It is the policy of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix that students are required to follow federal law and regulations which require that all students receiving financial assistance maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as the successful completion of degree requirements according to established increments that lead to awarding the degree within published time limits.
Students not meeting the standards of academic progress will not be eligible to receive Title IV, Title VII and university grant funding. Scholarship awards will follow the terms as outlined in the scholarship agreement.
How and when is financial aid and SAP monitored?
SAP standards are continuously monitored and progress is reviewed according to the College of Medicine – Phoenix policies. The College of Medicine – Phoenix Student Progress Committee (SPC) will keep the Office of Student Financial Aid informed of student progress on a regular basis.
For financial aid purposes, SAP will be evaluated annually at the end of the spring semester once final grades have posted. A student with qualitative and/or quantitative deficiencies will be placed on financial aid suspension.
Qualitative and quantitative standards**
To be eligible for financial aid, students are required to successfully complete all of the College of Medicine – Phoenix required curricular units* and examinations in order to graduate with the MD degree. There are both qualitative (measurement based) and quantitative (pace or time-related) standards that must be met.
The College of Medicine – Phoenix does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average, but rather with grades of Pass or Fail in Years 1 and 2 and in all non-clinical curricular units, and with grades of Honors, High Pass, Pass or Fail in clinical courses in Years 3 and 4. Students are expected to Pass, High Pass or Honor all curricular units in order to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. A failing grade that has been successfully remediated within the academic year will be reviewed based on its last grade.
The following are outlined as part of the federal law and regulation:
Minimum standard – The normal time frame for completion of required coursework for the MD degree is four academic years. Due to academic or personal difficulties or scholarly enrichment activities, a student may require additional time. In such situations, an academic plan may be established for the student that departs from the norm and that may require the repetition of all or part of a year of study (i.e. subsequent to incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or an approved leave). To be making Satisfactory Academic Progress, students must complete the first two years of the curriculum by the end of the third year after initial enrollment; the remaining requirements of the curriculum ordinarily must be completed within six years of matriculation into the program (as per the Dismissal Policy). Requests for exceptions are subject to review by the Student Progress Committee (as per the Dismissal Policy), and would require the student to appeal for additional financial aid eligibility with an approved academic plan.
Maximum standard – The maximum time frame for a student to earn the MD degree cannot exceed 150 percent (six years) of the published length of the four-year program. Dual-degree students in a College of Medicine MD-PhD program may exceed the six-year limit to satisfy the requirements for the combined degree. All time limits include leaves of absences, the repeat of an academic year, and retakes or remediation of any curricular unit, exam or other requirement.
Financial aid is available for the first repeat of any previously passed curricular unit. Students may receive financial aid funding for the repeat of a failing grade or withdrawal of any curricular unit or units. Repeat of the same curricular unit may only be funded one additional time and counts towards the pace of completion. Each attempt is factored into the Satisfactory Academic Progress review.
Repeat of Entire Year Coursework
In a situation where a student is required to repeat an academic year for both the coursework they failed and passed, the student can only receive funding once for the repeat of the same academic year.
For students who receive financial aid and take a leave, withdraw or are dismissed from school, federal and university regulations require that the institution recalculate the eligibility for aid disbursed in a given semester to determine whether any of the aid originally disbursed needs to be returned. This calculation is based on the percentage of time the student was enrolled for the semester.
A student who is not approved to continue enrollment is ineligible for all sources of financial aid.
Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be reestablished if the student subsequently meets Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, or if the student successfully appeals the decision to the Associate Dean, Student Affairs or designee. The appeal must state the reasons for failing to meet SAP requirements, including, if applicable, special circumstances that contributed to the student’s failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (e.g., an injury or illness of the student, the death of a relative or other special circumstances), and the changes in circumstances that will allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation. If the Associate Dean, Student Affairs or designee determines that the student’s appeal should be approved, an academic plan must be established for the student and then, after review by the Office of Student Financial Aid, the student’s aid may be reinstated.
Financial aid probation
Once an appeal has been approved, a student is placed on financial aid probation and is eligible for financial aid. The Student Progress Committee, in conjunction with student development staff in the Office of Student Affairs, will develop an academic plan for the student that will ensure, if followed, that the student is able to meet the College of Medicine – Phoenix SAP standards by a specific point of time. Ordinarily, this timeframe will be for an academic year. The student is eligible for financial aid during the timeframe stated in the academic plan. At the end of the timeframe stated in the academic plan, the student must have met the SAP standards. A student who does not comply with each SAP standard by the end of the financial aid probationary period or their academic plan is suspended from financial aid eligibility. A student shall be reinstated for financial aid eligibility when they have satisfactorily completed sufficient coursework to meet the standards of progress within the maximum timeframes delineated above.
If there are new or additional extenuating circumstances, a student may file a second appeal. The student should submit additional information which explains the circumstances during which the student was unable to meet the standards for SAP. Students are notified of the decision of the second appeal in writing, and the decision is final. Students may apply for a private loan if the second appeal is denied.
A student who is denied financial aid for failing to maintain SAP may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting both standards of SAP towards the MD degree.
Other Related Policies:
- Enrollment, Sequencing and Grading for Pre-Clerkships Policy.
- Grading and Progression for Clerkships Policy.
- Grading and Progression for Electives and Selectives Policy.
- Dismissal Policy.
- Promotion Policy.
*Any component of the curriculum where a grade is earned.
**Specific to federal financial aid standards and requirements.