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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Whether or not a student has or will receive financial aid, federal regulations require Western Dakota Tech to establish and implement a policy to measure if a student is making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. Federal student aid funds include but are not limited to: Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Subsidized Direct Loan, Parent PLUS Loan, Federal Pell grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and work-study.

Other federal, state, and private agencies may require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress for their aid programs as well. The academic record of all students will be monitored to ensure compliance with the requirements specified below. Therefore, even the academic record of those who have not received federal student aid in the past may impact future eligibility. Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured at the end of each term (fall, spring and summer).

Failure to meet any of the three following standards will result in a warning or termination of eligibility for federal student aid.

1. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (Qualitative measure)

Federal regulations require a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for undergraduate students. The cumulative GPA is calculated on all Western Dakota Tech courses excluding credit by exam, transfer credit and audited coursework.

2. Pace of progression for cumulative credits attempted and completed (Quantitative measure

All students must successfully complete 67% of cumulative attempted credit hours. Attempted credit hours include all hours that would appear on a student’s academic transcript at the end of any given term, including withdrawals, incompletes, repeated courses, remedial coursework, credit by exam and transfer credit. Audited coursework is not included. Credit hours that may have been part of a successful academic amnesty appeal will be included. WDT uses normal rounding rules for calculation of Pace. 

Successfully completed hours include grades of A, B, C, D, CE (Credit by Exam), TC (Transfer Credit), TF (Transcript Fee), and S (Satisfactory).  All other grades would not be considered successful completion such as F (failure), I (incomplete), IP (in progress), WF (withdraw failing) and W (withdraw).

3. Maximum Attempted Credit Hour

There is a limit on the number of credit hours a student can attempt and remain eligible for federal student aid.  All credits attempted (except audited coursework) are included.  This limit is based on 150% of the credit hours needed to complete the degree that the student is pursuing.

Associate of Applied Science in Surgical Technology = 90 maximum credit hours attempted (based on a 60-credit hour program).


If a student is unable to complete all requirements, due to special circumstances approved by the instructor, an incomplete may be issued. The incomplete will not be calculated into the grade point average. If the student does not complete the work within the specified time frame, a grade of an F will be assigned. The student will receive the letter grade when all work has been successfully completed. Incomplete grades will be monitored by the Registrar’s Office and documentation of the grade change will be provided to the Financial Aid Office.  The final grade can affect both GPA and completion requirements.  Incompletes are calculated as attempted credits but not successfully earned credits.

Progression/Repeating a Course

Students may choose to repeat courses for which credit has been granted only once in order to improve a grade. When students repeat such courses, the highest grade received is calculated in the grade point average; the earlier grade(s) received are indicated on the official transcript, but a notation is made that the course has been repeated. For Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations, both grades are included.  All repeated courses are calculated towards cumulative GPA, pace, and maximum timeframe

Remedial Courses

Remedial courses are considered in the credit hours attempted and credit hours completed for the quantitative calculation of Satisfactory Academic Progress even though the hours do not count towards graduation requirements. Remedial courses are considered eligible courses for financial aid purposes and enrollment status.

Withdraw from a Course

Courses that a student withdraws from are included in credit hours attempted but not credit hours completed when calculating pace and maximum time frame. Withdrawn courses are given the grade of a ‘W’ or ‘WF’. Students will receive a ‘W’ anytime they withdraw after the drop period as outlined on the academic calendar.  Students will receive a ‘WF’ if they are administratively withdrawn from the College and will be treated as a failing grade when determining a student’s GPA

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits that have been accepted by Western Dakota Tech toward a current degree are subject to the Satisfactory Academic Progress maximum attempted credit hour calculation. Transfer credits are included in the 150% calculation at which a student is progressing.

Change of Program

The student is eligible to receive aid for no more than 150% of all the credit hours required to complete the new program of study. The 150% limit is applied to all credit hours earned by the student while enrolled at Western Dakota Tech and includes all transferred credits accepted from previously attended institutions that apply to the current degree. A degree audit completed by the Registrar’s office and provided to the Financial Aid office.

Pursuit of 2nd Degree

The Registrar’s Office will provide a degree audit to the Financial Aid Office for students pursuing a 2nd degree from Western Dakota Tech. The student is eligible to receive financial aid for no more than 150% of the credit hours required to complete the 2nd program of study. The 150% limit is applied to all hours earned by the student while enrolled at Western Dakota Tech and includes transferred credits accepted from previously attended institutions for current degree. Credits earned for a degree already awarded by Western Dakota Tech are not included in the 150% of the new degree program, unless it applies to the 2nd degree. 

Financial Aid SAP Terminology

Financial Aid Warning

Students who achieve a cumulative GPA below 2.0 or who have not successfully completed at least 67% of credits attempted at Western Dakota Tech at the end of a semester will be placed on financial aid warning. Students are eligible to receive aid during the financial aid warning semester.  Students are expected to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA and have a completion rate of at least 67% at the end of the financial aid warning semester to return to good standing. Students are notified at the end of the term via email and U.S. mail if they are on Financial Aid Warning.  A student can have more than one warning period, but it can not be consecutive semesters. 

Financial Aid Termination of Eligibility

Failure to achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA or completion of at least 67% of credits attempted at the completion of the warning semester will result in financial aid termination of eligibility. Financial aid termination of eligibility may also be assigned to students who are unable to demonstrate that they can complete their program within the 150% maximum timeframe. Students on financial aid termination are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid. Students are notified at the end of the term via email and U.S. mail if they are on Financial Aid Termination. 

Financial Aid Probation

Students on financial aid termination who successfully appeal the financial aid termination will be reinstated for financial aid on a probationary status. During probation, which lasts one term, students are expected to successfully meet the terms of probation as outlined in  their Academic Plan.  Academic Plans are  completed and monitored by a  Student Success Coach. Students may continue to receive aid for subsequent semesters if they continue to meet the terms of their Academic Plan. Students will return to good standing upon achieving a 2.0 cumulative GPA and successfully completing at least 67% of credits attempted.

Appealing Financial Aid Termination

Students who are placed on financial aid termination may complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form to explain circumstances that adversely affected their ability to be academically successful at Western Dakota Tech.  Students are advised to carefully read the procedures for submitting an appeal listed on the appeal form and submit the requested documentation with their appeal. Each appeal will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis; therefore, each appeal is evaluated on its own merits or lack thereof. As a result, no appeal is guaranteed to be approved by the SAP Committee. 

Reason for appeal may include: personal illness or illness of immediate family member, death of an immediate family member, change of program, or other special circumstances that prevented the student from being successful. Appeals cannot be approved for unresolved situations without solid evidence that the situation will not affect your academic performance.

To ensure a timely review, appeals must be received 5 calendar days prior to the start of the semester for which the student is appealing.  All appeals are reviewed by the SAP Committee.  You will be notified of the result of your appeal by letter and email within 5 days prior to the start of the next term.

If your appeal is approved, financial aid will be reinstated for one term and you will be notified via letter and email. Based upon the circumstances of an approved appeal, the Appeals Committee reserves the right to stipulate conditions the student must meet to be considered for financial aid on a probationary basis for subsequent semesters. Conditions of your specific appeal will be outlined in your academic plan. A student may go beyond 150% max timeframe if it is approved with a successful appeal and an implemented Academic Plan. Examples of conditions may include a requirement to complete 100% of all courses attempted with no withdrawals or failures with a 2.0 term GPA.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility

If the committee does not approve your appeal, you will be notified via letter and email. The student must then come into compliance on their own without use of the federal aid programs. Students who have lost their Financial Aid eligibility but have subsequently met the qualitative and/or quantitative standards as stated above, will have their aid eligibility reinstated will be considered effective the next academic semester.

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