed a total of 220 credits (the 150% standard plus the 34 credits required in residence at Dominican).
 
Summer terms
For purposes of determining satisfactory academic progress, the various summer terms are considered together as one term.
 
Non-credit remedial courses
Dominican University does not offer non-credit remedial courses.

Graduate Standards

What Are the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress?

The United States Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of “satisfactory academic progress” for students receiving federally funded financial aid.  These standards have been established to encourage students to complete courses for which financial aid is received and to progress satisfactorily toward a degree.

What financial aid does this apply to?

  • Federal, State, and Institutional grants and scholarships
  • Federal and Private Student Loans
  • Federal Work-Study and Dominican Employment

Who must meet these criteria?

Students currently receiving financial assistance under the aid programs listed above and who are classified as graduate students. This includes students who have not applied for financial assistance, but have attended Dominican University.  
Satisfactory academic progress is determined considering all periods of enrollment, whether or not the student received financial aid.

When is a satisfactory progress determined?

Students are reviewed for Satisfactory Academic progress at the end of each semester with the various summer terms considered together as one term.

Qualitative Measure

Graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00. Some academic scholarships have more stringent requirements, such as a higher GPA, to be renewed. Please refer to your original scholarship announcement regarding its stipulations.

Quantitative Measure

Students must complete 67% of all credit hours attempted. Note that a completion rate of 66.6% is rounded to 67%.  Attempted hours are defined as the hours for which the student is enrolled in a term. Earned hours are defined as the sum of hours for which a student has earned a grade of A, B, C, or D.  Grades of  F, I, W, WW, WU, WX, NC AND NR are considered attempted hours but are not considered as completed credit hours.  IP grades are considered earned until the course is completed.  At that point the grade received determines if the credits were earned.  Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned hours; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.  
 
If a student receives an “incomplete” for a course, it is considered credits not earned.  When the incomplete is replaced by a passing grade, then those credits are considered to be completed.  
 
If a student repeats a course, each attempt is counted toward credits attempted but only the most recent grade is calculated in the GPA and the student only receives credit for the course once.
 
If a grade is changed for a student on probation or suspension, his/her status will be reevaluated.

Retaking Coursework

Federal regulations permit a student to retake a failed course and have that course count as attempted hours. The regulations also permit a student to retake a previously-passed course (e.g., to earn a higher grade) and to have that course count as attempted hours.  Only one repetition of a previously-passed course may be included in the student’s enrollment status and a student can only repeat a previously passed course once during their academic career.

Maximum Time - Frame

A student should not exceed 150% of the number of credit it takes to obtain a degree. Transfer credits are used in the calculation of the maximum time frame requirement.  The maximum time frame is contingent upon the published program length of the specific degree the student is pursuing. 
 
Courses that are attempted but not completed (such as withdrawals) are still counted toward the 150% limit.
 
For students not in compliance with these standards, the following action will be taken:
 
Financial Aid Warning
In the first semester that a student is not in compliance with the standards the student will receive a warning letter from the Financial Aid Office explaining what standard was not met. The student will have one additional semester to regain compliance.  If the student meets the minimum standards at the end of second period of enrollment, he/she will return to good standing.
 
Financial Aid Suspension
When a student fails to comply with the above standards for a second consecutive semester, eligibility for all State, Federal and Institutional Aid will be withdrawn.  The student will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office stating the reason for the suspension and the procedure for appealing the suspension.  Financial aid will not be reinstated unless the students appeal is granted or the student requests reinstatement after making satisfactory academic progress (e.g. the deficiency is removed, I or IP’s are completed)
 
 
Reinstatement
Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a term affects a student’s academic progress standing, so neither is sufficient to reestablish financial aid eligibility. If a student’s aid is cancelled due to not maintaining satisfactory academic progress, the student can have their eligibility reinstated once he/she is in good standing with all SAP requirements. Students may reestablish eligibility for financial aid at any point during the academic year and be given the same consideration for aid as other students maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Depending upon when students regain their eligibility, they may become eligible for financial aid for the payment period in which it is determined they have met the SAP requirements, otherwise it would become effective the following payment period. Students should track their progress as it is their responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office in writing if they feel they have regained their financial aid eligibility.
 
Appeals
Students may appeal based on mitigating circumstances which could include(but are not limited to) death/prolonged illness of an immediate family member, medical illness of the student, natural disasters or other acts of God and/or other personal or family matters which may have impeded the students ability to meet the required standards.
 
Appeals must be in writing and appeals should contain supporting documentation (transcript, doctor’s note, death certificate, accident report, etc.) as well as an academic plan created with the student's advisor.
 
If the appeal is approved the student will be reinstated and the student will be eligible for one additional semester of financial aid and be considered on probation.
 
The student will be reviewed again at the end of the probationary semester and is required to have met standards at that time unless a valid academic recovery plan was adhered to.
 
A reinstated student who once again fails to meet standards will only be able to re-appeal with the support of an academic advisor recommendation.
 
If the appeal is denied, no further appeals will be considered.  The only option would be to complete the requirements for reinstatement (see above).

Other considerations:

Changes in concentrations or degree plans:
Students who change concentration or degree plans are still subject to qualitative and quantitative measures of this policy. A change in majors or degree plans may be considered in an appeal of financial aid probation or suspension.

Additional degrees:
Students who are admitted to a new graduate degree program (in addition to the previous degree earned) are then evaluated on their progress to the new degree.

Summer terms:
For purposes of determining satisfactory academic progress, the various summer terms are considered together as one term.