Apr 17, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog & Student Handbook 
2022-2023 University Catalog & Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

COM Satisfactory Academic Progress

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Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Consideration

Federal regulations require schools to monitor the academic progress of Title IV financial aid recipients. KCU must certify that students are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of their KCU degree. KCU follows the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Education that students are meeting the three required measurements to determine SAP: qualitative (GPA), quantitative (progression) and time frame.

The policy applies to students who are receiving federal aid; however, these standards are cumulative so this includes all periods of the student’s enrollment, which may include times when the student did not receive federal aid. The academic standards set forth by COM may vary from the financial aid policy for academic progress.

Qualitative Measure

Students enrolled in COM are graded on an Honors/Pass/Fail system. Financial Aid considers a grade of Honors or Pass to be the equivalent of receiving a 70 percent or higher in measuring SAP.

Students must pass all classes to be considered making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.

Students who have earned three failures and/or are required to repeat all or a portion of an academic year are considered to not be meeting SAP standards.  These students will need to appeal for federal financial aid in a subsequent term and/or new academic year.

Students who do not meet SAP standards are eligible to appeal for federal financial aid. Students who have approved appeals will be placed on probation with an academic plan.

Quantitative Measure: Attempted vs. Completed

In order for students to progress through the program to graduate within the maximum time frame, Financial Aid requires all COM students to complete 70 percent of credit hours attempted. In determining pace progression, KCU calculates a completion rate for each student. The completion rate is the total number of credit hours successfully completed divided by the total number of credit hours attempted. Pass/Fail courses are considered in the attempted credits.

Attempted hours not earned include any grade of Fail (F), Incomplete (I), or Withdrawal (W).

Time Frame: Pace Progression

Program Typical Time Frame Maximum Time Frame
DO 4 years to graduate 6 years to graduate
Bioethics (Dual) 4 years to graduate 6 years to graduate

Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their degree each academic year. Students must complete the DO program within six academic years of the matriculation date in COM. Students participating in the bioethics dual-degree program must complete both programs within six academic years. 

The COM-SPC may grant an additional year in rare and extenuating circumstances. Students who do not complete their degree in six academic years will not be eligible for additional aid without a financial aid appeal. Students will need to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine aid eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will advise the student of the appeals process for additional aid eligibility to complete their degree if they have met the maximum time frame limit and are allowed to enroll beyond six years.

NOTE: All the SAP measures listed above are required for students in the dual-degree Bioethics program as well.

Transfer Credits

KCU Office of Admissions may grant credit for courses successfully completed at a student’s prior college or university. Credits accepted for degree at KCU will count as completed for the pace calculation. If a transfer student is accepted into the third year of the COM, the student’s prior years of medical school will count as attempted and completed towards the quantitative components regarding pace and maximum time frame measures.

Repeated Coursework

Courses in which a student has received a grade of “F” may be repeated and eligible for financial aid. However, a student may receive aid for repeating a previously passed course only once with prior approval from the SPC.

Repeat Academic Year

Repeating an academic year may have implications regarding SAP. Students who will be repeating a year should contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about their aid eligibility for the repeated year.

SAP Review

SAP is reviewed annually at the end of an academic year for COM. This will be done prior to disbursement of subsequent aid for the next academic year. The entire prior year will be reviewed to determine eligibility. The Financial Aid Office will review all students enrolled for the year to determine a student’s SAP status, regardless of financial aid received.

Dual-degree DO/MA students will be reviewed based on the same SAP standards set forth in the above policy. Dismissal from the DO program will result in dismissal from the MA program.

If the student is not meeting the above SAP eligibility requirements, the student will be ineligible for financial aid. Students will be notified by email if they fail to meet the minimum standards outlined above. This email communication will include an explanation of the standards evaluated and instructions on how to proceed with the appeal process.

COMLEX Failures

A student who fails any portion of the COMLEX and is permitted by the COM-SPC to remain enrolled in their program of study, and who also meets all SAP eligibility standards, is considered to be making SAP.

SAP Appeal Process

Financial Aid will notify the student via email if an appeal needs to be submitted to continue receiving federal aid at KCU. Students will be asked to submit an appeal form to the Financial Aid office. The form will require the student to complete the information listed below:

  • A written statement documenting the reasons for the failure to meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid eligibility. The statement should be concise but long enough to address the student’s mitigating circumstances (e.g., serious illness of student or family member, death of relative, disruptive personal issue). There is no school-defined length.
  • A written statement explaining what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to bring his/her academic progress up to the satisfactory standards.
  • Supporting documentation may be required to process the appeal.

Appeals will be reviewed and completed within two to four weeks of receipt. Students who submit appeals will be notified via email regarding the decision of their appeal. Students with approved appeals will regain federal financial aid eligibility. Students with denied appeals will be ineligible for federal financial aid until they meet the minimum SAP requirements. Appeal decisions are final.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have approved appeals will be placed on financial aid probation and have their federal financial aid reinstated.

Students who are able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next payment period will be placed on probation without an academic plan. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the next payment period. Students who meet the minimum standards at the end of the probationary period are no longer on probation. Students failing to meet the minimum eligibility requirements at the end of the probationary period are considered ineligible to receive additional funds.

Students who are not able to meet SAP standards by the end of the next payment period will be placed on probation with an academic plan. Students will need to successfully follow the academic plan while in this status. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each payment period while on the academic plan. Students who meet the criteria outlined in their academic plan will remain in that plan until it expires or the student meets the minimum SAP eligibility requirements. Students must appeal to change their academic plan. Students who do not meet the academic plan criteria outlined in their plan will be placed back into suspension and will be ineligible for federal aid.

Without Approved Appeal

Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress and do not submit an appeal or have their appeal request denied may regain eligibility only by taking action that brings them into compliance with KCU’s satisfactory progress standards for financial aid.

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