Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Committee on Academic Standards reviews the progress of each student toward graduation at the end of each semester and places a student on academic probation or asks a student to withdraw if he or she is not making minimal progress toward graduation.  To receive or continue to receive need-based financial aid, students must be making minimum satisfactory progress toward their degrees.  Provisions for students to receive or continue to receive non-need based merit awards, are described in the student's merit award letter, a separate College policy statement, or both.

Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress

To meet the number of courses necessary for graduation the normal expectation is that a student will complete credits at the rate of four per semester for eight semesters.

Similarly, students are expected to demonstrate progress towards sustaining a semester and cumulative grade point average of 2.0, which is required for graduation and the student's major area.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Guide

Semester Completed Minimum Completed Course Credits Expected
1 3
2 7
3 11
4 15
5 20
6 24
7 28
8* 32

*For financial-aid purposes only, a maximum of six (6) academic years will be permitted to complete a baccalaureate program.  Transfer courses accepted at The College of Wooster are counted toward the total number of courses completed.  Credit for repeated courses is granted only once.

Good Academic Standing

In order to maintain good academic standing, a student regularly enrolled as a degree candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Earn at least three (3) full course credits in any semester;
  • Meet the conditions for courses completed as stated in the "Satisfactory Academic Progress Guide"; and
  • Maintain both a semester and a cumulative grade point average of 2.000.

Financial Standing

A student's need-based financial aid standing follows his or her academic standing as determined by the College's Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.  Students who are placed on academic probation by the Committee on Academic Standards will be placed on financial aid warning for the following semester but will remain eligible for federal, state and College need-based student aid.  The Financial Aid Office, in coordination with the Dean of Students Office notifies students by e-mail and/or letter that they must re-establish satisfactory academic progress by the end of this following semester in order to maintain their need-based aid awards.  Students who do not re-establish satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the Committee on Academic Standards, by the end of this following semester will lose their need-based financial aid eligibility.

Mitigating Circumstances

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy can be set aside for individual students, except as regards their federal student aid eligibility, under certain mitigating circumstances as determined by the Committee of Academic Standards.


Students who have lost their need-based financial eligibility by failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress may appeal, in writing, to the Committee on Academic Standards through the Dean of Students Office.

The appeal must explain the special circumstances why the student failed to meet satisfactory academic progress standards--illness or injury, for instance, or the death of a close relative--and provide an academic plan showing how the student will re-establish satisfactory academic progress by a pre-determined specific point in time.  If the Committee on Academic Standards accepts the student's appeal, the student is placed on financial aid probation and remains eligible for federal, state, and College need-based financial aid during that semester and subsequent semesters if the student meets the requirements specified in the academic plan.  If a student wishes to appeal the Committee on Academic Standards' decision on his or her appeal request, the student should submit the appeal, in writing, to either the Dean of Students or Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.

Re-Establishing Student Aid Eligibility

Students will be considered in good standing in regard to need-based financial aid and non-need based merit award eligibility when they again meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress and good academic standing standards as described in this policy statement, or upon acceptance of their appeal by the Committee on Academic Standards.  Withdrawal or hiatus from the College for any period of time will not affect a student's satisfactory academic progress standing.  Students who apply for re-admission are required to submit an appeal in order to determine financial-aid eligibility.