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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Each term, the Office of Financial Aid is required by federal and state regulations to determine if students receiving financial aid are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The SAP policy is published and disseminated through the financial aid handbook and Illinois Tech's undergraduate bulletin and graduate catalog. To maintain eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid students must meet Illinois Tech's academic progress standard for institutional aid recipients as well as the Department of Education's academic progress standard for federal aid recipients. Please review the federal policy that the Office of Financial Aid uses below.

Federal Policy

All students receiving federal financial aid must demonstrate SAP which include a satisfactory cumulative grade point average, a satisfactory major grade point average and sufficient credit hours earned each semester toward the completion of a degree program. Illinois Tech has established a SAP policy in compliance with federal and state regulations. Failure to comply with the university's policy will lead to the student's loss of eligibility for federal and state financial aid.

TO MAINTAIN ELIGIBILITY:

  • Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative and a 2.0 major GPA. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Attempt no more than 150 percent of the maximum timeframe required to complete an academic program.
  • Successfully complete two-thirds (67%) of total hours attempted (known as pace of completion). For example, a student who has attempted 45 credit hours must have successfully completed at least 30 credit hours.

Eligibility Review Policy

SAP eligibility is reviewed each term. All periods of attendance count toward the fulfillment of each requirement (e.g., terms that a student must fund due to failure to make SAP and students who have previously attended the school without Title IV aid and who now apply for aid). Students not making SAP will be notified by the Financial Aid Office via email at the end of each term.

WARNING PERIOD

Students who do not meet the prescribed components of this policy and have not already been placed on warning the immediate term prior, will first be placed on warning for the following term and notified via email. Students can receive federal state financial aid during the warning term. No appeal is necessary. This is an opportunity for the student to bring their academic performance back into SAP compliance.

INELIGIBILITY PERIOD

If after the Warning Period passes, the student is not making satisfactory academic progress, the student will be considered ineligible for federal and state financial aid. Following the guidelines described below, the student will have to appeal to the Office of Financial Aid if they wishe to be reconsidered for federal or state aid.

  • If the appeal is approved and the student is expected to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next evaluation period (the end of each term), the student will be placed on probation for one term.
  • If the student will not meet the SAP standards by the end of the next evaluation period, the student will be asked to develop a SAP Academic Plan with the assistance of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UGAA) that will ensure SAP standards are met at a specific point in time.
    • If the appeal and the SAP Academic Plan are approved, the student will be placed on probation for one term. At the end of each term, the Office of Financial Aid will confirm the fulfillment of these conditions with UGAA. Failure to meet the conditions will lead to the ineligibility of federal and state financial aid.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD

During the probation period, the student will regain federal and state financial aid eligibility. This is an opportunity for the student to increase their academic performance and regain SAP eligibility. At the end of the probation period, the student is either expected to meet the SAP standards or meet the conditions of the SAP Academic Plan. If the SAP standards or the SAP Academic Plan conditions are not met at the end of the probation period, the student will be placed back into ineligible status. In this scenario, students will take the following steps:

  • The student will be required to submit a new appeal in order to be considered for federal and state financial aid.
  • In the event the conditions for the SAP Academic Plan were not met, the student will be required to submit an appeal and a new SAP Academic Plan.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits accepted by Illinois Tech are included in the maximum time frame policy and the pace of completion policy. Transfer hours accepted towards completion of a student’s program count as both hours attempted and hours earned. Students who transfer to Illinois Tech will be treated the same as students who initially matriculated at Illinois Tech.

Audit

All courses that are audited will be counted as attempted hours. These courses will not be included in the SAP GPA calculation.

Major or Degree Changes

A student who changes majors or degree will have a one-time reset of major and cumulative GPA, a pace of completion and time frame. The student must contact the Office of Financial Aid to communicate these changes. Major or degree changes will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades will be classified as successful completions only when the incomplete grade is changed to a passing grade (A,B,C,D or P). Unsuccessful completions are considered grades of E, W, and I however students are allowed to repeat courses for failing grades (E, W). Successful completions are defined as the completion of attempted course work. Students not meeting the SAP standards due to an incomplete grade(s) may request that the Office of Financial Aid recalculate their SAP upon the successful completion of their grade(s). However, students calculated as "SAP ineligible" partly due to an incomplete grade are ineligible for federal or state financial aid unless an interim appeal is approved. The interim appeal must follow the same criteria as the SAP Appeal.  Upon the successful completion of an incomplete grade, the SAP status may be recalculated. Semester deadlines for incomplete grades are posted on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Students should note that incomplete grades impact the Maximum Timeframe and Pace of Completion used to determine if a student is making SAP. Imcomplete grades, however do not impact GPA calculations.

Course Repetitions

A  student who wishes to repeat a course for which a passing grade of (A,B,C,D)  was earned, can use financial aid for one course repetition. The Office of Financial Aid will follow the Registrar's Office Course Repeat Policy.

A student who earned a grade (E) deciding to repeat  a course and is replacing the E grade with a passing grade, can use financial aid to pay for the course. The Illinois MAP Grant cannot be applied to any repeat coursework more than once if MAP payments have already been applied to said course. 

Noncredit Courses

Noncredit courses are not counted as part of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals impact the Maximum Timeframe, Pace of Completion and GPA calculations used to determine if a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Returning From Official Withdrawal or Leave of Absence

Students returning to Illinois Tech after an official withdrawal or leave of absence who were considered "SAP ineligible" for the term in which they withdrew, will need to submit an SAP appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for federal and state aid consideration (see SAP Appeal section).

Second Bachelor

If a student is completing a second bachelor, only the courses pertaining to that degree will be considered when manually calculating the Maximum Timefram and Pace of Completion SAP calculation. Transfer credits including Illinois Tech credits from a previous bachelor degree will not be included in the cumulative and major GPA. The student should communicate to the Office of Financial aid of their enrollement in a second bachelor degree program.

Reinstatement of Aid

After a student is found ineligible for federal and state aid, the student must submit an appeal to be considered for reinstatement of their aid. If an appeal is not received,  the student must wait a semester before financial aid is considered for reinstatement.

Our office will automatically review all students for reinstatement of financial aid at the conclusion of each semester. A student has the right to appeal our decision of ineligibility by submitting a SAP appeal and include a letter of explanation and documentation to support their appeal. The appeal should be submitted to our office prior to the term's SAP appeal deadline. Appeal deadlines can be located on the current year's SAP Appeal form and on the Important Dates section of our website. 

SAP Appeal

Students may appeal for the removal of their "Ineligible Status". All appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the SAP Appeal Committee at the Office of Financial Aid.  The appeal process must be initiated by completing the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Form and including a letter of explanation and supporting documentation to our office in person or via email. If the appeal is emailed, the subject line of the email should read “SAP Appeal.”  The appeal letter should include the following:

  1. A concise letter of explanation that indicates the specifics reason(s) that impacted the student's ability to meet SAP standards (such as the death of a relative, illness or injury to the student, or other specific circumstance).
  2. A concise explanation that indicates how the circumstance has changed that will allow the student to meet SAP standards at the next evaluation period.
  3. Documentation in support of the appeal. Examples include but are not limited to (employer's letter, doctor's letter, police report, copies of medical bills, court documents, and death certificates.
    • If no documentation is available due to the nature of the appeal, it should be indicated on the appeal form. Students should be aware that additional follow-up may be required.

If a student is on a SAP Academic Plan and the conditions of the plan are not met at the end of the probationary period due to a new circumstance, a new SAP appeal should be submitted. Approval of subsequent appeals will require a new SAP Academic Plan if a SAP Academic Plan was previously submitted.

If a student would like their SAP Academic Plan reevaluated or adjusted for reasons such as not being able to continue full-time, courses are not offered, change of major, etc., the following should be done:

  1. Submit an appeal statement explaning why the adjustment is necessary
  2. The adjustment must be approved by the SAP Appeals Committee

SAP Appeal deadlines are announced each term but typically appeals are to be submitted no later than the end of each term. Click here to see applicable SAP deadlines for the current semester.

The timeframe to review a SAP appeal and render a decision varies throughout the course of the semester. After an appeal is submitted, students will be contacted via email with an expected timeframe for review. Generally, the review can take up to 2 weeks. Students will be notified of the appeal decision via email.