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UNMC Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards


Students enrolled in degree programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of their degree requirements within the timeframes established for each UNMC college and each UNMC degree. The colleges/programs of the Medical Center set their own academic standards governing satisfactory academic progress including academic probation, academic suspension, or dismissal for failure to attain such standards. These standards are to be in accordance with the standards set by the accrediting agencies for each college/program.

Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid


Federal regulations require policies for students receiving financial aid must be the same as, or stricter, than the institution’s standards for a student enrolled in the same educational program who is not receiving assistance under the Title IV/Title VII programs. The following policies apply to all students at UNMC, regardless of receipt of federal financial aid. For complete Federal Regulation guidance please refer to 34 CFR 668.34.

Satisfactory Academic Progress standards require the Office of Financial Aid to review students on an annual basis in terms of GPA, Pace (attempted and completed credits), and maximum timeframe.

  • UNMC students must meet or exceed the required GPA standards as set forth by their individual colleges standards of academic performance policies and procedures. GPA—GPA standards are calculated in accordance with program standards. Grades of (F) Failing, (I) Incomplete, (W) Withdraw, and (NR) No Report will count as hours attempted but will not count as hours completed. Grades of "W" and "I" (withdrawn/incomplete) are not counted in the calculation of the GPA. Audited courses will count toward attempted hours but not completed hours. Pass/Fail courses will not count toward GPA calculation but will count towards attempted hours; Passed courses will count toward completed hours and Failed courses will not count toward completed hours.   
  • Students are required to successfully complete a specified percentage of their attempted UNMC hours as indicated below or progress to the next academic level of their program to remain eligible for federal student aid. Federal regulations prohibit awarding financial aid to repeat a class more than once. Repeated courses will count toward both attempted and completed hours.   
  • Transfer credits that count toward degree requirements will be included in both attempted and completed hours. Transcripts received after the SAP calculation will be counted in the following aid year SAP calculation. 
  • Students must complete their program within 150% of the published length of the educational program, measured at full time status (e.g. Nursing’s traditional undergraduate program is 4 semesters at full-time enrollment; students must complete the program within 6 semesters or be terminated from financial aid). Students enrolled less than full-time status must follow this standard as well (e.g. ½-time enrollment in this program is 8 semesters so students must complete program in 12 semesters or be terminated from financial aid).  Periods of non-enrollment will not be counted in the 150% published length requirement. 
  • For students enrolled in two academic programs, SAP will be calculated for each program separately. 

Students enrolled in degree programs that are one (1) year or less in duration will be reviewed after the completion of the first semester. Any student not meeting SAP requirements will be placed on Financial Aid suspension for the next semester pending an appeal. Students enrolled in programs greater than one (1) year are reviewed on an annual basis at the end of the spring semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review


  • Satisfactory Academic Progress Notification: Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed each year in May. Students will be notified via email from the Office of Financial Aid, of their financial aid ineligibility upon receipt of progress advisement from colleges/programs. The Office of Financial Aid also maintains records throughout the academic year of students who withdraw from coursework during the semester, fail to progress to spring semester, etc. Students enrolled in programs with an academic calendar that exceeds 9 months will receive notifications at the end of the academic year to ensure a fair evaluation of their academic performance; however, students in these programs are advised to review their progress with their program coordinator at the end of spring semester to determine the likelihood of not meeting the above standards.
  • Financial Aid Suspension– In accordance with federal regulations, students who do not successfully complete each academic year by maintaining the program GPA standard and/or successfully completing a specified percentage of their attempted UNMC hours as indicated below must be placed on financial aid suspension for the ensuing academic year. Students are not eligible for federal student aid while on suspension unless granted an appeal by the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility: Reinstatement of aid eligibility will occur when the student meets the minimum GPA requirements and progresses to the next level of the program unless an appeal is submitted and approved.
  • Appeal Process: If extenuating circumstances have affected a student’s progress, a written appeal must be received by the Office of Financial Aid within 30 days of the date of the financial aid ineligibility notification. Students are granted one (1) approved appeal per UNMC degree program. Second appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Financial Aid Progress Review: Students granted an SAP Appeal will have their satisfactory academic progress reviewed at the end of each semester.

The Appeal Process


Students will be advised of the financial aid suspension through a notification sent to their UNMC email address and loaded into the communications section of MyRecords. The appeal form is included on the To Do List. The form allows students and advisors to complete it electronically.

The following circumstances may qualify for a legitimate appeal:

  • Student illness requiring physician’s care in excess of several weeks.
  • Major illness or death in the student’s immediate family (spouse, mother, father, child, etc.)
  • Legal issues which force the student to compromise class attendance for an extended period.
  • Program requirement to remediate or repeat partial/full year curriculum to continue enrollment in the academic program.

The appeal form must include the following:

  • The reason the student failed to meet the SAP standards as listed above and what changes the student has made to ensure SAP guidelines are met in subsequent years.
  • A program approved academic plan to ensure successful completion in the next academic year.

Students can contact the Office of Financial Aid with questions regarding documents to submit or reasons for the SAP suspension, but the Office of Financial Aid will not assist with writing the SAP appeals.

Submit Appeals to the Financial Aid Office via email: finaid@unmc.edu  SUBJECT SAP APPEAL.

Appeals must be submitted, reviewed, and approved by the Office of Financial Aid BEFORE aid can be disbursed. Aid that was awarded and accepted before the student is notified of the SAP appeal requirement will be rescinded.

Appeals will be reviewed by a designated Financial Aid Counselor.

INCOMPLETE APPEALS-If an appeal is submitted as incomplete or it is determined that more documentation is needed, the student will be notified via UNMC email regarding the missing aspects of the appeal.

Once the appeal has been reviewed and an approval decision has been made, the student will be sent an electronic notification via their UNMC email regarding the reinstatement of financial aid for the next academic year.

In the event an appeal is denied, the student will be sent a written response explaining the reason for the denial and advised to contact the Office of Financial Aid for further information.

Follow-up


Students that have been granted an approved appeal will be monitored at the end if the fall semester to ensure SAP standards are being met, including GPA requirements and successful completion of all courses attempted during the fall semester. Spring aid will be placed on HOLD until the review is completed. All efforts will be made to review grades before the spring disbursement date but is not guaranteed depending on when final grades are submitted.

If it is determined that the student does NOT meet the SAP standards, the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. This does not impact eligibility for outside funding such as private loans and/or scholarships.

ALL APPEAL DETERMINATIONS BY THE OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AID ARE FINAL

Listed below are the individual UNMC college’s standards of academic performance policies and procedures, and the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Polices to remain eligible for federal student aid. In addition to the above listed overall standards, the individual college standards apply to all students seeking federal student aid.

College of Medicine

Program completion time: 8 semesters–full time enrollment. Unless otherwise advised by the College of Medicine, medical students must maintain full time enrollment
GPA/Grades: maintain grades compatible with advancement
Pace: successfully complete 100% of the cumulative credit hours attempted or progress to the next level of the program

College of Dentistry

DDS Program

DDS Program completion time: 8 semesters-full time enrollment. Unless otherwise advised by the College of Dentistry, dental students must maintain full time enrollment
GPA/Grades: maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0  
Pace: successfully complete 100% of the cumulative credit hours attempted; or progress to the next level of the program

Advanced Dentistry Program

Advanced Dentistry Program completion time: 5 semesters-full time enrollmentUnless otherwise advised by the College of Dentistry, dental students must maintain full time enrollment
GPA/Grades: maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 
Pace: successfully complete 100% of the cumulative credit hours attempted; or, progress to the next level of the program

Dental Hygiene Program

Dental Hygiene Program Completion time:  4 semesters full-time enrollment.
GPA/Grades: maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 
Pace: successfully complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted; or progress to the next level of the program

College of Pharmacy

Program completion time: 8 semesters of full-time enrollment. Unless otherwise advised by the College of Pharmacy, students must maintain full-time enrollment.
GPA/Grades: maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
Pace: successfully complete 100% of the cumulative credit hours attempted, or progress to the next level of the program.

College of Graduate Studies

Program Completion Time: Completion time varies depending on research specialty. Maximum time frame 5 years for a Master’s degree and 7 years for PhD degree completion.
GPA/Grades: Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Pace: complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted.

NOTE: Students enrolled in M.S. programs that are one (1) year or less in duration will be reviewed after the completion of the first semester. Any student not meeting SAP requirements will be placed on Financial Aid suspension for the next semester pending an appeal. Students enrolled in programs greater than one (1) year are reviewed on an annual basis at the end of the spring semester.

College of Public Health

Program Completion time:

  • Doctorate of Public Health must be completed in 7 years. 
  • Master of Public Health must be completed within 5 years.
  • Master of Health Administration degree must be completed within 5 years.
  • Certificate programs must be completed within 3 years.

GPA/Grades: Must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Pace: complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted.

College of Allied Health

Professional Programs

Program Completion Time: Unless otherwise advised by the College of Allied Health, students must maintain full-time enrollment.

  • Clinical Perfusion - 5 semesters
  • Genetic Counseling – 5 semesters
  • Medical Nutrition – 4 semesters
  • Occupational Therapy – 8 semesters
  • Physician Assistant - 7 semesters
  • Physical Therapy - 8 semesters
  • Post Bachelor’s certificate- either 2 or 3 semesters depending upon program

GPA/Grades: Maintain the minimum GPA standard established by the CAHP for enrollment.
Pace: complete 100% of the cumulative credit hours attempted or progress to the next level of the program.

Undergraduate Programs

Program Completion Time: Maintain full-time enrollment.

  • Cardiovascular Interventional Technology – 2 semesters
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography – 3 semesters
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging – 2 semesters
  • Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) - 2 semesters
  • Radiation Therapy - 3 semesters
  • Radiography – 5 semesters

GPA/Grades: Maintain the minimum GPA standard established by the CAHP for enrollment.
Pace:  complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted. 

NOTE: Students in programs that are 12 months or less in length will be reviewed after the end of the first semester. Any student not meeting SAP requirements after one semester will be placed on Financial Aid suspension for the following semester. Students on suspension may appeal to have aid reinstated.

Online Programs

Program Completion time: Must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for aid. Students have 5 years to complete program requirements for all online programs.         
GPA/Grades: maintain the GPA of 2.0. 
Pace:  Students in professional programs must complete 75% of cumulative credit hours attempted. Students in undergraduate programs must complete 75% of cumulative attempted hours. 

College of Nursing

Undergraduate Programs

Program Completion Time: 4 semesters-full time enrollment and unless otherwise advised by the College of Nursing, students must maintain full-time enrollment.
GPA/Grades: a minimum GPA of 2.73.
Pace: complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted or progress to the next level of the program.

Students moving from one undergraduate program of study in the CON to another program of study in the CON or who enter a remediation plan, must provide the updated program of study to the Financial Aid Office. 

Professional Programs

Program Completion Time:

  • Masters, Post-Graduate Certificate, and MSN-DNP programs must be completed in 5 years.
  • BSN-DNP program must be completed in 7 years.

Enrollment Status: Full-time is 6 credit hours; half-time enrollment is 3-5 credit hours.
GPA/Grades: Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Pace: complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted.

Nursing PhD Program

Completion time: within 7 years from the date of initial registration as a PhD objective student.
GPA/Grades: Maintain a 3.0 GPA.
Pace: complete 75% of the cumulative credit hours attempted.


Policy Process Applied: Interim
Responsible Officer: UNMC Director of Financial Aid
Date Approved by Responsible Officer: 1/17/2022
Date Approved by Education Council Policy Committee: 1/17/2022
Date Approved by Education Council: 2/17/2022
Date Approved by Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs: 2/24/2022
Policy Expiration Date: 2/24/2023
Review Cycle: One-Year Interim