To maintain eligibility for federal financial aid, whether attending full or part time, seeking a master’s degree or certificate, students must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of their degrees. Satisfactory academic progress is measured qualitatively and quantitatively.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

  1. Qualitatively – Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  2. Quantitatively – Students must complete their master’s degrees within 150% of the time required to complete their specific program and complete a minimum of 18 credits per academic year and by also maintaining a completion rate of 67% of all credits attempted. Certificate students must complete their programs within 150% of the time required to complete their specific certificate and complete a minimum of 12 credits per academic year. Students may have 1 program change that will not affect their academic progress. With a program change, the clock resets. Any subsequent program changes will be included in the 150% completion rate calculation.


Credit – A credit is the unit by which academic work is measured.

Attempted Credit – All credits for which you are registered at the beginning of each term.

Cumulative Credits – The total number of credits attempted and earned for all periods of enrollment at Adler, including terms for which the student did not receive financial aid.

Earned Credits – Earned credits are those successfully completed with a grade of A, B, C, and P. Grades of I, W, and NE are not counted as earned credits. Audit credits are not counted as attempted or earned credits. No Credit (NC) is counted as credit attempted and earned although no quality points are earned.

Grade Point Average (GPA) – The GPA is calculated using a point value that is assigned for grades A, B, C, and NC. Although a grade of P will count as credit earned, it is not assigned a point value.

Incomplete – An I or I/P is assigned as a temporary grade for pending course completion and is counted against the completion rate. A grade of I or I/P has no quantitative or qualitative computational value until it is converted into a final grade, at which point the final grade replaces the I or I/P.

Maximum Timeframe – Is the pace at which students’ progress through their programs to ensure that they will graduate within the maximum timeframe; not to exceed 150% of the published length of a program. This pertains to master’s degrees and certificate programs.

Transfer Credits – Credits from other master’s level courses earned from other master’s level institutions, count as credits attempted and completed but are not calculated in the GPA.

Change of Program – Only credits attempted for the currently enrolled in program of study count toward the maximum time frame and GPA requirements. If a student changes their program of study, the past credits and those taken going forward which apply to the new program of study, will be calculated in the maximum time frame requirements. Students are allowed one program change.  Any subsequent program changes will count toward the maximum time frame.

Completion Rate – Students must maintain a completion rate of 67%. A student earning 67% of credits attempted is on pace to complete their program within the maximum timeframe.

Withdrawals – A grade of W affects the maximum time frame calculation as well as the completion rate.  A W has zero quality points, so it does not affect the grade point average.

Academic progress is assessed every semester. All the student’s academic coursework is considered in the review process, whether the student received aid that term or not. The assessment will be based on the student’s academic record, excluding all approved transfer credit hours.

If the student does not meet either the GPA and/or credit completion requirements, the student will receive a written Financial Aid Warning from the Registrar. This is intended to alert the student that their financial aid eligibility will be in jeopardy for the next term for which they are registered, if they fail to achieve the GPA and/or credit completion requirements necessary to receive federal financial aid. Based on the student’s performance, the following may happen:

  1. The student achieves the minimum standards at the end of the term for which the warning was issued – student is aid eligible and aid is disbursed.
  2. Student fails to achieve the minimum GPA and/or credit completion standards and is no longer aid eligible. Student may appeal reinstatement of financial aid.

Student may submit an appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee regarding the loss of their federal financial aid. The following must be included in the appeal:

  1. The reason for not achieving SAP minimum requirements.
  2. What has changed about your circumstances that will allow you to achieve SAP.
  3. Third party documentation corroborating the issue for appeal.

Appeal Outcome

  1. Appeal is approved: Student continues in probation status for the next term of enrollment. During the probation period, the student is aid eligible; SAP will be evaluated at the end of the probation term. If SAP minimum requirements are achieved student is no longer on probation but will continue to be monitored.
  2. Appeal is denied: Student is NOT aid eligible and must pay expenses out-of-pocket; must achieve the SAP credit completion and/or GPA requirements before regaining financial aid eligibility as outlined in their probation letter.

A student cannot appeal exceeding the maximum timeframe. Once the maximum timeframe has been reached, students are no longer aid eligible. They may continue with their program but will need to find alternate funding.

Under SAP, students are given only one financial aid appeal. For example, the student appeals, the appeal is granted, the student is removed from financial aid probation. If the student subsequently returns to being placed on SAP probation, they will not have a second opportunity to appeal for financial aid. They will become ineligible for federal aid until they are able to achieve the SAP minimum requirements, or if they are in violation of the Academic Progress Policy, they face possible dismissal from the school. 

Academic Plan: The student and their Program Chair will work together to devise an academic plan. The academic plan will cover the student’s next term of enrollment only. Failure to achieve the terms of the individual plan will result in the loss of federal financial aid for the next term of enrollment. If the student is successful, the student will remain aid eligible and will continue to be monitored. An additional consecutive term of academic success removes the student from being monitored.