Satisfactory Academic Progress for Students Receiving Stafford Loans
This document should be read in conjunction with the University's Review of Progress Procedure, with which all students of the University need to comply.
In order to remain eligible for US Federal Aid, all students must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements outlined below.
For the purposes of eligibility for Federal Aid, the University of Newcastle assesses SAP at the end of each enrolment period, i.e. at the end of each semester or trimester of enrolment.
Australian Enrolment Requirements
Student visa holders are required by Australian law to be enrolled full time, while other students receiving US Financial Aid must maintain at least 50% enrolment to be eligible for Federal Aid. The standard annual full-time load at the University of Newcastle is 80 units.
Progress Requirements for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Coursework Students
Students receiving US financial aid are expected to maintain at least a Pass level in their studies, i.e. a cumulative Grade Point Average of 5.0.
Each time a student's academic progress is assessed, they must be on track to complete their program within 150% of the normal program duration. To achieve this, students must have passed 2/3 of the standard full-time units for the period they have studied. The following examples are based on the standard annual load of 80 units:
|Semester||Three Year Bachelors Degree||One Year Masters|
|Semester 1||30 units||30 units|
|Semester 2||60 units||60 units|
|Semester 3||80 units||80 units|
|Semester 4||110 units|
|Semester 5||140 units|
|Semester 6||160 units|
|Semester 7||190 units|
|Semester 8||220 units|
|Semester 9||240 units|
Progress Requirements for Postgraduate Research Students
Both qualitative and quantitative aspects of a research higher degree student's enrolment will be assessed on a bi-annual basis by means of the outcome of the University's confirmation year requirements and the bi-annual review of progress co-ordinated by the Office of Graduate Studies. Students must remain on track to complete a PhD within six years of commencement, or complete a research Masters degree within three years of commencement.
The Confirmation Year Requirements are set out at the Confirmation Year web page.
The Code of Practice for Research Higher Degree Candidature gives details of the bi-annual review of progress.
Withdrawal from a course or courses
Withdrawal from a course (i.e. a subject) of 10 units value should not affect a studentâ€™s eligibility for Federal Aid, unless it means that they drop below the target of completing the program within 150% of the normal program duration, or if it means that they fall below the enrolment requirement of at least 50% of full-time load. Withdrawal from two courses of 10 units or one 20-unit course in a single semester or trimester is not advisable as it is likely to contravene the 150% duration and the 50% load requirements. Students considering withdrawing from one or more courses should seek advice from the Financial Aid Officer on the implications of withdrawal from one or more courses on their continuing eligibility for Financial Aid.
Financial Aid may be allowed for repeated courses, as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.
Non-credit remedial work
Financial Aid may be allowed for non-credit remedial work, as long as the student does not drop below the 150% completion target and the 50% enrolment requirement.
Students who do not meet the requirements of SAP will be notified in writing and put on probation for the following semester/trimester, during which time they will remain eligible for Financial Aid. If they make satisfactory progress during that period they will retain eligibility for Financial Aid, but if they do not they will become ineligible and can receive no further funds until they meet the requirements again. Students who have been placed on probation and subsequently meet the SAP requirements will be placed back into good Financial Aid standing. Students who become ineligible for Financial Aid may be able to regain eligibility in a subsequent semester or trimester by meeting SAP requirements.
Students who are put on probation or deemed ineligible for Federal Aid as a result of their failure to meet the SAP requirements may appeal the decision. According to US regulations, appeals are only permissible on the grounds that the student's failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements is due to the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances.
Appeals must be submitted in writing, and should include a statement setting out why the student's academic performance was unsatisfactory, what the student plans to do to improve their performance, as well as any supporting documentation, for example a medical certificate. Appeals should be submitted to:
NSW Financial Aid Appeals Committee
c/o Jeremy Kirby
Manager, Business Operations and Strategic Development
Academic & Global Relations
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Fax: +61 2 4985 4554
Newcastle NSW 2300
The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.