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Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduate Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Title IV Federal Financial Aid - Graduate Students

Doane University is required by federal regulations to define and monitor standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to ensure that only students demonstrating progress toward completion of their academic program receive federal financial aid. These standards are applied consistently within all graduate programs and enrollment levels to students whether or not they have previously received financial aid.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic progress consist of two measurements:

  1.  Qualitative Measurement = Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)- ensures the student is able to meet the minimum academic grade point average (GPA) to complete a Master's degree at Doane Universit
  2.  Quantitative Measurement = Pace - measures the student's progress toward a degree by completing a certain 75% of attempted credits.

After each term of enrollment, the financial aid office reviews the transcript of all students to determine if a student is maintaining the required minimum grade point average to be eligible to receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid.  Below is the minimum grade point average requirements based on the number of attempted credits:

A graduate student must have a CGPA of 3.0 in their program to be considered making satisfactory progress.

In addition to the qualitative standard, a student must also meet the pace standard. This means a student must receive credit for a minimum of 75% of the total number of credits he/she has attempted as registered for at the end of census day (last day to drop and add).

Total Credit Hours Completed



Total Credit Hours Attempted

Note: Transfer credits are not factored into a student's cumulative GPA but are considered in the number of completed and attempted credits. Withdrawals are also considered attempted credits.

Only credit hours passed (grades A,B, C, D and P) are considered as earned credits. Transfer credits are considered in both the total credit hours completed and in the total credit hours attempted. Grades of I and /or IP are not counted as earned credits until they are replaced by a satisfactory letter grade. Grades of I, IP, W, F, and NP are included as attempted credits in the calculation. A student should notify the financial aid office when I and IP's grades are replaced with a satisfactory letter grade in order to recalculate progress.

Maximum Time Frame

Depending on the graduate program of study, the student can receive federal financial aid for up to 133% of the number of credit hours required to complete his/her program as referenced in the catalog.

An email is sent to the student’s Doane email of his/her ineligibility. Students have the ability to appeal this and should contact the Financial Aid office for instructions if they wish to appeal.

Financial Aid Warning:

Students who are not meeting either the cumulative GPA and/or the Pace measurements at the end of a term are placed on Financial Aid Warning the ensuing term of enrollment. A graduate student receives only one Financial Aid Warning  term as a graduate student at Doane University. The student will be notified through their Doane email account of their Financial Aid Warning Status. 

Financial Aid Suspension:

Financial Aid Suspension occurs following the term of Warning or any subsequent term after the Warning term if the student fails to achieve the minimum CGPA for his/her program and/or the 75% completion rate. Students that are placed on Financial Aid Suspension are not eligible to receive federal aid and are notified through their Doane Email of their suspension.  Students may be able to continue taking coursework, however they are not able to receive federal aid funds and will need to pay at their own expense.


If the student has experienced extenuating circumstances which have impeded his/her ability to make satisfactory academic progress, the student may appeal his/her suspension. Examples of extenuating circumstances include (but not limited to); death of a relative, personal injury or illness of the student, family medical emergency, etc.

A student must submit their circumstances in writing by the date notated in their suspension letter. The appeal must include the following information:

  1. Explanation of the circumstance that prevented him/her from making satisfactory progress.
  2. Explanation of what has changed or been resolved for him/her to make satisfactory progress in the ensuing term and going forward.
  3. Supporting documentation of the extenuating circumstance/s.

The appeal is considered incomplete if any of the three requirements are missing and it will not be sent to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee for review. If the Financial Aid Appeal Committee grants the appeal the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation or on a Financial Aid Academic Monitoring plan. The student is notified in writing of the minimum requirements they need to meet in order to maintain federal aid eligibility after the enrollment period for which they were placed on Probation or Academic Plan.  A student that is denied an appeal is also notified via his/her Doane email account.

Financial Aid Probation/Academic Monitoring Plan

Students who have been granted an appeal are placed either on Financial Aid Probation or on a Financial Aid (FA) Academic Monitoring plan depending on their situation.

If it is mathematically impossible for the student to return to satisfactory status after the end of term, but has been granted an appeal, the student is placed on a FA Academic Monitoring Plan.  If the student completes the terms and conditions of the academic plan, the student can continue to receive federal/state aid but will continue to be monitored and held to the conditions of the academic plan until they return to satisfactory status. A student not meeting the conditions of his/her academic plan will be suspended from federal aid.

If the student is able to return to satisfactory status after the term, he/she is placed on Financial Aid (FA) Probation.  If the student has not complied with the terms of the appeal and has not returned to satisfactory status after the term of FA Probation, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and is not eligible to receive federal financial aid.


A student who is placed on FA suspension and does not complete an appeal or whose appeal has been denied, can continue to enroll in classes at the university (if meeting Academic Affairs policies) but will not receive federal financial aid. Students can request their financial aid eligibility to be reinstated at the end of any term in which the student reaches the 75% percent completion rate and has met the required minimum GPA requirement consistent with graduation requirements. A student who has regained their eligibility may contact the financial aid office if they wish to begin receiving Title IV federal financial aid.

Repeat Coursework

A student may receive financial aid for a course taken previously. The student may only receive financial aid twice for the repeated coursework.

The exception to this rule is when a student receives university credits for a directed study class in which the same course number has been assigned, but the content is different.

Academic Affairs Policy:

In addition to the federal aid/state aid rules, a student is subject to Doane University's institutional academic policies which are determined by the Office of Academic Affairs.