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Satisfactory Academic Progress


All students who apply for federal, state, and institutional financial aid at John F. Kennedy University must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) while receiving financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress is defined as reasonable and timely advancement by students toward completion of their educational goal. All students who apply for federal, state and most institutional financial aid at John F. Kennedy University must maintain satisfactory academic progress while receiving financial aid.

The Financial Aid Office at John F. Kennedy University monitors academic progress each term, monitoring all units attempted and completed, including:

  • units that were transferred from another institution and accepted by JFK University
  • units from JFK University that were attempted for which the student did not receive any aid
  • units earned prior to a student’s change in program

The University complies with federal regulations to monitor student aid recipients’ academic progress toward a degree or certificate in the following ways.

QUALITATIVELY — Ensuring students’ academic grades are consistent with requirements for receipt of a degree or certificate

Students must maintain a minimum, cumulative grade point average (GPA) of:

  • 2.0 (C) if an undergraduate student.
  • 3.0 (B) if a graduate student.
  • 2.0 (C) in all undergraduate courses and 3.0 (B) in all graduate courses during the period of linking if student is linking a BA or BS to an MA program.
  • a score of 70 if a law student.

QUANTITATIVELY — Ensuring students complete their program within a maximum time frame.

Because students at JFK University pursue a variety of educational objectives, the number of units required for completion will vary from program to program. A standard academic year at JFK University is defined as three terms (either three quarters or three semesters) or four sessions. In order to be considered making quantitative satisfactory academic progress, however, all financial aid applicants and recipients must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Unit Completion Rate/Pace Requirement - Students must complete (receive credit for or earn units in) at least 80% of all cumulative units attempted. The following grades are not considered units successfully completed: I, W, UW, AU, NC, F, NR: and
  • Maximum Timeframe - Students are limited to taking no more than 150% of the units, including transfer units, of the published length of their program.

Repeating Courses to Achieve a Passing Grade. Repeated coursework may be included when determining enrollment status in a term if a student needs to meet an academic standard for a particular previously passed course, such as minimum grade.

Financial Aid (FA) Warning. Any student who fails to meet the satisfactory progress standards for either GPA and/or units completed percentage will be notified and placed on a FA Warning for one term. Students are still eligible to receive federal aid while on a FA Warning.

Financial Aid Termination. When grades have been posted at the end of the FA Warning period (one term), any student still failing to meet either the qualitative or quantitative standards for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress will be disqualified from receiving further financial aid. In addition, students are granted only one warning period while enrolled. Once a student has used his/her FA Warning Period and subsequently re-establishes eligibility, (s)he will automatically be disqualified if (s)he ever falls below the required minimums again.

Appeal Process/Financial Aid Probation. If the student is not making SAP after the Warning Period their FA eligibility is terminated. A student may appeal to have their eligibility reinstated. The Financial Aid Appeals form is available in the JFK University FA Office in Pleasant Hill. The FA Director will review each appeal on a case-by-case basis within 30 days upon receipt of the appeal. If the Director approves the appeal, additional term(s) of probation may be offered. The student will continue to receive financial aid during the approved probationary period. Appeals may be accepted or denied at the discretion of the JFK University FA Office. No federal funds will be released until all final grades for a term in question are posted. Either of the following must be included in the appeal.

a.  Extraordinary Circumstances
Any student who feels that there were extraordinary circumstances that were beyond their control that contributed to their being placed on a FA Warning may file a written appeal with the FA Director  requesting a probationary period to continue FA eligibility, along with appropriate documentation of the  extraordinary circumstances. Important Notice — The appeal cannot be based upon your need for  assistance or your lack of knowledge that your assistance was in jeopardy.

  1. Extraordinary circumstances may include a student’s illness or injury, death in the family or other serious factors that are outside the student’s control.
  2. In addition to documenting the extraordinary circumstances, the appeal must include what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate that they are or will be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in the future.

b. Academic Plan
A probationary period may require an approved FA Academic Plan that will ensure that the student is able to meet the institution’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards by a specific point in time. The FA Academic Plan can come from and be approved by a Departmental Chair or Academic Advisor. If
the student does not follow the requirements of the FA Academic Plan or fails to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards by the date specified on the Plan, then the student will lose financial aid eligibility and will not be eligible to appeal.

Reinstatement. If, after a student has been disqualified from receiving federal aid, the student feels that (s)he has improved his/her academic standing to comply within the minimum financial aid academic standards, (s)he may petition the FA Director to have his/her financial aid eligibility re-established from that point forward. Students may re-establish eligibility only one time.

These policies are subject to federal, state and institutional changes without prior notice. The FA Office will make every attempt to advise students of impending change but we cannot guarantee such notice. All students are subject to current standards, not the standards which were in effect at the time of enrollment. This is necessary to comply with any change in federal and/or state statute, regulation or policy regarding student aid eligibility.