Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid
To maintain eligibility for financial assistance, both from the institution and the federal and state governments, a student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Progress is defined as completing a required number of credits each academic year with an appropriate grade-point average and an 80% completion rate of attempted course work.
There are two departments that monitor satisfactory academic progress. The Registrar's Office monitors coursework for academic standing (see Academic Policy and Procedures; Academic Progress) and the Student Financial Aid Services monitors academic progress for financial aid eligibility (see requirements listed below).
Because these are two separate processes a student may have different standings between the Registrar's Office and the Student Financial Aid Services. Each office has their own petition/appeal process and the student may have to complete two petitions/appeal forms.
The requirements are as follows:
- A student must maintain full-time status to receive the maximum amount of aid. Full-time status for federal and institutional purposes is:
- 12 credits for the Fall Term
- and a total of 12 credits for the combined Winter/Spring Term.
- A student must also complete 80 percent of attempted credits to maintain satisfactory progress. This means that any credits dropped after the add and drop period or receiving an F grade in a course may affect your satisfactory progress.
- An acceptable grade point average must be maintained in order to continue to receive financial assistance. The criterion is the maintenance of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Many scholarships are reduced if the student's cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0. Students should refer to their award letter or the Office of Student Financial Aid Services for additional information.
- If a student registers for less than a full-time course load (11 credits or less per term), the student will receive a pro-rated amount of federal aid. No institutional aid can be received at less than full-time status.
There is a time limit and number of credit limit set for eligibility for financial assistance. Any student who begins an academic term with more than 124 credits will receive only half of their scholarship funds. No student may receive financial assistance once they have received 150 undergraduate credits during their academic career or after they have graduated. The exception to this is the fifth year internship through the education department, which occurs after a student graduates.
The standards for progress will be applied uniformly, regardless of the source of funding. After review of students' academic records, notification letters will be sent to students who do not meet the academic criteria. The letters are as follows:
- Students falling below the standards for the first time will receive a Warning Letter. After the next academic year, progress will be checked again and aid will be continued if standards are met.
- If the standards are not met, a Financial Aid Suspension letter will be sent to the student. A student may receive only one warning during their enrollment at the College. After the first warning has been received, a student will be placed on financial aid suspension at any point that the standards are not met.
- If a student is suspended, reinstatement can be accomplished by completing a full term at full-time status at the student's own expense, or by appealing the suspended status. (The appeal process is explained in the following section.)
A student has the right to file an appeal regarding their financial aid by completing an appeal form available from the Office of Student Financial Aid Services, securing a recommendation from their academic advisor and if applicable, supporting documents from a member of the medical profession and submitting these materials to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. This office will then present a student's appeal materials and academic transcripts to the Financial Aid Committee, which will review the student's performance and make a recommendation for reinstatement of funding or other options.