Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34) require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal financial assistance and that the school certify that the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree. This determination of progress must be made at least once a year and before the financial aid office disburses any federal aid funds for the subsequent semester.
· Summary: Current Guidance and Proposed Changes Students who are aware of learning or other disabilities should immediately contact the OFFICE OF DISABILITY SERVICE so that appropriate accommodations can be made. A student with a documented disability and functional limitations is still held to the same academic expectations as other students. If the student is registered with the Office of Disability Services and receiving appropriate accommodations, the student should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility purposes. Pursuant to Federal regulations, the following constitutes McMurry University’s policy on satisfactory academic progress for undergraduate students.
Maximum hours to earn degree: To quantify academic progress, a school must set a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete a program. For an undergraduate program, the maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted. The majority of undergraduate programs require 120 hours for graduation. The maximum time frame for students in these programs is 180 attempted hours (120 x 1.5=180). Students whose programs require more than 120 hours for a degree will have a higher limit.
· As expressed in years: students are normally expected to complete an undergraduate degree by the end of 4 years of full-time study. Therefore, students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after 6 years of full time enrollement (4 x 150% = 6 ).
· Withdrawals: Grades of W are counted as courses attempted and count toward the maximum time frame.
· Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of attempted hours.
· Pass/Fail Courses: These hours do count within the total of attempted and earned hours.
· Transfer credits accepted for the student's academic program or degree is counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program. McMurry University does not accept for credit any transfer grades lower than a C.
· Conditional Admission: Prospective freshman students whose credentials indicate deficiencies in specific disciplines may be admitted by the Student Appeals Committee with a restricted registration. These students will be considered as "regular" students for the purposes of Title IV aid programs during their first academic year.
· Academic Amnesty: The Financial Aid Office must count all prior credit hours attempted for determining the eligibility for federal aid programs of students readmitted through the McMurry University's academic amnesty program.
· Double Majors and / or Minors: Students who double major / minor will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.
· Change in Majors: Students who change their majors will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.
· 2nd Bachelor's Degree: A student who has already been awarded a bachelor's degree may apply for a second degree only if the second degree is different from the first degree.
· Students working towards a second bachelor's degree are no longer eligible for Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Tuition Equalization Grant or any Institutional and Academic Scholarship. Priority is given to students working on their first Bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students are limited in how much they can borrow under the Federal Direct Student Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. These limits are not increased for students working on a second Bachelor's Degree.
Satisfactory Progress Definition:
Students have a limited amount of time to complete their undergraduate degree requirements. To earn our basic undergraduate degree, students must successfully complete 120 credit hours. For a student to be considered as progressing normally, the student's ratio of earned hours to attempted hours (or pace towards degree completion ) must be no less than as shown on the following table:
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY TIMEFRAME TABLE
Minimum Credit Hrs. Completed
Attempted hours are those hours for which students were still officially registered at the conclusion of each semester's Add/Drop period. Withdrawals are counted as attempted hours.
Qualitative Standards: Grade Point Averages:
First-time first-year freshmen will be evaluated for satisfactory academic progress after their first academic year. However, in accordance with federal regulations by the second calendar year of enrollment in a post-secondary educational program, the student must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA to be considered making satisfactory progress for continued participation in federal aid programs.
Students who are receiving aid on a warning or probationary basis must resolve all incomplete grades BEFORE a final determination can be made that he/she meets the satisfactory academic progress guidelines. Students must report any grade changes or updates on incomplete grades that impact their aid eligibility directly to the Financial Aid Office.
Each aid recipient's record will be evaluated at the end of each semester to determine that the student is meeting the standards described above. If the student has reached the maximum number of scheduled hours without earning a degree, the student must be excluded from further participation in federal financial aid programs.
Federal regulations require that these standards apply to all students, even to first-time aid applicants who have previously enrolled at McMurry University, or to those who have not been formally placed on probation.
Financial Aid Warning:
There is a minimal amount of time between the time when final fall grades must be posted and the start of spring semester. There is even less time between the time when final summer grades may be posted and the start of fall semester. Students incur a financial liability to the university as soon as the semester begins. Therefore, under most circumstances, we believe it would be unfair to retroactively remove a student's aid once the semester begins IF this is the first documented time that the student has experienced academic difficulty. These students will receive a "financial aid warning" letter which will remind them of the minimum academic requirements for their aid programs AND strongly urge them to take advantage of the academic services that are available to students. Students will be eligible to receive federal aid during this semester. These students will be notified that their records will be checked again at the end of the semester and that further action may be taken if there is not significant improvement during the current semester. Students can only receive aid for one semester under this "warning" status.
Financial Aid Probation:
If the student has not reached the maximum number of scheduled hours and the Student Appeals Committee determines that the student has fallen below the completion ratio standards for satisfactory academic progress, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and notified that his/her continued eligibility for federal financial aid assistance is in jeopardy. Students who fail to maintain the required minimum GPA after their approved appeal will also be placed on financial aid suspension. Students will normally be allowed only one probationary semester during their academic program.
Please note: this excludes certain state, federal and institutional programs that require a minimum GPA.
49 and above 2.0
Financial Aid Suspension
A student on academic warning whose GPA falls below the indicated chart will be placed on academic suspension. The third consecutive semester of grades below probation but above suspension will result in suspension.
49 and above 2.0
Students who do not meet this requirement will be ineligible to participate in federal, state, and Institutional financial aid programs until this deficiency is corrected.
If the student on financial aid probation meets the terms of the probation, he/she will be permitted to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs for a subsequent semester. Students who have been placed on probation shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress for the purposes of receiving financial aid.
The Financial Aid Office will review the records of students who are on financial aid probation at the end of each semester.
If the student does not meet the terms of the probation, the student will forfeit eligibility for all federal, state and Institutional financial aid programs.
Loss of eligibility due to lack of satisfactory progress:
Student who has lost eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs for reasons of academic progress can regain that eligibility only by enrolling at McMurry University at his/her own expense and demonstrating that he/she is capable of completing a semester without any failures, incompletes or withdrawals and showing the ability to complete his degree requirements in a more regular fashion. The mere passage of time will not ordinarily restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory progress.
Students who are academically suspended are automatically put on financial aid suspension. Those who are given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal, state, or institutional aid programs. Academic decisions are totally separate from Financial Aid decisions.
Right to Appeal:
Students have the right to appeal any decision of ineligibility to continue to receive financial assistance. Appeals must be filed within 15 days prior to the start of the semester. An appeal must be made in writing to the Student Appeals Committee and can be turned in to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal may not be based upon your need for the assistance or your lack of knowledge that your assistance was in jeopardy. An appeal would normally be based upon some unusual situation or condition which prevented you from passing more of your courses, or which necessitated that you withdraw from classes. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury, or death of a family member.
If you do not have grounds for an appeal, or if your appeal is denied, you may still be able to regain your eligibility for future semesters. This is done by enrolling at McMurry University at your expense -- without financial assistance -- and negotiating a payment plan with the Business Office.
Appeal Approval Conditions: Appeals can only be approved if the Student Appeals Committee determines:
· that the student will be able to meet the university's satisfactory academic progress after the next payment period; or
· the student has agreed to follow an academic plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student can meet the university's satisfactory academic progress guidelines by a specific point in time.
If an appeal is granted: Students whose appeals are granted will receive aid on a conditional basis for one semester. The Financial Aid Office will review the student's record at the end of the semester to determine his/her status for the following semester. Students who fail to meet the requirements in their individualized academic plans during their conditional semester will not be able to submit a subsequent appeal.
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