Federal regulations require all students receiving financial aid to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships 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 timeframe. Only the transfer credits that apply toward your current degree program will be considered when calculating Completion Rate.
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.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
|Degree||GPA Requirement||Completion Rate Requirement||Maximum Credit Hours Allowed/Timeframe|
|Undergraduate||2.0 Cumulative GPA||70% of institutional hours attempted||150% of the published length of the academic program|
|Graduate||3.0 Cumulative GPA||70% of institutional hours attempted||150% of the published length of the academic program|
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.
Any GPA will not be rounded to any single decimal but acknowledged as the exact number documented in academic records.
Completion Rate Requirement (Quantitative)
Undergraduate and Graduate students are required to pass and complete 70% of all hours attempted. Students will be ineligible for financial aid until completion rate is 70% or greater, or an appeal for financial aid has been approved. Grades of A’s, B’s, C’s, and D’s will count as passed credits. Grades of I, RR, F, W, and U will be considered hours attempted but not completed. For transfer students, only the transfer credits that apply toward your current degree program will be considered when calculating the Completion Rate.
Maximum Timeframe – Pace of Progression
Students receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable timeframe. The maximum timeframe is 150% of the published length of the academic program or certificate (to include all credit hours that are transferred to NMSU). Limited developmental coursework will not be counted in the maximum timeframe. Example: Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies = 120 hours x 150%= 180 hours (180 hours is the maximum number of hours allowed by financial aid.).
|Degree||Allowable Attempted Credits|
|Certificate||36 Credit Hours|
|Associate Degree||90 Credit Hours|
|Bachelor Degree||180 Credit Hours (includes hours from Associate’s degree)|
|Master Degree||45 Graduate Credit Hours|
|Doctorate Degree||90 Graduate Attempted Credit Hours
120 Graduate Attempted Credit Hours with NMSU Master’s Degree
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’s 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 Timeframe standards, they will be placed on Maximum Timeframe Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility. Note: The 150% maximum timeframe also extends to students seeking a second degree. For example: if a student has obtained a bachelor’s degree within 128 credit hours attempted and comes back for a second degree, the student will only have 64 credits for 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.
Students that fall below the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, or the renewal requirements for their scholarships or Out-of-State Tuition Discounts, have the right to appeal their ineligibility for Federal Financial Aid. All appeals submitted must contain a verifiable (documented) extenuating circumstance and will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. View NMSU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for more information on appeals.
Please submit appeals to your Financial Aid Advisor.
Appeal Priority Dates
Appeals are strongly encouraged to be submitted by 5 pm, on the third Friday of each semester.