Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require that students (undergraduate and graduate) maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree program in order to receive Title IV Federal financial aid.  Title IV funds include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.  Checking satisfactory progress involves a measurement of student's performance qualitatively, through grade point average, and quantitatively, through successful completion of credit hours attempted.  A third area looks at the maximum credit hours attempted for a student to earn a degree.

Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility is evaluated separately from the institution’s academic policies.  Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress can expect to have their financial aid suspended.

All students (undergraduate and graduate) must maintain ALL THREE STANDARDS listed below in order to remain eligible for Federal Title IV financial aid.

1. Grade Point Average: A Student must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average according to his/her current grade level:

Freshmen (0-27 credits) 1.75
Sophomore (28-59 credits) 2.00
Junior (60-89 credits) 2.00
Senior (90+ credits) 2.00
Graduate   3.00

A review of the student's cumulative GPA takes place at the end of each semester.  A student is placed on warning at the end of a semester if he or she fails to maintain the required cumulative GPA.  Financial Aid GPA includes all coursework, including grades excluded by academic amnesty.  If this GPA is below the standard while on warning, the student's financial aid eligibility will be suspended.  (See appeal process.)

2. Completion Rate: A student must complete with a passing grade (A, B, C or D) at least 70 percent of the cumulative credits attempted. A student is placed on financial aid warning at the end of a semester if he or she falls below the 70 percent cumulative standard at the end of that term.  

"Credits attempted" is defined as the number of hours (regular, transfer hours, and remedial) for which a student is registered after the final add/drop date (generally two weeks or less after the semester begins).  Courses that are repeated are counted toward the total credits attempted.  Grades of "F" (failure), "I" (incomplete), "W" (withdraw), and "NC"  (no credit) will count as credits attempted but not satisfactorily completed.  Students who do not maintain the 70 percent completion standard will have their financial aid eligibility suspended. (See appeal process.)

3. Maximum Attempted Credits: The University of Sioux Falls has established a limit on the maximum number of credit hours attempted for which a student may receive Title IV financial aid.  All credits attempted, including transfer hours, repeated hours and those for which the student received no financial aid are included in the total.  (Remedial coursework hours are excluded.)  The maximum number of credits is based on the degree pursued.

Type of Degree Pursued Maximum Credit Hours Attempted
Associate's 96
Bachelor's 186
Master's 50

A student exceeding the maximum number of credit hours allowed for the intended degree program will not be eligible to receive Title IV financial aid. (See appeal process.)

Repeated Coursework
Students receiving federal financial aid may repeat a previously passed course only one time using federal funds. Students receiving federal financial aid who repeat a course because of failing grade may do so as many times needed until a passing grade is achieved, unless stipulations are placed upon the student by an appeals committee.

Appeal Process of Financial Aid Suspension

Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress will be notified via certified mail and may appeal the suspension of their financial aid eligibility.  Students must submit an appeal prior to the date listed on the suspension letter.  Appeals will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.  All students filing an appeal will be notified in writing of the committee's decision.

Reinstatement of Eligibility
A student whose appeal is denied or who chooses not to appeal can reestablish eligibility by enrolling at his or her own expense and successfully completing twelve credits with a 2.00 GPA or higher.  The student should then provide an academic transcript to the Financial Aid Office and a written request for reinstatement of aid eligibility.

Any financial aid that is reinstated is not retroactive and does not extend eligibility beyond previously established time limits.

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