Satisfactory Academic Progress

Maintain good grades to Keep your Financial aid

Students are encouraged to maintain good grades while attending Iowa Lakes. Federal regulations require that students make reasonable academic progress to continue receiving financial aid- the official term is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

SAP is measured by the student's cumulative grade point average, percentage of credit hours earned in relation to those attempted, and the academic program's length.

To assure that you're making progress toward earning a degree both in terms of the number of hours completed and cumulative GPA, Iowa Lakes requires that you maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA and cumulative pace of 67 percent.

You may view our full Satisfactory and Academic Progress Policy  opens in a new windowhere.

Making Progress Toward a Degree

Students must maintain a minimum of 1.75 cumulative G.P.A. at the end of the first term of enrollment. Each subsequent term after the first, students will be required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A.

The student's pace must complete 67% of their attempted credit hours. Successful completion of courses is defined as receiving a grade of A, B, C, D, or P. Courses receiving F, I, W, K, Z or Q are not counted as completed grades.

Students must complete their program requirements within a time frame equivalent to 150% of their program length and/or credit hours required for graduation purposes.

Transfer credits attributable to the student's degree will be evaluated to determine the student's Satisfactory Progress status.

Satisfactory Academic Progress-Warning Status

Students are placed in a warning status the first time they do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average and/or pace of completion requirement. During the warning term, students remain eligible to receive financial aid for one term. To remain eligible to receive financial aid in future terms, the student must, during the warning term:

  • Increase their cumulative grade point average to meet the minimum grade point average.
  • Successfully complete all courses attempted with grades of A, B, C, D, or P.
  • Be able to reach Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of the semester.
Satisfactory Academic Progress - Ineligible Status

Students are declared ineligible for financial aid if they:

  • Do not meet the warning status requirements as listed above.
  • Do not achieve their program objectives within 150% of the academic program's published time frame as measured in credit hours.
  • Complete the semester with only letter grades of F, I, and/or W.
  • Complete the semester with a G.P.A. of 0.0.
  • Completion of 0.0% of their attempted credit hours
Regaining Eligiblity

Students may earn the necessary grade point average or semester hours while not receiving financial aid (enrolled at their expenses).

Students may submit written appeals documenting extenuating circumstances that prevented them from meeting the standards. Extenuating circumstances include but are not limited to

  • Injury or illness of the student
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Appeals should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at Emmetsburg or Estherville. The appeal needs to be accompanied by an Academic Plan Worksheet signed by the student and his/her advisor. Decisions on appeals will be made, and the decision will be communicated to the student within 15 working days of receipt of the appeal. When appeals are approved, students are given specific requirements to meet. Students who do not have appeals approved are declared ineligible for financial aid.

If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on an Academic Plan:

If the student is placed on Probation, they are eligible for financial aid for that term. At the end of the term, they are re-evaluated and are either making satisfactory academic progress or are ineligible. If they are ineligible, they have the opportunity to appeal.

If the student is placed on an Academic Plan, they will remain on the plan until they either are meeting satisfactory academic progress, or they fail to follow the plan. If the student fails to follow the plan, they will become ineligible. They have the opportunity to appeal.

The Academic Plan Worksheet is provided below.

 Academic Plan Worksheetopens PDF file  

Monitoring of Academic Progress

The academic progress of financial aid recipients is reviewed at the end of each term. Students will be notified of status changes by letter.


Contact the Financial Aid Office

Dianne Hough
Dianne Hough
Financial Aid Office Associate
712-852-5267 Ext: 5267 | dhough@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Regina Marquez
Regina Marquez
Financial Aid Associate
712-852-5276 Ext: 5276 | rmarquez@iowalakes.educreate new email
Emmetsburg Campus
Stephen Pelzer
Stephen Pelzer
Director of Financial Aid
712-362-7917 Ext: 7917 | spelzer@iowalakes.educreate new email
Estherville Campus
Deb Weston
Deb Weston
Financial Aid Office Associate
712-362-7920 Ext: 7920 | dweston@iowalakes.educreate new email
Estherville Campus