Academic Standards for Financial Assistance

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STANDARDS (SAP) 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 (GPA) and quantitative (PACE) component. SAP is achieved when a student maintains both the required grade point average (GPA) and the required completion rate (PACE). Please note that this is the SAP policy for determining federal, state and institutional financial aid eligibility. Merit scholarships may have further maintenance criteria beyond SAP requirements. 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

Pace
(earned/attempted)

0.25-6.75

1.60

67%

7.00-15.75

1.80

67%

16.00-25.75

2.00

67%

26.00+

2.00

67%

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.

Financial Aid Warning: If a student falls short of the GPA requirement or the 67% completion rule (PACE), 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.

Submitting an Appeal:  A student must appeal in writing, noting extenuating circumstances, such as the death of a family member or an illness or injury to the student if applicable. 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 below. Pathways will assist the student in creating an appeal and academic plan through the Turning Point program.

Pathways will review the student’s appeal and academic plan and notify the Financial Aid Office of its completion.  Once a student is granted an appeal, he/she will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. Financial aid will be reinstated and Pathways will monitor the student’s academic plan at the end of each enrollment period. If the student strays from the plan, he/she will again have all financial assistance suspended for the following academic term and will be required to submit an appeal and recreate an academic plan if appropriate. Generally, a maximum of four appeals will be allowed within eight consecutive terms.

Maximum Timeframe – 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.

Program Undergrad Course Credits 150% maximum course credits for SAP
Bachelor of Arts

36

54

Bachelor of Applied Arts

36

54

Bachelor of Applied Science

36

54

Bachelor of Music

36

54

Bachelor of Music Education

36

54

Combination of Bachelor Programs

45

67.5

Incomplete Grades: An incomplete or not reported grade of “I” or “NR” will be treated as a failing grade in the cumulative GPA. An incomplete or not reported grade will cause the course to count as attempted but not earned therefore affecting the pace calculation. 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 with the exception of pre-requisite courses such as Math 90.

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 as both total attempted and total earned 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 (PACE) calculation.  

Non-Enrolled Courses: 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.

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.

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.