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Maintaining Academic Eligibility for Financial Aid

An underlying requirement for all federal, state and institutional financial aid is the need for students to meet or exceed minimum academic standards. Students who do not meet these standards may lose their eligibility for financial aid (including loans) even if they meet all other requirements of the aid programs. Some students could lose their eligibility for financial aid even if their academic program allows them to continue with their studies. These minimum academic standards are part of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Please note that the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is distinct from the Satisfactory Academic Progress that governs progress and promotions.  

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

  1. Introduction

This policy has been developed to ensure that the student financial aid programs meet or exceed requirements set forth by federal regulations governing Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid eligibility.

Scope

This policy applies to those students receiving Title IV federal aid, state aid and university- and school-funded aid.

  1. General Requirements

  2. Time Limits on Financial Aid Eligibility

Students may receive financial aid for a limited amount of time, depending on the standard length of their specific academic program. The general guideline is 150% of the required time to complete the program with full-time status. For example, a student in a four-year program must complete it within six years. Students attending part-time can have their time limit extended proportionately.

Students in joint degree programs must complete both programs within 150% of the time period required for both programs combined.

Students who do not meet this requirement will be suspended from financial aid eligibility.  

Completion of Course Requirements

  1. Students must complete with passing grades at least 75% of the credit hours for which they registered and paid fees for each academic year (fall through summer semesters). Students who fail to meet this 75% standard due to unsatisfactory or failing grades, withdrawal or any course grade of “Incomplete” will be placed on financial aid probation. Any students on financial aid probation must complete 75% of all enrolled courses during the next academic year (fall through summer semesters), or they will be suspended from financial aid eligibility.

  2. As soon as incomplete grades are changed to earned grades, the students’ financial aid probationary or suspension status may be lifted if the grades meet academic program standards.

Grade Requirements

  1. Students must achieve a grade of “C” or better in any graded course and a grade of “S” in any Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory course. If a student’s specific program requires a higher standard, the higher standard must be attained.

  2. Students who have not met these requirements at the end of the academic year will be placed on financial aid probation.

  3. Students on financial aid probation under this section who do not achieve an acceptable grade for those courses during the financial aid probationary year will lose their eligibility for financial aid.    

Progress and Promotion

  1. Each academic program has a Progress and Promotions Committee that meets regularly to review the academic progress of each student. If a Progress and Promotions Committee determines a student is not meeting the requirements leading to completion of the degree, that student will be placed on financial aid probation for one academic year.                 

Since the Committees are charged with evaluating students on character, professionalism, attitude and abilities in addition to academic achievement, the Committees may determine that a student is not making satisfactory progress even if the student is meeting the conditions of sections III and IV above. In the event a student is determined to be not meeting the program standards by the Progress and Promotions Committee, the Committee’s decision will prevail.

If a Progress and Promotions Committee deems that a student on financial aid probation is not meeting the program’s degree requirements at the end of the probationary year, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended.

 Appeals of Financial Aid Suspension

  1. A student whose financial aid has been suspended may appeal by indicating in writing why he/she did not achieve minimum academic standards and what he/she will do to achieve these goals in the future. The letter should be directed to the Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships in the School of Medicine. Each appeal will be considered on its own merit, and individual cases will not be considered as precedent.

  2. The Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships will meet with the Financial Aid Appeals Committee within one week of receiving the appeal letter. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will consist of staff in the Office of Medical Education and Student Affairs. A majority of the Committee members present will make a decision on the merits of the appeal. The student will be advised of the Committee’s decision in writing within one week of the appeal’s consideration.

  3. A student whose appeal is denied by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee may appeal that decision by writing a new appeal letter to the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs. The Executive Associate Dean will make a decision within two weeks of receiving the appeal letter and advise the Associate Director of Financial Aid of that decision. The Associate Director of Financial Aid will notify the student in writing within one week of receiving the Executive Associate Dean’s decision.

Reinstatement

A student shall be reinstated for financial aid eligibility at such time as he or she successfully completes sufficient hours; has achieved an acceptable grade as set forth in this policy; or has met the conditions imposed on him/her by the Progress and Promotions Committee.

It is the student’s responsibility to prompt the Associate Director of Financial Aid at the time of meeting the requirements for reinstatement.  

Enforcement

The Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships shall have primary responsibility for enforcing this policy. The Office of the Registrar, the academic programs and other offices that maintain student information relevant to enforcement of the policy shall provide appropriate information to the Associate Director of Financial Aid when necessary.  

Private student loans with less favorable repayment terms may be available to cover living expenses for students who do not meet the terms of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.