Financial Aid

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 with enrollment during the previous academic year (Summer, Fall, Spring).  SAP evaluation is separate and independent from any review of your academic record or academic department. 

SAP Policy Standards

Minimum Cumulative Pace (Credit Hour Completion Rate (Pace)

  • You must earn credit for at least 67% of the total cumulative hours you have attempted, including enrolled hours during which Title IV aid was not received.  This includes transfer hours, incomplete grades, and withdrawn hours for all terms (Fall, Spring, Summer) - see the Pace Chart for examples, AND

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • You must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA at WIU (grades for transfer hours are not included), AND

Maximum Time Frame

  • You must graduate before exceeding 150% of the hours required for your degree [includes all hours attempted: transfer hours, incomplete grades, and withdrawn hours for all terms (Fall, Spring, Summer)], including terms in which Title IV aid was not received - see the Maximum Hours Chart for examples.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 for reinstatement consideration.
  • If you have attempted more than 150% of hours required for your degree, you lose eligibility for aid and must appeal for reinstatement consideration.
    • Additional time may be granted if you have had a change in majors, or transfer hours are excluded for your current degree as confirmed by your Academic Advisor.
    • No additional time is granted for double majors or double minors.
    • Graduate students enrolling in courses for more than one graduate degree or certificate at a time, or enrolling in undergraduate courses, may jeopardize 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.
    • Limited to three appeals.
  • Reinstatement is not allowed if you cannot re-establish eligibility within the 150% maximum time frame.

NOTE:

  • 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. Your cumulative GPA will be recalculated for the retake course (only once) on the most recent course.   
  • Remedial/non-credit course(s): Although remedial and non-credit coursework assigns an hourly credit value, you do not receive credit for successful completion. The credit value is added to your SAP Hours Earned to determine Pace and is included in the 150% maximum time frame calculation.
  • New Start: If you have been granted a New Start by the university, your GPA calculation for SAP includes coursework taken prior to New Start.  Therefore, your SAP GPA will not match your official university GPA. 
  • Incomplete(s): Incomplete hours will be treated as unsuccessful when calculating Pace/GPA for SAP. In order to avoid being a SAP problem course work should be completed by the end of the term including BGS and non-traditional classes such as independent study, weekend/irregular hours and online. An appeal is required even if the course is subsequently completed. The Financial Aid Office is not notified when an incomplete course is completed.
  • Grade Change: The Registrar’s Office notifies the Financial Aid daily of grade changes. If a grade changes to something other than an incomplete grade, your satisfactory progress will be reviewed. An appeal submitted prior to a grade change will not count against your total number of allowable appeals.
  • Withdrawals: Withdrawals, whether classified as failing, passing, or non-attendance, are treated the same as unearned coursework and are counted as hours attempted when determining SAP for both Pace and the 150% maximum timeframe of hours required for your degree.
  • Second Degree/Post-Baccalaureate Certificate/Graduate Work: Upon earning a degree Satisfactory Progress will be reset to exclude hours attempted from previous degree.

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.
    • Students who appeal and are placed on financial aid probation or a multi-term academic plan are evaluated after grades are posted each term.
  • 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.
    • Students who appeal and are placed on financial aid probation or a multi-term academic plan are evaluated after grades are posted each term.
  • 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, manual review by the financial aid office is required to determine financial aid eligibility. 

 

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