The university’s general satisfactory academic performance requirements for all educational programs as required by each academic unit are found in the university’s undergraduate and graduate catalogues on the Registrar’s website under the section “General University Academic Information”.
The American University of Beirut (AUB) for purposes of Federal Direct Loans established a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy in order to monitor the academic progress of students receiving U.S. federal loans (Direct Stafford Loan, Direct Parent PLUS Loan, Direct Graduate PLUS Loan). The purpose is to assess the students’ eligibility to receive federal aid during their entire program of study, as required by U.S. federal regulations.
General SAP Policy
SAP is evaluated by the International Student Aid unit (ISA) of the Financial Aid Office (FAO) at the end of each regular academic semester (Fall and Spring) or the equivalent of a full-time enrollment term if the student enrolls for less than full-time as per AUB general academic requirements. Full-time enrollment is 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students.
Financial Aid Warning
Upon an evaluation, students who do not meet the SAP policy requirements will have a “Financial Aid Warning” issued informing them about their status and the risk of losing their eligibility to receive loans if they do not ensure compliance by the end of the next evaluation period. Students are also advised to get counseling with their academic adviser to plan for an improved academic progress. A Financial Aid Warning does not result in the cancellation of loans giving the students a chance to be compliant at the end of a year-equivalent evaluation.
Students who are not compliant upon the second evaluation period will be placed on “Loan Suspension” and will therefore lose their eligibility to receive loans during the subsequent periods unless they are successful in an appeal.
Financial Aid Probation
Students may appeal a suspension due to extenuating circumstances only (see Appeal section below). Verification will be required but the appeal may or may not be approved. A successful appeal will lead to a “Financial Aid Probation” status for only one payment period during which students will continue to receive federal loans. Students who fail to remove the Financial Aid Probation will be placed on Loan Suspension during subsequent periods until they regain eligibility based on the SAP policy.
Students are notified immediately upon a status being assigned. They regain eligibility during a period that follows an evaluation by which they meet again the SAP policy requirements.
Standards of SAP Evaluation
The standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress assess a student’s academic progress using both qualitative and quantitative measurements, including the GPA, the Completion Pace, and the Maximum Timeframe requirements.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Undergraduate students are expected to maintain a satisfactory progress through their course of study. The minimum GPA requirement is 68 or higher for undergraduate students, if required by the student’s academic unit. The Office of Financial Aid therefore monitors the Registrar’s postings of probation and utilizes these standards to evaluate SAP.
Students who are placed on Probation 1 will be given a Financial Aid Warning upon a SAP evaluation until the next semester by which time their grades will be expected to be at the required level and their probation removed by the Registrar. During this period students will continue to receive their loans. The Financial Aid Warning is removed in the subsequent semester if the probation is removed by the Registrar. If however the probation is not removed in the following semester and is posted by the Registrar as Probation 2 then students will be on Loan Suspension and will therefore not receive their loans for the subsequent semester. If students maintain an unsatisfactory academic progress during subsequent semesters then they maintain a Loan Suspension status. Students will have their loans reinstated when they meet again the required standard of good standing hence removing their Loan Suspension status.
Transferred courses from other institutions are not accounted for in the GPA calculation as these are only reported as passing. For repeated courses only the last grade is computed in the GPA.
Students who have a grade change or an incomplete grade changed after an evaluation result has been issued for any semester must notify the ISA unit about the change. A re-evaluation of SAP will be processed and if necessary the SAP status will be modified.
Graduate students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress through their course of study. The minimum GPA required is 78 or higher for graduate students, if required by the student’s academic unit. The SAP policy described in the undergraduate section above also applies to graduate students.
The completion pace is the rate at which a student progresses towards the completion of a degree. Students are required to complete a minimum rate of all attempted courses. The pace is measured by a percentage rate of Earned Credits out of Attempted Credits. Earned credits are credits of courses that are successfully completed. Attempted Credits are credits of courses registered at the end of the “Change in Schedule” period of an academic semester.
- Failed courses and those that are dropped (withdrawn) after the Change in Schedule period are not counted as completed courses (earned credits) but count towards the Attempted Credits.
- Transfer courses credits count as Attempted and Earned Credits for the calculation of the Completion Pace Rate.
- A successful course that is repeated will count only once for the purpose of receiving loans, as well as towards the completion pace requirement leading to a lower cumulative Completion Pace Rate.
Students are required to achieve the minimum Completion Pace Rate while satisfying the Maximum Timeframe requirement. Students who do not meet the Completion Pace requirement will lose their eligibility even if they satisfy the GPA SAP requirement.
Students who fail to meet the Completion Pace requirement will first be issued with a ‘Financial Aid Warning’. The general SAP Policy will then be applied accordingly.
Completion Pace Rates
The completion pace percentage rates required for undergraduate and graduate students during their course of study are as follows:
|Undergraduate Students||Graduate Students|
|Attempted Credits||Percentage Rate Required||Attempted Credits||Percentage Rate Required|
|1 – 30||55%|
Cumulative Attempted Credits at all times
|31 – 60||62%|
|61 and above||67%|
Undergraduate and graduate students are required to complete their program of study within a Maximum Timeframe not exceeding 150% of the published length of the program measured in academic years and attempted credits.
Students cannot receive loans if they enroll for more than 150% of the normal duration of the program to complete their studies. Periods of interruption (such as not enrolling or granted leave of absence) will not count towards the calculation of the maximum timeframe. If students enroll for less than full time, then the calculation will be based on the Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) of their enrolment. Courses that are transferred from another institution and accepted toward an academic degree program at the University will be counted as attempted credits for the maximum timeframe requirement.
Timeframe measured in academic years: A student enrolled in an academic program of 4 years length would be allowed to receive loans up to 6 years.
Timeframe measured in attempted credits: A student enrolled in an academic program requiring 120 credits to graduate would be allowed to receive loans up to 180 attempted credits.
The student must meet both components of the timeframe requirement to be able to receive federal loans.
Students who are on Loan Suspension for not meeting the SAP requirements may appeal the suspension for extenuating or unforeseen circumstances such as death of an immediate family member, serious illness of student or immediate family member that required a long recovery period, a major trauma that had a significant impact on the student’s emotional and/or physical health, or any other circumstances that would be deemed by the ISA unit as extenuating. Verification will be required. Financial difficulties and adjustment to overseas/college life are not considered extenuating for the purpose of appealing loan suspension.
Students who opt to appeal a suspension must complete the SAP Appeal Form and submit it along with supporting documents within two weeks of the status notification. The appeal should explain the reasons for failure to meet the SAP requirements and what has changed in the students’ situation that will enable them achieve compliance at the subsequent evaluation.
Students will be notified of the appeal decision, which is final, within two weeks of the appeal submission date.
Should the appeal be denied, students will be responsible for paying all fees resulting from their enrolment during the period for which the appeal was submitted.
A successful appeal will lead to a “Financial Aid Probation” status for only one period during which students will continue to receive federal loans. Students who fail to remove the Financial Aid Probation will lose their eligibility and are returned to the Loan Suspension status for subsequent periods until they meet again the SAP policy requirements. Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Probation and then meet the requirements at the next evaluation will return to a good standing status with regard to the SAP policy.
Students that have exceeded the 150% time limit of completing a program cannot receive federal loans and therefore cannot appeal under any circumstances.