Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility
Beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Aid will now be calculated differently than was previously done. These changes will be benefical to students by allowing further flexibility in withdrawing from or repeating courses.The new policy states that the student must earn 75% of ALLcredits attempted in order to retain federal financial aid for the following year. Repeated courses count as attempted, but not as new credits earned (same as the previous policy). This policy now becomes CUMULATIVEover the student's entire college career. Progress will be reviewed after the end of the Spring semester, but will take into account all of your previous academic history. This policy is in effect for FEDERAL AID ONLY. The PHEAA state grant policy remains the same, which is 24 credits earned per academic year as a full-time student.
A student has attempted 30 credits but only earned 24 credits, therefore the student has earned 80% (24 credits ÷ 30 credits).
A printer friendly version of the Satisfactory Academic Progress(SAP) is available through Financial Aid Forms.
In order to receive federal and state student financial aid, a student must pass a prescribed number of NEW CREDITS each academic year. For federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), this policy includes all degree-seeking students, regardless of receipt of federal aid. Federal student aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Stafford Loan, and Federal PLUS Loan. For state aid, this policy includes only those students who have been awarded a PA State Grant.
A NEW CREDIT is defined as a credit for which the student has not previously passed with a grade of A, B, C, D, or pass.
|Student’s Enrollment Status
(number of credits per semester
a student is registered for at
the end of the drop/add period)
|Number of NEW credits
that must be earned
per SEMESTER to maintain
financial aid eligibility
|Number of NEW credits that
must be earned per
ACADEMIC YEAR to maintain
financial aid eligibility
|Undergraduate Full Time
(12 or more)
|Undergraduate 3/4 Time (9-11)||9||18|
|Undergraduate Half Time (6-8)||6||12|
|Undergraduate Less than Half Time (3-5)||3||6|
|Graduate Full Time (9 or more)||9||18|
|Graduate Half Time (6-8)||6||12|
|Graduate Less than Half Time (3-5)||3||6|
The Above Chart Refers To Credits During Fall/Spring Semesters Only
PLEASE NOTE: Credits taken during the summer session prior to the fall semester do NOT count in the credit requirements in the above chart. We only review students who receive federal or state financial aid during the summer sessions, so they will have a greater credit requirement. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information.
Failure to pass the prescribed number of NEW CREDITS during an academic year will result in the student losing his/her eligibility for financial aid. Neither courses in which students withdraw ('W' grade) nor receive an incomplete ('I' grade) will count as earned credits toward the required number of new credits. Those students enrolled in developmental courses should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine how these courses are counted for the purpose of academic progress. Summer session courses taken prior to the academic year in review do NOT count toward the required number of new credits.
Students who are ineligible to receive aid due to academic progress will be notified by mail at the conclusion of the spring semester, after grades have been posted. Students will have the opportunity to appeal the decision based on extraordinary circumstances or he/she may make up the credits without financial aid during the summer sessions. If a student does not have an appeal approved or make up the credits over the summer, the fall term would be used as a make-up term – the student would not qualify for aid during that term. When the review is completed at the end of the spring term, only those terms in which the student was eligible for aid will be reviewed.
Please note: All students are reviewed for Federal SAP, regardless of receipt of federal aid. For the PA State Grant, only students who received the PA State Grant will be reviewed for the terms in which the PA State Grant was received.Download a Federal Appeal Form from our Financial Aid Forms. This form applies only to Federal Aid and does NOT include the PA State Grant. All students who receive the email indicating that s/he did not pass enough new credits will receive information about the Federal Appeal Form. The deadline for returning the Federal Appeal Form is generally in mid-June – please see the email for the exact date. Appeal forms that are received late will not be reviewed until mid-September, meaning that there will be no financial aid awarded for the fall term.
For students who plan to take summer courses to make up the credits, there is no need to complete the Federal Appeal Form.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, Joe Student took 15 credits each term, as a full-time student. His requirement at the end of the year is to earn 24 new credits (see the chart above). He only earned 21 new credits during the fall and spring. He receives the letter after the spring term indicating that he is not eligible for financial aid because he did not pass the required number of new credits. In order to be sure he knows how many credits he needs, he contacts the Office of Financial Aid and we verify that he needs 3 new credits to have his financial aid reinstated. (24 new credits required minus 21 new credits earned = 3 new credits which need to be earned to have financial aid reinstated).
Here are a few scenarios of what could happen:
- He appeals and his appeal is approved – his aid is reinstated for the fall 2010 term. At the end of the spring 2011 term, he will again be reviewed for fall 2010 and spring 2011.
- He does not appeal, but takes 3 summer credits at Millersville University. He passes those 3 credits, so his aid is automatically reinstated, once we see his grade posted for the summer 2010 term. At the end of the spring 2011 term, he will again be reviewed for fall 2010 and spring 2011.
- He does not appeal, but takes 3 summer credits at another university or community college. He makes sure the credits will transfer to Millersville University by completing the “Authorization for Transfer of Credit Form” available from the Registrar’s Office. He passes those 3 credits, has his transcript from the other school sent to Millersville University and then contacts the Office of Financial Aid once he sees the grades posted to his Millersville University account (on MAX). His aid is reinstated for the fall 2010 term. At the end of the spring 2011 term, he will again be reviewed for fall 2010 and spring 2011.
- He does not appeal and does not take any summer courses (or takes the summer course, but does not pass it). He takes 12 new credits at Millersville University during the fall term (paying for them on his own or using an Alternative Loan that does not require SAP to pay for them). After the fall grades are posted (usually one week after finals are completed), the Office of Financial Aid reviews his credits earned and sees that he earned at least the 3 credits he was required to earn. His aid is reinstated for the spring 2011 semester. (Please note that his spring bill due date will have passed, so it is possible he will need to work with the Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office about his spring bill and may be charged a late fee for not paying the bill on-time). At the end of the spring 2011 term, he will be reviewed for the spring 2011 semester only (since he was not eligible for financial aid during the fall 2010 term and used it to make up the credits he needed).
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. 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.
- 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.
- If the student takes a course (or courses) over the summer at Millersville University, we are usually able to assist the student with his/her fall bill, either by having the aid reinstated and processed before the bills 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 unable 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 Bursar’s Office drops student’s schedules for non-payment. It is the recommendation of the Office of Financial Aid that a student takes summer courses during Summer 1 or 2.
If the student takes a course (or courses) at another institution (college, university, community college, etc.), the student should first complete the Authorization for Transfer of Credits from the Registrar’s Office to be sure the credits will transfer. We recommend the student take the course as early in the summer as possible because it takes time for the grades to be posted at Millersville University.
In general, it takes about one week for grades to post at the other institution, then they must send an official transcript to Millersville University (be sure you have requested the transcript be sent from the other school), which then must be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office at Millersville University and then posted on your Millersville University account (through MAX). 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.
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 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. Please note: the student will still not receive any aid until the required number of new credits has 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 general, it takes about one week for grades to post at the other institution, then they must send an official transcript to Millersville University (be sure you have requested the transcript be sent from the other school), which then must be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office at Millersville University and then posted on your Millersville University account (through MAX). 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.
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.
PA State Grant — There is a maximum of 8* award payments for full-time undergraduate students.
*Equivalent maximum payments and semesters have been established for students who are less than full time.
Federal Regulations state that a student must complete his/her undergraduate program in 150% of the time of the scheduled length of the program. The standard length for students pursuing an undergraduate Bachelor's degree at Millersville University is the equivalent of 120 credits. (For students working towards an Associate's degree - the standard length is the equivalent of 60 credits).
Regardless of receipt of any federal financial aid during the undergraduate Bachelor's degree program, a student may only receive federal financial aid [including Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART), Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Teacher Education Assitance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Stafford Loan, and Federal PLUS Loan] up to 180 credits attempted (90 credits attempted for Associate's degree candidates).
Please be aware that your financial aid may be adjusted if you have attempted more than 168 credits (78 credits for Associate's degree candidates).
Courses in which students withdraw or receive an incomplete will count toward the number of attempted credits. The Office of Financial Aid will notify students when this credit limit is reached.
Transfer Students - All transfer credits accepted by Millersville will count toward the 180-credit limit.