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Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office

Policies for Satisfactory Academic Progress

(This policy also refers to transfer and former GSU students)


Satisfactory Academic Progress is one of the federal requirements for receiving federal aid. The purpose of the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is to comply with federal regulations that require determination of students’ academic progress before awarding federal financial aid.


A student making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) must meet both the qualitative and the quantitative standards to receive federal aid. The qualitative standards are defined as earning a required percentage of the cumulative hours attempted with a required Grade Point Average (GPA) at the end of the evaluation period. The quantitative standards are defined by the federal maximum time frame (Pace) in which a student must complete his or her education program. The time frame cannot exceed 150% (Max Hours) of the published length of the program. SAP evaluation is done at the end of the academic year. Students failing to meet the minimum SAP standards will have to appeal to the SAP committee. If the appeal is denied, then the student will be placed on financial aid suspension which means the student will not be eligible to receive financial aid. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Probation. During the Probationary Period, the student must meet all of the requirements of an academic plan set by the student’s department, the SAP appeals committee, or designee. Students, who meet the probation conditions, will be eligible for federal aid for an academic year. Students who fail to meet the probation/academic plan conditions at the end of the designated time period will be declared ineligible for federal aid and may go through the appeal process or pay to regain eligibility. This policy also applies to former students who are returning.

Transfer Students

Transfer students will be considered as meeting the SAP requirements when admitted to the university. They will; however, be evaluated by the same standards as continuing students on the subsequent SAP evaluation.

A. Maximum Time frame Requirement (Quantitative)

Associate Degree (2 years) Based on 150% of 68 hrs 102 Credit hrs
Four Year Degree (Bachelor’s) Based on 150% of 125 hrs 188 Credit hrs
Master’s Program Based on 150% of 36 hrs 54 Credit hrs
Ph. D. Program Based on 150% of 60 hrs 90 Credit hrs

B. Qualitative Standards

Students Total Hours
Min. % Hours
Min. Cumulative
UNDERGRADUATE (4 YEARS) 1-29 hours 30-59 hours 50%
  60 – 188 Hours “Max hours” with > 188 Hours 67% 2.0
30-59 hour
  60 –102 Hours “Max hours” with > 102 Hours 67% 2.0
30-59 hours
  60 – 188 Hours “Max hours” with > 188 Hours 67% 2.0
GRADUATE 1-54 hours Max hours with > 54 Hours Masters 67% 3.0
  1 – 90 hours “Max hours” with > 90 Hours Doctorate 67% 3.0

C. Financial Aid Suspension

Financial Aid Suspension is the loss of financial aid eligibility for students who choose not to appeal, have their appeal denied, or did not complete the academic plan. The mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory academic progress. The student may appeal the Financial Aid Suspension if unusual circumstances beyond their control prevented them from meeting satisfactory academic progress (see appeal procedures).

D. Appeals Procedures:

  1. Students failing to meet the minimum SAP requirements with extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal with supporting documentation to the Appeals Committee.

    Examples of extenuating circumstances are but not limited to:

  • Prolonged illness, medical condition, or injury to student or immediate family member
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control

Examples of Supporting Documentation are but not limited to:

  • Physician's letters and hospital records (must include dates of illness and recovery time)
  • Death certificate or obituary
  • Court or police documents
  • Letters from third party professional counselors on his/her letterhead
  • Regardless of extenuating circumstances, the Appeals Committee has a right to deny an appeal based on a pattern of poor performance and/or withdrawals.
  • The Appeals Committee has a right to deny eligibility reinstatement after the committee determines that a student has submitted forged or altered documents. Such students will be reported to the Department of Education, the Office of the Inspector General, and GSU’s Department of Judicial Affairs.
  • The Appeals Committee will review all appeals and will notify students of their decision. In times of critical need, the chairperson of the Appeals Committee along with Director of Student Financial Aid has the authority to approve or deny appeals.

E. Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Student can regain financial aid eligibility once:

  • the student submits an appeal with documentation (if applicable)
  • an academic plan agreement submitted and signed by academic advisor and student
  • a curriculum submitted and signed by academic advisor and student

F. Financial Aid Probation

Students on Financial Aid Probation will have to meet certain conditions for academic performance. These conditions will be set by the Appeals Committee and monitored, for students with an APPROVED APPEAL. Students with approved appeals will be informed of the probationary conditions. Students who meet all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress while on 'Probation' will be placed in 'Meets SAP' at the conclusion of the period of enrollment or academic plan period. Progress in an academic plan is measured at the end of each academic year. Students who do not meet all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress or academic plan requirements while on 'Probation' will be placed on 'Suspension.'

G. Terms/Definitions:

Attempted Credit Hours includes all hours (courses) enrolled in which a grade was received, including W, P, NC, U, I, F. Also included are non-credit remedial, repeated, transferred, academic renewal and ESL course hours. The standards apply to all students applying for federal financial aid, regardless of whether or not financial aid was received.

Cumulative Grade Point Average is computed on all hours attempted including repeated course work and all transfer work accepted by Grambling State University.

Financial Aid Probation is the SAP status of students that have been placed on 'suspension' and have an approved appeal.

Academic Plan is a plan developed by the student's department, Financial Aid Appeal Committee or designee as a plan of action for the remainder of the student's academic career.

Academic Year is a period of time that includes Fall and Spring.

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Additional Information: