Satisfactory Academic Process

Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor your academic progress toward the completion of your degree. Your entire academic history at EMU (including transfer or consortium agreement credits and periods during which no federal aid was received) is reviewed to ensure timely progression toward graduation. This monitoring process is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Academic progress is evaluated each semester of enrollment (including summer) using three factors:

  1. Grade point average (GPA)
  2. Percentage of attempted credit hours completed (completion rate)
  3. Maximum credits of eligibility (MCE) in which to complete a degree

Failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will result in cancellation of eligibility to receive funds from Federal Title IV, state or university financial aid programs.*

Undergraduate students are required to:

  • Maintain a 2.00 cumulative EMU GPA
  • Complete at least 67% of all attempted credit hours
  • Complete a degree program in a maximum time frame of no more than 150% of the program’s average length (example: 124 credit hours required to graduate X 1.5 = 186)

Graduate students are required to:

  • Maintain a 3.00 cumulative EMU GPA
  • Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of the credit hours attempted
  • Complete a degree program within the time limits specified for their program in EMU Graduate School time to degree policy.
  • Warning

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    Students who fail to meet the above requirements of SAP are placed on a warning status. While on warning, students are eligible to receive financial aid. Students may receive aid for a total of one semester on warning status. Students not meeting these Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will receive communication via email to their emich email address.
  • Cancellation

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    Students will no longer be eligible for financial aid if any of the following occurs:

    • Following one semester of warning, the student fails to meet the minimum SAP requirements.
    • Student has attempted the maximum credits of eligibility allowed for their program of study.

    Students on cancellation will receive communication via email to their my.emich email account and a letter mailed to their permanent address.

  • Why am I not making Satisfactory Academic Progress when I have no failing grades?

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    Federal regulations require that the SAP review include all credit hours a student has attempted, including repeated and withdrawn courses as reflected on your academic record. Although withdrawing from a class may help your GPA, a "W" is still considered a course that was attempted, but not completed, for determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Treatment of Withdrawals

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    Students who withdraw from all classes in a semester may be required to return some, or all, of the financial aid paid to their student account. Students must maintain a 67% completion rate in order to be eligible for federal aid. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss the consequences of a withdrawal.
  • Treatment of Grades Indicating Non-Completion of a Course

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    Students who receive grades of I, IP, NC or N grade have failed to complete a course. These grades negatively affect the completion rate.

    Students who receive a grade of E or F have failed a course. Grades of E and F negatively affect completion rate and GPA.

    If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of a student’s completion rate and maximum time frame. The most recent grade is factored into the cumulative GPA.

  • Grade Changes

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    All grade changes, including incompletes (I) are evaluated monthly and will be included in the evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • Remedial/English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses

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    Required remedial and ESL courses are calculated into the completion rate and GPA and are used in reviewing SAP criteria. However, only courses at 100 level or higher count toward graduation requirements.
  • Second/Additional Majors or Degrees

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    If a student elects to double major, complete more than one degree at a time, and/or start a degree and then change majors, all classes previously taken will still be used in the evaluation of SAP. Each time a degree is conferred the student’s SAP status resets and only classes taken from that point forward are included in SAP calculations.
  • Audit/No Credit courses

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    Audit or No Credit courses are not eligible for financial aid and they will not be included in enrollment for consideration of aid
  • Transfer Courses

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    Transfer credits accepted at EMU are used to calculate the student’s remaining eligibility under the maximum time frame and included in the completion rate calculation. Transfer credits accepted at EMU are counted as both attempted and earned in the calculation of completion rate. Transfer courses are not used in the calculation of cumulative EMU GPA.
  • Appeal Process

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    Students who had extenuating circumstances which resulted in failure to maintain SAP may appeal the cancellation. Examples of extenuating circumstances could include injury or illness, death of an immediate relative, or other special circumstances. An appeal may be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid Review Committee no later than the following dates:

    • Receiving aid in Summer 2020, appeal by May 8, 2020
    • Receiving aid in Fall 2020, appeal by September 4, 2020
    • Receiving aid in Winter 2021, appeal by January 22, 2021
    • Receiving aid in Summer 2021, appeal by May 7, 2021
  • SAP cancellation appeals for GPA and/or CR must include the following:

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    • Submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal accessed via our Forms Directory.
    • Personal statement explaining:
        • the circumstances that prevented academic progress
        • a plan on how academic progress will be improved
    • Supporting documentation (such as letters from professors, medical documentation, etc.)
    • Complete Financial Aid Awareness Counseling. Include printed confirmation page provided at conclusion of counseling with your appeal.
  • SAP cancellation appeals for undergraduate students with MCE warning or cancellation must include the following:

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    • Submit the Maximum Credit Hours of Eligibility (MCE) Appeal accessed via our Forms Directory.
    • Supporting third party documentation, as appropriate.

    The Review Committee may consider a significant change in major when reviewing MCE. However, multiple majors and minors, and/or excessive E, I, N or W grades or repeated courses are not adequate reasons for exceeding the MCE requirement. Appeals submitted for these reasons alone cannot be approved.

    Graduate students who have exceeded their Time to Degree allowance must petition [PDF] The Graduate School for a modification or waiver of the Time to Degree policy.

    Appeal decisions are sent to the student’s EMU email address. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation status and will be eligible to receive financial aid for a period of one semester after a contract has been signed by the student. The contract will provide conditions the student is required to meet for their probationary semester.

    A student may regain financial aid eligibility by meeting the SAP standards if an appeal is denied or never submitted.

  • Re-Establishing Eligibility

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    If your eligibility has been cancelled and you do not meet the appeal criteria, you will regain eligibility automatically once you are meeting the SAP criteria on your own. This means that once your completion rate reaches 67% and your cumulative grade point average is 2.0 (3.0 for graduate students) you will be back in good standing and eligible for future aid. You will not need to contact our office. We check SAP status for all students at the end of each semester after grades are posted.
  • Calculating Completion Rate

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    Divide the number of earned degree hours into the number of attempted degree hours.

    Example: 125 (earned hours) ÷ 131 (attempted hours) = 95%

    Passed and attempted degree hours are found under the Student tab of your my.emich account. (Click on Student Services, Student Records and Academic Transcript).

  • Calculating Your Grade Point Average

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    • List your courses (whether all or just those in a major or minor) and the credits and grade for each course.
    • Use the chart below to determine the grade points for each course (this is determined by multiplying the grade points by the number of credits for the course).
    • Add up all of the grade points. Divide this total by the total number of credit hours included. The result will be your grade point average, using the scale in our current university computer system.

    Use this to calculate your grade point average [PDF].

    REMEMBER: EMU requires that all undergraduates have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher before they can be approved for graduation. This minimum also applies to the student’s major and minor programs. Some programs of study require more than these minimum conditions for graduation. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 or completion rate falls below a 67% may also be placed on academic probation with the university, or, if the deficit is substantial, may be subject to academic dismissal. Questions regarding these policies, especially as they relate to academic probation, should be referred to the University Advising and Career Development Center (200 McKenny Hall; 734.487.0400).

If you are appealing to receive financial aid forYour appeal needs to be received by our office by
Fall 2017September 11, 2017
Winter 2018January 8, 2018
Summer 2018May 7, 2018

* Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant), Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Work Study, Direct PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students), Graduate PLUS Loan, University Grant/Award, and EMU scholarships.

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