Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility



Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress requires a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students meeting this standard will be considered in good academic standing.  Any student with less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. If, at the end of the probationary term, the student has less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA, the student will be dismissed from their graduate program. Students dismissed from their program may request reinstatement by submitting a written appeal to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. No more than one request for reinstatement is allowed. 

Students must be in good academic standing in order to receive Financial Aid. To receive financial aid during the probationary term, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee to review for financial aid eligibility.

Official student records are maintained in the Office of the Registrar. Students should email this office for any questions regarding academic status at registrar@ferrum.edu

Quantitative Measure

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA each semester to maintain satisfactory academic progress for federal financial aid eligibility. 

Qualitative Measure

All students must complete 67% of all registered coursework by the end of the semester. Withdrawn and transfer credits will count as attempted coursework. Part-time students who have not passed 50% of the hours attempted in any single semester will be placed on academic suspension.

Maximum Time-frame

In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress a student must complete a graduate degree within a maximum 150% of full-time study or five years. The 150% requirement requires that a student may not earn more credit hours than 150% of what is required for the degree (i.e., for a degree program that requires 30 credit hours so 150% of 30 equals 45 maximum credit hours.) Students entering their sixth year of full-time coursework are also ineligible for financial aid. These time frames may be appealed. Please review the Appeals Process under Financial Aid Policies for additional information.

Federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from awarding aid to any student who is not making satisfactory academic progress. The satisfactory academic progress policy applies to all sources of Title IV financial aid programs (including Stafford and PLUS loans) with the exception of the Virginia TAG grant and selected Ferrum College entitlement grants which do not have an academic requirement for renewal. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester. 

Repeating Courses

Federal guidelines limit the use of federal financial aid when repeating courses. The first time that a student repeats a passed course with a grade of “D” or higher to improve Grade Point Average (GPA), it is permissible to use federal financial aid. However, if the same course is repeated a second time, the course will not be counted in the student’s total credit hours for the semester, possibly making the student part-time and therefore losing full-time federal financial aid. Students may retake failed courses with no reduction in federal financial aid.

Academic Probation

At the end of any academic term, if a student in good academic standing fails to meet the published satisfactory academic progress standards, they will be placed on academic probation.

A student on academic probation must work with their academic advisor to devise a plan to regain good standing and use appropriate online resources including those provided by the Carter Center for Academic Success. Students not adhering to the criteria of academic probation may be subject to suspension at any time. Placement of academic probation will also impact a student’s financial aid eligibility (See Graduate Student Eligibility).

A student can remain on academic probation for only one semester or two 7-week terms. At the end of that semester, if he or she has complied with the program of study for students on academic probation and has met published academic standards , they will return to good standing.

If a student is dismissed from a graduate program, the following conditions must be completed to re-enter the program.

  1. Submit a formal letter of appeal to the Academic Standards Committee and the Graduate Advisory Committee; 

  2. Meet the requirements/conditions that may have been set by the Academic Standards, Graduate Advisory Committee, Graduate Program Director, Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, and/or VPAA.  All requirements/conditions are established on a case-by-case basis as a result of the evaluation of the reasons for the student’s dismissal.

If the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for a second time at any time, academic dismissal will be automatic and permanent.

Academic Suspension

In order to be eligible for graduation, the student must maintain the minimum required GPA by the institution and the student’s program. A student who fails to maintain the minimum GPA threshold may be considered for Academic Probation or Academic Suspension. A student may be considered for Academic Suspension for failure to comply with other Academic Policies, Standards, or Integrity (i.e., plagiarism). A decision may be reached to place a student on Academic Suspension; at that time, the student is withdrawn from the institution due to an Academic Suspension. 

A student who is dismissed from a program for academic reasons will not be readmitted on any status for a period of six months. After this period, a student may request readmission into the program. The request must be made in writing to the Graduate Program Director and should include a rationale for being considered for readmission. This letter should be submitted to the Graduate Program Director at least six weeks prior to the date sought for readmission. Before making a final decision, the Graduate Program Director and Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies may request a personal interview. Readmission is neither automatic nor certain. 

If readmitted, the student will be governed by the regulations and degree requirements current at the time of readmission. At the time of readmission, the student will be on probation, which will remain in effect for two consecutive courses. If, at the end of the two consecutive courses, the student’s cumulative GPA is at least 3.0, the student’s status will be removed from probation, and he or she will be allowed to continue in the program. If the cumulative GPA is below 3.0, the student will be automatically academically dismissed from the program, and he or she will not be readmitted to graduate study at Ferrum College. For more information, please consult the Academic Probation and Suspension policy in the Ferrum College Academic Catalog. 

Administrative Suspensions

Every member of the Ferrum College community is expected to uphold the principles of honesty, fairness, integrity, and respect. A student may be administratively withdrawn from the institution for reasons which are not academic in nature. Examples of an administrative suspension include but are not limited to, conduct or behavior which is not professional, excessive absences, and/or substance abuse. For more information, please consult the Honor Code.

Financial Aid Policies

Using Federal Financial Aid for Repeating Courses

Federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from awarding aid to any student who is not making satisfactory academic progress. The satisfactory academic progress policy applies to all sources of Title IV financial aid programs (including Stafford). Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.

Federal guidelines limit the use of federal financial aid when repeating courses. The first time that a student repeats a passed course with a grade of “D” or higher to improve the Grade Point Average (GPA), it is permissible to use federal financial aid. However, if the same course is repeated a second time, the course will not be counted in the student’s total credit hours for the semester, possibly making the student part-time and therefore losing full-time federal financial aid. Students may retake failed courses with no reduction in federal financial aid.

Definitions

Financial Aid Warning: Financial Aid Warning occurs when a student does not make Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as listed above for the first time after a semester of good academic standing. Students who are placed on financial aid warning will retain their eligibility for financial aid for the next semester.

Financial Aid Probation: At the end of any semester during which the student has not met satisfactory academic progress, they are placed on Academic Probation. Students on Academic Probation are ineligible for Federal Financial Aid. Students may appeal their financial aid status (see Appeals Process). If the appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester and students may be required to complete an Academic Plan with the student’s academic advisor (see Academic Plan section below).

Policy

Student folders are reviewed each semester when final grades and academic standing lists become available. The student’s name is checked against the academic warning, probation and suspension lists provided by the Office of the Registrar. If the student is on academic probation, or suspension, he/she is determined to be ineligible to receive financial aid for the subsequent semester. A notification letter is sent to the student by the Office of Financial Aid regarding his/her financial aid status and right to appeal. If the student later notifies us that he/she has been able to make up the deficiency during the summer for the next fall semester, the reviewer will obtain updated academic progress confirmation from the Office of the Registrar and mark the folder accordingly. The student will then be reviewed for financial aid for the next semester.

Academic semesters are defined by the Academic Standards Committee each year. Traditionally, the fall semester begins in August and ends in November. The spring semester begins in January and ends in May. The summer semester begins in May and ends in August. There are 15 weeks as required by law to award Title IV funds. The graduate program at Ferrum College is currently a credit hour based institution with three traditional terms. Payment periods are determined on a per-year basis unless the student has notified the Financial Aid Office that his/her enrollment plans will be on a per-semester basis.

Students who do not meet satisfactory progress at the end of the spring semester may be able to meet standards by attending summer school. The students must work with their advisor and/or any resources available to determine which courses are appropriate for completion in summer school. Students will be reviewed for compliance at the end of each semester. Financial Aid Policies apply to all students regardless of enrollment status.

Financial Aid Appeals Process

Students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and have lost their financial aid eligibility have the right to appeal their financial aid status based on extraordinary or extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances include death in the family, injury or illness of the student or family member, documented disability, or other extenuating circumstances not mentioned above. 

Students may also appeal the 150% maximum time-frame requirement based on extraordinary or extenuating circumstances as discussed above. The student will have met the 150% requirement if they have accumulated 182+ credit hours. Students also entering their sixth year of coursework will be required to appeal for financial aid, based on the length of time of their program. 

To appeal for financial aid based on academic standing, or to appeal the 150% maximum timeframe and sixth-year limitations, the student must submit a letter of appeal using the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal link on the Financial Aid website. Appeals MUST detail why additional time is necessary to complete the degree and when the student expects to complete his/her program of study. 

Students are not guaranteed eligibility for financial aid through the appeals process.

Financial Aid Academic Plan

Students who have failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and who will require more than one term to return to good standing may be eligible to regain eligibility for financial aid by completing an academic plan. The student must first appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee as detailed above. If the appeal is approved, the student will work closely with his/her advisor to develop an academic plan that will have the student back in good academic standing within a specific time frame as designated in the approved academic plan.