Instruments

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, Federal TEACH Grants, Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Grants,  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.
 
Your academic record will be evaluated after each semester to determine if you are meeting the SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year. Your SAP status at the end of the annual evaluation period determines your SAP status for the current academic year. Changes to your academic record after the end of the official evaluation period will not impact your SAP status for the current academic year. The Vandercook SAP requirements fall into three areas:
  • Making progress toward your degree by completing a minimum percentage of attempted units.
     
  • Maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA).
     
  • Completing your degree within a maximum specified amount of attempted units.

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 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 135 credit hours. The maximum time frame during which an undergraduate candidate may be eligible for financial assistance must not exceed  202.5 total attempted credit hours, includ­ing transfer and/or advanced placement credit (135 x 150% = 202.5 credit hours).

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

During their professional education coursework, a student may opt to change majors to the Bachelor of Music (pre-certification) degree track.  If this occurs, the student will take the same coursework as a Bachelor of Music Education degree candidate without the final semester of student teaching and professional education seminar classes.  A student changing majors is still expected to complete the program within the maximum time frame.  In limited circumstances, appeals will be considered.


 

TCEP Candidates

Qualitative Measure: Minimum Cumulative GPA

All entitlement 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 entitlement candidates at VanderCook.

Attempted hours are defined as any course in which an entitlement candidate is enrolled after the add/drop period has ended each semester. Successfully complet­ed hours are defined as the hours in which an entitle­ment 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 an entitlement 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 93.5 credit hours. An entitlement candidate may therefore attempt up to 140.25 hours to complete the program (93.5 x 150% = 140.25 credit hours).

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

Maximum Time Frame

Master’s & Cert. Candidates -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 (101 x 150% = 151.50 credit hours).
 
Additionally, master’s and certification candidates must complete their requirements within seven years from 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 and entitlement candidates’ records are reviewed at the conclusion of summer semester. Undergraduate students do not have summer courses available and therefore no review is done for summer term. Any candidate who has not achieved the required cumulative GPA, successfully completed the program at the required pace, or has exceeded the maximum time frame, is no longer eligible to receive assistance under Title IV programs.
 

Process for calculating SAP 

At the end of each payment period the all student grade reports are submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the Registrar’s Office. The grade reports are used with the program worksheet to determine if the student is meeting both quantitative and qualitative criteria of Satisfactory Academic Progress.  If the student is not meeting these standards, the student is notified via letter and in office advising of the status of his or financial aid standing. The student is notified of the option to appeal and advised of appeal procedures as noted above.
 

Non-Credit Remedial Courses

Non-credit remedial courses do not earn academic credit and are not eligible for financial aid payment. As such, they are not evaluated in the review of the student’s satisfactory academic progress.


Transfer Credits

Transfer credits that are accepted by your college toward your academic program, including those earned while in high school, after high school, or after being admitted to VanderCook College of Music, are counted as both completed and attempted. These units are factored into your cumulative pace of progression in the evaluation.

The following classes do count as credits attempted, but do not count as credits completed:
  • Repeated courses (in which you previously received a passing grade)
  • Courses dropped after add/drop period.
  • Courses attempted in a semester in which you withdraw after withdrawal period
  • Failed or incomplete courses

Second Undergraduate Degree

Students seeking a second undergraduate degree are subject to the maximum timeframe component for undergraduates study. Students who reach this timeframe and wish to appeal should follow the appeal process outlined in the following section. Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree are eligible for federal student loans.
 

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 quantitative 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 and no longer eligible for aid. The candidate will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. 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.
 
If approved, the student will receive an additional probationary period of financial assistance where they will be able to reestablish satisfactory academic progress. 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 re-establish eligibility for Title IV funds.
 
If a student does not complete the appeal process or if an appeal is denied, he/she will remain ineligible for financial assistance until Satisfactory Academic Progress is reestablished. Financial aid will not be provided retroactively.
There is no probationary period for a graduate, master 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 and certification, or entitlement candidate has not achieved the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, involuntary withdrawal from the program will occur.

 

VanderCook College of Music

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

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