Satisfactory Academic Progress
A. Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard. Academic progress for students receiving financial aid and veterans’ benefits will be assessed for all students after every term a student attempts to earn Excelsior University credit. This will ensure standards are met according to the following four measures:
Minimum Excelsior University grade point average (GPA)*: A matriculated undergraduate student must maintain a minimum Excelsior University grade point average of 2.0 (C) to meet the minimum standards for SAP. A matriculated graduate student must maintain a minimum Excelsior University GPA of 3.0 (B) to meet the standards for SAP.
*The Excelsior University GPA is based on grades awarded from Excelsior University sources of credit attempted by matriculated students. The overall GPA is based on grades awarded from ALL sources of credit that are entered on the student’s transcript. The overall GPA is not used to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress. This calculation excludes Excelsior University sources of credit that have been determined to have reached a predetermined age limit (varies by school and program).
Minimum completion rate: A matriculated undergraduate or graduate student must maintain a minimum completion rate of two-thirds (67 percent) of the total Excelsior University credits attempted and transfer credits (accepted and applied to the degree). The completion ratio is often referred to as “pace” and is calculated by dividing the number of credits earned by a student by the number of credits attempted. This calculation excludes Excelsior University sources of credit which have been determined to have reached a predetermined age limit (varies by school and program) and are no longer applicable to a student’s degree program.
Maximum time frame to completion to maintain financial aid eligibility: In accordance with the federally mandated maximum time frame to complete the program or degree, a matriculated student must complete her or his educational program within a time frame not longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits. For instance, a student must complete her or his program after attempting a maximum of 180 credit hours for a 120-credit program. Or, if a student has 60 credits remaining after their initial academic evaluation is completed, she/he must complete the degree from Excelsior University by the time they have attempted 90 credit hours. The maximum time frame is different from the time limitations for programs of study. Please refer to the school catalogs, for time limits in specific programs.
Maximum time frame for dual degree programs is calculated in two phases: undergraduate and graduate. The dual degree student must complete the undergraduate portion of the program after attempting a maximum of 150 percent of the remaining credits required of the baccalaureate phase of the program. Upon achieving graduate status, the dual degree student must complete the master’s degree within a time frame that is not longer than 150 percent of credits attempted.
For example, an RN-MSN student must complete the 116-credit undergraduate portion of the program after attempting a maximum of 174 credits for the baccalaureate phase of the program. If the student has 56 credits remaining after his/her initial evaluation, they must complete the undergraduate phase by the time 84 credit hours are attempted.
B. Warning. Matriculated students who fail to achieve the minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress as defined by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard (Procedure A) will receive a notice of warning from the Financial Aid Office. Matriculated students using VA benefits will receive a notice of warning from an Excelsior University Certifying Official.
When students are in warning, they are allowed one term to Reestablish Aid/Veteran Benefits Eligibility (Procedure D) to the minimum standard for satisfactory academic progress. The “warning period” will enable students to take corrective action by working with academic advisors, financial aid counselors/VA Certifying Officials, and faculty (instructors) to correct their academic status. Students retain their financial aid eligibility during this time.
C. Loss of Eligibility. If a financial aid or veterans’ benefits student is not able to achieve SAP during the warning period (Procedure B), the student is no longer eligible for financial aid.
Students who lose eligibility will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office or VA Certifying Official.
D. Reestablish Aid Eligibility. A student can reestablish financial aid or veterans’ benefits eligibility by achieving the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard (Procedure A).
E. Appealing Loss of Eligibility (Procedure C). If special circumstances prevent a student from meeting SAP, the loss of financial aid eligibility may be appealed to the provost or designee via the Financial Aid Office or via a VA Certifying Official. An appeal reviewed by the provost or designee does not guarantee reinstatement of financial aid.
- Appropriate circumstances for appeal include:
- Serious medical illness or injury to the student
- Death of an immediate family member
- Significant change in employment or military status that prevents the student from attending class
- Significant trauma in the student’s life that impairs the student’s emotional and/or physical health
If after a term on Warning (Procedure B) a student demonstrates significant progress toward Reestablished Aid Eligibility (Procedure E) they may appeal if:
- The student has no withdrawals (exception Military Withdrawals MW) in that term
- There are no incompletes in that term
- All grades earned at Excelsior University are C or better for an undergraduate or B or better for graduate students
- Appeals must be submitted with supporting official documentation within or prior to the period of enrollment or term for which financial aid or veterans' benefits are requested.
- All appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office or VA Certifying Official with the supporting documentation. Appeals that qualify as "appropriate circumstances" will be forwarded to the provost or designee for review and action.
- Students will be informed of the decision of their appeal within 30 calendar days of submission.
- All students approved for an appeal will be placed on SAP Probation (Procedure F) and must work with their academic advisor to develop an academic plan to Reestablish Aid Eligibility (Procedure D). Academic plans may require the student to take fewer credit hours, take specific courses, and/or achieve a certain grade point average.
F. Probation. A student that is successful in their appeal (Procedure E) will be placed on probation for financial aid. The student is eligible for one trimester (15-week term or two consecutive 8-week terms) of financial aid. At the end of the trimester the student will be reevaluated to determine if they meet the satisfactory academic progress standard (Procedure A).
Excelsior University has a basic definition of good academic standing which applies to all enrolled students. This definition requires students to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale to be considered in good academic standing. Standards for financial aid recipients are also defined by state and federal regulations. Standards for recipients of New York State financial aid programs are defined by NYS Commissioner's regulations and include requirements other than a 2.0 minimum GPA.
The University acknowledges that illness, unplanned events, or deficiencies in subject knowledge will, on occasion, cause a student's GPA to fall below the 2.0 needed for a good academic standing. Therefore, the University will offer recipients of New York State financial aid programs a one-time waiver of the 2.0 GPA required for good academic standing. Students are eligible for this one-time waiver if they have not previously received the waiver and if the mandatory New York State requirements for good academic standing are satisfied.
- New York State aid recipients and applicants who do not have at least a 2.0 GPA will be reviewed for eligibility for the one-time waiver.
- The student will be offered the opportunity to apply for the one-time waiver. The application will include the student's plan to raise the GPA to at least the 2.0 minimum during the following semester and the plan will be forwarded to the advisor for approval.
- The student will be notified of eligibility for the one-time waiver and the effects on the student's financial aid eligibility.