Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

To maintain eligibility for all types of financial aid, satisfactory progress toward completion of a degree must be maintained on qualitative and pace standards while students attend College of Saint Mary. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review is completed annually at the end of spring term and/or at the end of summer term, if the student receives financial aid for summer enrollment. SAP requirements for financial aid recipients are defined below.

Qualitative Standards

At the end of each SAP review period:

  • Undergraduate degree or certificate-seeking students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0
  • Graduate degree-seeking students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Physician Assistant Studies Program students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5

Repeated coursework is allowed, according to the CSM Academic Catalog, for C, D, and F grades. The highest CSM grade earned will be used by the Registrar’s Office to calculate cumulative GPA.

Pace Standards

Degree or certificate-seeking students must successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted at the end of each SAP review period.

  • To earn hours at CSM, one must receive a grade of A, B, C, D, P, or SA. All other grades do not earn hours.
  • Classes from which a student withdraws after the drop/add period count as attempted but not earned hours. Withdrawing from classes after the drop/add period will negatively affect students’ ability to satisfy the hours earned standard.
  • Credits accepted for transfer to the student’s current program count as both attempted and earned hours.
  • For repeated coursework taken at CSM, both the repeated and the original attempt count as attempted credit hours, while only successfully completed courses will count as completed.
  • Classes with an “Incomplete” grade will count as attempted but not earned hours until the grade is confirmed and then will count as attempted and earned hours, if a passing grade is earned.

Students may not exceed 150% of the program requirements measured in credit hours attempted. For example:

  • Students working toward a Bachelor degree requiring 128 credit hours may not exceed 192 attempted credit hours.
  • Students working toward an Associate Degree requiring 64 credit hours may not exceed 96 attempted credit hours.
  • Students working toward a Certificate requiring 44 credit hours may not exceed 66 attempted credit hours.

Financial Aid Ineligibility

Students not maintaining satisfactory progress according to Qualitative and/or Pace Standards at the time of SAP review are no longer eligible to receive any federal, state, or institutional financial aid. While ineligible, a student will need to make other payment arrangements for any CSM credits.

Financial Aid Appeals & Financial Aid Probation

Students who are ineligible may appeal to request a Financial Aid Probation semester or term. Financial Aid Appeals include a written request detailing the extenuating circumstances which led to failure to meet SAP, documentation of these circumstances, a graduation plan, and an explanation of what has changed to allow the student to meet SAP in the future. The request for Financial Aid Probation will be reviewed and a written response will be provided to the student. Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, serious illness or injury, death in the immediate family, or other special circumstances beyond the student’s control. For students on Financial Aid Probation, SAP will be evaluated at the end of each semester or term according to the terms of their Financial Aid Probation. Failure to meet SAP requirements set forth by their Financial Aid Probation will result in financial aid ineligibility.

Financial Aid Reinstatement

Students who are ineligible or have been granted a Financial Aid Probation term may reestablish eligibility by taking CSM classes which bring the cumulative GPA back to 2.0 or above and successfully complete 67% of credit hours attempted. A student may request in writing that financial aid eligibility be reinstated. If financial aid ineligibility is due to reaching the maximum time frame of 150%, financial aid eligibility cannot be reinstated without an approved appeal. Reinstatement establishes eligibility for federal and state financial aid. Institutional aid will be reinstated at the minimum academic scholarship amount.

Mid-Year Grade Review

The Financial Aid Office reviews academic records at the end of each semester or term that a student receives financial aid. Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 and/or have not completed 67% of the cumulative credit hours attempted at CSM will be notified that they are in danger of becoming ineligible for financial aid at the subsequent SAP review. Academic records are not reviewed mid-year relating to the maximum time frame of 150% of the program requirements.

Students who have questions about the satisfactory academic progress policy for financial aid recipients or any of the procedures may contact Financial Aid at (402) 399-2362 or [email protected].