Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Title IV Federal Financial Aid

Doane University is required by federal regulations to define and monitor standards of satisfactory academic progress for students who are receiving or wish to receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid from one or more of the following programs:

Undergraduate Students

  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)
  3. NOG (Nebraska Opportunity Grant)
  4. FWS (Federal Work-study)
  5. Federal Perkins Loan
  6. Federal Stafford Loan
  7. Federal PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
  8. Federal TEACH Grant
  9. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Graduate Students

  1. Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Federal PLUS - Graduate students
  3. Federal TEACH Grant

Standards of Satisfactory Academic progress consist of two measurements:

  • Cumulative GPA (Qualitative) - ensures the student is able to meet the minimum academic grade point average (GPA) to complete a degree at Doane University
  • Pace (Quantitative) - measures the student's progress toward a degree by completing a certain percentage of attempted hours.

Each term the Financial Aid Office reviews the academic records of all students to determine if a student is maintaining the required minimum GPA to be eligible to receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid. For federal financial aid purposes, the Financial Aid Office uses the same required cumulative grade point average (CGPA) the institution uses to be in good academic standing. 

Undergraduate Students

Credits Attempted   Cumulative GPA
 12 - 35  1.70
 36 - 59  1.85
 60+  2.00

Graduate Students

A student must have a CGPA of 3.0 in his/her graduate program to be considered making the required CGPA requirements for federal financial aid purposes. Please note that transfer credits are not factored into a student's cumulative GPA but are considered in the pace calculation as both attempted and completed credits.

In addition to the CGPA standard, a student must also meet the pace standard. This means a student must receive credit for a minimum of 75 percent 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) each term. The student should also be working toward completion of a graduate degree.

At the end of each term, the Financial Aid Office will review all student records to determine if they completed at least 75 percent of their total hours attempted. The measurement used is as follows:

­Pace = Total Credit Hours Completed / Total Credit Hours Attempted

Only credit hours passed (grades A through D and P) are considered as credits earned. 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 credits earned until they are replaced by a satisfactory letter grade. Grades of I, IP, W, and F are included as attempted credits in the calculation. A student should notify the Financial Aid Office when I or IP grades are replaced with a satisfactory letter grade.

Maximum Time Frame 

Students can receive financial aid for up to 198 attempted credits or until a bachelor's degree is earned. If it is determined by the college that the student is not able to complete his/her bachelor's degree without surpassing the 198, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be able to receive federal financial aid.

Depending on the graduate program of study, the student can receive federal financial aid for up to the following amount of attempted credit hours:

  • Master of Arts in Management (MAM) 42 credits
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) 42 credits
  • Master of Art in Counseling (MAC) 69 credits
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (MEDCI) 42 credits
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDEL) 42 credits
  • Master of Education in School Counseling  42 credits
  • Educational Specialist 42 credits
  • Doctorate of Education (EDD) 66 credits

Students who completed their Initial Accelerated Certification in Special Education and then go on to complete their Master's of Curriculum and Instruction are allowed up to 75 attempted credits due to the additional coursework required for Special Education certification.

If it is determined by the university the student is not able to complete his/her Master's degree without surpassing the time frame indicated above, the student would be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.  Students have the ability to appeal this and should contact the Financial Aid office for instructions if this happens.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who are not meeting either the cumulative GPA and/or the Pace requirements measurements at the end of a term are placed on Financial Aid Warning the ensuing term of enrollment. Students are allowed to receive financial aid during the Financial Aid Warning period. A graduate student receives only one Financial Aid Warning term while at Doane University. The student will be notified in writing 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 their program and/or the 75 percent completion rate. Students are not eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid if on suspension and are notified in writing of their Financial Aid Suspension status. Students may be able to continue taking coursework, however they are not able to receive Title IV 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. The contents of the academic program are determined on a case by case basis dependent on the circumstances and whether or not it is a qualitative or quantitative issue which has caused the financial aid suspension. Examples of extenuating circumstances include: 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.

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 agrees to let the student continue to receive financial aid for an additional term due to extenuating circumstances, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation or Financial Aid Academic Monitoring.

Financial Aid Probation/Financial aid academic monitoring

Students who are granted an appeal and placed on Financial Aid Probation can receive federal financial aid for the term for which they next enroll.  However, after final grades are posted for that term of enrollment, the student must have returned to Satisfactory status.  If the student fails to return to Satisfactory status, he/she is placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Students whose appeal are granted, but are not able to return to Satisfactory status after a term of enrollment are placed on Financial Aid Academic Plan.  The student can continue to receive federal financial aid as long as he/she is meeting terms outlined in his/her academic plan. Each term the student's academic records and file will be reviewed to determine if the conditions of the academic plan have been met.   If the student completes the conditions of the academic plan, he/she can continue to receive federal financial aid for another term. The student must meet the conditions of their appeal until they return to Satisfactory status.   A student that does not meet the conditions of their academic plan, will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. 


Reinstatement of Title IV federal financial aid occurs 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. At his/her own expense, a student may take courses to attempt to regain their Title IV federal financial aid eligibility. A student who has regained their eligibility may contact the financial aid office if they wish to begin receiving Title IV federal financial aid.

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Violations is located on-line at

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.

In addition to the Title IV federal aid rules, a student is subject to Doane University's Institutional Academic Policies. A student not maintaining the minimum grade point average based on credits attempted (as referenced above) may be subject to Academic Probation and/or Academic Suspension at the end of any term if the student is not meeting the above referenced cumulative GPA requirements. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may place a student on Academic probation or Academic suspension if a student is not making satisfactory progress or is in danger of not meeting all university graduation requirements. If a student is on Academic Suspension, he/she is not allowed to enroll in classes at Doane University. Specific conditions of Academic Probation and Academic Suspension are communicated in writing to the student by the Academic Affairs office.

Note: This policy is separate from the Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.


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