Financial Assistance Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy M.S.ED

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.

The Standards

  1.  Cumulative grade point average

All students are expected to achieve an overall program cumulative g.p.a. of 3.0.  Credits transferred into the program (up to 9) must also have a 3.0 or better to be accepted.  The BVU CGPA will not reflect the grades for courses completed elsewhere. Hours accepted into the BVU program will be included in the SAP analysis.

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Students must continue to maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 in order to remain in good standing.  If the cumulative grade point average drops below 3.0 at the end of any semester, the student may continue to receive aid for one more semester on financial aid warning with the approval of the Office of Financial Assistance.  If, following approval to continue past a warning period, the CGPA has been raised to 3.0, the student may continue with the program in good standing for financial aid purposes.  Students who fail to improve to the level of good standing after one payment period on financial aid warning may have financial assistance suspended.  However, an appeal process is available and upon a successful appeal through the Office of Financial Assistance, which will include an academic plan, the student may be allowed to continue to receive financial assistance.  Students in this situation will continue to be eligible for financial assistance as long as they are meeting the standards in the plan.

  1.  Pace

All courses completed 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 attempted hours for pace calculation purposes.  The same is true for courses in which the student withdraws.  A student will be placed on financial aid warning following any semester in which he/she withdraws.

Fulltime graduate students in the Master of Education- Professional School Counseling Program are expected to complete 12 hours each academic year.   See Duration of Eligibility for additional information.

 

Review Process 

The Academic Standing Committee will review students’ progress three times each academic year (following fall, spring and summer semesters).  The Office of Financial Assistance will use each semester review provided by the Academic Standing Committee to notify in writing those students whose academic record falls short of the standards for financial assistance eligibility, as detailed above.  Based on the results of that review, a student may be placed in financial aid warning for the first occurrence.  If a student is placed on financial aid warning, financial aid eligibility will continue through the warning period.

A student who fails to achieve good academic standing after a warning period will have financial assistance suspended, unless an appeal is submitted and approved.  Appeals may be granted by the Office of Financial Assistance in cases of extenuating circumstances such as illness, family emergencies, etc., that may affect a student’s ability to achieve SAP.  An academic plan must be developed in these situations and the student will remain eligible for financial assistance as long as the plan standards are being met. 

A student without a successful appeal will have financial aid suspended.

Appeal Process

All appeals must be in writing and received by the Office of Financial Assistance within one week of notification of suspension of financial assistance.  The written appeal must include and document the extenuating circumstance that prevented the student from meeting the SAP requirements, what has changed in the student’s situation, and the specific steps that will be taken to ensure future success, including a schedule of classes to be taken, when those classes will be taken, and if there will be transfer work.

Before a decision is made, the student’s progress, along with details in the appeal, will be reviewed by the Graduate Council and then by the SAP Committee to determine if and how the student can regain good academic standing.

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), 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 

Students enrolled in this program will be allowed to attempt 43 total credit hours in the program.  If the attempted program is not completed within this timeframe, even in situations where there has been a change of 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.

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