Satisfactory Academic Progress
The University is required to define and enforce standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to encourage the student to successfully complete courses for which financial aid is received.
Full-time students are expected to complete degree requirements at Ouachita Baptist University within 4 years (8 semesters). Completion of a minimum of 15-16 credit hours each term is necessary to graduate within that time period. University aid is limited to 8 semesters of study.
Students will be eligible to receive federal financial aid (all Title IV programs) for up 150% of their degree program’s published length. These limits are prorated for longer periods of time for students enrolled less than full-time.
Federal student aid recipients are considered to be making satisfactory progress if they meet the following quantitative requirements:
|By the end of the:||Credit Hours Completed if full-time||Credit Hours Completed if three quarter-time or less|
|1st Academic Year||21||12|
|2nd Academic Year||42||24|
|3rd Academic Year||63||36|
|4th Academic Year||84||48|
|5th Academic Year||105||60|
|6th Academic Year||128||72|
The number of credit hours completed will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester each academic year. Students who fail to meet the minimum standards will be suspended from receiving financial aid until the deficient credit hours are satisfactorily completed. Summer credits may be counted toward meeting requirements for the previous academic year. Correspondence courses may also count toward the requirements for the previous academic year provided they are completed (final grade and credit recorded) during that academic year.
A course in which a grade of “incomplete” is assigned will not be used to meet course load requirements. If the incomplete is changed to a passing grade, it will be recorded in the term during which the course was taken and will then apply to the requirements.
Transfer credits will be counted as part of the cumulative GPA and quantitative progress towards a degree.
Withdrawals, repetitions, and noncredit remedial courses will not be used to meet course load requirements.
Students receiving financial aid who reduce their course loads after enrollment must contact Student Financial Services.
Student aid recipients must also maintain minimum cumulative grade point averages (GPA) consistent with requirements for graduation to remain eligible for aid. These requirements are based upon an escalating scale of cumulative GPA as follows:
- Freshman ( 0-28 hrs) – 1.700 GPA
- Sophomore (29-58 hrs) – 1.800 GPA
- Junior (59-88 hrs) – 1.900 GPA
- Senior (89-up hrs) – 2.000 GPA
Students are required to achieve a C average by graduation. C average is defined as a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Grade point averages will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester each academic year. Students must have the required grade point at the end of the term or they will be suspended from receiving financial aid until such time as they have achieved the required GPA.
There is not a probation period for students failing to meet satisfactory progress.
If students are denied aid because of lack of satisfactory progress, courses must be taken at student’s own expense until minimum number of hours and/or the required GPA have been reached. Once the required number of hours and/or GPA has been attained the student must inform the Director of Student Financial Services in writing for their eligibility to be reinstated.
Students who feel that mitigating circumstances prevented them from making satisfactory academic progress may appeal the decision to suspend their financial aid eligibility. A written appeal may be submitted to the Director of Student Financial Services.
Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
For an ACG, the student’s GPA is checked only at the end of the first year. That average, which includes all the grades in the payment period in which the student completes the first year, determines whether a student can receive a second-year grant at all. If a student has a GPA below 3.0 at the end of the first year, no improvement of his average to above 3.0 will make him eligible for any part of a second-year ACG. Conversely, if his cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better at the end of the first year, a decline in his GPA will not make him ineligible for the second-year ACG.
For the first payment period of a student’s ACG for the second year and for any payment period for which a student will receive a National SMART grant, a school can make an interim disbursement if final grades from the previous period are not yet available. If the grades once posted lower the student’s GPA below 3.0, then the school must cancel the disbursement and it is liable for that disbursement.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant
The cumulative GPA covers the most recently completed payment period prior to any disbursement of a National SMART grant. This allows for a change of eligibility status for SMART grant funds. A student who is ineligible for an initial grant at the beginning of his third year because his GPA isn’t high enough can become eligible later that year or next year if he raises his cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher. If his average is already 3.0 and it drops below that, he becomes ineligible for a SMART grant disbursement until his GPA is at least 3.0 again.
SAP for transfer Students who are receiving ACG or SMART Grant
To determine ACG eligibility for a student who transfers between one and two years’ worth of hours, the current school must calculate GPA using grades for courses accepted from any prior institution toward the student’s ACG-eligible program. For a student who transfers hours that constitute less than one year, the GPA is calculated using grades for all courses accepted into the eligible program and for courses earned at the current school.
When a school determines National SMART grant eligibility for transfer students and calculates the students’ GPA, it must, for at least the first payment period, include grades for courses accepted for transfer into the National SMART grant-eligible program. For subsequent payment periods, the school must follow its academic policy regarding the calculation of the GPA, whether that is to include grades for courses that transfer or to exclude them.
Appeal process for ACG and SMART Grant
There is no GPA appeal process for ACGs and SMART grants.
If the student is in the first year of a program of undergraduate education as determined by the institution, he or she must have a final cumulative secondary school grade point average (GPA) upon graduation of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.
The student must maintain a numeric equivalent through the most recently completed payment period of at least a 3.25 on a 4.0 scale. The GPA must be based on courses taken at the institution through the most recently completed payment period.
If the student is beyond the first year of a program of undergraduate education as determined by the institution a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale or the numeric equivalent though the most recently coupled payment period.
If the student is a graduate student during the first payment period, he or she must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale, or the numeric equivalent.
If the student is a graduate student beyond the first payment period, he or she must have a cumulative graduate GA oaf at least 3.25 on a 4.0.
Requirements for OBU Scholarship Maintenance
Scholarships/grants offered by Ouachita Baptist University are awarded for 8 regular semesters of study (summer school not included). University scholarships awarded to transfer students will be reduced by the number of semesters previously attended at another institution. Scholarships are automatically renewed each semester provided students maintain the cumulative grade point required for the scholarship and maintain all satisfactory progress requirements. Grade points are checked at the end of each semester. One semester of warning is allowed for those students who have not maintained the required grade point.
[There will not be a warning semester for those students who do not meet minimum satisfactory progress guidelines as stated above.]
If the required grade point is not reached by the end of the next regular semester, the scholarship is dropped. In the event the student later raises the GPA to the required level, a written appeal for reinstatement of the scholarship may be made to the Director of Student Financial Services (with the exception of Trustee Scholarships which cannot be reinstated once they have been dropped).
|SCHOLARSHIP/GRANT||CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT REQUIRED|
|SCHOLASTIC EXCELLENCE SCHOLARSHIP||2.750|
The Ouachita Scholarship Committee meets annually to select students for scholarships created by friends and donors to the university. Amounts range from a couple hundred dollars to full tuition and fees. A 2.50 Cumulative grade point at the time of application will be considered.