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Standards of Progress


Policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress

For Students Receiving Federal Financial Aid

Federal regulations require all institutions which administer Title IV student assistance programs to monitor the academic progress towards a degree or certificate of students applying for funds. All University of Rhode Island students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and wish to be considered for Title IV federal aid as well as selected other types of assistance must meet the criteria stated in the policy. Programs governed by these regulations include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Health Professions Loan
  • Nursing Student Loan
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Most private loans
  • University of Rhode Island grant and scholarship programs (including Centennial and Talent Development programs)
  • R.I. State Scholarship programs (including Academic Promise and College Crusade)

Eligibility

Your financial aid eligibility is based on satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards that the University of Rhode Island's office of Enrollment Services is required by the U.S. Department of Education to establish, publish, and apply. The office of Enrollment Services measures your academic performance and enforces SAP standards to ensure that you, as a financial aid recipient, progress toward graduation. If you fail to meet these standards, you become ineligible to receive financial aid until you comply with all requirements.

Financial aid recipients will be reviewed for satisfactory progress at the end of the spring semester after grades are posted. A student who does not meet the satisfactory academic progress standards will be terminated from financial aid assistance. An aid-terminated student is ineligible for any further financial aid, including student loans, until satisfactory academic progress is re-established. Readmission to a program or removal from academic probation does not automatically constitute eligibility for federal aid.


SAP Standards - Undergraduate Students

In addition to maintaining good standing within your college, your academic performance must meet two main SAP components:

  • Qualitative Standard - This component is represented by your cumulative grade point average. Your cumulative GPA must be a minimum of 2.0 after successfully completing 60 credits or your fourth term of enrollment, whichever comes first.
  • Quantitative Standard - The quantitative component requires you to complete your degree within a maximum timeframe. The ratio between attempted and completed credits determines your credit completion ratio. You are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum timeframe of 150 percent of the published degree credits required to complete your program. For example, if your undergraduate degree program requires 120 degree credits, you are eligible for financial aid up to 180 attempted credits (program restrictions apply). Each year, your cumulative credit completion ratio is calculated to ensure that you have earned at least 67% of the credits you attempted to maintain your aid eligibility.

    A grade of I or NW is not acceptable. Students who fail to complete attempted credit hours because of (I) Incomplete or NW grades, or who withdraw from all classes after receiving financial aid, will have their financial aid terminated.

Transfer Credits - These credits are counted in the total attempted and earned credits.

Withdrawals - All credit for which a student is registered beyond the drop period will be included in the measurement.

Repeated Course - If you repeat a course, credits for each time you register will be added to the attempted/earned credit totals. However, only the most recent grade received will be used in the calculation of your cumulative GPA.

Appeal Process - A student who is declared ineligible to receive aid for not maintaining SAP may appeal the decision to the SAP committee within 15 days of receipt of the notification. If there are mitigating circumstances that resulted in the student's inability to make SAP, the student should write a letter of appeal documenting the circumstances and submit the letter to the Satisfactory Progress Appeals Committee, c/o Enrollment Services, 6 Rhody Ram Way, Kingston, RI 02881.

Before an appeal will be considered, the student must have an active FAFSA on file for the semester for which they are requesting financial aid, and not be dismissed from the University. If you will need more than one term to comply with the SAP policy (a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and be completing at least 67% of cumulative credit hours attempted), you must provide a detailed academic plan approved by your advisor. The academic plan must establish criteria for success on a term by term basis in order to show that you are progressing toward degree completion and satisfaction of the SAP policy. 

Per Federal regulations (7/1/11), if your appeal is approved, you are allowed to receive financial aid for one semester only. If you meet the conditions set forth in your approval letter and academic plan, if applicable, you may continue to receive aid for subsequent semesters.

If your appeal is denied through this process, you will be notified in writing and will not receive
financial assistance for the next period of enrollment. You may regain your financial aid eligibility by enrolling in and completing enough credits to meet the qualitative and the quantitative standards described in the policy.  The decision of the SAP committee is final.

SAP Standards - Graduate Students

In addition to maintaining good standing within your college, your academic performance must meet two main SAP components:

  • Qualitative standard - As a graduate student, you must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for the entire enrollment period.
  • Quantitative standard: - The quantitative component requires you to complete your degree within a maximum timeframe.

As a Ph.D. candidate, you must complete your degree within seven calendar years of being admitted to your doctorate program (program restrictions apply). Your progress within this maximum timeframe will be reviewed annually at the end of each spring semester. At this time, your cumulative credit completion ratio is determined to ensure that you have completed at least 67% of all credits attempted to maintain your financial aid eligibility. If you are unable to complete your degree within this timeframe, you may appeal for an exemption.

As a graduate student pursuing a Masters degree, you are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum timeframe of 5 years after the date you are first enrolled as a graduate student at the University. Your progress within this maximum timeframe will be reviewed annually at the end of each spring semester. At this time, your cumulative credit completion ratio is determined to ensure that you have completed at least 67% of all credits attempted to maintain your financial aid eligibility. If you are unable to complete your degree within this timeframe, you may appeal for an exemption. A grade of I (Incomplete) or NW is not acceptable. Students who fail to complete attempted credit hours because of (I) Incomplete or NW grades, or who withdraw from all classes after receiving financial aid, will have their financial aid terminated.

Master's and doctoral students who have completed all course requirements including thesis research shall be considered to be making satisfactory progress at least at the half-time rate if they are registered for at least one thesis credit and have written permission from the Dean of the Graduate School.

Appeal Process - A student who is declared ineligible to receive aid for not maintaining SAP may appeal the decision to the SAP committee within 15 days of receipt of the notification. If there are mitigating circumstances that resulted in the student's inability to make SAP, the student should write a letter of appeal documenting the circumstances and submit the letter to the Satisfactory Progress Appeals Committee, c/o Enrollment Services, 6 Rhody Ram Way, Kingston, RI 02881.Before an appeal will be considered, the student must have an active FAFSA on file for the semester for which they are requesting financial aid, and not be dismissed from the UniversityPer new Federal regulations (7/1/11), if your appeal is approved, you are allowed to receive financial aid for one semester only. If you meet the conditions set forth in your approval letter, you may continue to receive aid for subsequent semesters. If your appeal is denied through this process, you will be notified in writing and will not receive financial assistance for the next period of enrollment. You may regain your financial aid eligibility by enrolling in and completing enough credits to meet the qualitative and the quantitative standards described in the policy.  The decision of the SAP committee is final.







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