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To receive financial aid, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Register with the Selective Service if a male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Be accepted in a degree-seeking/certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Not be in default on prior federal student loans
  • (Continuing students) Make satisfactory academic progress 

Minimum credits required per trimester to receive Federal Stafford Loans

Academic Program

Less than half-time credits

Half-time credits

Three-quarter time credits

Full-time credits

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine < 4.99 5 - 6 7 - 8 9+
Trimesters 1-9
< 7.49 7.5 - 9 10 - 14 15+
Trimester 10
< 7.49  7.5 - 9 10 - 14 10+
Massage Therapy (Certificate and AAS) < 5.99 6 - 8 9  - 11 12+
Undergraduate Health Sciences (pre-professional)*  < 5.99 6 - 8

9  - 11 12+

Financial assistance will be adjusted for each trimester of enrollment according to the student's enrollment status and the regulations that govern each program.

Satisfactory academic progress

The Higher Education Amendments that govern Title IV Financial Assistance Programs state that “a student shall be entitled to receive federal student assistance benefits only if that student is maintaining progress in the course of study he/she is pursuing, according to the standards and practices of the institution.”

Northwestern’s Policy of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requires a student to meet both a Scholastic Standard (qualitative-grade requirement) and a Program Standard (quantitative-work completed). Supportive services are available through the Academic Success Center (Office of Student Affairs) to help ensure scholastic success. A student who does not meet the SAP requirements may lose eligibility to receive Federal Title IV aid and all sources of institutional aid.

An aid-recipient’s Satisfactory Academic Progress will be monitored at the end of each grading period to establish the student’s eligibility to continue receiving financial aid.

For more information, refer to the Financial Aid section of the Student Handbook (pdf).

Criteria for satisfactory academic progress

A student may continue to receive financial aid by meeting all of the following criteria:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average - 2.00 or better
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative pace requirement - A student must successfully complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted hours by the end of each trimester. The completed percentage is determined by dividing credits earned by the number of credits attempted. NOTE: While grades of W, WP and WF may have no impact in the academic GPA calculations, these grades are included as attempted credits, as required by Federal regulations.
  • Meet a maximum time frame requirement - The maximum number of credit hours allowable to complete a degree is 150% of the credit hours required to complete the degree or certificate program

Financial aid warning, probation and SAP appeal

To review the complete policies, refer to the Financial Aid section of the Student Handbook (pdf).

Financial aid warning

A student who fails the SAP evaluation may be placed on Financial Aid Warning status. A Financial Aid Warning:

  • Lasts for one trimester - the student is notifed at the beginning of the trimester
  • Does not require action (such as an appeal) by the student
  • May be invoked for more than one trimester - there is no limit to to the number of warnings a student may receive during his or her enrollment, but the student may not receive a warning in consecutive trimesters

Financial aid probation

After a Financial Aid Warning, a student who continues to fail SAP must successfully appeal to be placed on Financial Aid Probation and be permitted to receive financial aid - probation status is not granted automatically.

At the end of one trimester of Financial Aid Probation status, the student must:

  • Make satisfactory academic progress OR
  • Meet the requirements of the academic plan set in the appeal for probation

SAP appeal

When a student becomes ineligible for financial aid due to failure to meet SAP standards, he or she may file an SAP Appeal with the Office of Financial Aid for further financial aid consideration - on the basis of:

  • Death of a relative
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Other special circumstances (e.g. difficult transition to Northwestern, family issues, legal troubles, work or budget problems)

Completed SAP appeals will be reviewed within 15 business days. The student will be notified by campus email if the appeal is accepted or denied.

Additonal SAP information

Dual degree programs/Changed majors

Students who are enrolled in a dual degree program or who have changed majors* may file a SAP Appeal to request an extension of the maximum time frame provision of the SAP policy. Such requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.

*Human Biology is the only undergraduate major offered at this time.

Second degrees

Students seeking second degrees are monitored like any other students under this policy. Students who exceed the maximum time frame allowed by their respective program may file a SAP Appeal to request an extension. Appeals will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Transfer/Audit credits

Transfer and consortium credits accepted by the University will be included when calculating your credit completion ratio and maximum time frame, but not your GPA. This includes credits earned from non-Northwestern Health Sciences University programs. Audit credits are not considered either attempted or earned. Credit hours earned at a foreign institution are included in the SAP evaluation if the University accepts the credit hours. 

Repeated coursework

Repeated courses will count toward enrollment status, attempted hours and maximum time frame. 

Summer sessions courses

All hours attempted and completed in the summer sessions are treated as any other trimester credit hours in determining SAP.

Academic Calendar

Have a Question?

Our staff can help

Contact Us
email: finaid@nwhealth.edu

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