The United States Department of Education requires that all schools develop a Satisfactory Academic Progress policy in order to appropriately administer financial aid to its recipients. Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science concurs with the need to regularly review each student’s academic progress in order to effectuate positive academic outcomes.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, regulations were promulgated in an effort to ensure program integrity at higher education institutions. These regulations were designed to ensure that only eligible students receive aid. Changes to PIMS’ policy are in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education and are stated below. The new policy was effective July 1, 2011.

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be checked at the end of each financial aid payment period for every campus and online program at PIMS.

All students must reach a 2.0 Grade Point Average (of a possible 4.0) in order to graduate from any program at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. In the event that a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0, the progress standards described below shall apply. The academic progress standards presented below are effective January 1, 2016, for new students.

ON-CAMPUS DIPLOMA PROGRAM (EMBALMING AND FUNERAL DIRECTING) ON-CAMPUS AST DEGREE PROGRAM (FUNERAL SERVICE ARTS AND SCIENCES)

First full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.59 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.60-1.99 Academic Probation

Second full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.85 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.86-1.99 Academic Probation

Third full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.99 Academic dismissal or repeating courses in which a “D” or “F” was received

ON-CAMPUS ASB DEGREE PROGRAM (FUNERAL SERVICE MANAGEMENT) ONLINE AST DEGREE PROGRAM (FUNERAL SERVICE ARTS AND SCIENCES)

First full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS End of 2nd term online

  • 0.00-1.59 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.60-1.99 Academic Probation

Second full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS End of 4th term online

  • 0.00-1.69 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.70-1.99 Academic Probation

Third full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS End of 6th term online

  • 0.00-1.79 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.80-1.99 Academic Probation

Fourth full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS End of 8th term online

  • 0.00-1.89 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.90-1.99 Academic Probation

Fifth full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS End of 10th term online

  • 0.00-1.99 Academic dismissal or repeating courses in which a “D” or “F” was received

For students in the ASB Degree program who have transferred credits from another institution to satisfy the 16 credits requirement of Trimester “A,” and will be in-residence for only four trimesters, the following progress standards would apply.

ASB DEGREE POGRAM (FUNERAL SERVICE MANAGEMENT)

First full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.59 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.60-1.99 Academic Probation

Second full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.79 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.80-1.99 Academic Probation

Third full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.89 Academic dismissal with an opportunity to repeat
  • 1.90-1.99 Academic Probation

Fourth full time equiv. trimester of study at PIMS

  • 0.00-1.99 Academic dismissal or repeating courses in which a “D” or “F” was received

In order to maintain eligibility for Title IV Federal Financial Aid, graduation from a program of study must be completed within 150% of the scheduled length of the program, measured in credit hours attempted.

PIMS will also check pace of completion at the end of each payment period to ensure that the student will complete the program within the maximum timeframe listed above. The rate is calculated by dividing cumulative hours the student successfully completed by the cumulative hours the student has attempted. The maximum time frame is 90 credits for a 60 credit hour program. 60 divided by 90 is a pace of 67%. The student will need to earn 67% of the credits attempted in each term to complete the program within the maximum timeframe permitted.

In the event that a student does not achieve a 67% completion rate at the end of a payment period and/or does not reach the required GPA listed above , that student will be required to repeat courses to remain in the program. If the student is using Title IV financial aid, the student will be placed on a financial aid warning (please see below) for one trimester/term only.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who do not meet the SAP requirements listed above are only eligible to receive financial aid while repeating courses for one trimester/term only. If the student does not meet the SAP standards by the end of that trimester/term, they are no longer Title IV eligible and will be required to sit out a minimum of one trimester/term. At that point, if the student is still interested in pursing their studies at PIMS, they will need to re-apply to the program. If accepted, they will return with the same former academic status as when they separated.

Academic Probation

Students whose GPA drops below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation or as determined by the progress standards described above. This probationary period will be terminated when the student earns the required overall 2.0 average necessary for graduation. Students may be considered for financial aid while on academic probation.

Incomplete Grades

If a student receives an “I” or “Incomplete” grade at the end of a trimester/term, the student has a two week period of time from the last day of the trimester/term to makeup the missed work and earn a grade for the course. If the student fails to earn the grade by the required date the “I” is converted to an “NC” (No Credit). At that point the course will need to be repeated.

Repeating Courses

Courses may be repeated by students who fail a course or do not meet the minimum grade point average necessary for advancement in the program. When courses are repeated, the grade earned for the course that is repeated is recorded. Both credits and grades (and respective grade points earned) from previous attempts are deleted and new grades and grade points are entered into the student’s permanent grade report. The previous attempt(s) however will remain as a permanent record of the student’s grade report. Advancement through the programs depends on successful completion of all courses as well as meeting the minimum progress standards listed above. Students that repeat courses will delay the anticipated graduation date. A student, who has been separated from the institution due to failure to maintain the minimum academic standards shall repeat the courses in which failing (“F”) grades were earned. A student must also repeat any “W” or “WF” grades received prior to moving forward in the program. If the academic deficiency is due to an insufficient Grade Point Average (GPA), courses may be repeated for which unsatisfactory (“D”) grades were earned in order to improve the student’s GPA. No courses may be repeated where grades of “C” or higher were earned. If a student fails a course or fails to meet the required GPA, s/he will be afforded the opportunity to repeat courses one time for one trimester/term. If the student does not meet academic standards necessary to advance through the program after courses have been repeated, the student will be separated from the program for at least one trimester/term. After this period, a student may apply for readmission according to the admission standards in effect at that time. All “F” grades are required to be repeated and must be passed prior to advancing in the program.

Withdrawals

A “W” (Withdrawal) grade is assigned to a course from which a student withdraws prior to the 10th week of the trimester for resident students and the 6th week of the term for online students. If the student withdraws during or after the 11th week of the trimester or 6th week of the term, respectively, the student will be awarded a Withdrawal-Failure (“WF”) for the course if they are failing the course at that time. Otherwise, the student will receive a “W” grade.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit may be given when a comparable course has been satisfactorily completed at another institution. A “T” is presented on the PIMS grade transcript for that course. Credit hours that are “transferred in” are counted as both attempted and completed hours. A challenge examination may be required. A copy of the Transfer of Credit Policy is available upon request.

Dismissal

The decision to terminate a student enrolled at the Pittsburgh Institute for any reason rests with the Dean and/or the Faculty Council. The decision will be reached after careful review and evaluation of the student’s records. Grounds for termination include:

  1. An overall Grade Point Average below minimal acceptable levels.
  2. One or more final course grades of “F” during a trimester/term.
  3. Academic dishonesty and destruction of school property.
  4. Excessive absenteeism.
  5. Offensive student conduct as described elsewhere in this catalog, in the Student Handbook, or in other policies as may be promulgated.

If a student on financial aid is terminated, the financial aid is discontinued. A student applying for readmission to the Pittsburgh Institute may again make application for reinstatement on the Title IV Program through the United States Department of Education, Bureau of Student Financial Assistance, if qualified.

Readmission

Students dismissed for academic deficiencies may apply for readmission for training. All requests for readmission must be made using the Readmission Application and will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee as per the normal application procedure. The reapplication fee is applicable in these cases. The matriculation fee will be charged and an update of the Health Certificate may be required.

Repeating Courses

When courses are repeated, the grade earned for the course that is repeated replaces the grade formerly earned. All credits and grade points are then adjusted accordingly. A student will be afforded the opportunity to repeat courses one time for one trimester/term. If the student does not meet the academic standards necessary to advance through the program after courses have been repeated, the student will be separated from the program for at least one trimester/term. After this period, a student may apply for readmission according to the admission standards in effect at that time.

Grade Reports and Transcripts

Satisfactory academic progress is required for the continuation of training and for the receipt of the Diploma, ASB Degree, or AST Degree. A grade report is always available to a student in good standing upon completion of each trimester/term of study via Student Login. Students are provided with logon credentials for access. Transcripts are not presented if the student has a balance due with the Institute, is in default on a Stafford loan, or has not completed a financial aid exit interview.