Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Education Amendments of 1976 require that institutions award federal financial assistance only to those students who, according to institutional standards, are in good standing and making satisfactory progress. The guidelines are established to encourage students to complete courses successfully. At Plymouth State University, students must be in good academic standing and be making satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible for financial assistance.

Good academic standing (qualitative progress) is defined in the Academic Catalog under Academic Policies and Procedures. All degree candidates must maintain academic standing consistent with PSU’s graduation requirements, which is based on a graduated scale (see Academic Catalog) with a 2.0 GPA required for graduation. Continuing students’ quantitative progress (credits earned) will be reviewed once a year prior to the award/disbursement of financial aid for the next academic year. Readmitted students’ quantitative progress will be reviewed at point of re-entry. Satisfactory Progress, for full-time undergraduate baccalaureate is outlined on the following chart.

Number of Years Enrolled 1 2 3 4 5
Minimum # of credits student is expected to earn each year 15 18 24 24 24
Accumulated total: 15 33 57 81 105

To graduate in four years Bachelor degree students need to earn an average of 15.25 credits per semester for 8 semesters. PSU expects that full-time students are capable of earning more credits in succeeding semesters. For example, we expect the following minimums:

  • 1st Semester – 6 Credits
  • 2nd – 4th Semesters – 9 Credits
  • 5th – 11th Semesters – 12 credits

Summer and Winterim credits earned are included in the annual minimums. Less than full-time enrollment periods will be considered on a pro-rata basis. For an undergraduate program (bachelor degree), the maximum time frame for aid eligibility may not exceed 150 percent of the published length of the educational program (bachelor – six years). Courses transferred from other institutions during the period of matriculation at PSU will be included in the number of credits earned. Transfer students fit into the chart based on the number of credits transferred from a prior institution(s) or based on number of semesters/years if beneficial to student’s progress.

Incomplete, withdrawn or repeated courses will be appropriately counted as indicated on the student’s academic transcript in determining number of credits earned. Completion of non-credit courses will count in determining satisfactory progress.

Students who are not successfully completing courses at the minimum levels as outlined on the chart are not making satisfactory academic progress. Such students will not receive further financial aid until satisfactory progress status is achieved.

A Financial Aid Officer will inform students by letter regarding non-eligibility for financial aid. If students choose not to appeal, reinstatement for financial aid consideration will occur when students attain the necessary credits on the chart, by earning credits above the semester minimums and/or attending a summer or Winterim session(s).

If there have been mitigating circumstances which have prevented satisfactory progress, a student must complete the steps on the checklist that was mailed to them in order to appeal the decision. These steps include:

1. A typed Letter of Appeal which addresses the following:

  • Explain why you did not make satisfactory academic progress
  • Explain in detail what changes have occurred (or will occur) that will allow you to make satisfactory academic progress in the future.
  • OPTIONAL: Any documentation you feel will support your appeal. You might want to document difficulties you experienced which prevented your progress in the past. Or you might want to document a solution to past troubles. Documentation could be a letter from someone with whom you have been working who can support your appeal letter (Doctor, Counselor, Instructor, Advisor, Minister, etc.) Or documentation could be something to verify a past event (hospital records, accident report, etc.)

2. Online financial literacy at will be automatically sent to us once this process is completed.

Once both steps have been completed and required documentation received, the PSU SAP Appeal Committee will review your appeal and a decision will be made within two weeks.

At the time of review, the student’s appeal will either be approved to continue financial aid eligibility (normally based on mitigating circumstances with actions required each term aid is awarded) or denied.

If the student’s appeal is denied, communications will be provided on how eligibility may be restored.   Until satisfactory progress status is met, a student will not have access to any federal, state and PSU aid, including grants, scholarships, loans and/or federal work study employment.

April 7th, 2014 by Eric

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