Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for financial aid, all students must satisfy Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), which is required by federal law. SAP measures a student’s completion of coursework toward a degree. JWU evaluates SAP at the end of each term, including summer, for each student. Students who do not meet all SAP criteria may lose their eligibility to receive all types of financial aid (e.g. federal, state, private, institutional and other aid).

Maximum Time Frame Criteria
Completion of undergraduate or graduate programs cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted as determined by the student’s program requirements.

Pace Measure of Academic Progress Criteria
Students must complete a specified percentage of all credit hours attempted, see below.

  • This percentage includes all credit hours attempted regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.
  • This pace measurement is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours that the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours that the student has attempted.
  • Credits attempted are defined as all classes for which a student receives a grade (“D” or better), or an F, I, W, WP, WF, NC, GP, S, U, PL, CX, NG, AU etc.
  • All transfer credit hours accepted from another institution towards the student’s educational program at JWU will be counted as both attempted and completed hours.
  • The student’s GPA and pace of completion are negatively impacted by course incompletes, withdrawals or repetitions (incompletes and withdrawals count in attempted credits, but not completed)

Grade Point Average Criteria

  • All undergraduate and graduate students must maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA).
  • The student’s cumulative GPA for financial aid eligibility must be calculated on all grades received, including repeated courses.
  • All students, regardless of their enrollment status (e.g. full or part time), must meet the following minimum academic standards to remain eligible for financial aid.
Program Total Credit Hours Attempted Minimum Cumulative Pace Minimum Cumulative GPA
Undergraduate 0-21 45% 1.00
Undergraduate 21.1-42 50% 1.26
Undergraduate 42.1-106.9 60% 1.50
Undergraduate 107 or higher 67% 2.00
Graduate/Doctoral 0 or higher 67% 2.00

Warning Period
Students who fail to meet SAP criteria will be placed on financial aid warning for one academic term. Students remain eligible for financial aid during the warning term. If SAP criteria are not satisfied at the end of the warning term, the student will be ineligible for financial aid and a hold will be placed on the student’s record which will prevent them from course registration for all future terms. Students on warning must meet with an academic counselor to clear the hold prior to course registration, and/or to pursue an appeal. Students on warning must submit their appeal and supporting documentation before the 8th week of the warning term; otherwise, the student may be required to take the next term off. 

Ineligible for Financial Aid Period
Students who fail to meet SAP criteria after the warning period are placed on financial aid termination. If the student does not have an approved appeal, the student is no longer eligible for financial aid. Students will receive holds and must meet with an academic counselor to clear the hold prior to course registration. Students can continue to take courses without financial aid to re-establish SAP standards; however, a payment plan must be established for the tuition and applicable fees associate with the course(s). Once a student is meeting JWU’s minimum SAP standards, they may regain financial aid eligibility. Students who are interested in reestablishing aid eligibility should meet with an academic counselor to determine what they would need to do to meet JWU minimum SAP standards.

Please keep in mind, once the maximum length of study standard has been exceeded (150%), financial aid eligibility ends, even if the student is in compliance with the other standards

Appeal Process/Probationary Period
If extenuating circumstances impacted successful adherence to SAP criteria, the student may pursue an appeal. The appeal will require the student to indicate why they did not make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP by the next term. Circumstances and required documentation are illustrated below. The appeal process begins with the student’s academic counselor in Student Academic Services. If an academic plan can be created that allows the student to meet SAP criteria, the counselor will present it to the appeals committee. If the plan exceeds two terms, the counselor will not proceed with an appeal.

Appeals must include complete documentation and are reviewed during the warning period; incomplete appeals are typically denied. Appeal decisions are final. Students will be notified of the decision both verbally and in writing via certified mail. This notification will take place after final grades are reviewed for the warning period. If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on a SAP Probation Period, which is a status assigned by JWU to a student who fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated, and will continue to remain eligible for financial aid. To continue receiving financial aid, the student will need to satisfy the academic plan as outlined in their appeal or satisfy SAP criteria.

Circumstance Required Documentation
The student’s own mental or physical illness or injury or condition Provide documentation (e.g., a physician’s statement, police report or documentation from a third party professional, such as a hospital bill)
Death of a family member or significant person in the student’s life Provide a copy of a death certificate
Illness, accident or injury of a significant person in the student’s life Provide documentation (e.g. a physician’s statement, police report or documentation from a third party professional such as a hospital bill), related to the individual for whom the student provided care or support
The student’s own divorce or separation or the divorce or separation of the student’s parent(s) Provide an attorney’s letter on a law firm’s letterhead, petition for dissolution, or copy of divorce degree
Personal problems other than the student’s own mental or physical illness or injury or condition with the student’s spouse, family, roommate, or other significant person in the student’s life Provide a written statement from an attorney, professional advisor or other individual describing the circumstances
Natural disaster Provide a written statement and/ or supporting documentation
Military deployment Active duty service orders