Satisfactory Academic Progress
Because federal and state financial aid is help given to students in expectation that they will complete their academic programs, to remain eligible for aid, students must meet standards for satisfactory academic progress (SAP). You must meet or exceed these standards with the results of your courses at the end of each semester in order to be eligible for federal and state financial aid for the next semester.
There are three standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP):
- Cumulative grade point average (GPA)
- Cumulative completion rate or Pace = Number of credits passed (completed) divided by the number of credits attempted.
- Maximum timeframe = total cumulative credits attempted.
SAP Standards at Vincennes University:
1. Minimum Cumulative GPA:
- After attempting 12 credit hours: 1.8
- After attempting 30 credit hours: 1.9
- After attempting 45 credit hours: 2.0
2. Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate/Pace:
- After attempting 12 credits, pass 60%
- After attempting 30 credits, pass 63%
- After attempting 45 credits, pass 67%
3. Maximum Timeframe:
Supposing they meet or exceed the minimum GPA and completion rate standards, students are allowed to receive financial aid for up to 150% of the number of credits required to complete their degree or certificate. For example, students in an associate degree program that requires 64 credits are eligible for financial aid for up to 96 credits (64 x 1.5). Students in a certificate program that requires 30 credits are eligible for financial aid for up to 45 credits (30 x 1.5)
What happens if I don’t meet these standards?
The first time you fail to meet the GPA and completion rate/pace standards, you are on financial aid warning for the next semester. (Students who exceed the maximum timeframe are not given a warning period. They are ineligible when they reach the 150% number of credits but may appeal as explained below.)
If you fail to improve to the required standards after being on financial aid warning, you will be on financial aid suspension, that is, you will be ineligible for federal and state financial aid. HOWEVER, you may appeal your suspension by explaining and documenting the extenuating circumstances that prevented you from being successful and by explaining how your circumstances will be different in the future. Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to your own illness or injury; death, illness, or injury of a family member; pregnancy or birth of a child; marital problems; and financial difficulty or hardship.
If your appeal is approved, you will be on financial aid probation. The academic goals you must meet while on financial aid probation will be spelled out in an academic plan, which you can access from your MyVU account. You will need to print out this plan, sign it, and submit it to the student financial services office. Since academic plans for the maximum timeframe standard require a listing of only the courses you will take that meet degree requirements, those must also be signed by your advisor. If your appeal is approved and you are on probation, your financial aid for the semester will not pay to your account until you submit your signed academic plan.
If your appeal is denied, you are ineligible for federal and state financial aid at VU. A financial aid suspension at VU does not necessarily follow you to another school. If you want to return to VU with financial aid, you must show that you can meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress. To do this, you will have to submit another appeal and a copy of your grades from the other school you attended. An unofficial copy is sufficient. If your grades show that it is possible for you to reach at least the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress, your appeal may be granted. If your appeal is granted, you would be eligible for aid on a probation status as long as you meet your academic plan. Simply not returning to VU for a semester or two is not sufficient for regaining financial aid eligibility.
- Developmental courses are counted as attempted courses, and they contribute to the GPA for financial aid purposes only.
- Courses with a grade of W, WF, or WN are counted as attempted courses.
- Courses with grade of I (incomplete) or RD (report delayed) are counted as attempted courses but are not counted as passed completed courses until the final passing grade is available. In cases where a course with grade of I or RD makes a difference in whether an appeal of suspension can be approved or not, we will have to wait on completion of the course to render a decision on the appeal.
- Repeated courses are counted as attempted courses.
- Courses attempted and the corresponding grades during semesters in which the student does not receive federal financial aid are counted as attempted courses for all three standards of progress.
- A change in major or pursuit of a second degree does not change the number of attempted courses or the grades received in attempted courses. See below how this can affect appeals on the maximum timeframe standard (150%).
- Transfer courses are counted as both attempted and passed courses for completion rate (pace) purposes.
- For checking GPA progress, i.e., whether a student has to meet the 1.8, 1.9 or 2.0 standard, until a student has attempted 12 credits at VU, we will not count the transfer credits as attempted credits. After the student has attempted 12 credits at VU, we will use the total number of credits attempted, including transfer credits, to determine the GPA expectation.
For appeals on the maximum timeframe standard (150%) some exceptions might make it possible for the university to provide federal financial aid for additional credits. The university may exclude:
- Up to 30 credits of developmental courses attempted.
- Credits transferred from another college or university which do not meet requirements for the degree or certificate toward which the student is working at Vincennes University.
- Credits earned more than five years ago from the time of initial consideration of appeal if there has been a break in enrollment of at least two consecutive academic semesters.
- Credits earned, while the student was still in high school, that do not meet requirements for the degree or certificate at Vincennes University. This is true whether the courses were undertaken because required for the high school diploma or because the student thought the courses might be required in college.
- Credits earned in completion of one degree or certificate at Vincennes University which do not meet requirements for a second or subsequent degree or certificate.