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Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Policies and expectations regarding satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies 

Section 484 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended requires a student to maintain satisfactory academic progress (qualitative & quantitative) in the course of study he or she is pursuing in order to receive aid under the financial assistance programs authorized by Title IV.  Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress could result in the loss of federal aid.  Students at Mississippi College may apply for Title IV federal student aid programs to assist them in paying for their college education.  Mississippi College is committed to assisting students in helping them to meet their educational goals.

 Title IV aid consists of the following programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant (PELL)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Supplemental Grant (SEOG)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Federal Direct Loan Programs (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS)

All students at Mississippi College must achieve and maintain SAP in order to retain Title IV aid eligibility as directed by the U.S. Department of Education.

 SAP is checked at the end of each semester.  The semesters are summer, fall and spring.  Summer school is our “header”.  Students that fail to meet academic progress are first placed on financial aid probation beginning with the next semester for which they attend.

 If a student, who is on financial aid probation fails to show academic progress during the following semester, they are then placed on financial aid suspension.

 A student that is on financial aid suspension is not allowed to receive federal or institutional aid during the period of suspension.  A student is allowed to continue work at Mississippi College as long as they are not on academic suspension.  These students would have to make other arrangements in order clear their balance.

 Students placed on financial aid probation will be notified by email at their school email address.  A student that is put on suspension will be notified by mail.  The letter will be sent to their permanent address.  Students are responsible for updating their address in the Registrar’s Office, if a change is needed.

Measurements for SAP

There are three ways that are used to measure satisfactory progress for the student at Mississippi College

 1.  The Two-Thirds Rule or 67% Completion

A student at Mississippi College must successfully pass at least 67% of the hours that he/she has attempted for the semester.  To successfully complete a course, one must make one must receive a final grade of A, B, C, D, or P.  Unsuccessful grades are W, F, and I.

 The pace of a student’s progression through his/her academic program is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the student successfully completed by the cumulative hours the student attempted.  Attempted hours are those hours that appear on the transcript.

Cumulative hours earned / Cumulative hours attempted

For example:  A student begins the semester taking 12 hours.  He successfully completes 9 hours.  The student has successfully complete 75% of his courses.  He is maintaining SAP. (9/12=.75X100%= 75%)  This is more than 67%.

Another example:  This same student starts with 12 hours, but drops to 6 hours.  This student is not maintaining SAP.  (6/12= .5 X100%= 50%)  This is less than 67%.

2.  Minimum GPA Requirement

An undergraduate must achieve and maintain cumulative GPA of 2.0 on his/her course of study at Mississippi College.  Mississippi College’s academic year is divided into three semesters.  The summer, fall and spring semesters.  The fall and spring semesters have at least 15 weeks of study. 

A graduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at Mississippi College.  The Cumulative GPA is based on course work taken only at Mississippi College.

3.  Completion Rate

An undergraduate student’s total number of hours attempted at Mississippi College and all other institutions (included attempted hours gained in pursuit of another undergraduate degree) cannot exceed more than 190 hours.

A graduate student will not be eligible to receive aid once they have completed 72 total hours in pursuit of a Master’s degree, 100 hours in pursuit of a Specialist degree, or a grand total of 160 total hours in pursuit of all graduate degrees including Doctorate.

Factors that Influence a Student’s SAP

Incomplete Grade:

All MC credit hours are included in the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.  Grades of “I” are not counted as hours completed, but they are counted as hours attempted.  All repeat courses are counted as attempted hours.  Passed hours may only be repeated ONCE for Title IV aid.  Incomplete courses are graded hours, but count as failed hours until a different grade is submitted.  If the course is never completed, the grade will be changed to “F”.


Grades of “W” (withdrawal) do not count as graded credit hours, and thus do not impact the student’s GPA.  Official course withdrawals can affect the student’s two/thirds rule.

Failed Courses:

 An instructor reporting an “F” must report the student’s last date of attendance.  If the student earned the “F”, then the “F” can affect the cumulative GPA, completion rate, and two-thirds rule.  If the student receives and “F” for stopping attending the class, this will go towards the student’s GPA, completion rate, and two-thirds rule. 

Transfer Hours:

 Credit hours that are earned at another institution that count towards a student’s educational program are accepted by Mississippi College.  Transfer grades are not used at Mississippi College.  The transfer hours are only used in the calculation of a student’s completion rate.

Financial Aid Appeals

 Student’s placed on financial aid suspension are allowed to appeal their suspension.  The student is notified by mail of their suspension.  The letter will let the student know the time frame of when to return their appeal.  An appeal form is included with the letter.  The appeal form must be returned to the Office of Financial Aid.  The appeal will then be submitted to the Admissions and Financial Aid Appeals Committee.

The student must tell is his/her appeal why he/she did not maintain SAP.  They must also state how they intend to improve their academic progress.  Students are not allowed to receive their aid until their appeal had been heard and approved.  All appeals decisions are final.