Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal regulations require Martin Luther College to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for Title IV financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured after each semester by reviewing the student’s qualitative progress as measured by cumulative GPA as well as the quantitative progress as measured by determining the percent of credits attempted that are completed that count toward completing the program. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive federal and institutional financial aid are meeting these standards. The standards of satisfactory academic progress apply for all financial assistance programs including Federal Stafford loans and institution grants.
1. Qualitative Progress
In order to retain financial aid eligibility, the student must maintain a cumulative GPA of:
- Following first three credits 2.67
- Following first six credits 2.67
- Following nine and subsequent credits 3.0
2. Quantitative Progress
Students must complete their program within 150% of the normal time for completion which is 36 credit hours. Students are not eligible for financial aid after attempting 54 credit hours. (150% times 36 credit hours) Students must achieve a 3.0 GPA on 67% of credits attempted. Progress towards achieving program completion is measured each semester beginning after nine credit hours have been attempted by dividing the number of credit hours earned at the 2.67 GPA level and better by the total number of credit hours attempted.
3. Additional Factors
The following are considered when evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress:
- Withdrawn Classes: Under special circumstances a student may withdraw from a course after the first two weeks of the semester and up to 60% of course completion. For these courses the student’s record shows W and is not counted in computing the grade point average. An unauthorized withdrawal from a class is recorded as an F. This F is counted in the GPA.
- Incomplete Classes: Incomplete grades are temporary grades given when a student doing otherwise acceptable work is unable to complete the course assignments for reasons acceptable to the instructor. A first semester incomplete must be converted to a permanent grade by mid-term of the second semester, a second semester incomplete by the end of the summer session, and a summer session incomplete by mid-term of the first semester, or the permanent grade is recorded as an F.
- Pass/Fail Classes: 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 Classes: Classes for failed courses that are repeated because they are required for graduation are eligible for financial aid. Repeated courses are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours. A student is allowed to repeat a course only once.
- Audit Classes: Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or earned.
- Remedial Classes: Remedial courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
- Transfer Students: Transfer credits do not count in the calculation of the GPA. However, transfer credits accepted are included in both hours attempted and hours completed. Semesters attended at previous institutions are included in the determination of the number of semesters attended.
- Change of Major: If a student changes majors, the hours attempted under all courses of study are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours.
4. Definition of Terms
- Warning: This is the status assigned to a student who for the first time fails to achieve satisfactory academic progress at the end of a semester.
- Probation: This is the status assigned to a student who in the previous semester was on warning status and subsequently again failed to achieve satisfactory academic progress but whose appeal to have eligibility restored has been granted.
5. Warning and Ineligibility
Students who fail to achieve the qualitative or quantitative requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be on warning status and will receive financial aid one additional semester. The warning semester is meant to inform the student of academic problems and provide for corrective action. The student will be informed of the warning status via a letter. Students who achieve the GPA requirement in the subsequent semester have their financial aid eligibility fully restored.
Students who do not achieve satisfactory academic progress following the warning semester will be ineligible for Title IV and institutional financial aid for the following semester or summer session or for as long as the student has not achieved satisfactory academic progress. The Director of Financial Aid will send a letter to the student explaining the status and the conditions under which the student can appeal to have financial aid restored. The letter will inform the student that the appeal must include why the student failed to meet satisfactory academic progress and what has changed that will allow the student to achieve satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.
Students, who are on warning status, and subsequently achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress, and then again fall below satisfactory academic progress standards, return to warning status a second time.
6. Appeals and Reinstatement
To appeal the financial aid suspension, a student must submit to the Financial Aid Office a signed and dated letter of appeal explaining why financial aid should not be suspended. A student who has appealed and has had aid restored but still has not achieved SAP may appeal one additional time. Acceptable reasons for an appeal include medical, family problems, or other special, significant, or unusual circumstances.
Documentation verifying the situation may be requested. The Financial Aid Committee will consider the appeal and render a decision, which the Director of Financial Aid conveys to the student in writing. If the appeal is not granted, this does not preclude a student from enrolling, but no financial aid is available. Students will have their financial aid eligibility reinstated once satisfactory academic progress standards are met.
Martin Luther College’s SAP policy is published on page 12 of the college's Graduate Studies Bulletin.