Graduate Student Loans :
A graduate student may borrow up to $20,500 per academic year via the Federal Direct
Unsubsidized Loan Program. Loans may not exceed educational costs or the maximum
loan limits, whichever is less. All students must be degree seeking and remain enrolled
in a minimum of six credits to be eligible for Federal Direct Loans. The applicant is
required to complete the FAFSA in order to apply for the loan, which is available online at
fafsa.ed.gov. Students must begin repayment of their Federal Direct Loans six months
after they graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time status. Minimum repayment of a
Federal Direct Loan is $50 per month, but the actual payments will be based upon the
total amount borrowed, the length of the repayment period, and the type of repayment
plan chosen by the borrower. Students may qualify for different repayment programs.
Students need to check with their servicer for the various options.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for the Graduate Program
The Higher Education Act requires that a student maintains satisfactory academic
progress in order to receive financial aid under the student financial assistance programs
authorized by Title IV of the Act. The aid program include in this policy is the Federal
Direct Loan programs.
This policy for financial aid recipients is implemented in order to be in compliance with
current federal regulations. The SAP policy, which has three components that must
be met, reads as follows:
Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative (CUM)
grade point average (GPA) each term.
Students must pass 66% of their courses each term.
Students must complete their degree within a
150% maximum time frame. (49 attempted credits)
A student’s permanent academic record will be reviewed at the end of each term in
order to determine their academic progress. The entire record will be reviewed, even
if the student was not a financial aid recipient during part or all of the time of his/
her prior enrollment. Financial aid will be awarded to students who fulfill their course
requirements within a standard time frame for program completion and achieve the
minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). All students will adhere to the
same quantitative and qualitative measures for SAP requirements.
(9 credits attempted):
(6 credits attempted):
3.0 at the end of each
complete 6 credits
complete 4 credits
For financial aid purposes, a normal time frame for program completion is as follows:
Students pursuing a master’s degree cannot attempt more than 49 credits attempted.
Half-time students are expected to earn at least four new credits each term. Incompletes
are not counted toward credits completed until after the course work is successfully
completed and posted by the Records Office. If you repeat a course that you have
already successfully completed, the credits will not count toward credits completed for
SAP, since the credits were already counted toward the quantitative standards the first
time the course was completed.
Evaluation of Aid Eligibility
The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be monitored at the end of
Students failing to meet the standards set forth will receive a Financial Aid Warning for
the next term. The student may continue to receive financial aid for the next term.
At the end of the Financial Aid Warning term, the student’s academic record will be
reviewed. If satisfactory academic progress has not been re-established, the student
will be sent an appeal procedures letter. They will be required to submit an appeal to the
Financial Aid Advisory Committee in order to maintain their financial aid.
If the appeal is “approved” by the committee, the student will be placed on Financial
Aid Probation for one term. If the student does not earn a 3.0 CUM GPA and pass 66%
of their coursework at the end of that term, the student will lose all subsequent financial
aid. If the appeal is “denied” by the committee, the student would not receive financial
aid until they are able to bring their CUM GPA above 3.0 or make up classes to get them
above a 66% passing rate at Central Penn.
Financial Aid will not pay for courses that are retaken if previously passed.
THE SAP APPEAL PROCESS
If unusual circumstances, such as injury to the student, illness to the student, a
change in educational objective or death of an immediate family member occurs, the
school may waive the SAP requirement for the student. The school may choose to
waive the SAP requirement if the student has experienced undue hardship due to
special circumstances. Waivers will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For special
consideration, a student must complete a Financial Aid Appeal Request Form and
submit it to the Financial Aid Director. The appeal will then be reviewed by the Financial
Aid Advisory Committee. The student will be notified in writing as to the status of
Financial Aid Reinstatement
To be reinstated for financial aid once a student has been denied aid, due to lack of
progress during their Financial Aid Warning term and no appeal has been filed or an
appeal has been denied, a student must successfully complete the remaining credits
needed to make SAP progress with a minimum 3.0 CUM GPA (C) and/or make up
classes to get them above a 66% passing rate at Central Penn. No aid will be given until
these requirements are accomplished and the student’s permanent academic record has
been reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee. Students who have an appeal
granted must complete their next term with a CUM GPA of 3.00 or better and
complete and pass 66% of their coursework.
Students who have taken a break in their academic record will have their last term
reviewed. A student must have a 3.0 CUM GPA along with a 66% passing rate to be
eligible for financial aid. A student that fails to meet one of these requirements may
appeal. If no appeal is received or the appeal is denied, then a student would need to
pay for their courses on their own. Students that violate the SAP policy must take the
classes at Central Penn to re-establish eligibility for their financial aid. Transfer credits will
not be considered. No SAP appeals will be considered during week 1 of each term.
All information presented regarding financial aid eligibility and program availability
reflects current regulations and policies. This information is subject to change.