Policy 220.30 and Policy 220.32

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress: Undergraduate

Effective 10/11/16

Responsible Owner: Associate Vice President, Financial Aid

  1. Introduction
    1. This policy has been developed in accordance with federal financial aid statutes and regulations governing student eligibility. Students who receive financial aid must demonstrate financial need and meet the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by University of Maryland University College pursuant to federal law.
    2. Financial aid recipients are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree requirements while they are enrolled at UMUC. In addition to meeting the academic standards outlined in UMUC Policy 158.00 Undergraduate Academic Levels of Progress, financial aid recipients are required to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards outlined in this policy.
    3. Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid recipients enrolled in degree programs, as described below, is evaluated annually at the conclusion of the spring term, or at the time of application for financial aid, whichever is later. For students enrolled in eligible programs of one academic year or less, SAP is evaluated at the conclusion of each term.
    4. Federal regulations require that UMUC track the academic progress of financial aid recipients from the first date of enrollment in their undergraduate program at UMUC, whether or not financial aid was received.
    5. Students who have graduated from one undergraduate program at UMUC will have their record reset by the Registrar's Office. The courses from the first program will not be used to determine the SAP status under the new program of study.
  2. Impacts of Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
    1. Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, as described Section III, will result in the cancellation of financial aid awards, and the student may have to repay any funds already received.
      1. Students who are granted a Request for Exception under UMUC Withdrawal and Refund Policies, and wish to have their Satisfactory Academic Progress reevaluated will receive a reevaluation at the end of the current term, upon request.
      2. Readmission to the undergraduate program does not guarantee reinstatement of federal student financial aid. Students who are reinstated to the undergraduate program, but are still not meeting SAP standards, will have to submit a SAP appeal if seeking to regain eligibility for federal student financial aid.
  3. Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Students
    1. Satisfactory Academic Progress is assessed annually based on two standards: a qualitative standard (cumulative GPA) and a quantitative standard (completion rate and maximum timeframe to completion).
      1. Qualitative standard: Cumulative GPA - Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. GPA is calculated based on the standards outlined in UMUC Policy 205.06 Calculation of Grade-Point Average (GPA) for Inclusion on Transcripts.
      2. Quantitative standard: Completion Rate and Maximum Timeframe to Completion
        1. Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67 percent as measured by comparing the total completed credits to total attempted credits. For example, a student who has 45 cumulative attempted credits must have at least 31 cumulative completed credits.
        2. Undergraduate students must also complete their educational program within a timeframe of no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured by attempted credits. For example, a student must complete his or her program before attempting a maximum of 180 credits for a 120 credit program.
        3. Courses included in both attempted and completed coursework:
          1. Letter grades A, B, C and D
          2. Satisfactory (S) and Passing (P) grades
          3. Transfer credits
        4. Courses included in attempted coursework but excluded from completed coursework:
          1. Course withdrawals (W)
          2. Failure (F) and Failure for Nonattendance (FN) grades
          3. Unsatisfactory (U) grades
          4. Incomplete (I) and (IP) grades
          5. Grade pending (G) or no grade*

            *It is the student's responsibility to notify Financial Aid and request a SAP re-evaluation if grade changes occur after the initial SAP evaluation.
        5. Courses excluded from both attempted and completed coursework:
          1. Audit (AU) grades
        6. Treatment of Preliminary and Repeat Coursework:
          1. Repeat Coursework is included in attempted coursework each time the course is attempted. When a course that was previously passed is repeated, the course will only count as completed coursework once.
          2. Preliminary Coursework is included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress assessment and will impact both completion rate and maximum timeframe to completion.
  4. Financial Aid Denied Status
    1. Undergraduate students who fail to maintain one or more of the following criteria will be placed on Financial Aid Denied Status:
      1. minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
      2. minimum completion rate of 67 percent
      3. completion of a program within a timeframe of no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program
    2. Students placed on Financial Aid Denied status lose eligibility for financial aid for future enrollment and aid will not be awarded/disbursed.
    3. Students who are placed on Financial Aid Denied status will be notified by e-mail.
  5. Reinstatement of Aid After Financial Aid Denied Status:
    1. Reinstatement of financial aid after a student is placed on Financial Aid Denied status is achieved in one of the following ways:
      1. The student submits an appeal that is reviewed and approved by the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal committee. When an appeal is approved, the student is placed on financial aid probation for the next term of enrollment. The student will be eligible to receive aid during the probationary term. At the end of the probationary term, the SAP status will be re-evaluated. The student must meet all SAP requirements at the end of the term or he/she will return to Financial Aid Denied status and must re-establish eligibility as described in the next point.
      2.  The student attends UMUC, pays for tuition and fees without the help of financial aid, and does well enough in the coursework to satisfy all the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
  6. Appeal Process
    1. The student must submit to the Financial Aid Office a written appeal of Financial Aid Denied status. An appeal should be submitted as soon as possible, and priority it given to students who submit all required documentation within 3 weeks of receipt of SAP denial notice. The appeal must include documentation of the circumstance that led to the student not meeting SAP standards as well as an explanation of how he/she will be able to meet SAP by the end of the next term. Circumstances which may be considered include the death of a family member, unexpected injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances as supported with documentation.
    2. Appeals will not be considered unless the student will be able to meet all of the SAP standards within on term of enrollment.
    3. The Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal committee will review the appeal and notify the student of their decision by e-mail.
    4. All decisions made by the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal committee are final and cannot be overturned.
    5. Students who fail to enroll after an appeal has been granted may be placed on Financial Aid Denied status again and may be required to submit a new appeal before they will be eligible to receive financial aid.

Prior Policy

Originator: Associate Vice President, Financial Aid

Subject: Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard - Undergraduate Students – Effective July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013

  1. Introduction
    1. These guidelines have been developed in accordance with federal financial aid statutes and regulations governing student eligibility. Students who receive financial aid must demonstrate financial need and make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as determined by University of Maryland University College pursuant to federal law.
    2. Financial aid recipients are required to be in good standing and to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree requirements for each semester in which they are enrolled. In addition to meeting the academic standards outlined in UMUC Policy 158.00 Academic Level of Progress, financial aid recipients are required to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards outlined in this policy. Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients enrolled in degree programs, as described below, is evaluated annually at the conclusion of the spring semester. For students enrolled in eligible programs of one academic year or less, SAP is evaluated at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, as described below, will result in cancellation of financial aid awards, and the student may have to repay any funds already received.
  2. Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Students
    1. UMUC's institutional requirements for minimum SAP requirements for undergraduate financial aid recipients are defined as follows:

      1. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA).
        The student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

      2. Minimum completion rate.
        The student must maintain a minimum cumulative completion rate of 67% of credits attempted.

      3. Maximum timeframe to complete the program/degree.

      The student must complete his or her educational program within a time frame no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program, as measured by credits attempted and including transfer credits (for example, the student must complete his or her program after attempting a maximum of 180 credits for a 120-credit program.)

      Students who have graduated from one program at UMUC and then enroll in a second eligible program should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine their SAP status under their new program of study.

    2. Federal regulations require that UMUC track the academic progress of financial aid recipients from the first date of enrollment at UMUC, whether or not financial aid was received.

    3. Students who do not earn their degree within the maximum timeframe to completion, outlined above, will be placed in Financial Aid Denied status. No financial aid will be disbursed for the student during subsequent semesters/periods of enrollment unless the student has made an appeal of the Financial Aid Denied status and the appeal (described in section VI) is granted.

  3. Treatment of W, I, AU, F, S, P, G Grades; No Grade Reported; Repeated Course Work and Transfer Credits
    1. Course withdrawals (W) after the drop/add period are not included in the GPA calculation, but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework.

    2. Incomplete (I) grades are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework until the grade is replaced with a permanent grade and academic progress can be re-evaluated.

    3. Audit (AU) grades are not considered attempted coursework and are not included in completion rate determinations.

    4. Satisfactory grades (S) and Passing grades (P) are treated as attempted credits, which are earned but not included in calculation of the GPA.

    5. Failure (F) and Failure due to Nonattendance (FN) grades will be treated as attempted credits that were not earned, and will be included both in the calculation of the GPA and minimum completion rate.

    6. If a Grade Pending (G) or no grade is assigned, for any reason, the credits will not be included in the GPA calculation and will be considered a non-completion of attempted coursework until a grade is assigned and academic progress can be re-evaluated.

    7. Each repeated course attempt will be included in the completion rate and maximum time-frame determinations.

    8. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and completed credits for the calculation of completion rate and maximum time-frame but will not affect the student's GPA calculation.

  4. Financial Aid Denied Status
    1. Undergraduate students who fail to maintain the minimum completion rate of 67 percent and/or fail to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 will be placed in Financial Aid Denied status for the following semester of enrollment. No financial aid will be disbursed during subsequent semesters until the student is removed from Financial Aid Denied status (see Reinstatement of Aid after Financial Aid Denied Status).

    2. Undergraduate students who do not earn their degree within the maximum timeframe to completion will also be placed in Financial Aid Denied status. No aid will be disbursed during subsequent semesters of enrollment unless the student has made an appeal and the appeal is granted for that semester (section VII of this policy describes appeal procedures). There are no exceptions to this requirement.

    3. Students placed in Financial Aid Denied Status will be notified via email.

  5. Reinstatement of Aid After Financial Aid Denied Status:
    1. Reinstatement of financial aid after a student is placed in Financial Aid Denied status is achieved in one of the following ways:

      1. The student submits a written letter of appeal and the Financial Aid Appeals Committee grants the appeal. The student is placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next semester of enrollment. Financial aid probation means that the student who failed to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed has had eligibility for aid reinstated. At the end of that probationary semester their SAP status will be reevaluated. The student must meet all SAP requirements at the end of that semester or they will return to Financial Aid Denied status and must reestablish eligibility as described in item 2.

      2. The student attends UMUC, pays for tuition and fees without the help of student financial aid, and does well enough in the coursework to satisfy all the satisfactory academic progress standards. The student regains aid eligibility.

      3. Students who are beyond the maximum timeframe cannot regain financial aid eligibility except on a semester-by-semester basis through the appeal process.

    2. Appeal Process

      1. The student must submit a written appeal of Financial Aid Denied status before the deadline to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must include documentation of the circumstance that led to their not meeting SAP standards as well as a description as to how they will be able to meet SAP at the end of the next enrollment period. Circumstances which may be considered include death of a family member, unexpected injury or illness of the student or other circumstances as supported with documentation.

      2. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal and notify the student in writing of their decision after the Appeals Committee meets and makes its determination. Appeals will not be granted unless the student's proposed enrollment in the upcoming semester would be adequate to reestablish their progress under these standards.

      3. All decisions of the Financial Aid Committee are final.

      4. Deadlines: Fall: November 1, Spring April 1, Summer July 1

  6. Effective Date
  7. This policy is effective 7/1/2011 and will be first calculated for students on probation under the prior policy at the conclusion of the fall 2011 semester.

    Note: Students who fail to enroll after an appeal has been granted may be suspended again and may be required to submit a new appeal before they will be eligible to receive financial aid.