Satisfactory Academic Progress
to Maintain Federal Financial Aid Eligibility

Authorizing Body:

Office of the Dean


Jeremy Jones, Associate Director of Financial Services

Date Issued:

December 5, 2016

Last Update:

December 5, 2016


To ensure compliance with Federal Financial Aid Requirements

Scope and Applicability:

All students enrolled in the School of Medicine

Standard Practice Guideline:

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Financial Aid?

Students who receive Federal Student Aid (FSA) must, in accordance with federal regulations, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree.  Under Federal Title IV law, the school’s SAP requirements must meet certain minimum requirements, and be at least as strict as the institution’s established SAP policy for students not receiving FSA funds.  This policy applies to students receiving FSA for semester/periods of enrollment that begin on or after July 1, 2011.

The standards used to evaluate academic progress are cumulative and, therefore, include all periods of the student’s enrollment, including periods during which the student did not receive federal financial aid funds. 

What is the OUWB SAP Policy for Federal Financial Aid?

To maintain federal financial aid eligibility at OUWB, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward degree completion.  Federal regulations require three measurements to determine SAP: qualitative, quantitative and timeframe.

Qualitative Requirement:

In determining students’ qualitative academic progress, Financial Services follows OUWB’s Student Performance Review Committee’s (SPRC) academic review policy that is applied to all students regardless of financial aid eligibility and meets the minimum Title IV SAP requirements. The qualitative academic progress of every medical student is formally reviewed annually, at the end of the academic year by the SPRC.

An SPRC decision of Dismissal would result in a student not meeting the qualitative requirement.

Quantitative (PACE) Requirement:

To be making quantitative academic progress, students must successfully complete a sufficient proportion of credits attempted in order to graduate within the maximum timeframe. All attempted and completed credits will be evaluated at the end of each academic year to determine the student’s cumulative course completion ratio (PACE).

The minimum required completion percentages are as follows:

  • After the first year of enrollment – 50%
  • After the second and all subsequent years of enrollment – 67%

Students whose ratio of successfully completed credits to attempted credits is less than indicated above are not meeting the quantitative (PACE) requirement.

Treatment of Credits:

Credits for courses and clerkships will be evaluated as follows:

  • Attempted and completed:  Honors, High Pass, Pass, Pass with Remediation
  • Attempted, but not completed: Fail, Incomplete, Unsatisfactory, Withdraw

Note:  Incomplete grades changed to Honors, High Pass, or Pass are calculated as both attempted and completed. Incomplete grades changed to Fail, Unsatisfactory, or Withdraw are calculated as attempted, but not completed.

Transfer Credits: Credits earned at another institution by a student who transfers into OUWB will be calculated as both attempted and completed.

Repeated Credits: Each and every successfully completed attempt of a course counts as attempted, but only the last successfully completed attempt will be counted as completed.

Maximum Timeframe Requirement:

Maximum timeframe is the maximum number of years after initial enrollment that a student may complete courses in the full-time pursuit of a degree and be eligible for financial aid.  The normal timeframe for completion of required course work for the M.D. degree at OUWB is four (4) academic years. The maximum number of years allowed for matriculation is six (6) academic years after initial enrollment (150% of the normal timeframe for completion).

To meet the maximum timeframe requirement, students must:

  • Complete all M1 and M2 coursework in no more than three (3) academic years
  • Complete all M3 and M4 coursework in no more than three (3) academic years
  • Complete all degree requirements (graduate) in no more than six (6) academic years

A student is no longer meeting the maximum timeframe requirement at the point it is determined that they will be unable to complete coursework or graduate within the above stated timeframes.

Leaves of Absence:

The period of time for which a student received an approved leave of absence (LOA) will be excluded from the maximum timeframe required to complete their program for satisfactory academic progress for federal financial aid.

Treatment of Repeated Coursework:

Repeat Coursework

Provided the SAP requirements are met, students may receive financial aid funding for the repeat of a failing grade or withdrawal of any class or classes.  Repeat of the same successfully completed course may only be funded one additional time. 

Repeat of Entire Year Coursework

Provided the SAP requirements are met, students who failed a course(s) and are required to repeat an entire year of coursework, which would also include successfully completed courses, will be eligible for federal financial aid for the repeat of the required academic year.  Funding will be provided only once for the repeat of the same academic year.

How often is SAP Reviewed?

OUWB Financial Services will review the quantitative and maximum timeframe satisfactory academic progress of all medical students at the end of each academic year. This review will take place after Financial Services has been notified that the SPRC has completed its review of the qualitative academic progress of all medical students. 

Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility:

Students who fail to meet any of the SAP requirements will be ineligible to receive any further financial aid funding. Financial Services will notify the student in writing of their aid suspension status and the appeal process for possible reinstatement, if applicable.

Appeal Process:

Students not making financial aid SAP requirements may submit a written, documented appeal based upon special circumstances (e.g., the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances). Financial Services will notify the student if they are eligible to complete the appeal process for reinstatement of aid.   The appeal must:

  • Explain the reason(s) for failing to meet SAP requirement(s),
  • Document the circumstance(s),
  • Indicate that the circumstance(s) have been resolved to allow for future academic success.

Appeals are heard by the SAP Appeals Committee and may be approved or denied. The SAP Appeals Committee is convened by the Associate Director of Financial Services and includes representatives from Records and Registration, Student Affairs, and other departments as may be deemed appropriate. SAP Appeals Committee decisions are final.

  • Approved Appeals: Students whose appeals are approved will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. Please see ‘Financial Aid Probation and Academic Plan’ below.
  • Denied Appeals:  Students whose appeals are denied may re-establish SAP for federal financial aid eligibility by taking and paying for courses without federal financial aid funding. Federal financial aid may be reinstated beginning with the term immediately following the term in which it is determined that all SAP requirements were met.

It is the responsibility of the student to contact Financial Services to discuss payment options and the specific steps necessary to re-establish eligibility.

Financial Aid Probation and Academic Plan:

Students, whose appeals for reinstatement of financial aid funding are approved, will be placed on Financial Aid Probation.  The SPRC will create an Academic Plan detailing the terms which the student must meet to ensure satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion within the maximum timeframe. Students must meet the terms set forth in the Academic Plan in order to continue receiving federal financial aid.

Students will remain on Financial Aid Probation until they have met the terms of the Academic Plan and are meeting the qualitative, quantitative and maximum timeframe requirements.  



Related Policies and Forms: