Satisfactory Academic Progress



All students are expected to make reasonable progress toward the completion of a degree to be eligible for federal financial aid.  The following standards have been adopted to monitor progress.  

To be eligible for federal financial aid at Northwest Nazarene University a student must be enrolled, in good standing academically, and making reasonable progress toward the completion of a degree.

NNU’s policy is to review students once each semester for cumulative GPA, total credits completed versus credits attempted, academic probation, and prior appeal conditions. All students who are not meeting SAP guidelines will be notified in writing of their SAP status. Non-receipt of this letter will not change this status.


Graduate students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of their second semester of full-time attendance and throughout the rest of the program to continue receiving federal financial aid. 


All graduate students must maintain a minimum pace of completing 67% of the attempted credits. Only passing grades count as successful completion. Incomplete, in progress, failing grades, and drops/withdrawals are not considered completed courses, but are considered as attempted courses for purposes of the 67% completion requirement. All attempted hours are counted whether or not the student received aid for them. Transfer hours accepted at NNU count toward both credits attempted and completed, however the GPA from these courses is not calculated in the qualitative progress for this policy. Federal aid eligibility is only extended to repeat a course one time. Remedial courses that are pass/fail are counted in credits attempted and earned, but do not count toward GPA.

To ensure you complete your program within a reasonable amount of time, a limit has been placed on the number of hours you can attempt. This limit is 150% of the minimum number of credits required to complete the program. Once a student reaches the 150% limit or it is determined that a student cannot complete the program within the 150% limit, the student will no longer be able to receive federal financial aid, but may appeal. The number of credits required to complete each graduate program varies, please contact your Program Administrator for this total.

The Office of Financial Aid verifies each student’s enrollment in the required number of credits for the aid they are receiving before funds are credited to the student’s account.


Warning Status—this status is assigned to students who fail to meet the Standards of Academic Progress as stated above at the end of a semester in which they are enrolled. Students in a warning status may receive federal aid for one semester without completing an appeal. The first time a student fails to meet the qualitative cumulative GPA (3.0 or higher) or pace (minimum 67% of attempted courses completed) requirements stated in this policy, the student will be placed on financial aid warning. A student at NNU may only reach warning status 3 times (non-consecutively) in their graduate program, after the third time, the student will be placed on automatic suspension of aid.

Suspension Status— financial aid suspension is a semester in which the student loses federal aid eligibility. The student can regain federal aid eligibility once they reach a cumulative GPA in line with the SAP guidelines and/or complete 67% of the credits they attempted. Students can move to a financial aid suspension after a warning semester if they continue to not meet one or all of the SAP guidelines. Exceeding the maximum time frame also moves the student to an automatic suspension status for any subsequent semester. Students do have the option to appeal if unusual or unforeseen circumstances within a semester caused their suspension status. 

Not enrolling in the subsequent semester (at NNU or another college) after a warning or suspension status is determined, does not change this status should the student return. 


Students, who have been denied Federal financial aid for reasons other than reaching the maximum timeframe, may have their aid reinstated by:

1. Continue to attend Northwest Nazarene University without federal financial aid or attend another regionally accredited college until they are able to achieve both:

A cumulative 3.0 GPA. 

A 67% cumulative and semester completion rate. 

2. Submitting an appeal that explains the unusual or unforeseen circumstances that led to the suspension.

Note: A student at NNU may only reach suspension status 3 times in their graduate program, after the third time, the student will be placed on automatic suspension of aid and may not appeal or regain eligibility. Students who have reached the maximum timeframe also may not appeal or regain eligibility.


Students may appeal the loss of aid by submitting the Appeal Form available in the Office of Financial Aid or at The form is due by the first day of each semester. Students who are in a suspension and have not submitted an appeal by this date will be denied federal financial aid for that semester. Petitions are reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee (FAAC). Submitting an appeal does not guarantee it will be approved. The student is responsible for all semester charges incurred in semesters when federal financial aid is denied. The decision of the FAAC is final. If the appeal is approved, a student’s federal financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for one semester and the student is considered to be in a probation status. An academic plan may be a condition of an approved appeal and is at the discretion of the committee. During probation, a student must meet the SAP guidelines in order to retain aid eligibility. Failure to meet these guidelines will be cause for suspension.