US Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving Federal aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) means the student is proceeding in a positive manner toward fulfilling degree requirements. SAP includes two standards; qualitative and quantitative. Students must meet both standards to continue receiving financial aid.


In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid with the qualitative standard, a student must maintain the academic standing necessary to remain at HHL. The Financial Aid Office will conduct a review at the end of each academic year to determine the students successful progress toward obtaining a degree by comparing cumulative grade average to hours earned. A student must maintain an overall minimum 4.0 grade average (German Grading Scale) out of 5.0 (German Grading Scale) to remain enrolled in the program or to continue receiving aid. In order to meet HHL’s requirement for graduation, a student must have a minimum grade average of 4.0 on the German Grading Scale. Students may be dismissed by their department at the end of any quarter if they have not made sufficient academic progress to warrant continuance of study. Students who fail to maintain sufficient academic progress will be dismissed from the program. A student must maintain a 50% overall grade average regardless of their eligibility for or participation in the Title IV program. Termination of students will follow policies and procedures adopted by the department and reported to the Exams Committee. Dismissal by an academic department may be appealed to the Head of the Department and if that appeal is unsuccessful, the student may then appeal to the Head of the Exam’s Committee. The dismissal decision by the Exams Committee is final and may not be appealed by the student. A re-admission of dismissed students to the program is not possible.


Students must be enrolled for the number of credits defined by the study regulations during each quarter (on average 20) to be considered full time. Half-time enrollment for graduate students is a minimum of 50% of the above defined workload. In order to meet the quantitative standard, students must complete and pass a minimum of 75% of courses attempted each academic year. The maximum allowable time to be eligible for financial aid for a full-time masters degree student is two academic years and for a full-time doctoral degree student five academic years regardless of whether the students receives Federal Student Aid (loans) during any enrollment period. The minimum number of credits required for a master’s degree is 120 credits. The normal time frame for completion of a master’s degree is 18 months. Part-time master’s students may take up to three years to complete their degree requirements. Graduate students in the Ph.D. program are required to take an additional 180 credits above the master’s level. Ph.D. students may take up to five years to complete their degree requirements. HHL evaluates Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each two quarters. Withdrawals and incompletes are not included in the overall grade average. Students must complete all required courses by the end of the degree. Students who achieve a passing grade can’t repeat a course. Students who fail a required course must repeat the course and obtain a passing grade before completion of their degree. When a student repeats a course and achieves a passing grade, the original grade will be counted in the grade average in a way that the grade average of the failed course is the average of both exams. There are no noncredit remedial courses. Scheduled awards for the next academic year for students who are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress will be canceled. Financial aid will be disbursed on the first day of each semester (Autumn and Spring quarters). Students who withdraw after that will have their eligibility to retain part of their financial aid calculated on the percentage of the semester attended. Students who attend more than 60% of the term may retain all of their aid. See the section on Return to Title IV (R2T4).

Transfer Students

Transfer students’ transcripts will be evaluated by the Program Director. Those courses which are applicable to the degree requirement will be accepted and will be used to measure the quantitative SAP requirement. Those grades also will be used to compute the qualitative requirement.

Change of Program or Degree

Students who decide to change their degree or program objective will be evaluated similarly to Transfer Students with the exception that the grades previously earned at HHL will be used to measure the qualitative requirements.

Concurrent Degrees

Although it is unlikely to occur, students may pursue two graduate degrees concurrently. They are charged the tuition for each program and the Cost of Attendance for one degree will be adjusted to reflect the two tuition charges. Students must meet the Satisfactory Progress requirements for both programs to retain eligibility. The two sets of courses will be viewed as one program. Loans will be processed to the maximum yearly eligibility for graduate students.

Additional Degrees

Students who have completed a graduate degree program and wish to pursue another degree must apply for admission to that program as would any other applicant and meet the admission requirements for the new program. Federal loan eligibility will be limited to the aggregate program maximums under Federal Regulations.

Exams Regulations at HHL

According to HHL’s exams regulations dismissal by an academic department may be appealed to the Head of the Exams Committee after all other avenues of appeal have been exhausted. The dismissal decision by the Exams Committee is final and may not be appealed by the student. Students who are readmitted to their program after an approved withdrawal period may apply in writing to the Director of Financial Aid to continue receiving financial aid. The student should specify the exceptional circumstances that lead to the withdrawal and state the reasons why those circumstances will not affect future academic progress. Each case will be individually reviewed and the Director will use his professional judgment to determine if the original situation has been resolved to the point where the student can reasonably be expected to succeed.