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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

To participate in the Title IV Student Aid Program (Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Student Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal PELL Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal TEACH Grants and Federal Work Study Funds), Ohio Northern University must take steps to fulfill federal requirements to implement and make public the standards for satisfactory academic progress that students must meet to be eligible to receive Title IV financial assistance.  These standards are for financial aid purposes only and do not replace or override the academic policies of Ohio Northern University that are determined by each College. 

Satisfactory academic progress is based on three components:

  1. Completion Rate: A student must complete 67% of all hours attempted for financial aid eligibility.  This is determined by dividing the total hours attempted by the total hours earned.  Grades of F, NR, I, IP, U and W are counted as attempted hours, yet will NOT count as earned hours.
    • Repeating courses will add to the total number of attempted hours but will only count once as earned hours.
    • If a student chooses to retake a course he/she has already passed at some point in the past, he/she can do this one time and receive financial aid for the course.  Three or more attempts to take a course that has previously been passed cannot be funded with Federal financial aid.
  2. Timeframe: A student can only receive financial aid for a maximum of 1.5 times the total credit hours required for his/her degree program.  For any major that requires 120 credit hours for graduation this equals a maximum of 180 hours that can be attempted.  For any majors requiring more than 120 hours, the maximum allowed will be calculated accordingly (Engineering - 128, PH [P1-P4] - 144).  Any hours attempted, but not completed will count.
    • Transfer credit hours accepted by ONU must be included in the maximum of 180. 
    • Repeated courses, failed courses and withdrawals will also count towards the maximum.
    • An appeal must be submitted by any student who has exceeded their maximum timeframe allowed due to transfer hours or change of major.  The Office of Financial Aid will review the credits attempted that apply towards the student’s program of study in order to determine future financial aid eligibility.  An academic plan signed by the student’s academic advisor will be required.
  3. GPA: A student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) by the end of the fourth semester, and maintain the 2.0 for the duration of their eligibility. 


After each semester (including summer if courses are taken), the financial aid office will review completion rate, timeframe and GPA for each student enrolled in that semester.  Depending on the student’s status relative to these factors, the student’s progress for financial aid purposes will be determined as follows:

  1.  Satisfactory Progress – applies to any student who passed the appropriate number of earned hours to attempted hours, has not exceeded the maximum total attempted hours allowed for their program and his/her GPA meets the requirements listed above. 
  2. Financial Aid Warning – applies to any student who fails to meet the requirements for completion, timeframe and GPA listed above for the semester.  The financial aid office will send a warning letter at the end of the semester to the student to indicate why he/she is receiving a warning and what must be done within the next semester to be back in accordance with the SAP rules.  If the student fails to meet these requirements, his/her federal and state financial aid will be suspended for future semesters.  The student must bring his/her hours and GPA back into good standing or appeal with the financial aid office to regain financial aid eligibility.  A student cannot have two consecutive semesters on warning.
  3. Financial Aid Probation – applies only to a student who has failed to meet SAP requirements and has had an appeal approved by the financial aid office.  A student may be on probation for one semester only.  If a student has not met the SAP requirements above, he/she should work with their financial aid counselor to understand what options exist to regain eligibility.
  4. Unsatisfactory Progress – applies to a student who has not met the requirements for completion rate, GPA and attempted hours after his/her warning period and are not on financial aid probation nor have an approved appeal.  This student is not eligible for federal or state financial aid until he/she meets the requirements in each of the three areas listed above.
  5. Academic Plan - This status applies to any student who has submitted an academic plan as part of a SAP appeal and has successfully completed the goals for that semester as outlined by the plan.  The student continues to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid but does not meet the definition of a SAP eligible student.

Appeal Process

  1.  A student who wishes to appeal his/her unsatisfactory progress determination must submit a SAP Appeal Form to the Office of Financial Aid.  SAP appeals are reviewed based on the extenuating circumstances such as serious injury or illness involving the student, death of an immediate family member or other circumstances beyond the student’s control that prevented them from achieving satisfactory progress.  Each student’s circumstance is reviewed on an individual basis.  Students appealing may also be required to submit an academic plan that indicates exactly what the student must take to finish their academic program and details in what time frame this can be accomplished.
  2. The Director of Financial Aid will review the appeal and determine whether the financial aid termination is justified.  The student will be advised in writing of the decision and may be asked to meet with his/her financial aid counselor to plan for future semesters.
  3. A student wishing to appeal the decision of the Director of Financial Aid may do so in writing to the Vice President of Enrollment.


Students are encouraged to review these standards and to be knowledgeable relative to his/her individual progress and financial assistance.  The University recognizes that circumstances and conditions regarding these standards may require the discretional judgment of the aid office.  Examples of such conditions include changing majors or career objectives as well as various personal reasons.  If there are questions regarding these conditions, the student should contact the Director of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid

Melanie Weaver

Fax: 419-772-2313
Weber Hall-2nd Floor
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed