Academic & Aid Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) refers to the requirement that students receiving financial aid enroll in and complete sufficient credits each term to complete their studies within a reasonable period of time as well as maintain an acceptable cumulative GPA. Gardner-Webb University is committed to ensuring that graduate and professional students are successful in completing their degree programs. Students who are not meeting the SAP criteria may be placed on financial aid probation and eventual suspension from receiving financial aid (including all types of financial aid).

Graduate and professional students must:

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) that is equal to or greater than the graduation standards published by their program;
  2. Successfully complete a minimum of 67% of all hours attempted; and
  3. Complete their program of study by attempting no more than 150% of the hours normally required for the degree.

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average

Graduate and professional students must maintain a cumulative GPA that is equivalent to the graduation standards published by their program.

Minimum Completion Rate

Students must satisfactorily complete 67% of all credits attempted.

Hours AttemptedHours Earned to Meet 67% Requirement

Maximum Time Frame

Graduate and professional students must complete their programs of study by attempting no more than 150% of the credits normally required for attainment of the degree.

For example, if a degree program can normally be completed with 50 credit hours, a student's financial aid eligibility will be suspended once the student has attempted 75 credit hours, whether the student has attained the degree or not.

Each graduate division determines the number of credits by which the student normally completes the degree. This information is available in the individual graduate program catalogs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if I fail to meet the minimum standards of academic progress?

  • If you have failed to meet one or both (quantitative or qualitative) of the minimum standards at the time of review (end of spring semester), you will be placed on financial aid probation and continue to receive aid during your semester of probation.
  • If you meet the minimum standards the subsequent semester, you will be placed back in good standing.
  • If you fail to meet one or both of the standards again in the subsequent semester, you will be placed on financial aid suspension. Financial Aid suspension means that you will no longer be eligible for any financial aid, including loans. In this case you will be notified in writing.

If my financial aid is suspended, how can I regain eligibility?

  • You can enroll for and attend a new semester without financial aid. You must however, enroll for the same number of credit hours as the semester which resulted in suspension. We will recheck your status at the end of the semester to see if you have regained financial aid eligibility. -or-
  • If you feel there were mitigating circumstances (death of a family member, injury, illness, etc.), you may appeal the suspension. To request an appeal you must: Submit a letter of appeal to the Associate Director of Financial Planning requesting reinstatement. Your letter must include:
    • the reason(s) why satisfactory progress is not being made, with detail surrounding the mitigating circumstance
    • documentation which supports the rationale for the appeal

Once received, the Financial Aid Appeals Committee will notify the student in writing of their decision within 14 business days after the Committee meets and makes its determination. All decisions made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee are final.

Return of Title IV Aid

Students withdrawing from Gardner-Webb University (GWU) prior to completing 60% of the semester will have their financial aid prorated.  A refund/repayment formula developed by the federal government is used to determine which sources of aid may be retained by the student.  The formula considers the number of days in the semester compared to the number of days the student attended classes.  Aid is "earned" based on the number of days the student was considered enrolled and disbursed accordingly.  It is entirely possible to withdraw and owe GWU a balance.

Please note if a student is determined by the Registrar's Office to have stopped attending classes during the semester they are considered an unofficial withdrawal.  Any financial aid received during the semester will be reduced accordingly.  If this occurs a student will be placed on financial aid suspension for the upcoming semester.