Consumer Information

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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Overview

Federal regulations require that Benedictine University establish standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students to receive federal financial aid funds. Minimum standards of academic progress are established to encourage students to successfully complete coursework for which financial aid is received and to make progress toward a degree.

Financial Aid Programs Included Under this Policy

All federal and state financial aid programs are subject to this policy.

Students Subject to this Policy

All students currently receiving federal and/or state financial aid funds are subject to this policy.

Benedictine University students who have not previously received financial aid are required to meet the cumulative grade point average requirement of this policy prior to receipt of financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients

Satisfactory Academic Progress includes three criteria:

  1. Qualitative – Academic standing based on the Undergraduate or Graduate student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA);
  2. Quantitative – The student’s cumulative progression towards successful degree completion; and,
  3. Degree completion within a maximum timeframe of 150% of the published length of a program for undergraduate and graduate students.

In order to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, students must comply with the following requirements:

  • Remain in good academic standing or on academic probation. The minimum CGPA for an undergraduate is 2.0 and the minimum CGPA for a graduate student is 3.0 (as defined in the University catalog).
  • Maintain a completion rate of coursework equal to at least 67% of the total number of credit hours attempted. This quantitative requirement ensures the student is steadily progressing toward their degree by completing at least two-thirds of all attempted credit hours. For example, a student who has attempted a cumulative total of 12 credit hours must complete at least 8 credit hours to meet the requirement (12 hours x .67 = 8 credit hours).
  • Complete their degree requirements within 150% of the required hours to complete their degree. For example, a student enrolled in a traditional undergraduate bachelor’s degree program that requires a total of 120 credit hours, would have a maximum limit of 180 hours.

    Once a student has reached the maximum credits hours, the student is no longer eligible to receive federal or state financial assistance. All terms of enrollment are reviewed as well as all transferred credits regardless of whether aid was received.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review Process

Satisfactory Academic Progress for traditional undergraduate students is reviewed on an annual basis, typically at the end of the spring term. Satisfactory Academic Progress for learning team students is reviewed at the end of each payment period. Satisfactory Academic Progress for traditional graduate students and online students (undergraduate and graduate) is reviewed twice annually, at the end of the Spring and Fall quarter/session. Students failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified in writing of their loss of financial aid eligibility.

Appeal Procedure: Cancellation of financial aid because of a student’s failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress may be appealed if extenuating circumstances (illness, family problems, death of a family member, etc.) led to academic difficulties. The appeal must include information explaining why the student failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress; what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation; a realistic educational plan that outlines how the student will meet the SAP criteria; and a meeting with an academic advisor to assess the viability of the educational plan to meet the degree requirements. The student’s appeal must be in writing and submitted to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee.

An appeal may be approved only if:

  • The student will be able to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards after the subsequent payment period,

    OR
  • The student submits an academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards by a specific point in time.

Probation: If the student’s appeal is approved, he/she may continue to receive Title IV aid for one additional payment period. SAP will be monitored at the end of the probationary period.

Reinstatement: A student may regain eligibility for financial aid once the student has met the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid to request a review of his/her Satisfactory Academic Progress for reinstatement of assistance.

Definitions for Financial Aid Purposes

Completion of Courses

For undergraduate students, hours completed are based on grades of "A," "B," "C," "D" and "P." Hours with an "F" (failure), "W" (withdrawal), "I" (incomplete), "IP" (in progress) and "X" (deferred) are counted in the number of hours attempted, but not in the number of hours completed.

For graduate/doctoral students, hours completed are based on grades of "A," "B," "C," and "P." Note: It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when an incomplete grade has been satisfactorily completed. Hours with an “D”, "F" (failure), "W" (withdrawal), "I" (incomplete), "IP" (in progress) and "X" (deferred) are counted in the number of hours attempted, but not in the number of hours completed.

Note: It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when an incomplete grade has been satisfactorily completed.

Class repeats, all transfer credits and developmental course hours are counted in the total number of hours attempted/completed.

Cost of Attendance

These are costs related to a student's enrollment in a postsecondary school for a defined academic period. Cost of Attendance components include: tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal and transportation expenses.

Sample Student Expense Budget 2013-2014
Expense Cost
Books and Supplies $1,450
Room $5,700
Board $2,520
Personal $2,450
Transportation $1,650
View Current Tuition and Fees

How is Eligibility Determined?

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated from the information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law.

Federal Formula Need

The amount that remains after the expected family contribution has been subtracted from the cost of attendance is considered to be the student's federal formula need. A typical need-based aid package will consist of aid from various sources, usually a combination of educational loans, scholarship and grant assistance, and federal work-study.

Federal Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is the largest of the federal grant programs, and award amounts vary from one year to the next. Awards are determined based on the financial information submitted on the FAFSA, cost of attendance, whether the student will be full or part-time during the academic year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is awarded to Federal Pell recipients who demonstrate high need. SEOG awards varied based availability of funding.

State Grants

Illinois' Monetary Award Program (MAP) is one of the largest state administered need-based grant programs. Illinois residents enrolled at least half-time at an approved Illinois postsecondary institution may be eligible to receive MAP funding if they complete their FAFSA in a timely manner, demonstrate financial need and meet certain other criteria established by ISAC. Maximum award eligibility is determined each year based upon the availability of MAP funds.

Institutional Grants

A complete listing of Benedictine University's Institutional Scholarships can be found at here.

Federal Loans

Loans are considered to be a form of self-help assistance. Loan programs provide funds for educational purposes and are paid back with interest.

Federal Work-Study

Students are awarded Federal Work-Study as part of their financial aid package. The average Federal Work-Study (FWS) award is $3,000. It has been our experience that by working 20 hours a week, the students can earn the full $3,000 award. Students can find out about current jobs available by checking the bulletin board outside the Personnel Resources. Students are responsible for contacting the hiring supervisor and obtaining their own job. FWS students employed receive a bi-weekly paycheck.

How is Financial Aid Distributed?

Generally, financial aid is awarded for the full academic year and funds are disbursed in two installments.

Each term, the Student Accounts Office will send the student a tuition statement detailing tuition and fee charges. Estimated financial aid, excluding Federal Work Study, will reflect as a credit posted to the account. Outside scholarships will not show as a credit until funds have been received. Financial aid funds will first be used to pay for tuition, fee, and room and board charges, and other school charges. If there is an excess of financial aid, you will receive the remaining funds by check.

For traditional undergraduate students, graduate quarter and graduate semester students, financial aid will be posted each term after the add/drop period is over. Financial aid for students in the Adult Accelerated (undergraduate) program will be posted after the first week of courses in the second module of the semester. Students can review their statements online at MyBenU.

Students in non-term based cohort programs have financial aid disbursed according to their specific program calendar. Contact financialaid@ben.edu for Financial Aid questions or Student Accounts at SAR@ben.edu for disbursement posting information.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Receiving financial aid is based on admission to a program of study at Benedictine University and submission of the Benedictine University Financial Aid Application and, if interested in need-based financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must apply for financial aid each year. You must meet the guidelines for satisfactory academic progress toward your degree.

Your current year financial aid eligibility is outlined on your Financial Aid Notification Letter. For traditional undergraduate students, graduate quarter and graduate semester students, if appropriate applications have been completed and submitted, Title IV assistance (excluding Federal Work-Study which is paid directly to the student for hours actually worked) and institutional assistance will be posted to your student account after the term add/drop period is over. Students in non-term based cohort programs have financial aid disbursed according to their specific program calendar.

Your financial aid cost of attendance budget is based on tuition charges and calculated averages for room and board, books, personal expenses, transportation, and fees. Your financial aid award package cannot exceed the cost of attendance budget.

If you and/or your family have experienced a major change in financial circumstances since filing the FAFSA, you may submit a formal letter of appeal including documentation of your appeal to the Financial Aid Office. Consideration of any of the following circumstances will be evaluated:

  • Loss of income or benefits/unemployment
  • Family death
  • Unusually high out of pocket medical or dental expenses (excluding insurance premiums)

All appeal requests require FAFSA verification. Other documents may be requested on an individual basis.

Work-Study Employment: Terms and Conditions

The Federal Work-Study program (FWS) provides an opportunity for Benedictine University students to earn a portion of their education expenses by working part-time on campus. Interested students should stop by Benedictine University's Employee Services department to inquire about available FWS job openings.

Important points about your Federal Work-Study award:

  • If a student is eligible to participate in the FWS program, the FWS award amount will appear on his/her Financial Aid Notification Award Letter.
  • The amount of the FWS award represents potential earnings from a FWS job. The actual amount of earnings will be based on the student's actual hours worked and rate of pay. It is the student's responsibility to work sufficient hours to earn their maximum FWS award funds.
  • The FWS award amount will not appear as a credit to the student's statement of account. Students will receive a regular (bimonthly) paycheck for their FWS earnings. Students may arrange with the Student Account Office to have their FWS earnings applied to their student account.

Federal Aid for Study Abroad Programs

Students enrolled in a study abroad program may still be eligible for financial aid. Depending on the program, the student may not be eligible for all types of financial aid.

Students may enroll in an exchange program in which classes are registered at Benedictine University and tuition is paid to Benedictine University. Course credit is generated from within Benedictine University appearing as home institutional credit. Students enrolled in these programs may be eligible for financial aid as a currently enrolled student.

Students may work with external programs and course credit is viewed as transfer credit. Courses are not registered through Benedictine University and tuition is not paid to Benedictine University. Students may be eligible for financial aid (excluding all Benedictine University institutional grants and scholarships) through a consortium agreement with the external program. Students with questions should contact the Financial Aid Office for information about the consortium process and requirements.

Student Attendance and Financial Aid

Financial aid for learning team (cohort) programs is based on the expectation that students will follow their program’s course curriculum without interruption. Recent Department of Education regulations require that a student who is absent for a period of 14 days must notify the school to discuss the reason for their absence and plans to continue in the program.

If a student is out of attendance for 30 days and the student has not contacted the University, the Office of Financial Aid must assume that the student has withdrawn from the program. If the student fails to contact the University, financial aid eligibility may be affected and funds that have already been credited to a student account may be reduced or returned to the Department of Education.

Office of Financial Aid
BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY
Lownik Hall - Main Floor
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Email: financialaid@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6100
Fax: (630) 829-6101