Office of Financial Assistance Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Policy Summary

In order to receive financial aid, you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. All Drew University students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and wish to be considered for federal and state aid, and those who wish to be considered for institutional financial aid must meet the criteria stated in the policy regardless of whether or not they previously received aid. These requirements apply to part-time as well as full-time students for all semesters of enrollment within an academic year, including those semesters for which no financial aid was granted. Evaluation of SAP is made at the conclusion of each academic year by the Office of Financial Assistance once grades are available in the university system. This review looks at grades received, courses attempted, GPA, and pace towards graduation.

Programs governed by these regulations are:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • New Jersey Tuition Aid Grant
  • All Drew University Institutional Scholarships and Grants

The Federal SAP definition has three components:

1. A Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA):

Undergraduate Students: All undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0.

Graduate and Theological Students: All graduate and theological students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0

Merit Scholarships are subject to the semester GPA requirements specified by their school and individual programs.

2. Minimum Credit Hour Completion Percentage:

All students must complete at least 75 percent of their courses each semester. To calculate, take the total credit hours you successfully complete and divide it by the number of credit hours in which you were enrolled. Incompletes, withdrawals, and failing grades do not count as successful completion. Example: You enroll in 16 credit hours and at the end of the semester you successfully complete 8 credits. 8/16 =50% this does not meet the minimum 75%.

3. Quantitative Progress: Maximum Time to Complete a Degree/Program (MTF)

Students cannot exceed 150 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete their degree program. All hours attempted toward the completion of a program of study will be counted in the maximum number of allowable hours regardless of whether financial aid was received. Students are not eligible for financial aid if they have exceeded the number of credit hours. Transfer hours are included in the total. Students who earn credits through a consortium/contractual agreement, students who change majors or students working on a second major do not qualify for additional semesters of eligibility.

When SAP is calculated, if you have attempted 150 percent of the allowable number of credit hours, or if it would be mathematically impossible for you to complete a program of study within the 150 percent maximum, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension regardless of your CGPA, and regardless of whether or not you received financial aid during previous semesters.

If you are placed on Financial Aid Suspension for exceeding the maximum time frame to complete your program of study, you have exhausted financial aid eligibility to complete the program and may not again receive financial aid benefits. This is not subject a probationary appeal.

Examples of 150%

  • If you are completing a degree program that requires 128 credits to earn the degree. You must earn your degree before attempting 193 credit hours. i.e.: 128*150%=192
  • If you are completing a degree program that requires 128 credits, and you transferred 130 credits to Drew, your transfer credits count as attempted. Therefore you must successfully complete the degree requirements before reaching 192 attempted credit hours (transfer hours + Drew hours cannot exceed 192 total credit hours).

Financial aid recipients are expected to complete a program of study in the scheduled amount of time. Your progress may be evaluated for only one program at a time. You may not change your program multiple times for the purpose of extending financial aid eligibility.

New transfer and returning students to Drew are encouraged to read carefully the Office of Financial Assistance Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, Federal regulations require that you complete your academic program within 150 percent of the standard time frame for your program. At Drew, 128 credits is used as the standard, with 192 attempted credits as the maximum credits for a Bachelor’s degree. All credits are counted, even if you did not receive financial aid and even if the credits do not count towards graduation for your present academic program.

Once you reach the maximum number of attempted credits for your academic program, you are ineligible to receive financial aid.

Measuring the Pace of Completion

To avoid exceeding the maximum time frame required to complete a program of study using financial aid, you are expected to maintain a “pace of completion.” At the end of each semester, you must have successfully passed a minimum percentage of credit hours from all hours attempted at Drew. You must maintain a cumulative pace of completion that is at least 75 percent of attempted hours at the end of each semester.

Grades of U, F, and I will be counted as hours attempted but will not be counted as hours successfully passed. Repeated course enrollment will be counted in the completion rate and against the overall maximum time limit required to complete the program of study. Repeated course enrollment will be calculated in the cumulative GPA according to the Drew academic grading policy.

If you do not complete the minimum percentage of credit hours required to maintain a 75 percent pace of completion, you will fail SAP and be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Appealing for Probationary Reinstatement

Students may appeal their SAP status and be placed on probation for failing to meet the GPA requirement or for failing to meet minimum pace of completion. They may not appeal the Quantitative Progress Standard (150 percent credit requirement). To receive financial assistance for an upcoming academic year, you must submit a written letter of appeal. This letter should state the mitigating circumstances which led to your failure to meet this standard. It should also contain an action plan for remediating your GPA or credit completion rate. This letter may be emailed to the Office of Financial Assistance at finaid@drew.edu. Your letter will be forwarded to the Office of Academic Services for approval by an academic officer. If the Office of Academic Services has any questions or concerns regarding your appeal or action plan, an academic officer will contact you. If your appeal is granted and you have applied for financial assistance, you will be placed on probation and packaged with financial aid.

If you fail to attain the minimum standards of progress by the end of the probationary period, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. This cannot be appealed. You must pay enrollment costs without the benefit of financial aid awards until you meet the minimum required satisfactory academic standard.