Masters Programs

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that all federal financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. In addition to receiving financial aid from one or more of the various federal funds, receipt of state or institutional funds will also rely on a student meeting these standards. These standards apply to a graduate student's entire degree program including terms in which financial aid was not received. Specific aid programs or departmental standards may require more than the minimum standards described below to continue in the program.

Graduate students are required to establish and maintain an overall program cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.  To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), graduate students must also continue to complete courses at an appropriate pace.  For full-time students in OSG, the normal page of course completion is one course per term or 6 courses (18 credits) per year.

The Standards

1. Cumulative grade point average

All courses completed in a graduate program at BVU are included in the analysis of academic standing.  Incompletes are not a grading option.  If a course is repeated, the repeat(s) will count in the CGPA calculation and the attempted hours for pace calculation.  The same is true for courses for which the student withdraws.  Up to 9 credits of graduate work my be transferred from other accredited institutions.  Only coursework with an obtained grade of B- (2.7) or better may be transferred.  The student's CGPA will not include the grades for courses completed elsewhere.

2. Pace

Full-time students who fail to complete at least 66.667% of their attempted hours will be deemed to be progressing at an unsatisfactory pace and will lose eligibility for financial aid, pending a decision on an appeal (see Appeal Process below).  Credits transferred into the BVU program will be included in the SAP pace analysis when the transfer credits are recorded in the Registrar's Office.

Review Process

The Committee on Graduate Academic Standing Committee, composed of the Associate Dean of Faculty, the Registrar, the Director of Financial Assistant, one Dean of a school with graduate courses, and on faculty member with Graduate faculty status, will review students' progress three times each academic year (following fall, spring and summer semester).  Students with a CGPA lower than 3.0 will be placed on academic probation (not financial aid warning) for the next semester.  Failure to achieve a CGPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the next semester will result in suspension from the program.  Students in this situation will be notified in writing by the Academic Standing Committee.  An appeal of suspension process is described below.

At the end of each semester (term 2, 4 and 6) the Committee will also notify, in writing, students who are failing to meet the expected pace of course completion (66.667% of attempted courses) in their graduate program that they are in danger of being suspended if they fail to meet the required pace by the end of the next semester of attendance.  It will direct those students to their academic advisor to develop a written plan to come into full compliance with requirements for SAP.

FINANCIAL AID ELIGIBILITY

The satisfactory academic progress review for Title IV aid eligibility will occur annually following the completion of term 6, using the standards mentioned above.  All students, including those who have been enrolled in a program for less than a full year, will be evaluated based on an analysis of courses attempted and completed to date, along with CGPA progress.  Graduate students who fail to meet either pace or CGPA requirements will lose Title IV (federal) aid eligibility.  Students in this situation will be notified in writing.  An appeal process is described blow.

Appeal Process

A student who has been suspended and has faced extenuating circumstances such as injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances may appeal a suspension.  A student who wishes to appeal a suspension must consult with an academic advisor and/or a financial aid advisor to develop an appeal.  All appeals must be in writing and received by the chair of the review committee within one week of notification of suspension.  The written appeal must include and document the extenuating circumstance(s) that prevented the student from meeting the CGPA and/or pace requirements, what has changed in the student's situation, and a plan with specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, where those classes will be taken, what grades must be earned, and if there will be transfer work.

If the appeal with its plan is approved, the student will be allowed to continue to take classes and receive financial assistance.  Students in this situation will continue to be eligible for financial assistance and to continue to take courses as long as they are meeting the standards in the plan.  A student whose appeal is unsuccessful will be suspended from the academic program and will have financial aid suspended.

If a student does not appeal or an appeal is not approved, the student will be dropped, without financial liability or academic record, from an class(es) in which he/she is currently enrolled.

Re-establishing SAP

Other than in situations where an appeal is granted, a student who has lost eligibility for federal or state aid can only regain eligibility by taking action that brings them back into satisfactory academic progress. Neither paying for classes nor sitting out any length of time affects a student's academic standing so neither is sufficient to re-establish eligibility.

If a previously suspended student applies for readmission to BVU ( which would include a new reason for appeal and explanation of actions that the student has taken to assure success upon re-entry), that student may be allowed to return, with the benefit of financial assistance, if an academic plan is created to assist the student in attaining satisfactory progress. The student would continue to be eligible for financial assistance as long as the plan specifics are being met.

Duration of Eligibility for Financial Assistance

If the attempted program is not completed within 150% of the timeframe shown below, even in situations where there has been a change in course of study, financial aid eligibility will be terminated.  Appeals for duration of eligibility for financial assistance will be allowed on a case-by-case basis and must be made to the Office of Financial Assistance.

  • CSPD-34 hours
  • ESPD-33 hours
  • MSPD-34 hours
  • SSPD-34 hours
  • MMDA-36 hours
  • BEHD-39 hours
  • COGD-39 hours
  • COMP-51 hours