Federal regulations require that all student financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving a degree. Progress is measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) and credits earned in relation to those attempted and the length of the academic program. In order to assure that students make progress toward their degree program, both in terms of the number of hours completed and cumulative GPA, South Carolina State will utilize the following satisfactory academic progress policy.
A. Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Academic standards of progress are reviewed at the conclusion of the spring semester each year by the Office of Financial Aid and are based on the following criteria:
|Undergraduate Students||Minimum GPA|
|3-39 Hours Passed||GPA * 1.40|
|40-59 Hours Passed||GPA * 1.60|
|60-99 Hours Passed||GPA * 1.90|
|100 or more hours passed||GPA * 2.00|
|3 Passed Hours or more||GPA * 3.00|
Grade-point calculations shall include only work pursued at South Carolina State University. A undergraduate student must have a grade point average of not less than 2.00 in order to be listed as a candidate for graduation.
For financial aid purposes, satisfactory grades are A, B, C, D, or S. Unsatisfactory grades are W, I, AU, WP, WF, UF, or F.
B. Hours Earned (PACE)
To demonstrate satisfactory progress, students must complete at least 67% of credit hours attempted within each academic year. To remain eligible for financial aid, students must earn 67% of total attempted hours for all previous enrollment periods. A program completion review will be performed at the end of the spring semester. For students enrolled in summer school, a second program completion review will be performed at the conclusion of summer school.
C. Maximum Hours
To remain eligible for financial aid, undergraduate students must complete their degree within 150% of the published length of their academic program. For example, a student in a program requiring 120 credit hours for graduation will be eligible for financial aid during the first 180 hours attempted. Students who have completed the requirements for their degree or reached 150% of attempted hours toward their degree will become ineligible for financial aid.
NOTE: Students will not be considered to have reached the 150% hour maximum until after the semester in which they reach or exceed the attempted hours allowed.
TRANSFER STUDENTS: Only officially accepted transfer credit hours and transfer credit hours specifically applied toward a student’s degree program will be counted in the maximum number of allowable credit hours for financial aid eligibility. Transfer credit hours plus GPA hours are used to determine academic status for transfer students.
Financial Aid Suspension
Students who fail to make satisfactory progress during the Probation status or students not meeting the probation requirements will be suspended from the financial aid program. Once a student has met the academic standards, the student must contact the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) for a Satisfactory Academic Progress Review. It will be the student’s responsibility to contact OFA, so that if eligible, their financial aid may be reinstated. Students who receive all F’s, W’s, UF’s or fail to complete at least 3 credit hours in courses attempted in any semester will be removed from financial aid without a probation period. In evaluating satisfactory progress for financial aid an “I” will be considered an “F”. A student’s aid will be withheld pending the submission of a grade change for any course in which an “I” grade is received. Students must notify the Office of Financial Aid of grade changes so that a program review can be performed and eligibility determined.
Students whose academic performances are unsatisfactory and who are dismissed from the University are ineligible for financial aid. When students are allowed to return to the institution by the Academic Review Board, they must meet the academic criteria as outlined in “A and “B” above. After they meet the criteria, only then will they be eligible for financial aid, unless they have reached 150% of the attempted credit hours toward their degree program, which will make the student ineligible for financial aid.
Financial Aid Probation
Students who fail to meet the academic standards of progress but have an approved financial aid appeal are considered to be on financial aid probation. Students on financial aid probation are eligible for federal financial aid for one term and must agree to the conditions of the appeal by the stated term deadline.
At the conclusion of the probationary period, students must meet the conditions as outlined in the individual academic plan, earn 100% of the attempted coursework or meet the academic criteria as outlined in “A” above for continued eligibility.
A year-end progress review will be performed at the end of the spring semester. For students enrolled in summer school, a second progress review will be performed at the conclusion of summer school. Students who are out of compliance with one or more of the progress standards become ineligible for aid .
A student who meets the requirements for fall and spring will also qualify for financial aid for the summer session. Students who are deemed ineligible for aid as a result of the annual review will not be eligible for aid the upcoming fall semester and any future terms until they meet the academic criteria as outlined in “A and “B” above.
Students who have extenuating circumstances that contributed to their failure to meet satisfactory academic progress will be given an opportunity to appeal for reinstatement of financial aid. Appeals are the responsibility of the student and must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by May 31st, June 30th, or July 31st for the fall term or by October 31st or November 30th for the spring term. SCSU does not grant appeals for summer school. The appeal application must include a typed written request and justification for an appeal. Reasons that may be acceptable for an appeal are: (1) serious illness or accident involving the student; (2) death, accident or serious illness in the immediate family; (3) additional hours accumulated as a result of transferring from another institution; (4) other extenuating circumstances may be acceptable and will be considered. The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review the request and if necessary schedule a hearing. If the Appeal Committee has justifiable evidence of extenuating circumstances, the student may be considered for financial aid for one additional semester. The student will be notified in writing within 10 business days of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee’s decision.
Students appealing for reinstatement of eligibility remain ineligible to receive aid and should be prepared with other resources to pay all educational expenses. Students whose appeals are approved may have their eligibility for aid reinstated.
The decision of the Financial Aid Appeal Committee is final and can not be appealed.