Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Academic Progress Standards
The various federal and state regulations governing student financial assistance programs require that an institution develop standards to measure students’ reasonable progress toward a degree. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be evaluated at the end of the academic year (fall, winter, and spring if the student enrolled in a spring term). The following Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements apply to all students receiving financial aid through the programs listed below:
- Alma College scholarships, grants, and loans
- Michigan and non-Michigan state scholarship and grant programs
- National Merit Scholarships
- Federal grants, loans, and Work-Study
- Other outside scholarships, grants, and loans
Satisfactory academic progress is measured in cumulative grade point average, earned credit hours, and maximum time frame standard.
Cumulative Grade Point Measurement
Students must meet the cumulative grade point average schedule as outlined under Academic Progress found in the Academic Rules and Procedures section of the Alma College Catalog. Students who are academically dismissed from the College are considered not meeting the cumulative GPA measurement.
Dismissed students who are granted readmission to the College through successful reapplication will be considered as having met this portion of the requirements.
Definitions and explanations on how incomplete grades, work in progress, and repletion of coursework effect a student’s GPA can be found under Academic Rules in the Alma College Academic Catalog.
Credit Hours Measurement
A student must successfully complete credits equal to at least 67% of the total cumulative Alma College and transfer credits attempted to be making satisfactory academic progress.
Additional definitions and explanations:
- “Attempted Hours” are the cumulative hours a student has attempted during all enrollment periods at Alma College, irrespective of receiving financial aid. Students who receive the following grades are considered to have “attempted” those credit hours and these hours therefore count toward the cumulative maximum: incomplete (IN, IP), withdrawal (W, WP, WF), failure (F,E), and all passing grades (A-AB-B-BC-C-CD-D-DE).
- All transfer hours accepted by Alma College are treated as both attempted and earned hours.
- If a student repeats a course, the credit hours for both the first and the repeated course will be included in the “Attempted Hours” figure when evaluating their academic progress. The credit hours for the first course will not be included in the “Earned Hours” figure.
- Credit hours earned through advanced placement examinations, international baccalaureate, high school dual enrollment, or Alma College proficiency examinations are included in both the measurement of “Attempted” and “Earned” hours.
- Successful completion will be measured using the cumulative total number of “Earned Hours” as reflected on the student’s academic transcript at the time of evaluation.
- If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress at the close of the winter term or spring term (if enrolled), and subsequently earns additional hours during the following summer, these additional earned hours will be considered in the reevaluation of their aid eligibility for the following academic year.
Maximum Time Frame Standard
A program of study must be completed within 150% of the number of credit hours required for degree completion to maintain aid eligibility. The 150% is measured on the basis of Alma College and transfer attempted credits. A Bachelor’s Degree at Alma College requires a minimum of 136 credits to meet graduation requirements. This means a student must complete degree requirements within 204 credits (136 credits x 1.5 = 204 credits). If the number of attempted credits exceeds 150% of the degree requirements for graduation, the student will be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress suspension.
Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Students who fail to meet the cumulative grade point average requirement will be notified of their academic dismissal status by the Provost’s Office.
- At the time of evaluation, students not meeting the earned credit hours measurement will be ineligible to receive financial aid until they again meet the earned credit hours measurement requirement.
Appeal Process for Reinstatement of Financial Aid
- Students who are dismissed due to their failure to meet the cumulative grade point average measurement may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee.
- Students failing to meet the earned credit hours measurement may appeal to the Director of Financial Aid. Students must submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Director of Financial Aid explaining the reason(s) for their failure in meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress and what has changed that will allow the student to make Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation.
- Also required is an academic plan from the student’s academic advisor or Registrar stating how and when the student will make up the deficiency. Students will be notified by the Director of Financial Aid decision within two (2) weeks of the receipt of the appeal. The following types of information may be considered in determining whether the student’s appeal will be accepted:
- The student is making up incompletes, or
- There have been unusual circumstances such as an extended illness or a death within a family, or
- The student withdrew from the college after the Drop/Add period.
- A student who successfully appeals, and has had their aid reinstated is allowed one term of aid under a probationary status. However, after receiving one term of aid under a probationary status a student receives no financial assistance unless:
- the student meets Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, or
- Student is successfully following an academic plan that ensures Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time.