Policy and Procedure for Satisfactory Academic Progress (Distance Education Graduate Students)

Federal regulations require educational institutions to determine students receiving federal financial aid remain in good academic standing and make reasonable progress toward completion of their academic program. At the end of each term, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed, and Bradley University's standard stipulates distance education graduate recipients of federal aid must meet the following standards:

  • maintain the required cumulative grade point average
  • successfully complete the required percentage of attempted coursework
  • and/or complete their program of study within the prescribed length of time

Students failing to meet any of these standards are not eligible for federal aid.

Qualitative Standards

Students must meet a qualitative standard for academic progress measured through cumulative GPA. For academic and federal aid purposes “good standing” is considered a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and above. Students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 are placed on academic probation. Eligibility for federal aid continues for two additional terms so long as a cumulative 2.0 GPA is maintained. Review of GPA is conducted at the conclusion of each term.

Quantitative Standards

Distance education graduate students must meet a quantitative standard of academic progress measured by a percentage completion rate. SAP is successful completion of 70% of all attempted credit hours. The calculation is hours earned divided by hours attempted = completion rate (result will be rounded to closest whole number). Courses with grades of “W”, “F”, “IN”, “IP”, and repeated courses are included in hours attempted but are not included in hours earned.

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

The total number of credits required for degree completion varies by program. The University catalog provides program specific completion requirements. In instances where additional research hours are required, the student’s academic advisor/department chair can indicate if the student is making satisfactory progress toward the degree objective. Students meeting the required 70% of attempted credits will complete degree objectives within 150% of the expected time frame. Those pursuing a course of study with greater credit hour requirements should notify the Office of Financial Assistance for a case-by-case review.

Guidelines for Academic Progress

Distance education graduate students enrolled in their first term at Bradley University are considered to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students readmitted to a distance education program may follow the appeal process if they wish to utilize federal aid. Readmitted students who have been academically dismissed from a graduate program at Bradley are not eligible for federal aid unless meeting SAP. Students may change majors/programs, but evaluation of academic progress for federal aid will include all attempted credit hours and grades earned; change of major may be considered as part of an appeal.

The academic year for distance education is 3 terms: fall, spring, and summer. Qualitative and quantitative satisfactory academic progress is assessed at the completion of each term (once grades are posted) and includes all enrolled terms regardless of utilization of federal aid.

SAP Financial Aid Warning

Students not meeting SAP standards will be placed on “financial aid warning” for the following academic term. If placed on financial aid warning, notification will be sent to the student informing them of the warning status, future financial aid eligibility, and the importance of seeking guidance/advising/counseling from Bradley staff (academic advisors, professors, and/or support coaches). More than one period of financial aid warning during a student’s academic career is possible.

Once placed on financial aid warning, appeal for reinstatement of federal aid is not required. Eligibility will continue at the conclusion of the financial aid warning term provided the student is once again meeting SAP standards or following a prescribed academic plan to maintain timely degree completion. Students not meeting SAP standards at the conclusion of a financial aid warning term will be placed on “financial aid suspension”. Financial aid suspension results in the discontinuation of federal aid until once again meeting SAP standards or approval of a SAP appeal.

SAP Financial Aid Probation

Distance education graduate students who submit a SAP appeal form that is approved will be placed on financial aid probation. The duration of probationary status is determined on a case-by-case basis and will be based on length of time and/or course load necessary to meet SAP standards. Progression will be monitored during probation to ensure the prescribed academic plan is being followed and the student is on track with degree completion.

SAP Financial Aid Suspension

Financial aid suspension is assigned when a student fails to meet SAP standards while on financial aid warning or financial aid probation. A student on suspension will be notified of their status and is no longer eligible for federal aid. Federal aid will be reinstated once the student is again meeting SAP standards or with the approval of a SAP appeal.

Suspension may be assigned to a readmitted student who does not meet SAP standards. The Office of Financial Assistance reserves the right to suspend distance education graduate students who completely withdraw. Complete withdraw or failure to complete all courses in a term may result in financial aid suspension and require appeal.