A graduate student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better to continue to receive federal financial assistance.
Graduate students must successfully complete 67% of their cumulative attempted credits. All attempted credits for each semester will be totaled and the required number to be successfully completed will be 67 percent of that total. If a student enrolls in one semester only, the student will be expected to complete 67% percent of attempted hours for that semester.
Pace: Graduate students must successfully complete 67% percent of U of I credits attempted each term to maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. Pace is evaluated after each semester and is measured against the cumulative number of courses attempted. In light of this, many students will be required to complete an academic plan if the number of completed credits is insufficient for a student to meet the 67% pace rule. For example, see Summary table 3 as an illustration of the pace requirement:
Summary Table 3 – Graduate Level-First Academic Year- Student Withdraws Fall Semester
After the first year, this student has completed only 50% of the courses attempted and is placed on financial aid probation (suspension). To get back on pace to meet the 67% pace rule for U of I, this student would need an academic plan that followed the course load as outlined below to regain financial aid eligibility. As you can see, if a student gets behind on the 67% pace rule, it can take more than a semester to get the total number of completed credits back up to the point where they regain good standing for the pace requirement of 67%. See Table 4 below.
Summary Table 4 - Graduate Level Example 1 - Second Year
|Completion rate||67% (rounded up)|
*Student has regained satisfactory academic progress by completing 67% of cumulative attempted courses.
As illustrated above, the minimum number of courses this student would have to attempt and pass for the next semester is 12 credits. If this student failed to complete 100% of the courses attempted after the initial suspension, then an additional term or terms would be needed to get back on pace and regain financial aid eligibility. In this scenario, the student would be required to submit an academic plan, detailing the number of courses needed each term to get back on pace for her/his degree. In addition to pace, the qualitative requirement of maintaining a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 applies as well to this policy.
Successful completion is defined as receiving earned credit as defined by the U of I Academic Policy. For students receiving federal financial aid, attempted credits will be defined as the number of credits enrolled for the census date for federal financial aid. For students not receiving federal financial aid, attempted credits will be defined as attempted hours recorded at the end of the semester in the Registrar’s system.
A graduate student in the master’s degree program (except M.Ed./M.S. Counseling in Human Services, Master of Fine Arts) requires an average of 36 credits for graduation (see chart below). Therefore, students will be allowed to accumulate up to 150% of the 36 credits, for a total of 54 credits. Once a student accumulates 54 attempted credits, a student will be suspended from receiving further financial assistance. If a student is working on a second Master’s degree they will be allowed to attempt 81 credits (54 plus 27 credits).
|Master's Degree (except Counseling, Human Services & Fine Arts)||54 credits
|Counseling & Human Services||90 credits
|MFA & Specialist||90 credits|
|Doctoral Degree||117 credits|
Students enrolled in the M.Ed./M.S. Counseling in Human Services, Master of Fine Arts, and all specialist degree programs require 60 credits for graduation. Students in these programs will be allowed to attempt up to 150% of the 60 credits for a total of 90 attempted credits. Attempted credit hours are defined as the number of attempted credits in the Registrar’s system, or the number of earned credits, whichever is higher. If a student is attempting a second Master's or Specialist degree in these areas they will be allowed to attempt 135 credits (90 plus 45 credits).
All doctoral degree graduation requirements require a minimum of 78 credits. Students enrolled in doctoral degree programs will be allowed to attempt 150% of the 78 credits for a total of 117 credits. If a student is attempting a second doctoral degree in these areas they will be allowed to attempt 175 credits (117 plus 58 credits).