Date: July 12, 2007
Approved: David C. Danahar
Revised: November 2012
Approved: Ronald Wood
Revised: September 23, 2013
Approved: Connie J. Gores
Reviewed: July 2014
Southwest Minnesota State University
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
The intent of this policy is to make Southwest Minnesota State University students aware when they are not making satisfactory academic progress toward earning a degree.
- The minimum acceptable cumulative grade point average (GPA) is:
Degree Seeking Undergraduate Students:
1.6 for 1 – 29 attempted semester credits
1.8 for 30 – 59 attempted semester credits
2.0 for 60 or more attempted semester credits
Non-Degree Seeking Undergraduate Students:
0 to 12 attempted credits no minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required
1.6 for 13 to 29 attempted semester credits
Note: 30 and above attempted credits – becomes a degree seeking undergraduate student
Graduate Students: Graduate students must have a 3.0 cumulative minimum grade point average.
Undergraduate and Graduate students: Courses which receive a letter grade of A, B, C, D, F, N or FQ are included in the computation of the GPA.
- The minimum completion rate for attempted credits is:
Undergraduate and Graduate students: Students must complete a minimum of 66.67% of cumulative credits attempted.
Undergraduate and Graduate students: Courses receiving grades of A, B, C, D, F, I, IP, N, CR, and NC, and W, NA, and FQ are considered to be credits attempted for the purposes of this progress standard.
- Additional Information.
- Audited courses will not count as credits attempted or passed.
- Consortium and Common Market program credits will be included in all satisfactory academic standards.
- Developmental courses will be included in all satisfactory academic standards.
- When a student repeats a course, the best grade obtained and credits earned will be counted in the grade point average, but the credits are considered to be credits attempted each time the course is taken. Consortium courses will count as repeat courses.
- Transfer credits are counted as credits attempted for calculating the completion rate, but are not calculated in cumulative GPA.
- Withdrawn credits are considered credits attempted (but not completed) for the purposes of calculating the completion rate, but are not used in the GPA computation.
- Review of the cumulative grade point average and completion rate will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer).
- Warning. Students who do not meet the minimum cumulative grade point average and/or fail to meet the minimum completion rate will be placed on academic warning. If, at the end of the following semester, the minimum cumulative standards have been met, the student is off warning.
- Continue on Warning. If, at the end of the following semester the minimum cumulative standards have not been met but the student has met the minimum semester standards, the student will continue on warning. A student is eligible to continue on warning each semester the minimum semester standards are met, until the minimum cumulative standards have been achieved, at which time the student will be off warning
- Suspension. A student will be placed on suspension the first semester after being placed on warning or probation when neither the minimum cumulative nor semester standards have been met. The student will be notified in writing that he/she is suspended for two semesters. Students may appeal their suspended status to the Academic Appeals Committee for reinstatement. A student who is reinstated after suspension will return to the University under Probation status.
- Probation. Students who have been suspended, will go to probation status after sitting out their two semesters of suspension or if they have appealed and been reinstated by the Academic Appeals Committee. Students on probation must maintain a GPA of 2.10 or higher every semester and must also complete at least 70% of what they attempt every semester until they are off probation and in good academic standing. Students are in good academic standing when their cumulative GPA meets the required minimum standard for their number of attempted credits, and their cumulative completion rate is 66.67% or higher
- Continue on Probation. If, at the end of the following semester the minimum cumulative standards have not been met, but the student has met the minimum semester standards, the student will continue on probation. A student is eligible to continue on probation each semester the minimum semester standards are met, until the minimum cumulative standards have been achieved, at which time the student will be off probation.
- Students who remain out of school for two semesters of suspension may return to the University upon filing a readmit form with the Office of Admissions. A student who remains out of school for two semesters after suspension and returns to the University will be in Probation status (see 8 above).
Financial Aid Regulation
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Standards
The Code of Federal Regulations, Section 668.34, as amended October 29, 2010, require that all financial aid recipients maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress results in ineligibility for all Federal and State financial aid programs. This policy is effective January 2012.
The intent of this policy (and the underlying law and regulation) is to encourage all recipients to advance steadily toward the completion of their degrees. To receive aid, students must meet the minimum requirements as outlined below. The academic standards required to receive financial aid apply to all academic work attempted at SMSU whether or not financial aid was received at that time. Only SMSU credits, Approved Consortium credits and Common Market courses are used in monitoring the GPA component of Satisfactory Academic Progress. SMSU credits, Consortium credits, Common Market courses and Transfer credits are used in monitoring the Pace Completion Requirement and Maximum Timeframe components (see “Transfer students/courses” under Additional Information).
Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Undergraduate Students:
Undergraduate students must have a cumulative minimum grade point average of:
- 1.60 for anyone having attempted 1-29 semester credits
- 1.80 for anyone having attempted 30-59 semester credits
- 2.00 for anyone having attempted 60 or more semester credits
- Graduate Students:
Graduate students must have a cumulative minimum grade point average of 3.0
For all students:
Courses which receive a letter grade of A,B,C,D, or F are included in the computation of the GPA.
- Undergraduate Students:
- Completion of Attempted Credits/Pace Requirement
- All students (undergraduate and graduate) must complete a minimum of 66.67% of cumulative credits attempted. Courses receiving grades of A,B,C,D,F,FQ,I,IP,CR,NC and W are considered to be credits attempted for the purposes of this progress standard.
- Maximum Timeframe – All students must complete their degree requirements within a maximum timeframe, not to exceed 150% of the normal length expected to attain the degree objective. For example, students attempting more than 180 credits towards their first Baccalaureate Degree will be ineligible to receive funding (120 credits x 150% = 180). Note: An additional 60 credits will be funded for students obtaining a second Baccalaureate Degree. Graduate students attempting more than 54 credits towards their Master’s degree will be ineligible for funding (36 credits x 150% = 54).
Review of the grade point average, pace requirement, and maximum timeframe standards will be evaluated at the end of each semester. (Fall, Spring and Summer.)
Failure to Meet the Minimum Standards
Students who do not maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average or fail to complete and earn a minimum of 66.67% of attempted credits will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. A student on financial aid warning is allowed until the end of the next enrolled semester to bring his/her academic status up to or beyond the minimum standards outlined above. If, at the end of the warning term, the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards have been met, the warning status will be ended. If, at the end of the warning term, the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards have not been met, financial aid will be suspended. Aid will remain suspended until the student once again meets the minimum standards or is approved on appeal (see below).
Financial Aid Suspension for Other Reasons
- Suspension for maximum time frame failure – If at the end of an evaluation period, a student has failed to meet the measurement of maximum time frame, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended immediately.
- Suspension for extraordinary circumstances – A student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended in the event of extraordinary circumstances, including but not limited to previously suspended and reinstated students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment, or students who register for courses, receive financial aid and do not attend any classes, or students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the receipt of financial aid.
- Suspension for inability to meet program requirements within the maximum time frame – If at the end of any evaluation period we determine that it is impossible for a student to raise their GPA or course completion percentage to meet minimum standards before reaching the end of their program, the student’s financial aid will be suspended immediately.
Students who fall below the minimum standards will be notified in writing if they are placed on financial aid warning, suspension, or probation following an approved appeal. Upon suspension of aid eligibility, no further processing of the students financial aid application will take place. Any aid that has been awarded for the subsequent term(s) will be canceled. Any costs already incurred will be the responsibility of the student and arrangements must be made with Business Services.
Appealing Financial Aid Suspension
An appeal process is available to students that have been placed on financial aid suspension due to academic deficiencies. A student who has experienced extraordinary circumstances, which directly affected their ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress, may have their progress reviewed by Financial Aid Office personnel for possible reinstatement of aid. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include, but are not limited to the death of a relative or close friend, illness, hospitalization or injury to the student, etc. The appeal must include an SMSU Satisfactory Progress Appeal Form, the student’s typed appeal statement, and supporting documentation from a third party. The appeal committee will review each complete appeal submitted and will notify the student in writing of the decision within 2 weeks. Appeals will not be considered if they are received more than one month into the term for which the student is requesting reinstatement of aid. Appeal forms are available in the Financial Aid Office and at https://www.smsu.edu/campuslife/financialaid/forms.html
A student is eligible for reinstatement of their financial aid when they have either, met minimum standards (2.0 CGPA and 66.67% Pace Requirement) or have a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal approved (see above).
- Treatment of Grades: Grades of A, B, C, D, or F are included in the computation of the GPA (qualitative measurements). Grades of A, B, C, D, F, FQ, I, IP, CR, NC and W are considered to be credits attempted for purposes of calculating the Pace Requirement and the maximum timeframe. Grades of F, FQ, I, IP, NC and W are not completed/passed credits and, therefore, will count against the student when calculating the Pace Requirement. Grades of A, B, C and D are included in the calculation of Pace Requirement as courses successfully completed.
- Audited Courses: Any courses being audited will not count as credits attempted or credits passed. Audited credits will not be funded by Title IV or Minnesota State aid.
- Consortium Programs and Common Market: These programs are University supported and are included in all (GPA and Pace Completion) satisfactory academic standards.
- Remedial or Developmental Courses (050 or below): These courses will be included in all (GPA and Pace Completion) satisfactory academic standards. To include lower level courses in the determination of financial aid, the Financial Aid Office must have written documentation from the student’s advisor or Learning Resources as to the reason the student is taking this course. SMSU can exclude up to 30 remedial credits from the maximum timeframe calculation.
- Repeated Courses: When a student repeats a course, the best grade obtained and credits earned will be counted in the grade point average, but the credits are considered to be credits attempted each time the course is taken for pace requirement and maximum timeframe calculations. A student shall not be permitted to receive financial aid for more than one repetition of a previously passed course.
- Transfer Students/Courses: Transfer credits are not counted in calculating the cumulative GPA. However, transfer credits are used for tracking the Pace Completion component and maximum timeframe standard (180 credits towards 1st Baccalaureate, 54 credits towards Master’s degree.)
- Withdrawals: Withdrawn credits are considered credits attempted (but not passed) for the purposes of calculating the Pace Requirement, but are not used in the GPA computation.
For more information call the Financial Aid Office at 1-800-642-0684, extension 6281 or 1-507-537-6281.