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The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that each student maintains satisfactory progress in his or her pursued course of study to receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid. At Briar Cliff University, these standards are also applied to state and institutional programs.

Students attending full-time have a maximum of five academic years to complete a program of study at Briar Cliff University. Students will only receive state funding for four academic years. If the student’s major requires additional completion time, a fifth year of institutional funding can be allowed.

Academic Progress will be measured both qualitatively and quantitatively. A minimum grade point average (GPA) and a minimum number of credit hours completed in the academic year are requirements (see chart below).

Students who do not meet the grade point average requirement after their first semester will receive a Warning notification. Students unable to achieve the required grad point average after two semesters will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students can also be placed on Financial Aid Suspension after two semesters for not completing 70% of the hours they attempted.

Students placed on Financial Aid Suspension have the right to appeal the suspension. The suspension form is mailed to the student to complete. That appeal will require the reasons for the suspension and an Academic Plan which must be signed by the student's Academic Advisor. The student will have a time frame to have the document completed and submitted to the Financial Aid Office so a decision can be made. Students who are granted approval will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester.

After the probationary semester, the student will either be in good standing or will not be able to receive any federal, state, or institutional funds until they are in good standing again.

Eligibility can also be terminated when the credit hours required for a specific degree/program are earned or the student has attempted greater than 150% of the credit hours required for a specific degree program.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements
Semester 1 - 1.5
Semester 2 - 1.75
Semester 3 - 1.90
Semester 4 - 2.0

Students participating in athletics must meet the guidelines above to retain an athletic award each semester.

Students receiving an academic achievement award must have a 2.0 GPA at the end of each academic year.

Graduate students are expected to achieve a grade of “B” or better in each course. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 at any time during the program will be placed on academic probation and are subject to dismissal from the program if the GPA does not return to a 3.0 at the end of the next term of coursework.

Transfer Students
Transfer students must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress at the time of admission. Transfer credits and GPA that are accepted at Briar Cliff are counted toward the total attempted credit/cumulative GPA in determining satisfactory academic progress compliance.

Repeated Coursework
When students repeat a course, the most recent grade received is used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average unless the student performs worse. In that case, the better of the two grades is counted toward cumulative grade point average.

Non-credit Coursework
Non-credit coursework is not counted in the minimum credit requirement. In the event that a student fails to successfully complete courses at the minimum level, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student in this category may receive financial aid for one additional semester. If the student does not meet the minimum levels by the end of the probationary semester, the student is considered to be making unsatisfactory progress and is placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Financial Aid Suspension means the termination of all financial aid except private loans. The Financial Aid Office evaluates the progress of each student according to these standards on an annual basis. If a student is placed on Financial Aid Suspension, that student will have the opportunity to appeal the suspension. A student will receive notification of suspension and an Appeals Document. The appeals committee will review the student’s request and notify the student of its decision in writing.

Changes in Academic Load
During the first week of each semester, called "Validation Week," you will have an opportunity to change your registration or room/board plan with no financial penalty. After Validation Week, there will be no adjustment to tuition or financial aid if you drop a class or change to a different room/board plan.

Students who completely withdraw from the University may be allowed a refund on tuition, fees, room/board (if applicable). Federal and state regulations require that all or a portion of the refund be returned to the appropriate government aid programs. Refunds on behalf of the federal aid recipients must be returned in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Grad PLUS, Federal Direct PLUS, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, TEACH Grant, other Title IV aid.

For a complete copy of Briar Cliff’s Refund Policy,
please review the Student Handbook or contact the Financial Aid Office.


You are responsible for:
  • being informed. Briar Cliff University strives to provide families with factual information regarding cost, aid, opportunities, etc. through its publications and correspondence.
  • supplying accurate information on all forms submitted. Funds obtained on the basis of false information must be repaid and could result in criminal prosecution.
  • reporting any financial aid that you receive but is not listed on your current award letter from Briar Cliff University.
  • submitting information requested by financial aid processors, Briar Cliff, or any other institution or program to which you are applying or reapplying for financial aid.
  • maintaining good academic standing as outlined in this publication.
  • repaying any student loans in accordance with your established repayment schedule. You are not eligible for financial aid if you are in default on any federal loans received at any institution.
  • reporting any change in your circumstances which might affect your eligibility for financial aid. These changes include residency, enrollment status, etc.
  • meeting your education costs.
  • repaying any prior over-awards of federal funds at any institution. You are not eligible for financial aid if you owe a refund on federal funds.
  • using financial aid funds for expenses related to your attendance at Briar Cliff University.
  • complying with all federal requirements of the 1983 Amendments to the Military Selective Service Act.
You have the right to:
  • expect confidentiality. All financial aid information submitted to the Financial Aid Office will remain confidential.
  • have your financial aid reviewed if your circumstances change during the academic year. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you feel your calculated financial need should be reviewed. This, however, does not always result in an increase in your award.
  • expect fair treatment. Briar Cliff University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental handicap, or age.

Briar Cliff’s Financial Aid Office has staff members who can assist you in understanding your financial aid, budgeting your resources, and loan management. If you would like some assistance, please contact our counselors toll free at 1-800-662-3303, extension 5200, or locally at 712-279-5200 to schedule an appointment.