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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to define, establish, and enforce minimum standards of satisfactory progress for students receiving financial assistance. These standards must include qualitative and quantitative measures for evaluating the progress of financial aid recipients toward their educational goals. An assessment of these efforts will be performed after each semester. State, non-federal, and institutional programs may have differing standards of satisfactory academic progress.

LENGTH OF TIME (Quantitative Standard)

Federal financial aid regulations provide for assistance up to 150 % of the length of the program. All periods of enrollment and credits attempted/earned must be counted toward this maximum (whether or not financial aid assistance was received for all periods of enrollment). Students transferring into MSSU must have all academic records from previously attended institution(s) on file before any possible aid awards can be determined. No aid will be given to those transfer students who are at or over the maximum hours allowed for their chosen program of study at MSSU. Any student who has reached a total of 160 attempted hours and has not applied for graduation must provide the Financial Aid Office with a plan of study to complete the degree program within the allotted time limit. If the plan of study indicates that the degree cannot be completed within the time limit, all aid will be suspended immediately.

Students pursuing an associate’s degree may only accumulate a maximum of 93 attempted credit hours. Students pursuing a certificate may only accumulate a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may only accumulate a maximum of 180 attempted credit hours. Graduate students pursuing a master’s degree may only accumulate a maximum of 54 credit hours. Accumulated hours will be the total of: MSSU hours and hours from previously attended institutions, regardless of course applicability to current program of study being pursued.


Students must complete 67% of their total credit hours attempted. Attempted hours will be verified at the end of each semester. In figuring the student aid award, based upon the number of credit hours attempted each semester, the following will not be considered: dual credit courses, audited courses, credits granted, repeated courses for the third time or more, and credits earned non-traditionally. Incompletes, failed courses, and withdrawals will not be counted as credits earned but do apply as attempted hours. All transfer hours accepted from other colleges and universities will be included in the cumulative number of credits hours attempted and earned. Coursework attempted during all semesters, including fall, spring, and summer will be evaluated cumulatively for the required 67% completion.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (Qualitative Standard)

Students receiving financial assistance must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) as outlined below:

Hours Attempted Grade Point Average
1-22 semester hours 1.5
23-44 semester hours 1.6
45-59 semester hours 1.7
60 & above semester hours 2.0
 Graduate 3.0 



Student progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester. If the student falls below the cumulative grade point average requirement or the standard hours of completion requirement at the end of any semester, he or she will be placed on FINANCIAL AID WARNING for one semester. Students may continue to receive available aid during the warning semester as long as they are otherwise eligible. No withdrawals or failures will be permitted for a student in warning status. At the end of the warning semester, the student must meet the cumulative grade point and credit hour completion requirements based upon hours attempted and earned, in order to avoid being placed on financial aid suspension.

Any student accepting financial aid and then totally withdrawing from, or failing, all classes will automatically be placed on FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION. Students who have reached the maximum number of accumulated hours allowed for their program of study will be placed on financial aid suspension. If at any time in the past a student was disbursed aid at MSSU, and student did not complete the hours for which aid was received (or the grade point average was unsatisfactory), student will be placed on warning or suspension status. Student who does not complete warning requirements is placed on aid suspension until after the requirements are met. Students completing suspension requirements during the affected semester do not regain financial aid eligibility until the first day of the next semester.

Financial aid suspension means that a student will receive no further aid until the minimum standards have been met. Financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal TEACH Grant, Access Missouri Grant, Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship Program, Missouri Bright Flight and MSSU institutional scholarships. Once the student has established the minimum standard requirement for grade point average and hours earned, he or she may be eligible for financial assistance, excluding those students on financial aid suspension due to having accumulated the maximum allowable credit hours for their program of study.

Students who attend MSSU without financial assistance and then apply for assistance will have to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards as if they had received assistance from the beginning of their attendance at MSSU. Transfer students must have fewer accumulated hours than the maximum allowed at MSSU and be able to complete a degree program within the maximum allowed in order to receive financial assistance. Students transferring into MSSU with cumulative hours earned and/or a cumulative GPA that falls below the guidelines as previously outlined will be automatically placed on financial aid warning. If, at the end of that warning semester, the cumulative hours earned and/or GPA has not been raised to an acceptable level, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension until the guidelines have been met.


If student has extenuating circumstances causing financial aid suspension, the student has the right to appeal the suspension status. Appeals can be submitted via web or in writing to explain any mitigating circumstances concerning their academic performance and how they plan to improve their performance in the future. Supporting documentation is encouraged with any appeal submission. Appeals are reviewed by Financial Aid Staff or the Financial Aid Appeals Committee on a case-by-case basis. Appeals are not a guarantee of aid reinstatement. Outcome of the appeals are submitted to students typically via email. The decision of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee is final. The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to limit the number of appeals submitted by each student.