Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines -Loyola Institute for Ministry
*** We are in the process of updating these policies to incorporate new requirements that go into effect on July1, 2011 ***
Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree. This determination of progress must be made at least once a year and before the financial aid office disburses any federal aid funds for the subsequent semester.
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will basically following the university's academic regulations for graduate students to determine whether or not students participating in federal Title IV aid programs are making "satisfactory academic progress" towards completion of their degree requirements.
Students with Disabilities:
Students who are aware of learning or other disabilities should immediately contact the Office of Disability Services so that appropriate accommodations can be made. A student with a documented disability and functional limitations is still held to the same academic expectations as other students. If the student is registered with the Office of Disability Services and receiving appropriate accommodations, the student should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility purposes.
Areas that are not addressed in the graduate school bulletin or departmental sites will be addressed in this section.
The Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) offers several options for earning a graduate degree and continuing education certificates in pastoral studies and religious education. Students enrolled in the two degree granting programs are eligible to apply for Federal Student Loans. Students in the certificate programs need to find alternative ways to finance their costs.
- Master of Pastoral Studies (M.P.S.) - this is a 36 credit hour degree program
- Master of Religious Education (M.R.E) - this is a 36 credit hour degree program
Dual Degree Programs
- M.P.S. and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
- M.P.S. and Master of Science in Counseling (M.S.)
- M.P.S. and Master of Science in Criminal Justice (M.C.J.)
Basic Academic Standards:
Financial aid recipients must take only courses which apply to their graduate program.
Prerequisite undergraduate courses do not count toward enrollment status for graduate level financial assistance.Students enrolled in pre-requisite classes may qualify for senior class (undergraduate level).Federal Direct Loan limits for a maximum of 12 months. In these special cases, the completion rate and minimum cumulative grade point average of this policy apply.
Incompletes and Course Repeats
Incomplete grades must be converted to a passing grade by the end of the following regular term . Incompletes which remain beyond the following term will be considered failing grades for financial aid purposes.Graduate courses in which the minimum grade requirement is not met may be repeated only one time for financial aid purposes. Each occurrence on the academic transcript of a repeated course counts toward the maximum attempted credit limit stated under "Successful Completion Rate".
Grade Point Averages:
The qualitative standards for making progress will not normally be monitored by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, but by your program director and academic dean in accordance with the policies of each GRADUATE college.
In order to remain in good standing, a student must earn at least a C in all graduate courses taken and must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in Loyola University graduate coursework. Quantitative Standards:
The following section will outline the maximum time frame students have to complete the degree program. In general, students must complete a minimum of 75% of all attempted hours during 2 consecutive terms in order to stay on schedule to graduate within the maximum time frame to earn their degree.
Quatitative Standards - Maximum Time Frame to Earn a Degree:
At the end of each term, we must measure you quantitative progess towards completing your degree requirements. We will calculate the ratio of your earned and attempted hours as there is a maximum time frame for students to earn a graduate degree while receiving federal student aid funds.
The basic rule is that students must complete a minimun of 75% of all attempted hours over two consecutive semesters.
Students forfeit their aid eligibility once they have attempted 54 credit hours and failed to successfully earn 36 credits.
This time frame will be expanded for students in one of the joint degree programs.
Satisfactory Progress Definition:
A student who earns below a C in a graduate course, or whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, will be placed on academic probation. Students admitted under the conditional status are admitted on academic probation and will be notified of their probationary status in their letter of admission.
A student on probation has nine hours or two semesters (whichever comes first) to remove the academic deficiency. If the deficiency is not removed in the allotted time, the student will be excluded from the program as a graduate student.
- Upon receipt of course grade transcripts from the Office of Student Records, the Institute will notify students who have been placed on academic probation.
- Conditionally admitted students, or students on probation who do not remove their academic deficiency in the next term, will receive a second letter notifying them that subsequent academic deficiencies will lead to exclusion from the university as a graduate student.
- A probationary student who fails to make up his or her academic deficiency in the nine hours or two semesters will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.
Each aid recipient's record must be evaluated at the end of each term to determine that the student is meeting the standards described above. If the student has reached the maximum number of scheduled hours without earning the degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal financial aid programs.
Federal regulation require that these standards apply to all Graduate students, even to first time applicants who have previously enrolled at Loyola, or to those who have not been formally placed on Financial Aid probation.
Financial Aid Warning:
There is a minimal amount of time between the time when final fall grades must be posted and the start of spring semester. There is even less time between the time when final summer grades may be posted and the start of fall semester. Students incur a financial liability to the university as soon as the semester begins. Therefore, under most circumstances, we believe it would be unfair to retroactively remove a student's aid once the semester begins IF this is the first documented time that the student has experienced academic difficulty. These students will receive a "financial aid warning" letter which will remind them of the minimum academic requirements for their aid programs AND strongly urge them to take advantage of the academic services that are available to students. Students will be eligible to receive federal aid during this semester.These students will be notified that their records will be checked again at the end of the semester and that further action may be taken if there is not significant improvement during the current semester. Students can only receive aid for one semester under this "warning" status.
Each aid recipient's record will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester to determine that the student is meeting the standards described above. If the student has reached the maximum number of scheduled hours without earning the degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal financial aid programs.
Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students,even to first-time aid applicants who have previously enrolled at Loyola, or to those who have not been formally placed on probation.
Financial Aid Probation: If the student has not reached the maximum number of scheduled hours and it is determined that the student has fallen below the completion ratio standards for satisfactory progress, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and notified that his/her continued eligibility for federal financial aid assistance is in jeopardy. Students who fail to maintain the required minimum GPA will also be placed on financial aid probation. Students will normally be allowed only one probationary semester during their academic program.
Students on financial aid probation will receive a separate letter that will outline the academic requirements the student must meet in order to receive aid for following semester.If the student on financial aid probation meets the terms of the probation, he/she will be permitted to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs for a subsequent semester. Students who have been placed on probation shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for the purposes of receiving financial aid as long as the student continues to meet the academic requirements outlined in their probationary letter.
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will review the records of students who are on financial aid probation at the end of each semester.
If the student does not meet the terms of the probation, the student will forfeit eligibility for all federal financial aid programs.
Loss of eligibility due to lack of satisfactory progress:
A student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at Loyola at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his degree requirements in a more regular fashion. The mere passage of time will not ordinarily restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory progress.
Right to Appeal:
Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance. Your appeal must be filed within 30 days of notification that aid eligibility has been lost, and it must be made in writing to the Director of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. The appeal may not be based upon your need for the assistance of your lack of knowledge that your assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal would normally be based upon some unusual situation or condition which prevented you from passing more of your courses, or which necessitated that you withdraw from classes.
Appeal Approval Conditions: Appeals can only be approved if the Financial Aid Appeals Committee determines :
- that the student will be able to meet the university's satisfactory academic progress after the next payment period; or
- that the student has agreed to follow an academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student can meet the university's satisfactory academic progress guidelines by a specific point in time.
If an appeal is granted: Students whose appeals are granted will receive aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The conditions will be outlined in the letter sent to the student granting the appeal. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the student's record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester. Students who fail to meet the conditions outlined in their individualized academic plans during their conditional semester will not be to submit a subsequent appeal.
If you do not have grounds for an appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may still be able to regain your eligibility for future semesters. This is done by enrolling at Loyola at your own expenses -- without financial assistance -- and negotiating a contract with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, in advance, for the conditions under which eligibility may be restored.
Updated November 17, 2011