UPPS No. 07.07.02
Issue No. 7
Effective Date: 4/08/2015
Next Review Date: 11/01/2019 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships
This policy defines satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for graduate (master’s and doctoral) and post-baccalaureate teacher certificate seeking students in determining eligibility under the relevant federal and state financial aid programs. This policy applies to all graduate and post-baccalaureate teacher certificate students who apply for financial aid regardless of whether a student has previously received financial aid.
Department of Education regulations, 34 CFR 668.34, require the development and dissemination of this information to students.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS GUIDELINES
The Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) requires each student to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP), measured in both qualitative and quantitative terms to qualify for federal and state financial aid programs. The quantitative measure requires that the student complete all course requirements for his or her educational program within a maximum number of semester hours and that the student makes sufficient progress throughout the course of study. The qualitative measure requires a student to maintain a satisfactory grade point average consistent with the university’s graduate degree or post-baccalaureate teacher certificate requirements.
The quantitative measure for undergraduates requires a maximum number of semester hours for a student to complete his or her academic program. This maximum timeframe does not apply to graduate students. The quantitative measure also requires a minimum number of semester credit hours be earned relative to the total attempted hours to ensure the student is on pace to complete his or her program requirements.
Maximum Timeframe - While the maximum timeframe does not apply to graduate students, Texas State is required to develop, disseminate and consistently apply a policy defining the maximum timeframe within which graduate and post-baccalaureate teacher certificate students must complete their program. For graduate and post-baccalaureate teacher certificate students, the policy limits the maximum number of credit hours (total attempted hours) and includes all hours (including repeats and withdraws) at any institution of higher education and hours accepted in transfer even if financial aid was not received. The total attempted hours will include non-credit courses taken at the university or any institution of higher education, including hours accepted in transfer. There is no provision for academic amnesty in evaluating SAP. If a student changes his or her major, all of the hours attempted while working on those majors within a degree program (master’s or doctoral) or post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program count toward the maximum allowable hours. The maximum number of total attempted hours will be approximately 150% of the maximum number of semester hours for any master’s or doctoral program.
A master’s program requires typically no more than 69 hours, which will allow 104 attempted hours (69 * 150% = 103.5 hours). This calculation will apply to all master’s programs.
A doctoral program requires typically no more than 75 hours, which will allow 113 attempted hours (75 * 150% = 113 hours). This calculation will apply to all doctoral programs.
A post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program requires no more than 40 hours, which will allow 60 attempted hours (40 * 150% = 60 hours). This calculation will apply to all graduate post-baccalaureate teacher certificate programs.
The total attempted hours will include all grades such as A, B, C, D, U, F, CR, and PR (typically indicating progress toward a student’s thesis or dissertation). Each repeated course will also count toward this total. Grades of I and W, which represent non-credit semester hours, will also count toward total attempted hours.
Pace of Completion (Earned Hours) - The quantitative measure for graduate and post-baccalaureate teacher certificate students requires that they earn a minimum number of semester credit hours relative to the total attempted hours, including credit hours transferred from another school. If the number of completed hours drops below 67% of attempted hours, including those courses for which the student received no financial aid, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. All coursework, including transfer hours, are included in the overall calculation.
If a student attempts 100 credit hours while working on his or her degree, he or she must complete a minimum of 67 credit hours (pace = 67 / 100 = 67%) in order to meet SAP for the next year. All partial credit hours are rounded down to the nearest hour.
If a student attempts 50 credit hours while working on his or her degree, he or she must have completed a minimum of 34 credit hours (pace = 34 / 50 = 68%) in order to meet SAP for the next year. All partial credit hours are rounded down to the nearest hour.
Grades of W, I, D, U and F, as well as repeated courses that are not included in a student’s grade point average (GPA), count as attempted hours but not as completed hours when calculating the student’s completion rate. For doctoral students, the grade of C counts as attempted hours but not as completed hours when calculating the student’s completion rate. The annual evaluation at the end of the academic year (end of spring semester) will include changes in grades.
The qualitative measure requires that the student must at a minimum meet the following cumulative Texas State GPA:
Master’s End of spring 3.0
Doctoral End of spring 3.0
Post-Baccalaureate End of spring 3.0
Effective fall of 1991, when a student repeats a course once, the last grade earned (W’s excluded) is the only grade used in computing the GPA. When repeating a course more than once, the university will use the second grade and all subsequent grades in computing the GPA. The university considers an I grade non-punitive for one year from the end of the semester in which the student received it and will not count it in the GPA calculation. If the student does not remove the I grade within the one-year period (active military duty may receive an exception), it will become an F, counted in the GPA calculation. Grade changes will be assessed during the annual evaluation at the end of the spring semester.
* At the end of the spring semester, Financial Aid and Scholarships will review the SAP of all students. Incoming students (i.e., incoming graduate, post-baccalaureate teacher certificate seeking, transfer, and readmitted students) will have their SAP assessed at the end of the spring semester following their first semester of enrollment. The review for all students will ensure they meet the following criteria:
Cumulative Texas State GPA of at least:
3.0 for master’s students
3.0 for doctoral students
3.0 for post-baccalaureate teacher certificate students
Successful pace of completion of at least 67% of all attempted coursework, including credit hours transferred from another school and those periods during which the student did not receive financial aid.
Total attempted hours do not exceed 150% of the maximum number of semester hours required for any program (104 hours for master’s students, 113 hours for doctoral students and 60 hours for post-baccalaureate teacher certificate students).
Financial Aid and Scholarships will also review at the end of each semester the progress of students on financial aid probation (i.e., students on an approved appeal exemption). Students on an exemption for one semester (i.e., not on an academic plan) must meet the SAP criteria at the end of the probationary semester. If not meeting the requirements, the university will place the student on financial aid suspension; making the student ineligible for financial aid. For those students on an academic plan, they must meet the criteria specified in the plan for each semester. If the student fails to meet any criterion, the university will place the student on financial aid suspension; making him or her ineligible for financial aid.
Financial Aid Suspension and Reinstatement - Students not meeting the SAP guidelines upon evaluation will have their aid eligibility suspended. The only remedy for financial aid suspension is for the student to pay for his or her own education until meeting SAP requirements at the end of the next spring semester. The only exception is when the university grants an appeal exemption for unusual or mitigating circumstances. If a student on financial aid suspension meets the SAP requirements prior to the evaluation period, the student may submit an appeal for review and possible reinstatement of aid.
Financial Aid Probation - The university will place students granted an appeal exemption on probation. Students on financial aid probation are eligible to continue receiving financial aid for one additional semester. At the end of the probation semester, the student must be meeting all SAP requirements. The only exception is for a student on an approved appeal exemption based on an academic plan. Such students must meet the academic measures (i.e., expected semester GPA and expected semester completed hours) set forth in their academic plan during their evaluation at the end of each semester. If the student is not meeting all of the criteria specified in the academic plan, or the exemption has expired, the student must be meeting all SAP requirements or will be ineligible for financial aid.
If the university places a student on financial aid suspension for not meeting the quantitative or qualitative standards for SAP, the student may file an appeal. The university requires mitigating circumstances before approving an appeal. There is no guarantee of approval. Mitigating circumstances may include the death of a student’s relative, injury or illness of the student, or other undue hardship that prohibits the successful completion of coursework. The appeal reviewer will evaluate the circumstances. Any student who wishes to appeal the loss of his or her financial aid due to not meeting SAP (as outlined above) must do so through the appeals process below.
Under normal circumstances, an appeal to waive the conditions stated above must be made in the following order:
to the Financial Aid counselor (appeal 1);
to the Financial Aid supervisor, assistant director or associate director (appeal 2);
to the Financial Aid director (appeal 3); and
to the Financial Aid Advisory, Appeals and Scholarship Awards Committee (appeal 4 and final appeal level).
Students must file their appeal by the appropriate deadlines, which are as follows:
Fall semester - November 10
Spring semester - April 10
Summer semester - July 10
An appeal must include the following:
Student’s name, Texas State ID number and e-mail address;
A written description that addresses why the student has failed to meet SAP;
A written description of what has changed in the student’s situation to enable the student to demonstrate SAP at the next evaluation point;
Documentation to support any claims;
Documentation from the student’s academic advisor confirming that the student can within a single semester regain SAP eligibility or an academic plan from the student’s academic advisor that demonstrates the student can meet SAP by a specified and reasonable point in time (not to exceed four semesters) with measurable milestones for each semester;
If appealing because the student has exceeded the maximum timeframe or because of a change in major, the student must submit a degree plan showing the number of hours remaining until graduation; and
NOTE: Financial Aid and Scholarships will deny appeals submitted without documentation.
Once a student is first notified (verbally or in writing) of his or her being ineligible for financial aid (financial aid suspension), the student has until the appropriate deadline (as specified in Section 04.02) to submit an appeal. If a student is denied an appeal at any level (with the exception of a level 4 appeal) and wishes to appeal to the next level, the student must submit a written notice of appeal to the next level by the appropriate deadline (as specified in Section 04.02) after receiving an oral or written notice of the decision at the previous level.
Undergraduate students on financial aid should refer to UPPS No. 07.07.01, Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate Students on Financial Aid.
The definition of SAP will be published annually in the Graduate Catalog and official university electronic publications and will be communicated to all financial assistance applicants by any other means deemed necessary by the director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
After grades are posted on a student’s academic transcript at the end of the spring semester, the student will receive an email (or letter if a student’s email address is not available), stating that he or she is no longer eligible to receive financial aid. New students will receive notification upon admission.
The director of Financial Aid and Scholarships or designee may waive any of the above requirements when extenuating circumstances are properly presented and documented.
REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
|Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships||November 1 E4Y|
|University Registrar||November 1 E4Y|
|Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing||November 1 E4Y|
|Dean, Graduate College||November 1 E4Y|
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from date of this document until superseded.
Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships; senior reviewer of this UPPS
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs