Satisfactory Academic Progress

The United States Department of Education requires students receiving financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress. The policy, monitored by the University, is divided into three components: 1) Pace of Progression, 2) Hours Attempted and 3) Grade Point Average. A student must be making progress in all three areas to continue receiving financial aid.


Pace of Progression

Eligibility is based on a student’s entire academic record whether or not financial aid was given during any term. Accountability begins with the student’s start date (semester or session start date) at Cleary University and includes transfer hours from other institutions. According to federal regulation §668.16 (e)(ii)(B), enacted April 29, 1994, the time to complete the educational program length, as a full-time student, may not exceed more than 150% of the published length. This means that a four-year program must be completed by the 6th year [4 X 150% = 6]. Total credits allowed for under graduate studies would be no more than 180 semester credits (120 x 1.5).

Enrollment/Program TypeMaximum Aid
Full-time BACHELOR DEGREE students (180 credits)18 terms [6 years] at full time
Half-time students36 terms [12 years] at ½-time
Full-time ASSOCIATE DEGREE students (90 credits)9 terms [3 years] at full-time
Half-time students18 terms [6 years] at ½-time

Academic “Pace” is determined by dividing the total number of credits successfully completed by the total number of credits attempted.

Hours Attempted and Completed

Effective September 1999, each new, continuing, or reactivating student must successfully complete 67% of the hours attempted during each evaluation period.  Evaluation is conducted at the end of each payment period (semester).  If by the end of the evaluation period, the student has not successfully completed at least 67% of the hours for which he/she officially registered, financial aid for the following semester may be cancelled.

 Examples of a 67% completion rate during a one semester period would be:

  • If you registered for 12 credits each semester, you would need to complete at least 8 credits.
  • If you registered for 6 credits each  semester, you would need to complete at least 4 credits.

For financial aid purposes, the following grades will be counted as unsatisfactory completion:  I, E, F, W, NC, FW and IW.  Retaken classes are considered as attempted courses when determining completion rates.  Classes that are taken a second time to improve the earned grade are only allowed to be paid with federal Title IV aid once beyond the initial class. Transfer credits from other institutions are also included in the attempted and completed count. Note:  Incompletes (I) must be converted to a passing letter grade.  The student’s transcript will be evaluated again after an “I” grade is converted to a letter grade

Grade Point Average

A student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA), calculated from all classes taken and all grades received while attending CLEARY UNIVERSITY may not drop below a “C” equivalent (2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate). Students must have good academic standing consistent with the requirements to graduate by the end of their second academic year.

Evidence of Attendance Policy for Financial Aid Purposes

Evidence of attendance in enrolled classes is required for all University students. Satisfactory evidence of attendance is defined as fulfilling at least one of the following:

  • Discussion or participation in an on-ground or on-line classroom
  • Completing a Canvas quiz
  • Uploading an assignment in a Canvas classroom

Attendance is required for all classes in order to qualify for financial aid. Failure to meet this requirement may result in loss of eligibility for certain types of student financial


A student who has not achieved the required GPA and/or is not successfully completing his or her educational program at the required pace, is no longer eligible to receive assistance under the Title IV, HEA programs. All students in this category will be notified. As such, Cleary University has opted to take the following steps:

Financial Aid Warning – For the payment period following the initial period in which the student did not make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements, Cleary University will place the student on financial aid probation. This status will allow the student to receive aid for the probation period. If at the end of the probation period, Cleary University determines that the student is again meeting academic progress standards, the student may continue his or her eligibility. If it is determined that the student is still not meeting academic progress requirements, a SAP Appeal process is available for one term.

SAP Appeal- After a student has been granted a probation period and they have still not fulfilled the SAP requirements, the student may petition in writing for reconsideration of eligibility for Title IV aid based on unusual circumstances. Examples of such circumstances include a death in the family, a health issue, an increase in work hours, or other like circumstances. Third party documentation of circumstances is required along with the written petition. (copy of death certificate, physician’s note, employer notice of increased work hours, etc.)

Written petitions must include: 1. Reasons why the student failed to meet SAP requirements; 2. How the student’s circumstances have changed; and 3. How he or she will now be successful in meeting the SAP requirements. The student will be expected to meet with his or her academic advisor to create an, Academic Plan. The Academic Plan will include the requirements and corresponding time line with an identified completion date, to ensure that the student is able to satisfy the SAP requirements. Once the Academic plan is completed it will need to be submitted along with a written petition to appeal aid termination.

Academic Plan – In cases where it is not possible for a student to bring his or her GPA and completion rate up to acceptable levels over one additional payment period, the use of an academic plan may be used over multiple terms for students who have been granted an appeal. Reinstatement of financial aid by the financial aid office is dependent on receipt of a completed and signed (by both the student and the academic advisor) Academic Plan from the Academic Advisor to the Financial Aid Office.

Final Termination Status

Students who fail to maintain academic progress requirements after the warning and appeal process will be required to complete course work at their own expense to bring their GPA and/or completion rate to acceptable levels before being considered for future aid. Aid granted after reinstatement will be based on available funds.

The above policy is based on Title IV Federal Regulation §668.16(e)(ii)(B) through (D). Questions or requests for additional information regarding the SAP Policy can be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Cleary University Financial Aid Office
1-800-686-1883 ext: 5005