Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy?

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of "satisfactory academic progress" (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans and Federal Work-Study.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards apply to all students seeking federal Title IV financial aid, regardless of whether a student has received Title IV financial aid in the past. 


On this page: (click to jump to section)

What is the process for determining (SAP)?

How is SAP measured?

How can special grades and repeating courses affect my SAP?

Can my parents call to discuss my SAP?

How can I regain eligibility for federal aid?

Can I appeal losing my federal aid?

I am taking summer classes, will that help my eligibility?

I am taking courses at another institution in the summer, will that help my eligibility?

I plan to make up my Academic Progress in the fall. What do I need to do to regain eligibility for spring?

I was academically dismissed and now plan to return. Am Ieligible for federal aid?

PHEAA State Grant SAP Policy

What is the process for determining SAP?

Each student will be measured for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) annually in May after spring grade processing. This evaluation will determine if the student has made sufficient progress in thier program and whether or not they are eligible for future Federal Title IV funding.

Students who have not met the minimum SAP requirements will be notified that they are not eligible for financial aid via email to their official MU email address. A message will also show on the students MAX account in their myVILLE portal. 

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How is SAP measured?

Satisfactory Academic Progress has 3 separate measures that must be met:

    • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): (Qualitative Measure) Refers to the overall GPA, which includes dividing the number of quality points earned in all courses attempted by the total degree-credit hours in all attempted courses
    • Completion Rate/Pace: (Quantitative Measure) Completion Rate/Pace is calculated by dividing cumulative hours the student successfully completed by cumulative hours the student has attempted. This calculation includes all attempted credits, both at MU and those accepted in transfer; courses for which a student receives academic credit, withdraws, receives incomplete or repeat grades and/or fails are counted in the calculation of the completion rate/pace.
    • Maximum TimeframeStudents must complete their program of study within 150% of the published program length.

Students must meet all three requirements to be considered making Academic Progress. See the specific requirements for your program/degree level below:

Undergraduate - Bachelor's Degree:

    1. GPA Requirement:
      • Undergraduate Students must achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA after two academic years (or 4 semesters) of attendance at Millersville.
    2. Completion rate requirement: 
      • Undergraduate students must successfully complete 67% of the total cumulative attempted credits.
        • For example:
          • Student A has attempted 30 credits and only earned 21 of the credits he attempted. To calculate the percentage:  21 divided by 30 = 70%. Therefore, student A would be meeting this measure.  
          • Student B has attempted 30 credits and earned 18 of them.  18 divided by 30 = 60% so Student B would not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    3. Maximum Timeframe:
      • Undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree may receive aid for up to 180 cumulative credits attempted (includes both MU credits attempted and those accepted in transfer).

Undergraduate - Associate's Degree:

    1. GPA Requirement:
      • Undergraduate Students must achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA after two academic years (or 4 semesters) of attendance at Millersville.
    2. Completion rate requirement: 
      • Undergraduate students must successfully complete 67% of the total cumulative attempted credits.
        • For example:
          • Student A has attempted 30 credits and only earned 21 of the credits he attempted. To calculate the percentage:  21 divided by 30 = 70%. Therefore, student A would be meeting this measure.  
          • Student B has attempted 30 credits and earned 18 of them.  18 divided by 30 = 60% so Student B would not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    3. Maximum Timeframe:
      • Undergraduate students pursuing an Associate's degree may receive aid for up to 90 cumulative credits attempted (includes both MU credits attempted and those accepted in transfer).

Graduate - Masters/Doctoral/Certification Degree:

    1. GPA Requirement:
      • Graduate Students must achieve at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Millersville.
    2. Completion rate requirement: 
      • Graduate students must successfully complete 67% of the total cumulative attempted credits.
        • For example:
          • Student A has attempted 30 credits and only earned 21 of the credits he attempted. To calculate the percentage:  21 divided by 30 = 70%. Therefore, student A would be meeting this measure.  
          • Student B has attempted 30 credits and earned 18 of them.  18 divided by 30 = 60% so Student B would not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    3. Maximum Timeframe:
      • Graduate students may receive aid for all credits attempted up to 150% of the specified number of credits required by their specific degree program.

NOTE: Any student who changes majors is responsible for completing the degree requirements within the timeframe specified above. 

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How can special grades and repeating courses affect my SAP?

Special Grades and their Use in Satisfactory Academic Progress Determination:

    • I – Incomplete – Student will receive no credit for an “I” grade although the “I” is counted as attempted credit(s). If, however, the incomplete grade is resolved and a passing grade is received, the credits will be counted.
    • W – Withdrawal – No credit received; however counted as attempted credit.
    • AU – Audit – No credits received; not counted as attempted credit.
    • P – Pass – Student receives credit(s) but GPA is not affected.
    • Z – No grade given – No credits received; however counted as attempted credit. 

Repeat of Courses:

The last grade earned is always used in calculating the GPA. If the student failed the course the first time but passes it the second time, the appropriate number of credits will be received after the second attempt. If, however, the student passed the course the first time, repeats it in an attempt to improve the GPA but receives a failing grade, the appropriate number of credits will be deducted from the cumulative credits earned total. Maximum hours earned for any course cannot exceed the number of credits listed for that course in the catalog.

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Can my parents call to discuss my SAP?

We cannot give this information to anyone but the student, so please do not have your parents or anyone else call on your behalf – it must be given to the student only because it is so closely related to grades, which are protected under FERPA.

You can view more information about FERPA from the U.S. Department of Education. Please note, the Authorization to Release Information Form completed for the Office of Financial Aid, does not authorize us to release this information to a parent or any other individual.

We recommend that a student contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the number of credits s/he is short for receiving aid. Sometimes this calculation can be very difficult, so instead of trying to determine the number of credits needed on your own, you should verify it with the Office of Financial Aid by speaking to one of the counselors. 

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How can I regain eligibility for Title IV aid?

If a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards, but meets the standards later at some point, the student can once again be eligible to receive federal Title IV. In such cases, financial aid eligibility will begin with the academic semester after which the student re-establishes progress. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the MU Office of Financial Aid after completing coursework that allows the student to regain eligibility for financial aid.

If a student is taking coursework at another institution to regain SAP eligibility, students should be aware that:

    1. An Authorization to Transfer Credits Form must be completed (go to the Registrar’s webpage, select Student Forms Center, and select Transfer of Credit) prior to taking any courses elsewhere if the credits are to be transferred back to MU.
    2. Only “credits” transfer back to Millersville University, actual “grades” do not. If the student's deficiency is in GPA, taking courses at another institution will not resolve that deficiency. The Registrar’s Office must accept the transfer credits in order for those credits to be counted towards satisfactory academic progress.
    3. We recommend that the course(s) be taken as early as possible in the summer to allow time for the grade(s) to be transferred, reviewed, and updated at MU.  Be sure to request an official transcript to be sent to the MU Registrar from the other school.
    4. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid once grades have been transferred from another institution.  We cannot review financial aid eligibility until the credits appear on your transcript at Millersville.

GPA CALCULATOR/ ESTIMATOR:

For assistance calculating your GPA, please visit The Office of Academic Advisement's website: http://www.millersville.edu/advisement/gpa-calc.phpPlease note that this calculation is, while accurate, only a estimation and should not be used to determine graduating GPA. Consult your DARS or the Registrar's Office for futher details ***

Can I appeal losing my federal aid?

A student whose financial aid eligibility has been suspended may “appeal” that status if they have experienced extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to meet the academic progress standards. In general, extenuating circumstances can include, but are not limited to, illness, injury, death of relative or friend, difficulties with accommodations for students with disabilities, and adversity due to unforeseen events.

Students interested in appealing the suspension of financial aid eligibility can access the Academic Progress Appeal Form online.  The completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid. The student must also address in the appeal why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP in the next evaluation. The student will be notified via email of the Committee’s decision.

 NOTE: If a student appeals and the appeal is approved, his/her aid is not reinstated until the fall semester, meaning that if the student is taking courses over the summer, s/he will be required to pay for those him/herself or by using an Alternative Loan that does not require SAP.

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I am taking summer classes, will that help my eligibility?

If the student takes a course (or courses) over the summer at Millersville University and it is determined they are now making SAP, we are usually able to assist the student with his/her fall bill, either by having the aid reinstated and processed before the fall bill are ready or before they are due, as long as the student has take the course(s) in Summer 1 or 2.

    • Generally, if the student takes a course during the Summer 3 session, we are NOT able to help the student with his/her fall bill because the grades are not posted for that summer session until after the due date and after the date where the Office of Student Accounts drops student’s schedules for non-payment. It is strongly recommended that a student takes summer courses during Summer 1 or 2 if trying to regain federal aid eligibility.

We recommend that a student contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the number of credits s/he is short for receiving aid. Sometimes this calculation can be very difficult, so instead of trying to determine the number of credits needed on your own, you should verify it with the Office of Financial Aid by speaking to one of the counselors.

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I am taking courses at another institution in the summer, will that help my eligibility?

If the student plans to take courses at another school during the summer, those credits will have to be transferred to Millersville University and posted to his/her account before financial aid can be processed.  In total, we usually say it takes about 3-4 weeks from the end date of your course before the grade is posted on a student’s Millersville University account. Therefore it is strongly recomended that the student take courses as early as possibly for the summer so that their Academic Progress can be reviewed prior to the fall bill due date. 

    • In general, it takes about one week for grades to post at the other institution,
    • The other institution must send an official transcript to Millersville University (be sure you have requested the transcript be sent from the other school),
    • Once recieved thee transcript(s) must be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office at Millersville University and then posted on your Millersville University account.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Office of Financial Aid once the grade has posted on his/her Millersville University account. Transfer credits are not automatically reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid.

If the student takes no credits during the fall term, s/he will still not receive aid for the spring term because s/he did not pass the required number of new credits.

We recommend that a student contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the number of credits s/he is short for receiving aid. Sometimes this calculation can be very difficult, so instead of trying to determine the number of credits needed on your own, you should verify it with the Office of Financial Aid by speaking to one of the counselors.

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I plan to make up my Academic Progress in the fall. What do I need to do to regain eligibility for spring?

If the student uses the fall term at Millersville University as a make-up, we will automatically review grades once they are posted on the student’s account. It is still a good idea for the student to contact the Office of Financial Aid once they see grades posted to be sure the aid was reinstated and the amounts of the aid that can be credited towards his/her spring bill (if it has not already been paid).

If the student does not plan return to Millersville University for the fall term, s/he needs to contact the Registrar’s Office about taking a Leave of Absence, so s/he can return for the spring semester.

NOTE: Please note: the student will still not receive any aid until the required number of new credits have been passed.

If the student plans to take courses at another school during the fall term, those credits will have to be transferred to Millersville University and posted to his/her account before financial aid can be processed.  In total, we usually say it takes about 3-4 weeks from the end date of your course before the grade is posted on a student’s Millersville University account.

    • In general, it takes about one week for grades to post at the other institution,
    • The other institution must send an official transcript to Millersville University (be sure you have requested the transcript be sent from the other school),
    • Once recieved thee transcript(s) must be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office at Millersville University and then posted on your Millersville University account.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Office of Financial Aid once the grade has posted on his/her Millersville University account. Transfer credits are not automatically reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid.

If the student takes no credits during the fall term, s/he will still not receive aid for the spring term because s/he did not pass the required number of new credits.

We recommend that a student contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the number of credits s/he is short for receiving aid. Sometimes this calculation can be very difficult, so instead of trying to determine the number of credits needed on your own, you should verify it with the Office of Financial Aid by speaking to one of the counselors.

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I was academically dismissed and now plan to return. Am I eligible for federal aid?

A student who is dismissed from Millersville University for academic reasons will be eligible for financial aid only if they have met the prescribed number of credits for academic progress at the time of the student’s initial semester of re-entry to Millersville University.

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PHEAA State Grant Policy

State Grant Academic Progress: 

Academic progress requirements for state grant programs differ from the federal academic progress policy.  Generally, a full-time student must earn 24 new credits per academic year.  A student may receive the equivalent of 8 full-time PA State Grant payments. 

Academic progress requirements for the Pennsylvania State Grant are communicated directly to recipients with their state grant notification by PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency); questions about appeals for Pennsylvania State Grant eligibility must be directed to PHEAA at 1-800-692-7392 or www.pheaa.org

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