Illinois College requires that students earn the bachelor’s degree within 10 semesters of fulltime enrollment (pro-rated for part-time enrollment). The College requires students enrolled in 3-2 programs to earn the Illinois College bachelor’s degree within 12 semesters of full-time enrollment including semesters of study at the cooperating institution. Students with special circumstances may make written appeals to the Office of Academic Affairs for exceptions to these requirements. The following policy was approved by the Illinois College Faculty on February 3, 2014.
In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 1965, as amended by Congress in 2008, Illinois College has established a minimum Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) Policy. When a student accepts financial aid, he or she also accepts the responsibility for making satisfactory academic progress towards a degree. In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid funding, a student must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards stated below.
A student will be considered to be making satisfactory progress if he or she meets ALL of the following standards. Failure to comply with any ONE of the standards will affect Academic Standing and may result in a loss of financial aid eligibility. Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated after the completion of each semester.
All federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs administered by the Illinois College Office of Student Financial Services are covered by this policy.
This policy replaces all previous SAP Policies and beginning in Fall Semester 2014 goes into effect for all students.
STANDARDS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Unless a student is placed on SAP warning, an undergraduate student must maintain the minimum cumulative GPA as displayed in the chart below in order to remain in good academic standing and to receive financial aid. A student must achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the fourth semester and maintain it every semester thereafter. GPAs are calculated to the fourth decimal place and will not round up. Transfer students should refer to the section at the end of this policy for additional information.
# Semesters Cumulative GPA Required 1 1.5000 2 1.7000 3 1.9000 4 or more 2.0000
- Completion Rate
All students in their first year at Illinois College must successfully complete 66% of all attempted credit hours. After the first year, a student must reach a cumulative Completion Rate of 75% of all attempted credit hours. The Completion Rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of earned hours the student has successfully completed by the cumulative number of hours the student has attempted. These percentages will be calculated to two decimal places and will not round up.
- Course grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and CR will be considered attempted and successfully completed.
- Course grades of F and NCR will be considered attempted and unsuccessfully completed.
- Course grades of CR (credit) will be considered attempted and successfully completed, but they will not affect the student’s grade point average.
- Course grades of I (incomplete) indicate a student has not yet completed the course, and therefore, will not be considered as successfully completed. An incomplete grade does not earn credit or influence the grade point average. However, an incomplete grade will count toward total credits attempted. If an “I” grade is later changed to a grade, the student’s progress will be re-evaluated.
- Course grades of W (withdrawn from class) do not earn credit toward graduation or toward satisfying the minimum credit hours requirement; however, these credits will count toward the total attempted credits and the Maximum Timeframe requirement (see below). Within the drop/add period (the first ten days of a term), a student may drop courses without a grade. These courses are removed from the academic record and will not count as attempted hours.
- Audit courses (AU) are not counted as either attempted or completed credits and are not eligible for financial aid funding.
- Credit hours from another institution that are accepted at Illinois College must count as both attempted and completed hours.
- Maximum Timeframe Rule
In addition to the two measures of academic progress, a student must complete their program of study within 150% of the standard timeframe required to earn their degree. With 120 hours needed to complete degree requirements, an Illinois College student must complete a degree within 180 attempted hours. If a student will go over 180 hours in their last semester, they must appeal to the Office of Academic Affairs to obtain an exception to this rule.
FINANCIAL AID GOOD STANDING STATUS
A student who is meeting all of the SAP Standards above is considered in good standing and is eligible for financial aid funding.
If a student fails to meet either the cumulative GPA standard or the Completion Rate standard, he or she is placed on Academic and Financial Aid warning requiring that he or she must meet the GPA and Completion Rate standards by the end of the following semester. Warning status lasts for only one semester during which the student remains in good academic standing and may continue to participate in intercollegiate athletics and to receive financial aid funds. A student who fails to make satisfactory progress after the warning period loses his or her aid eligibility unless he or she successfully appeals and is placed on probation.
SAP PROBATION STATUS
A student who fails to meet SAP Standards may be subject to Academic Suspension but may appeal to have his or her financial aid eligibility reinstated for one additional semester. A student who successfully appeals is placed on Academic and Financial Aid Probation.
A student who is placed on probation is not in good academic standing and is not eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics until he or she meets the SAP standards.
During the probationary period, a student has one semester to satisfactorily meet the SAP Standards unless his or her Academic Plan allows otherwise. An Academic Plan may be developed with the student by the Office of Academic Affairs to ensure the student will be able to meet all SAP Standards within a given period of time. The Academic Plan may set individual goals for a student that do not bring the student into compliance with SAP at the end of the semester but do move the student toward timely graduation. If SAP standards are met at the end of the probationary period, the student returns to Good Academic and Financial Aid standing for the next semester of enrollment. If the goals of an individual Academic Plan are met, without attaining the SAP standards, the student will stay on SAP probation and remain eligible for financial aid. If neither SAP standards nor the Academic Plan goals are met at the end of the probationary period, the student will be placed on SAP suspension.
A student can be placed on or continue SAP Probation under the following circumstances:
- If, after one semester of SAP warning, the student does not meet the SAP standards, he or she may be placed on SAP Probation if he or she successfully appeals his or her SAP Suspension for not meeting the SAP standards.
- If he or she meets the goals of a customized Academic Plan while on probation in the previous semester but is still not achieving the SAP standards.
SAP SUSPENSION STATUS
A student who earns less than a 1.2 semester GPA or fails to meet the SAP standards or fails to meet the goals of an Academic Plan while on SAP Probation may be immediately placed on SAP Suspension. As long as a student is on suspension, he or she is not eligible for any financial aid funding at Illinois College. A student may appeal this status; however, submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval.
A student who loses financial aid eligibility because he or she is not meeting SAP Standards may restore his or her eligibility in one of the following ways:
- Successfully appealing the loss of eligibility. To appeal, the student must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal with supporting documentation to the Office of Academic Affairs. If, based on the appeal, the Office of Academic Affairs determines the student should be able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the subsequent semester; he or she may be placed on probation without an academic plan for one semester only. A progress review is required at the end of that semester. If, based on the initial appeal, the student will require more than one semester to meet progress standards; he or she may be placed on probation with an Academic Plan that ensures the student is able to meet the SAP standards by a specific time. A progress review at the end of one semester is required of a student on probation status to determine if the student is meeting the requirements of the Academic Plan. If the student is meeting the requirements of the Academic Plan, the student is eligible to receive financial aid as long as the student continues to meet those requirements and is reviewed every semester according to the requirements specified in the plan. If the conditions of the Academic Plan are not met, the student will no longer be eligible to continue at Illinois College or to receive financial aid funding until such time as SAP Standards are met. A student must also appeal to change their plan. He or she must explain what has happened to make the change necessary and how he or she will be able to make academic progress.
- By completing one full-time semester or two full-time quarters at another college/ university which allow the student to achieve the SAP standards. Keep in mind that credits taken elsewhere will not resolve the Cumulative GPA component of SAP, except under certain conditions, but may be used to resolve the Completion Rate requirement. Courses taken must be chosen in consultation with the Registrar. Simply sitting out of school for a semester or two will not restore eligibility for a student who has lost eligibility to receive financial aid funding due to not meeting SAP Standards. A student who has been suspended from Illinois College by the Academic Affairs Office but is subsequently given permission to re-enroll is not automatically eligible to receive financial aid funding. Readmission decisions are separate from funding decisions.
Other than when a student is placed on financial aid warning or probation or has agreed to an academic plan as outlined above, he or she can regain eligibility only by taking action that brings him or her into compliance with satisfactory progress standards. However, neither paying for classes with the student’s own funds nor simply sitting out for a term affects a student’s academic progress standing. It is necessary to make changes to the GPA or Completion Rate that achieve the SAP standards to reestablish aid eligibility.
SAP APPEAL PROCESS
A student who fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards has the right to appeal the suspension of their financial aid funding. The appeal cannot be based upon the student’s need for assistance or student’s lack of knowledge that his or her funding was in jeopardy. Appeals must be based on some type of extenuating circumstance (death, illness, accident, natural disaster, activation into military service, previously undiagnosed learning disability, etc.) that impacted negatively upon student’s ability to meet the required standards and based on what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. The SAP Appeal process is a two-part process. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee approval. The appeal process is a request for an exception to the SAP Policy. Not all circumstances will warrant an exception to the SAP Policy. The student must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Academic Affairs Office including a detailed statement explaining the extenuating circumstance(s) along with third party documentation (doctor’s statement, death certificate, police report, activation papers, etc.) verifying his or her claim. In addition, the appeal must address what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. The appeal will be reviewed and a determination of whether or not the appeal has merit will be made. Appeals submitted without all required documents will be considered incomplete and denied due to lack of sufficient evidence.
Keep in mind that due to the limited amount of time between semesters, a complete review of all financial aid recipients’ SAP standards may not be possible before financial aid funds are credited to the student account or bills are due; therefore, a student who is subsequently determined to be ineligible under the SAP Standards will have their funds returned to the appropriate federal and/or state agency and the student will be billed for the amount owed to the college.
A student will be notified of decisions regarding their Satisfactory Academic Progress through his or her Illinois College email.
RE-ADMISSION WITHOUT FINANCIAL AID
At the discretion of the Office of Academic Affairs, a student may appeal for re-admission to the college without financial aid.
A transfer student who enrolls at Illinois College with 24 credits or more must meet the standards listed above with the exception of their first semester at Illinois College as a full-time student. For this first semester, the standard for good academic standing is a GPA of 1.7 or above, the standard for being placed on SAP warning is 1.69 or less. Fifteen hours of transfer work count as one semester for calculating the number of semesters. The grades earned on transfer work do not count toward the grade point average at Illinois College.