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Satisfactory Academic Progress Statement

Students receiving Title IV financial assistance are expected to progress satisfactorily toward degree completion. The following minimum standards have been established in accordance with regulations published by the United States Department of Education October 6, 1983 (34 CFR Part 668). These regulations are available to all students during regular business hours in the Financial Aid Office.

This policy affects the following financial aid programs:

  • Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal Supplemental Loan for Students (SLS)
  • Federal Stafford Loan
  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Nursing Loan
  • Federal Nurse Faculty Loan
  • Federal College Work-Study
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant program (TEACH Grant)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Iowa Tuition Grant
  • Iowa Grant
  • State Work-Study

The satisfactory academic progress of a student will be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively at the end of each semester.  A warning letter will be sent if a student were to fail to make Satisfactory Academic Progress.  The student may continue to receive Title IV aid for one payment period with no appeal.  If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress after the warning semester, the Title IV aid is removed.  A student may appeal to have the Title IV aid reinstated.  If a student appeals and is approved, then the student may get aid for one semester called a Probation.

Quantitative Measurement

Students are required to complete 124 credit hours for the baccalaureate degree. An institution may allow a student 150% of the time that is normally required to complete the degree. Students will be allowed to attempt up to 150% of the credit hours required, for a total of 186 hours. After 186 hours have been attempted, the student will lose eligibility for federal or state funds. Transfer students are subject to the same credit hour requirements. Credits transferred to Clarke University will be counted in the 186-hour limitation. Students must complete at least 67% of the credit hours attempted based on their enrollment status.

Qualitative Measurement

The qualitative measurement of satisfactory academic progress will be done in accordance with the minimum cumulative grade point averages already established by the Office of Academic Affairs. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above. Grades are not rounded up.

Measuring Progress

The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be measured at the close of each academic semester (fall, spring and summer). The Financial Aid Office will notify students who do not meet the credit hour or the cumulative grade point requirement. The letter they receive will outline the expectations of the federal government and specify the date by which they need to be in good academic standing in order to continue receiving financial assistance. Normally the student will have one academic semester in which to achieve good academic standing. If the student is not making satisfactory progress by the end of this time, the student will no longer be eligible for any federal or state financial assistance.


When a student officially withdraws from a course, the course is not used in calculating the grade point average, but is reflected in the attempted hours for the semester.

Repeated Courses

A student who elects to repeat a course will not have the credit hours counted twice when calculating satisfactory academic progress. A better grade, however, will be used in calculating the cumulative grade point average.

Non-Credit Courses

Non-credit/audit courses do not count toward the requirements for satisfactory academic progress.

Incomplete Grades

At the end of the semester after all grades are posted; a list will be obtained from the Registrar containing the names of all students with incomplete grades. If the student is making satisfactory academic progress without the incomplete grades, no notification is necessary. However, once grades are posted, a recalculation of satisfactory academic progress will be made. At the time of the recalculation, if the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, a notification will be sent to the student that the current semester (the one in which the grades were posted) is a semester of probation. If after the current semester the student is still not making satisfactory academic progress, the student will no longer be eligible for any federal or state financial assistance. The student may appeal using the Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Form.

Appeal Procedure


After a student has been notified they have lost eligibility for financial assistance, a written appeal may be made on the Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Form. This form will be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid. This form can be found in the Financial Aid Office.

An appeal should include:

  • Circumstances which affected satisfactory completion of credit hours, or the cumulative grade point average.
  • The student’s Academic Success Contract (contact the Learning Center to complete this form).
  • The time frame the student has developed for completing the degree requirements.

All appeals will be considered by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, consisting of the Vice President for Student Life, the Deans for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Professional and Graduate Studies, and chaired by the Director of Financial Aid. Circumstances considered for an appeal include but are not limited to: student illness or health problems, health problems of a student’s family members, lack of availability of required courses, change of major, and other situations which, at the discretion of the committee, are determined to be factors directly related to the student’s inability to maintain satisfactory progress.
NOTE: The fully completed appeal must reach the Financial Aid Office two weeks prior to the first day of the academic semester in which you wish to receive Title IV aid. Late appeals will not be considered.