Graduate—Satisfactory Progress Policy Statement

Federal financial aid regulations require students to make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree to remain eligible for financial aid.  The financial aid programs affected by this policy include:
  
Federal Work StudyFederal Perkins LoanFederal Direct Graduate-PLUS Loan
Federal Direct Subsidized LoanFederal Direct Unsubsidized Loan 

This policy defines the minimum requirements for financial aid eligibility at Michigan Technological University and should not be confused with any other academic status policy enforced by other departments, schools, or colleges at Michigan Tech.  Students should understand the renewal criteria of each of their respective scholarships and awards.  Some scholarships/awards (e.g., fellowships) may have more stringent requirements than those listed in this policy.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be measured at the end of each semester and a student must meet all three (3) of the following requirements to be eligible for financial aid:

Requirement 1: University Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

A graduate student must maintain a university cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.

Requirement 2: Cumulative Pace of Completion

A graduate student must maintain a minimum pace of completion of 67%.  Pace of completion is calculated by dividing the cumulative credit hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of attempted credit hours.

Requirement 3: Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

Graduate students are permitted to receive financial aid for 150% of the required number of credits to earn their degree.  For example, most graduate degree programs at Michigan Tech require 30 credits.  Therefore, 150% of 30 = 45.  In this scenario, a student may receive financial aid for 45 attempted credits prior to completing degree requirements for graduation.  A student enrolling in a semester after attempting their 45th credit is no longer considered to be making satisfactory progress toward the degree.  The 45 credit total includes all Michigan Tech attempted credit hours.

Additional Examples of Maximum Time Frame:

Graduate students seeking a first time master's degree may not exceed 45 attempted credit hours.  Graduate students pursuing a second master’s degree may not exceed 45 attempted credit hours for each of the degrees.  Students who are concurrently pursuing two master's degrees may not exceed a total of 90 attempted credits.

Graduate students who have earned a master’s degree and are seeking a doctoral degree may not exceed 45 attempted credit hours beyond the attempted credit hours that were or are being used to satisfy the requirements for the master’s degree.

Graduate students who are seeking a doctoral degree without completing a master's degree may not exceed 90 attempted credit hours.

Graduate students cannot exceed a total of 90 attempted credits pursing any combination of master's and/or doctoral degrees and receive Federal Title IV Student Aid.

 Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

Warning

Students who start the semester making SAP and complete the semester not meeting requirements 1 or 2 will be placed on financial aid warning for their next semester of attendance.  While on financial aid warning, a student will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid without filing an appeal.  A student who does not meet requirement 3 because they exceed their maximum time frame will be considered not making satisfactory progress.  A continuation of their financial aid will be on an appeal basis only.

Unsatisfactory

A student with this status is not making progress toward a degree and is ineligible for financial aid.  Students with certain circumstances may appeal. 

Probation

When a student starts a semester on financial aid warning and continues to fail to meet requirements 1 or 2 at the end of that semester, he or she will be ineligible for financial aid.  To be reconsidered for financial aid, the student must submit an appeal to the Michigan Tech Financial Aid Office.  An approved appeal will result in the student being placed on financial aid probation.  While on financial aid probation, the student is eligible for financial aid for only one semester.  At the completion of the semester of financial aid probation, the student must meet all three requirements of SAP or lose their financial aid eligibility until the requirements are met. 

Academic Plan

A student who is currently ineligible for financial aid and has his or her appeal approved may be placed on an individualized academic plan, which will detail the requirements necessary to bring him or her back into eligibility.  While on an academic plan, the student is eligible for financial aid as long as the plan's criteria are being met.  Also, see the definition of academic plan.

Academic Plan #5 (Graduate Academic Plan) - the student must maintain a minimum 3.0 semester GPA the three semesters immediately following the approval of the graduate academic plan.  The student's progress is evaluated at the completion of each semester while on this plan.  At the conclusion of this three-semester plan, the student is required to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Academic Plan #6 –  this plan is granted to a student who has successfully appealed his or her academic renewal status.  The student's progress is evaluated each semester while on this plan.  Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum 2.0 semester GPA, and graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 semester GPA.

Appeals and Reinstatements

A student not meeting the satisfactory progress requirements due to extenuating circumstances (i.e. death of a relative, illness or injury of the student, etc.) may request reinstatement of financial aid by submitting an appeal through his or her Banweb account.  The appeal must describe the circumstance(s) which prevented the student from meeting the satisfactory progress requirements, and the action(s) the student plans to take to bring him or her back into a satisfactory progress status.

Additional Related Information

Students with Transfer Credit

Transfer credits accepted by Michigan Tech are counted as both attempted and successfully completed credit hours for measuring pace of completion and will be counted toward a student's maximum time frame.  Michigan Tech does not transfer in the GPA from another institution, and it is not calculated into the GPA for this policy.

Academic Renewal

The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic renewal.  If a student has been granted any level of academic renewal, the student must submit an appeal to be eligible for financial aid.

Definitions

Academic plan is an individualized plan developed by the SAP Appeal Committee for a student.  The plan, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet the institution's satisfactory academic progress standards by a specific point in time.

Attempted credit hours are used to calculate the SAP Pace of Completion.  The ‘Financial Aid Attempted Hour’ value includes all credits enrolled in at the completion of each semester PLUS any transfer credits PLUS any credits dropped after the financial aid census date* LESS any audit credits.  

*The financial aid census date is Wednesday of the second week of class for full-semester courses.  If a course is a Track A or Track B course, the census date will vary.  Enrollment is frozen on the financial aid census date, reported to the federal and state governments, and semester financial aid is paid accordingly.  NOTE: the financial aid census date is not equivalent to the last day to drop a course without a grade.  For example, in the spring 2014 semester, the financial aid census date was January 22nd (Wednesday of week 2) and the last day to drop a full-semester course without a grade was January 31st.

Audited courses are courses taken for a grade of U or V.  Students will not receive financial aid for audited courses.  Audited courses are not counted as attempted or successfully completed credit hours and are not included in GPA calculations.

Remedial course work consists of courses numbered below 1000.  Currently Michigan Tech does not offer remedial course work for credit.

Repeat course is a course that is repeated in a semester subsequent to when it was originally taken.  For each semester the attempted credit hours are counted but only the most recent grade will be used to determine whether the course was successfully completed or not; only the most recent grade is used in the GPA calculation.  For example, a 4-credit hour course taken twice will total 8 attempted credit hours, a maximum of 4 credit hours successfully completed and the GPA will include only the most recent grade of A through F.  Also, see Repeating a Course.

Successfully completed credit hours (or earned credit hours) are credit hours that have been earned and have a grade value of A through D, S, or EP.

Grades

Grade TypeGradeCounts as AttemptedCounts as Successfully CompletedIncluded in GPA Calculation
AuditU or V cannot receive aid for auditsNNN
Incomplete

I

If an I becomes an F

Y

Y

N

N

N

Y

WithdrawalWYNN
MissingM temporary until grade is processedYNN
Progress

P

If a P becomes a Q (inadequate progress)

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

ConditionalX computed in GPA as an FYNY
In SessionIS no grade course in sessionYNN
Pass/Fail

S given for work equal to A to C

E given for work equal to CD to F

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

TransferTRYYN
CreditCR given for advanced placementYYN

Credit grades (CR) are given for advanced placement or examination. CR grades count as attempted and successfully completed credit hours but are not included in GPA calculations.

Conditional grades (X) are given for courses where the student fails to complete a segment of a course, but in the judgment of the instructor does not need to repeat the course.  X grades are counted as attempted credit hours but are not successfully completed credit hours.  X grades are changed to the appropriately earned grade when the required course work is submitted.  The X grade becomes an F if it is not made up by the close of the next semester.

Failure grades (F) are 0.00 grades points per credit.  F grades are included in GPA calculations and count as attempted but not successfully completed credit hours.

In-session grades (IS) are given when a course remains in session after the term's final grade deadline. IS grades count as attempted credit hours but are not successfully completed credit hours. IS grades are not included in GPA calculations.

Inadequate Progress (Q) may be used for approved 3000- or 4000-level project courses where projects carry over for more than one semester.  Q grades are not included in GPA calculations.  Q grades count as attempted credit hours but do not count as successfully completed credit hours. 

Incomplete grades (I) are given for courses taken and not completed within the semester.  Incomplete grades are counted as attempted credit hours but are not successfully completed credit hours.  Incomplete grades are not included in GPA calculations.  An I grade becomes an F when the course work is not completed in the specified time designated by the university.  F grades are included in GPA calculations and count as attempted and not completed courses and will impact students' pace of completion.

Missing grades (M) are a temporary grade assigned when a final grade has not been received by the grading deadline.  Missing grades are counted as attempted hours but not as successfully completed credit hours.  M grades are not included in GPA calculations.

Progress grades (P) are counted as attempted and successfully completed credit hours but are not included in GPA calculations.

Pass-fail grades (S and E) are given in courses taken for credit but not for a grade.  Grades of S (given for work equal to A or C) and E (given for work equal to CD to F) are given under this option.  These courses are counted as attempted credit hours but are not included in GPA calculations.  S grades count as successfully completed credit hours, and E grades are unsuccessfully completed credit hours.

Satisfactory audit grades (V) are given for courses taken for audit.  V grades are not included in GPA calculations.  They do not count as attempted credit hours or successfully completed credit hours.

Unsatisfactory audit grades (U) are given for courses taken for audit.  U grades are not included in GPA calculations.  They do not count as attempted credit hours or successfully completed credit hours.

Withdrawal grades (W) are given when a student drops a course after the third week of the semester or withdraws completely from the university after the official add/drop period, resulting in a W grade being assigned for all dropped courses.  W grades are counted as attempted, but are not successfully completed credit hours.  W grades are not included in GPA calculations.

 

Also see Registrar's Grading Information.