Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In regulation Section 668.32, the U.S. Department of Education revised the requirements for Colleges & Universities to define and administer Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for students receiving Title IV Federal Financial Aid. As required, the Bennett College SAP policy for Title IV students is the same as or stricter than the school’s standards for students enrolled in the same educational program who are not receiving Title IV aid. Aid recipients must maintain sufficient progress to assure successful completion of their educational objectives as measured by quantitative and qualitative standards. The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) is responsible for ensuring that all students who receive federal financial aid are meeting these standards. The College Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee is responsible for conducting end of semester reviews of its SAP Policy to ensure federal compliance and dissemination to students. This policy utilizes up to 150% of total time period for acquisition of the baccalaureate degree, a one year review cycle for eligibility and utilizes quantitative and qualitative measures of progress. To ensure Satisfactory Academic Progress, students must meet all of the following standards and requirements.

I. Satisfactory Progress Requirements:


  • •Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • •Minimum Completion Standard for Attempted Credit Hours
  • •Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

These requirements apply to the following programs: The Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Parent PLUS Loans, and all Institutional Aid. Bennett College also uses this standard to renew need-based aid. Recipients of DC, PHEAA, Rhode Island & NC Grant aid must also follow certain academic progress guidelines. Bennett College has designed a SAP policy that meets the requirements of both federal and state agencies.

II. Qualitative and Quantitative Minimum Academic Standards

Qualitative Standard

Bennett College student cumulative GPA must meet the academic standards established by the college in the Bennett College Catalog.

Year Minimum Completed Credit Hours Cumulative GPA
Sem. 1 12 1.75
Sem. 2/yr 2 & onward 24/48 2.0
3 72 2.0
4 96 2.0
5 120 2.0
6 150 2.0

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

Non-remedial coursework assigned with a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F contributes to the cumulative GPA. Students who have 25 or more attempted credit hours (excluding remedial coursework) must maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average measured on a 4.00 scale at the end of each semester. Achieving a GPA of less than 2.0 will result in academic/financial aid warning the next term of enrollment. During the warning period, the student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.00 each term. The warning status will be removed when the student's cumulative GPA is 2.00 or higher. Warning status will change to Ineligible status if the student earns less than a 2.0.

NOTE: Remedial coursework does not count in the GPA. Financial aid may be granted for up to thirty (30) credit hours of remedial coursework as long as the student is meeting all other standards. However, remedial courses are included in the quantitative calculation.

Quantitative Standard:

In addition to maintaining the specified grade point average, a student must complete her degree within a maximum time frame.

Maximum Time Frame -- Students are expected to complete 67 % of their cumulative attempted hours. Completing less than 67 % of the cumulative attempted hours will result in financial aid warning for the next term of enrollment. During the warning period, the student must complete all (100 percent) hours attempted. The warning status will be removed when the student completes 67 % of their cumulative hours. Courses assigned a letter grade of A, B, C, D, F, I, S, U, W or WP count in quantitative and maximum time frame calculation, as do transfer credits accepted toward degree programs and any repeated coursework. Enrollment status for financial aid is defined based on hours enrolled at the end of the College's 100 percent fee refund period. For Example:

Total Hours Attempted Minimum Hours Required to Complete
24 20
48 40
72 60
96 80
120 100
150 100

Students who are receiving financial aid are expected to complete all requirements for a Bachelor’s degree within a maximum time frame of attempted program hours. A student reaches maximum time frame after having attempted the credit hour equivalent of 150 % of the program hours required for the current degree or certificate. The student will be INELIGIBLE for Financial Aid if she cannot finish the degree or certificate program within the maximum time frame. The student has the option of appealing the INELIGIBLITY (see section under Appeal and Reinstatement).

Withdrawals (W’s), Withdrawals W/o Penalty (WP’s), Incompletes (I’s), and Repeats: Withdrawals, WP’s, incompletes, and repeated courses will not be exempt from the calculation of attempted hours. Students will be required to complete the minimum number of credits as outlined in the above chart.

Remedial Coursework: Students may receive financial aid for up to thirty (30) credits of remedial coursework. The first 30 credit hours are excluded in determining maximum timeframe. However, remedial courses are included in the quantitative calculation.

Transfer/Second Degree/ Second Major /Consortium Coursework: Many students transfer to Bennett College. Only the credits transferred in count toward the maximum timeframe; we do not count the grades on those transfer credits toward the qualitative measure.

Many students return to Bennett for a subsequent degree and/or obtain a second degree. In many cases a portion of the earned credits from the first degree(s) count toward the subsequent degree. This transfer of earned credits reduces the number of credits the student will need to earn in order to complete the subsequent degree objective. Consequently, this also reduces the maximum time frame applicable to the subsequent degree.

In order to determine the maximum time frame for the subsequent degree, determine the number of credits in the subsequent degree program and multiply this figure by 1.5. Determine the number of credits from the previous degree(s) that transfer to the subsequent degree. The transferred credits are subtracted from the calculated number (program credits times 1.5) that constitutes 150 percent of the subsequent program. The result is the student’s remaining maximum time frame eligibility for the subsequent degree.

Many students attend multiple institutions under a consortium agreement. When a student’s program includes attendance at multiple institutions, it is the responsibility of the college that provides federal student aid to track the student’s satisfactory academic progress. In this case Bennett would track the progress during the Fall & Spring terms when aid is offered.

Summer Semester: Coursework taken during the Summer semester is treated as any other semester and is counted in the qualitative (GPA), quantitative (completion rate), and maximum time frame standards along with the Fall and Spring semesters.

Federal Return of Funds: Federal financial aid recipients who withdraw or stop attending all classes before the 60 percent point in the term will owe money back to the federal government and/or Bennett College.

III. Penalty for Failure to Meet Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Standards:

Students failing to meet the standards described in Section II for minimum hours completed and or minimum grade point average will be placed on Financial Aid WARNING for one semester. At the end of that semester, if the student has not met the minimum requirements, the student will be INELIGIBLE to receive student aid.

Students who are INELIGIBLE will be denied aid for a period of at least one semester. Reinstatement will be contingent upon attainment of satisfactory progress standards described in Section II by using the student’s own resources or an appeal and acceptance of an Academic Plan through the Academic Advising unit at Bennett College.

Students will be notified in writing when they are in either Financial Aid WARNING or INELIGIBLITY status. Where unusual circumstances exist, students may appeal when INELIGIBLE as described in Section IV.

Appeal of Financial Aid INELIGIBILITY

The Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress requirements may be waived under certain conditions and/or mitigating circumstances such as injury to the student, illness of the student, death or illness of a relative of the student, or other special circumstances. If these mitigating circumstances exist, the student should appeal the INELIGIBILITY status & accept an Academic plan.

A student wishing to appeal when deemed INELIGIBLE for Financial Aid should submit a completed Financial Aid Appeal Form, accept an Academic plan and submit any other supporting documents (letters, and /or invoices from doctors and /or hospitals, affidavits) to the Office of Financial Aid. Given the importance of such an appeal, materials must be sent by regular mail or fax. Students may also bring original documents to the Office of Financial Aid. All appeals materials must be received by the Office of Financial Aid by the close of business fifteen working days, after receipt of the notice of suspension. The Office of Financial Aid will then present the appeals to the Financial Aid Committee. Should the appeal be denied, the student has the right to make an appearance before the committee if she desires. August 1st will be the last day to submit appeal materials for the fall semester and December 1st will be the last day to submit appeal materials for the spring semester.

IV. Reinstatement of Financial Aid

A student on deemed INELIGIBLE for Financial Aid may apply for reinstatement of financial aid & be placed on FINANCIAL AID PROBATION when one of the following conditions prevails:

1) The INELIGIBILTY has been successfully appealed and the student has accepted an Academic Plan as outlined in Section III; or

2) The student has earned the minimum GPA and hours needed to meet the Satisfactory Progress of requirements as described in Section II and/or is adhering to the Academic plan.

In addition, students may be able to increase their GPA by successfully completing courses without financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student in writing of the Appeals Committee’s decision. The decision of the Appeals Committee is FINAL.

Reports will be run each semester to determine Satisfactory Academic Progress for students receiving financial aid. Information concerning Satisfactory Academic Progress will be maintained in the student’s file. Students may appeal one time per academic school year while enrolled. Re-admit students whose gpa isless than the SAP standards of 2.0 must appeal and provide proof of passing at least (2) college related courses earning a minimum of “C” letter grade in each course.