Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

11.1 Introduction

Metropolitan State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Federal and State law require that a student make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree or certificate to remain eligible for financial aid.  The standards defined below are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment, whether or not a student received financial aid.  Students bear primary responsibility for their own academic progress and for seeking assistance when experiencing academic difficulty.

Academic Progress Standards

Students must meet the following Academic Progress Standards in order to be eligible for financial aid:

11.2 Qualitative Measure

  • Undergraduate Students: Must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  • Graduate Students: Must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Credit hours attempted through an approved consortium agreement are included in the calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average. Courses taken under the "pass/no credit" registration and transfer credits are not included in the calculation.

11.3 Quantitative Measure (also called Pace)

  • Students must maintain a minimum Cumulative Completion Rate of 67% or better.
  • Students may receive financial aid for no more than 150% of the number of credits required to earn the degree being sought.

Credit hours attempted through an approved consortium agreement are included in the calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average.

Program Specific Requirements

Bachelor's Degree

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better
  2. Complete 67% or more of credit hours attempted at Metropolitan State University
  3. Complete the degree program within the following Maximum Time Frame limits:

First Bachelors Degree - 180 attempted credit hours, including all transfer credits.
Second Bachelor's Degree - 60 attempted credit hours, excluding transfer credits.

Financial aid applicants who have reached the maximum time frame limit but have officially changed their major may appeal to be considered eligible for financial aid for up to an additional 32 credit hours.

Graduate Degree or Certificate

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  2. Complete 67% or more of credit hours attempted at Metropolitan State University
  3. Complete the degree program within the following Maximum Time Frame limits (excludes transfer credits):
Program Normal Program Length
(credit hours)
Maximum Time Frame
(credit hours)
Advanced Dental Therapy (MS) 43 65
Advocacy and Political Leadership (MA) 40 60
Alcohol and Drug Counseling (MS) 48 72
Biology (MS) 34 51
Business Administration (MBA) 42 63
Business Administration (DBA) 72 108
Business Analytics 20 30
Computer Forensics (Certificate) 24 36
Computer Science (MS) 34 51
Computer Science (PSM) 38 57
Co-Occurring Disorders Recovery Counseling (MS) 60 90
Criminal Justice (MS) 32 48
Cyber Security (Certificate) 24 36
Database Administration (GC) 22 33
Dental Hygiene (Post-Bachelor's Certificate) 16 24
Design of User Experience (GC) 16 24
Global Supply Chain (GC) 12 18
Healthcare Information Technology Management (GC) 22 33
Individualized Studies (MA and MS) 32 48
Information Assurance (GC) 20 30
Law Enforcement (Certificate) 28 42
Liberal Studies (MA) 32 48
Management Information Systems (MMIS) 44 66
Math (GC) 18 27
MIS Generalist (GC) 20 30
MIS Systems Analysis (GC) 20 30
Nonprofit Leadership and Management (MA) 40 60
Nurse Education (MSN) 39 59
Nursing (DNP) 80 118
Nursing (MSN) 62 93
Nursing Leadership and Management (MSN) 39 59
Project Management (GC) 12 18
Psychology (MA) 36 54
Public Administration (MA) 40 60
Public and Nonprofit Administration (MPNA) 40 60
Technical Communication (MS) 32 48
Urban Education (MS) 34 51

11.4 Evaluation Periods

A. Evaluation Periods

The academic year for programs at Metropolitan State is divided into approximately equal calendar periods: Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters. Evaluation of all enrolled students' academic progress is conducted following the completion of each semester.

B. Re-evaluation of progress following the initial evaluation

A student who has been placed on financial aid warning or suspension status at the end of a semester may request a re-evaluation of their academic progress if the academic record has changed. If a full semester has elapsed since the student was placed on warning or suspension status, the student must complete an appeal form.

11.5 Failure to Meet Academic Progress Standards

A student on financial aid suspension may not receive any federal or state financial aid including (but not limited to) grants, loans, and student employment.

A. Financial Aid Warning

Following the first period of enrollment in which a student fails to meet the Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average and/or the Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate standards, a student shall be placed on financial aid warning. A student on financial aid warning remains eligible for financial aid for one additional semester of enrollment.

B. Financial Aid Suspension

Students will be suspended from further financial aid eligibility if:

  • Attempted credit hours meet or exceed the Maximum Time Frame limit;
  • A mathematical determination shows that the student cannot meet the Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate standard before the student meets or exceeds the Maximum Time Frame limit; or
  • A student fails to meet the Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average and/or Minimum Cumulative Completion Rate standards after being on warning status.

The suspension will remain in effect until the student improves his or her Cumulative Grade Point Average to the minimum 2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate students or reaches a Cumulative Completion Rate of 67%.  The student may receive aid if the Director of Financial Aid or his or her designee grants a semester of probation based on an approved appeal of suspension.

Extraordinary Circumstances

The Director of Financial Aid, using his or her professional judgment supported by adequate documentation, may place a student on immediate financial aid suspension:

A. Admission on Academic Probation

Students who are admitted to the University on Academic Probation may be concurrently placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students admitted on Academic Probation must meet or exceed the Academic Progress Standards minimums at the end of the probation period or the student shall be suspended from further financial aid eligibility.

B. Other extraordinary circumstances

Other extraordinary circumstances may include, but are not limited to: failing to successfully complete any courses in one or more evaluation periods; failing to meet financial aid academic progress standards at a prior institution or institutions; accumulation of excessive academic credits and/or excessive indebtedness from a prior institution or institutions; evidence of, or the suspicion of fraudulent activities conducted by the student with respect to the application for or the receipt of financial aid; or being found in violation of the Metropolitan State Student Conduct Code (Policy 1020.)

Notification of Failure to Meet Standards

Students are notified in writing when the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress results in warning or suspension.  The notice includes the conditions of the current status and the process necessary to appeal suspension.

11.7 Appeal of Suspension

A. Appeal of Suspension

A student who has been suspended from further financial aid eligibility and who has experienced circumstances outside of his or her control that affected his or her academic performance may appeal in writing.
Circumstances outside of a student's control that affect academic performance include, but are not limited to:

  • Death of a family member or close relative or friend,
  • Car accident,
  • Affects of physical or mental illness
  • Unemployment or other sudden and unexpected change in financial situation
  • Divorce or separation from a spouse
  • Military deployment of student or student's spouse.

A complete appeal shall include at a minimum:

  • A signed Appeal form
  • A signed statement (or a statement transmitted from the student's official Metropolitan State University e-mail account) describing the special, unusual or extenuating circumstances that prevented the student from making satisfactory academic progress. 
  • A statement describing what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to show satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next evaluation period.
  • Documentation from a third party attesting to the circumstance described by the student.

At the discretion of the Director of Financial Aid, his or her designee, other information relevant to the student's appeal for reinstatement, such as academic transcripts from prior institutions or documentation submitted to resolve conflicting information, may be considered as part of the student's appeal for reinstatement, even if they are not included in the student's appeal documentation.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal (PDF)

 

B. Probation with Academic Plan

Probation is a status in which a financial aid applicant has his or her financial aid eligibility temporarily reinstated, subject to the student meeting semester-based (rather than cumulative) academic progress requirements (academic plan).

A student who has been granted probation, but who fails to meet the terms of the academic plan in a subsequent term, shall be suspended from further financial aid eligibility.

C. Appeal Following Initial Denial

If the Director of Financial Aid or his /her designee denies the student's appeal of suspension, the student may send a secondary appeal of this decision to the Dean of Students. The decision of the dean on all financial aid appeal decisions is final.

11.8 Reinstatement upon Meeting Standards

During the review each semester of Satisfactory Academic Progress, students who had been previously placed on Financial Aid Warning or Suspension status and who are now meeting the academic progress standards shall be automatically reinstated for full financial aid eligibility. The automatic reinstatement shall be part of the process for reviewing student records in the student records system.

11.9 Treatment of Grades

A. Successful Grades

Successful grades indicate that the student has successfully completed the course and earned the attempted credits. Successful grades include grades of A, B, C, D and S (and shades).  Both earned credit hours and attempted credit hours are included in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate for courses with successful grades. Credit hours for which a successful grade has been given are counted in the calculation of progress towards the Maximum Time Frame.

B. Unsuccessful Grades

Unsuccessful grades are grades of F, NC, and W.  These grades indicate that the student has not earned the attempted credits. Only attempted credit hours are included in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate for unsuccessful grades. Credit hours for which an unsuccessful grade has been given are counted in the calculation of progress towards the Maximum Time Frame.

C. In-Process Grades

In-process grades are grades of I. Missing grades (recorded on the transcript as grades of "Z", but otherwise blank in the student information system) are also considered in-process grades. In process grades are treated as unsuccessful grades for purposes of calculating the Cumulative Completion Rate at the end of the first evaluation period. In-process grades are not included in the calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average. Credit hours for which an in-process grade has been given are counted in the calculation of progress towards the Maximum Time Frame.

Academic Amnesty

This Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy does not recognize "academic amnesty." All prior coursework attempted at Metropolitan State University, with the exception of audited courses or "dropped" courses (see 11.16 Withdrawn and Dropped Courses) is included in the evaluation of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Audited Courses

Audited courses are courses taken for no credit and on a "satisfactory/unsatisfactory" basis only. They do not contribute towards the student's enrollment level for financial aid purposes. Audited courses are not considered in the evaluation of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Consortium Credits

Attempted and earned credit hours, along with GPA/Quality Points and GPA Credits for courses taken at an institution acting as the host school under an approved consortium agreement are included in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate, Cumulative Grade Point Average, and progress towards the Maximum Time Frame.

Remedial and English as a Second Language Courses

Credit hours taken for remedial courses (less than level 100 courses) and English as a Second Language courses may be included in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate, the Cumulative Grade Point Average and progress towards the Maximum Time Frame if they are taken at Metropolitan State University or under an approved consortium agreement. Up to 30 credit hours for remedial courses shall be excluded from the calculation of the student's credit hours toward the Maximum Time Frame limit.

Repeated Courses

Repeated credits are counted as credits that the student has attempted but has not earned. Once a student repeats a course, the previously earned credits for that course are reduced to 0. Attempted credit hours for repeated courses are included in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate and the progress towards the Maximum Time Frame. This is the case whether the student successfully completed the course or not during the previous time(s) it was taken.  Students may only receive financial aid for one repetition of a previously passed course.

Transfer Credits

A. First Bachelor Degree Students:

  • All credit hours accepted in transfer shall be counted in the calculation of progress toward the Maximum Time Frame standard.
  • Transfer credits shall be counted as credits attempted and completed for purpose of evaluating a student's progress towards the Cumulative Completion Rate standard if accepted and applied to the student’s program requirements.  Grades associated with these credits shall not be used in calculating cumulative GPA.
  • Grade points earned in association with transfer credits shall not be counted for purpose of evaluating a student's progress towards the Cumulative Grade Point Average standard. 

A student who has met or exceeded the Maximum Time Frame may appeal to exclude certain credits from the Maximum Time Frame if the student can document that those credits did not apply to the student's degree program requirements or that the student has changed majors since earning the transfer credits.

B. Second and subsequent bachelor degree seeking students; graduate degree and certificate seeking students:

  • Transfer credit shall be counted for the purpose of evaluating a student's progress toward the Cumulative Completion Rate and the Maximum Time Frame standards. Grades associated with these credits shall not be used in calculating cumulative GPA.
  • Grade points earned in association with transfer credits shall not be counted for purpose of evaluating a student's progress towards the Cumulative Grade Point Average standard. 

Withdrawn and Dropped Courses

A. Official Withdrawals

  • Maximum Time Frame: Considered attempted credits and count in the calculation of credit hours attempted toward the Maximum Time Frame standard.
  • Cumulative Completion Rate: Counted in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate as credit hours attempted but not earned.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average: Do not affect the calculation of the Cumulative Grade Point Average. No GPA Credits or GPA/Quality Points are counted for withdrawn credit hours.

B. Dropped Courses (includes retroactive dropped courses) Courses from which a student is "dropped" are erased from the student's academic record, except for purpose of maintaining the history of registration transactions. Courses from which a student has been dropped do not count in the calculation of credit hours attempted for purposes of evaluating Maximum Time Frame and Cumulative Completion Rate; and no GPA Credits or GPA/Quality points are assessed for calculation in the Cumulative Grade Point Average.

11.10 Definitions:

Academic Plan – A student who successfully appeals their suspension status will be required by the University to complete specific requirements contained in an academic plan.  At a minimum the academic plan will require a student to achieve 2.5 GPA during their probationary term and/or a 100% completion rate during their probationary term, depending upon the deficiency.

Evaluation Period - The academic year for programs at Metropolitan State is divided into approximately equal calendar periods: Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters. Evaluation of all enrolled students' academic progress is conducted following the completion of each semester.

Maximum Time Frame- The maximum number of cumulative attempted credits within which a student must complete their academic program.

Probation Status – A student who has successfully appealed shall be placed on probation with academic plan for one evaluation period.  If, at the end of the next evaluation period, a student on financial aid probation status:

  • Has met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the student shall be returned to good standing
  • Has not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards but has met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall retain his/her financial aid eligibility under a probation status for a subsequent evaluation period
  • Has not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards and has also not met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall be suspended immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
     

Qualitative Measure- Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in order to retain financial aid eligibility.  Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to retain financial aid eligibility.

Quantitative Measure – Students may receive financial aid for no more than 150% of the number of credits required to earn the degree being sought.

Required Completion Percentage – Students must maintain a minimum Cumulative Completion Rate of 67% or better in order to retain financial aid eligibility.

Suspension Status – A student on financial aid suspension status is not eligible to receive financial aid.  Students who have been suspended may regain their eligibility only through the institution’s appeal process or when they are again meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards.

Warning Status – Students on warning are eligible to register and receive financial aid for one evaluation period despite a determination that the student has not met either the University’s grade point average standard, or completion percentage standard, or both.

  • If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has met both the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the warning status is ended and the student is returned to good standing.
  • If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has not met either the institution’s cumulative grade point average or completion percentage standards, the institution shall suspend the student.

Updated 07/25/2018