Any part of this policy may be changed or revoked without notice.

Download the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

To be eligible for Federal Student Aid, the U.S. Department of Education requires all Dickinson State University degree (or eligible certificate) seeking students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). SAP requirements apply to all terms, including summer, and to (both aid and non-aid recipient) students, regardless of enrollment status. SAP requirements measure grade point average (GPA) that a student must achieve at each evaluation and pace of progression (to ensure completion within the 66 2/3% maximum time frame). [NOTE: Incompletes, withdrawals, repetitions, and transfer hours accepted toward completion of a student’s program count as hours attempted.]

GPA

In order to meet the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress with respect to GPA, a student will need to have an academic standing consistent with the requirement for graduation from their program at the end of the first, second, and third semesters. Students who do not have 2.0 GPA at the end of the first or second term will receive an information letter; students who do not have a 1.75 GPA at the end of the third term will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students may continue to receive aid for one payment period; no appeal is necessary. At the end of the fourth semester of attendance, a student must have a 2.0 or better GPA regardless of enrollment status or program. The student’s cumulative GPA (including transfer credits) will be used to determine eligibility. Students who do not have a 2.0 GPA will be placed on *Financial Aid Disqualification.

PACE

In order to meet the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress with respect to credits attempted, students must complete 66 2/3% of the credits they attempt. This percentage will be calculated for cumulative credits (including transfer credits). For example: The maximum time frame for an associate degree program is (64 credit hours x 150%) 96 credits; 64/96 is the pace of 66 2/3%. The maximum time frame for a bachelor degree program is (128 credit hours x 150%) 192 credits; 128/192 is the pace of 66 2/3%. The maximum time frame for two four-year/double degree (not double major) program is (160 credit hours x 150%) 240 credits or as per catalog. Students need to complete 66 2/3% of the credits attempted, regardless of enrollment status or program. Students who are approaching the maximum timeframe will receive an information letter. Students who do not complete 66 2/3% credits attempted will be placed on *Financial Aid Disqualification.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who receive all failing grades or Incompletes in a given term will be automatically placed on *Financial Aid Disqualification.

Appeal Process

Students who have been placed on Financial Aid Disqualification due to an extenuating circumstance (i.e. a medical condition, military service, etc.) may appeal by requesting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. The form is available by contacting Financial Aid or on the website here. Appeals are evaluated on an individual basis. If an appeal is approved, the student will be placed on either Financial Aid Probation or Plan of Study status. Students under these statuses are eligible for financial aid.

  • Financial Aid Probation will be granted when it is reasonable to expect that the student will be able to meet the minimum SAP standards within one semester. If the student fails to meet SAP at the end of their probation term, they will return to Financial Aid Disqualification.

  • Financial Aid Plan of Study (POS) will be granted in situations where it may not be possible to meet SAP in one semester and/or the student has exceeded the maximum credit limit for their program. Students must meet with an Academic Advisor or other designated official to create a POS. Students on a POS must follow the conditions of their POS each semester to maintain eligibility. Compliance with the POS is reviewed at the end of each semester by the Director of Financial Aid. Failure to meet the conditions of the POS will result in Financial Aid Disqualification. 

Financial Aid Disqualification

*Financial Aid Disqualification means no longer eligible for all federal aid and most other types of aid. (This is not the same as academic suspension.) Federal Student Aid includes Pell Grant, Supplemental Opportunity Grant (SEOG), TEACH Grant, Work Study, Perkins Loan, Direct Loans, and Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan. Nursing Student Loan, most institutional aid, and other agencies, such as Vocational Rehabilitation, the ND State Grant, and several private/alternative loans also require students to maintain SAP.

Students placed on warning, disqualification, or probation may be notified by email or in writing; the information is also available for students to view on Campus Connection > Holds and/or To Do List. Collaborative, consortium, Study Abroad, and remedial credits are evaluated independently; therefore, the initial results are subject to change.