Financial Aid Office

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal and state regulations require that all students maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage all students to progress steadily at a reasonable rate toward graduation. St. Cloud State University (SCSU) students must meet the requirements listed below if they are to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid.

In addition to complying with the satisfactory academic progress policy for financial aid recipients as explained below, all students must also comply with the institution’s academic requirements if they wish to remain enrolled at St. Cloud State University. Detailed information about the institution’s academic requirements may be found in the SCSU Student Handbook or the university's undergraduate and graduate bulletins.

The financial aid programs requiring recipients to maintain satisfactory academic progress include:

  • Federally funded grant programs
  • State funded grant programs
  • Alliss Scholarships
  • St. Cloud State University Scholarships
  • Federal College Work Study (CWSP)
  • Minnesota College Work Study (MN CWSP)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • PLUS/Grad PLUS Federal Direct Loan

In addition, some private loan and scholarship programs may require the student to maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the school. To determine a student’s standing according to St. Cloud State University’s satisfactory academic progress policy for financial aid, the student will need to know three things:

  • number of SCSU credits attempted at current admission status,
  • total SCSU credits earned at current admission status,
  • cumulative SCSU grade point average based on all SCSU coursework taken at current admission status.

Transfer students also will need to know how many credits are being transferred to SCSU.

Please keep in mind that you are responsible for understanding this policy and monitoring your progress. No warning letters will be sent. Once you have attempted the maximum time frame (including accepted transfer credits) to complete your academic program, you no longer will be eligible to receive financial aid, whether or not you have completed your program. Therefore, it is extremely important that you understand this policy and closely monitor your own progress.  A student who fails to maintain the minimum standards of this policy and cannot achieve these standards prior to reaching the maximum time frame limit will have their future financial aid eligibility immediately suspended.


In order to be in compliance with the satisfactory academic progress policy, students must be in compliance with both grade point average (GPA) and percentage of credits completed. Below are the minimum requirements.


The measures of satisfactory academic progress are determined after grades are recorded for each term. All prior terms of attempted enrollment, including summer, are considered in determining satisfactory academic progress regardless of whether aid was awarded for the term.

If you are placed on warning or suspension according to the terms of this policy, you will receive written notice via your St. Cloud State email account. Additional written notification will be sent to financial aid applicants who are ineligible for financial aid because of unsatisfactory academic progress.

If you have been denied financial assistance because you have not maintained satisfactory academic progress, you have the right to appeal based on the following: the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. A written appeal must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office for review.

The appeal must include:

  1. an explanation of the circumstances that affected your progress, and
  2. appropriate supporting documentation, and
  3. what has changed in your situation that will allow you to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.
You will receive a written decision in response to your appeal within six business days. If your appeal is approved you will be placed on probation and your financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for one semester or term. You may also be required to complete specific requirements contained in an academic plan developed for you by SCSU.

Appeals cannot be processed retroactively for a prior term. Any appeal information submitted to the Financial Aid Office on or after the last regularly scheduled class day (excluding finals week) of the term for which you are requesting your financial aid eligibility be reinstated will not be reviewed.

 If your appeal is denied and you feel there are factors that were not considered, a second appeal, including any additional supporting documentation, may be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid. Second appeals will be reviewed by a committee and you will receive a written response within six business days.

Examples of situations that may be appealed include:

  • A student who transferred credits to SCSU that were earned through military service which are not applicable to any specific course or degree requirements at SCSU.
  • A student who encountered a one-time major medical or significant personal problem which resulted in an extended absence from classes.

In order to regain eligibility a student must meet the requirements of the satisfactory academic progress policy. Neither paying for your own classes nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to re-establish your financial aid eligibility. Students who previously have not maintained satisfactory progress, and who believe they now are in compliance with the policy, should notify the Financial Aid Office in writing in order to continue the processing of their financial aid application. You may regain your eligibility for the current term or a future term but not for a term once it has ended.

Federal financial aid rules dictate that students cannot receive financial aid to attempt a course a third time if they have previously passed the course at least once.

POLICIES AND GENERAL PROCEDURES Includes information on grades, repeated courses, transfer credits, and definition of terms.

For further information, please contact:

Financial Aid Office
St. Cloud State University
106 Administrative Services Building
720 Fourth Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498
Phone: (320) 308-2047
TTY: 1-800-627-3529

July, 2015

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