Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Policy

Policy Name: Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Policy
Policy Number: STU-7032
Effective: Legacy
Revised: 2021/07

Policy Statement

Aid Students receiving financial aid are required by federal regulation to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to continue to receive aid while enrolled at Holy Family University.

Minimum Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Federal regulations require that an institution establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student, who is otherwise eligible for aid, is maintaining satisfactory academic progress in their course of study. The standards must be the same or stricter than the institution’s standards for a student enrolled in the same academic program who is not receiving financial aid.

For the purpose of satisfactory academic progress, financial aid includes all federal, state, and Holy Family University funded scholarships, grants, discounts, work, and loans. Listed below is the complete statement of Minimum Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid. Please refer to our website for the most up to date version of this policy.

Maximum Timeframe for Completing Degree Requirements

  • Students are expected to complete their program of study (degree) in the number of semesters indicated in the catalog. Transfer students and students changing programs are placed in an appropriate semester on the basis of credits transferred. Such students are expected to complete their degree according to the remaining semesters in their program plus one additional semester to allow for scheduling difficulties.
  • The maximum timeframe for completing degree requirements is six years for full-time study, twelve years for half-time study and seven years for the accelerated program. Transfer credits earned at other institutions that are applicable to the student’s program of study will be considered in determining the student’s maximum timeframe for program completion.

Pennsylvania State Grants are only available for eight full-time semesters and sixteen half-time semesters.

Students must make quantitative progress (pace of completion) and qualitative progress (minimum cumulative grade point average) toward their educational goals each academic year to receive aid. The academic year consists of the summer sessions and two regular semesters (fall and spring).

Quantitative Standards

To be eligible for continued receipt of financial aid (excluding Pennsylvania State Grants), students must satisfactorily complete at least 75% of all courses attempted.

Qualitative Standards

To be eligible for continued receipt of financial aid, students must achieve the following cumulative grade point average (GPA):

  • 23 or fewer cumulative credits: 1.75
  • 24 and above cumulative credits: 2.0 cumulative GPA

Students who receive the following scholarships must also maintain the stated minimum cumulative grade point average in order to continue to receive the scholarship:

Scholarship/Minimum Cumulative GPA

Scholarship Minimum Cumulative GPA;
Presidential 3.0
Trustees 3.0
Deans 2.6
University Award 2.0

Measurement of Academic Progress

Academic Progress measurement includes all semesters and is usually measured at the end of the Spring semester. Students beginning their program in the Spring semester will be evaluated based on their academic performance during their first Spring semester and at the end of each subsequent Spring semester. Also, the satisfactory progress standards are cumulative and will include all semesters of the student’s enrollment, even those for which the student did not receive financial aid.

Failures and withdrawals are courses attempted, not completed. Incompletes are not counted toward credits completed until after the course work is successfully completed and posted by the Registrar’s Office. Repeat courses will be evaluated for satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the academic policy section of the University catalog.

When Minimum Standards of Academic Progress Are Not Achieved

Students who fail to meet these requirements will be notified in writing by the financial aid office after information on academic progress is available at the end of the academic year (typically May). Students who fail to meet these requirements will not be considered for financial aid until all requirements have been met. Under no circumstances will financial aid be awarded retroactively to the semester(s) in which the requirements were not met.

Students who fail to meet these requirements have the opportunity to make up the hours and grade point requirements needed during the Summer sessions (at their own expense). Once the Summer course work is posted by the Registrar’s Office, the student will be considered for financial aid for the next semester if the requirements are met. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the grades and credits completed have been properly posted with the Registrar’s Office and to notify the Financial Aid Office once this has occurred.

The student may also submit a completed “Financial Aid Appeal of Satisfactory Academic Progress” form, available at our web site, The appeal must include the following:

  • The events that occurred within the past academic year that prevented the minimum requirements from being met. It should specify mitigating circumstances such as extended illness, death in the family, or other extraordinary extenuating circumstances. The financial aid office may request additional documentation to support the appeal.
  • What has changed in their situation that will allow them to make Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation. This should include an explanation of what actions will be taken to ensure the requirements are met the following year.

Approval or disapproval of this appeal will be made by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. The student will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision. If the appeal is denied, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid until the minimum requirements are met. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester.

The student may also be required to complete an Academic Plan if it is determined it is not possible for the student to meet the minimum requirements after just one semester’s coursework. At the end of the probationary semester it will be determined if all requirements have been met. If so, the probationary status will be removed. If the requirements were not met at the end of the probationary semester, the student will be ineligible for further financial aid until the minimum requirements are met.

Standards of Academic Progress for the Pennsylvania State Grant Program

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority (PHEAA) requires recipients of the PA State Grant to complete a minimum of 24 credits for every two semesters of full-time grant assistance received, or a minimum of 12 credits for every two semesters of half-time grant assistance received. Students whose status is split within the academic year (full-time/half-time) will have their state grant eligibility reviewed based on a proration of annual requirements for the appropriate semester.

Please note that courses repeated to improve a non-failing grade are not counted by PHEAA toward the minimum credit requirement. Students must appeal directly to PHEAA concerning extenuating circumstances. The University cannot override the state’s decision regarding the loss of a State Grant.