Satisfactory Academic Progress

Iona College Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree. This determination of progress must be made at least once a year and before the financial aid office disburses any federal aid funds for the subsequent semester.

The satisfactory academic progress policy must include a qualitative and quantitative measure of the student's progress. The qualitative measure must establish a minimum grade point index standard. The quantitative measure must establish a maximum time frame for a student to complete his/her program and a minimum number of credits a student must satisfactorily complete each year.

For financial aid purposes, satisfactory grades are defined as: A, B+, B, C+, C, D, P, SP and T. Unsatisfactory grades are defined as: NG, U, F, FA and I.

Qualitative SAP Standards:

2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average for undergraduates

3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average for graduate students

Quantitative SAP Standards:

  1. Students must have earned at least 66% of their attempted course credits to be considered to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress minimum standards. Students are permitted to receive federal student aid only for the number of terms that reach 150% of the amount of time it normally takes to complete their degree program.   The majority of undergraduate programs require 120 hours for graduation. The maximum time frame for students in these programs is 180 attempted hours (120 x 1.5 = 180). Students whose programs require more than 120 hours for a degree will have a higher limit.  All graduate degrees must be completed within 3 years of full-time attendance or 6 years of part-time attendance.

Students are not eligible to receive federal financial assistance for terms beyond this point, even if they did not receive aid for all of terms included in figuring whether they have exceeded 150% of the maximum time allowed to complete their degree requirements. SAP is reviewed yearly except for students on probation whose status is reviewed each semester:

  • Transfer credits:  Transfer Credits accepted for the student's academic program or degree is counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program. Iona College does not accept for credit any transfer grades lower than C.
  • Repeat Policy: For federal and institutional aid students can repeat a course once. The most recent attempt will count towards GPA as well as in the calculation for attempted and completed credits.  Courses repeated due to an earlier failing grade are eligible for federal student aid if the course is a requirement for the student’s degree program.
  • Withdrawals: Grades of W are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame. Attempted hours are those hours for which students were still officially registered at the conclusion of each semester's Add/Drop period. Withdrawals are counted as attempted hours.
  • Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of "attempted hours."
  • Pass/Fail Courses: These hours do count within the total of attempted and earned hours. 
  • Change in Majors: Students who change their majors will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours (150% of normal program completion.)

Reviewing SAP:

Students meeting all minimum SAP standards are packaged for the full academic year. Students not meeting all minimum standards are subject to financial aid probation or loss of financial aid eligibility.

Financial Aid Warning:

There is a minimal amount of time between the time when final fall grades must be posted and the start of spring semester. There is even less time between the time when final summer grades may be posted and the start of fall semester. Students incur a financial liability to the College as soon as the semester begins. Therefore, under most circumstances, we believe it would be unfair to retroactively remove a student's aid once the semester begins. Iona College reviews SAP annually, and, therefore, cannot utilize a Financial Aid Warning.

Financial Aid Probation:

If the student has not reached the maximum number of scheduled hours and the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines that the student has fallen below the completion ratio standards for satisfactory progress, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and notified that his/her continued eligibility for federal financial aid assistance is in jeopardy. Students who fail to maintain the required minimum GPA will also be placed on financial aid probation. Students will normally be allowed only one probationary semester during their academic program. If the student on financial aid probation meets the terms of the probation, he/she will be permitted to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs for a subsequent semester. Students who have been placed on probation shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for the purposes of receiving financial aid as long as the student continues to meet the academic requirements of SAP.

The Student Financial Services Office will review the records of students who are on financial aid probation at the end of each semester. If the student does not meet the terms of the probation, the student will forfeit eligibility for all federal financial aid programs.

Loss of eligibility due to lack of satisfactory progress:

A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at Iona College at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his degree requirements in a more regular fashion. Students who have been academically dismissed from the College but who are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal, state, or institutional aid programs. Admissions decisions are totally separate from funding decisions.

Right to Appeal:

Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of notification that aid eligibility has been lost OR 30 days after a semester begins (whichever comes first). An Appeal must be made in writing to the Director of Financial Aid by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Request for Review and submitting it, along, with all required statements and documentation. The appeal may not be based upon your need for the assistance OR your lack of knowledge that your assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal would normally be based upon some unusual situation or condition which prevented you from passing more of your courses, or which necessitated that you withdraw from classes. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury, or death of a family member.

If you do not have grounds for an appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may still be able to regain your eligibility for future semesters. This is done by enrolling at Iona College at your own expense -- without financial assistance -- and by regaining the Qualitative and Quantitative standards listed above.

Appeal Approval Conditions:

Appeals can only be approved if the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines that the student will be able to meet the College's satisfactory academic progress after the next payment period.

If an appeal is granted:

Students whose appeals are granted will receive aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student's record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester. Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards will not be eligible to submit a subsequent appeal.