Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FSAP)

The following polices are related to a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. These policies are separate from the academic standing policies set by the institution.

FSAP Policy during Coursework enrollment: Effective July 1, 2011

For all students enrolled in coursework

Annual evaluation of FSAP will occur after spring grades are posted each year (in July or August depending on the spring track end dates).

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained AND a minimum of 67% of attempted units must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better (grade of “B” or better required for Clinical students). Transfer credit (“TR”) will be considered as both attempted and completed units. Incomplete grades (“I”), failing grades (“F”, “NP”), withdrawn grades (“W”), repeated courses (“R”) and courses in progress with grades pending (“J”) will be counted as attempted units and excluded from completed units until successful grades are posted to the transcript.

Example: The percentage of completed units is calculated by dividing the number of successfully completed units by the number of attempted units. For example, if you attempt 6 units in each of the fall, winter, and spring terms for a total of 18 attempted units and you successfully complete a total of 12 units, you have completed only 66.7% and are not maintaining FSAP. Your eligibility for federal aid would be suspended.

Dissertation students completing dissertation coursework are considered to be in progress and will be counted as attempted credits and will not receive a grade until the student is able to complete his/her dissertation. Students who are completing their dissertation demonstrate FSAP by having a committee formed and submitting acceptable written work to their dissertation committee chair/advisor by the end of the first year. The committee chair/advisor must confirm that such progress has occurred. At the end of the second year of dissertation, in order to be making FSAP, a student must have a committee approved proposal to receive aid during a third year of dissertation work. Federal financial aid is not available beyond the third year of dissertation work.

Financial Aid Suspension
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure FSAP is maintained. Students will not receive prior FSAP warnings. Students who fail to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point of average of 3.0 and/or fail to successfully complete a minimum of 67% of attempted units each year will lose eligibility for Federal Stafford and Grad Plus Loans. These students will be notified in writing if/when their eligibility for federal aid is suspended.

Appeal Process
Students, for whom federal aid has been suspended, may appeal if extenuating circumstances (such as a death in the family, injury, illness, or other special circumstances) has hindered academic performance.

Students are strongly encouraged to submit a written appeal immediately after receiving notification that financial aid has been suspended. Appeals must be in writing and describe the basis for the appeal: the death of a relative, an injury, or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. The appeal should include an explanation as to what has changed that would allow the student to demonstrate FSAP at the next evaluation and a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) that provides a detailed explanation of how and when deficiencies will be resolved and may include a proposed academic plan for completion of the degree requirements. The appeal and the CAP must be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid at Pacifica Graduate Institute, 249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013. Phone: 805-969-3626, ext. 137. The FSAP Committee will review each student’s appeal and CAP to determine whether the FSAP standards will be met and if eligibility for federal aid may be continued for a probationary period.

Maximum Timeframe
The maximum number of units a student may attempt in the process of completing their degree is:

Program Number of Units required for Degree Maximum Number of Attempted Units Allowed *
PhD Clinical Psychology 104 156
PsyD Clinical Psychology 107 160.5
MA Counseling Psychology 73 109.5
MA/PhD Depth Psychology 90 135
Community, Liberation, Eco Psychology 90 135
Jungian Archetypal Studies 90 135
Somatic Studies 90 135
MA Engaged Humanities and Creative Life 48 72
MA/PhD Mythological Studies 82 123
PhD Depth Psychotherapy 83 124.5
* The maximum number of units attempted may vary based on degree requirements at the point of admission to the program of study

FSAP Policy during Dissertation phase of the PhD programs:

All eligible financial aid recipients entering the dissertation phase of the program will be awarded Stafford Loans on a borrower-based academic year. In other words, from the time the nine-quarter dissertation enrollment period begins, financial aid will cover four consecutive quarters twice, and then one additional quarter. For example: dissertation start date January 1 (winter) – financial aid will cover four consecutive quarters (winter, spring, summer, fall).

Upon completion of the first four (4) quarters of the nine-quarter dissertation enrollment period, the financial aid office will confirm your active participation in the dissertation process. Active participation is defined as the submission of written materials beyond the initial concept paper and on-going consultation with your dissertation committee. Once active participation is confirmed, you may be eligible for additional Stafford Loans during the second year of the two-year clock. Please be aware that all pending financial aid will be canceled once the final draft of your dissertation is approved.

If you find that additional time beyond the nine quarters is necessary for completion of the dissertation, you must enroll in the extended one-year clock. To remain eligible for additional Stafford Loans, the coordinator or chair of the dissertation committee must approve your proposal and submit your approval form to the dissertation office. Proposal requirements are defined by each program and are included in your dissertation handbook. It is your responsibility to stay in contact with your committee and to follow-up on the progress of your proposal approval. Please be aware that all pending financial aid will be canceled once the final draft of your dissertation is approved.

Summary of Dissertation Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements:

Federal Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

  • First four quarters of initial nine-quarter enrollment: Successful completion of coursework requirements as defined by FSAP policy for coursework requirements.
  • Remaining five quarters of initial nine-quarter enrollment: Continued financial aid eligibility requires confirmed submission of written materials beyond the initial concept paper and on-going consultation with dissertation committee.
  • Third year or Extended one-year clock: After completion of two-year clock, continued financial aid eligibility requires committee approval of the dissertation proposal.
  • Federal financial aid is not available beyond the extended one-year clock: Please be aware that all pending financial aid will be canceled once the final draft of your dissertation is approved.