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Satisfactory Academic Progress and Appeal Policy

A ​student must meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive Title IV funds. The concept of Satisfactory Progress goes beyond good standing to mean evidence of positive movement toward the student's degree.

Alabama A&M University is required by code of federal regulation, CFR 668.16(e) to establish standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for students receiving assistance through the below named programs: 

  • Federal Direct Loan Program
  • Federal Carl D. Perkins Loan
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Stafford Loan Program
  • Federal Parent Loans to Assist Students
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Alabama Student Assistance Grant
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
  • National SMART Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)

Each of the following components must be met by the aid recipient:

  • Qualitative Component (the grade point average you must maintain
  • Quantitative Component (the number of hours you must successfully pass)
  • Time Frame Component (the length of time you will be eligible to receive aid).

To receive aid, students must successfully earn the required percentage of attempted hours, obtain the grade point average and not exceed the number of hours of eligibility. All students who desire to become or who are recipients of Title IV funds must meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements. Students who initially fail to meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress, must file a financial aid appeal.  This appeal can be submitted online via the financial aid website.  The appeals must include why he or she failed to make SAP and what circumstances have changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. If the appeal is approved, the student is placed on probation for one payment period.  Students who have not met the requirements after the probationary period are required to submit a new appeal along with an academic plan which will ensure that they are able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.  This timeframe must coincide with the maximum timeframe outlined in the University’s SAP policy.  (See Appeals Process)

Undergraduate Students

1.50 for students with 24-30 attempted hours; 1.75 for 31-63 attempted hours; 2.00 for greater than 63 attempted hours. The maximum allowable hours that an undergraduate student can attempt and remain eligible to receive Title IV funds are outlined below:

Maximum Credit Hours Description
192 The maximum allowable hours that an undergraduate student can attempt and remain eligible to receive federal Title IV funds
222 Maximum credit hours allowed for 2nd bachelor's degree (includes hours taken for a 1st bachelor's degree).

Graduate Students

Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00. The maximum allowable hours that a graduate student can attempt and remain eligible to receive Title IV funds are outlined below:

Maximum Credit Hours Description
70 ​Maximum allowed for a graduate degree.
80 Maximum credit hours allowed for those seeking a graduate business degree
​100 Maximum credit hours allowed for a specialist's degree or a second master's degree (Both include hours taken for a master's degree)
120 Maximum credit hours allowed for a doctoral degree program (includes master's degree hours)

Graduate students whose curriculum require more than 54 hours in order to receive their Master's degree will have an increase in the number of hours which must be completed within the allowed three years time frame.

  1. Grades of "I" received during the first two semesters, by graduate students enrolled in Thesis or Dissertation courses are exempt, from being included in the total hours attempted.
  2. Title IV funds will not be granted to graduate students who have attempted more than 120 credit hours.

The quantitative component for both undergraduates and graduates require that students must earn at least 67% of the hours which they attempt. All periods of a student enrollment count when calculating SAP, even periods in which the student did not receive FSA funds.

Withdrawals:  Students who withdraw from school and/or from classes will have withdrawals counted in determining their eligibility for aid. Withdrawals will affect the student's Cumulative Grade Point Average. Financial aid will not be awarded, if the Grade Point Average (GPA) falls below the required level. Hours enrolled but not completed, will affect the student's completion rate. If the student falls below the required number of hours which must be completed, he/she will be ineligible for further aid until the deficiency has been resolved.

In determining whether the student meets the qualitative and quantitative components, the following will not be considered as credits successfully completed:  Grades of “F”, “I” (Incomplete), “W” (Withdrawals), “WP” (Withdrawals while Passing); or “FA” (Failure to Appear).  These grades, however, are counted as hours attempted.

Transfer hours accepted toward completion of a student’s program must be counted as hours attempted and hours earned. Repeated courses will also be included in the total hours attempted and earned.

Appeals Process: Students losing aid may appeal to have their Title IV aid reinstated only under the following conditions: undue hardship as a result of extenuating circumstances such as; student’s illness, or the illness or death of a parent or spouse. (Current documentation required). Appeals must be submitted within two weeks of the date the student is notified of the financial aid suspension. Appeals must be submitted online via the Appeals website. Any appropriate documentation must be submitted directly to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Appeals must be detailed and grammatically correct. All financial aid appeals will be submitted to the financial aid appeals committee for review.

Students on Academic Suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid during the period of suspension. A student who has been academically suspended must appeal the decision through the Office of Academic Affairs. An approval for academic suspension does not automatically render an approval for financial aid appeals. Students must submit a separate appeal for federal student aid.

Deadlines/Notification: All appeals must be made within two weeks of the date of the notification of the denial of federal student financial aid. Written notification is sent to the student via email and/or regular mail to the address and/or email provided, to the Office of Student Financial Aid, by the student; ensure that all demographic information is accurate in the OSFA and the Registrar's office.

Note: Students must make the appropriate financial arrangements for payment of tuition and fees during the period which the appeal is being processed. The Financial Aid Appeals Committee is not composed of employees of the Office of Student Financial Aid. All decisions of the committee are final.