UPPS 07.07.01 - Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Students on Financial Aid
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Students on Financial Aid
UPPS No. 07.07.01
Issue No. 11
Effective Date: 3/03/2023
Next Review Date: 2/01/2027 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President for Financial Aid and Scholarships
Texas State University is committed to assisting students in maintaining satisfactory academic progress and retaining eligibility to receive financial aid funds.
This policy defines satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for undergraduate students in determining eligibility under the relevant federal and state financial aid programs. This policy applies to all undergraduate students who apply for financial aid, regardless of whether a student has previously received financial aid.
The development and dissemination of this information to students is required by regulations of the Department of Education, as specified in 34 CFR 668.34.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS GUIDELINES
The Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) requires each student to be making SAP to be eligible for federal and state financial aid programs. SAP is defined in both quantitative and qualitative measures. The quantitative measure consists of a maximum timeframe in which a student must complete their educational program. The qualitative measure requires a student to maintain a satisfactory grade point average (GPA) consistent with the requirement to obtain a degree at the university.
The quantitative measure states that a maximum number of semester hours may be attempted for students to complete their academic program, and a minimum number of semester credit hours must be earned relative to the total attempted hours to ensure the student is on pace to complete their program requirements.
Maximum Timeframe – For undergraduate students, the maximum number of credit hours (total attempted hours) is limited to 150 percent of the published degree program requirements and includes all hours attempted (including repeats and withdraws) at any institution of higher education and hours accepted in transfer even if financial aid was not received. The university calculates non-credit courses taken at the university or any institution of higher education, including hours accepted in transfer, into the total attempted hours. There is no provision for academic amnesty in evaluating SAP. If a student changes their major, all of the hours attempted while working on those majors within a degree (first baccalaureate or second baccalaureate) program count toward the maximum allowable hours. The maximum number of total attempted hours will be 150 percent of the minimum number of semester hours for any undergraduate degree program. For example:
- A baccalaureate (i.e., first or second) requires no more than 120 hours, which will allow 180 attempted hours (120 * 150 percent = 180 hours). This calculation will apply to all baccalaureate programs. Any hours from the first baccalaureate that count toward earning the second baccalaureate are counted toward the maximum attempted hours limit of the second baccalaureate.
All grades that represent earned grades such as A, B, C, D, U, F, and CR will count toward the total attempted hours. Each repeated course will also count toward this total. Grades of I, W, and PR, which represent non-credit semester hours, will also count toward the total attempted hours.
Pace of Completion (Earned Hours) – The quantitative measure for undergraduate (first baccalaureate and second baccalaureate) students requires that they earn a minimum number of semester credit hours relative to the total attempted hours, including credit hours transferred from another school. If the number of completed hours drops below 67 percent of attempted hours, including those courses for which the student received no financial aid, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. All coursework, including transfer hours, are included in the overall calculation. Examples include:
If a student attempts 100 credit hours while working on their baccalaureate, they must complete a minimum of 67 credit hours (pace = 67/100 = 67 percent) in order to meet SAP for the next year. The pace of completion percentage is rounded using standard rounding rules (i.e., round up .5 and higher; round down if below .5).
If a student attempts 50 credit hours while working on their baccalaureate, they must complete a minimum of 34 credit hours (pace = 34/50 = 68 percent) in order to meet SAP for the next year. The pace of completion percentage is rounded using standard rounding rules (i.e., round up .5 and higher; round down if below .5).
The university considers grades of W, I, U, F, and PR, as well as repeated courses that are not included in a student’s GPA, as attempted hours but not as completed hours when calculating the student’s completion rate. Changes in grades will be assessed during the annual evaluation at the end of the academic year (end of spring semester).
The qualitative measure requires that the student must, at a minimum, meet a cumulative 2.0 Texas State GPA at the end of the spring semester.
Effective fall 1991, when a student repeats a course once, the last grade earned (W’s excluded) is the only grade used in computing the GPA. If a course is repeated more than once, the university uses the second grade and all subsequent grades in computing the GPA. The university considers an I grade non-punitive for one year from the end of the semester in which the student received it and will not count it in the GPA calculation. If the student does not remove the I grade within the one-year period (active military duty may receive an exception), it will become an F and counted in the GPA calculation. Grades of W, PR, and CR remain non-punitive grades and will not count in the GPA calculation during the annual evaluation at the end of the spring semester. Grade changes will be assessed during the annual evaluation at the end of the spring semester.
At the end of the spring semester, Financial Aid and Scholarships will review the SAP of all students. Incoming students (e.g., incoming freshman, transfer, and readmitted students) will have their SAP assessed at the end of the spring semester following their first semester of enrollment. The review for all students will ensure they meet the following criteria:
cumulative Texas State GPA of at least a 2.0 for baccalaureate students;
successful pace of completion of at least 67 percent of all attempted coursework, including credit hours transferred from another school, and those periods during which the student did not receive financial aid; and
total attempted hours do not exceed 150 percent of the maximum number of semester hours required for any undergraduate degree (180 hours for first or second baccalaureate students). Any hours from the first baccalaureate that count toward earning the second baccalaureate are counted toward the maximum attempted hours limit of the second baccalaureate.
At the end of each semester, Financial Aid and Scholarships will also review progress of students on financial aid probation (e.g., students on an approved appeal exemption). Students on an exemption for one semester (e.g., not on an academic plan) must meet the SAP criteria at the end of the probationary semester. If not meeting the requirements, the university will place the student on financial aid suspension making the student ineligible for financial aid. Those students on an academic plan must meet the criteria specified in the plan for each semester. If the student fails to meet any criterion, the university will place the student on financial aid suspension making them ineligible for financial aid.
Financial Aid Suspension and Reinstatement – Students not meeting the SAP guidelines upon evaluation will have their aid eligibility suspended. The only remedy for financial aid suspension is for the students to pay for their own education until meeting SAP requirements at the end of the next spring semester. The only exception is when the university grants an appeal exemption for unusual or mitigating circumstances. If a student on financial aid suspension meets the SAP requirements prior to the evaluation period, the student may submit an appeal for review and possible reinstatement of aid.
Financial Aid Probation – The university will place students granted an appeal exemption on probation. Students on financial aid probation are eligible to continue receiving financial aid for one additional semester. At the end of the probation semester, the students must be meeting all SAP requirements. The only exception is for students on an approved appeal exemption based on an academic plan. Such students must meet the academic measures (e.g., expected semester GPA and expected semester completed hours) set forth in their academic plan during their evaluation at the end of each semester. If the students are not meeting all of the criteria specified in the academic plan, or the exemption has expired, the students must be meeting all SAP requirements or will be ineligible for financial aid.
PROCEDURES FOR APPEALS
If the university places a student on financial aid suspension for not meeting the quantitative or qualitative standards for SAP, the student may file an appeal. The university requires mitigating circumstances before approving an appeal. There is no guarantee of approval. Mitigating circumstances may include the death of a student’s relative, injury or illness of the student, or other undue hardship that prohibits the successful completion of coursework. The appeal reviewer will evaluate the circumstances. Any student who wishes to appeal the loss of their financial aid due to not meeting SAP (as outlined above) must do so through the appeals process below.
Under normal circumstances, an appeal to waive the conditions stated above must be made in the following order:
to the Financial Aid program specialist (appeal 1);
to the Financial Aid supervisor, assistant director, associate director, or director (appeal 2);
to the assistant vice president for Financial Aid and Scholarships (appeal 3); and
to the Financial Aid Advisory, Appeals and Scholarship Awards Committee (appeal 4 and final appeal level).
Students must file their appeal by the appropriate deadlines, which are as follows:
Fall semester – November 10;
Spring semester – April 10; and
Summer semester – July 10.
An appeal must include the following:
student’s name, Texas State ID number, and email address;
a written description addressing why the student has failed to meet SAP;
a written description of what has changed in the student’s situation to enable the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation point;
documentation to support any claims;
documentation from the student’s academic advisor confirming that the student can, within a single semester, regain SAP eligibility or an academic plan from the student’s academic advisor that demonstrates the student can meet SAP by a specified and reasonable point in time (not to exceed four semesters) with measurable milestones for each semester;
if appealing because the student has exceeded the maximum timeframe or because of a change in major, the student must submit a degree plan showing the number of hours remaining until graduation; and
the student’s signature.
NOTE: Appeals submitted without documentation will be denied.
Students on an exemption to the SAP requirements who wish to amend their academic plan for financial aid eligibility (e.g., change the plan’s hours requirement for a semester), must make the request via their academic advising center and in accordance with that center’s relevant procedures. Any revision to the plan can only affect the current and future semesters of the plan.
Once a student is first notified (oral or in writing) of their ineligibility for financial aid (financial aid suspension), the student has until the appropriate deadline (as specified in Section 04.02) to submit an appeal. If a student is denied an appeal at any level (with the exception of a level 4 appeal) and wishes to appeal to the next level, the student must submit a written notice of appeal to the next level by the appropriate deadline (as specified in Section 04.02) after receiving an oral or written notice of the decision at the previous level.
Graduate students on financial aid should refer to UPPS No. 07.07.02, Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certificate Seeking Students On Financial Aid.
The definition of SAP will be published annually in the Undergraduate Catalog and official university electronic publications and will be communicated to all financial assistance applicants by any other means deemed necessary by the assistant vice president for Financial Aid and Scholarships.
After grades are posted on a student’s academic transcript at the end of the spring semester, students will receive an email (or letter if a student’s email address is not available), stating that they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid.
The assistant vice president for Financial Aid and Scholarships, or designee, may waive any of the above requirements when extenuating circumstances are properly presented and documented.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Position Date Assistant Vice President for Financial Aid and Scholarships February 1 E4Y University Registrar February 1 E4Y Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management February 1 E4Y
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from date of this document until superseded.
Assistant Vice President for Financial Aid and Scholarships; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
Vice President for TXST Global