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Complete Satisfactory Progress Policy

Federal regulations (HEA Sec. 484(c)) require that Central Michigan University monitor the satisfactory academic progress of all students regardless of whether they have received financial aid in previous semesters. These financial aid requirements are separate from students' academic requirements. To maintain eligibility for federal student aid, as well as most state and institutional student aid programs, there are three distinct criteria that must be monitored and met.

Quantitative standard: Students must complete 67 percent of all CMU credits attempted each semester of enrollment, which includes the summer semester. Attempted hours are based on the number of credits for which the student is registered at the end of the Registrar's posted "Deadline for Dropping a Class with a Full Cancellation of Tuition." Completion of these credits means the student receives grades for them, even if the grades are not passing. Repeated courses count the same as do first-time courses for the purposes of calculation completion rate.

All courses, including incomplete credits, repeated credits and remedial credits are evaluated for completion rate. Incomplete courses will have a grade (I, X or Z) at that time, but for financial aid purposes, they are considered incomplete until the student receives a final grade.

Consequences of failure to meet this requirement: Students who fail to complete 67 percent of their cumulative assessed credits will be placed on warning for one semester. Failure to restore a 67 percent cumulative completion rate by the end of the next enrolled semester will result in aid denial until the cumulative completion rate is brought to 67 percent. Semesters of non-attendance are not counted in this calculation. However, courses dropped after the end of the regular drop and add period are counted as courses the student has failed to complete.

Qualitative standard: Students must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA as an undergraduate student and a 3.00 cumulative GPA as a graduate student.

GPA is calculated at the end of the semester as of the date grades are due. All graded credits, including repeated and remedial credits, are counted for GPA purposes. If a student has incomplete coursework at the time that grades are due to be reported, those courses are not counted as part of the GPA calculation, as an incomplete grade (I, Z, or X) does not count for the GPA.

Students who have an incomplete grade should contact the OSFA after the final grade has posted to request another review. If the change of grade changes the cumulative GPA, the student will have their SAP status updated, which may result in a warning or denial status for the current semester.

Courses which were graded at the end of the semester, but which are changed later by the instructor due to an appeal or an error may change the GPA. This change is taken into account at the time it is reported and will affect the next monitoring report. A student may contact the OSFA at any time if such a change brings them into good standing so their SAP status may be reset.

Audit courses receive no credit and do not influence grade point average. They are not counted in credits attempted credits and are not eligible for financial aid.

Consequences of failure to meet this requirement: Students with a cumulative GPA below the standard will be placed on warning. If the cumulative GPA is still below the standard at the end of the next semester of enrollment, the student is denied financial aid until they regain the required cumulative GPA.

Maximum time frame standard: The number of attempted credits in which a student is expected to finish a program cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program. Total credit hour limits apply whether or not the student has actually received financial aid for the entire time at CMU.

Transfer credits from previous schools count toward credit hour limits. Undergraduate students cannot receive financial aid after attempting 186 credit hours. The 186-credit-hour limit for completion of a baccalaureate degree is intended to be long enough to allow for changes in a major, loss of credit due to transfer, withdrawn coursework, minors, double majors, etc.; therefore, no extensions of the maximum time frame will be granted for the above-mentioned reasons.

Repeated, remedial and incomplete credits count as assessed credits. Even though a repeated course will count only once toward the student's academic requirements and the student's GPA, each repeat is assessed separately and counts separately for aid purposes.

Students in graduate programs may not receive financial aid if they have exceeded the published time limits as outlined in the CMU Graduate Bulletin for master's, doctoral or professional programs.

Students who reach their time limit without completing their degree will be denied further federal and most state and institutional financial aid as a student at that level. As students near their credit limits, they will be placed in a warning status. For example, if as an undergraduate you reach 150 attempted credits, you will be placed in a warning status. Once you reach the 186-attempted-credit limit, you will be denied further aid until the degree is conferred. You then would regain eligibility for a second undergraduate or a graduate degree.

If you are attempting a master's degree and reach the eligibility limit, you would be denied further aid until the master's degree is conferred, at which time you would regain eligibility for a second master's, doctoral or professional degree.

Graduate students working on a second baccalaureate degree or post-baccalaureate students working on teacher certification:

Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree or post-baccalaureate students working on teacher certification are limited to 93 credit hours of work between the receipt of the first degree and the completion of the second. Students may not receive financial aid beyond six semesters (or the part-time equivalent of six semesters) of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program or teacher certification program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress review at the end of each semester (fall, spring, and summer):

Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured at the end of each semester to determine a student's financial aid eligibility for the following semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning:

Financial aid warning means you have one payment period to meet SAP requirements and does not require action (such as an appeal) by the student. A student will be removed from SAP financial aid warning after successfully completing the quantitative and qualitative standards listed above.

If an undergraduate student fails to achieve a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA, 3.0 for graduate students and complete a minimum of 67 percent of enrolled courses, the student will be placed on Warning.

If a student is placed on Financial Aid Warning, financial aid is available during that period. At the end of the Warning period, an undergraduate student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 and must also complete a minimum of 67 percent of all attempted credits. Graduate students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and must also complete a minimum of 67 percent of all attempted credits.

Failure to Meet SAP Warning Requirements/SAP Suspension:

Students who do not meet the SAP standards at the end of the Financial Aid Warning period will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will be ineligible for Federal Student Aid.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility:

A student can regain eligibility by doing these three things and notifying the OSFA when they have been accomplished:

  1. Complete a semester without the benefit of financial aid; and
  2. Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates (3.0 for graduates); and
  3. Complete 67 percent of attempted credits

Students who do not meet the above metrics are ineligible for federal aid. A written notification will be sent to all students who fail to comply with the terms of their warning.

Students denied financial aid generally may continue attending Central Michigan University using private aid sources such as alternative student loans, or by funding their education themselves. Please note that some alternative loans are NOT available to students while on Financial Aid Suspension.

Appeal process for all students:

Students who have faced extraordinary circumstances may appeal a financial aid suspension, but students are cautioned that appeals are not routinely approved. Examples of appealable mitigating circumstances are: death or serious illness of an immediate family member, serious illness of the student or other major family catastrophe.

All appeals must:

  • Be submitted using the CMU Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form available on the CMU OSFA website.
  • Include the required documentation.
  • Be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid no later than the following dates:
    • Receiving aid in Fall 2022, appeal by October 1, 2022.
    • Receiving aid in Spring 2023, appeal by February 1, 2023.
    • Receiving aid in Summer 2023, appeal due by June 1, 2023.

In most cases, a decision will be made within 15 business days of receiving an appeal letter and the appropriate documentation. Students are notified of appeal decisions in writing or through their CMU e-mail account.

If an appeal for a student on Financial Aid Suspension status is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester and may continue to receive federal student aid for one semester. If at the conclusion of the Financial Aid Probation semester, Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are not met, as outlined below or according to the student's academic plan, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and become ineligible for Federal Student Aid.

Undergraduate Students:

  • You must earn a minimum 2.00-semester CMU grade point average during the semester that you are on financial aid probation.
  • You must complete at least 67 percent of the coursework attempted during the semester that you are on financial aid probation.

Graduate and Certificate Students:

  • You must earn a 3.00-semester CMU grade average during the semester that you are on financial aid probation.
  • You must complete at least 67 percent of the coursework attempted during the semester that you are on financial aid probation.

Students should be prepared to seek other funding options if the appeal is not approved. Students may regain federal aid eligibility by completing the requirements list under Regaining Financial Aid eligibility.

Appeals must be submitted by the due dates listed on the appeal form. Late appeals will not be processed.
If for any reason the OSFA fails to provide an intended notification, this does not relieve the student from the obligation of continuing to maintain satisfactory academic progress or from any other requirements of the financial aid program.

Summer Semester Processing of Satisfactory Progress:

If students are currently on financial aid warning, probation or denial and they request summer aid, their file is on HOLD until spring grades are posted and OSFA can confirm if the student has met the requirements to be cleared. If the student has not met the requirements they will go on denial (or remain on denial if already there), and not be eligible for summer federal aid.

Due to the timing of the final grade posting for spring semester, students currently on warning, probation or denial will not have their summer aid processed and paid out in time for the FIRST summer disbursement.

Please note: students who successfully complete Summer I term while on denial are NOT eligible for federal aid for Summer II term — they are on denial for the entire Summer semester.