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A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy for Graduate Students

Federal regulations require that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of "Satisfactory Academic Progress" for potential and current financial aid recipients. Financial Aid Applicants must comply with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy as a condition of initial or continued eligibility. Please note that your prior academic progress will be measured to determine your eligibility. Our office will review SAP at the end of each payment period (fall, spring and summer).

Financial aid programs which are affected by the SAP Policy include the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal TEACH Grant and State grants/scholarships.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for graduates is measured in three areas: maintaining a satisfactory cumulative grade point average, successfully completing a required percentage of attempted credits, and receiving a degree within a maximum timeframe.

Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average Requirement: Graduate students must maintain the required cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0.

Minimum Credit Requirement: All graduate students must have successfully completed at least 67% of all credits attempted.

How do I calculate my percentage completed?

An attempted credit includes graded courses (A, B, B+, C, C+, D, F,) and non graded courses (I, AU, W, WF, WP, NR, IP, RA, RB, RB+, RC, RC+, RD, RF, Departmental Challenge Exams, all Study Abroad and Transfer Credits accepted to your program).

To calculate the percentage of credits you have completed, total all attempted credits and total all completed credits. (See Repeat Course section in the University Catalog for further information regarding repeating of courses). Then, divide the number of completed credits by the number of attempted credits.

Total Completed Credits / Total Attempted Credits = Percentage Completed

Students placed on warning after the first occurrence for one or both of the above requirements (Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average/Minimum Credit Requirement) must meet all SAP requirements after the next consecutive payment period in which they are enrolled or aid eligibility will be terminated.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement:

The federal government requires a graduate student to obtain his/her degree within a given time frame to remain eligible to receive financial aid. A student is allowed to have attempted up to 150% of the required credits for a graduate degree and still receive financial aid. The published length for a student to obtain his/her degree varies according to the degree sought. Refer to the SU Catalogue to determine the published length required for the degree you are seeking.

What Counts as Attempted Credits?

An attempted credit includes graded courses (A, B, B+, C, C+, D, F,), non graded courses (I, AU, W, WF, WP, NR, IP, RA, RB, RB+, RC, RC+, RD, RF, Departmental Challenge Exams, Study Abroad attempted credits and all transfer credits accepted by SU).

Ex. John has 3 transfer credits accepted by SU and had registered for 9 credits at SU for the fall 2016 semester but only obtained 6 credits at the conclusion of the fall 2016 semester. His attempted credits are 12.

A financial aid eligibility termination letter will be sent to those students of have attempted more than 150% of the required credits necessary to obtain a degree.

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Appeal Process

If a student is placed on warning, he or she does not need to appeal, because financial aid eligibility has not been revoked. A student who has had his/her financial aid eligibility terminated has the right to make a written appeal if extenuating circumstances exist and can be documented.

Additional Information

Academic dismissal or disciplinary suspension from SU will result in the automatic cancellation of financial aid eligibility.

Only matriculating students (formally admitted) can receive financial aid.

Repeated courses count as credits attempted during each term the student is enrolled in the course: however, they will be counted once as credits completed the first time a passing grade is received for the course.

Students ceasing attendance at SU, either officially by withdrawing through the Registrar's Office or unofficially by dropping out, will have their financial aid adjusted in accordance with the Federal Return of Title IV Funds Refund Policy.

  • SAP will be reviewed at the end of each payment period (fall, spring and summer). Please be aware if you are placed on financial aid probation at the end of spring and enroll in summer courses your progress will be evaluated again at the end of the summer term. If you do not eliminate your deficit at the end of the summer term your financial aid eligibility will be terminated.
  • Federal regulations prohibit us from excluding the credits and grades once earned and subsequently removed through Academic Clemency.

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