Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements (to be eligible for financial aid)
In accordance with federal regulations all financial aid recipients are required to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards their degree and be in good academic standing in order to remain eligible to receive financial aid. In other words, you must achieve a certain number of credits over a period of time, called “pace”, and a certain cumulative GPA each year. At the end of the spring term, we will check your academic transcript to make sure that you have achieved the required pace/cumulative GPA and are not on academic probation. If you do not make satisfactory academic progress then you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for the next school year until you are in good standing. All financial aid including federal student loans, federal parent loans, grants, scholarships, and work study are subject to meeting the minimum SAP standards set by the university.
Full-time undergraduates must successfully complete a minimum of 24 credits per academic year in order to be maintaining satisfactory progress. Full-time undergraduate students who attend for only one term during the academic year must complete a minimum of 12 credits. All other students must successfully complete the credits for which financial aid has been awarded as stated on their award.
“Successful completion” is defined as the receipt of a passing letter grade (A+ to D-) and does not include the receipt of an F (Failure), INC (Incomplete), DNA (Did Not Attend), W (Withdrawal), or U (Unsatisfactory). The requirements for good academic standing are described in the “Academic Regulations” section of the undergraduate and graduate catalogs.
Students are also required to maintain a minimum cumulative quality point ratio (QPR) to be considered in good academic standing. Please refer to the Academic policies in the University catalog for additional information on this requirement or CLICK HERE. Remedial courses are calculated in the number of credit hours for a student and and in the student's cumulative grade point average.
In addition to achieving pace and a specific Cumulative GPA, financial aid eligibility is limited to accumulated attempted credit hours totaling no more than 150% of the published credit hours required to receive an undergraduate degree. This is your maximum timeframe for receiving financial aid. At all times throughout the students’ enrollment, federal regulations require schools to ensure that students are successfully completing 67% of the credits they are attempting to stay on track for graduating on time. For example, a program that requires 120 credit hours x 1.5 = 180 maximum allowable credit hours attempted for financial aid eligibility. Every term that you are enrolled in school will be counted, even the terms when you do not receive financial aid. Transfer credits accepted by the University from other institutions will count as both hours attempted and hours completed towards the maximum credit hour limit.
A student's academic progress is reviewed at the end of each spring term. The Financial Aid Office will mail a letter to each student who fails to maintain the minimum academic progress standards detailing their deficiencies and the steps for reinstating their financial aid eligibility. Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility have the opportunity to appeal for reinstatement.
A student can appeal their academic ineligibility in order to be granted financial aid despite academic deficiencies. The student must write a detailed letter explaining the extenuating circumstances (death, divorce, illness, etc) that hindered them from making satisfactory progress. The letter must come complete with documentation of the extenuating circumstances (death certificates, doctor’s note, etc.), and explain what has changed that will allow the student to make satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation period.
A financial aid appeals committee made up of various members of the University community, including academic and administrative personnel, will meet to review the appeal letters. Decisions to reinstate eligibility or deny and appeal are made in a fair and equitable manner based on the information the student provided in the letter, the supporting documentation, and a review of the academic record. If the financial aid appeals committee approves the appeal then the student will be awarded their financial aid package for one term following the appeal and would be considered on “Financial Aid probation”. After completion of that term, the student must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements to be eligible for aid for future terms. If the appeals committee upholds the loss of financial aid then the student will need to make payment arrangements with the bursar's office.
Students who have lost their merit scholarship(s), such as the Presidential/Transfer Presidential Scholarship, Distinguished Scholar Award, Charger Award, SAT Writing Award, Phi Theta Scholarship, Leadership Award, or Deans Scholarship due to falling below the minimum 3.0 QPR requirement may take summer classes in order to try and raise their QPR to the minimum standard. The QPR must be officially posted to the UNH academic transcript prior to the first day of the Fall term in order to have the merit award(s) reinstated. Otherwise the student will not have their academic record reviewed again until the following May.
Financial Aid Refund Policy
When students are entitled to a refund as a result of withdrawal from courses, refunds of charges and financial aid will be based on the institutional refund policy as described under academic policies in the University catalog or by clicking here, and on the Return of Title IV Funds calculation as required by Section 484B of the Higher Education Act. Federal regulations require that any unearned Title IV aid be returned to the program(s) that provided the funds.
Return Of Title IV Funds
A withdrawal requires the University to calculate the amount of unearned federal financial aid a student has received. The University must:
- Determine the student's official withdrawal date as documented in the Registrar's Office. The withdrawal date is used to determine the percentage of the payment period completed and therefore the amount of aid a student has earned. Students who have completed more than 60% of the term are not subject to the federal calculation.
- Determine the amount of aid earned by the student. The University must calculate earned aid by multiplying the total aid disbursed or which could have been disbursed (excluding Federal Work Study) by the percent of the payment period the student completed
If less aid has been disbursed than a student has earned then a post withdrawal disbursement must be made. The University will notify the student, or parent in the case of a Federal Parent Loan, in writing within 30 days of the withdrawal date that a post withdrawal disbursement is available. The student/parent must respond within 14 days of notification in order to receive the funds. The student/parent may accept all or part of the post withdrawal disbursement.
If more aid was disbursed than earned then the University, the student, or both must return all unearned aid in a specific order:
1) Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan
2) Subsidized Direct Student Loan
3) Federal Perkins Loan
4) Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
5) Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
6) Federal Pell Grant
7) Federal SEOG (federal portion only)
8) Federal TEACH Grant
Students are responsible for repaying all unearned funds that the University is not required to return, as well as any balance created on their University Bursar account by the application of the Title IV Return of Funds formula.The University will notify the student in writing within 30 days of determing an overpayment. Students must repay as follows:
- Loans - repayment according to the terms of the loan
- Grants - repayment is 50% of unearned grant
Students who owe a Title IV grant repayment have 45 days to repay in full, make arrangements to repay the University, or make arrangements to repay the US Department of Education. Students who fail to take positive action to repay their grant will be reported to the US Department of Education and NSLDS immediately after the 45 day period has elapsed.
Additional information and sample worksheets are available in the Financial Aid Office.