Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, mandates institutions of higher education to establish minimum standards of "satisfactory progress" for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV aid programs including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans and Federal Work-Study.

Students should review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy which outlines the minimum requirements for students to meet academic progress to continue receiving federal financial aid. Students are encouraged to contact the financial aid staff with any questions about the information on this page.

Students who prove to have extenuating circumstances can file an Academic Progress Appeal Form.


Students may not receive federal aid for courses that were previously taken and passed beyond the first retake. In other words, once a student has passed a course, the student has one additional attempt to complete the same course and still be eligible to receive federal financial aid for that course. There is no federal limit on the number of attempts allowable if the student does not receive a passing grade.  However, students should refer to the university policy regarding repeats since they differ. Some courses are repeatable per university policy and are not restricted by these regulations.

State Grant Academic Progress

Academic progress requirements for state grant programs can vary from the federal academic progress policy. Academic progress requirements for the Pennsylvania State Grant are communicated directly to recipients with their state grant notification by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). A student is required to successfully complete a minimum of six (6) new credits per semester (or the equivalent) for each part-time State Grant received and a minimum of twelve (12) new credits per semester (or the equivalent) for each full-time State Grant received. Credits earned for repeat courses which were previously counted when State Grant progress was verified cannot be counted again. Students should refer to PHEAA's Website for additional information.

Other Progress Requirements

Students receiving scholarships or outside funding, that are renewable, should refer to their initial scholarship letter for information regarding any requirements in order to keep their award.

Rights and Responsibilities

The student has the right to:

  • Be considered for financial aid assistance.
  • Be notified of the financial aid decision. 
  • If not awarded financial assistance, to be informed as to the reason for denial.
  • Be informed of the financial aid programs available and the required application materials.

The student is responsible for:

  • Submitting the appropriate application forms within published deadline dates.
  • Using all refunds of financial aid funds for expenses related to their education.
  • Following the requirements and repayment schedules of educational loan programs.
  • Informing the Financial Aid Office of all grants, scholarships, or other funds received for their educational costs from outside organizations.