Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal and State regulations set minimum standards that each student must meet in order to receive financial aid.  Satisfactory academic progress measures a student’s progress toward the completion of a degree by both qualitative and quantitative measures. Federal regulations specify that the institution must measure progress toward the completion of a student’s academic program regardless of whether the student received financial aid for the terms and credits measured. In addition to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for financial aid, all students must comply with the academic standards of the University as published by the Office of Academic Affairs in order to remain enrolled at Truman.

There are separate guidelines for renewal of Truman academic scholarships. Please refer to the scholarship renewal information page.

Aid Programs Covered

The aid programs covered by Truman’s general satisfactory academic progress policy are:

Federal Programs: Pell Grant, College Work-Study, Nursing Loan, Perkins Loan, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans

Missouri State Programs: Bright Flight Scholarship and Access Missouri Grant. The Missouri state statute requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for renewal of these two programs.  They may be renewed annually for up to 10 semesters or until you have completed a bachelor’s degree, whichever occurs first  (Access Missouri renewal eligibility is also dependent on FAFSA results).  Students must be enrolled full-time to receive the funds but will be evaluated using the same quantitative measure as the federal guidelines dictate.  Denial due to the review of academic year grades supersedes notification of aid awards for a subsequent term and/or a letter from the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) regarding renewal of state funds. The 2.5 cumulative GPA cannot be appealed. However, it is permissible to appeal the  pace of progression requirement.

Students may regain eligibility for state funds if a 2.5 cumulative GPA is attained after any subsequent term – summer and/or fall. Students must notify the Financial Aid Office to have the funds reinstated because progress is not automatically monitored after the denial of funds. PLEASE NOTE: If a student does not receive Bright Flight funds for an entire academic year (consecutive fall and spring semesters) then the student will never be able to regain eligibility for the funds.  If you are unable to attend school for an entire academic year you may qualify for a deferment of your scholarship eligibility.  Acceptable reasons for deferment may include:  participation in a high school student exchange program; service in a nonprofit organization or a state or federal government agency; service on active duty in the armed forces of the United States; documented medical reasons.  Please contact the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) immediately if you are anticipating being in any of these categories.

Truman programs: Truman Access Grant, Truman Housing Grant, Non-Resident Tuition Grant, Military Tuition Waiver, Midwest Student Exchange Program, Representative Jim Sears Scholarship, Bulldog Legacy Scholarship (see note below), and Transfer Bulldog Legacy Scholarship (see note below).

Note:  Bulldog Legacy and Transfer Bulldog Legacy Scholarships awarded starting in Fall 2016 and beyond renew with this policy.  Bulldog Legacy and Transfer Bulldog Legacy Scholarships awarded prior to Fall 2016 renew with the Academic Scholarship Renewal Requirements.

Private programs: alternative loan programs unless stated otherwise

General Policy

All students applying for Federal Financial Aid must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive funding.  Students who are not making academic progress when they initially apply for Federal Aid will not be eligible to receive Title IV funds at Truman State University until academic progress is met or an appeal for financial aid probation is approved.  Academic progress will be checked annually after spring grades are posted.  Students are not automatically eligible for further aid until the pace of progression and the cumulative GPA are within the policy guidelines. Students should self-evaluate and monitor their status during and after each term to allow for any adjustments that can be made to remain in good standing.

I. Grade Point Average Requirement (Qualitative Measure)

A.  An undergraduate student must have the following minimum cumulative GPA.

<4 Terms Attempted = Minimum 1.70 GPA

4 or More Terms Attempted = Minimum 2.0 GPA

B.  A graduate student must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA .

Cumulative GPA: Truman requires a 2.0 cumulative grade point average for all federal programs after four semesters.  The Federal TEACH Grant, for some individual students, may require a 3.25 cumulative gpa. The statutes of the State of Missouri require a 2.5 cumulative grade point average to renew the Bright Flight scholarship and the Access Missouri grant.

II.  Percentage Completion and Maximum Time Frame Requirement (Quantitative Measure/Pace)

A.     Minimum Completion of 66.67%:  To remain eligible for financial aid, a student is required to progress toward the completion of an academic program by successfully completing at least 66.67% of all credits attempted.  A student’s completion percentage is measured by cumulative credits successfully completed divided by cumulative credits attempted.

The following chart lists how credits are treated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy.  (Please keep in mind that the way courses are considered for financial aid purposes may be different from how they are treated in other areas such as those found on TruView in the Student Data, Courses & Grades section.):

Course Type/GradeCount In Successfully CompletedCount In Attempted
Incompletes (IC Grade)NoYes
Dropped Course  – Before W DateNoNo
Dropped Course –After W Date (W Grade)NoYes
Repeated CourseworkNoYes
Accepted Transfer Credits (A,B,C,D Grade)YesYes
Passed Course (A, B, C, D ,P or Y Grade)YesYes
Failed Course (F or Z Grade)NoYes
Audited CoursesNoNo
Test Credits (ex: CLEP, AP) (T Grade)YesYes
Non-Transferable CourseNoNo
NS Grades*NoYes

* NS is the code used to distinguish classes for which an instructor has not submitted a grade.  Financial Aid will be given a list of all students receiving a NS grade for manual review once the grade is posted.

Note:  For more information about these course types, please refer to the University catalog at http://www.truman.edu/registrar/catalog-and-degree-information/.   Also, refer to the catalog or Consumer Information Disclosures for information regarding the treatment of full withdrawals and repayment of aid.

If individual courses dropped before the W date cause a change in aid eligibility you will be contacted and aid may need to be adjusted.  For example, if you receive a Federal Pell Grant based on full-time attendance (12 undergraduate hours) and drop a three-hour course during the first four weeks without replacing it with another, the Pell Grant will need to be adjusted to a ¾ -time award.  If the course is dropped after the free add/drop period, you will still be charged for it.  The aid adjustment will be made since the dropped course is not being counted in attempted hours under the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

B.    Maximum Timeframe: The Code of Federal Regulations defines the maximum timeframe for an undergraduate program measured in credit hours as a period that is no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the educational program.  A maximum of 180 cumulative hours is allowed to complete a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree needs to be attained in 54 hours or less.  A change of major will not extend the time frame for receiving student aid.  Extra terms were built into the maximum to allow for change of major, double majors, and five-year majors.  Cumulative credit hours that are accepted as transfer hours by the Registrar will be used to determine the remaining time frame for degree completion.  The maximum time frame can be appealed, on a case by case basis.

III.  Evaluation Period

Academic progress is evaluated annually after spring grades are posted.  All prior terms of attempted enrollment are considered when determining satisfactory academic progress regardless of whether aid was awarded for the term.

IV.  Notification

Students are notified in writing and via Truman e-mail of the cancellation/suspension of financial aid.

V.  Appeals and Probation

The Financial Aid Office will consider appeals that are not prohibited by Federal or State regulations.  The Appeals Petition is available in the Financial Aid Office.  An appeal can be submitted for failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress due to extenuating circumstances such as illness, hospitalization, injury, death or serious illness of immediate family member, accident, or other situations beyond the student’s control.

Documentation of the circumstance should be submitted with the Appeals Petition.  The request needs to clearly state why you failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress and what has changed so that you will be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress standards in future terms.  A petition for the reinstatement of financial aid will be reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid or a designee.  Results will be sent to your Truman e-mail account.  Additional information  may be requested but this will be determined after a full review of your financial aid history, academic record, and Appeals Petition documentation.  An individual academic plan will be required as part of the probation agreement if the student will be unable to achieve satisfactory progress within one semester.  Students on probation will have their academic progress evaluated after each payment period.

Examples of situations that may be appealed are:

  1. Failure to meet the required cumulative completion rate due to circumstances beyond your control.
  2. Surpassing the maximum time frame allowed to complete a program.
  3. Failure to meet the cumulative grade point average for programs covered by the general policy.

Examples of situations that cannot be appealed are:

  1. Failure to maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average for Bright Flight Scholarship and Access Missouri programs.
  2. Receiving more than 10 semesters of Missouri state aid.
  3. Failure to maintain the required progress for the Federal TEACH Grant (if ACT at or above the 75th percentile was not achieved then the cumulative gpa must be at or above 3.25 after each semester; must remain in a TEACH Grant eligible major).

Access the Federal Aid Petition.

VI.  Reinstatement of Financial Aid

The approval of a Petition for Reinstatement of Financial Aid places a student on probation for one semester with the Financial Aid Office. If a student will not be able to regain satisfactory academic progress in one semester, then an approved petition will also include an academic plan. The approved petition will state the terms of the petition and the specific conditions that apply. During the probation period, a student is eligible to receive financial aid. A student that has a petition approved with an academic plan is also eligible to receive financial aid. However, a student on an approved petition with an academic plan must meet the conditions of the approved petition/academic plan to be continued on financial aid for more than one semester.

Neither paying for their own classes nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to re-establish a student’s financial aid eligibility. Students may have their financial aid eligibility reinstated by again meeting the cumulative GPA and percent completion requirements. If a student who is not meeting satisfactory academic progress has a late grade recorded or receives a grade change at any time during the academic term, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office to check his/her financial aid eligibility.