Federal and state regulations governing student financial aid programs require the institute to ensure that each student who is receiving financial aid maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward his or her degree.
The SAP check occurs after grades are posted at the end of each term. Failure to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress may disqualify a student from enrollment at the Institute and/or additional federal, state, and institutional financial aid. A student who successfully appeals their ineligibility for registration will be placed on warning, probation or continued on probation status for financial aid purposes.
All undergraduates are required to meet certain scholastic standards as outlined in the Catalog. The details can be found at the link below under Scholastic Requirements.
Financial Aid Warning
Students who are found not to be making satisfactory academic progress at the end of an academic term will be ineligible to register. For the first such ineligibility, the petition may be acted on by the dean or associate dean of undergraduate students, after consultation with the student and examination of the record. At the dean's discretion, such cases may be referred to the UASH Committee for action. If given permission to register, students will be on academic probation and will be placed on financial aid warning. A student may continue to receive financial aid for one term while on financial aid warning status. Students should use this opportunity to re-establish SAP.
Financial Aid Probation
Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress after their term of financial aid warning will be ineligible to register, ineligible for financial aid, and will be required to withdraw from the Institute for at least two terms. Students may appeal this status as outlined in the Academic Requirements above.
Undergraduate students may, after at least two terms of leave, petition the UASH Committee for reinstatement. Students who are reinstated as a result of their appeal/petition for reinstatement will be placed on financial aid probation and may receive financial aid for an additional academic term.
As stated above, students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress for a third time will not be allowed to continue their enrollment at the Institute.
Continued on Financial Aid Probation
Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress while on financial aid probation but are reinstated as a result of a UASH petition will be continued on financial aid probation and be ineligible for federal and state aid.
A student who is continued on financial aid probation and again fails to make satisfactory academic progress would almost certainly not be allowed to continue their enrollment. If, however, they successfully petition the UASH Committee for reinstatement, they would be continued on financial aid probation for a second term. Technically, a student may be continued on financial aid probation for up to three consecutive terms but their scholarship eligibility will be reduced in each of those terms.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress after being continued on financial aid probation for three consecutive terms and are again reinstated by the UASH Committee will be ineligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid at Caltech until such time as they make satisfactory academic progress.
Maximum Time Frame for Receiving Aid
A student has a limited time frame to complete all degree requirements and remain eligible for financial aid. As defined by federal regulations, the maximum time frame is 150 percent of the published program length for degree completion.
To qualify for a Bachelor of Science degree, students must complete a minimum of 486 units which translates to 486 x 150% = 729 maximum attempted units.
An "attempted" unit is defined as any unit that a student remains enrolled in AFTER the Add Period, including units the student withdraws from each term. Units that a student is retroactively enrolled in after the Add Period are considered attempted units.