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Financial Aid

Financial Aid Policy on Satisfactory Progress

Federal regulations (HEA Sec. 484(c)) require that Central Michigan University monitor the satisfactory progress of all stu- dents regardless if they have received financial aid in previ- ous semesters. These financial aid requirements are separate from students’ academic requirements. To maintain eligibility for federal student aid, as well as most state and institutional student aid programs, there are three distinct criteria that must be monitored and met.

  • 1.

    Qualitative standard: Students must maintain GPA require- ments as set by the Registrar and the department or college of their major. Undergraduate requirements are found at http://www.cmich.edu/Academic_Advising_and_Assistance/ Academic_Assistance/Academic_Policies.htm. Graduate academic requirements vary depending on your program.

  • 2.

    Quantitative standard: All students must complete 75 per- cent of the courses they attempt in an academic year. CMU’s academic year begins with the fall semester and concludes with the summer semester. Attempted hours are based on the number of credits for which the student is registered at the conclusion of the Registrar’s posted “Deadline for Dropping a Class with a Full Cancellation of Tuition.”

  • 3.

    Maximum time frame standard: The number of attempted credits in which a student is expected to finish a program cannot exceed 150 percent of the published length of the program. Total credit hour limits apply whether or not the student has actually received financial aid for the entire time at CMU. Transfer credits from previous schools count toward credit hour limits. Undergraduate students cannot receive financial aid after com-

pleting 186 credit hours. The 186-credit-hour limit for completion of a baccalaureate degree is intended to be long enough to allow for changes in a major, loss of credit due to transfer, withdrawn coursework, minors, double majors, etc.; therefore, no exten- sions of the maximum time frame will be granted for the above mentioned reasons.

Students in graduate programs may not receive financial aid if they have exceeded the published time limits as outlined for master, doctoral, or professional programs (see page 32, Duration of Admission Status: Time for Completion of Degree).

Graduate students working on second baccalaureate degree or post-baccalaureate students working on teacher certifica- tion: Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree or post- baccalaureate students working on teacher certification are limited to 93 credit hours of work between the receipt of the first degree and the completion of the second. Students may not receive financial aid beyond 6 semesters (or the part-time equivalent of 6 semesters) of enrollment in the second undergraduate degree program or teacher certification program.

Satisfactory Progress review is performed annually

Satisfactory Progress is measured at the end of the spring se- mester (May) to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility for the following academic year. If a student is not making satisfactory progress at the close of the spring semester and subsequently earns additional CMU hours during the summer of that same academic year, the additional earned hours may be considered in a re-evaluation for aid eligibility. The request for a re-evaluation must be initiated by the student and submitted in writing to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA).

As a courtesy, the OSFA will attempt to provide students with specific notification regarding their Satisfactory Progress status. If for any reason the OSFA fails to provide an intended notification, this does not relieve the student from the obligation of continuing to maintain satisfactory progress or from any other requirements of the financial aid program.

Consequences of unsatisfactory progress

Students who fail to complete 75 percent of their attempted courses in an academic year will be placed in a warning sta- tus. Failure to bring their completion rate to 75 percent in the next academic year of enrollment will result in financial aid suspension beginning with the next academic year. A student will remain on financial aid suspension and be denied federal and most state and institutional aid until he/she completes 75 percent of attempted courses within an academic year at CMU. Only credit hours com- pleted are counted as credits earned. Grades of NC (no credit), I (Incomplete), W (withdrawal), X (audit), and Z (deferred) are not counted as earned credit. For example, a student who attended CMU in the fall and spring semesters and attempts 12 credits each semester (24 total) but withdraws from a 3-credit fall semester course and a 4-credit spring semester course (total of 7 credits), will have completed 17 of 24 credits for a completion rate of 71 percent. This student will be warned. A second year of less than 75 percent completion results in the student being denied further aid until he or she completes 75 percent of attempted courses within an academic year.

Students who reach their time limit without completing their degree will be denied further federal and most state and institutional financial aid as a student at that level. As students near their credit limits they will be placed in a warning status. For example, if as an undergraduate you reach 150 at- tempted credits you will be placed in a warning status. Once you reach the 186-earned-credit limit, you will be denied further aid until the degree is conferred. You then would regain eligibility for a second undergraduate or a graduate degree. If you are attempt- ing a master’s degree and reach the eligibility limit, you would be denied further aid until the master’s degree is conferred, at which time you would regain eligibility for a second master’s, doctoral, or professional degree.

Appeal process

Students who have faced extraordinary circumstances may appeal a financial aid suspension but, students are cautioned that appeals are not routinely approved. All appeals must be typed and must include third party supporting documenta- tion on professional letterhead. For example, if your mitigating circumstance is that you were severely ill, you must submit a letter from your doctor that is written on the doctor’s professional letterhead supporting that you were severely ill during the given time period.

All appeals should be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. In most cases a decision will be made within 15 business days of receiving an appeal letter and the appropri- ate documentation. Students are notified of appeal decisions in writing or through their CMU e-mail account.

Continuing at CMU after aid is denied: Students denied financial aid generally may continue attending Central Michigan University using private aid sources such as alternative student loans (www.financialaid.cmich.edu/loans.shtml#ALTL), or by funding their education themselves. Please note that on the linked Alternative loan list, some loans listed are NOT available to students while on Financial Aid Suspension.

Please note the following:

Mitigating circumstances may cause a student to fail to achieve financial aid Satisfactory Progress. The student may submit a letter of explanation, with appropriate documentation attached, to the OSFA, Student Services Court, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859.

Transfer students: Transfer students will be assigned within the maximum time frame, based on the number of credits ac- cepted by CMU.

Repeated courses: Repeat courses for which a student previ- ously received a passing grade will not count towards meeting the academic year new credits earned requirement.

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