Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
for Financial Aid Applicants
Student Financial Aid OfficeRevised May 2018

Federal regulations require that Kent State University review the academic progress of students who apply for and/or receive federal financial aid. To be eligible for federal student aid funds, a student must make reasonable satisfactory academic progress toward the attainment of a degree or certificate program.

A student’s entire academic history at Kent State University (including any College Credit Plus, transfer, or consortium agreement credits, and periods during which no federal aid was received) is reviewed to ensure timely progression toward graduation. This policy is specific to federal regulations regarding financial aid; and may be different than the academic standards for your college. This policy does not prevent enrollment, but does prevent the release of federal financial aid funds to the student.

The following programs are suspended when a student is not in compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy:
 

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Nursing Student Loan
  • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Private Alternative Loan Programs (depends on lender)
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be evaluated at the end of the spring semester or at the time the student applies for federal assistance (completes the FAFSA). Students determined to be in violation of the SAP Policy may already have received an award offer that includes federal aid for the upcoming year. Once determined to be in violation of the SAP Policy, the student is no longer eligible for this aid, and it will not transfer to the student’s Bursar account.
 
An evaluation of academic progress can be conducted at any time the Student Financial Aid Office determines it is necessary. Therefore, students can be denied financial aid at any time. State grant programs are governed by the Standards of Academic Progress established by the respective state. Students should login to their FlashLine account and go to the Grades and Transcripts section under the Student/Resources tab to view their GPA, earned hour, and attempted hour information.
 
ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR UNDERGRADUATE
STUDENTS

The Student Financial Aid Office will notify students who do not meet the SAP policy after the end of the spring semester, at the time the student applies for federal aid, or at any time a review was determined to be necessary. To view your status: (1) Log into FlashLine (2) Click Student tab in left column (3) Under Finances click on Financial Aid (4) Click Financial Aid Status (5) Select “Award Year” from the drop-down box and click Submit.

Undergraduate applicants for federal programs must maintain all three of the following standards:

1. Grade Point Average (qualitative measure):

GPA is based on the cumulative Kent State University GPA.
 
Freshmen: Minimum 1.25 cumulative GPA
Sophomores: Minimum 1.50 cumulative GPA
Juniors and Seniors: Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA
 
After attending Kent State for two calendar years, all students must have a 2.00 cumulative GPA regardless of grade level. Remedial coursework is included in the GPA calculation. The requirement for graduation is a 2.00 cumulative GPA and the graduated scale is designed to get the student to that point.

2. Percent Completion (quantitative measure):

Percent completion is calculated by dividing overall earned hours by overall attempted hours. For example: If a student attempted 50 credit hours but only successfully completed 40 out of those 50 credit hours, the completion rate would be 80% (40/50=80%). Transfer hours are included in the Percent Completion calculation.

Freshmen: at least 50% overall completion rate
Sophomores: at least 60% overall completion rate
Juniors and Seniors: at least 67% overall completion rate
 
Grades of W, WF, WP, F, U, SF, NF, NR, IP, IN and Z will count as zero in the earned hour calculation and will negatively affect the percent completion calculation. Students are encouraged to speak with an academic advisor and the One Stop for Student Services prior to withdrawing from a course.

Course repeat hours

Credit for repeated coursework will only be counted once in earned hours; however, all repeated coursework attempts are counted in attempted hours. This will negatively affect the percent completion rate. See Kent State University’s Course Repeat Policy in the University Catalog for guidance on how repeating courses affect grade point average and total hours for graduation.
 
3. Maximum Time Frame

Undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may be considered for financial aid to a maximum of 180 overall attempted hours. Undergraduate students pursuing an associate degree may be considered for federal financial aid to a maximum of 97 overall attempted hours. Students pursuing an undergraduate certificate may be considered for federal aid to a maximum of 29 overall attempted hours.
 
Overall attempted hours include overall institution attempted hours plus overall transfer hours. All attempted hours are included in the calculation even if the student changes majors.
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Since maximum time frame examines overall attempted hours, part-time attendance counts in the maximum time frame calculation. Attempted credit hours are counted for all terms, even those semesters during which the student did not receive financial aid, as well as those waived under academic amnesty policies. Transfer, remedial, repeated and forgiveness hours will be included in the overall attempted hours calculation. Students who have completed coursework to graduate but have not yet received their degree cannot continue to receive further financial aid as an undergraduate.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Graduate applicants for federal programs must maintain the following standards:  
  1. Percent Completion (quantitative measure):

    Percent completion is calculated by dividing overall earned hours by overall attempted hours.  

    Graduate applicants must have completed at least 65% of overall attempted hours.  

    Grades of W, WF, WP, F, U, SF, NF, NR, IP, IN, and Z will count as zero in the earned hour calculation and will negatively affect the percent completion calculation. Students are encouraged to speak with an academic advisor and the One Stop for Student Services prior to withdrawing from a course.
     
  2. Grade Point Average (qualitative measure)

    Grade point average will be monitored by academic units. As noted in the Kent State University Graduate Catalog, graduate students are expected to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in all work attempted at Kent State University.
  3.  
  4. Maximum Time Frame

    Maximum time frame will be monitored by academic units. As noted in the Kent State University Graduate Catalog, graduate students in a master’s program are held to a 6 year time limit and graduate students in a doctoral program a 10 year limit.
  5.  

    APPEAL PROCESS: ALL STUDENTS

    If extenuating circumstances contributed to the student not meeting the SAP Policy, the student may appeal the denial for federal financial aid by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (located at www.kent.edu/financialaid/forms).

    Examples of extenuating circumstances are: death of relative, an injury or illness of the student or other special circumstances. The appeal is an form that students can only complete online. Once completed, the student will see the message, "We thank you for taking time to complete your document." The appeal is then sent electronically to the student's campuses Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal committee and will be then reviewed for a decision. In an appeal, a student must explain the circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the SAP policy standards and explain what has changed that will allow the student to meet the standards at the next evaluation. Supporting documentation must be provided.

Students that are cited for maximum time frame must also submit a Maximum Time Frame Form (located at www.kent.edu/financialaid/forms). This form is completed by the student, must be reviewed by an academic advisor from the student’s college or school, and be signed by that academic advisor verifying the information on the form is correct.  

If a student needs to send additional documentation after their appeal is already electronically submitted, the student can send the information to their campus's Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal committee with their Kent State ID Number on it.

Appeals will be evaluated by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee at your campus. Appeals cannot be accepted for semesters that have already passed.

Students will be notified of all appeal decisions via the student’s FlashLine account. Students can access the decision by following these steps: (1) Log into FlashLine (2) Click Student tab in left column (3) Under Finances click on Financial Aid (4) Click on Financial Aid Status (5) Select “Award Year” from the drop-down box and click Submit (6) Click on messages in “You have active messages.” The decision made by the Appeal Committee is final.

If an appeal is approved by the appeal committee, the student will be placed on financial aid probation for one semester. Students who are on financial aid probation must either be in compliance with the SAP policy at the end of the semester or earn a minimum 2.0 GPA and complete 67 percent of their courses during that semester (students cited for Maximum Time Frame see requirements below).

For example: If a student attempted 12 credit hours for the approved semester but only successfully completed 6 out of those 12 credit hours, the completion rate would be 50% (6/12=50%). This student would not be eligible to receive financial aid for the next term.

Students on financial aid probation who were cited for Maximum Time Frame must register for only those courses listed on their Maximum Time Frame form, complete 100 percent of their total attempted hours, and earn a minimum 2.0 GPA during the approved semester. Students who fail to meet these financial aid probationary standards (their academic plan) will not be approved to receive aid the following semester.    

Students who do not appeal, are denied by the committee, or are not in compliance with the standards after one semester will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid until their academic record is once again in compliance with the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress. Neither paying for their classes out-of-pocket nor sitting out for an enrollment period is sufficient for students to re-establish eligibility for federal aid. Students in compliance prior to the end of the academic year must still submit an appeal.

TRANSIENT STUDENTS  

Kent State University students who will attend another institution as a transient student must submit an Ad Hoc Consortium Agreement (located at www.kent.edu/financialaid/forms) to the Kent campus Student Financial Aid Office for a determination of financial aid eligibility. Students must submit a copy of their grade transcript from the host school to the Student Financial Aid Office within 10 days of completing each term at their host school.