Financial Aid recipients must demonstrate through their scholastic records that they are making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their program(s) of study in order to maintain eligibility of any form of federal or seminary financial assistance. Academic progress for financial aid is measured at the end of the fall, spring and summer terms utilizing the following qualitative standard and quantitative standard.
This standard measures a student’s quality of performance in terms of courses successfully completed and their cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the Seminary. Students enrolled in the Master's degree program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students enrolled in the D. Min. degree program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2.
This standard has two components: maximum time frame and course completion rate. The maximum time frame in which a student must complete a program of study cannot exceed 150 percent of the published program length, measured in credit hours attempted. Example: A student pursuing a program that contains 80 hours would be allowed to attempt a maximum of 120 hours [80 x 150 percent (1.5) = 120]. The number of hours attempted includes any transfer hours accepted from other institutions that are applied to the student’s program of study.
In conjunction with the maximum program length, students must successfully complete (measured as credit hours earned) at least 75 percent of all coursework attempted as they progress through their program of study. Attempted hours include failed grades, ungraded courses, incompletes, and withdrawals. This is a cumulative process, illustrated as follows: A student has maintained satisfactory academic progress for the first two semesters of enrollment. However, at the end of the third semester the student’s academic transcript indicates 45 hours attempted and 27 hours earned. The course completion rate is 60 percent (27 divided by 45). The student does not meet the required 75 percent standard and thus will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester. Note: all enrolled courses (including incompletes and withdrawals) are included as attempted hours when calculating percentage of earned hours towards course completion rate.
A student who does not meet satisfactory academic progress standards is placed on Financial Aid Warning for one semester. During the Financial Aid Warning, the student is eligible to receive financial aid funds. If the student meets the standards at the end of the warning semester, the student is removed from the Financial Aid Warning status and maintains financial aid eligibility. If the student does not meet the standards at the end of the warning period, the student is placed on Financial Aid Ineligibility/Financial Aid Suspension.
A student on Financial Aid Ineligibility status is not eligible for any form of Federal or Seminary financial assistance. The student remains ineligible until satisfactory academic progress standards are met. The student may appeal for financial aid reinstatement. Some outside alternative loans are available for students working to regain academic progress.
FINANCIAL AID APPEAL PROCESS
Students placed on Financial Aid Ineligibility status can appeal to the Financial Aid Committee for financial aid reinstatement. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Financial Aid Office and be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.
Acceptable reasons for appeal are: (1) serious illness or accident on the part of the student; (2) death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; (3) financial difficulties forcing incomplete and premature withdrawal; (4) other extenuating circumstances directly affecting academic performance.
If financial aid is reinstated, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester. After the Financial Aid probationary term, the student must make Satisfactory Academic Progress or must successfully follow an academic plan. The student must meet with the Vice President for Academics to request an academic plan. Failure to meet the academic plan or academic progress standards will again result in a Financial Aid Ineligibility status. The student remains ineligible for financial aid until satisfactory academic progress standards are met, or until a successful financial aid appeal is approved. If the appeal is not approved, the student will have no additional recourse for financial aid from the Seminary, and therefore, must achieve satisfactory academic progress.
Students may be eligible to enroll in courses without financial aid assistance (Federal, Seminary or state aid) as long as they are not on Academic Suspension or if they have approval from the Office of the Vice President for Academics.
Transfers of credits from another school are measured in the quantitative review/completion rate calculations, but are not included in the GPA qualitative standard review for academic progress.
Retaking Failed Coursework: Students may retake a failed course again while receiving federal aid/loans until the course has been passed by the student.
Retaken Passed Coursework: Students may retake (one time only) any previously passed course while receiving Title IV federal loans. After repeating the course a second time and receiving a passing grade, the student is not allowed to retake the course again for federal loans. Students can retake the course but the retaken course cannot be counted towards the student’s enrollment status (full time/part time) for federal aid eligibility, since a passing grade was received.