Financial Aid Handbook & Policies
Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
WIU Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards are required and guided by federal regulations to help you graduate. Progress is measured for all students after grades are posted on an annual basis in May.
SAP Policy Standards
- You must earn credit for at least 67% of the total cumulative hours you have attempted (Pace). This includes transfer, incomplete, and withdrawn hours - see the Pace Chart for examples.
- You must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA at WIU (grades for transfer hours are not included), AND
- Graduate before exceeding 150% of the hours required for your degree program - see the Maximum Hours Chart for examples.
If You Do Not Meet SAP Standards
- You will be sent an email notification after grades are posted in May if you have not met SAP standards.
- If you have earned less than 67% cumulative hours and/or have less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA, you lose eligibility for aid and must appeal if you want aid reinstated.
- If you have attempted more than 150% of hours required for your degree, you lose eligibility for aid and must appeal if you want aid reinstated.
- Additional time may be granted if you have changed majors or have transferred hours no longer required for your current degree as confirmed by your Academic Advisor.
- No additional time is granted to pursue a second undergraduate major or second minor.
- Graduate students enrolling in courses for more than one graduate degree or certificate at a time, or enrolling in undergraduate courses, may jeopardize their financial aid eligibility.
- If your appeal is successful, your financial aid eligibility is reinstated you will be:
- Placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term and required to regain 67% pace and 2.0 GPA by the end of the term, OR
- Required to follow a multi-term Academic Plan to maintain eligibility until you regain 67% Pace and 2.0 cumulative GPA.
- Students who appeal and are placed on financial aid probation or a multi-term academic plan are evaluated after grades are posted each term.
- Limit of three appeals.
- Reinstatement is not allowed if you cannot re-establish eligibility within the 150% maximum time frame.
- Retaking a Course: If you retake a course to improve a grade, be aware that your Hours Attempted (HA) will increase without increasing your Hours Earned (HE) which will negatively affect your Pace.
- MATH 099N: If you are enrolled in MATH 099N, the university does not grant you any credit hours even if the course is successfully completed. However, if MATH 099N is successfully completed, 4 hours can be added to your SAP Hours Earned to determine Pace.
- New Start: If you have been granted a New Start by the university, your GPA for SAP must still be calculated using all grades. Therefore, your SAP GPA will not match your official university GPA.
- Board of Trustees and Irregular Classes: Please note that extended deadlines for completion of course requirements are academic extensions only and do not apply to eligibility for financial aid. You should complete course work by the official end of each term to avoid future problems for Financial Aid SAP. This includes BOT and non-traditional classes, such as independent study, weekend/irregular and on-line. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.
How to Appeal
Submit your appeal online. Your appeal cannot be considered after the official end of the term for which you want aid. Your appeal MUST include:
- What circumstances occurred that caused you to NOT make satisfactory progress (Pace, GPA, or 150%), and
- What has changed that will allow you to regain 67% Pace and 2.0 GPA standards without exceeding 150% of the hours required to graduate.
Acceptable reasons for appeal include:
- Death of a relative,
- Injury or illness of the student, or
- Other special circumstances.
Additional information that may be requested:
- Documentation of circumstances from you is recommended for your first appeal and required for second and third appeals.
- Confirmation of use of university services based on individual circumstances (UCC, tutoring, etc.)
- Confirmation of hours not required for degree from Academic Advisor – used if you are close to 150% limit and have changed your major or have transfer hours.
- Academic Plan – required if you cannot get back to 67% Pace and back to 2.0 GPA in one term.
The Appeal Process
First and second appeals are reviewed by Financial Aid Adviser Coordinator.
- If your appeal is approved, you are placed on one term of Financial Aid Probation and required to meet Pace and GPA requirements by the end of the term or required to follow a multi-term Academic Plan if you need more than one term to be in good standing.
- If your appeal is denied, you are not eligible to receive financial aid until you meet the SAP standards. If you appeal the denial, the appeal is reviewed by Financial Aid Advisor Committee (FAAC).
After first and second probation term:
- If you meet the SAP standards, you are no longer a SAP problem.
- If you are following the terms of your Academic Plan, your eligibility continues.
- If you do not meet requirements, you are not eligible for aid. See Re-establishing Eligibility.
- You may appeal again (limit 3).
Third appeal is reviewed by the FAAC. FAAC is made up of representatives from other administrative offices and chaired by Financial Aid Associate Director.
- If your appeal is approved, you are placed on one term of Financial Aid Probation and required to meet Pace and GPA requirement by the end of the term or required to follow a multi-term Academic Plan if you need more than one term to be in good standing.
- If your appeal is denied, you are not eligible to receive financial aid until you meet the SAP standards. See Re-establishing Eligibility.
After third probation term:
- If you meet SAP standards, you are no longer a SAP problem.
- If you are following terms of your Academic Plan, eligibility continues.
- If you do not meet requirements, you are not eligible for financial aid. See Re-establishing Eligibility.
- No further appeals accepted.
How to Re-establish Eligibility If You Do Not Appeal or Are Denied Reinstatement
Eligibility will be re-established once you regain 67% Pace, have a 2.0 GPA, and have not exceeded 150% of the hours required for graduation in your degree program. If you re-establish eligibility during the Summer or Fall term a manual update by the financial aid office will be required to determine financial aid eligibility.
Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated at the end of each term (Fall, Spring, and Summer) that you are enrolled at Western. You are required to meet the following standards in order to be eligible for financial aid for the next term:
- Earn at least 67% of all the hours you attempt (Pace). This includes transfer, incomplete, and withdrawn hours. See the Pace Chart for examples.
- Have at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA at WIU. Grades for transfer hours are not included.
- Graduate before exceeding 150% of the hours required for your degree program. See the Maximum Hours Chart for examples for an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, or a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.