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Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires students to maintain satisfactory progress toward their degree in order to receive financial aid.

At Drake University, these standards apply to students who are receiving or applying for financial aid from any of the federal, state, or institutional grant, scholarship, work or loan programs.

The Drake University Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards for Financial Aid apply to all students seeking to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility. These standards apply to a student’s entire degree program including terms in which financial aid was not applied for or disbursed.

These standards contain both a quantitative (pace) component and a qualitative (cumulative GPA) component. These are the minimum standards required in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. Specific aid programs, college, or department standards may require more than these minimum standards for good academic standing and continued approval for enrollment.

The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be monitored a minimum of once each academic year. Students who have a change in their SAP eligibility will be notified by letter and/or email. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office with questions regarding the intent and interpretation of these standards.

Quantitative Measure (Pace)
Students must earn two-thirds (67%) of their attempted credit hours (on a cumulative basis) in order to continue to receive financial aid. The pace is calculated by dividing the total number of credit hours the student has successfully completed by the total number of credit hours the student has attempted. All credit hours attempted (withdrawals, repeats, incompletes, passed, failed, etc.) are included when calculating the pace of completion. Students who do not achieve the quantitative measure of progress toward earning a degree or certificate will lose financial aid eligibility but have the option of appealing for the restoration of financial aid.

General financial aid eligibility will terminate when the credit hours required for a specific degree/program are earned or the student has attempted greater than 150% of the credit hours required for a specific degree/program.

Qualitative Measure (Grade Point Average)
Students must have a 2.00 (University) cumulative GPA in their degree or certificate program to continue receiving financial aid. Students who do not meet this qualitative measure of progress toward earning a degree or certificate will lose financial aid eligibility but have the option of appealing for the restoration of financial aid.

Transfer Credits
Upon admission, transfer students will be assumed to be maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Transfer credits that are accepted at Drake University will be counted in both the total attempted credits and completed credits in determining the pace and must be included during each evaluation. Transfer GPA will not be used in determining satisfactory academic progress compliance for credits transferred to Drake University.

Incomplete Grades
An incomplete or “I” grade will not be factored into the cumulative GPA. An incomplete grade will be counted as attempted and not earned credit hours for purposes of determining pace.

Credit hours from which the student has withdrawn or received a grade of “W” will be counted as attempted credit hours for purposes of determining pace.

Repeated Coursework
When a student repeats a course, the most recent grade received, if improved, will be used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA. Each time a course is repeated, the credit hours will count as attempted credits.

Credit by Examination
Credits earned by examination may be used to satisfy cumulative credit requirements.

Non-credit Coursework
Non-credit coursework will not be counted in the completion rate determination.

Loss of Eligibility
If a student loses financial aid eligibility for failure to meet the SAP standards, the student may regain eligibility by submitting a successful appeal or by meeting Drake University’s minimum SAP standards.

Re-establishing Eligibility and Appeals
A student who has lost eligibility due to not meeting the minimum SAP standards for pace and/or GPA can make up deficiencies while not receiving financial aid or by successful submission of an appeal.

A student may appeal in writing based on extenuating circumstances, such as a death of a family member, illness or injury of the student, or other extenuating circumstance. The appeal must contain information regarding why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow him/her to meet SAP at the next evaluation period.

If an appeal is granted, the student may be placed on probation for one payment period if they can meet the SAP standards at the end of the next period of enrollment, or the student can be placed on a formal academic plan and must meet the requirements of that plan by a specified point in time.

Evaluation Process
The routine evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress according to these standards occurs on an annual basis following the close of the spring term. Evaluations for a student granted a probationary period will occur at the end of the next period of enrollment.

Appeal Process and Satisfactory Academic Progress Question
The Financial Aid Committee will evaluate student appeals for restoration of aid. For questions regarding this policy or the appeal process, please contact:


Kristi Fuller, Assistant Director for Continuing Student Programs
Financial Aid Office
Carnegie Hall
Drake University
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311

Phone: (515) 271-2779

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