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 the fall semester. All Oberlin College 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 per semester to remain eligible for financial aid.  Listed below is the minimum grade point average 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 RegistrarWithdrawals 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.

Minimum Completion Rate by Semester
 
Semester 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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%
GPA 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67 1.67

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 Collegeare 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.

Financial Aid 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.  Eligibility for financial aid will not be reviewed until the next evaluation period following the fall semester, or upon written appeal from the student.  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 a 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:

  1. Death in the family
  2. Separation or divorce
  3. Severe accident or illness of the student or family member
  4. Extended hospitalization of the student
  5. 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.