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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require Elon University to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive and apply for financial aid. Satisfactory academic progress is comprised of three standards:

  • A student must achieve a grade point average (GPA) that is consistent with Elon University graduation requirements
  • A student must demonstrate that they are making progress toward the completion of their degree by earning a minimum number of credits hours each semester
  • A student must complete their degree within a specified period

Students receiving Federal Title IV Financial Aid are evaluated at the end of each academic year. Federal aid programs affected by these criteria include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loan, and Federal Direct PLUS.

Required Grade Point Average

Elon students must meet minimum cumulative GPA standards and attempt to complete a certain number of hours each semester to retain financial aid eligibility. Cumulative attempted hours include all work completed at Elon University, as well as all accepted transfer credits and credits earned in high school through the Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. However, credits transferred to Elon University are not used in calculating grade point averages.

Cumulative credits attempted are Minimum cumulative GPA
29 or less 1.70
30 – 61 1.80
62 – 95 1.90
96+ 2.00

Pace of Degree Completion

Federal regulations require that a student must make steady progress toward the completion of their degree. This pace is calculated by dividing the total cumulative hours earned by the cumulative number of hours attempted. A student must have earned a minimum of 67 percent of all hours attempted after each academic year. The Office of Financial Planning checks for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the completion of each spring semester.

Federal regulations also stipulate that a student must complete their degree within 150 percent of the published length of the program. Elon University students are required to earn 132 credit hours to graduate. Therefore, the maximum time frame for a student to receive federal aid is 198 attempted credit hours. The maximum time frame will be adjusted for students in two degree programs that require more than 132 hours to meet requirements for graduation. Elon University will provide institutional need-based financial aid for a maximum of ten (10) semesters.

Additional SAP Components

  • Classes in which a student receives an incomplete grade(I), (NR), (NG), do not count as hours attempted nor earned until the grade is resolved in satisfying SAP.
  • Classes in which a student receives a failing grade (F) count as hours attempted but not successfully earned therefore negatively impacting a student’s ability to satisfy SAP.
  • Classes in which a student receives a regular withdrawal (W) do not count as attempted or earned hours in satisfying SAP if dropped prior to the end of the drop/add period at the beginning of each semester or term. Otherwise a dropped class is considered as attempted for SAP purposes.
  • Classes in which a student receives a medical withdrawal (WD) do not count as attempted or earned hours in satisfying SAP if dropped prior to the end of the drop/add period at the beginning of each semester or term. Otherwise a medically withdrawn class is considered as attempted for SAP purposes.
  • Classes in which a student receives a military withdrawal (WM) do not count as attempted or earned hours in satisfying SAP if dropped prior to the end of the drop/add period at the beginning of each semester or term. Otherwise a military dropped class is considered as attempted for SAP purposes.
  • Classes in which a student audits (AU) will not count toward a student’s ability to satisfy SAP because no credits or academic grades are given.
  • Transfer credits accepted toward the completion of a student’s program count toward SAP quantitative measure as described below. Transfer credits do not resolve any qualitative (GPA) deficiencies.

Repeated coursework

Courses repeated within four semesters of attendance following the first enrollment in the course count only once in computing the cumulative GPA. In such cases, the most recent grade is counted rather than any previous grade(s) received. However, a course repeated more than once will count in the cumulative GPA each time it is repeated. A course in which an “F” was received due to a violation of the Academic Honor Code may be repeated; however, the original grade will count in the cumulative GPA. Repeated courses will count for quantitative purposes in calculating credit hours attempted.

Readmitted students who return to Elon University after the absence of one semester or more will have their SAP continued at the same status when they terminated from Elon University. Therefore students who terminate their enrollment not making SAP will not be eligible for financial assistance until the minimum SAP requirements have been met.

Probationary or Conditional Periods

Students not making SAP will be ineligible for further financial assistance until the minimum SAP requirements have been met. All undergraduate students are notified in writing and electronically of all SAP deficiencies as quickly as possible. Students who become ineligible for financial aid are provided the opportunity to appeal. An appeal is not a guarantee of the reinstatement of their financial aid, but a request that is subject to further review. All appeals should be focused on the particular academic semester and/or courses for which the student did not achieve SAP.

Those students granted an appeal for continued financial aid eligibility will be placed on financial aid probation for the following standard term (semester) and reevaluated upon the completion of that following standard term (semester). Students must be making SAP after their probationary period to continue their financial aid eligibility. Elon University will limit granted appeals to no more than 2 appeals during a student’s undergraduate academic attendance toward their degree requirements.

Additional Appeal Components

  • All appeals must be made in writing and submitted along with any supporting documentation including the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, Office of Financial Planning, 2725 Campus Box, Elon, NC 27244 or submitted via fax (1-336-278-7639).
  • Appeals generally given consideration involve circumstances such as extended illness or hospitalization of the student, or an accident which incapacitates the student for an extended period of time, death, or illness of a parent or other special circumstances.
  • Students must provide their own written statement describing the reason and circumstances surrounding their lack of sufficient progress and the action they are taking.
  • If medical problems played a role in their lack of sufficient progress, attach any supporting evidence that they can provide from their physician that will more fully explain their particular situation.
  • If appropriate, a student may also submit a letter from a third party in support of their appeal. This third party should be familiar with their specific circumstances.
  • The Office of Financial Planning will contact professors and instructors when necessary to confirm circumstances asserted in appeals.