Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (FSAP) Policy
FINANCIAL AID SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (FSAP) POLICY
The following policies are related to a student’s eligibility for financial aid. These policies are separate from the academic standing policies set by the institution. This policy applies to all students, regardless of program of study or full-time/part-time status.
Academic standing depends on several factors, including grades and attendance. The categories of academic standing are:
Graduate students are considered to be in good academic standing if they maintain a minimum 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average. Students who do not maintain good academic standing will be referred to their Program Chair and will be placed on academic probation.
Good Standing – Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programs
In addition to maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average, Counseling Psychology or Clinical Psychology doctoral students must receive a grade of B or higher in every graded.
Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology Course.
If a student receives a grade lower than a B in any graded course taken in the respective program, the student is required to remediate that grade. For complete details, please refer to the Academic Tutorial, Extended Tutorial, and Independent Study sections in this handbook.
*Annual Student Handbooks are published in August.
Satisfactory Progress (See Financial Aid below)
Students achieve satisfactory progress by receiving passing grades in all courses attempted and/or by maintaining a minimum 3.0 (B) cumulative grade point average. Financial aid recipients must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and successfully complete a minimum number of units each quarter. For complete details, refer to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy in the Financial Aid section of this handbook. See Student Handbook for more information.
A probation assessment is conducted each quarter at the time that quarterly grades are posted.
Students are placed on academic probation upon failure to achieve or maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Students may also be placed on academic probation for excessive unexcused absences or for failure to follow the Honesty or Conduct Policies of the Institute. After being notified of probationary status by the Registrar’s Office, it is recommended that a probationary student contact the Program Chair for advisement. Probationary status is removed when a student has raised their cumulative GPA to at least a 3.0 at the time that quarterly grades are posted and/or when the honesty, conduct, or attendance issues have been addressed satisfactorily.
A student may be on academic probation for no more than two consecutive quarters of enrollment. If probationary status is not remediated and removed within two enrolled quarters, a student will be academically disqualified.
Violations of Student Conduct policies may also result in probation from the Institute. Please refer to the Student Conduct section of this Handbook for complete details. See Student Handbook for more information.
Academic disqualification discontinues a student’s current enrollment and bars further registration and attendance/participation in any course pending a review by the Education Council. There are five circumstances under which a student would be placed on academic disqualification status:
- Students who fail to resolve their academic probation status within two consecutive quarters of enrollment will automatically be placed on academic disqualification status.
- Students who do not make satisfactory progress during the six-month remedial work period of their clinical probation may be placed on academic disqualification status. Students in this situation have the opportunity to make a written and oral presentation to show cause for remaining in the program.
- Students who engage in additional unethical or illegal behavior in regard to the practice of psychotherapy while on clinical probation will undergo an immediate review. If the Education Council substantiates evidence of this behavior, the student may have their probation extended or may be placed on academic disqualification status.
- Students who fail to meet the parameters for achieving a passing score on the written or oral comprehensive exam will be placed on academic disqualification status. These parameters are detailed for each program on pages 44-48.
- Violation of the Honesty Policy or the Conduct Policy is cause for academic probation and/or disqualification. Refer to the Student Civility and Conduct Policy in this handbook for details.
When any of these situations occur, the Registrar will notify the student in writing of the status. Students who are academically disqualified will receive a prorated refund of tuition and fees based on Pacifica’s Refund Policy as described in this handbook. Financial aid recipients will be evaluated based on the Return of Federal Funds policy required by federal regulations as outlined in the Financial Aid section of this handbook.
Violations of Student Conduct policies may also result in disqualification from the Institute. Please refer to the Student Conduct section of this Handbook for complete details. See Student Handbook for more information.
Academic Disqualification Appeal Procedure
In the event a student is academically disqualified, they may submit a petition to the Education Council to appeal the disqualification. Petitions to the Education Council must be submitted to the Registrar within one week of receipt of the disqualification notice. The Council will review and consider all materials that are submitted and will respond to the student in writing. A copy of the Council’s action, along with the student’s petition, will be placed in their permanent file.
If the Education Council denies the appeal for reinstatement, the student has the option to apply for readmission unless the disqualification was based on the Conduct and Impairment Policy or the Honesty Policy. Students who are disqualified for violations of the Conduct and Impairment Policy or the Honesty Policy are eligible to appeal the disqualification by petitioning the Provost’s
Office who may appoint a review committee. The review committee will make a suggestion to the Provost and the decision of the Provost will be final. See Student Handbook for more information.
Students who are suspended due to violations of the Honesty Policy or the Conduct and Impairment Policy may not attend classes in person or online. Within three weeks of the date of the suspension, there will be a review by the Program Chair and the Provost to determine whether the student will be taken off of suspension and allowed to return to classes, continued on suspension for a determined period of time, placed on academic probation, or academically disqualified. The student will be notified of the date of this review and will have the option of providing a written response to the reviewing committee. Suspension of classes includes those conducted online; the suspended student will be denied access to the Learning Management System. See Student Handbook for more information.
Academic Transfer Credit Policy
Effective fall 2017, up to 16 quarter units in transfer credit may be accepted at both the master’s and doctoral levels, from external regionally accredited institutions or their foreign equivalent, and up to 16 quarter units in transfer credit may be accepted from another Pacifica Graduate Institute depending on the program. In some cases, there may be an approved Transfer Credit Agreement between programs (such as between the M.A. and Psy.D. Counseling Psychology programs) that specifies an alternate number of units. Please consult an admissions advisor regarding Transfer Credit Agreements. See Student Handbook for more information. See Student Handbook for more information.
Academic Incomplete Policy
If a student is unable to complete course work due to serious extenuating circumstances, the student may request an incomplete in that course. To prevent falling behind in coursework, students are strongly discouraged from taking incomplete grades. Students in most programs may not take more than four incomplete grades per academic year. Students in the hybrid programs take fewer courses and therefore may not take more than three incompletes per academic year. If a student exceeds the limit of incompletes per academic year, a grade of “F” or “NP” will be recorded on the transcript for each additional Request for Incomplete. Students can refer to their transcript to determine the number of incompletes previously taken in the academic year. Please note that certain classes may not allow incompletes. Students in each program should consult the course syllabus to determine if an incomplete is allowed in a particular course. To request an incomplete, students need to submit a Request for Incomplete form to the instructor on or before the course work due date. Students must then submit their completed work and Grade Change Form to the instructor on or before the incomplete work due date indicated in the course syllabus. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor regarding the work required to complete the course. The instructor will evaluate and submit the Grade Change Form to the Registrar’s Office within three weeks following the incomplete due date. Students are responsible for ensuring that their paperwork has been submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will record the grade change and return the final paper plus a revised copy of the transcript to the student. The final grade recorded on the transcript will reflect the incomplete plus the course grade assigned by the instructor (i.e., IA, IB, etc.). Students who do not submit their final work within the required time period will receive a failing grade on their transcript. To remove the failing grade from the transcript, the student may complete a tutorial or repeat the course depending on the amount of time that has elapsed. If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, they will automatically be placed on probationary status. If the probationary status is not removed within two enrolled quarters, the student will be placed on academic disqualification status. Incomplete and failing grades may impact a student’s continued eligibility for financial aid. Please consult the Satisfactory Academic Progress section for complete details. In addition, a student’s eligibility to register for courses with required prerequisites may be affected. See Student Handbook for more information. See Student Handbook for more information.
Academic Repeating a Course
To remediate a failing grade in a course taken more than two years ago or a course for which the minimum attendance requirement was not met, a student must repeat the course. Both original and repeat enrollments will be noted on a student’s permanent academic record; however, unit credit and grade points are earned only once, and the units and grade points earned for the repeated course will be used in computing the grade point average. See Student Handbook for more information. See Student Handbook for more information.
Academic Withdrawal Policy
The withdrawal date for a student that officially withdraws (i.e. a withdrawal form is completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office) is the date the Registrar’s Office receives their withdrawal form (the form is date stamped when it is submitted) and the separation date is the last date of attendance (i.e. the last day of the quarter if the student id completing the quarter or the day the form is submitted during the quarter). See Student Handbook for more information. See Student Handbook for more information.
For All Federal Financial Aid Recipients Enrolled in Coursework
Annual evaluation of FSAP will occur after summer grades are posted each year (in August or September depending on the summer track end dates). For PsyD Clinical Psychology program the FSAP review will occur after spring grades are posted each year.
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.
For students enrolled in PhD Dissertation
PhD Dissertation students completing the PhD dissertation 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 PhD dissertation. Students who are completing their PhD dissertation demonstrate FSAP by having a committee formed and submitting acceptable written work to their PhD 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 PhD dissertation, in order to be making FSAP, a student must have a committee approved proposal to receive aid during a third year of PhD dissertation work. Federal financial aid is not available beyond the third year of PhD dissertation work. All pending aid will be cancelled once the final draft has been approved. The final draft date is the separation date from Pacifica and is the effective date reported to the Department of Education. Dissertation Processing Fees are not eligible for financial aid. Refer to the Dissertation FA Fact Sheet for more details. Visit the Dissertation Office for more information regarding the academic process.
For students enrolled in PsyD Dissertation Extension
PsyD Clinical Dissertation Extension students completing the PsyD dissertation 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 the PsyD dissertation. Students who are completing their PsyD dissertation demonstrate FSAP and must have a committee approved proposal to receive aid. Federal financial aid is not available beyond three quarters of PsyD dissertation extension work. Refer to the PsyD Dissertation Extension Fact Sheet for more details. Dissertation Processing Fees are not eligible for financial aid. Visit the Dissertation Office for more information regarding the academic process.
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 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.
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 within two weeks 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. TTeague@pacifica.edu. 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 reinstated.
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**
|Ph.D. Clinical Psychology||105||157.5|
|Psy.D. Clinical Psychology||116||174|
|M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology||90||135|
|M.A./Ph.D. Depth Specialization in Community, Liberation, Ecopsychology||90||135|
|M.A./Ph.D. Depth Specialization in Jungian & Archetypal Studies||90||135|
|M.A./Ph.D. Depth Specialization in Somatic Studies||90||135|
|M.A. Depth Psychology and Creativity||48||72|
|M.A./Ph.D. Mythological Studies||89||133.5|
|Ph.D. Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices||74||111|
**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 PhD Dissertation phase of the PhD programs:
All eligible financial aid recipients entering the dissertation phase of the PhD program will be awarded Stafford Loans on a borrower-based academic year. In other words, from the time the nine-quarter PhD 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 PhD 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. The final draft approval date is considered the separation date from Pacifica and will be the effective date reported to the Department of Education. Dissertation Processing Fees are not eligible for financial aid.
If you find that additional time beyond the nine quarters is necessary for completion of the PhD 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.The final draft approval date is considered the separation date from Pacifica and will be the effective date reported to the Department of Education. Dissertation Processing Fees are not eligible for financial aid.
Summary of PhD Dissertation Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements:
Federal Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements
- First four quarters of initial nine-quarter PhD dissertation enrollment: Successful completion of coursework requirements as defined by FSAP policy for coursework requirements.
- Remaining five quarters of initial nine-quarter PhD dissertation 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 9-quarter PhD registration, continued financial aid eligibility requires committee approval of the dissertation proposal.
- Federal financial aid is not available during quarters approved as No-Fee Extensions or beyond the extended one-year clock: Please be aware that all pending financial aid will be canceled once the final draft of your PhD dissertation is approved. Dissertation Processing Fees are not eligible for financial aid.