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 credit 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 and graduate students is reviewed on an annual basis, typically at the end of the spring term. Satisfactory Academic Progress for learning team undergraduate and graduate students is reviewed at the end of each payment period. Satisfactory Academic Progress for online undergraduate and graduate students is reviewed twice, at the end of the Fall and Spring sessions. 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.

An appeal to reinstate financial aid must be received at least thirty days prior to the anticipated term of enrollment.

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 or doctoral students, hours completed are based on grades of "A," "B," "C," and "P." Hours with a “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.

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

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

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact:

Office of Financial Aid
Lownik Hall
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL  60532
(630) 829-6100

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 2014-2015
Expense Cost
Books and Supplies $1,450
Room $5,850
Board $2,680
Personal $2,450
Transportation $1,680
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:

Current Students:

http://www.ben.edu/current-students/scholarship.cfm

New Students:

http://www.ben.edu/admissions/undergraduate/freshman/scholarships.cfm

http://www.ben.edu/admissions/undergraduate/transfer/sholarships.cfm

http://www.ben.edu/admissions/graduate/scholarships.cfm


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

Rights and Responsibilities

As a student you have the right to:

  • Know what financial assistance is available to you, including all federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • Know the deadlines for submitting applications for applicable financial aid programs and the process required.
  • Know how your financial need is determined, including how cost of attendance budgets are developed.
  • Know what resources are considered in the calculation of your financial need, and how much of your need has been met.
  • An explanation of the types of aid contained in your financial aid award as well as how to retain eligibility for those funds (if applicable).
  • Request a review of your current financial situation if you meet certain criteria based on changes since filing the current aid year FAFSA application.
  • Know what portion of your aid package is grant or gift aid, and what portion must be repaid. In addition, you have the right to know interest rates, total amount to be repaid, procedures for repayment, when repayment begins, and how long you have to repay the loan.
  • Know the criteria for continued financial aid eligibility, including guidelines for the determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the Department of Education.
  • Know the method and frequency of financial aid disbursements.

As a student you have the responsibility to:

  • Be aware of your ability to pay any institutional charges based on your available financial aid and personal resources.
  • Review and understand the terms and conditions of your financial aid award.
  • Complete all requirements accurately, in a timely manner, and by the appropriate deadlines.
  • Inform us if you intend to enroll less than full time for any given term so that your aid can be properly adjusted and disbursed.
  • Inform us of any outside scholarships, assistantships, or additional resources that you receive.
  • Fill out the FAFSA application completely and accurately. If selected for verification you will provide all requested documents in a timely manner, and ensure that all submitted materials are complete and accurate. Falsification of information on application forms for federal financial assistance is considered a criminal offense, and you may be subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • Read and understand all forms that you are asked to submit or sign, realizing that you are legally responsible for all agreements that you sign.
  • Know and comply with all policies and procedures of Benedictine University.
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.

Professional Judgement

If you or your parent(s) have had a significant change in your family financial situation since you filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) The Office of Financial Aid can take certain circumstances into account for a possible revision of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number that is calculated by the FAFSA.

Some common reasons for an appeal:

  • Loss of employment –Student or parent has been laid off or hours reduced.
  • Unforeseen medical costs –Student or parent has high medical or dental expenses.
  • Divorce or separation –Student (if married) or parent has become divorced since filing the FAFSA.
  • Death of a parent –Parent has passed away since filing the FAFSA.
  • Loss of an untaxed benefit –Unemployment, Pension, Child Support, Alimony, Workmen's compensation, etc.

Appeals processed at one school are NOT processed at another. If you are appealing at one school, contact others for their own forms/process.

When submitting appeals please make the appeal letter as detailed as possible, indicating what you would like us to take into consideration when reviewing the documentation you have submitted. If additional documentation is required you will be contacted by a member of the staff. Special circumstances appeals cannot be reviewed until all required paperwork is submitted.

The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review the information provided to determine if any adjustments can be made to your financial aid awards. You will be notified by mail of the committee's decision. A revised financial aid award letter will only be included if awards are changed.

In special cases students who are considered dependent may have circumstances that would make them independent. 

These situations can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • an abusive family environment (e.g., sexual, physical, or mental abuse or other forms of domestic violence)
  • abandonment by parents
  • incarceration or institutionalization of both parents
  • parents lacking the physical or mental capacity to raise the child
  • parents whereabouts unknown or parents cannot be located
  • parents hospitalized for an extended period
  • an unsuitable household (e.g., child removed from the household and placed in foster care)
  • married student's spouse dies or student gets divorced

In particular, the following circumstances do not merit a dependency override, either alone or in combination:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education;
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the application or for verification;
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes;
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

We understand this can be difficult to discuss. Please contact our office at financialaid@ben.edu, by phone at (630) 829-6100, or visit in person to see if your situation would qualify for dependency override.

 

Federal Loan Disclosure to NSLDS
Need A Record of Your Loans?

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other Department of ED programs. You can find a detailed history of your federal student loans on this site.

Benedictine University is required to inform student/parent borrowers that the loan will be submitted to NSLDS and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

Contacts for Financial Assistance and Institutional Issues

Office of Financial Aid
Lownik Hall –Main Floor
financialaid@ben.edu
630-829-6100

Student Success Center
Krasa Center –Lower Level
630-829-6340

Student Accounts
Krasa Main Floor
sar@ben.edu
630-829-6503

 

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