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Financial Aid

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Standards of Satisfactory Progress for Financial Aid


Standards of Satisfactory Progress for terms of enrollment starting after May 1, 2014 (pdf)


Standards of Satisfactory Progress for terms of enrollment starting prior to May 1, 2014 (shown below)

Qualitative Requirements (Grade Point Average)

Undergraduate Degree Students: The university will utilize a fixed qualitative standard for measuring student progress. A student who has been enrolled less than 4 semesters, including enrollment at prior colleges, must maintain a 1.50 cumulative grade point average.  A student who has been enrolled 4 or more semesters, including enrollment at prior colleges, must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00. A student who does not have the required minimum 1.50 or 2.00 cumulative GPA at the end of each Evaluation Period will automatically be denied further financial aid until the required cumulative grade point average is attained. The denial of aid under this policy applies even if the student is granted academic reinstatement by the university.  (Student may still qualify for University funded academic or talent awards providing minimum renewal criteria is met.)

Second Undergraduate Degree Students and Graduate Students: Students enrolled for the purpose of earning a second bachelor's degree must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all terms of enrollment. Students with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.00 will automatically be denied further financial aid.

Evaluation Period: Students will be monitored for compliance of the minimum cumulative GPA requirements at the end of each spring semester of enrollment.  Students who enroll for summer semester will be evaluated separately at the end of the summer term.

Semester Credit Completion Requirements

Fulltime undergraduate students must earn a minimum of 10 credits per semester (20 credits per academic year). Undergraduate students enrolled less than fulltime and Graduate students enrolled at any level are required to earn 80% of "attempted" credits. "Attempted" credits are determined by the number of credits for which the student is enrolled at the end of the first week of classes each semester.

Students must complete minimum credits according to the following schedule:

  • Students attempting 12 or more credits must complete a minimum of 10 credits;
  • Students attempting 11 credits must complete a minimum of 9 credits;
  • Students attempting 10 credits must complete a minimum of 8 credits;
  • Students attempting 9 credits must complete a minimum of 7 credits;
  • Students attempting 8-7 credits must complete a minimum of 6 credits;
  • Students attempting 6 credits must complete a minimum of 5 credits;
  • Students attempting 5 credits must complete a minimum of 4 credits; (Graduate)
  • Students attempting 4 credits must complete a minimum of 3 credits; (Graduate)
  • Students attempting 3 credits must complete a minimum of 2 credits; (Graduate)

Evaluation Period: Compliance with the minimum credit requirements will be monitored at the end of spring semester.  Students who enroll for summer school will be evaluated separately at the end of the summer semester.

Maximum Time Limit

Students are allowed 150% of the published length of the educational program to receive financial aid while completing their degree. Undergraduate students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 192 attempted credits when enrolled in degree programs which have a published minimum requirement of 128 credits. The maximum time frame to receive financial aid while completing a second undergraduate degree is 90 attempted credits. Graduate students are allowed 57 attempted credits, which represents three years enrollment at full-time status. Attempted credits are counted whether or not the student actually received financial aid for those credits.

Transfer Credit: Credits transferred from other institutions will affect maximum time frame. All earned transfer credits will be added to resident attempted credits to determine total number of attempted credits.

Summer Sessions: Enrollment in summer sessions will be counted toward the maximum time frame limit described in this policy.

Evaluation Period: Students will be reviewed for maximum time frame limits at the end of every spring semester. At that point, any student who has attempted the maximum number of credits allowed will be denied further financial aid funding. Any undergraduate student with 180 through 191 attempted credits, any second degree seeking student with 78 through 89 attempted credits, and any graduate student with 45 through 56 attempted credits will only be awarded financial aid for fall semester and will be denied spring aid. However, a student attending less than full-time for fall might be eligible to receive spring funding.

Withdrawals, Repeated Courses, Incomplete Courses, Noncredit Remedial Courses, Audited Courses, Suspension, Satisfactory Course Completion, and Wisconsin Higher Education Grant.

Withdrawals: All terms and credits in which a student is enrolled and receives aid will count toward the maximum time frame and minimum credits completed, even if the student completely withdraws from school. Semesters of enrollment in which no aid is received will count if the student is enrolled after the first week of classes.

Repeated Courses: Repeated courses will count twice in the calculation of credits completed. The initial enrollment in the course will count once and the first repeat will count once. The new grade will replace the previous grade in calculating grade point average.

Incomplete Courses: Incomplete course work will be considered as work in progress for the term in which the student receives the incomplete. Completed courses will be replaced with an official grade by the beginning of the eleventh week of the first regular semester following the granting of the incomplete. Courses never completed will be replaced by the grade initially reported with the request for the incomplete. In either case, the new official grade will be considered during the next review of student's satisfactory academic progress.

Noncredit Remedial Courses: Noncredit remedial courses are allowed and will be funded. These courses will be subject to review under all aspects of the Satisfactory Progress Policy.

Audited Courses: Audited courses are not taken for credit and are not funded by financial aid. Therefore, audited courses are not considered in this policy.

Suspended Students: Students who are suspended will be notified by the University of their suspension. Students who are not allowed to enroll because of their suspension will be systematically prevented from receiving financial aid.

Satisfactory Course Completion: A grade of A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D, or CR represents satisfactory completion of a course. A grade of F, NC, U, or I represents unsatisfactory completion of a course.

Appeals and Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Eligibility for an Appeal: An appeal can be made if the student believes there are extenuating circumstances affecting their ability to make satisfactory academic progress. If the student believes that his/her satisfactory progress as determined by the Financial Aid Office is incorrect, it is the student's responsibility to document changes in information (grade changes, completion of incomplete grades, etc.) to the transcript.

Appeal Procedure: An appeal can only be made by using the "Appeal for Reinstatement of Financial Aid" form (available from the Financial Aid Office). Appeals should explain in detail the reason(s) for not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and outline what steps the student is taking to meet the requirements in the future. Appeals must be submitted prior to the end of the semester for which the student is appealing to receive financial aid. The Director of Financial Aid will review all appeals and may request additional documentation from the student. Students will be notified in writing of the appeal decision.

Academic Progress Contracts: Students whose appeals for reinstatement of financial aid are approved are considered to be on financial aid "probation" and will be required to sign an Academic Progress Contract before financial aid privileges will be restored. The terms set forth in the Academic Progress Contract are intended to bring the student back into satisfactory academic progress compliance. Contracts are signed by the Director of Financial Aid, the student, and the student's academic advisor, and are maintained by the Financial Aid Office. Contracted student progress will be monitored at the end of every semester until the student is meeting all the standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. A student may re-negotiate the terms set forth in an Academic Progress contract by meeting with the Director prior to or during the term in which the student would like new consideration given. At that point, the student and the Director will discuss whether the extenuating circumstances make it appropriate to re-negotiate the contract.

Failed Academic Progress Contracts: Students who fail to meet the terms of the contract at the end of each semester and have not re-negotiated the terms of the contract, will be denied further aid until all deficiencies are corrected.  If the student believes there are mitigating circumstances (illness, family death, etc.) which caused the failure, the student may submit a second appeal, including 3rd party documentation of the circumstance being considered.