In accordance with federal regulations, all recipients of federal financial aid must maintain a satisfactory rate of progress toward the completion of a degree (i.e. pace) and must be in good standing based on a cumulative grade point average (GPA), regardless of whether financial aid was received previously. Progress will be measured at the end of each semester attended (fall, spring and summer semesters). FASAP is calculated on every VWU degree-seeking student regardless if they have been awarded Title IV Financial Aid funds or not.
The following definitions apply to this policy:
- Financial Aid Programs: All federal programs, VA State grant programs, scholarship programs offered through the College, federal work-study and private education loans.
- Earned and Attempted Credit hours: Satisfactory Academic Progress uses credit hours to measure both the Pace and Maximum Timeframe requirements. It is important to understand the difference between the two types of credit hours. Credit hours “earned” are courses in which the student receives a letter grade of “D” or “S” in a Pass/Fail course. “Attempted” credits are all courses in which the student enrolls and remains enrolled in after the add/drop period of each semester even if the student withdraws later or fails the course at the end.
- Pace requirement: Undergraduate Students must complete at least 65% and Graduate Students must complete at least a 70% (no rounding up) of the cumulative credits attempted. A full-time undergraduate student who attempts 16 credits in a semester must successfully complete 10.4 credits to maintain their pace requirement (16 credits x .65 = 10.4 credits).
- Maximum time frame: The maximum period in which students may receive financial aid based on the degree program in which they are enrolled. Students have a period of 150% of the credits required to complete the program to remain eligible.
Example: Bachelor degree program that requires 128 credits to graduate will have a total of 192 attempted credits allowed.
There are limited appeals or extensions of the 150% maximum time frame rule. Students may continue to receive limited federal financial aid assistance and will also be able to apply for private loan funding or participate in a tuition payment plan for their educational expenses.
- Cumulative Grade Point Average: The grade point average calculated at VWU from all credits taken. Coursework transferred from other institutions are included in the total number of credits attempted and completed but are not factored into the cumulative GPA.
- For students with 23 or less attempted credit hours- the minimum cumulative GPA requirement is 1.8.
- For students with 24 to 52 attempted credit hours- the minimum cumulative GPA requirement is a 1.9.
- For students with 53 or more attempted credit hours- the minimum cumulative GPA is 2.0.
- For students in a Graduate program- the minimum cumulative GPA is a 3.0. ∙ The VWU scholarship programs require you to maintain cumulative GPA of 2.0 to meet the requirement to retain those awards. Batten Honors College requires you to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 meet the requirement to retain those awards.
Frequency and Notification
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated at the end of each enrollment term (fall, spring and summer) regardless of whether the student received financial aid in that enrollment period. Students will be notified through their VWU email address once FASAP has been calculated. The students not meeting FASAP requirements will be notified by letter and also have an email message sent to their VWU email account.
Financial Aid Warning
When a student fails to meet FASAP requirements, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for their next enrollment period. A student remains eligible for their financial aid during the warning period. A student is only eligible for one warning period and will be notified of their placement into a warning status. A student may not be placed in a warning status if they were not meeting FASAP requirements in the prior enrollment period or were enrolled in their first term at VWU.
During this term, the student is expected to regain their satisfactory academic progress through successful completion of their credits or recalculation of their GPA. Students placed into a warning period will be strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Learning Resources or their Faculty Advisor for further assistance. Failure to meet the minimum FASAP requirements after the warning period will result in suspension of the student’s financial aid.
Financial Aid Suspension
Suspension of financial aid eligibility occurs the semester immediately following the “warning” period. Under suspension a student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid. In addition, students will lose their eligibility for VWU scholarship or grant aid. Students have two options to reestablish their federal and state financial aid eligibility.
These options are:
- Pay for the next semester or session on your own and have the FASAP status reevaluated after completion of the semester, or
- Submit an Appeal of FASAP requirements, as outlined in the FASAP appeal section below.
Maximum Time Frame Suspension
Any student who has exceeded the Maximum Time Frame requirements for the appropriate degree program will be placed on a Maximum Time Suspension. Students in this group will be required to appeal and provide the Office of Financial Aid with an academic plan that has been approved by their Faculty Advisor. The academic plan must be followed as prescribed and will be reviewed at the end of each semester until graduation from VWU. Students will not be permitted to receive institutional grants or scholarship unless approved through the Office of Financial Aid. In most cases, aid will be limited to federal financial aid only.
Treatment of Special Grades and Circumstances
Courses for which a student receives a grade of “I” are included in the number of attempted credits but don’t count as earned credits for FASAP calculations. If a grade change or incomplete grade is updated after grades are posted, the student may submit a FASAP Re Calculation Request Form for a manual FASAP review.
Courses in this category do not count as credits attempted or earned.
All repeated courses affect financial aid FASAP calculations. Regardless of whether the student received financial aid or not, all repeated coursework must be counted as attempted credits. The grade earned in the repeated course is the grade that determines the student’s cumulative grade point average. No additional credits will be considered as earned credits for repeated courses for which credits were earned previously. Before registering to repeat a course, a student should verify that he or she is eligible to do so according to Academic Policy. Only courses repeated at VWU can improve the student’s cumulative grade point average.
Courses for which a student receives a grade of “W” or “WF” are included in the number of attempted credits but do not count as earned credits for FASAP determination.
Credits earned from CLEP exams will count towards credits attempted and earned, but no grades or quality points will be given. Credits earned from English 001 and Math 005 (Remedial Coursework) will count towards credits attempted and earned. All grades and quality points will be used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.
The college does not have ESL (English as a second language).
Credits are included in both attempted and completed but the grade doesn’t transfer to VWU and therefore is not used in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.
Upon readmission after any period of non-enrollment, your satisfactory progress standing will be re-evaluated as it stood at the end of your last semester of attendance. If you were making satisfactory academic progress in your last semester of attendance, your eligibility to receive federal financial aid will not be affected when you return. If, on the other hand, you return after an academic probation or dismissal, you will be on financial aid suspension and will have to file an appeal to have your eligibility for federal aid restored. Any action you took during your period of non -enrollment that would have brought you back into compliance with the progress standard (such as successfully completing transferable courses at another institution) is factored into the assessment of your eligibility.
Second Degree Students
If you are enrolled for a second degree, your pace of progression status will be initialized for measuring satisfactory academic progress by counting the credits accepted toward the second degree as both credits attempted and credits earned. However, you will not be entitled to certain federal, institutional and state aid.
Change of Major/Change of Degree
If you change majors within the same degree program, or begin pursuing a different degree without having earned the first degree, and you exceed the maximum timeframe, you are required to file a successful appeal to extend the maximum timeframe.
If extenuating circumstances exist which contributed to the student’s failure to meet one of the FASAP Standards listed below, a written appeal may be submitted. Examples of extenuating circumstances which might be grounds for an appeal include, but are not limited to, a divorce in the family, unexpected death or major hospitalization of an immediate family member, or extended hospitalization or medical condition of the student. Issues with instructors/courses, job conflicts, misuse of time management, transportation problems or child care conflicts do not constitute as unusual mitigating circumstances and will not be considered.
The appeal must address, and document where appropriate, these extenuating circumstances, describing:
- Why the student failed to achieve FASAP
- What has changed that will allow the student to achieve FASAP during the next academic term
Download the FASAP Appeal Form and submit to the Office of Financial Aid (along with required supporting documentation). Appeals that do not address the stipulations above will be denied.
Questions regarding the FASAP Policy requirements and/or process should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or by calling (757) 455.3345.
SAP Appeal Notification
The student will be notified via their VWU email account regarding the results of the appeal.
If the Appeal is approved: Aid is continued for one term.
The student should carefully review the FASAP appeal notification which will outline the unique, individualized FASAP requirements that the student must meet in order to maintain eligibility for federal and state financial aid. It is possible that the student will still lose their eligibility for VWU scholarships or grants depending on the requirements of those programs. The student is strongly encouraged to work with The Learning Center and their Advisor during the term to ensure compliance with their academic requirements or, if required, their academic plan.
If the Appeal is denied: Aid is immediately suspended until eligibility is re-established. The decision is final for the term of enrollment specified in the letter. A student may still be able to re-establish eligibility on their own, for future enrollment periods, by completing sufficient credit hours or by improving their cumulative GPA. The student may appeal no more than two terms at VWU. Requests for multiple appeals must be for different circumstances.
Financial Aid Probation
This status is assigned to the student who has successfully appealed their financial aid suspension and had their eligibility for aid reinstated. The reinstatement under probation may not be for more than two continuous terms of enrollment.
By end of the Probation term, the student MUST:
- Raise their cumulative GPA to at least a 2.0
- Complete 100% of their credit hours they attempted while on probation
Students in the Traditional Day Program have to successfully complete the Academic Renewal Program.
If a student fails to meet the above requirements at the end of their probation period, the student is placed back into financial aid suspension. The student is not permitted to appeal this suspension unless there is a new and different circumstance that meets the definition of the acceptable circumstances discussed earlier in the policy. Any new approved appeal will only be approved for one term of enrollment and the student would be placed back into financial aid probation.
Under no circumstances will more than two probation periods be approved for any student. It is expected that a student regain and maintain their satisfactory academic progress at VWU.
Plan for Academic Success
Students placed on Financial Aid Warning, Probation or Suspension are strongly encouraged to schedule an academic advisement appointment with The Learning Center or with their Faculty Advisor. Through advisement, students will work to create academic plans and become connected to campus resources that support academic success. Resources at VWU to help students succeed academically include:
- The Tutoring Center
- The Writing Center
- The Office of Disability Resources
Each of these resources are available to help identify learning issues, provide training for improving academic skills and developing academic plans that assist our students in regaining good academic standing.