Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Mandatory Requirements for Continued Financial Aid

student on campus

Satisfactory Academic Progress Overview

Federal regulations require that all federal financial aid recipients be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, be taking courses required for that program and maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward their degree to maintain eligibility. Tennessee State University complies with this requirement by monitoring each student's academic progress against three standards: cumulative grade point average (GPA), completion rate and maximum time frame for completion of a degree, consistent with the provisions of this policy. All federal and state financial aid programs administered by Tennessee State University are governed by this policy.   

*Please be advised that Financial Aid Suspensions are separate from Academic suspensions.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard Measurements

CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)

A student is in violation of maintaining SAP for financial aid purposes if he/she:

  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 1.5 for 0-15 attempted hours
  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 1.7 for 16-30 attempted hours
  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 1.8 for 31-45 attempted hours
  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 1.9 for 46-59 attempted hours
  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 for 60 or more attempted hours
  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 if pursuing a second bachelor’s degree (including all undergraduate courses as recorded by the Records Office)
  • has a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 if pursuing a graduate degree

Completion Rate

Students must earn 66.7% of their total attempted credits to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid, including Stafford Loans.

Time Limitations

  • For an undergraduate degree, students are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the number of hours required for that degree which is 180 attempted hours (college level course hours, excludes remedial hours).  Associates in Nursing and Associates in Dental Hygiene students are allowed 90 hours as the majority of associate degrees are 60 hours in length.
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  • For graduate degrees, students are allowed to attempt up to 150% of the number of hours required for that degree as published in the Tennessee State University Graduate Catalog.

Loss of Financial Aid Eligibility

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured annually at the end of each SPRING term.  Students who are not in compliance with the cumulative GPA and/or completion rate or 150% time limitation standards will lose eligibility for Title IV aid (grants, loans, work-study), state funded programs, and any other aid programs requiring that students meet SAP standards. Students who were previously placed on ACADEMIC PLANS will be measured at the end of each term.  Failure to meet the requirements of your plan will result in loss of eligibility for aid.  Students may appeal their suspension if not already on an Academic Plan.  If a student fails to meet the provision of his/her Academic Plan appeal, second appeals will only be considered for unforeseeable, unavoidable situations that occur during the term student is on plan. These will be reviewed on a case by case basis for consideration. 

Review, Notification and Appeal Process

Effective May 2014, Satisfactory Academic Progress will be measured ANNUALLY at the end of each spring term for everyone and at the end of each term for those on Academic Plans. Students will be notified via letter, email and on “myTSU” if they are in violation of the standards. Students who are in violation of the GPA and/or Completion Rate Standards AND have not been previously granted continued eligibility on an academic plan will have the opportunity to appeal to the financial aid SAP committee. The SAP appeal must include a letter explaining the circumstances surrounding the violation along with supporting documentation and a program of study prepared and signed by the student’s academic advisor. Those who are in violation of the time limitation rule may appeal to the Director of Financial Aid.  Time limitation appeals must include a graduation plan signed by the student's academic advisor or major department representative. Satisfactory academic progress guidelines are reviewed annually and updated based on institutional policy and/or federal regulatory changes.

Academic Plans for Continuing Financial Aid Eligibility

Tennessee State University has instituted an academic plan program to allow students who violate the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards to continue their aid eligibility if they meet certain requirements. Students who can complete their program of study within the 150% timeframe may be allowed to participate. Academic plans allow financial aid recipients to have their academic progress measured on a semester by semester basis rather than cumulatively. Academic plan requirements are more stringent than the published standard. The conditions for students who are granted aid continuation based on academic plans are:

Academic Plan for Grade Point Average (APGPA)

Students who violate the satisfactory academic progress guidelines due to cumulative GPA agree to maintain a 2.25 semester for each semester they are on the academic plan until such a time that the student’s cumulative GPA meets the published standard.

Academic Plan for Completion Rate (Attempted Hours vs. Completed Hours APHRS)

Students who violate the satisfactory academic progress guidelines due to not successfully completing 66.7% of all attempted hours agree to complete 75% of all attempted hours for each semester they are on the academic plan until such a time the overall completion rate meets or exceeds the 66.7% benchmark.

Academic Plan for Grade Point Average and Completion Rate (APBTH)

Students who violate the satisfactory academic progress guidelines due to not maintaining the required cumulative GPA AND not successfully completing 66.7% of all attempted hours agree to maintain a 2.25 GPA AND complete 75% of all attempted hours for each semester they are on the academic plan until such a time that the student’s cumulative GPA meets the published standard and overall completion rate meets or exceeds the 66.7% benchmark.

Due to U.S. Department of Education requirements for University’s electing to allow participation in academic plans for financial aid, appeals will not be accepted with the exception of extreme cases where unforeseeable, unavoidable circumstances occur during a term while on an academic plan. Violation of your plans agreement will result in the loss of your financial aid, including student loans, until you raise your GPA, completion rate or both and are able to meet the minimum standards.

You may access the satisfactory academic progress appeal form here.

 






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