The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal regulation to monitor the academic progress of all federal financial aid recipients. Financial aid recipients must maintain the minimum standards as described in this Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy as a condition of continued eligibility for federal financial aid.
The Office of Financial Aid evaluates two elements of academic progress annually at the end of the spring semester. One element, grade point average, is used as a qualitative measure of the student’s progress in the classroom. The other element, minimum completion rate, is used to determine if the student will complete the program within the time standard established by the Department of Education. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress may result in the cancellation of federal financial aid awards.
Minimum Standards for IWP Students
- Grade Point Average – Student must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Minimum Completion Rate – The Office of Financial Aid will analyze each student’s course load to ensure completion of at least 67% of the course requirements associated with the published length of the student’s program
- 150% Eligibility – Students are eligible for financial aid up to 150% of the total number of credit hours it takes to complete the program (78 credit hours for a master’s program; 30 for a certificate program).
The Institute of World Politics expects that a full-time student will complete the MA program in a little more than two years (52 credits completed at the pace described in the chart below). Likewise, full-time students are expected to complete the certificate program in one year (20 credits completed at the pace described in the chart below).
If a student were to enroll as an MA student in the Fall of 2021, they would be evaluated for SAP at the end of the Spring 2022 semester. The student must have completed 8 credits in both the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Additionally, the student must maintain a 3.0 GPA during this period.
If a student were to enroll as an MA student in the spring of 2022, they will be evaluated for SAP at the end of the spring 2022 semester. This student must have completed 8 credits in this semester and maintained a GPA of 3.0 in order to maintain SAP.
If a student were to enroll as an MA student in the summer of 2021, they will be evaluated for SAP at the end of the Spring 2022 semester. Because the Institute does not include summer classes in the published length of the program, the student must complete 16 credits between the three semesters: Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022. However, please remember that, in order to be eligible for financial aid, students must be enrolled at least as “half-time” students (with a minimum of 6 credits in the semester).
Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
Upon completing its analysis at the end of the spring semester, the Office of Financial Aid will notify any student who does not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Notification will be done via email to the student’s IWP email address. Students who fail to meet these standards will be ineligible for financial aid without an approved, written SAP Appeal.
Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility through Appeal
In order to be considered for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, students must prepare and submit an SAP Appeal form to the Office of Financial Aid. This form should describe any unique circumstances which led to the student’s inability to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and it must outline the student’s plan to get back in compliance with those standards. For example, the plan must show how the student will regain the required GPA, completion rate, or graduate within 150% of the published degree timeline (as it pertains to the unsatisfactory status indicated in the e-mail communication). The SAP Appeal requires the signature of the Vice President of Student Affairs to validate that the plan is reasonable and achievable. SAP Appeal forms must be submitted within 30 days of notification of financial aid ineligibility.