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Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Starting with the 2017-18 academic year

Satisfactory Academic Policy (SAP) is a standard used to measure progress toward the completion of coursework toward a degree. Western New England University is required by federal regulations to establish a reasonable Satisfactory Academic Progress policy to determine whether an otherwise eligible student is making SAP in his or her educational program. The standards of SAP apply to federal financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Assistance Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS), as well as assistance from the state and the institution. SAP standards apply to all students: full-time, part-time, degree and certificate candidates. Students who are found to be in violation of the parameters set forth by the SAP policy are ineligible to receive most forms of federal, state and institutional financial aid.

Undergraduate Students

SAP of an undergraduate student will be reviewed annually based on the following standards.

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

For qualitative purposes, SAP requires a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. Undergraduate student GPAs are reviewed annually, normally in May after spring grades have been posted, to evaluate eligibility for federal, state, and institutional grants, scholarships, loans and work programs. Note: Some degree programs may have higher GPA and credit requirements for students to maintain program eligibility. Students should consult the program description in the catalog for requirements of their individual programs.

Pace

Students must also meet quantitative requirements to retain their eligibility for financial aid. Student Administrative Services measures a student’s quantitative standards by reviewing completed credits as a percentage of attempted credits after each academic year. Transfer credits earned by students from other institutions and accepted by Western New England University are included in the determination of a student’s percentage of completed classes. Students must earn at least 67% of their cumulative attempted credits to maintain SAP. Attempted credit hours are totaled and multiplied by 0.67 to determine the number of credit hours a student must have earned to be considered making progress. Note: Some degree programs have higher GPA and credit requirements for students to maintain program eligibility. Students should consult the program description in the catalog for requirements of their individual programs.
 
Example: A student who has completed their first year and has attempted 32 credits, but may have only successfully completed 20. They are not making progress because they have not completed at least 67% of the attempted credits (32 x 0.67 = 21 minimum credits required).

The following are considered when evaluating a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress:

  • Incompletes, withdrawals and failures (Is, Ws and Fs) are considered attempted but not earned hours.
  • Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  • Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours, and only the most recent grade will count in the cumulative GPA.
  • Transfer credits accepted by Western New England, including coursework completed through study abroad, are included in the credit completion rate and maximum time frame calculations, but not the GPA.
  • Courses taken through CCGS and the Washington Semester Program offered by American University are included in the credit completion rate, maximum time frame calculations and in the GPA.

Maximum Timeframe

All students are expected to complete their respective educational programs within a specified timeframe, as measured in credit hours. Once this timeframe has elapsed, students are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. Undergraduate students are expected to complete their educational program in a timeframe no longer than 150% of its published length, as measured in credit hours. If, for instance, the degree requires 122 credit hours, the student may not attempt more than 183 credit hours toward the degree. Exceptions to this parameter of the SAP policy will be made on a case-by-case basis for students who demonstrate that their noncompliance is due to extreme circumstance.

Appeals

Students with significant documented extenuating circumstances may appeal to Student Administrative Services to regain eligibility. Appeals must address the reason the student failed to make SAP and describe what has changed to allow the student to make satisfactory progress in the future.

Approval of a student’s financial aid appeal will be based on extenuating circumstances outside normal school activities that have an impact on the student’s ability to achieve the minimum standards of SAP. Cases to consider may include the death of a family member or instances where the student became seriously ill or was severely injured. Other cases may be considered if they are determined to have caused physical or psychological stress on a student. Each situation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Students whose appeals are approved are granted a semester of aid on financial aid probation. Students are expected to meet the standards of SAP upon completion of the semester for which they were granted financial aid probation or to be meeting the terms of an approved Academic Improvement Plan. A student’s eligibility for all aid will be lost in the next semester if the student does not meet the requirements in the period stated or in the Academic Improvement Plan.

Appeals Process

Students must submit the following to their Student Services Administrator by July 15th:

  • A formal appeal letter describing extenuating circumstances describing why progress was not made, and what has changed that will allow for progress to be made at the next evaluation.
  • A copy of any Academic Improvement Plan created with the relevant Dean’s office demonstrating how SAP will be achieved during the upcoming academic year.

A Student Administrative Services SAP Appeal Committee will review all required documentation once submitted. Students will be notified via university email on the outcome of the appeal, normally within ten business days after receipt of the request.

Regaining Eligibility

Students may regain eligibility for aid during the academic year if they reach the minimum standards of SAP. Students who regain eligibility by taking summer courses must notify Student Administrative Services to reactivate their aid application. Students who attend courses in the fall and/or winter at Western New England University without the assistance of federal, state or institutional funding and who regain eligibility for the spring should contact Student Administrative Services to be reviewed. Students are determined to be eligible for funds based on the timing in which they reach the minimum standards.

Graduate and Professional Students

SAP of graduate and professional students will be reviewed annually based on the following standards.

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

For qualitative purposes, SAP requires a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.3 (2.33 in the Law School) or better. Graduate and professional student GPAs are reviewed annually, normally in May after spring grades have been posted, to evaluate eligibility for federal, state, and institutional grants, scholarships, loans, and work programs. Students that fail to meet this standard will not be eligible for federal aid until the minimum cumulative GPA is achieved. Note: Some degree programs have higher GPA and credit requirements for students to maintain program eligibility. Students should consult the program description in the catalog for requirements of their individual program.

Pace

Students must also meet quantitative requirements to retain their eligibility for financial aid. Student Administrative Services measures a student’s quantitative standards by reviewing completed credits as a percentage of attempted credits after each academic year. Transfer credits earned by students from other institutions and accepted by Western New England University are included in the determination of a student’s percentage of completed classes. Students must earn at least 50% of their cumulative attempted credits to maintain SAP. Attempted credit hours are totaled and multiplied by 0.50 to determine the number of credit hours a student must have earned to be considered making progress. Note: Some degree programs have higher GPA and credit requirements for students to maintain program eligibility. Students should consult the program description in the catalog for requirements of their individual program.
 
The following are considered when evaluating a student’s SAP:

  • Classes in which a student receives a withdrawal (W) do not count as attempted or earned hours in satisfying SAP.
  • Incompletes and failures (Is and Fs) are considered attempted but not earned hours.
  • Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  • Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours, and only the most recent grade will count in the cumulative GPA.
  • Transfer credits accepted by Western New England are included in the credit completion rate and maximum time frame calculations, but not the GPA.

Maximum Timeframe

All students are expected to complete their respective educational programs within a specified timeframe, as measured in credit hours. Once this timeframe has elapsed, students are no longer eligible to receive most forms of financial aid. Graduate students are expected to complete their educational program in a timeframe no longer than 200% of its published length, as measured in credit hours. Exceptions to this parameter of the SAP policy will be made on a case by case basis for students who demonstrate that their noncompliance is due to extreme circumstance. Note: A student may not complete the J.D. degree in more than 84 months after the student’s first matriculation at any law school.

Appeals

Students with significant documented extenuating circumstances may appeal to Student Administrative Services to regain eligibility. Appeals must address the reason the student failed to make SAP and describe what has changed to allow the student to make satisfactory progress in the future.

Approval of a student’s financial aid appeal will be based on extenuating circumstances outside normal school activities that have an impact on the student’s ability to achieve the minimum standards of SAP. Cases to consider may include the death of a family member or instances where the student became seriously ill or was severely injured. Other cases may be considered if they are determined to have caused physical or psychological stress on a student. Each situation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Students whose appeals are approved are granted a semester of aid on financial aid probation. Students are expected to meet the standards of SAP upon completion of the semester for which they were granted financial aid probation or to be meeting the terms of an approved academic improvement plan. A student’s eligibility for all aid will be lost in the next semester if the student does not meet the requirements in the period stated or in the academic improvement plan.

Appeals Process

Students must submit the following to their Student Services Administrator by July 15th:

  • A formal appeal letter describing extenuating circumstances describing why progress was not made, and what has changed that will allow for progress to be made at the next evaluation.
  • A copy of the academic improvement plan created with the relevant Dean’s office demonstrating how SAP will be achieved during the upcoming academic year.

A Student Administrative Services SAP Appeal Committee will review all required documentation once submitted. Students will be notified via university email on the outcome of the appeal, normally within ten business days after receipt of the request.

Regaining Eligibility

Students may regain eligibility for aid during the academic year if they reach the minimum standards of SAP. Students who regain eligibility by taking summer courses must notify Student Administrative Services to reactivate their aid application. Students who attend courses in the fall and/or winter at Western New England University without the assistance of federal, state or institutional funding and who regain eligibility for the spring should contact Student Administrative Services to be reviewed. Students are determined to be eligible for funds based on the timing in which they reach the minimum standards.