Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations (HEA Section 484(c), 34 CFR 668.16(e), 34 CFR 668.32(f), and 34 CFR 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.
Iona University evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) once a year, after the spring semester for programs of study longer than one academic year. Programs that are one year or less will be reviewed after each payment period.
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.
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.
Qualitative SAP Standards
- 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average for undergraduates
- 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average for graduate students
Quantitative SAP Standards
- Students must have earned 67% of their attempted course credits to be considered 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 three years of full-time attendance or six years of part-time attendance.
We do not round up. Nothing below the exact minimum requirement is rounded up in order to meet the minimum standards. For example, if your number of credits earned divided by the number of credits attempted equates to .666667, your percentage is 66% and you do not meet the minimum credits attempted requirement.
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 are counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program. Iona University 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.)
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 University 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.
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 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 University at your own expense -- without financial assistance -- and by regaining the Qualitative and Quantitative standards listed above.
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.
There is a minimal amount of time between the time when final fall grades must be posted and the start of the spring semester. There is even less time between the time when final summer grades may be posted and the start of the 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 University reviews SAP annually, and, therefore, cannot utilize a Financial Aid Warning.
The Academic Plan is an option used by the College which outlines a series of actions by which a student will regain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) within a specified time frame. The student must agree to the plan, and the school must monitor the student’s compliance with the plan. Students under an academic plan are considered eligible for Title IV funds while in compliance with the plan.
This status applies to a student who fails to meet SAP and who has appealed and has had eligibility for Title IV aid reinstated.
- The College may impose conditions for student’s continued eligibility to receive Title IV aid.
- Student may receive aid for one payment period.
- Student may have more than one probation – No consecutive appeals.
- Probation will always follow an approved appeal – the student will have conditions that will be monitored
- Probation is allowed for only one payment period. If the student fails to meet SAP and completes an appeal* and the appeal is approved, the student is placed on “Probation” for one semester.
- If the student meets SAP after this semester, he/she then becomes eligible for financial aid.
- If at the end of the term a student needs more time, the College may place the student on an “academic plan” which does not measure against the SAP policy. At this point, the student will be measured against his/her “academic plan.”
- The goal of the “academic plan” is to ensure the student’s ability to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time. The plan will allow the student additional time to meet SAP in order to regain financial aid eligibility.
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 must submit an academic plan as part of a subsequent appeal for federal financial aid.