Policy 220.30 - Financial Aid - Satisfactory Academic Progress - Undergraduate

  This Replaces
File: 220.30 220.30
Date: 7/1/13 9/15/09

ORIGINATOR: Associate Vice President, Financial Aid

SUBJECT: Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard - Undergraduate Students – Effective July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014

  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 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 SAP, as described in this Policy, may 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 two-thirds of credits attempted (67%) as measured by comparing the total completed credits to the total attempted credits.
      3. Maximum Timeframe to Completion
        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 V of this Policy) is granted.
  3. Treatment of W, I, AU, F, FN, S, P, and 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 noncompletion of attempted coursework.
    2. Incomplete (I) grades are not included in the GPA calculation and are considered a noncompletion 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 (S) and Passing (P) grades are treated as attempted credits, which are earned but not included in calculation of the GPA.
    5.  Failure (F) and Failure for 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) grade 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 next semester of enrollment. No financial aid will be disbursed during subsequent semesters until the student is removed from Financial Aid Denied status (See Section V of this Policy – 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 (See section V.C. of this Policy which describes appeal procedures). There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  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 SAP and who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated. At the end of that probationary semester, their SAP status will be re-evaluated. The student must meet all SAP requirements at the end of that semester or he/she will return to Financial Aid Denied status and must reestablish eligibility as described in paragraph B.2. of Section V of this Policy.
      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 SAP standards. The student regains aid eligibility.
      3. Students who request exceptions to the UMUC Withdrawal and Refund policies and are granted an exception will not have their SAP reevaluated until the end of the semester, regardless of when the exception was granted.    
      4. Students who are beyond the maximum timeframe to completion 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 (see below) to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must include documentation of the circumstance that lead to the student not meeting SAP standards as well as a description of how he/she 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 support with documentation.
      2. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review the appeal and notify the student in writing of its 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 this Policy.
      3. All decisions of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee are final.
      4. Deadlines to file an appeal are as follows:
        • Fall – October 1
        • Spring – March 1
        • Summer – July 1
  6. Effective Date
    This Policy is effective July 1, 2013, and will be first calculated for students on probation under the prior Policy (See UMUC Policy 220.32) at the conclusion of the fall 2013 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.