Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
To remain eligible for financial aid, a student must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. In accordance with federal regulations, satisfactory academic progress for undergraduate students at the University of St. Thomas is defined such that the student must:
- Satisfactorily complete 75 percent of all attempted credits;
- Maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA after the end of his/her fourth semester of enrollment. Semesters are defined as fall, combined J-term/spring and summer for financial aid purposes.
- Obtain a first bachelor’s degree within 176 attempted credits.
Programs Covered by This Policy
All federal, state and institutional grant, loan and work-study programs are covered by this policy. Institutional scholarships and awards are covered by this policy and also are subject to the criteria defined for the specific scholarship/award (for example, full-time, continuous enrollment).
General Eligibility Requirements
Students must have a high school diploma or GED in order to receive financial aid. Students enrolled in non-degree programs are not eligible to receive financial aid. Students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens to be admitted and to qualify for federal and/or state financial aid.
A student’s progress will be monitored at the end of each semester. The assessment will be based on the student’s entire academic record, including all transfer credit hours accepted by the university. Admission or re-admission to the University of St. Thomas and academic standing as defined by the Registrar’s office may allow for a student’s continued enrollment at the university. However, admission, re-admission or continued enrollment does not exempt the student from meeting the terms of this policy with regard to financial aid eligibility.
A student may choose to repeat courses in order to improve a grade. While repeating a course may improve your GPA calculation, all credits are counted as attempted regardless of whether the credits are for the initial or repeated course. Once a student has received a passing grade in a course, a student can receive financial aid for only one additional repeat of that course.
All college level courses taken outside of the University of St. Thomas and accepted for credit at the university are counted as transfer credits. Transfer credits include those earned during regular enrollment at another post-secondary institution as well as those earned during the completion of a student’s high school diploma or G.E.D. (e.g. AP, IB, PSEO, CIS, and CLEP). All transfer credits count as attempted and completed credits when measuring completion rate and are included in the maximum time frame calculation.
Maximum Time Frame
Undergraduate students are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 176 attempted credits. Attempted credits include all grades of "F", "R", "W" and "I". If a student begins a semester and withdraws from all courses for the semester during the 100 percent tuition refund period, the courses from which he/she withdrew count as attempted. Courses in which a student is allowed to withdraw without grade notation after the institutional refund period due to special circumstances are also counted as attempted credits. Courses that are repeated are counted each time they are attempted. All transfer credits accepted by the university are counted as attempted. Audited courses are not counted.
Completion Rate (pace of progression toward a degree)
Students must satisfactorily complete 75 percent of all credits attempted. Satisfactory grades are "A", "B", "C", "D" and "S". Unsatisfactory grades are "F", "R", "I" and "W". Failure to maintain a 75 percent completion rate will result in a warning for the next semester. Failure to bring the overall completion rate up to 75 percent during the "warning semester" will result in the student being ineligible to receive financial aid until the overall completion rate is at least 75 percent.
Minimum Cumulative Grade-Point Average
Federal regulations require a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher after the end of the second academic year. Students who have not yet attended four semesters and are not maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, are sent an alert, notifying them of the consequences of an unsatisfactory GPA after the end of their fourth semester. Undergraduate students who have attempted four semesters and do not have the minimum required GPA are ineligible to receive financial aid until their cumulative GPA is above 2.0. Cumulative GPA is calculated on all courses attempted at St. Thomas and all transfer credits accepted by St. Thomas.
A student whose status is determined to be unsatisfactory is not eligible to receive financial aid until he or she meets one of the following conditions:
- Continues to attend St. Thomas at his or her own expense and returns to full compliance with all parts of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy;
- Demonstrates special circumstances to justify appeal consideration;
- Attend another institution and have credits transfer back to St. Thomas to improve your GPA and/or completion rate.
Right to Appeal
Students who have had financial aid suspended due to unsatisfactory academic progress may appeal to the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office. The appeal must be in writing, must be submitted within 15 days of notification of unsatisfactory status and must be accompanied by all relevant documentation. Students may appeal due to a special circumstance such as illness or injury of the student, death of a relative or other circumstance that results in undue hardship to the student as documented by a third-party professional such as a healthcare provider, counselor, cleric, lawyer, etc.
Students Seeking a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree are only eligible for federal loans (if they have not reached the aggregate limits of the loan program) and private loans. Such students are expected to receive their second degree within the maximum time frame as stated above and will be held accountable all other measures of progress. Exceptions to the maximum time frame policy may be made on an individual basis. An appeal to extend the maximum time frame must include a full degree evaluation and graduation plan approved by an academic advisor and supporting statement from the advisor. Classes taken each semester will be monitored to match with the plan submitted. Revisions to the plan are to be made with the academic advisor and submitted in writing to the financial aid office. Financial aid eligibility is subject to the review of the revised plan by the financial aid office.