Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
All students must be making satisfactory academic progress at Mercyhurst University to establish and retain eligibility for student financial aid. Mercyhurst monitors satisfactory academic progress after the spring semester to provide students with early notification of their academic progress status for financial aid eligibility. The student’s entire graduate academic history will be considered when determining the academic progress status, including accepted transfer credits from another university.
The financial aid SAP standards can be different from the academic standards defined in the Office of Academic Affairs. It is important for students to understand there are two different policies and how they differ.
The following standards explain the components of the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
Quantitative Measure (Completion Pace)
The quantitative measurement for students enrolled in credit hour programs compares the credits attempted to credits passed. Students must successfully complete 75% of cumulative credits attempted to be considered making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
To calculate credits completed, all courses taken by the student at the graduate level will be counted, including credits that transferred into Mercyhurst, along with all remedial courses. Completion rates will be rounded to the nearest whole number.
Qualitative Measure (GPA)
The qualitative measurement for students enrolled in credit hour programs requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be earned by the end of the academic year (degrees) or by the end of the payment period (certificates).
Students who wish to view or obtain a copy of their SFS records can complete the Request for Access to Student Records available from the SFS Office. Per U.S. Department of Education regulations, financial aid records are retained for three years after the award year for which aid was awarded. After the record retention period has expired, these records will no longer be available.
Graduate students enrolled in a degree program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater by the end of the spring semester each academic year. Graduate students enrolled in a certificateprogram must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater by the end of each payment period (semester/trimester).
Maximum Time Frame for Completion
The maximum time frame a student can attend and continue aid eligibility cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the student’s academic program measured in cumulative attempted credits. For example, the published length of a graduate program is 30 credit hours. Therefore, a student has a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours to complete the program.
When the student’s enrollment exceeds the 150 percent point, the student is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. All credits the student attempts, including credits transferred into Mercyhurst University, count toward the 150 percent requirement.
Effect of Withdrawals, Incomplete Courses, and Repeated Courses
If a student withdraws from a course or courses (W grade) after the first week of classes during a given semester, the credits are included in the count of courses attempted. An incomplete course (I) counts as credits attempted but is not included in the GPA and credits completed until the incomplete grade changes to a passing or failing grade. A repeated course (R) is only counted towardprogression if it replaces a previous course for which the student received no credit.