The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Federal Work-Study. Please note that the PHEAA Grant program has separate guidelines for satisfactory academic progress and should be reviewed on www.pheaa.org.
The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply to all students seeking federal Title IV financial aid, regardless of whether the student has received Title IV financial aid in the past. Marywood University is responsible for ensuring that all students receiving Title IV assistance are meeting these standards.
For all degree seeking students, SAP will be evaluated at the end of each semester, typically in December, May and August. This evaluation will determine if the student has made sufficient progress to be eligible for future Title IV funding.
Qualitative Measure (cumulative Marywood QPA):
Completion Rate/Pace: Pace is calculated by dividing cumulative hours the student successfully completed by cumulative hours the student has attempted. This calculation includes all attempted credits, both at Marywood and those accepted in transfer. Courses for which a student receives academic credit, withdraws, receives incomplete or repeat grades and/or fails are counted in the calculation of the completion rate/pace.
Maximum Timeframe: Maximum timeframe is defined as the required length of time it will take a student to complete his/her degree. A student will remain eligible for federal aid for up to 150% of total attempted credits. For example, if the student is pursuing a degree that requires 126 credits, the student is not eligible for further federal aid after attempting 189 credits. This includes transfer credits. Most undergraduate degrees at Marywood University require a minimum of 126 credits for graduation but there are some exceptions. Most graduate degrees require 36 credits for graduation but there are some exceptions. Refer to the catalog for specific program graduation requirements.
Students who change majors are responsible for completing their degree requirements within the timeframe specified above.
Readmitted Students - If a student is readmitted to Marywood University, satisfactory academic progress will be based on the student’s previous attendance at Marywood and credits accepted in transfer. Students who have not met the minimum requirements will be notified of their ineligibility for federal financial aid and informed of their options to regain eligibility.
Special Grades and their Use in Satisfactory Academic Progress Determination
Repeat of Course - The highest grade earned is always used in calculating the QPA. If the student failed the course the first time but passes it the second time, the appropriate number of credits will be received after the second attempt. Maximum hours earned for any course cannot exceed the number of credits listed for that course in the catalog.
Summer terms – Summer counts as any other semester. Since Marywood University evaluates after each semester, a student that has not met SAP standards will be put on an automatic warning after the spring semester evaluation. If the student takes summer courses, he/she will be evaluated again at the end of summer and must either have made up their SAP deficiency or successfully appealed his/her failure to make up the deficiency in order to receive aid for the fall semester.
If a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards, but meets the standards later at some point, the student can once again be eligible to receive federal Title IV. In such cases, financial aid eligibility will begin with the academic semester after which the student re-establishes progress. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid after completing coursework that allows the student to regain eligibility for financial aid.
If a student is taking coursework at another institution to regain SAP eligibility, the student should be aware that:
Appeal Process – A student whose financial aid eligibility has been terminated may appeal only if they have experienced extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to meet the academic progress standards. In general, extenuating circumstances can include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, death of relative or friend, difficulties with accommodations for students with disabilities, and adversity due to unforeseen events. Students interested in appealing their termination of financial aid eligibility can obtain the “Academic Progress Appeal Form” in the Office of Financial Aid. The student must address in the appeal why he/she failed to make academic progress and what has changed that will allow him/her to make progress in the next semester. In addition the student must meet with their advisor and submit an academic plan that outlines a reasonable plan for success. The completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid no later than:
Students will be notified of the decision regarding their appeal via their Marywood University email account.
Financial Aid Warning – Marywood University evaluates academic progress at the end of each semester. Students on a Financial Aid Warning status may continue to receive Title IV aid for one semester despite a determination that the student is not meeting SAP standards. A warning status is granted automatically and may be assigned without an appeal or other action by the student. Students are notified via their Marywood University email account of their warning status.
Financial Aid Probation – Financial Aid Probation status can be granted only after the student has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated. A student on financial aid probation may receive Title IV funds for one semester only. At the completion of the probation semester, the student must have resolved his/her academic deficiency. Failure to do so will result in a loss of Title IV financial aid (including Federal Direct Loans and Federal PLUS loans) until such time as the student has resolved their academic deficiency at their own expense.
All notifications, warnings and appeal decisions will be provided to the student in writing via their Marywood University email account.
State Grant Academic Progress: Academic progress requirements for state grant programs vary from the federal academic progress policy. Academic progress requirements for the Pennsylvania State Grant are communicated directly to recipients with their state grant notification by PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency).