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DPT Program Satisfactory Academic Progress

How to Keep Your Aid: Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid Recipients

DPT Standards

These requirements apply to all students as one determinant of eligibility for financial aid and include three components:

  • GPA (or Equivalent Measure)
  • Pace
  • Maximum Time

Students pursuing the DPT program must meet these requirements in order to maintain financial aid eligibility. SAP status will be determined at the end of each Academic Year. Being allowed to continue and or resume academic progression by the academic department does not automatically correspond/correlate with financial aid eligibility. Students not meeting SAP at the end of the academic year will be immediately ineligible for financial aid, there will be NO semester of warning. 

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Standard I – Qualitative Measure:

A student who advances to the next year of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is considered to have met the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) criteria and financial aid eligibility will continue. Since DPT program courses will not yield a GPA (as courses may be graded pass/fail), the student's progress is measured by their promotion to the following year, not by their grades, for financial aid purposes.

Any student who is not promoted to the subsequent year for academic reasons is not making satisfactory progress and is subject to Academic Performance Review Committee (APRC) review and may be ineligible for further financial aid disbursement. Once the ARPC has reviewed the student’s situation and made a determination, the following rules apply:

  1. Student is required to remediate one or more courses before promotion will be allowed.
    • Student’s must successfully remediate for aid eligibility to be restored. Students are not eligible for financial aid during an extended period of remediation.
  2. Student is required to repeat a semester or year of the DPT program.
    • Students who are required by ARPC to repeat a year will be placed on financial aid probation and can continue to receive financial aid for that repeated year. For financial aid SAP purposes, the student is on an “academic plan,” during this time, which includes completion of required courses and any APRC stipulations. For students repeating a year, at the end of the first term of the probationary period, the Office of Financial Aid will request a review from the Associate Deans’ office (or ARPC) to determine whether the student has made satisfactory improvement to warrant the additional financial aid disbursements for a second term of financial aid probation. Students who have not made sufficient progress in the first term of the financial aid probation will not receive subsequent financial aid disbursements. Students may not receive financial aid for a year or semester repeated for the second time (3rd attempt).
  3. Student is dismissed from the DPT Program.

    • If the ARPC dismisses a student, the student becomes immediately ineligible for further financial aid disbursements. Students who appeal the decision of the ARPC will not receive any further financial aid disbursements during the appeal period. If the appeal is successful, financial aid eligibility will be restored and aid awarded retroactively back to the beginning of the term in which the appeal is granted.

Qualitative SAP component is dependent upon the ARPC rulings, and therefore cannot be appealed to the Office of Financial Aid.

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Standard II - Pace

A DPT student must complete 67% of all courses attempted, this sets an expectation towards degree completion. Grades of F, I, U, W, WP or WF will affect the completion ratio as they will count as courses attempted but not completed. Failure to complete the required percentage would result in the student not making satisfactory academic progress and is therefore ineligible for financial aid. The student may file a petition if extenuating circumstance existed or notify the financial aid office when all courses have been completed with a passing grade.

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Standard III – Maximum Time Frame

A DPT student is not eligible for further financial aid when the cumulative number of credit hours attempted is greater than 179 (150% of the minimum 119 credits required for graduation). In addition, students must complete the program within 5 years of matriculation (whether or not they received aid for all semesters) Periods of non-enrollment are excluded. There will be NO semester of warning if a student fails to meet this standard. A student failing to meet this standard is immediately ineligible. Federal regulations require that a student becomes ineligible for financial aid as soon as it is no longer mathematically possible for them to graduate within the maximum time frame.

The Review Process

The SAP review must include the student’s total academic history—meaning all attempted hours at current degree level.

Students who have extenuating circumstances that have contributed to their failure to maintain SAP may petition their status by completing a SAP appeal. The written appeal should be submitted to the USF Health Financial Aid Office. The written appeal must be submitted within 10 business days, from receipt of the deficit SAP status notification.

A response by the financial aid office will be provided to the student within 10 business days of appeal receipt.

As required by the US Department of Education, submitted appeals should include:

  • Narrative and supportive documentation (as appropriate) noting the reasons for failure to meet academic progression standards for financial aid eligibility.
  • Narrative and supportive documentation (as appropriate) explaining how student circumstances have changed, with a description of steps undertaken to attain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Narrative and signed copy of the required academic plan (as provided by the ARPSAC). The narrative should include language describing the changes to be implemented to avoid future academic difficulties.

An approved appeal will permit the student to receive financial aid for one payment period. At the end of this payment period academic progression will be re-evaluated, and the student must be demonstrating satisfactory academic progress. Any student who is unable to demonstrate satisfactory academic progression will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible to receive financial aid.