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Methodist University Office of Financial Aid Policy of

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Methodist University Office of Financial Aid Policy of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Students

Revised 2014

The Higher Education Act mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of "Satisfactory Academic Progress" (SAP). The SAP regulations, at Sec. 668.34(a)(3)(ii), require that, for programs that are longer than one academic year, the student’s SAP must be evaluated “at the end of each payment period or at least annually to correspond with the end of a payment period;” Annually means a 12-month period. An institution is expected to review a student’s SAP at least once every 12 months. Methodist University evaluates a student’s SAP annually for students enrolled in at least 12 semester hours in the Day program and after each payment period for all other students and makes these standards applicable to all financial aid offered at Methodist University.  Methodist University reserves the right to evaluate a student's SAP more frequently. This includes Federal (Title IV), State (North Carolina), and Institutional (Methodist University) funding. Federal regulations require the university to establish SAP standards in the following areas: (1) Cumulative GPA; (2) Minimum Semester Hours Earned/Completion Rate; and (3) Maximum Time Frame. In addition the school’s SAP policy must include the student’s total academic history. Programs administered by agencies other than Methodist University, such as private scholarships, or grants given by states other than North Carolina, may have their own academic standards for students. Students will need to contact such agencies to determine what those requirements are.

GENERAL SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS PRINCIPLES

  1. Federal Regulations require the university to establish SAP standards in the following areas: (1) Cumulative GPA; (2) Minimum Semester Hours Earned/Completion Rate; and (3) Maximum Time Frame. In addition, a school’s SAP policy must include the student’s total academic history.
  2. These general principles apply to all of Methodist University’s degree programs. In addition to the general principles, students must meet specific guidelines for their individual academic program(s). Program specific requirements are listed in the academic catalogue.
  3. SAP will be determined once per academic year for students enrolled in at least 12 semester hours in the Day program (at the end of the summer payment period). SAP will be determined after each payment period for all other students. SAP will be evaluated before the following Fall semester, regardless of when the student’s enrollment began at Methodist University.
  4. A student, who fails SAP, MUST successfully appeal to continue to receive financial aid and be placed on financial aid probation (PROB).  PROB cannot be given automatically.  More details are provided under Financial Aid Probation (PROB).
  5. A student, who fails to make SAP at the end of the probation payment period, is placed on Financial Aid Suspension (FAS).
  6. To earn hours at Methodist University, a student must receive a grade of A, B, C, or D. Any other grade does not earn hours.
  7. Classes, from which a student has withdrawn, regardless of Withdrew Passing (WP) or Withdrew Failing (WF), will be counted as hours attempted but not hours earned, therefore, will negatively impact a student’s ability to satisfy SAP.
  8. Classes in which a student receives a grade of Incomplete (I) count as hours attempted but not as hours earned; therefore, will negatively impact a student’s ability to satisfy SAP.
  9. When a student repeats a course, the total attempted hours will increase with each repeat, but the student will only earn hours for a completed course once. Therefore, repeating classes will negatively impact a student’s ability to satisfy the 67% passage rate, but may significantly increase a student’s cumulative GPA.
  10. Included in attempted hours are all coursework attempted, including transfer credits, passed, repeated, incomplete, failed and withdrawn courses. Attempted hours do not include credits earned through Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or other similar testing programs.
  11. Cumulative GPA
    The cumulative number of credits attempted in the undergraduate schools of the university includes those credits attempted at the end of the schedule adjustment (drop/add). Multiple attempts of the same course will be counted for each attempt for financial aid purposes.

Credits Attempted

Minimum Cumulative GPA

1- 48

1.4

49- 77

1.6

78- 109

1.8

110- 129

1.9

130  - 186

2.0

Minimum Semester Hours Earned/Completion Rate

Each semester (fall, spring, and summer) an undergraduate student must earn a minimum of 67% of the hours registered for at the end of schedule adjustment. Schedule adjustment is also known as drop/add. Schedule adjustment typically ends on the Friday of the first week of classes at 11:59 p.m (usually 5 days into the semester). Please check the University’s Academic Calendar for specific dates.

  • To find the minimum hours required, take the number of credit hours at the end of schedule adjustment and multiply it by .67. For example: if a student had 12 hours at the end of schedule adjustment then the student would have to earn at least 8 hours to remain eligible for further financial aid (12 X .67 = 8.04). The credit hours will always be rounded down.

Any student with a quality point deficit of 40 or more as calculated by the Registrar, will be deemed academically ineligible, and therefore, will be placed directly on Financial Aid Cancellation without a probation period. The calculation in determining the quality point deficit is the total credit hours attempted, as established by the Registrar, times 2 minus the total quality point.

Maximum Time Frame

Undergraduate students must complete their degree requirements within 150% of the published length of their academic program to remain eligible for financial aid. At Methodist University, students must complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree within a maximum number of credits attempted (including transfer credits) of 186.  This is the maximum allowable time for receipt of federal and state financial aid regardless of whether the student did or did not receive financial aid during any period of his/her enrollment. A student cannot have more than 150 % of the published length of the education program to graduate. For most students, 12 semesters is the maximum time frame allowable for degree completion (standard 8 semesters or 100 % plus an additional 4 semesters or 50 %). Students will be allowed to receive institutional financial aid for a maximum of ten (10) semesters or five (5) years regardless of whether they are making SAP or not. However, some institutional scholarships are awarded for a maximum of eight (8) semesters or four (4) years. The Office of Financial Aid has a listing of these particular scholarships. A student can appeal the 150% maximum time frame (see Appeals).

Failure to Meet SAP

Financial Aid Probation (PROB)

A student who fails SAP must successfully appeal (see Appeals) to be placed on PROB.  PROB CANNOT be given automatically.  Methodist University must review the student’s progress at the end of that one payment period, as probation status is for one payment period only. At the end of one payment period on PROB, the student must make SAP or must be meeting the requirements of the academic plan. A student may be placed on PROB for one payment period per appeal.  It is possible that a student could be placed on probation more than once in his or her academic career.

  • If Methodist University determines, based on the appeal, that the student should be able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the subsequent payment period, the student is placed on PROB without an academic plan. MU must review the student’s progress at the end of that one payment period, as PROB status is for one payment period only At the end of one payment period on PROB, the student must make SAP or will be ineligible to receive financial aid.
  • If Methodist University determines, based on the appeal, that the student will require more than one payment period to meet SAP, the student will be placed on PROB and an academic plan must be developed for the student.  The student’s academic advisor and the student should develop a plan that ensures that the student is able to meet Methodist’s SAP standards by a specific point in time.  The plan could specify that the review takes place at the next point when the rest of Methodist University’s population is reviewed, which could mean every payment period or annually. The plan could also specify that the student is reviewed more frequently than the rest of the institution’s population; however, a student on an academic plan would not be reviewed less frequently than the rest of the institution’s population. An academic plan could take the student to program completion, rather than meeting the institution’s SAP standards at a specific point in time.
    • If the academic plan shows that the student can make SAP, the student will be placed on PROB and Methodist University MUST review the student’s progress at the end of one payment period as is required of a student on PROB status, to determine if the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan.  If the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan, the student is eligible to receive financial aid as long as the student continues to meet those requirements and is reviewed according to the requirements specified in the plan.
    • If the academic plan does NOT show that the student can make SAP, then the student will NOT be eligible for financial aid and will be immediately placed on Financial Aid Suspension (FAS). Students who are placed on FAS will be ineligible for all federal, state, and institutional financial aid. This includes any alternative loans that require certification by Methodist University.

At the end of the PROB period, the student’s SAP is evaluated. If the student is making SAP, then the student is no longer on PROB. Students on PROB who still do not meet the SAP standards will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension (FAS). Students who are placed on FAS will be ineligible for all federal, state, and institutional financial aid. This includes any alternative loans that have an SAP requirement.

Transfer students will be evaluated at the time of enrollment using the same SAP standards.

Students returning to Methodist University while they are on PROB or FAS must meet Methodist’s SAP policy in order to regain eligibility for financial aid.

Financial aid may be reinstated by the Director upon demonstration of mitigating circumstances which must be documented to the satisfaction of the director along with a written letter of appeal from the student.

 

Appeals (PROB, FAS, 150% Time Frame)

  • The appeal for a student to be put on PROB must include a written letter of appeal from the student and appropriate documentation as to why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next payment period. If the Director determines, based upon the appeal that the student will require more than one payment period to meet SAP, the appeal must also include an academic plan from the student’s academic advisor designed to ensure the student will be able to meet SAP by a specific point in time (two payment periods). If the plan does NOT show that the student can make SAP, then the student will NOT be eligible for an appeal.
  • The appeal for a student who is on Financial Aid Suspension (FAS), for failure to make SAP at the end of the probation payment period, must include a written letter of appeal from the student and appropriate documentation as to what had changed that caused the student to not make SAP during the probationary payment period and why the student should be able to meet SAP on the terms of the academic plan, if applicable. 
  • The appeal for the 150% Time Frame must include a written letter of appeal from the student and appropriate documentation as to why the student has exceeded the 150% Time Frame and the time frame in which the student will complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Examples of mitigating circumstances and appropriate documentation for Appeals, include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  1. Serious illness or injury of student- notarized statement from physician that illness interfered with student’s ability to meet SAP along with written letter of appeal from student.
  2. Serious illness or injury of immediate family member-notarized statement from a physician along with written letter of appeal from student.
  3. Death of an immediate/close family member-notarized statement from a minister, nearest relative, or an unbiased concerned adult along with written letter of appeal from student.
  4. Disruptive internal family problems-legal/court documentation from lawyer, statement from parents, minister, or an unbiased concerned adult along with written letter of appeal from student.

However, the Financial Aid Director may choose to request additional documentation when a particular student circumstance warrants it and may decide to require more extensive documentation on an initial appeal and an update statement on a subsequent appeal. The Director also has the discretion to deny the appeal if the documentation received is not sufficient.

 

 

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5 (B)
A student must achieve and maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5.

Cumulative Hours Earned
A student must pass (earn) at least 70% of their credits attempted (excluding non-credit courses and pass/fail courses).

Maximum Time Frame
MPAS students will be allowed a maximum of 188 attempted hours to complete their degree. This is the maximum allowable time for receipt of eligible Federal Title IV Funds regardless of whether the student did or did not receive financial aid during any period of his/her enrollment.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Justice Administration (MJA)

Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5 (B)
A student must achieve and maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5.

Cumulative Hours Earned
A student must pass (earn) at least 70% of their credits attempted (excluding non-credit courses and pass/fail courses).

Maximum Time Frame
MBA students will be allowed a maximum of 56 attempted hours to complete their degree. This is the maximum allowable time for receipt of eligible Federal Title IV Funds regardless of whether the student did or did not receive financial aid during any period of his/her enrollment.

 

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