Federal regulations require all institutions that administer Title IV student aid programs to monitor the academic progress towards degree completion of those students applying for and receiving those funds. The Office of Financial Aid reviews satisfactory academic progress for all students receiving financial aid at the end of each academic semester. All Oberlin College and Conservatory students applying for Title IV Federal Aid must meet the criteria for academic progress stated in this policy.
The federal programs governed by these regulations are the following:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal College Work Study
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Stafford Loans
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
Satisfactory academic progress standards include qualitative and quantitative components:
1. Qualitative component: Grade Point Average
Financial aid recipients must maintain a pre-established cumulative grade point average (GPA) per semester to remain eligible for financial aid. Listed below is the minimum GPA a student must maintain for each semester in order to remain eligible for financial aid.
Some students receiving financial aid may repeat courses, receive incompletes or withdraw from classes. These topics are addressed below, with the information being consistent with the Oberlin College Course Catalog.
- Repeated Courses – For students matriculating fall 2004 and later, a student may repeat once a course for which a grade of D or F is received. Both grades and both courses count in calculation of the GPA. Only one of the courses counts as credit toward graduation.
- Incomplete Courses – An incomplete grade is a temporary grade, assigned at the end of a semester, to permit students additional time to complete work in a course. Incomplete courses do not earn credit or influence the grade point in the semester in which the course is incomplete, however, the course grades are counted once concluded.
- Withdrawal Grades – A student may withdraw from a class per the established withdrawal procedures established by the Office of the Registrar. Withdrawals and NP’s do not earn credit or get calculated into the cumulative GPA.
- Transfer Students – Within the limits stated in the Oberlin College Course Catalog, credit earned at other fully accredited colleges and universities to be applied to the requirements for the Oberlin degree provided that the student received a “C” level or better and the coursework falls within the scope of a liberal arts curriculum. Transfer credits count toward credits earned, however, they do not get calculated into the cumulative GPA.
2. Quantitative component: Pace
The maximum time frame in which a student must complete his or her degree must be no longer than 150% of the published length of the program. For example, if a student requires 112 credits to graduate then the student can attempt no more than 168 credits (112 multiplied by 150%). Pace is calculated by the cumulative number of credit hours successfully completed divided by the cumulative number of attempted hours. Listed below is the minimum completion rate (cumulative credits earned divided by cumulative credits attempted) a student must maintain for each semester in order to remain eligible for financial aid.
|Completion Rate A&S||33%||42%||47%||50%||53%||57%||61%||64%||67%||70%||74%||78%||X||X||X|
|Completion Rate CON||33%||42%||47%||50%||53%||57%||61%||64%||67%||70%||74%||78%||X||X||X|
|Completion Rate DD||33%||42%||47%||50%||53%||57%||61%||64%||67%||70%||74%||78%||81%||83%||86%|
Attempted Credits and Earned Credits
All credits for courses in which a student receives a letter grade ‘D’ or better are considered earned.
All credits for courses in which a student receives a ‘Pass’ are considered earned.
All credits for courses in which a student receives a letter grade ‘F’ or a ‘No Pass’ are considered attempted but not earned.
Any repeated courses in which a student receives a ‘D’ grade or better, or a ‘Pass’ are considered attempted and earned. Repeated courses with a letter grade ‘F’ or a ‘No Pass’ are considered attempted but not earned.
Transfer credits from another institution that are accepted by Oberlin College are considered attempted and earned.
Incompletes are not factored in to the Satisfactory Academic Progress formula until a grade is finalized.
If a student withdraws from a course after the last day of an official withdrawal period, (last day of the 8th week for regular non-module classes) the student will receive a letter grade or a P/NP and the credit hours will be considered attempted; whether or not the credit is considered earned will depend on the finalized grade. If the student officially withdraws within the specified period of time for a course withdrawal, the student will receive a ‘W’ which does not count as attempted or earned credits. All withdrawn credits will be counted as attempted but not earned credits in the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.
Treatment of "Other" Periods of Enrollment
- Semesters when a student does not receive Title IV Aid - for semesters when a student receives no Title IV aid, this course work will still count towards the qualitative, quantitative and maximum time frame components of the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
- Summer Term(s) - the College does NOT offer summer terms, and therefore these time periods are not considered in the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
Change in Major(s), Degree(s) or Pursuit of Second Degree
Students who change major(s) or degree(s), or choose the pursue a second degree are expected to complete all course work within a maximum time frame of 150% from their initial enrollment date. No additional time is granted in such instances. The only exception to this policy is for a student who enters the College's 5 year double degree program conducted by both the College of Arts & Sciences and the Conservatory of Music. In this instance the student will be expected to complete all graduation requirements within 150% of the expected 5 year time fram of the Double Degree program. Double majors in just the College of Arts & Sciences or Conservatory of Music ARE NOT considered Double Degree majors, and must complete their degree requirements within 150% of the expected 4 year time frame to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Treatment of Non-Credit Remedial Courses
Because the College does NOT offer non-credit remedial courses, these courses will not be counted towards meeting the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Financial Aid Warning and Suspension
A financial aid recipient who fails to meet one or more of the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified in writing by the Office of Financial Aid of his/her status. After the first semester a student does not meet one or more of these requirements the student will be considered on Financial Aid warning and is still eligible to receive aid for the following term. If a student fails to meet one or more of these criteria in a second consecutive semester, they will be considered on Financial Aid Suspension and lose eligibility for financial aid in the next consecutive term. Eligibility for financial aid will not be reviewed until the next evaluation period, or upon written appeal from the student for a probationary semester. To be removed from financial aid suspension, the student must make up the appropriate grade point average and/or academic completion rate prior to the next evaluation period.
Appeal for Probationary Semester
A student who is denied federal aid because of a failure to meet SAP standards after the evaluation period may appeal this determination to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee by submitting a letter of appeal. An appeal must be based on significant mitigating circumstances that seriously impacted academic performance. Submitting an SAP appeal does NOT guarantee continued eligibility for federal aid, as an appeal may be denied. Examples of special circumstances affecting academic performance may include but are not necessarily limited to:
Death in the family
Separation or divorce
Severe accident or illness of the student or family member
Extended hospitalization of the student
Re-enrollment after a period of extended absence
If an appeal for a probationary semester is denied by the Committee, the student will be notified and the decision is final for that semester. The student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal aid for a subsequent semester by taking action that brings him or her into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of Oberlin’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
If a student's appeal is approved by the Committee, the student will be notified and given a probationary semester of financial aid eligibility. For the probationary semester, the student will be considered academically eligible for federal aid for which the student has applied and is otherwise eligible.
Once a probationary semester has concluded, the student may re-establish eligibility to be considered for federal aid for their next semester of enrollment by either 1) taking action that brings him or her into compliance with the qualitative and quantitative components of Oberlin’s SAP standard or 2) demonstrating the meeting of the specific academic plan and standards for a Probationary Semester as established by the Appeals Committee.
Special Note Regarding Institutional Financial Aid
The information above regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress relates to Federal and State Financial Aid only. Oberlin reserves the right to maintain or discontinue Institutional Financial Aid based on a student’s maintaining good academic and social standing.