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Office of Student Financial Aid > Satisfactory Academic Progress > Satisfactory Academic Progress
About Rush University

The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended by Congress mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of "satisfactory progress" for students receiving Federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS Loan and Federal College Work-Study programs.

Accordingly, the Department of Education regulations require that Rush University’s Office of Student Financial Aid monitor the academic progress of all financial aid recipients toward the completion of their degree. This process is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

This SAP policy is enforced in conjunction with all other institutional policies and procedures, including the academic progressions policies of Rush University’s Colleges and academic programs. For undergraduate and graduate students, the below criteria are checked at the end of each term and are first effective for the Summer 2012 term - the previous SAP policy is in effect until then. For medical students, the below criteria are checked annually at the end of spring term.

Enforcement

The Office of Student Financial Aid shall have primary responsibility in enforcing the SAP policy. The Office of the Registrar and other Rush University offices that maintain student information relevant to the SAP policy shall provide such information, as requested, by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

SAP Requirements

SAP requirements vary by academic level (undergraduate, graduate and medical students). Please refer to the appropriate section to find the requirements that fit your academic program.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

SAP for undergraduate students is monitored using three factors: maximum time frame measurement, pace of completion, and cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). SAP is measured at the end of each academic term once final grades are in.

Maximum Time Frame Measurement

Students may attempt up to 150 percent of the credits it normally takes to complete the program. The total allowable attempted hours are calculated by multiplying the hours required to complete the degree at Rush (excluding the general education courses required prior to entry in the program) by 1.5 and rounding down to the nearest whole number. For example, for a program that requires 107 credit hours to receive a degree at Rush (not including the general education courses required prior to entry in the program), a student may attempt up to 160 hours.

Pace of Completion

Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the courses they attempt. This measure will be measured cumulatively over the course of the student’s program. For the purpose of this measurement, all of the following are applicable.

  • Successful completion is defined as a grade of A, B or C for a letter grade course, or a grade of P for a course that is pass-fail or pass-no pass. These courses are counted in both the attempted and completed hours totals.
  • Proficiency credit ("K" grades) is counted in both the attempted and completed hours totals.
  • All other grades (including incomplete grades) are counted in the attempted hours total, but not in the completed hours total. If an incomplete grade is later converted to a grade that is considered to be a successfully completed grade, the pace of completion percentage can be recalculated. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Aid when an incomplete grade has been converted.
  • Students who drop courses but who remain enrolled at the University will not have those dropped courses counted in the attempted hours total if they are dropped prior to the census date. Dropped courses after the census date will be counted in the attempted hours total.
  • Repeated courses are counted as attempted hours during all attempts.
  • Transfer credits that count toward the student’s current academic program count as both attempted and completed hours.
  • Students who change majors will only have hours that were previously attempted counted in their cumulative totals if they are applicable to the new academic program.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students who have a term GPA of less than 1.0 after their first term at Rush will be immediately placed on financial aid suspension.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

SAP for graduate students is monitored using three factors: maximum time frame measurement, pace of completion, and cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). SAP is measured at the end of each academic term once final grades are in.

Maximum Time Frame Measurement

Students may attempt up to 150 percent of the credits it normally takes to complete the program. The total allowable attempted hours are calculated by multiplying the hours required to complete the degree at Rush by 1.5 and rounding down to the nearest whole number. For example, for a program that requires 113 credit hours to receive a degree at Rush, a student may attempt up to 169 hours. Please note: non-degree certificate programs are approved by the US Department of Education for financial assistance at a specific number of credit hours. Regardless of a student’s actual plan of study, maximum timeframe is calculated using the number of hours for which the program was approved with the US Department of Education.

Pace of Completion

Students must successfully complete at least 67% of the courses they attempt. This measure will be measured cumulatively over the course of the student’s program. For the purpose of this measurement, all of the following are applicable.

  • Successful completion is defined as a grade of A or B for a letter grade course, or a grade of P for a course that is pass-fail or pass-no pass. These courses are counted in both the attempted and completed hours totals.
  • Proficiency credit ("K" grades) is counted in both the attempted and completed hours totals.
  • All other grades (including incomplete grades) are counted in the attempted hours total, but not in the completed hours total. If an incomplete grade is later converted to a grade that is considered to be a successfully completed grade, the pace of completion percentage can be recalculated. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Aid when an incomplete grade has been converted.
  • Students who drop courses but who remain enrolled at the University will not have those dropped courses counted in the attempted hours total if they are dropped prior to the census date. Dropped courses after the census date will be counted in the attempted hours total.
  • Repeated courses are counted as attempted hours during all attempts.
  • Transfer credits that count toward the student’s current academic program count as both attempted and completed hours.
  • Students who change majors will only have hours that were previously attempted counted in their cumulative totals if they are applicable to the new academic program.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students who have a term GPA of less than 2.0 after their first term at Rush will be immediately placed on financial aid suspension.

RUSH MEDICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS

SAP for Rush Medical College (RMC) students is monitored using three factors: maximum time frame measurement, pace of completion, and grade requirements. SAP is measured at the end of each academic year once final grades are in and at the time of awarding.

Time Limits on Financial Aid Eligibility

The normal timeframe for completion of required coursework for the MD degree is four academic years. Due to academic or personal difficulties, a student may require additional time. In such situations, the RMC Committee on Student Evaluation and Promotion (COSEP) may establish a schedule for the student that departs from the norm and that may require repeating a year of study. For the purposes of this financial aid policy, no more than three years may be devoted to the first and second year curriculum. No more than three years may be devoted to the third and fourth year curriculum. Summer enrollment, if required, is considered part of the academic year for the purposes of this measure. Approved Leaves of Absence do not count in this measure.

Completion of Requirements/Pace of Completion

  • First year students must complete at least 66% of their first year curriculum with a grade of "Pass" or better between the start of the year and the last day of spring quarter exams. This includes repeated courses.
  • To advance to the second year, students must complete all first year courses with a grade of "Pass" or better by the start of the second year.
  • Second year students must complete at least 66% of their second year curriculum with a grade of "Pass" or better between the start of fall quarter and the last day of spring exams. This includes repeated courses.
  • To advance to the third year, students must complete all second year courses with a grade of "Pass" or better by the start of the CRASH course.
  • A student who is repeating/splitting the first or second year according to a COSEP schedule is considered to be making SAP.
  • Third year students must complete at least 66% of the clerkships they attempt with a grade of "Pass" or better.
  • To advance to the fourth year, students must complete all core clerkships with a grade of "Pass" or better.
  • A student who is repeating the third or fourth year according to a COSEP schedule is considered to be making SAP.

Grade Requirements

Academic progress in RMC is measured in terms of Honors, High Pass, Pass and Fail grades. A student must complete each required course/clerkship with a grade of "Pass" or better in order to graduate. A student who fails a course must retake it and earn a grade of at least "Pass". A student who receives an Incomplete in a course must complete the course and earn at least a "Pass".

Financial Aid Warning

Undergraduate and graduate students are allowed a financial aid warning period. Professional students (Rush Medical College) are not allowed a financial aid warning period.

Undergraduate or graduate students who fail to meet the requirements of this satisfactory academic progress policy will be placed on financial aid warning for one additional term (with the exception of undergraduate students who have a first-term GPA of less than 1.0 and graduate students who have a first-term GPA of less than 2.0. In this case, that student would immediately be placed on financial aid suspension.) Students will be allowed to continue on financial assistance during the warning period. Students placed on financial aid warning will be sent notification by hard copy letter (through the US Postal Service) and through their Rush email account. The notification will include SAP requirements, steps necessary to meet SAP in the upcoming (term) and the consequences for failing to meet SAP requirements the end of the warning period.

Students will be placed on financial aid suspension if they fail to meet the standards of this SAP policy after the one-term financial aid warning period.

Suspension of Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who are suspended from financial aid eligibility will be notified by hard copy letter (through the US Postal Service) and through their Rush email account.

  • Professional students (Rush Medical College) who fail to meet the requirements of this SAP policy will be placed on financial aid suspension.
  • Undergraduate students who have a first term GPA of less than 1.0 and graduate students who have a first-term GPA of less than 2.0 will be placed on financial aid suspension.
  • Students who still fail to meet the requirements of this policy after their single term on financial aid warning will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Appealing Suspension of Financial Aid Eligibility

A student may appeal the suspension of their financial aid eligibility for extenuating circumstances. Appeals from other parties on behalf of the student will not be accepted. All appeals should be submitted to the Director of Student Financial Aid in writing. Each appeal must include (1) the reasons why the standards of this policy were not met, (2) what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow her/him to make satisfactory progress during the next evaluation, and (3) an academic plan for the remainder of the student’s studies. Documentation of any statements made in the appeal should be included, as appropriate.

All appeals must be submitted within 10 business days of receipt of a suspension notice.

The Director of Student Financial Aid will review the appeal and will respond to the student within 10 business days from the receipt of the appeal. Students whose appeals are approved will be placed on a financial aid probationary period for one term or for the duration of an academic plan developed by the student’s advisor, as appropriate. The probationary period will be defined to include checkpoints that must be achieved in order for the student to remain eligible for financial assistance. Students failing to abide by the terms of their probationary period will be suspended from financial aid after their probationary period.

The decision of the Director of Student Financial Aid is final, binding and not subject to further appeal.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

A student’s eligibility for financial aid will be reinstated at such time as s/he successfully meets the standards of the SAP policy. It is the student’s responsibility to present evidence to the Student Financial Aid Office at the time s/he meets the requirements for reinstatement.



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