MUIH, in accordance with Federal Title IV Student Financial Aid regulations, has guidelines for all students regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Student progress will be monitored from the first trimester of their enrollment in each program, to ensure minimum SAP requirements are met in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. Students who do not meet SAP requirements may lose their eligibility to receive financial aid and may result in the requirement for recipients of financial aid to repay all or some of the aid they received. The Federal Financial Aid requirements on SAP have two components: (1) a qualitative measure, and (2) a quantitative measure.

It is important to note that separate from the policy outlined herein for financial aid purposes, the Office of Academic Affairs conducts reviews of student academic performance in accordance with Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) standards. Please refer to the information below or the newest Academic Catalog (section two) for details about academic performance standards and related sanctions.

Since MUIH does not use a traditional GPA model, the University will measure the percentage of successfully completed courses to the total number of courses attempted (by the student) to comply with the qualitative measure. All communications will be made electronically, unless otherwise noted.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements:

  • Maintain a successful course completion rate of at least 50% (calculation based upon credit count);
  • Maintain the necessary pace for completion within the maximum timeframe (MTF); and
  • Meet student specific requirements set forth by the Academic Department, the Office of Financial Aid and an Academic Advisor (when applicable).

Qualitative Measure

Successful course completion rate: Students must maintain a cumulative successful course completion rate (i.e., a Pass rate) of at least 50%. This calculation is based on cumulative credit totals (not individual terms or courses), and includes all grades, including Pass “P”, Fail “F”, Incomplete “I”, Remediated “R”, and Withdrawal “W”. This calculation will be completed for students enrolled in multiple programs, independently.

Example of successful completion rate: A student is enrolled in and has completed 9 credits this trimester. The student has already completed 6 credits, with “P” grades during the prior term. At the end of this term, when all grades have been submitted, the student has the following grades: 3 credit course = P; .50 credit course = F; .50 credit course = I; 3 credit course = W; 2 credit course = P. By definition, all credits are counted in the calculation and the student has successfully completed 11 credits, and has attempted 15 credits in total. The successful course completion rate = 11/15 or 73%. This student is meeting the qualitative factor for SAP.

*Note: Students are not required to retake failed or withdrawn elective courses (unless no other option exists) for successful completion, and instead may satisfy SAP requirements by completing any approved elective course.  Elective courses, passed or failed, will be considered and accounted for during the Financial Aid and Academic review for SAP.

 

Quantitative Measure

Pace: This measure assesses the pace at which a student progresses toward attainment of their degree. The calculation to determine pace is done by testing the student against pre-determined progression benchmarks at the end of the terms referenced below. These benchmarks are designed to assess whether or not a student will be able to complete their program of study within the maximum timeframe (MTF) for completion as defined by MUIH.  The chart below outlines the appropriate pace of completion by trimester, based on a larger percentage of courses due to be successfully completed later in the program. The MTF is calculated from the first trimester of a student’s enrollment and all trimesters are counted even if a student is not taking any courses or is on a leave of absence.  Therefore, pace is calculated in reference to all terms enrolled, regardless of activity (or non-activity). Any break in a student’s enrollment, except total program withdrawal, will be included in the calculation of pace. 

 

Degree Type

Trimesters 3-5

Trimesters 6-8

Trimesters 9-11

Trimesters 12-14

Trimesters 15-17

Trimesters 18-20

Trimester 21

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

25%

50%

MTF

 

 

 

 

Master’s Degree

10%

25%

50%

75%

MTF

 

 

Post-Masters Certificate

25%

50%

MTF

 

 

 

 

Doctoral Degree

10%

25%

50%

50%

75%

85%

MTF

Example of Appropriate Pace: A student who is enrolled in a Post Masters Certificate program at the end of their third trimester has taken and passed 6 credits of course work, they also transferred in 3 credits. The program is 12 credits in total. The calculation of pace is as follows: 12 total program credits divided by 9 successfully completed credits, equals 75% completion. Because the minimum expectation of pace is to have completed 25% of courses at that time, the student is maintaining a successful pace to complete the program within the MTF.

A student is ineligible for federal and state financial aid, and no appeal will be considered, when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete the program within the MTF (inclusive of a one year extension, if granted). See table below.

Maximum Timeframe (MTF): Federal law requires that an SAP policy include a Maximum Timeframe (MTF) in which a student receiving federal financial aid must complete their educational program. The MTF for a graduate program at MUIH may be no longer than the maximum number of years allowed by Maryland state law. If a student completes one degree and decides to pursue a second degree, the MTF would reset.  The MTF is calculated from the first trimester of a student’s enrollment and all trimesters are counted even if a student is not taking any courses or is on a leave of absence.

Credits counted in the MTF are all attempted credits within a student’s specific program at MUIH (even when not a financial aid recipient) and all transfer credits accepted toward their academic program (at the time of SAP Review). *At the point that all required coursework for an academic program has been completed, financial aid eligibility will be suspended even if the student does not apply to graduate.

The maximum timeframe to be eligible for merit-based and need-based funding is:

Degree Type

Maximum Timeframe

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

9 trimesters

Master’s Degree

15 trimesters

Post-Masters Certificate

9 trimesters

Doctoral Degree

21 trimesters

 

*Note: With respect to the MTF, all degree seeking students have the ability to apply, and if approved, be granted an additional year of eligibility to complete their program of study.

Failure to meet SAP requirements for Academic purposes

Academic Sanctions

The Office of Academic Affairs (and specifically each Academic Advisor) will conduct a Satisfactory Academic Progress review for all students at the completion of each trimester. The review will not occur until the submission of all grades for a student.

Because this review cannot be completed before the submission of all grades for a student in each trimester and due to the nature of our course structure, students may be notified and removed from a course after the course has begun.

Academic Probation:

Students will be placed on Academic Probation:

  1. When they fall below a cumulative 50% successful course completion rate (in courses attempted).
  2. When they are not maintaining an appropriate pace as defined by the benchmarks noted in the quantitative measure of SAP.

Academic Jeopardy:

Students will be placed on Academic Jeopardy:

  1. When they fail to increase their cumulative successful completion rate above 50% for two consecutive trimesters.
    1. Future student registration will be held until the student has met with their Academic Advisor.
    2. A plan to improve successful completion rate will be documented with each student.
  2. When they are not maintaining an appropriate pace as defined by the benchmarks noted in the quantitative measure of SAP for two consecutive trimesters.

Academic Dismissal:

Students will be Academically Dismissed:

  1. When they fail to increase their cumulative successful completion rate above 50%, or they have failed to meet the appropriate pace benchmark after three consecutive trimesters of being on either Academic Probation or Academic Jeopardy.

Students who are placed under academic sanctions by the Office of Academic Affairs are considered to be failing SAP standards. This will trigger the steps listed below and a student may become ineligible for Financial Aid.

Frequency of Review

The Office of Financial Aid, in coordination with the Office of Academic Affairs will review the status of all financial aid applicants at the conclusion of each trimester (summer, fall, and spring), when all grades for a student are available. The review consists of the cumulative record of all prior trimesters (including trimesters when a student may not have received financial aid funding), including transfer credits accepted toward an academic program at the time of the SAP Review. All elements of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated: successful course completion, pace/progress rate, as well as maximum timeframe.

Failure to meet SAP requirements for Financial Aid purposes

Financial Aid Warning

If MUIH determines a student is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student is given the status of Financial Aid Warning. During the subsequent trimester, the student will have the opportunity to meet the SAP standards and remain financial aid eligible. If the standards are met by the end of that trimester, the Financial Aid Warning is lifted and the student maintains eligibility for financial aid. If at the end of the trimester, the student does not meet the SAP standards, the student’s eligibility for financial aid is suspended beginning with the next immediate trimester, until SAP is met.

A student may be placed on Financial Aid Warning multiple times if they have intermittent trimesters of meeting and not meeting SAP requirements. Example: A student is not meeting SAP standards upon review of the fall 2015 trimester performance and the student is placed on Financial Aid Warning. At the end of the following trimester, spring 2016, the student is meeting SAP standards and the student maintains eligibility for financial aid. At the end of fall 2016 trimester, however, the once again has not met SAP standards.  The student is again placed on Financial Aid Warning. In other words, the clock re-sets after each trimester of successfully meeting SAP requirements.

Financial Aid Suspension

If a student is not meeting SAP requirements after a trimester of Financial Aid Warning, the student will be notified that eligibility for aid is suspended. In addition, when it becomes mathematically impossible for a student to complete their program within the MTF, financial aid will be suspended. The student may appeal the suspension. The outcome of the appeal will determine whether the student is granted Financial Aid Probation or if the suspension remains in place.

Financial Aid Probation

Financial Aid Probation is a status assigned to a student who has failed to make SAP, was put on Financial Ad Suspension, and then successfully appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated for a defined period of time.

Appeal Circumstances

Circumstances to appeal a Financial Aid Suspension decision are limited. A student may appeal suspension if the student did not make Satisfactory Academic Progress due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., the death of a relative, illness of the student). All circumstances must be documented (and may or may not be approved by the Director of Financial Aid and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)). 

Appeal Process

Appeals must be submitted by within 7 days of receiving notification of Financial Aid Suspension. Late appeals may be considered, but timely review is not guaranteed before the start of the next trimester.

If a student chooses to appeal the Financial Aid Suspension, they must first meet with their academic advisor to create an Academic Plan, and then complete a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Agreement with the Director of Financial Aid. Students should also submit any documentation that supports the request to the Director of Financial Aid. This process must be completed each trimester they are assigned this status. The contract is individualized and includes the agreed upon Academic Plan.

The appeal will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid and the CFO and they may uphold the suspension, approve the appeal, or require additional information prior to making a decision.

  • If the Director of Financial Aid and CFO determine the appeal cannot be approved, the suspension remains in place and financial aid eligibility remains suspended.
  • If the Director of Financial Aid and CFO determine the appeal is sufficient and the student should be able to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of their next trimester of enrollment and/or the student is taking sufficient credits to graduate prior to exceeding the MTF, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one trimester. At the end of the trimester of Financial Aid Probation, the student’s performance will be reviewed. If SAP requirements have been met, the student regains financial aid eligibility. If SAP requirements have not been met, the student’s eligibility for financial aid is again suspended beginning with the next immediate trimester, and until SAP is met.
    • The student’s performance will continue to be monitored every trimester. An Academic Plan will have specific goals for a student to achieve each trimester of Financial Aid Probation and even if the goals are met early, the student continues on Financial Aid Probation until the end of the trimester. If a student does not meet the specific goals of the Academic Plan, the student’s eligibility for financial aid is suspended beginning with the next immediate trimester, and until SAP is met.
    • At the end of the trimester the student’s performance will be reviewed. If SAP requirements have been met, the student regains financial aid eligibility for the next immediate trimester. If SAP requirements have not been met, the student’s eligibility for financial aid is again suspended beginning with the next immediate trimester, and until SAP is met.

Academic Plan

An Academic Plan of Action is a course of action that, if achieved, will ensure that the student is able to meet the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards by a specific point in time. An Academic Plan of Action may include guidance provided by the student’s Academic Advisor, suggested restrictions on work, social activity or other elements.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

If an appeal is denied, a student may regain financial aid eligibility by completing a specified number of credit hours (as determined by the Academic Advisor) without the benefit of federal or state aid, by restoring good academic standing with the University, and by meeting SAP standards. If those conditions are met, a student will be considered eligible for federal and/or state financial aid.

If a student has successfully appealed Financial Aid Suspension and is placed on Financial Aid Probation but fails to meet the requirements of the Financial Aid Probation contract/Academic Plan of Action, the student may not appeal again unless 1) the student is granted permission by the Director of Financial Aid, the Associate VP of Enrollment Management and the Academic Director of the Department to continue in the program and 2) the student is able to attend without receiving federal, state or institutional financial aid and meet SAP and University academic standards. If those conditions are met, a student must then submit a new appeal to request a review of eligibility for financial aid.

Students may not submit two consecutive appeals.

Special Considerations:

  • Transfer Credits – Courses that are transferred from another institution and accepted toward an academic degree program (at the time of SAP Review) at the University count as attempted and completed hours for the purpose of measuring pace and for Maximum Timeframe (MTF).
  • Incomplete Grades – Credit hours in which a student receives a grade “I” are included in the number of attempted credits, but don’t count toward successfully completed credits. Students with numerous incompletes may have difficulty meeting the SAP standards at the time of evaluation. SAP will only be re-evaluated at the end of the next trimester.
  • Failing Grades – Credit hours in which a student receives a grade “F” are included in the number of attempted credits. Failing grades are not successfully completed credits.
  • Withdrawals – Credit hours in which a student receives a grade “W” are included in the number of attempted credits, but don’t count towards successfully completed credits.
  • Audited Credits – Audited class credits are not considered attempted coursework. A student cannot receive financial aid for audited courses.
  • Grade Changes – Students who are on Financial Aid Probation must resolve all incomplete grades before the Office of Financial Aid can make a final determination that they meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. Students must report any grade changes that impact their financial aid eligibility directly to the Office of Financial Aid. Students must notify the Office of Financial Aid once their final grades have been posted.