Academic Standards for
Financial Assistance


Students receiving financial assistance are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) during their enrollment at Wartburg College (WC). This progress is measured by a qualitative and quantitative component. SAP is achieved when a student maintains both the required grade point average (GPA) and the required completion rate. Please note that this is the SAP policy for determining financial aid eligibility. Academic policies that relate to probation and dismissal from WC may differ.

Required GPA (Qualitative Measure): At the end of each academic term (fall, winter/May, summer), the student’s cumulative (GPA) will be monitored. The student must maintain at least the GPA as designated in the chart below to maintain SAP.

Course Credits Completed

Required GPA























Required Pace (Quantitative Measure):
In addition to maintaining the GPA specified above, a student must be progressing toward completion of a degree program within a specified time frame. In order to meet these minimum requirements, a student must complete two-thirds, or 67%, of all cumulative attempted course credits to maintain SAP. Completed course credits are considered “earned” if a student successfully passes said course credits.
If a student falls short of the GPA requirement or the 67% completion rule, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following academic term. During the warning period a student will be able to receive financial assistance. If the student fails to successfully meet the SAP requirements after the next academic term of enrollment (the term of the warning period) the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation and financial assistance will be suspended. Suspension of aid is not the same as academic suspension which is handled by the Academic Dean’s office.

150% Rule:  Students also cannot receive financial assistance for any coursework beyond 150% of the course credits that are required for their specific program. Students enrolled in any of the Bachelor Degree programs at WC may receive financial assistance for a maximum of 54 attempted course credits at either a part-time or full-time pace to be considered making progress under the 150% rule (36 undergraduate course credits required for graduation x 150% = 54 course credits). Simply stated, a student cannot receive financial assistance for any course credits that are in excess of 54 unless completing a combination of two Bachelor programs. Please see the chart below for the maximum credits/time frame for which each program may receive financial assistance dollars.


Undergrad Course Credits

150% maximum course credits for SAP

Bachelor of Arts



Bachelor of Applied Arts



Bachelor of Applied Science



Bachelor of Music



Bachelor of Music Education



Combination of Bachelor Programs



Incomplete Grades:
An incomplete or not reported grade of “I” or “NR” will be treated as a failing grade in the cumulative GPA. If a grade is later given for the course, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the office of financial assistance so that academic progress may be reassessed.

Withdrawals: Course credits from which the student has withdrawn or received a grade of “W” will be counted as attempted credits for purposes of determining academic progress.

Pass/Fail (P/D/F): Courses taken on a pass/fail basis are included in the pace calculation.

Audit: Courses that are audited without a grade are not included in the financial aid SAP calculations.

Repeated Coursework: When a student repeats a course, the most recent grade received will be used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA. Each time the course is taken, the credits for the course will count as attempted credits.

 Transfer Students: Transfer credits that are accepted at WC will be counted toward the total attempted credits in determining whether the student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress and thus also count towards the maximum 54 credits and will be used in the 67% rule calculation.    
Only credits earned from a course in which the student was actually enrolled are counted in calculating SAP. Advanced Placement credits, CLEP credits, credits earned from challenge exams, proficiency exams, or life experience are not used in calculating SAP.

Changes in Major or Degree or Certificate Program: A student who changes majors will still be required to stay within the maximum 54 attempted course credits to receive financial assistance.

Re-establishing Eligibility: A student, who has lost financial assistance eligibility, can regain eligibility by making up deficiencies while not receiving aid. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the office of financial assistance to request aid reinstatement when this has been accomplished.

Appeals:  If a student does not meet the minimum GPA requirement and/or the 67% course credit completion rule to be considered as maintaining SAP a second academic term, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation and financial aid is suspended.  A student must appeal in writing to the Director of Financial Aid noting extenuating circumstances, such as the death of a family member or an illness or injury to the student. All appeals MUST include information regarding why the student failed to make SAP, and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP after the next academic term of enrollment.

The appeal MUST also include an academic plan which will outline how the student will improve GPA and increase cumulative course credits to get back on track in seeking his/her degree. The student must be able to demonstrate that it is reasonably possible to get back on track towards successful program completion while staying within the 150% rule mentioned above. Pathways will assist the student in creating an academic plan through the Turning Point program.

An appeal committee will review the student’s request and notify the student of their decision in writing within one calendar week of receipt of the appeal. If a student is granted an appeal, he/she will remain on Financial Aid Probation, financial aid will be reinstated and Pathways will monitor the student’s academic plan. If the student strays from the plan, he/she will again have all financial assistance suspended for the following academic term.