Satisfactory Academic Progress

What is satisfactory academic progress?

Federal and state regulations require that Illinois Valley Community College establish and implement a standard of academic progress for students receiving financial assistance. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy applies to all IVCC students receiving federal Title IV financial aid, state aid, institutional aid, and/or military benefits. Satisfactory academic progress is measured in three ways:


You must satisfy all three of these standards of progress to maintain financial aid eligibility, including veteran benefits (except where noted).

1. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement:

A student must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher to be eligible for continued financial assistance. Incomplete (I) grades will be calculated as an ‘F’ until the final grade has been submitted. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when their final grade has been completed. Withdrawals (W) and transfer courses are not normally included in the GPA calculation. For repeated classes, all grades will be included in the GPA calculation.

Students who do not have a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be put on one semester of warning, but will still receive financial aid for that semester. If a 2.0 GPA is not achieved by the end of that semester, they will be suspended and will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

2. Course Completion Rate:

A new, continuing, or transfer student must successfully complete more than 66.67 percent of the courses attempted throughout his/her entire enrollment at IVCC. A successful completion is defined as earning a grade of ‘D’ or better. Withdrawals (official or unofficial), incompletes, repeated courses, developmental courses, and transfer credits are included in hours attempted. Courses completed with a passing grade and transfer courses, applicable to the student's program of study, will count as completed credit hours.

Students who do not have a completion rate of more than 66.67 percent will be put on a one semester warning, but will still receive financial aid for that semester. If the required completion rate is not achieved by the end of that semester, they will be suspended and will no longer be eligible for financial aid (Note: Illinois Veteran’s Grant and Illinois National Guard Grants are exempt from course completion requirements.)

3. Maximum Timeframe to Complete Program:

Students may pursue completion of a degree or certificate program on a full or part-time basis, but the federal government requires that students make progress toward completion in a timely fashion. A student cannot receive financial assistance beyond the specified time allotted for completion of his/her program.

Students maximum attempted hours of eligibility at IVCC are determined by multiplying the length of the Academic Program by 150 percent. Included in attempted hours are credit hours transferred to IVCC from other institutions and “Prior” hours attempted at IVCC, regardless of whether or not the student previously received financial aid. Examples are as follows:

Associate Degree requiring 64 credit hours = 60 x 150% = 90 Maximum Credit Hours Attempted.

Certificate Program requiring 24 credit hours = 24 x 150% = 36 Maximum Credit Hours Attempted.

If financial aid is discontinued under the Maximum Timeframe Standard, special consideration may be given, through the Appeal Process, only for the following reasons:

  • Students are allowed a maximum of 30 attempted hours of developmental course work in addition to the 90 Maximum Credit Hour Limit.
  • Students who have changed majors may be granted a reasonable extension of hours provided they submit a letter from an IVCC Counselor verifying the change in major and the remaining courses required for degree completion. Students must have been meeting the required Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress prior to changing majors.

The review of the Maximum Timeframe Standard will occur at the end of each semester. Once a student reaches 150 percent of the standard program hours, financial aid will be discontinued.

Important note: Students who have completed their program of study, regardless of whether they have received their degree or certificate, will be considered as suspended from receiving further financial aid. Financial aid cannot pay for course work taken to meet prerequisites for a program of study at another college or university. Students who plan on pursuing a second degree or certificate at IVCC may submit an appeal for the reinstatement of their financial aid.

Evaluation and Appeal Process

Evaluation Process:

The Standards of Academic Progress tracking begins when the student attempts his/her first credit hour course at IVCC. The evaluation process is run at the end of each academic semester.

  1. Students who do not meet the cumulative 2.0 GPA and/or a completion rate of more than 66.66 percent will be placed on “Warning Status” for their next semester of attendance. Students will be allowed to receive financial aid during this warning period.
  2. Students, who are currently on warning status and fail to meet the2.0 GPA, a completion rate of more than 66.66 percent, and/or have exceeded the 150 percent timeframe, will be placed on “Suspend Status.” While on suspended status students may not receive any federal or state financial aid, including: grants, student loans and military benefits (an exception is made for the Illinois Veteran and National Guard Grants if the 2.0 GPA requirement has been met.)
  3. Students who have met or exceeded the maximum program timeframe will be placed on “Suspend Status.”

Appeal Process:

Any student placed on suspend status has the right to appeal. Appeal Forms are available in the Financial Aid Office or may be printed from the Financial Aid web page. All appeals must be complete and provide detailed information about extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances include: personal illness/accident, serious illness or death within the immediate family, an auto accident or other situation beyond the reasonable control of the student. Third party documentation is required with each appeal when applicable. Documentation may include, but is not limited to, copies of medical records, accident reports, and/or letters from an IVCC counselor, work supervisor or other counselor. Appeals must be submitted prior to or during the semester for which the student is seeking financial aid. Students will be notified by mail of the Standards of Academic Progress Committee’s decision as promptly as possible. All appeal decisions are final.

Students whose initial appeal is denied cannot submit a subsequent appeal until successful completion of at least one additional term, in which a minimum of six credit hours have been attempted.

Students may also regain good standing by completing additional semester(s) at their own expense and bringing their cumulative GPA and/or course completion rate up to the required standard, or, by completing ’I‘ grades or repeating failed courses for a higher grade. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office, through an appeal, in order to have their financial aid reinstated.

Students who are reinstated by the Standards of Academic Progress Committee are placed on “Probation Status” and are expected to meet and maintain the cumulative 2.0 GPA and a completion rate of more than 66.67 percent by the end of the semester for which he/she was reinstated. Students who meet the standards for the reinstated term but have not been able to bring their cumulative rates up to the required standards may appeal for another semester of “Probation Status.”

NOTE: If a student is not meeting the minimum standards of academic progress at either the time of initial application or after the warning semester and the student has shown academic improvement during the preceding term(s), the Director of Financial Aid reserves the right, on a case-by-case basis, to “place” or “continue” a student on probation. The Director also reserves the right to suspend a student without a semester of warning based on academic performance during the preceding term(s). This includes new transfer students who failed to meet the required standards of academic progress at their previous postsecondary institution(s).

While the Financial Aid Office will attempt to notify students of their warning, probation or suspended status, it is the student’s responsibility to read, understand and follow the Standards of Academic Progress Policy. If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this policy or appeal procedures, please contact the Financial Aid Office, CTC-101S, (815) 224-0438.

Financial aid is intended to assist students in financing their education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet their total educational cost. The information that follows is general. For more detailed information on all these programs, contact the Financial Aid Office.

The principal forms of financial aid are:

  • GRANTS: Financial aid awarded to students based on financial need. They are typically funded by the federal or state government; however many private colleges and universities have institutional grants that are awarded according to their own criteria.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS: Financial aid awarded to students based on merit, talent, financial need, or other specialized criteria. Scholarships given to IVCC students are funded by the state government, the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation, and private agencies.
  • LOANS: Financial aid awarded to students - or parents - to help meet education-related expenses. An educational loan is just that a loan which must be repaid, with interest.