Standards of Satisfactory Progress

15974171Federal regulations (CFR 668.34) require that, in order to be eligible for assistance from Title IV student aid, all students (full-time, part-time, undergraduate, and graduate) must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degree. All students who receive institutional, federal and state financial aid must meet the academic standards of Shepherd University and the standards of satisfactory academic progress defined by federal regulations as follows. Students must

  • complete their degree within a maximum period of 150% of the published length of the academic program;
  • complete 66% of all attempted courses ; and
  • maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 for undergraduate and 3.00 for graduate at the end of each term.

Students not meeting SAP are subject to dismissal from their program of study and are ineligible to receive financial aid, except under special circumstances. When a student’s progress is evaluated as prescribed and his or her academic performance is below either of the thresholds required to maintain SAP, the student’s academic progress will be projected to determine if and when it would be possible for the student to reestablish SAP.


Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

If a student’s progress, measured at the end of each term, is determined to be unsatisfactory AND a projection indicates that it is possible to reestablish SAP by the end of the subsequent term, the school may place the student on Financial Aid Warning status for one term. The student will be advised of the performance necessary to reestablish SAP.


Financial Aid Warning

A student on Financial Aid Warning is still eligible to receive financial aid. If, at the end of the term during which the student was placed on Financial Aid Warning status, the student’s academic progress is above thresholds for SAP the student is removed from Financial Aid Warning status. If, at the end of the term during which the student was placed on Financial Aid Warning status, the student’s academic progress is not above SAP thresholds, the student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid and no longer eligible to remain in school. This decision is subject to appeal by the student.


Appeal Process

Students who are ineligible to receive financial aid and are academically ineligible to continue due to unsatisfactory academic progress are advised immediately following the determination. Students may submit a written appeal to the Financial Aid Committee.
This appeal must be filed within five (5) business days of notification of the decision and must, at a minimum, explain in writing the circumstances that led to their unsatisfactory academic performance and why they feel that these circumstances will not be a factor going forward. The Financial Aid Committee will consider all information including potential mitigating circumstances such as illness or other personal medical issues, family situations, financial obligations or other circumstances presented by the student. The Financial Aid Committee will uphold or deny the appeal within five (5) business days following receipt of the appeal from the student. A student who has been dismissed due to unsatisfactory academic progress must have an appeal upheld prior to the drop/add date in any term or module in order to attend classes in that particular term.
If an appeal is denied, the student will remain dismissed and ineligible to receive financial aid. There is no limit to the number of appeals that a student may make.
If the appeal is upheld, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation status for one term or module, an academic plan will be created for the student, and the student will be considered eligible to receive financial aid. The academic plan must be structured so that a student reestablishes SAP prior to exceeding the Maximum Timeframe. The student’s performance against the academic plan will be analyzed at the end of each term or module. If, at the end of a term or module, the student’s performance is consistent with the terms of the academic plan, the student remains eligible to receive financial aid and may continue in school for the subsequent term or module. If, at the end of a payment period, the student’s performance is unsatisfactory, the student will be dismissed from his or her program of study. Students on academic plans will be advised at the end of each term or module to ensure that they understand their performance during this time and how it compares against the plan. A student may reestablish satisfactory academic progress at any time if s/he successfully completes a term with a CGPA at or above 2.0 and a pace at or above 66%. Students who reestablish satisfactory academic progress are advised that they no longer need to be on an academic plan and remain eligible to receive financial aid.


Change of Program

When a student transfers to a new program, the total program length of the new program is used as a basis for determining normal program length and maximum program length/maximum timeframe. All previously attempted coursework that is applicable in the new program is carried forward into the new program, whether it was completed successfully or not (i.e., including grades of F or W), for the purposes of calculating CGPA. Coursework brought forward is applied to these progress calculations as described in the Standards of Academic Progress policy. Existing academic year boundaries are preserved, based on the previously applicable coursework that is transferred into the new program. If satisfactory academic progress cannot be established at the outset of the program transfer, the transfer will not be approved.


Transfer Credits

Transfer credits are not computed in a student’s qualitative grade point average. Transfer credits are counted as credits attempted and earned for the purposes of calculating a student’s progress in the program. See also specific policy on “Transfer of Credit.”