Academic Progress

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 assistance under Title IV programs. (Title IV includes programs such as 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.

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 credit hours. The maximum time frame during which an undergraduate candidate may be eligible for financial assistance must not exceed 205.5 total attempted credit hours, including transfer and/or advanced placement credit (137 x 150% = 205.5 credit hours).
Additionally, undergraduate candidates must complete the requirements of their degree program within ten years from the date of first enrollment at VanderCook.

Minimum Grade Point Average

Candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (A = 4.0) to graduate. A GPA of less than 2.5 will place the candidate on academic probation. All courses graded A+ through F are counted in calculating GPA. Transferred credit, as well as grades of Incomplete (I), Withdraw Pass (WP), Withdraw Fail (WF), and Involuntary Withdrawal (IW) are not included in GPA calculation.


Academic Probation

In the event that a candidate's semesterly or cumulative GPA falls below the minimum required 2.5 the candidate will be placed on academic probation.  Academic probation is designed to give a candidate time to demonstrate their full academic potential through a reduced course load while still moving forward in their degree program.
Candidates placed on academic probation may enroll for no more than 13.5 credit hours.  After earning a 2.5 (C+) or higher average, academic probationary status is lifted.  Failure to attain this level by the end of a 3rd semester on probation will result in termination from the program.
There are three levels of academic probation:
Probation Warning
Candidates placed on probation warning have earned a semesterly GPA below 2.5.  There is no limit to the number of credit hours for which a probation warning candidate may enroll; however, they are encouraged to consider a reduced courseload of between 12 and 16 credit hours.
In the event that a candidate has two consecutive semesters in which they earn GPAs below the minimum 2.5 or if their cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 he/she will be placed on academic probation.  Those placed on academic probation may enroll for no more than 13.5 credit hours.
Should a candidate not be able to remove themselves from academic probation after three consecutive semesters on probation he/she will be terminated from the program.

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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