Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy - Graduate Counseling Program
*** 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.
Effective with the 2011-2012 academic year, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will be checking graduate students academic progress at the end of each semester.
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.
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.
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 as the certificate programs have not been approved for federal financial aid programs.
- Master of Science in Counseling/Master of Science in Criminal Justice : Learn more about the Dual Degree with Criminal Justice
- Master of Science in Counseling/Master of Music Therapy : Learn more about the Dual Degree with Music Therapy
- Master of Science in Counseling/Master of Pastoral Studies : Learn more about the Dual Degree with Loyola Institute for Ministry »
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.
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.
All students in the counseling program must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their counseling coursework throughout their tenure in the counseling program as outlined in the student handbook and the Graduate Bulletin . Students who are in a dual degree program may not count the courses from the other degree towards their Counseling GPA. Students who fall under the 3.0 GPA requirement (who are not under the conditional requirements outlined in the previous section), will be notified in writing that they are on Academic Probation.
It is important to note here, however, that there are several courses for which students are not allowed to receive less than a “B”, even if they are able to maintain the 3.0 GPA. The courses listed as a “Core Requirement” are considered by the counseling faculty to be so important, that if a student receives a “C” or lower, the student will be asked to retake the course and will not be allowed to take further courses which require the core requirement class as a prerequisite, until they have received a “B” or higher in the core requirement course. The student who retakes a core requirement course and is still unable to receive a “B” or higher will be dismissed from the program.
The following section will outline the maximum time frame students have to complete the degree program. In general, students enrolled 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.
Failure to Earn Any Credits During a Term:
Students who fail to earn any credits during a term will be automatically placed on financial aid probation for the next term. Students who fail to successfully complete all courses attempted with a 3.0 GPA during the probationary term will be excluded from receiving federal aid during the following term.
Maximum Time Frame to Earn a Degree:
There is a maximum time frame for students to earn a graduate degree while receiving federal student aid funds. The Counseling Program requires that students successfully complete 60 credit hours. Therefore, students will no longer be eligible for federal aid after they have attempted 90 credit hours in the program.
This time frame will be expanded for students in one of the joint degree programs.
Withdrawal from the University:
- Those students who withdraw officially from the university prior to the last day for dropping courses as recorded in the academic calendar will have the courses removed from their records. Students withdrawing from the university after the drop period but in the withdrawal period will receive W’s.
- Students receive federal student aid funds to cover school related expenses for a specific term. Students who withdrawn without completing the term MAY have to return some of the funds they received to the Department of Education. Learn More.
Re-admits and Conditional Admits:
The academic decision to re-admit a student does not automatically re-establish a student's eligibility to receive federal student aid funds.
Readmitted students are required to meet the federal Satisfactory Academic Progress standards outlined on this page. If you are returning to Loyola after an absence, and your former coursework would indicate that you are below the minimum progress requirements, you will need to appeal for reinstatement for your student aid eligibility by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form for Readmitted Students . This form will ask you to:
1. Describe the specific reason(s), events, or circumstances that prevented you from meeting the academic progress requirements. You will also need to explain what steps you have taken to address any of these issues.
2. Provide a specific plan/corrective action plan to improve your academic progress.
3. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plan of action and obtain a signature from your advisor to document that you have discussed your corrective action plan together.
Appeals should be directed to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Appeals are reviewed within fourteen working days, provided that all necessary documentation is received. You should receive an email with the outcome of your appeal within fourteen days of your submission of a complete appeal
Leave of Absence with intent to re-enroll
- Students enrolled in one term may apply to the MSCJA department for a leave of absence for either the next term or academic year. The student must contact the department and student records in order to apply of a leave of absence. Students returning from a leave of absence are subject to the policies of the bulletin under which they were originally admitted. A leave of absence is not granted to a student transferring to another university.
Satisfactory Progress Definition - Federal Student Aid Recipients:
Each aid recipient's record must be evaluated at least once a year. With our costs, we attempt to evaluate records for all students 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 each 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 term.
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 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 term; 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 16, 2011