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Satisfactory Academic Progress

SAPStandards

As required by the U.S. Department of Education, VanderCook has established a policy to determine if an otherwise eligible candidate is making satisfactory academic progress in his or her education program and may continue to receive Title IV assistance. Title IV programs include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans. There are three components of this policy: Qualitative Measure (cumulative GPA), Pace (formerly “Quantitative Measure,” or attempted courses completed), and Maximum Time Frame.

Criteria

The following are minimum standards required for a candidate to be eligible for state and federal financial assistance. These standards apply to all candidates, including those who do not currently or who have not previously received such aid.

Undergraduate Candidates

Qualitative Measure: Minimum Cumulative GPA

All undergraduate candidates are expected to achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (C+) on a 4.25 scale.

Pace: Minimum Completion of Coursework

Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the candidate has successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours the candidate has attempted. The resulting percentage must be 67% or higher for undergraduate candidates at VanderCook.

Attempted hours are defined as any course in which an undergraduate candidate is enrolled after the add/drop period has ended each semester. Successfully completed hours are defined as the hours in which an undergraduate candidate received a grade of D or above. Incompletes, withdrawals, repetitions, transferred credits from other institutions, and failed coursework are all included in attempted hours. All academic terms are included in the calculation of pace, regardless of whether or not the candidate received financial assistance during the term.

Maximum Time Frame

The maximum time frame for which an undergraduate candidate may receive financial assistance may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours. The published length of the undergraduate program is 137.5 credit hours. The maximum time frame during which an undergraduate candidate may be eligible for financial assistance must not exceed 206 total attempted credit hours, including transfer and/or advanced placement credit (137.5 x 150% = 206 credit hours).

Additionally, undergraduate candidates must complete the requirements of their degree program within ten years of the date of first enrollment at VanderCook.

TCEP Candidates

Qualitative Measure: Minimum Cumulative GPA

All TCEP candidates are expected to achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) on a 4.25 scale with no more than 20% of all credits (excluding incompletes and withdrawals) below a B level.

Pace: Minimum Completion of Coursework

Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the candidate has successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours the candidate has attempted. The resulting percentage must be 75% or higher for TCEP candidates at VanderCook.

Attempted hours are defined as any course in which a TCEP candidate is enrolled after the add/drop period has ended each semester. Successfully completed hours are defined as the hours in which a TCEP candidate received a grade of C or above. Incompletes, withdrawals, repetitions, transferred credits from other institutions, and failed coursework are all included in attempted hours. All academic terms are included in the calculation of pace, regardless of whether or not the candidate received financial assistance during the term.

Maximum Time Frame

The maximum time frame for which a TCEP candidate may receive financial assistance may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours. The published length of the entitlement program is 92.5 credit hours. A TCEP candidate may therefore attempt up to 138.75 hours to complete the program (92.5 x 150% = 138.75 credit hours).

Additionally, TCEP candidates must complete the requirements of their program within seven years of the date of first enrollment at VanderCook.

Graduate and Master’s & Certification Candidates

Qualitative Measure: Minimum Cumulative GPA

All graduate and master’s and certification candidates are expected to achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) on a 4.25 scale, with no more than 20% of all credits (excluding incompletes and withdrawals) below a B level.

Pace: Minimum Completion of Coursework

Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the candidate has successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours the candidate has attempted. The resulting percentage must be 75% or higher for graduate and master’s and certification candidates at VanderCook.

Attempted hours are defined as any course in which a graduate or master’s and certification candidate is enrolled after the add/drop period has ended each semester. Successfully completed hours are defined as the hours in which a graduate or master’s and certification candidate received a grade of C or above.

Incompletes, withdrawals, repetitions, transferred credits from other institutions, and failed coursework are all included in attempted hours.
All academic terms are included in the calculation of pace, regardless of whether or not the candidate received financial assistance during the term.

Maximum Time Frame – Graduate Candidates

The maximum time frame for which a master’s candidate may receive financial assistance may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours. The published length of the master’s degree program is 36 credit hours. A master’s candidate may therefore attempt up to 54 hours to complete the program (36 x 150% = 54 credit hours).

Additionally, master’s candidates must complete the requirements of their degree program within seven years of the date of first enrollment at VanderCook.

Maximum Time Frame – Master’s & Cert. Candidate

The maximum time frame for which a master’s and certification candidate may receive financial assistance may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours. The published length of the master’s and certification option is 100 credit hours. A master’s and certification candidate may therefore attempt up to 150 hours to complete the program (100 x 150% = 150 credit hours).

Additionally, master’s and certification candidates must complete their requirements within seven years of the date of first enrollment at VanderCook.

Review of Payment Periods

The Financial Aid Office reviews the academic record of all candidates, including Title IV recipients and those not receiving Title IV assistance, at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters. In addition, master’s and certification candidates’ records are reviewed at the conclusion of summer semester. Any candidate who has not achieved the required cumulative GPA, successfully completed the program at the required pace, or who has exceeded the maximum time frame, is no longer eligible to receive assistance under Title IV programs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standing

A candidate who has met the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress is considered in good standing.

Candidates who have not met the minimum qualitative requirement and/or minimum pace requirement will be placed on financial aid warning. A candidate on financial aid warning may continue to receive assistance for one payment period (i.e., one semester following the term placed on financial aid warning) despite the determination that he or she is not making satisfactory progress according to the above guidelines. The Financial Aid Office will assign financial aid warning status without any action taken by the candidate.

If a candidate placed on financial aid warning does not successfully meet the above standards after one semester, the candidate will be notified that he or she has not met the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress. The candidate may submit a written appeal to the director of financial aid within 15 calendar days of this notification. A written appeal must include why the candidate failed to make satisfactory progress, and what has changed in the candidate’s situation that will allow him or her to demonstrate satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. Basis for an appeal may include, but is not limited to, the death of a relative, injury or illness of the candidate, or other special circumstances.

Upon approval of an appeal, eligibility for financial aid may be reinstated and the candidate will then be placed on financial aid probation. While a candidate is on financial aid probation, VanderCook will require that the candidate fulfill specific terms and conditions as outlined in an academic plan. At the end of one payment period on financial aid probation, the candidate must meet VanderCook’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, or the requirements of the academic plan as developed by the dean and the candidate, in order to qualify for further Title IV funds.

There is no probationary period for a graduate, master’s and certification, or entitlement candidate who has not achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 after attempting either 20 or more credit hours (or 37% of required hours). If at the conclusion of the financial aid warning period, a graduate, master’s and certification, or entitlement candidate has not achieved the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, involuntary withdrawal from the program will occur.

 
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