The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Program Integrity Regulations, effective July 1, 2011, mandates that institutions of higher education establish a standard of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive federal student financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (referred to in this policy as “Federal Student Aid”). Therefore, to be eligible to receive Federal Student Aid, including Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Direct Loan
Programs (Stafford and PLUS), undergraduate students must meet SAIC’s financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards (FASAP) as outlined in this policy. SAIC will also use FASAP to determine a student’s eligibility to receive SAIC need-based financial aid.
FASAP looks at two factors: whether the student is in good standing and the student’s pace of completion. FASAP will be measured three times a year, after the completion of the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. FASAP will also be measured at the end of each student's second year.
It is important to note that FASAP is calculated separately from Academic Standing. Students are responsible for being familiar with both of these policies. Questions can be directed to Academic Advising or Student Financial Services, as applicable.
- Financial Aid Good Standing (Qualitative)
Undergraduate students are considered to be in financial aid good standing when they receive credit toward their degree for 2/3 of all credit hours attempted.
SAIC adheres to a credit/no credit grading system. Successful completion of a course will result in a grade of CR for Credit and will count toward the student’s degree. Grades of NCR for No Credit, W for Withdrawal and INC for Incomplete represent unsuccessful completion of a course, and will not count toward the student’s degree. To determine whether a student is in financial aid good standing, FASAP measures cumulative credit hours completed (grades of CR) versus cumulative credit hours attempted (grades of CR, NCR, W and INC). Credits attributable to all repeated courses (discussed below) are included in this equation. Transfer credits accepted by SAIC are also included in this equation as both hours attempted and hours completed. It is important for students to note that hours attempted includes courses for which a W grade for withdrawal (including those received through the Academic Review Board) was received, regardless of whether or not the student was passing the course at the time of withdrawal.
2. Pace of Completion/Maximum Time Frames (Quantitative)
- Federal Student Aid. At the completion of the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters, students' cumulative pace of completion will be calculated. Pace of completion is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours the student has attempted, regardless of whether or not the student received Federal Student Aid for those credit hours. For quantitative purposes, grades of NCR for No Credit, W for Withdrawal and INC for Incomplete represent unsuccessful completion of a course, and will be counted towards pace of completion when calculating the maximum number of hours that can be attempted. Credits attributable to all repeated courses (discussed below) are included in the hours attempted. Transfer hours are included in both the completed and attempted hours. In order to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid, a student must progress throughout the educational program at a pace sufficient to ensure that the student will complete the program within the maximum timeframe permitted for Federal Student Aid, which is defined at 150% of the length of the degree program as measured in credit hours. SAIC requires students to maintain a consistent pace throughout their academic program. Therefore, to meet the pace of completion standard, a student must have successfully completed 2/3 of the cumulative credit hours attempted through the review period. It is important to note that a student who reaches a point at which he or she cannot complete the degree requirements within 150% of the program's required hours will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension (defined below), unless the student successfully appeals such suspension.
Students who change degrees will be expected to maintain the pace of progression and complete the degree within the maximum time frame of the degree into which they transfer.
- SAIC Need-Based Financial Aid. In order to maintain eligibility for SAIC need- based financial aid, a student must meet the pace of completion criteria outlined above. However, notwithstanding anything in this policy to the contrary, a student's eligibility for SAIC need-based financial aid will terminate when:
- the student has completed the number of credit hours required for the degree or certificate in his or her program of record, or
- has attempted 156 credit hours for their degree requiring 126 credit hours for completion.
Students will be notified by email or in writing if they fail to achieve financial aid good standing or maintain pace of completion after FASAP is reviewed. (Note that because of the criteria used to measure the two standards, a student who fails to achieve good standing will typically also fail to maintain pace of completion.) Students who are not in good standing or maintaining pace of completion and who have received an INC grade(s) will be reviewed again after the end of the add/drop period of the next term (i.e., once a final grade of CR/NCR has been awarded).
2. Financial Aid Warning
An undergraduate student who has not successfully completed 2/3 of all credit hours attempted during the review process will be placed on Financial Aid Warning until the next review period. During this warning period, the student will be eligible to receive Federal Student Aid and SAIC need-based funds. A student who has successfully completed 2/3 of all credit hours attempted at the next review period will return to financial aid good standing and/or resume pace of completion. A student who has not successfully completed 2/3 of all credit hours attempted at the next review period will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.
3. Financial Aid Suspension
A student on Financial Aid Suspension is no longer eligible to receive Federal Student Aid or SAIC need-based financial aid.
4. Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension
An undergraduate student may appeal his or her Financial Aid Suspension with the Student Financial Services Office if the student believes that extenuating circumstances exist. Appeals should be submitted on the FASAP Appeal Form available in the Student Financial Services Office and on the SAIC website. Appeals must be received at least one week prior to the first day of classes of the following semester. The student’s appeal must include why he or she failed to make satisfactory academic progress (i.e., death of a relative, injury, illness or other circumstances) and what has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the next payment period. Prior to submitting an appeal, it is recommended that the student meet with his or her Student Financial Services Advisor. The
decision of the Student Financial Services Office with respect to the student’s appeal will be final and the student will not be entitled to amend and re-submit his or her request for appeal.
5. Financial Aid Probation
If an undergraduate student successfully appeals his or her Financial Aid Suspension, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will be expected to meet financial aid good standing and/or resume pace of completion by the end of the next payment period. (SAIC has three payment periods: Summer, Fall and Winter/Spring.) Alternatively, a student on Financial Aid Probation may be placed on an academic plan that will ensure that the student is able to meet satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes by a specific point in time. An academic plan will be coordinated with an Academic Advisor to ensure success. If a student does not successfully meet the previously listed terms of their Financial Aid Probation, he or she will return to Financial Aid Suspension and will no longer be eligible to receive Federal Student Aid or SAIC need-based financial aid.
6. Alternative Actions
A student who is unsuccessful in his or her attempt to appeal a Financial Aid Suspension or who does not wish to pursue an appeal of such suspension may nonetheless regain eligibility for Federal Student Aid and SAIC need-based financial aid by taking actions that bring him or her into compliance with the standards of this policy. For example, a student who continues to take classes without using Federal Student Aid or SAIC need-based financial aid may be returned to financial aid good standing when he or she successfully completes 2/3 of all credit hours attempted. Alternative actions, however, cannot serve as the basis of regaining eligibility for Federal Student Aid or SAIC need-based aid by a student who reaches a point at which he or she cannot complete the degree requirements within 150% of the program's required hours.
Except for institutionally approved repeatable courses, students may repeat a course and receive Federal Student Aid only once in the case of a passed course. Students may receive Federal Student Aid for repeat of failed courses until the course is passed, subject to the eligibility requirements stated above. Credits attributable to all repeated courses are included in the hours attempted for qualitative and quantitative purposes.
Second Degree Students
Students seeking a second undergraduate degree are subject to the maximum time frame as outlined earlier in the policy. Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree are eligible for federal student loans and federal work-study only, through the federal financial aid programs.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago does not offer or transfer noncredit courses toward undergraduate degrees.