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Academic Progress for Aid

Academic Progress for Aid

Dear Student:

As you begin your studies at Penn State, our office would like to make you aware of the direct connection between your academic performance and your eligibility for student financial aid. Please read this email in its entirety and contact the Office of Student Aid if you have any questions.

The Office of Student Aid is required by federal regulation to determine whether you are making satisfactory academic progress in your educational program in order to confirm your eligibility for student financial aid.

To maintain SAP, you must meet the following standards:

1. GPA Requirement

  • By the end of the spring 2017 term, you must have and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 if you are in an undergraduate or law degree program and a 3.0 cumulative GPA if you are in a graduate, teacher certificate or professional degree program.

2. Pace of Completion

  • You must earn 67% of the credits you attempt.  Pace of completion is calculated by dividing earned credits by attempted credits.
  • In general, credits earned are courses you completed with a 'D' or better if you are in an undergraduate or law degree program and a 'C' or better if you are in a graduate, professional degree or a teacher certificate program.
  • In general, credits attempted are credits earned as defined above as well as credits withdrawn or dropped after the regular drop period and credits in which a failing grade was received.  Deferred grades (DF) and no grade (NG) will count as attempted credits but will not be considered earned credits until a passing grade is assigned.

3. Maximum timeframe

  • You must complete your degree or certificate program in no more than 150% of the published length of your primary degree program.  For example, if your degree requires 120 credits, attempted credits must be 180 or less (120 x 150% =180).

In addition to the above standards, you must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program in order to be eligible for federal student aid.  Please refer to http://senate.psu.edu/policies-and-rules-for-undergraduate-students/appendix-e-financial-aid-satisfactory-academic-progress-standard-policy/ for more information about SAP standards.

SAP will be monitored at the end of each spring term and at the end of the summer term (if you are enrolled in summer courses).  As SAP will now be measured annually, there will be no warning semester if you are not meeting one or more of the SAP standards.  Please also note that if at any point during the school year the Office of Student Aid deems that it would be mathematically impossible for you to complete your degree within the maximum timeframe, your federal student aid may be cancelled.

If you are not meeting one or more of the SAP standards, you will be placed on financial aid suspension and will not be eligible to receive financial aid.  You can restore financial aid eligibility for Pace of Completion by paying your own educational expenses until you are meeting all of the SAP standards.  You may also appeal to the Office of Student Aid for possible reinstatement of your aid.  Appeals may be filed on the basis of death of a relative, an injury or illness or other special circumstances. Please note that if you are not meeting SAP because you have exceeded the maximum timeframe, you can only restore financial aid eligibility by submitting an appeal.

SAP appeal forms are available upon request from the Office of Student Aid.

Sincerely,
Office of Student Aid