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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective Spring 2013


To be eligible for financial assistance, a student must meet minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (SAP) as listed below each semester - fall, spring and summer. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as passing a required number of hours and achieving a required overall cumulative grade point average during each semester while pursuing a degree program.

Minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
at Beginning
of Semester
Total Hours
Attempted in
Each Semester
Total Hours
to Complete
Each Semester
Overall Cumulative
Grade Point
Average (GPA)*
Freshman 5 or less Must Earn all Pursued 2.0
6-8 3 2.0
9-11 6 2.0
12 or More 9 2.0
or Senior
5 or less Must Earn all Pursued 2.0
6-8 6 2.0
9-11 9 2.0
12 or More 12 2.0
Graduate 5 or less Must Earn all Pursued 3.0
6-8 6 3.0
9 or More 9 3.0

The above policy applies to all transfer, continuing, and re-entry students for all academic semesters or sessions, including students who have not previously participated in federal aid programs. The pace percentage can vary from 37.5% to 100% depending on your enrollment status.

  • Remedial or Developmental Courses - Completion of these courses is considered in the total hour requirement for receiving financial aid.
  • "I", "IN", "IP", "IPC", "W", "WN" or "NR" Grades - Count as hours pursued, but do not count as hours earned until the course is satisfactorily completed according to the provisions in the university catalog. These grades do not affect grade point average.
  • Transfer Students - In order to be eligible for financial aid, transfer students are required to be in good standing at all previous schools attended. You must also have a 2.0 GPA for the last period of enrollment and meet the hour requirements in the McNeese Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Incoming transfer students are not eligible for a financial aid warning term. All previous hours pursued are considered in establishing total remaining eligibility.
  • Repeated Courses - The federal regulations indicate that financial aid may be paid for repeated coursework previously taken in the program but may not include more than one repetition of a previously passed course. This means courses for which you have passed with a grade of D or better can only be repeated once in your enrollment status to count for Federal Financial Aid eligibility determination.
  • Grade Changes - Once a grade change has occurred, it is the students responsibility to contact this office to determine if it changes their eligibility for financial assistance.
  • Academic Bankruptcy - For financial aid purposes, hours dismissed through academic bankruptcy will count towards hours attempted/pursued but not towards grade point average except in the case of a transfer student where hours will count towards both hours attempted/pursued and grade point average.

Any students, other than transfer students, not meeting these requirements have not met the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards and will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. (See Appeal Procedures)

  • Financial Aid Warning - Students will be placed on financial aid warning status after their first semester of not maintaining SAP. Students on SAP Financial Aid Warning are eligible for financial aid. No appeal is necessary. After their second consecutive semester of NOT maintaining SAP at McNeese State University, their financial aid will be terminated. Not attending one or more semesters will not affect or change your SAP status.


Federal regulations require academic progress to be measured pace (quantitatively) as well as qualitatively, and the pace (quantitative) measures may not exceed 150% of the time normally required for completion. Hours attempted/pursued includes all hours (courses) enrolled as of the close of late registration and in which a grade was awarded (including "W" withdrawals). To be eligible to receive financial assistance, students are required to complete their degree plan within the following time frames: (number of enrollment hours pursued at other universities is included)

Attempted Hour Limitations
Degree/Certification Hours Attempted/Pursued

Associate Degree (Two Year Degree)

90 hours attempted / pursued

*Bachelor Degree (Four Year Degree)

180 hours attempted /pursued

**Master's Degree

50 hours attempted I pursued

Teacher Certification

60 hours attempted / pursued

Education Specialist

50 hours attempted / pursued

2nd Associate Degree

135 hours attempted / pursued

2nd Bachelor Degree

270 hours attempted / pursued

2nd Master's Degree

80 hours attempted / pursued

*Based on an average 120-hour bachelor degree plan. Students with degree programs requiring more hours may appeal for extended periods of entitlement.
**Based on an average 33-hour master's degree plan.
Students with degree programs requiringmore hours may appeal for extended periods of entitlement.

  • Students who fail to complete their degree plan within the above limitations are ineligible to receive financial assistance, even if they did not receive financial aid each semester.


Satisfactory Academic Progress will be checked after grades are posted at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters.

  1. Regaining Eligibility - Students can either submit an appeal for their federal aid or pay on their own and maintain SAP listed in the above charts to become eligible for a future term.

  2. Notification - Students not in academic compliance will be notified after each semester. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) information is emailed to the student after determination of compliance with each semester's standards.

  3. Financial Aid Warning - Students, except for transfer, will be put on financial aid warning after their first semester at McNeese State University of not maintaining SAP. Students on SAP Financial Aid Warning are eligible for financial aid. No appeal is necessary. After their second consecutive semester of NOT maintaining SAP, their financial aid will be terminated. Not attending one or more semesters will not affect or change your SAP status.

  4. Mitigating Circumstances - Students who have extenuating circumstances causing the overall cumulative grade point average and/or hours earned to fall below standard may appeal to their Academic College. Examples of extenuating circumstances are prolonged illness under a doctor's care, illness or accidents requiring hospitalization or prolonged illness of a dependent, or death of an immediate family member.

  5. Information to Include in Appeal - Specifically why SAP was not maintained and what has changed which will now allow SAP to be maintained at the end of the next term. See for the questions that you will have to answer while submitting your appeal.

  6. Submission Deadline - Students must submit their appeal letter no later than two weeks prior to the appeal meeting. Appeal letter must be submitted electronically in Banner Self Service.

  7. Results - Each academic college will submit a decision to the Financial Aid Office, once a decision has been finalized an email will be sent to you immediately through the automated process. The decision could be, Granted Financial Aid Probation, Academic Plan Approved for one, two or three terms, Academic Plan Approved-Change Major or Denied. If your appeal is denied, you will not be eligible for that semester. If your extenuating circumstances change, then you have the right to appeal for a future semester that you wish to attend. The Academic College's decision is final.