Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Institutions are required to establish minimum standards of academic progress for all matriculated students, including those receiving federally funded financial aid. Federal regulations limit Title IV Student Financial Aid funding to those students who, according to institutional policy, are maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward their degree objective. In practice, SAP is required for essentially all financial aid at Moravian College. The primary interest, from a financial aid perspective, is to assure the best and most equitable use of financial aid funds from all sources. Moravian College has established the following SAP policy for financial aid in accordance with these regulations.
To remain eligible to continue receiving federal and institutional financial aid, Moravian College students must achieve the following academic standards: 1.50 cumulative GPA for up to 11.99 attempted course units 1.80 cumulative GPA after 12 attempted course units 2.00 cumulative GPA after 16 attempted course units The standard applied to a continuing student applying for financial aid for the first time will be determined by the number of course units the student has scheduled at the time he or she first receives financial aid.
Effective January 2018, students are expected to successfully complete –with a passing grade—at least 70 percent of all course units (or credits) attempted. All coursework will be counted in this measure, except courses officially dropped during the college’s drop/ add period at the start of each term. Included are all courses in the same program of study that are/were taken at any other schools attended. Although full- or part-time students are not required to maintain continuous enrollment to remain eligible for financial aid, students returning after a period of absence will have their records and eligibility reviewed before financial aid is granted. Coursework taken in a summer session or other special sessions is counted in the total units attempted/ completed. Failed courses, incompletes and course withdrawals count as unsuccessful attempts. Exceptions may be made for students on an approved medical or military leave of absence.
Statement of Standards for Part-time Students
Students enrolled less than full-time will be required to meet the same minimum cumulative grade point averages as students enrolled full-time, and must complete at least 70 percent of all coursework attempted.
Statement of Standards for Graduate Students
Students enrolled in graduate programs will be expected to complete 70 percent of all coursework attempted and generally maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to remain eligible to receive financial aid assistance. Some graduate programs have a different GPA requirement or may allow an escalating GPA standard.
Time Allowed to Complete Degree Requirements
A full-time undergraduate student is expected to complete all degree requirements within a maximum of 10 regular semesters. Special sessions (for example, summer sessions) are not included as regular semesters, although completed special session courses do count toward the 32 course units required for graduation. Some financial aid programs have an eight term limit. To graduate in four years (8 semesters), a student would have to complete four courses each semester, or eight courses each academic year. Federal regulations specify that the absolute maximum time frame during which a student can continue to receive Title IV SFA funds may not exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program.
Evaluation of Eligibility
An evaluation of a student’s academic standing and progress to determine federal, state, and institutional eligibility is made at the end of each academic year. Students who do not meet the minimum qualitative AND quantitative standards for SAP are notified that they are ineligible for financial aid. Students who could achieve the minimum standards within approximately one regular term may appeal to have their aid reinstated for the following term, with subsequent SAP reevaluation to determine future aid eligibility.
Students are invited to appeal the discontinuation of their financial aid, particularly if failure to meet SAP was the result of an undue hardship, exceptional medical or personal turn of events, or other extenuating circumstance. Appeals must be in writing, and include an explanation of mitigating circumstances and a plan for improvement (i.e., steps or conditions the student agrees to meet). Because academic dismissal results in automatic termination of all financial aid eligibility, students notified of academic dismissal must first appeal for reinstatement, following instructions provided by the Office of the Provost. If the student is reinstated academically, the appeal documentation (including improvement plan and any required conditions) is forwarded to the Director of Financial Aid Services or designee and serves as an appeal for continuation of financial aid. It is important to emphasize that SAP reviews to address continuation of financial aid are independent of academic decisions and can have very different outcomes. Financial aid staff reviews each appeal on a case-by case basis, and the aid-related decision is subsequently communicated to the student. If the appeal is approved, the student generally is given one probationary semester of financial aid, with reevaluation at the conclusion of the semester to determine future eligibility. In extraordinary cases of demonstrated academic improvement following a probationary semester, a student may be given multiple probationary semesters of aid with required conditions. If an appeal is denied, financial aid will be discontinued until the student is again meeting the minimum standards for SAP.