Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for the Renewal of Financial Aid Resources
In order to continue to receive financial aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of your degree program. There are three components to satisfactory academic progress for federal and RIT-sponsored financial aid: qualitative (grade point average), quantitative (pace), and maximum timeframe. Minimum requirements for financial aid renewal are detailed as follows:
- Federal Aid Programs
- RIT Grants and Scholarships
- State Aid Programs
Academic progress requirements for federal aid programs
Federal regulations require financial aid recipients to maintain minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for continued receipt of federally sponsored aid. All students receiving federal assistance must remain admitted in a degree program. Regulations require a maximum time frame for degree completion, a quantitative measurement (credits attempted versus earned toward a degree) and a qualitative measurement (cumulative grade point average). The annual review of academic progress at the end of spring term each year considers all terms of enrollment, including terms in which no federal aid was received.
Students are allowed a maximum of 150 percent of the published program length to complete their program (i.e. 120 credit program = 180 credit maximum).
The minimum qualitative, or grade point average requirement is outlined below:
Completion of first
semester—minimum cumulative GPA = 1.5
Completion of second semester—minimum cumulative GPA = 1.5
Completion of third semester—minimum cumulative GPA = 1.8
Completion of semesters 4 to 12—minimum cumulative GPA = 2.0
In order to successfully meet the quantitative component of satisfactory academic progress, students must complete 66.67 percent of credits attempted. The following are considered attempted credits:
- Repeated courses
- Non-matriculated courses
- Grade exclusions
- Credit by exam
Additional eligibility requirements
Cumulative grade point average requirements are the same as for non-transfer students (i.e., students must obtain a 2.0 GPA at the end of their second year). Transfer students also are expected to complete 66.67 percent of credits attempted. And, transfer students are allowed a maximum of 150 percent of the published program length to complete their program.
Students repeating a course, previously passed may do so only once. A course repeated more than once will not be included when determining enrollment status for federally sponsored financial aid.
The federal standards of satisfactory academic progress are applicable to the following aid programs: Federal Work-Study, Federal Pell and SEOG grants, and Federal Perkins, Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS loans.
Student loan recipients also should note that all Federal Direct Loan Programs have specific annual and cumulative maximum amounts. The loan limits are listed in the Undergraduate Financial Aid Programs located in the RIT Undergraduate Bulletin and in the U.S. Department of Education Student Guide. Copies of the guide are available in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Notification and appeal
Students whose academic progress is not in compliance with federal regulations will be notified of the deficiency. Students who do not meet minimum SAP standards may continue to receive federal aid during a probationary period, not to exceed the 150% timeframe for degree completion, as the result of a successful appeal. Students may appeal due to special circumstances such as death of a relative, or injury or illness of the student. The following information must be provided to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships no later than three weeks before the start of the term to be considered for receipt of federally-sponsored financial aid during a probationary period:
- Documentation of student’s special circumstances
- Written letter from student indicating why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to meet SAP standards, and
- A written plan of work from the student’s academic advisor which outlines the courses required and the minimum GPA requirements for the next academic year
Academic progress requirements for RIT grants and scholarships
Academic progress requirements for RIT need-based grants are the same as the requirements for federal aid programs. Academic requirements and award duration for merit or special-purpose scholarship programs sponsored by RIT may differ from those used in RIT’s need-based programs. Recipients are advised of merit scholarship terms and conditions at the time awards are made.
Recipients of financial aid are responsible for reporting any significant changes in their financial situation during the year to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for review. These changes may require a revision to the applicant’s financial aid.
Academic progress requirements for state aid programs
New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
In order to receive a TAP grant, an individual must be admitted as a full-time student in an approved program, meet New York State residency and income requirements, pursue the program of study in which he or she is enrolled, and make satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her program of study.
TAP Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (for non-remedial (HEOP) students who received their first TAP award in 2010-2011 and thereafter)
Bachelor’s Degree—Semester Calendar
|Before being certified for this payment||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th|
|a student must have accrued at least this many credits||0||6||15||27||39||51||66||81|
|with at least this grade point average||0||1.5||1.8||1.8||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|AND complete the following minimum number of credits in the previous term a state grant or scholarship was received||0||6||6||9||9||12||12||12|
TAP Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (for HEOP students who received their first TAP award in 2010-2011 and thereafter)
Bachelor’s Degree—Semester Calendar
|Before being certified for this payment||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th|
|a student must have accrued at least this many credits||0||3||9||21||33||45||60||75||90||105|
|with at least this grade point average||0||1.1||1.2||1.3||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|AND complete the following minimum number of credits in the previous term a state grant or scholarship was received||0||6||9||9||12||12||12||12||12||12|
- TAP academic requirements are current as of the 2014-15 year. Standards are subject to change by legislative action.
- Completion of a course is defined as meeting course requirements and receiving a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F.
- State regulations mandate that if a student repeats a course in which a passing grade acceptable to the university was previously received, the repeated course does not count toward the minimum 12-credit-hour course load required for TAP and other state programs.
- In addition, an accelerated TAP payment cannot be received unless the recipient completes a minimum of 24 RIT credit hours in the previous two terms. An accelerated term is the third consecutive term of enrollment at RIT.
Waiver of academic progress standards for TAP
Students who have been denied TAP benefits due to failure to maintain satisfactory standards of academic progress may request a one-time waiver of those standards. State regulations require that these waivers be granted only under extraordinary circumstances. Students failing to meet satisfactory progress standards will be given the opportunity to contact an institutional representative in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss their situation. The institutional representative will require documentation as appropriate and establish deadlines for submission of this documentation.
Under the regulations established by the Commissioner of Education, the decision of the institutional representative will be final. Students who, in the judgment of the institutional representative, satisfactorily meet the criteria for the waiver may have one waiver at the undergraduate level. Those wishing to apply for waivers must do so during the term in which notification of TAP denial was sent.
Reasons for which a waiver may be granted include the following:
- Verifiable illness of the student or member of the student’s immediate family during the semester in which academic standards were not met
- Death of a member of the student’s family during the semester in which standards were not met
- Divorce/separation within the student’s immediate family creating a demonstrable financial/emotional disruption sufficient to affect progress
- Circumstances that the student feels were extenuating; applicants must explain why circumstances were extenuating and beyond their control
These regulations are subject to legislative change.