The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that each student maintain satisfactory progress in the course of study the student is pursuing in order to receive Federal Title IV financial aid. The concept of satisfactory progress mandates monitoring of both grade point average and the number of credits completed. In complying with this requirement, Cornell College has developed standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress cited in the academic catalogue under "Academic Review." Satisfactory academic progress is based on the quality of your academic performance, which is represented by your GPA, and a quantitative review of progress, defined as “Pace”, which is represented by the total number of credits successfully completed toward your degree compared to the total credits you have attempted. Students must meet the following percentages of their attempted credit hours [on a cumulative basis]:

End of Grade Level Minimum Percentage of Attempted Credits
Successfully Completed

First year


All following years


Pace and gpa are prorated for less than full-time students.

Failure to earn credit for courses due to receiving an F, W, WH, WR, NC, I, or IP are included as attempted hours for determining “Pace” toward graduation for purposes of Satisfactory Academic Progress [SAP].

The Academic Standing Committee conducts academic reviews of all students and determines a student’s status based on criteria outlined under “Academic Review.” Some categories of Academic Review have implications for a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid. At Cornell, these standards are also applied to state and institutional aid programs.

The Cornell College Satisfactory Academic Progress standards apply to all students who wish to establish or maintain financial assistance eligibility. It is the responsibility of all students to be familiar with these standards. The standards apply to each student’s entire academic record at Cornell, whether or not the student received financial assistance for previous terms of enrollment. All federal and state grants, loans, and work-study, and Cornell College grants, are subject to the following Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. The college’s published program length is 31 credits to complete a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Special Studies or Bachelor of Music degree. The time frame to complete your degree is 150% [47 credits].  Cornell College aid is not available beyond eight semesters of full-time attendance.  Specific financial assistance programs may require higher minimum standards for gpa and pace; additionally, an individual Cornell department may require the student to earn more credit hours or maintain a higher grade point average than required by minimum standards.

Financial Aid reviews the decisions of the Academic Standing Subcommittee at the end of each semester to determine if the student should be placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING, FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION, or FINANCIAL AID PROBATION.

The following policy and procedures will be followed in determining satisfactory academic progress for the purpose of establishing eligibility for financial aid.

1.       At the end of a semester, a student placed on ACADEMIC PROBATION by the Academic Standing Subcommittee (or a student continuing on ACADEMIC PROBATION if placed on that status during the semester) will be placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING. A student placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING remains eligible for financial aid in the subsequent semester. The Financial Aid Office will send letters to all students placed on ACADEMIC PROBATION stating that they have also been placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING. For the purpose of this policy PROBATIONARY SUSPENSION is considered a subcategory of ACADEMIC PROBATION.

2.      At the end of the following semester, a student who has been placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING at the end of the previous semester (see #1) will be reviewed. If the Academic Standing Subcommittee

a.      removes him/her from ACADEMIC PROBATION, s/he will be removed from FINANCIAL AID WARNING. The Financial Aid Office will send letters to all students removed from ACADEMIC PROBATION stating that they have also been removed from FINANCIAL AID WARNING.

b.      continues him/her on ACADEMIC PROBATION, s/he will be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION and will be ineligible to receive financial aid in the following semester. S/he can file an appeal to be placed on FINANCIAL AID PROBATION by meeting the following conditions:

                                            i.            The appeal MUST include an academic plan established with the Academic Support and Advising Office. The plan MUST demonstrate how the student will progress both GPA and cumulative credits to get back on track in seeking his/her degree.  This academic plan must include details for each term/semester from the time of the appeal until the student will graduate with their intended degree program.  The student must be able to demonstrate that they are reasonably likely to get back on track towards successful program completion while staying within the 150% rule. 

                                          ii.            An appeal committee will review the student’s request and notify the student of their decision in writing within one calendar week of receipt of appeal.  If a student is granted an appeal, they will remain on SAP warning and the Office of Financial Assistance will monitor the student’s academic plan.  If the student strays from the plan, he/she will have all financial assistance suspended immediately.  If the student must alter the plan in order to conform to class schedules, this must be done BEFORE the affected year begins.  The SAP warning will be in effect until either the student is removed from Academic Probation or the student does not achieve the goals set forth in their academic plan, which will result in suspension.

A student whose financial aid has been rescinded as a result of the preceding policies and procedures reestablishes eligibility when removed from ACADEMIC PROBATION by the Academic Standing Subcommittee or after spending a year or more away from Cornell while attaining credits somewhere else that are transferrable toward the completion of their degree at Cornell with at least a 2.5 GPA.

The calculation of GPA for purposes of Academic Review and subsequent determination of federal financial aid eligibility does not include grades of Incomplete (I), Withdrawal (W), Withdrawal for Health (WH), Registrar’s Withdrawal (WR), or grades for courses that have been transferred to Cornell College

Transfer credits, accepted by Cornell, are counted as both attempted and completed hours for purposes of SAP.

For repeated coursework, the original grade earned remains on the transcript and is not replaced by the subsequent grade.   A repeated course does not gain the student an additional course credit toward graduation, unless the course description indicates that it may be repeated.