Keeping Your Financial Aid - Current Students

  Satisfactory Academic Progress

Calculation Information 

  • All students will be evaluated each term, regardless of whether they receive a financial aid award.
  • It is the student's responsibility to inform the Financial Aid Office of any grade changes, including a grade of incomplete, that could impact their SAP status.  The student's status will be re-evaluated once the Financial Aid Office is made aware of the change.
  • Transfer credits are included in the Pace calculation, but excluded in the GPA calculation.
  • Repeat courses are counted in both the Pace and GPA calculations.  Additional information on repeat courses.
  • A student's SAP status does not change when a student pursues a new major.
  • Students pursuing a second Bachelor's degree are evaluated based on the undergraduate SAP policy.
  • Upon completion of an undergraduate degree program and enrollment in a graduate degree program, students will begin a new SAP status of "pass", e.g. BS to MS program.
  • Courses dropped prior to census will not be included in the Pace calculation.
  • Courses dropped after census will be included in the Pace calculation, whether it be one course or a complete semester withdrawal.

Maximum Time Frame

  • Transfer credits are included in the maximum time frame calculation.
  • Undergraduates pursuing a double major are expected to graduate within the maximum time frame of 216 attempted credits.

Undergraduate Students:

A student must make satisfactory progress toward the completion of his/her course of study in order to maintain eligibility for financial assistance in future semesters. It is important to note that scholarships may have their own standards.  The satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standing is set at the end of each semester, including summer, once grades are finalized.   

An undergraduate student may be in good academic standing with the institution, as outlined in the CSM Bulletin, but be placed on financial aid warning or termination.  It is important for the student to understand both policies.

To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid a student must: 

  • maintain adequate pace toward graduation.  Students will be required to maintain a 75% credit hour completion rate at all times.  Pace is measured by dividing the overall credit hours earned by the overall credit hours attempted.  Transfer hours count toward attempted and completed credit hours. Example - A student who has attempted 100 credit hours and has completed 80 of those credit hours would be meeting this requirement.  This student's pace would be calculated at 80%.  He/she has completed 80% of credit hours attempted.  Likewise a student who has attempted 100 credits and has completed 50 due to withdrawing, failing or receiving incomplete grades in courses would not be meeting SAP due to a 50% pace rate toward graduation.
  • achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at all times.
  • complete all course work for graduation within 216 attempted credits (150% of the minimum graduation requirement of 144 credit hours); all transfer credits counted toward the completion of degree requirements will also be counted toward the maximum of 216 attempted credits.

Financial Aid Warning:  If a student does not meet the first two requirements, he or she will receive a warning notification via CSM e-mail and will have one additional semester of eligibility in which to return to satisfactory standing. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he/she will be terminated from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met.  See below for futher details.

Financial Aid Termination:  If a student does not meet the third requirement, or has not returned to satisfactory standing after his warning semester, or receives the grade of "F" or "INC" in all registered courses during a semester, he/she will be immediately terminated from financial aid eligibility.

To regain eligibility - Probation:   When mitigating circumstances occur, such as prolonged illness, a death in the immediate family, etc., the student may appeal in writing to the Office of Financial Aid. The Appeals Committee will act on the appeal in a timely manner, and if approved, financial assistance eligibility may be reinstated for one additional probation semester after which the student must have returned to satisfactory standing.  The student will be eligible to receive financial aid for the probationary semester.  

The Office of Financial Aid may also require an academic plan that must be followed if returning to good standing is not possible in one semester's time.  A student may appeal the termination of eligibility only twice during his or her career at CSM

If mitigating circumstances do not exist and the appeal is denied, the student may secure alternative funding until the satisfactory academic requirements (see above) have once again been met.  We recommend that students register in at least 6 credit hours at CSM per semester when selecting this option.  If you have received any student or parent PLUS loan funding in the past, the lenders require students to be in at least part-time attendance to keep the loans in deferment.

Graduate Students:

A student must make satisfactory progress toward the completion of his or her course of study in order to maintain eligibility for financial assistance in future semesters. 

A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress if he or she:

  • achieves and maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the end of each semester
  • maintain adequate pace toward graduation. Students will be required to maintain a 75% credit hours completion rate at all times.  Pace is measured by dividing the overall credit hours completed by the overall credit hours attempted.  Example - A student who has attempted 100 credit hours and has completed 80 of those credit hours would be meeting this requirement.  This student's pace would be calculated at 80%.  He/she has completed 80% of the hours he/she has attempted.  Likewise, a student who has attempted 100 credits and has completed 50 due to withdrawing, receiving F or PRU grades, or receiving incomplete grades in courses would not be meeting SAP due to a 50% pace rate toward graduation.

As stated in the CSM Graduate Bulletin, PRG and NC grades count toward successful completion of credits.

Upon completion of a graduate degree program and enrollment in another degree program, students will begin a new SAP status of "pass", e.g. MS to PhD program.

Financial Aid Warning:  If a student does not meet the two requirements, he or she will receive a warning notification e-mail, via CSM address, and will have one additional semester of eligibility in which to return to satisfactory standing. If the student has not returned to satisfactory standing after this additional semester, he or she will be terminated from further financial assistance until the satisfactory progress standards are met. See below for further details.

Financial Aid Termination:  If a student does not return to satisfactory standing after being on warning, or receive grades of all F or PRU, eligibility for further assistance will be immediately terminated.

To regain eligibility - Probation:  When mitigating circumstances occur, such as prolonged illness, a death in the immediate family, etc., the student may appeal in writing to the Office of Financial Aid. The Appeals Committee will act on the appeal in a timely manner, and if approved, financial assistance eligibility may be reinstated for one additional probation semester after which the student must have returned to satisfactory standing. The student will be eligible to receive financial aid for the probationary semester.

The Office of Financial Aid may also require an academic plan that must be followed if returning to good standing is not possible in one semester's time.  A student may appeal the termination of eligibility only twice during his or her career at CSM. 

If mitigating circumstances do not exist and the appeal is denied, the student may secure alternative funding until the satisfactory academic requirements (see above) have once again been met.  We recommend that students register in at least 4.5 credit hours (4 credit hours if reduced registration eligible) at CSM per semester when selecting this option. If you have received any student or parent PLUS loan funding in the past, the lenders require students to be in at least part-time attendance to keep the loans in deferment.

Scholarships

Academic Requirements

To maintain a CSM scholarship, most require passing a minimum of 24 credits each year with a minimum 2.50 cumulative gpa, but some, such as named (donated) scholarships, athletic and ROTC may have other requirements.

If a student fails to meet the academic progress requirements when reviewed at the end of the spring semester, scholarship eligibility will be canceled and may not be regained.  All students, no matter their start term, will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester. However, you may appeal this decision to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Approval will be based on the demonstration of unusual or mitigating circumstances, such as personal illness, serious family difficulties, etc. which affected your academic performance. Students are permitted only one (1) appeal during their time at CSM to regain a scholarship. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form can be found on the Financial Aid Forms page.