Satisfactory Academic Progress | UMSL
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Satisfactory Academic Progress

IMPORTANT NOTES

For UNDERGRADUATE and special appeals with Student Financial Services:
General Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form
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For GRADUATE appeals with the Graduate School:
GRADUATE Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form
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GENERAL INFORMATION

Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid (SFA) to monitor the academic progress of all federal financial aid recipients. Recipients of federal financial aid are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a degree as a condition of receiving their financial aid. At the end of each semester, the SFA Office will monitor each undergraduate and graduate student's academic progress to determine financial aid eligibility. (Optometry students are monitored by the College of Optometry.)  Satisfactory Academic Progress is essential to remain eligible to receive funds for any Federal Title IV funds and also state and university aid programs (see note at bottom). Please note that some scholarships may have a higher renewal GPA requirement. 

SAP REQUIREMENTS

GPA Requirements  Students must have an UMSL cumulative grade point average (GPA) sufficient to meet University graduation requirements.  For undergraduate students, this is a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00. Graduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.  

Semester Hour Completion Rate  Students must complete at least 66.67%, or two-thirds of the credits they attempt each semester. Attempted credits are defined as credits a student is enrolled in at the end of the 100% drop and add period (the first week of classes).  If a student does not complete any classes or fails all classes, financial aid will be suspended immediately for future semesters.

Maximum Timeframe  Students must complete their degree program within 150 percent of the semester hour requirements for the degree. In general, undergraduate students must complete a bachelor’s degree within 180 attempted hours.  Graduate students are expected to complete a master’s degree within 54 semester hours. (Cases of graduate students exceeding the maximum timeframe of their degree will be reviewed by the Graduate School in regard to a SAP Appeal).  Transfer credit is included in the maximum timeframe calculation.  Transfer credits are used to determine your class level and progress toward a degree, even if you did not receive financial aid at the previous institutions.

Students who fail to meet one of the standards above will retain financial eligibility for a semester, but will be notified that they are at risk of losing eligibility.  If, at the end of the semester, they continue to fail to meet the standards, they will be notified that their eligibility for financial aid has been suspended.  (Students who completely withdraw from all classes during a semester in which aid was received, or completely withdraw after the last day to withdraw that semester without receiving a grade, will be suspended immediately with no warning.)

Suspended students will be notified in writing of the suspension and will be given an opportunity to appeal with instructions. The appeal form and supporting documentation should explain the reason behind the failure to meet standards, and establish that those reasons will not prevent future success.  Appeal forms are due by the second week of classes.

Students whose appeals are granted will be put on probation and informed if there are other actions they need to take.  Students whose GPA falls below the minimum may be referred to SFS for additional assistance, and the probation will not be final until SFS has informed us that the student has made appropriate arrangements with them.  Students who are suspended because they’ve exceeded the maximum timeframe will be asked to provide a graduation plan signed by an advisor. Students who, after being placed on probation, fail to meet the academic progress standards and fail to comply with the terms of probation, their financial aid eligibility will be suspended.

Students should be prepared to seek other options if the appeal is not approved.  Unless a student is academically dismissed by UMSL, a student denied financial aid generally may continue attending by funding their educational costs themselves.

For more detailed information about the financial aid Appeal process, see:

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OTHER SAP POLICIES

Late Grade Posted Or Grade Change: 

If a student has been notified that their financial aid has been suspended, and a grade is posted late or a professor changes a grade that will make a difference in the student’s academic progress evaluation, the student must notify the SFA Office to request a reevaluation of their academic progress.  There is no automatic process to clear SAP holds for students who have a late grade posted or a grade change.

Repeated Courses  

Federal regulations change the way enrollment status is determined for students who are repeating coursework in which they previously received a letter grade of D- or higher. An institution may pay a student one time for retaking previously-passed coursework. To determine a student’s enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time), the school may not include more than one repetition of a previously passed course.

Example: Two years ago, Michael enrolled in a 3-hour Applied Mathematics course and received a grade of D-. Michael took the same course again last year and received a grade of C-. His major requires that he pass the class with a C or better, and Michael decided to take the course again this semester. Michael is enrolled in 9 hours of other coursework plus the Applied Math class, for a total of 12 hours. The 3 hours from the Applied Math class are NOT included in determining Michael’s enrollment status for the current semester because it is the 2nd time he is repeating a class in which he previously received a “passing” grade. For financial aid purposes, Michael is enrolled in 9 eligible hours. Michael would be paid financial aid as a part-time student because he is enrolled in 12 hours minus the 3 hours of the course he’s repeating for the second time, which do not count. 

Notifications:

Students who apply for federal financial aid or financial aid programs that require Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress are notified about your status at the beginning of each semester, or when you file a FAFSA.  It’s important to mention that you may also check your Satisfactory Academic Progress status at any time in MyView. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor your academic progress for financial aid, and to be aware of the academic requirements of your program.