Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress: Graduate Students
Owner: Financial Aid
Pertains to: Graduate students
Description: Because Hamline University is committed to ensuring that their graduate and professional students are successful in completing their degree programs, their progress is monitored on an annual basis and those not meeting SAP criteria may be placed on financial aid probation and eventually suspended from receiving financial aid.
Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA) requires that a student be maintaining satisfactory progress in their course of study in order to receive financial aid under the program authorized under Title IV of the HEA.
Because Hamline University is committed to ensuring that their graduate and professional students are successful in completing their degree programs, their progress is monitored on an annual basis and those not meeting SAP criteria may be placed on financial aid probation and eventually suspended from receiving financial aid. This policy applies to all institutional grants, federal and state work-study funds, federal loans, state loans and private loan programs.
Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
Financial Aid may only be granted to graduate and professional students who: 1) maintain a cumulative grade point average, after the first two terms, that is equal to or greater than the graduation standards published by their individual program; 2) successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all hours attempted at Hamline University; and 3) complete their programs of study within a period of satisfactory academic progress that is not more then 150% of the hours normally required for the degree.
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average
In order to maintain Financial Aid eligibility, graduate and professional students must maintain a cumulative GPA that is equivalent to the graduation standards published by their program. (See chart below.)
Minimum Completion Rate
Financial Aid can only be disbursed to students who satisfactorily complete 67% of all credits attempted. Satisfactory grades are “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “P”, and “HP”. Unsatisfactory grades are “F”, “I”, “W”, and “N” Failure to maintain a minimum 67% completion rate will result in a financial aid warning for the next term. Failure to raise the overall completion rate equal to or above the minimum 67% by the end of the “warning” term will result in the student being ineligible to receive financial aid, including student loans, until the student raises their overall completion rate to the minimum 67%.
As a prerequisite to receiving financial aid, graduate and professional students must complete their programs of study by attempting no more than 150% of the credits normally required for attainment of the degree. (See the chart below.) For example, if a degree program can normally be completed with 50 credit hours, a student's financial aid eligibility will typically end once the student has attempted 75 credit hours, whether the student has attained the degree or not.
Attempted credits include all grades of “F”, “W”, “I” and “N”. Repeated courses are counted as attempted credits each time they are attempted. All transfer credits accepted by Hamline University count as attempted credits.
Every financial aid applicant's academic progress will be monitored at the end of each year. The assessment will be based on the student's entire academic record, including all transfer hours accepted. All of a student's academic coursework is considered in the review process, without regard as to whether or not the student received financial aid for the term(s).
Automated reviews are conducted by the Office of Financial Aid in concurrence with the Registration and Records Office at the end of each year, when program grades are anticipated. For programs that do not operate on a normal academic schedule, review dates are revised. Because grades may not be available before the next scheduled term begins, it is possible that financial aid may be disbursed before the review is conducted. In the event that a student is found to be ineligible for the financial aid that has been disbursed due to failure to meet one of the Standards, the aid that was disbursed will be canceled and returned to the appropriate program(s). If the student successfully appeals and is granted a probationary period, the aid can be reinstated for that term.
Financial Aid Probation and Termination
Students who do not meet the standards of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy at the end of their second semester will automatically be placed on financial aid probation for the following semester. At the end of the probation period, students will be removed from financial aid probation if they are determined once again to be making satisfactory progress as outlined above. However, financial aid will be terminated if a student is still not making satisfactory academic progress.
Students who are academically dismissed (and not reinstated on appeal) by the dean of their program are immediately terminated from receiving financial aid, without a probation period.
Students who are not in compliance with all aspects of the SAP policy are considered to be in an unsatisfactory status. A student whose status is determined to be unsatisfactory is not eligible to receive financial aid until the student: 1) attains the required minimum standards by successful completion of additional credits without the benefit of financial aid, or 2) is granted probationary financial aid during the appeal process, or 3) attains by the end of the probationary period the required minimum standards.
Students who have been warned or who have had eligibility for financial aid suspended due to unsatisfactory academic progress may appeal to the Director of Financial Aid for an extension of time to meet the standards detailed in this policy. A student whose academic performance was affected by circumstances beyond his or her control including, but not limited to, personal or family accident, illness or crisis; death of a close family member; loss of employment or employment transition; or divorce, may request a review of his or her situation.
To appeal the warning or denial of financial aid due to extenuating circumstances, a student must, within 15 days of notification, submit a letter detailing the circumstances that were beyond his or her control. The letter must be directed to the Financial Aid Director identifying how those circumstances affected his or her ability to meet the satisfactory progress standards. Additionally, independently verifiable supporting documentation from an identifiable third party is required in most instances.
Appeal Decisions and Probationary Periods
The Director of Financial Aid with the Registrar will issue a concluding opinion. A second appeal may be filed with the Provost, whose decision in all cases will be final.
A student may have financial aid reinstated for an additional probationary semester under the following circumstances: 1) The student appeal is approved by the Director of Financial Aid in conjunction with the Registrar; 2) Incomplete coursework is made up, thus advancing the student's cumulative credit standing and grade point average; and 3) The student completes required coursework at another institution during an academic leave of absence and has been officially readmitted to Hamline.
Reinstatement of Eligibility Upon Meeting the Standards
A student who has failed to meet the SAP Standards will be reinstated for financial aid eligibility upon the following conditions: 1) The student's Hamline University transcript demonstrates that the student now meets all of the SAP standards and 2) The student has submitted a financial aid application for the current award year.
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