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Wesleyan University Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy to participate in Federal Title IV Higher Education Act financial aid programs.

 

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to remain eligible for federal financial assistance programs (federal loan, work study, and grant programs).  This policy outlines the requirements a student must meet to maintain eligibility for federal financial assistance.  The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy is separate from, and in addition to, the Academic Regulations as described in the Wesleyan University catalog.  The SAP policies for financial aid students are equivalent to or stricter than the university’s Academic Regulations that apply to all students regardless of whether they are receiving Title IV assistance.  It is important to note that the terminology for the financial aid SAP policy and the Academic Regulations are not directly interchangeable.  Students are encouraged to seek advice with a financial aid director for clarification on the SAP policy, and with their class dean for clarification on the university’s Academic Regulations.  The class deans and the financial aid directors work closely together to help students maintain, sustain, and reach satisfactory progress.  Students should consult the financial aid office website, the university website, and the Wesleyan University catalog. 

 

The financial aid office will review student progress toward the SAP policy at the end of each semester in which a student has received Title IV aid.   A student must meet the SAP requirements at the end of each semester to be eligible to continue with federal financial assistance under the policy, with the exceptions noted in the policy for financial aid warning and financial aid probation.  Since the current optional summer session offers a very limited enrollment, the minimum pace requirements table is re-stated as points in time related to year in school rather than number of semesters.  

 

Under federal policy students must maintain by the end of the second academic year at least a C or its equivalent or have academic standing consistent with the school’s requirements for graduation.  Wesleyan undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 74 to maintain SAP.  Wesleyan University defines 74 percent as the academic standing that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements.  The university catalog defines the numerical equivalent of a C- as 71.7.  Under the SAP rules for financial aid students must meet the minimum standard GPA for graduation by the end of sophomore year.  Prior to the end of sophomore year students may meet SAP with a lower GPA if the Dean’s office allows continued enrollment for the student during this time period. 

 

The university expects undergraduate students to complete the degree within eight semesters, and Wesleyan financial aid is available for eight semesters.  On a case-by-case basis, and only in consultation with the class dean and the student, the financial aid office will consider Wesleyan aid beyond eight semesters for undergraduate students.  Transfer students are expected to receive less than eight semesters of Wesleyan aid eligibility, and should consult with a financial aid director regarding total semesters of Wesleyan aid eligibility.  While the federal rules allow aid up to a maximum of 150% of the program length of eight semesters, the university will not process federal financial aid for undergraduate students beyond ten semesters of enrollment unless further enrollment is part of an approved academic appeal (defined below).  In no case will the university process undergraduate federal financial aid beyond twelve semesters.  

 

As required, the Financial Aid Office also determines a student’s pace in meeting the degree requirements in the analysis of satisfactory academic progress.  Pace is defined as the total number of credits completed divided by the total number of credit hours attempted.  The Financial Aid Office will count course incompletes and course withdrawals in the calculation of a student’s pace for financial aid satisfactory academic progress.  The calculated GPA is based on all courses used by the registrar to calculate GPA.  Pace progress includes all courses attempted.  Incompletes and withdrawals are considered credit hours attempted in calculating pace requirements.  Repeated courses that are available for credit also count in the pace calculation.  Transfer credits count in the pace calculation as outlined in the academic and general regulations of the Wesleyan University catalog.  For units attempted at Wesleyan University, the pace requirements are outlined in the accompanying table.

 

Year in school

Expected credits

Minimum credits

Pace (minimum/expected)

Mid year frosh

4

2

50%

End of frosh year

8

6

75%

Mid year soph

12

10

83%

End of soph year

16

14

87%

Mid year junior

20

18

90%

End of junior year

24

22

91%

Mid year senior

28

26

92%

 

The Financial Aid Office reviews each federal financial aid recipient at the end of each semester for satisfactory academic progress.  The SAP policy for financial aid uses two terms: financial aid warning and financial aid probation.  The Financial Aid Office will place students on financial aid warning for one semester who have not met the minimum GPA or pace requirements.  The student may continue to receive federal and Wesleyan financial aid during the one semester of financial aid warning status.  If the student does not meet satisfactory academic progress by the end of the financial aid warning semester, the student must submit an appeal to the financial aid office to determine if a financial aid probation period is possible, and the appeal must be approved prior to any further federal or state aid disbursements.   In general, if the appeal is approved, the student would be on financial aid probation for one semester and be eligible for disbursement of Federal Title IV aid during this period.  The appeal, which must be approved prior to the disbursement of any federal or state financial aid in a probationary period, must address how the student will be able to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements by the end of the probationary semester, or the financial aid appeal must address how an academic plan evaluated by the class dean and the director of financial aid that will ensure the student is able to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements within a specified period of time (usually within the regular degree completion time of eight fall/spring semesters).  Students on financial aid probation will not receive federal financial aid disbursements for any subsequent payment period unless they meet the satisfactory academic progress requirement, or unless they meet the requirements for successful completion as defined in the academic plan approved during the appeal process. 

 

Students may not be placed on two consecutive terms of financial aid warning.  They must meet the satisfactory academic progress requirement after one term of financial aid warning, or they must submit and have approved a satisfactory academic progress appeal.  Students who fail to meet financial aid satisfactory academic progress and who fail to have the appeal approved are not eligible to receive any assistance from the Federal Title IV programs or any state financial aid programs. 

 

When submitting financial aid appeals, the student should describe any mitigating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the SAP requirements.  These circumstances could include the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances.  The appeal must define specifically how the student can meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid, and it must outline the specific courses the student will take in the upcoming semester (and additional semesters if possible).  The appeal should provide information about what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation at the end of the semester.  The appeal must include a letter from the class dean evaluating the student’s plan of action to achieve satisfactory academic progress according to the financial aid policy.  The dean’s letter is not an endorsement of the plan but an evaluation to determine if the academic plan the student has submitted is possible.  Other supporting information may be necessary, and the financial aid office reserves the right to require additional documents, consultation with others on or off campus, or further clarification before considering or approving an appeal.  The financial aid office is not required to approve appeals or reinstate federal or state financial aid eligibility. 

 

In general, three outcomes are possible when a student submits a financial aid appeal due to failure to meet satisfactory academic progress.  The appeal could be denied, the appeal could be approved for one semester of financial aid probation, or the appeal could be approved contingent on an academic plan that leads to successfully regaining satisfactory academic progress within a period longer than one semester, subject to review at the end of each semester.  Students who lose eligibility for federal aid because the appeal is denied or they fail to meet the SAP requirements as outlined in their probationary period or academic plan may find it difficult to regain eligibility.  Students may regain eligibility by enrolling without federal aid and meeting the SAP requirements. Students must meet the university’s general academic requirements as outlined in the college catalog.  The financial aid office and the class deans will collaborate on cases where a student was forced to resign from the university and is allowed to return.  The appeal and the academic plan must incorporate these conditions of return and the financial aid director and class dean must approve the academic plan as part of the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy