Satisfactory Academic Progress
The U.S. Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and Ball State University require that students applying for federal, state, and some institutional funds demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. The programs at Ball State University affected by the satisfactory academic progress policy include:
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)
  • Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant
  • Indiana Evan Bayh 21st Century Scholars Award
  • Indiana Adult Student Grant
  • Indiana National Guard Supplemental Grant
  • Indiana Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Grants (CVO)
  • State of Indiana scholarship programs
  • Fees Assistance Grant
  • Ball State Grant
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate or undergraduate students receiving aid from or intending to apply for aid from any of these programs must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress or face denial of aid from these sources.

Continuing or returning students applying for aid from these programs for the first time must have demonstrated earlier progress in order to receive aid. Satisfactory academic progress is checked annually after spring semester.  No financial assistance, including Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans, will be reinstated for prior terms in which the student was not in compliance with this policy. Academic clemency does not apply to financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid is defined as:

  • maintaining a GPA consistent with university graduation requirements
  • staying on pace to graduate
  • completing a degree within a maximum time frame

Failing to maintain any one of the three progress measures means you cannot receive aid from financial aid programs subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

You can check your academic progress in Self-Service Banner.

To check your progress:

  1. Enter your login information.
  2. Select the “SSB-Self Service Banner” link.
  3. Select “Financial Aid.”
  4. Select the “Satisfactory Academic Progress” tab.
Check Your Academic Progress

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement 

Your undergraduate GPA must meet or exceed the following:

  • Under 30 credit hours attempted:  1.6 GPA
  • 30-59 credit hours attempted:        1.8 GPA
  • Over 60 credit hours attempted:    2.0 GPA

Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Being reinstated by the Office of the Registrar through an academic separation appeal does not automatically make you eligible for financial aid.

Students are required to earn 66.67 percent (without rounding up) of attempted hours to stay on pace to graduate (See below for examples)

Pace is calculated by dividing earned hours by attempted hours. Pace is measured annually at the end of spring semester.

If a student does not meet the pace requirement at the end of spring semester, they will be denied financial aid for the following academic year.  At the next measurement at the end of the next spring semester, they will need to have regained pace to have eligibility reinstated.

If the student regains pace prior to the next evaluation period, they must submit a satisfactory academic progress appeal in order to have their eligibility reviewed.

Please Note: Students who receive a grade of incomplete because of studying abroad, independent learning courses, or for other reasons may fall below the 66.67 percent pace requirement. As a result, they may lose their financial aid eligibility until grades and hours earned have been posted for those courses.

Example:  A student enrolled for 30 credit hours during their first academic year, but earned only 15 credit hours and had a 2.1 GPA.  Although the necessary GPA has been met, pace was not maintained (15 cumulative hours earned divided by 30 cumulative hours attempted equals 50 percent).  This student would be placed on financial aid denial for the following academic year.

The same student enrolled for and completed all 30 attempted credit hours during the second academic year at their own expense.  Assuming the student maintains a GPA that meets or exceeds the requirements, this student is now off financial aid denial because they regained pace (45 cumulative hours earned divided by 60 cumulative hours attempted equals 75 percent completion).

Students are expected to complete degree requirements within a maximum time frame based on attempted hours (including transfer hours and advanced standing hours).

You will be ineligible for financial aid when you reach your maximum time frame or it has been determined you cannot complete your degree within this time frame.

The maximum time frames are:

  • for students seeking an associate’s degree – 90 hours
  • for students seeking a bachelor’s degree – 180 hours
  • for students seeking a master's degree - 54 hours
  • for students seeking a doctoral degree - 108 hours

Exceptions

The following are limited to eight semesters for students who are working on a bachelor’s degree:
  • Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant
  • Indiana National Guard Supplement
  • Indiana 21st Century Scholars Award
The Indiana Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant is limited to 124 attempted hours. Graduate students need to complete their degree within the time frame specified by their academic department.

Appeals

Students enrolled in a second undergraduate or graduate degree program who have reached their maximum time frame will need to appeal. If an appeal is granted, only the hours required to earn the second degree will be used in extending the maximum time frame.

Incompletes (“I” Grades)

Incomplete grades will not count toward progress until such time as the grade and hours earned are posted. At that time, hours completed will count for the period of original registration. If you are denied financial aid due to not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, you may not receive aid retroactively for the term(s) you are attending while finishing the incomplete. You will need to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships when the final grade is posted by the Registrar’s Office.

Grade Changes

Grade changes will be monitored on a weekly basis once the grade has been posted by the Office of the Registrar.

Withdrawals (“W” grades)

Withdrawals will not count toward progress and, as a result, will negatively affect a student’s pace, as well as count against the maximum time frame.

Course Repetitions

Course repetitions may have a negative effect on pace and will not extend the maximum time frame established for undergraduate students.

Add/Drop Hours

Credit hours are locked in at the end of the add/drop period for purposes of satisfactory academic progress. The add/drop period ends the seventh day of the fall and spring semesters and the third day of each summer session.  For full-term summer semester courses the add/drop period ends the fifth day of the first summer session.

Transfer and Advanced-Standing Hours

Transfer and advanced-standing hours will count toward both earned and attempted hours. Attempted hours are used in calculating the maximum time frame.

Periods of Enrollment with No Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress is a measurement of a student’s academic progress regardless of whether or not aid was received in a particular enrollment period.

Students who are denied financial aid due to GPA and/or pace can regain their financial aid eligibility once they meet satisfactory academic progress requirements after the next evaluation period.  Students can also regain their financial aid eligibility through the appeal process explained below.

Students who have reached their maximum time frame can only become eligible for financial aid again if they have an appeal granted.

Students who are denied financial aid may appeal if they have documented extenuating circumstances such as an illness, a death in the family or other personal and family difficulties.

If your appeal is granted, you are put on a probationary status for one semester. You have one semester to raise your GPA to be consistent with university graduation requirements and/or to be back on pace to graduate. An appeal is not likely to be approved if it is not mathematically possible for you to regain eligibility in this probationary semester.

Being reinstated by the Office of the Registrar through an academic separation appeal does not automatically make you eligible for financial aid. 

However, in instances where you have extreme circumstances and you cannot regain eligibility in one semester, your academic advisor must submit an academic plan that includes the courses you need to graduate or to regain eligibility requirements. The plan must include the number of credit hours for each course, the semester in which the course is to be taken, and your expected graduation date. If the appeal is approved, progress will be measured each semester to ensure continued compliance with the plan. Failure to meet the plan requirements will result in a denial of financial aid.

Receipt of aid is contingent upon funds being available at the time of the request for reinstatement of aid.

File an Appeal

The priority date for fall semester appeals to be submitted is July 15. The priority date for spring semester appeals to be submitted is November 15.

To complete the appeal process, follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to bsu.edu/cardinalcentral and sign in with your BSU Credentials if prompted.
  2. Click “Forms” in the Navigation Bar

    Cardinal Central login screen

     

  3. Click “DQ/SAP Appeal Form”

    DQ SAP Appeal screen

Withdrawing from individual courses can affect your current and future financial aid.

Pell Grants are recalculated through the first week of a semester. Learn more.

Most state grants require students to maintain minimum enrollment requirements through the first four weeks of a semester. In addition, recipients of the Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant, Indiana 21st Century Scholars and the Indiana Adult Student Grant have minimums for the number of hours that must be completed to receive the awards each year. See additional information at Indiana Grants.

Satisfactory Academic Progress requires students to stay on pace to graduate. Measured at the end of each semester, students must complete at least 67 percent of cumulative hours attempted. For the full policy, see the pace to graduation requirement of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. (Anchor Link)

 

We want you to be successful and achieve your educational goals while you are studying at Ball State. We also understand that sometimes circumstances present obstacles. When this happens, we encourage you to contact Cardinal Central right away so we can help you determine your best options.

Depending upon your date of withdrawal you can lose all or a portion of your financial aid.  Cardinal Central can help you understand how your decision affects your financial aid.

Withdraw from ALL Courses

If you want to withdraw from ALL courses, you must contact:

Cardinal Central
Student Center, L-20
Phone 765-285-3312

Contact Cardinal Central

Staff in this office will help explain the guidelines regarding withdrawal and assist you with the necessary paperwork. 

Refunds

If you withdraw from all courses early in a term, you may be entitled to a refund of some of your charges.

See Cancellation and Complete Withdrawal

Students who stop attending courses at any point before the end of a term without completing the official withdrawal process are considered to have unofficially withdrawn.

Any student determined to have unofficially withdrawn and not having completed at least 60 percent of the term will be given a withdraw date equal to 50 percent of the term.

Any student who fails to attend at least one course will have all funds cancelled and returned to the source of the funds.

Any student who fails to begin attendance in at least one course will have all funds canceled and returned to the source of the aid.  Students are responsible for any charges previously paid with the aid. Any refunds of university fees will be applied to these charges before they are released to the student.

Federal Aid

  • The federal government has issued regulations regarding the return of funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from or abandons classes.
  • Students with verified enrollment beyond the 60 percent point of the term earn all aid for that period.
  • During the first 60 percent of the term, students earn federal financial aid funds in direct proportion to the length of time they remain enrolled and attend classes. Any unearned financial aid will be canceled and returned to the appropriate program(s). Federal funds will be returned to the federal programs in the following order up to the maximum amount awarded: Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

State Aid

  • State program guidelines require that a student receiving the Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant or Indiana Evan Bayh 21st Century Scholars Award maintain full-time enrollment during the first four weeks of each semester. Less than full-time enrollment during the first four weeks will result in cancellation of the award. The National Guard Supplement and the Adult Student Grant require a student to maintain half-time enrollment during the first four weeks. After the first four weeks of the semester, funds will be returned at the same percentage as the university refund policy.

Unofficial Withdrawal

  • If a student abandons their classes and does not notify Cardinal Central they are considered an unofficial withdrawal. Any student determined to have unofficially withdrawn will have a withdraw date equal to 50 percent of the term completed. Unless attendance is confirmed at over 60%, financial aid will be reduced in accordance with federal policy. You will be responsible for any charges previously paid by the aid.