Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress

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In order to be eligible to receive Title IV federal aid, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress. Please note that satisfactory academic progress may be different from certain standards set by the school for your specific program.

The Graceland University Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for financial aid apply to all graduate students who want to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility. The standards apply to the student’s entire academic record during their time enrolled in the graduate program whether or not the student received financial aid for previous terms of enrollment.

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Eligibility and Evaluation

To qualify for financial aid, graduate students must progress according to the following standards. All financial aid recipients will be evaluated by two measurements: quantitative and qualitative. All graduate students must meet or exceed the minimum requirements for both measurements in order to remain eligible for financial aid.

  • The quantitative measure is the pace in which it will take the student to complete their program. All graduate students must obtain a 75% pace of completion or higher. The pace of completion standard is determined by the scheduled length of completion for the graduate student’s program (this varies by program) divided by the maximum timeframe of 133% defined by Graceland University for all Graduate Students. The pace of completion is calculated for each student by taking total credits completed (successfully completed with passing grades) divided by the total credits attempted. (Please see the section below, Attempted Credits, for clarification of what credits are considered attempted). A student will become ineligible to receive financial aid once it becomes evident that the student is unable to complete the program requirements without exceeding the maximum timeframe rather than waiting until they have exceeded the maximum timeframe.
  • The qualitative measurement is the cumulative GPA of the student during their enrollment at Graceland during their graduate program. Transferred credits will not be used in the calculation of cumulative GPA. All graduate students must receive a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher at each evaluation. (For information on how GPA is figured, refer to System of Grading Policy.)

The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be evaluated at the end of each payment period (semester or trimester).

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Attempted Credits

Attempted credits include the following: successfully completed courses, non-passing credits (including F’s, withdrawals, incompletes, and audit grades), repeated courses, and transfer credits. Transfer credits refer to all credits accepted towards the completion of the student’s program (for more information in regards to accepted transfer credits refer to the Transfer Student Policy).

If a student is not meeting the minimum requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, they will be notified by email from their Student Financial Services Advisor that they are not meeting SAP.

Developmental Studies (Remedial Coursework): Undergraduate students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of developmental coursework as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. Developmental Studies are figured in the total of completed and attempted hours as well as part of the student’s cumulative GPA.

Academic Forgiveness: In the event that a student has been granted Academic Forgiveness, this does not exclude their previous academic record when figure hours completed, hours earned, or cumulative GPA as it pertains to satisfactory academic progress.

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Financial Aid Warning Period

Students in the Graduate Programs are not eligible for a Financial Aid Warning Period.

Financial Aid Appeal

If a student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid and must appeal due to not meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards, the student will be notified by email from their Student Financial Services Advisor that they must complete a SAP Appeal and be approved in order to be granted a Financial Aid Probation period.

Appeals for Financial Aid Probation must be submitted in writing or by email to their Student Financial Services Advisor, no later than two weeks from receipt of the Advising Form.

The appeal must contain the following information:

  1. An Advising Form will be emailed to the student. This form will outline the progress required to regain SAP eligibility. The student will sign and return this form.
  2. A statement by the student that outlines the circumstances that the student believes contributed to their lack of academic progress.
  3. The steps that the student plans to make to remedy their current academic situation.

A student may be placed on Financial Aid Probation if a SAP Appeal has been approved by Student Financial Services. Financial Aid Probation allows a student to receive financial aid for one payment period. A student can only receive financial aid for a subsequent payment period if that student is now making SAP. It is possible for a student to receive more than one Financial Aid Probation during their academic career as long as they are not consecutive with another Financial Aid Probation. Financial Aid Probation typically is only for one payment period. On a case-by-case basis, the student’s academic plan could be approved to extend longer in order for the student to regain SAP eligibility.


After a student’s SAP Appeal has been reviewed, the student will be contacted by the Student Financial Services Office Manager who will explain the outcome of their appeal. The Office Manager will explain if the student is being granted a Financial Aid Probation and/or what the student needs to do moving forward to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards.