Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations require all students receiving financial aid to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office will review all financial aid recipients three times a year (end of Fall term, end of Spring term, and end of Summer term). The review will measure both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (completion rate) standards.

When evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), all terms of enrollment will be evaluated regardless of whether the student received financial aid during those terms or not. For transfer students, only those credits that are transferred to NMSU, and all credits attempted while attending NMSU, will be counted toward the timeframe.

All the satisfactory academic progress standards for students applying for and receiving Federal Financial Aid, excluding academic suspensions, are established and monitored by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Services. Academic suspension standards are established and monitored by the University Registrar.

Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement (Qualitative)

  • Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA or greater on all hours attempted at NMSU.
  • Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or greater.

Completion Rate Requirement (Quantitative)- Pace of Progression to ensure completion within the maximum time frame

  • Students must complete 70% of all hours attempted.Grades of A’s, B’s, C’s, and D’s will count as passed credits.
  • All students, both undergraduate and graduate are required to pass and complete 70% of all classes attempted. Student will be ineligible for financial aid until completion rate is 70% or greater, or an appeal for financial aid has been approved. Grades of I, RR, F, W, and U will be considered hours attempted but not completed.

Maximum Time Frame- Pace of Progression

  • Students receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame is 150% of the published length of the academic program or certificate (to include all transfer credit hours). Limited developmental coursework will not be counted in the maximum time frame.
    • Example: Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies = 128 hours x 150%= 192 hours (192 hours is the maximum number of hours allowed by financial aid.)

Consequences of Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress

Failure to meet one or more of the established financial aid standards of satisfactory academic progress will make a student ineligible for financial aid.  Students who have their financial aid revoked due to the failure to meet the SAP standards will remain ineligible until such time that they are able to meet the cumulative financial aid SAP standards. Those students will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.

In the following provisions, “warning”, “suspension” or “probation” means financial aid warning, suspension, or probation, not academic warning, suspension, or probation.

  1. Financial Aid Warning – A status assigned to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress at a school that evaluates academic progress at the end of each payment period and/or term, and chooses to allow students who fail its progress standards to continue to receive aid. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he or she will be suspended from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.
  2. Financial Aid Suspension – If, after being placed on financial aid warning status, a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA and 70% completion rate, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.
  3. Financial Aid Probation (W-STIPS) – When a student fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed and has had eligibility for financial aid reinstated with an academic plan.
  4. Maximum Time Frame Suspension (Pace of Progression) – Undergraduate students must attain their degree on or before 150% of the published credits needed for an associate or bachelor degree. Graduate students must attain their degree on or before 150% of the published credits required for the degree they are seeking.

If a student fails to meet the Maximum Time Frame standards, they will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.  Note: The 150% maximum timeframe also extends to students seeking a second degree.  Example: if a student has obtained a bachelor’s degree within a 120 credit hours attempted and comes back for a second degree, the student will only have 60 credits in eligibility to obtain the second degree.

Completed Degree or Change of Major

Credit hours obtained in a completed degree (i.e. a certificate, associates, bachelors, masters, etc.) will affect a student’s maximum timeframe. Students who change majors will also have the attempted credit hours from the previous major count against the maximum time frame.

Failure to meet one or more of the established financial aid standards of satisfactory academic progress will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Students who have their financial aid revoked due to the failure to meet the SAP standards will remain ineligible until such time that they are able to meet the financial aid SAP standards. Those students will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.

Appeals

Students that fall below the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements have the right to appeal their ineligibility for Federal Financial Aid. All appeals are reviewed for extenuating circumstances by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. View NMSU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for more information on appeals.

Financial Aid Appeal Form Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

All appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the semester’s census date of the student’s enrollment period. Appeals submitted after this deadline will be returned to the student.

Appeals may be submitted by email, fax or taken directly to the Financial Aid Office.

Appeal Deadlines

Fall 2016 Spring 2016 Summer 2016
August 26 March 16 June 10

 

Adjusted Credit Option

Students granted the Adjusted Credit Option (ACO) by NMSU will have their SAP separately calculated for Time Frame, Completion Rate, and GPA. Federal regulations do not allow a student’s SAP to be calculated based on adjusted GPA, time frame or completion rate if Academic Amnesty has been applied to the student’s records.

When evaluating a student with an ACO, the financial aid advisor must calculate their completion rate as would be done for any other student (all credits completed divided by all credits attempted). Time frame will be evaluated by adding all credits attempted at NMSU plus any transfer credits accepted at NMSU. For GPA, the actual non-adjusted cumulative GPA must be determined without any consideration of the ACO and the non-adjusted cumulative GPA must be used for purposes of evaluating SAP requirements.  These students will be coded U-ACO until reviewed.