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Athabasca University

Academic Requirements

Academic Progress

  • Students are required to successfully complete the academic requirements of their program of study to continue to be eligible for financial assistance. It is a fundamental requirement of Government student aid programs that a student maintain satisfactory academic progress in the courses for which financial assistance has been provided. In addition to unsatisfactory grades, incomplete courses, course extensions, withdrawals, multiple program switches, multiple repeats of a program and/or taking multiple programs may be considered as unsatisfactory academic progress. Students who have failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress may be considered ineligible for further Government financial assistance.
  • Funded students are encouraged to submit assignments and complete course projects on a regular basis. As a guideline for monitoring academic progress, you should have submitted a minimum of 50 per cent of your course work and assignments within 60 days from your semester start date. The majority of all course work needs to be submitted, and the final exams booked to be written, one month prior to the start of the second semester.
  • Academic progress is monitored and will be confirmed one month prior to the start of the second semester. In the event that satisfactory academic progress is not achieved by the contract end date, your second semester courses and continued funding eligibility may be negatively affected. If you do not demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, AU is required to report the status to the provincial funding agency. It is likely that the funding for your second semester will be discontinued.

Course Extensions

  • Full-time funded students are allowed one 2-month extension at no charge, plus up to three additional two-month purchased extensions in each course.
  • Course extension requests must be received one month prior to the course end date, as per applicable AU Course Extension Policy. Late extension requests will not be processed.
  • As a full-time funded student, it is important to ensure that the minimum completion requirements for the current semester are met before considering an extension.
  • When requesting an extension, students are advised that the applicable Maximum Course Load Policy will apply.
  • It is your responsibility to be aware of the impact that extensions have on funding and full-time status.

NOTE: Course extensions do not extend full-or part-time status or funding eligibility.

  • The extension begins on the first day of the month following your course contract end date.
  • Full Time funded students are not able to extend courses online. Forms are available in your learning resources package or online Athabasca University | Printable PDF Forms.
  • Please scan and email the completed Course Extension Form to sfa@athabascau.ca or fax the form to the Attention: Student Financial Aid 780-675-6174.
  • If you are extending your courses at the end of your funding term, you will not be able to start a new funding term until all of the courses are successfully completed.

Course Withdrawals

  • The AU Undergraduate Course Withdrawal and Refund Policy applies to funded students. If a withdrawal changes your status from full-time to part-time, your funding agency will be notified accordingly.
  • When a student loan is used to pay for courses, any eligible refund will be issued to the loan service provider to be applied to your loan balance.
  • If you are withdrawing from a funded course you will not be able to apply for funding to re-register in the course. Students can receive funding for each course once.
  • Withdrawals must be formally requested; simply not completing assignments or not attending class does not constitute a withdrawal. All withdrawal requests must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar and bear the student's signature.
  • Full Time funded students are not able to withdraw from courses online.
  • To formally withdraw from a course complete and submit a Course Withdrawal Request Form.
  • Please scan and email the completed Withdrawal Request Form to sfa@athabascau.ca or fax the form to the Attention: Student Financial Aid 780-675-6174.
  • The date of withdrawal will be the postmark on the request or date and time on the emailed or faxed document.
  • Withdrawal time frames are important. You may withdraw from a course any time during the period of active study except once the final examination is deemed to have been written.
  • If you are expecting a refund, refer to the AU Undergraduate Calendar: Refunds and Returns.
  • Withdrawal timeframes have an impact on your academic record. If you withdraw:
    • prior to and up to 30 days after the course contract start date: The course will not appear on your transcript.
    • after 30 days and on or before the course contract end date: Your transcript will indicate a "W" (Withdrawal) and credit will not be awarded for the course.
    • after the course contract end date: You cannot withdraw after the course contract end date. If no course work has been completed, a grade of "F" (Failure) will be assigned and recorded on the transcript.
  • Nursing students: Please consult the Undergraduate Course Withdrawal Policy for explanation of the academic impact of a withdrawal from a nursing clinical and for the process that must be followed.

Refunds and Returns

  • To be entitled to a refund, you must withdraw from the course (with the exception of challenge courses) any time up until 30 days after the course start date, and you must meet specific criteria found in the AU Undergraduate Calendar: Refunds and Returns Section 5.11.
  • If returning course materials please return to:
    Materials Management
    Tim Byrne Centre
    Athabasca University
    4001 Highway 2 South
    Athabasca , AB T9S 1A4

Maximum Course Load Policy

  • It is AU's intention to support your academic success. To ensure that students do not overburden themselves, AU limits a student's course load to a maximum load per semester. If you are a first-time funded student at AU, we recommend that you start with three, 3-credit courses per four-month semester.
  • Students may not be active in more than six courses at any given time. Course(s) remaining incomplete by the deadline to register second semester courses may cause the maximum course load to be exceeded and therefore prevent the registration in second semester courses and release of second semester student financial aid disbursements.

Updated April 27 2017 by Student & Academic Services

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