In accordance with federal regulations, all recipients of federal financial aid must maintain a satisfactory rate of progress toward the completion of a degree (i.e. pace) and must be in good standing based on a cumulative grade point average (GPA), regardless of whether financial aid was received previously. Progress will be measured at the end of each Academic Year (Spring Semester).
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Recipients
Federal regulations require institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for students receiving Title IV federal aid. All university course work must be considered, regardless of whether the student received federal financial aid at the time.
Financial aid at the University of Mary Washington is awarded to students for the entire academic year or summer session. If an aid recipient’s grade point average falls below the minimum standards at the end of the spring semester, the recipient will be placed on financial aid suspension. The student will be ineligible for financial aid for the subsequent enrollment period and will not receive consideration for aid again until the standards have been met. A student may attend summer school to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress to regain eligibility. The student should notify the Office of Financial Aid when standards for satisfactory academic progress have been met.
The standards for determining progress at the University of Mary Washington are composed of three separate measurements. These measurements are: grade point average (qualitative), incremental progress (quantitative), and accumulated hours (maximum time-frame). A student whose average drops below the minimum requirement will be placed on financial aid suspension after the spring semester.
Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
In order to receive federal financial aid or other need-based aid, a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) must meet the minimum requirement as defined below:
Grade Point Average
|Minimum Required Cumulative GPA (4.0 scale)|
|Undergraduate||0 – 30||1.8|
|31 – 60||1.9|
Incremental Progress: Minimum Credit Hour Completion Rate
University of Mary Washington students must complete at least 70% of all hours attempted towards graduation. Repeated courses and courses with a grade of W, WA, F, I, G, UN or FA will count as attempted coursework and not as completed coursework. Students repeating a course, previously passed may do so only once. A course repeated more than once will not be included when determining enrollment status. All students must earn a minimum of 70.0% of the credit hours that they have attempted.
The student below has earned 120 credit hours at UMW and has attempted a total of 123 credit hours. Divide 120 (earned credit hours) by 123 (attempted credit hours). This student’s credit hour completion rate is 98%.
|Attempt Hours||Passed Hours||Earned Hours||GPA Hours||Quality Points||GPA|
The student has attempted a total of 48 credit hours during his entire attendance at UMW. In order to meet the minimum credit hour completion rate requirement and be eligible for financial aid for future semesters, the student must have earned 34 of those credit hours (48 x 0.70 = 34). In this case, the student has only earned 24 credit hours and is NOT meeting the minimum credit hour completion rate. (24 divided by 48 = 50%). This student is not eligible for financial aid.
|Attempt Hours||Passed Hours||Earned Hours||GPA Hours||Quality Points||GPA|
Earned Hours: A, B, C, D, PA or SA
Unearned Hours: F, I, W, WA, G, UN or FA
Withdrawals (W): Courses for which a student has withdrawn and a W is posted on their transcript, are counted as attempted but not earned credit hours.
Course Repeats: If a student repeats a course, both the original and the repeated courses will count toward the earned and attempted credit hours. Students may only receive federal financial aid for one repeat of a course that has been successfully completed with a grade of “D” or higher.
Incomplete Grades (I): Courses for which a student earns a grade of incomplete (I) are counted as attempted but not earned credit hours. Once a grade is received it is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid by submitting an appeal.
Maximum Timeframe/Credit Hours
To remain eligible for financial aid at the University of Mary Washington, students must complete their degree program requirements within 150 percent of the published length of their degree program. All attempted hours are counted, including transfer hours, whether or not financial aid was received.
If an Undergraduate degree program requires 120 semester credit hours to complete, then a student is eligible for financial aid during the first 180 attempted credit hours as an Undergraduate.
(120 x 150% = 180 maximum attempted credit hours for financial aid eligibility).
Graduate students must complete their degree within the maximum time frame as determined and monitored by the Graduate School.
(30 x 150% = 45 maximum attempted credit hours for financial aid eligibility).
Second Degree-Seeking Students:
All attempted hours from a prior degree will not count towards the second degree, unless they are needed for that degree. A student pursuing a second undergraduate degree is eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 150% of the hours required for the second degree (Maximum of 228 hours including hours for first degree).
Mid-Year Transfer Students:
When a student transfers to the University, all of their transfer credit hours are counted towards SAP as attempted and earned hours. Any grades are excluded from the University for SAP purposes. The GPA starts at 0.00 as a new transfer.
If a student is denied financial aid for failure to meet any of the above standards for satisfactory academic progress, the student may request an appeal of the decision. Students are permitted to appeal their financial aid suspension; however, the right to appeal must be based on extraordinary, personal circumstances that contributed to student’s inability to meet the SAP requirements. If the initial appeal is approved, appeals for future semesters must be based on a different circumstance than the previous appeal.
If the appeal is approved, a student will receive financial aid on a probationary status and an academic plan may be required. At the end of the semester, the student will be evaluated according to the SAP Policy to determine if financial aid will be awarded for the next semester.
Students who wish to appeal must complete and submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form together with all required documents within 15 days of the notification that they have been placed on suspension.
SAP Appeals should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid either by mail, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) fax or in person to:
Lee Hall – Second floor
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
SAP Appeal Deadlines
- Fall semester appeals must be received by October 1st
- Spring semester appeals must be received by February 1st
- Summer semester appeals are not available
Appeals received after these dates will not be considered except in documented instances where the student was unable to obtain their supporting documentation prior to the deadline.
SAP Appeal Notification
The student will be notified by letter to the student’s permanent home address regarding the results of the appeal with a corresponding notification to their UMW email that the letter has been mailed.
If the Appeal is approved: Aid is continued for one term
The student should carefully review the SAP appeal notification which will outline the unique, individualized SAP requirements that the student must meet in order to maintain eligibility for federal and state financial aid. It is possible that the student will still lose their eligibility for UMW scholarships or grants depending on the requirements of those programs. The student is strongly encouraged to work with an Academic Student Success Counselor during the term to ensure compliance with their academic requirements or, if required, their academic plan.
If the Appeal is denied: Aid is immediately suspended until eligibility is re-established
The decision is final for the term of enrollment specified in the letter. A student may still be able to re-establish eligibility on their own, for future enrollment periods, by completing sufficient credit hours or by improving their cumulative GPA. The student may appeal no more than two terms at UMW. Requests for multiple appeals must be for different circumstances.
Plan for Academic Success
Students placed on Financial Aid Warning, Probation or Suspension are strongly encouraged to schedule an academic advisement appointment with the Office of Academic and Career Services or with their Faculty Advisor. Through advisement, students will work to create academic plans and become connected to campus resources that support academic success. Resources at UMW to help students succeed academically include:
- The Tutoring Center
- The Writing Center
- The Speaking Center
- Academic Success Workshops
- The Office of Disability Resources
- Talley Center for Counseling Services
Each of these resources are available to help identify learning issues, provide training for improving academic skills and developing academic plans that assist our students in regaining good academic standing.
Course in Program of Study (CPOS)
The federal government has limits on the amount of credits for which a student may receive financial aid funding. Under federal regulations, financial aid will only pay for one undergraduate degree. An undergraduate degree at the University of Mary Washington is earned at 120 credits. Within that degree, students take course selections to complete general educations, major requirements and elective options. Each of the degree majors have a set pattern of course requirements for graduation. Once a major is earned the distribution of courses the student has completed at UMW, transferred in from other post-secondary institutions or completed and transferred from dual enrollment and AP coursework in high school are assigned to their place in the degree audit. Student can review how completed or transferred credits apply toward their declared degree by running a degree audit through MyUMW.