Prosthetics/Orthotics Program Policy
Federal and state regulations require recipients of financial aid to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their program of study. It is the University's expectation that students will make progress towards completion of the degree or professional development program in which they are enrolled. These requirements apply to part-time as well as to full-time students for all terms of enrollment within an academic year, including those terms for which no financial aid was granted.
Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in three fundamental ways:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Complete two-thirds (66.6%) of all credits attempted
- Complete program within a specified period of time
The Satisfactory Academic Progress regulations require that you maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) in order to remain eligible for financial aid. This minimum cumulative GPA is a 2.50 (on a 4.0 scale).
In order to meet the minimum standard of academic progress, NUPOC students must complete at least two-thirds (66.6%) of all cumulative credits attempted since the start of their PO program.
Courses dropped after the end of a term or session's add/drop period will be counted towards credits attempted. Grades of D, F, Y (Incomplete), W (Withdrawal), I (Incomplete), IP (In Progress), NC (No Credit), NR (Not Reported), or X (Unofficial Withdrawal) do not satisfy the requirements for the two-thirds (66.6%) completion rate.
Students have a maximum timeframe of 150% of the length of their standard program to complete their degree requirements. Students in the NUPOC program typically complete all required coursework within 21 months of combined online and on-campus work. This would mean that the maximum timeframe for a student in the NUPOC program would be 31 months.
All periods of enrollment are counted toward the maximum number of terms. Periods of academic leave (with no enrollment) or non-enrollment will not count against the maximum terms of enrollment. Periods of academic leave with enrollment (for example, a leave of absence that includes registration in an independent study) will count toward the maximum timeframe.
This maximum timeframe does not include the time needed to complete the required residencies, but only the timeframe in which you must complete the coursework (both on-campus and online).
Remedial and repeated coursework is counted in the same manner as all other coursework for the purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Students who earn credits through a consortium/contractual agreement do not qualify for additional terms of eligibility.
Students who have completed all required coursework for his or her degree but have not yet received their degree cannot receive further federal or state financial aid for that program.
Students must be on track to complete their degree within their maximum timeframe in order to maintain their financial aid eligibility.
Students who have questions about determining their personal maximum timeframe may contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Evaluation of satisfactory academic progress for NUPOC students is made at the end each payment period by the Chicago Office of Financial Aid once grades are published in the university system. This review is completed through a manual review of grades received, courses attempted, pace toward graduation based on reports run out of PeopleSoft by the Chicago Office of Financial Aid and contact with NUPOC to confirm Academic Standing.
The payment period is defined as the period of enrollment that is covered by the disbursement of federal financial aid. Typically, this is the beginning of the term to the mid-point (payment period 1) and the mid-point to the end of the term (payment period 2). This may vary for students on special calendars.
If a student fails to meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress for any payment period, he/she is placed on SAP warning for the next payment period. While on the SAP Warning, the student will still be eligible for federal and state financial aid for the next payment period but he/she must meet the following criteria by the end of that payment period:
- Complete at least two-thirds (66.6%) of all credits attempted since the start of their program with a grade of a C or above. Courses dropped after the end of the second week of the scheduled start date for that course will be counted towards credits attempted. Grades of D, F, Y (incomplete), W (withdrawal), or X (unofficial withdrawal) do not satisfy the requirements for the two-thirds (66.6%) completion rate.
- Be on track to complete their degree within their maximum allowed time-frame.
The student will be notified via their NU email account that he/she has been placed on SAP Warning.
If a student does not enroll in the following term after a SAP warning is issued, the warning period will move to the next term of enrollment.
A student’s SAP will continue to be reviewed at the end of the payment period. If a student meets the terms of their SAP Warning period, they will be removed from SAP Warning and will continue to receive federal financial aid. If a student does not meet the terms of the SAP Warning, they will be placed on SAP Suspension.
Students who do not meet the terms of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be subject to a SAP Suspension, during which the student will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid. In order to reinstate federal financial aid eligibility after a SAP suspension, students must meet the following criteria for reinstatement:
- Complete two-thirds (66.6%) all cumulative units attempted since the start of your degree program with a grade of pass. Grades of D, F, X, Y, N, W, and V will not be considered sufficient for meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- Be advised that any courses enrolled in after the end of the second week of the scheduled start date for that course will be counted towards credits attempted.
- Have not exceeded the maximum time-frame allowed to complete your degree.
Once a student meets all requirements for reinstatement of financial aid after a suspension, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Chicago Office of Financial Aid to request a SAP review for reinstatement of federal and state financial aid eligibility. Once the Chicago Office of Financial Aid determines that a student is now in compliance with SAP requirements, aid will be reinstated for the following academic term.
Please note that SAP Warning and Suspension will carry over from one certificate enrollment to another.
If a student fails to meet the SAP requirements as stated above due to extenuating circumstances such as a family member’s death, illness (of the student or immediate family member), or other exceptional circumstances that were encountered during their time in their degree program, the student may submit a written appeal to the Chicago Office of Financial Aid. The appeal must be received by the Chicago Office of Financial Aid prior to the first day of the subsequent academic term.
The written appeal should be in a Word document format (i.e. not email) and explain any relevant extraordinary circumstances, address the reason(s) for failing to meet the minimum academic requirements, and offer some solution to the problems that affected prior academic performance. Supporting documentation, such as statements from academic advisers, professors, professional health care workers, etc., may also be requested.
The appeal will be reviewed by a committee chaired by the Director of Financial Aid. All decisions made by the committee are final. Students will be notified if their appeal is granted or denied via an email to their NU email account.
If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed in one of two categories:
1. SAP Probation
If a student is placed on SAP Probation after an appeal, he/she will be eligible for aid during one additional payment period. During the probationary period, the student must meet all SAP requirements. If the student fails to meet SAP during their probationary period, their aid will be suspended without the ability to appeal. In order to reinstate federal financial aid eligibility after a SAP suspension, students must meet the criteria for reinstatement listed above without the use of federal financial aid.
2. SAP Academic Plan
Students may be placed on an academic plan upon submission of a successful appeal. If it is mathematically impossible for a student to resolve all deficiencies during one term of attendance and the student’s reason for appeal is appropriate according to federal regulations, the student may be placed on an academic plan with the end goal being to resolve all deficiencies. An academic plan varies in length and is determined by the SAP committee. It does not have to equate to the exact number of terms it would take a student to resolve all deficiencies. If the student is meeting the criteria identified in the SAP appeal approval at each term review, the student’s academic plan may be extended.
Special Considerations for First-time Financial Aid Applicants
Current students who apply for financial aid are required to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements. If you are a currently enrolled student but have not received federal financial aid for previous terms of enrollment in your current program, you are considered to be a First-Time Financial Aid Applicant. Your previous coursework must meet the minimum academic progress requirements. If it does not, you will need to complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) appeal for first-time aid filers. Your appeal should include the following:
- Describe a specific reason, event, or circumstance that prevented you from meeting the academic progress requirements.
- Provide a specific plan/corrective action to improve your academic progress.
The University reserves the right to make adjustments to these policies.