Satisfactory Academic Progress
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires National University to develop and enforce standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) prior to awarding any federal financial aid funds to students. Standards of satisfactory academic progress were established to encourage students to successfully complete courses for which federal financial aid is received, and to progress satisfactorily toward degree completion.
The standards apply to state and federal financial aid programs, including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Graduate PLUS Loans, Federal TEACH Grant, and California State Grant.
These financial aid standards of academic progress are separate from, and in addition to, academic standards required by the University for continued enrollment. The criteria used to determine academic progress are cumulative grade point average, cumulative completion rate (or pace), and maximum time frame to complete the degree.
At the end of quarter, the Financial Aid Office will review students’ academic progress. All periods of enrollment are reviewed, including quarters during which no financial aid was received. Those students who are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be notified of their possible ineligibility to receive further financial aid.
Qualitative Requirement – Grade Point Average (GPA)
Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 for a graduate student and 2.0 for an undergraduate student.
Successful completion of a course for undergraduates is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, or D. Successful completion of a course for graduate students is defined as receiving one of the following grades: A, A-, B+, or B.
Quantitative Requirement – Completion Rate (Pace)
Students must progress toward their educational degree to ensure completion of the program within maximum timeframe. Pace is measured quarterly. A student’s pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of units successfully completed by the cumulative number of units attempted.
Students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% (two-thirds) of cumulative units attempted (attempted units are units for which a tuition charge was incurred). This is measured quarterly and on a cumulative basis. Transfer hours accepted by the University toward the student’s degree requirements are included as credits attempted/earned but not included in the GPA calculation.
Maximum Time Frame for Completion of Educational Objective
Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the published length of their degree program. Maximum time frame is calculated at each evaluation point. The following standards of attempted units are applied to determine when a student has exceeded the maximum time frame for completion of their degree program.
|Degree||Required Units for Degree||Maximum Attempted Units|
For example, if a major requires 180 credit hours to graduate, a student could not receive financial aid beyond 270 credits attempted (including transfer hours) whether or not financial aid was received for those credits.
Incomplete grades are calculated as an ‘F’ until the incomplete grade is changed to a complete grade.
Repeated courses affect academic progress as follows:
- Cumulative Grade Point Average – Only the most recent grade counts in the student’s Cumulative GPA
- Cumulative Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame – When a course is repeated, each course attempt will be counted as attempted hours.
Remedial courses are treated the same as other courses for satisfactory academic progress purposes.
Transfer hours that are accepted toward the student’s academic program count in the overall maximum time frame calculation and in the cumulative completion (pace) calculation. Transfer hours have no effect upon the cumulative grade point average.
Changes of Major/Degree Program
Undergraduate students who change majors or change programs are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule, but only credits applying to the new major or degree program are evaluated. The 150% maximum limit will be measured based on the number of credits required for the new major/program. Graduate students who complete a program change will begin a new SAP calculation with the first course of the new program.
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
Students who enroll in a second bachelor’s degree program are still held to the 150% maximum time frame rule. However, only the credit hours from the first degree which apply to the second degree will be counted as attempted hours.
Timing of Reviews
Current active students will have their academic progress reviewed quarterly (July, October, January, and April.) Beginning in July of each year, students will be evaluated automatically for SAP. SAP is evaluated quarterly at the University.
New financial aid recipients (i.e., those students who had never previously applied for aid) or students reactivated for enrollment at the University will have their academic progress reviewed when the Financial Aid Office receives the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
At the time of the review students who are not meeting the minimum requirements will be placed on financial aid warning.
Financial Aid Warning
The Satisfactory Academic Progress warning period allows the student one quarter to make up for any GPA and/or pace of progression deficiencies. During the SAP warning period, the student may continue to receive financial aid without an appeal.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who are placed on financial aid suspension are ineligible for financial aid for subsequent enrollment periods. During suspension students may be permitted to attend National University at their own expense to demonstrate academic progress.
Reinstatement of Eligibility
Students who choose to attend National University while on financial aid suspension will do so at their own expense and will not be eligible for financial aid upon seeking reinstatement. When seeking reinstatement, students must be meeting the academic progress standards in order to regain eligibility for subsequent enrollment periods.
Appeal is a process by which a student who is not meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards petitions the institution for reconsideration of the student’s eligibility for Title IV, HEA program assistance. Students on financial aid suspension may appeal the loss of aid if extenuating circumstances prevented the students from making satisfactory progress. Circumstances which are considered extenuating are those which are unusual and/or unforeseen at the beginning of the enrollment period, such as: injury or illness of the student, death of a close relative, or other situations which were unexpected and beyond the student’s control. Allowances may also be made for students who have a documented disability or other adjustment difficulties.
The appeal must include what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. Appeals must be made in writing to the Financial Aid’s Standards of Academic Progress Appeals Committee. Students are notified through email of the results of their appeal. The possible appeal results are listed below.
Approved Appeals – Probationary Status
Students who appeal may be granted a probationary period. At the end of a probationary period, students must be meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements or must be successfully meeting requirements of an academic plan in order to continue to receive financial assistance.
Denied Appeals – Reinstatement of Eligibility
Students who choose to attend National University while on suspension, at their own expense, will not be automatically eligible for financial aid upon seeking reinstatement. Students must be meeting the academic progress standards in order to regain eligibility for subsequent enrollment periods. A minimum of six units earned at National University must be completed in order to be considered for reinstatement.