Students who receive Federal Student Financial Aid must, in accordance with federal, state, and institutional requirements, be in good standing and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward obtaining their degree or certificate.
Under Federal Title IV law, a University’s SAP requirements must meet certain minimum requirements, and be at least as strict as the University’s standards for good academic standing.
For full-time graduate students, this policy applies to students applying for financial aid for semesters/periods of enrollment that begin with the summer 2013 semester. For part-time graduate students, this policy applies to students applying for financial aid for semesters/periods of enrollment that begin with the Fall 2012 semester.
The federal government requires an institution to use three measurements to determine SAP: qualitative, quantitative (pace), and maximum timeframe. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (or equivalent measure), maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of courses attempted, and complete a degree or certificate within the University’s maximum timeframe. The standards used to evaluate academic progress are cumulative and, therefore must include all periods of the enrollment (even periods during which the student did not receive financial aid). The JHU School of Arts and Sciences & Engineering graduate students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward their academic objectives, as measured by these three standards.
Minimum Cumulative Grade-Point Average (Qualitative Measure)
The Office of Student Financial Services converts letter grades into their numeric equivalents, calculates a GPA, and considers students to have the equivalent of a B average if their calculated cumulative GPA is a greater than or equal to a 3.0. Only grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, I/F, FN, FPF and U are factored into the GPA calculation. All other grades will be ignored from the qualitative measure. Grades of C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, I/F, FN and U are considered unsatisfactory grades. A student may earn no more than 3 unsatisfactory grades in their program.
Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate (Quantitative Measure)
Minimum cumulative completion rate/pace of 67%, defined as total number of completed course units divided by total number of attempted course units. Financial aid recipients must maintain a cumulative completion rate of completed courses equal to or exceeding 67% of the courses attempted. All grades (except for audited course work) will be included in the measure of pace, including W and I grades.
Maximum Time Frame to Completion of Degree or Certificate
Master’s students must complete their degree within 5 years of matriculation, and Doctoral students must complete their degree within 12 years of matriculation. Periods of non-enrollment (e.g. LOA) are excluded.
Treatment of Grades
|Type of Grade||Included in Qualitative Measure?||Included in Quantitative Measure (PACE)?|
|A, B, C, D, F, FN, FPF, I/F, U||Yes||Yes|
Financial Aid Warning Status
Students who fail to meet the minimum standards will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the subsequent semester/period of enrollment. Students are still eligible for financial aid during the “Warning” semester. Students receiving financial aid for the first time will be placed on Financial Aid Warning as applicable if they did not meet the minimum grade standards as noted in this policy based on the previous period of enrollment prior to applying for financial aid.
Financial Aid Suspension: Losing Title IV Eligibility
Students who, while on Financial Aid Warning, fail to achieve the minimum standards at the end of the following semester will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension status for subsequent semesters/periods of enrollment. No financial aid will be disbursed during subsequent semesters/periods of enrollment until the student regains financial aid eligibility. Students who do not complete their program within the Maximum Timeframe lose eligibility for financial aid and are placed on Financial Aid Suspension status.
Financial Aid Probation and Reinstatement of Aid
Reinstatement of financial aid after a student is placed in Financial Aid Suspended status is achieved in one of the following ways:
- The student submits an appeal and Appeals Committee grants the appeal. The student is then placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next semester/period of enrollment and is eligible for aid during the Financial Aid Probation semester. If the appeal is approved but the Committee has determined that the student will not be able to meet the SAP standards within one semester/period of enrollment, then the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation with an Academic Plan which if followed will ensure the student is able to meet the SAP standards by a specific point in time.
- The student registers for coursework while on Financial Aid Suspension status, pays for tuition and fees without the help of student financial aid, and does well enough in the coursework to satisfy all the satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the subsequent semester(s)/period(s) of enrollment.
*Students who are beyond the maximum timeframe to completion may regain financial aid eligibility on a semester-by-semester basis through the appeal process.
Students who wish to appeal must submit an appeal of Financial Aid Suspended status in writing to the financial aid office at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the next term. Students should follow the guidelines noted on the SAP Appeal Form giving special attention to the academic plan. The committee will review the appeal and notify students (in writing) of the decision within 14 working days after the Appeals Committee meets and makes its determination. Appeals should include:
- The grounds for appeal (i.e., working too many hours, etc.)
- Demonstration that the student understands the reason behind failure to meet the SAP requirements
- Specific plans to rectify the student’s current academic status
For full-time graduate students
The committee will review the appeal and consult with academic advisers and other involved parties as warranted. Appeals will only be approved If the committee is in agreement that the student’s grounds for the appeal are reasonable, the student has a reasonable chance to succeed and graduate and an academic plan is in place. Students will receive written notification of the decision. All decisions on such appeals are final. Students who lose eligibility for financial aid due to not meeting the minimum SAP standards more than one time during their program may submit an appeal each time.
For part-time graduate students
The committee will review the appeal and consult with either AAP or EP and other involved parties as warranted. Appeals will only be approved if the committee is in agreement that the student’s grounds for the appeal are reasonable, the student has a reasonable chance to succeed and graduate and an academic plan is in place. Students will receive written notification of the decision. All decisions on such appeals are final. Students who lose eligibility for financial aid due to not meeting the minimum SAP standards more than one time during their program may submit an appeal each time.
Students who lose eligibility and submit an appeal may be placed on an Academic Plan if the appeal is approved. The purpose of an academic plan is to support the student in bringing himself or herself back into compliance with the financial aid SAP standards by a specific point in time in order to ensure that the student will be able to successfully complete the degree or certificate program.
The academic plan will be specifically tailored to the student and may include milestones and specific requirements such as a reduced course load, specific courses or tutoring. Students on an academic plan are still responsible to meet the SAP requirements in the subsequent semester/period of enrollment, will lose eligibility if the SAP standards are not met, and need to go through the appeal process in order to regain eligibility. The student’s progress in the academic plan will be taken into account in any subsequent appeal process of financial aid eligibility.
How does repeat coursework affect a student’s SAP?
All repeated coursework will count in the qualitative (GPA) computation. Every repeat attempt will be included in the completion rate determination.
How do classes taken at another institution and transferred to our schools affect a student’s SAP?
All coursework accepted for transfer to the student’s program of study by The Johns Hopkins University Schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering is taken into consideration in the quantitative measurement component of SAP as both attempted and earned coursework. Grades earned at other institutions are not counted in the qualitative measure.
How does a change of major impact a student’s SAP evaluation?
For students who change majors within their degree program, only coursework attempted that is applicable to the new major is included in the quantitative measure of pace. All coursework s included in the qualitative measure as required under federal law.
How does remedial, preparatory, or ESL coursework impact a student’s SAP evaluation?
Grades earned for remedial coursework and ESL coursework are included in the both the qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (completion rate) measure of SAP.
How often is a student’s SAP reviewed and how are students notified?
For full-time students
Financial aid recipients are reviewed annually for SAP at the end of the spring semester. Student Financial Services will contact students (in writing) who do not meet the SAP standards and lose eligibility for Federal Title IV financial aid.
For part-time students
Financial aid recipients are reviewed for SAP at the end of each traditional semester of enrollment (Fall, Spring, Summer). Student Financial Services will contact students (in writing) who do not meet the SAP standards and are placed either in a warning status or lose eligibility.
Is financial aid probation the same as academic probation?
No. Financial aid recipients must meet the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards, which are at least as strict as the schools’ academic standards, in accordance with federal Title IV law.