Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require Rockford University to establish Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in the following three areas: completion rate, cumulative GPA, and maximum time frame. The Rockford University Office of Student Administrative Services (SAS) is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid (including any tuition remission, tuition exchange or graduate assistantships) are meeting these standards. The standards of satisfactory academic progress apply for all financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-study (FWS), Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Federal Direct Loans (Stafford and PLUS), assistance from the State of Illinois and Rockford University.
Rockford University (RU) has established the following criteria in compliance with federal regulations published on October 6, 1993, Federal Register Part 668.16 and in Higher Education Amendments of 1986.
1. Completion Rate
Each semester, a student’s progress will be measured by comparing the number of attempted credit hours with the credit hours earned. This includes any course for which the student has remained enrolled past the Drop/Add period. Audited courses are not considered credits attempted. A student must complete 70% of credits attempted to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
To complete a bachelor’s degree at Rockford University, a student must complete a minimum of 124 semester hours. This can be achieved by averaging 31 semester hours per year. A minimum of 36 semester hours is required to complete a master’s degree. This can be achieved by averaging 18 semester hours per year.
2. Cumulative GPA
Financial aid recipients are governed by the academic performance standards of Rockford University. In order to retain financial aid eligibility the student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of:
- 8 for 0-29 hours completed
- 9 for 30-59 hours completed
- 0 for 60+ hours completed
- 0 for graduate programs
When you repeat a course, the most recent grade earned will count towards the calculation of your cumulative GPA.
3. Maximum Time Frame
You will not be eligible to receive financial aid once you have attempted more than 150% of the normal credits required for your degree or certification program. At Rockford University, this means that students in programs requiring 124 hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid during the first 186 attempted hours as an undergraduate. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received, or the course work was successfully completed. Transfer hours will count towards both attempted and completed credit hours. The maximum time frame also applies to students who change their majors and/or seek to earn additional degrees.
4. Semester SAP Reviews
Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester. Those students not meeting the requirements stated above will be placed on Financial Aid Warning during the next semester of enrollment and will receive a letter of warning.
The student may continue to receive financial assistance during the warning period which consists of one semester. At the end of the warning period the student will either:
1. Be removed from warning status because both cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate are met; OR
2. Have assistance SUSPENDED from federal, state and institutional sources and will receive a Financial Aid Suspension letter.
If you do not meet either item one or two above you are no longer eligible for financial aid until you have taken classes, using your own funding, and have raised your cumulative GPA and completion rate to meet the above standards.
5. Appeal Procedure
To appeal the financial aid suspension, a student must, within 15 calendar days of notification, submit to Student Administrative Services a signed and dated letter of appeal explaining why he/she should not have his/her aid suspended.
A student may appeal for emergency condition (i.e. health, family, catastrophe, etc.). Documentation verifying the situation may be requested.
The Financial Aid Committee will consider the appeal and render a decision, which the Financial Aid Specialist will convey in writing to the student. If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on financial aid probation and will regain financial aid eligibility for one semester. The decision of the committee is final.
You can raise your Rockford University GPA and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional course work at Rockford University without receiving financial aid. You can eliminate credit deficiencies, but not GPA deficiencies, by successfully completing course work at another institution without receiving aid at that institution; course work must be transferable to Rockford University. Transfer credits used to satisfy credit deficiencies cannot be credits that were earned prior to the term in which you incurred the deficiencies. You can also submit a copy of your Rockford University transcript and an appeal form to verify grade changes, including the removal of incompletes, if this will result in the removal of your deficiencies.
7. Additional Information
All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, remedial coursework, withdrawals, repetitions and incomplete grades (whether or not financial aid was received, or the course work was successfully completed). ESL classes do not count towards SAP as they have no credit hours attached to them. SAP will be recalculated once incomplete grades are converted into actual grades or withdrawals.