Financial Aid

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USU Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


Financial aid comes with standards and limitations to encourage you to graduate in a timely manner. To receive federal financial aid, federal law requires you to make "satisfactory academic progress" toward a degree.

These standards apply to all periods of attendance including semesters you did not receive financial aid. Academic progress standards must be met by all students, including those with disabilities or chronic medical conditions. If you have a disability, contact the Disability Resource Center about possible accommodations.

  1. GPA: All students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average:
    2.0 for undergraduates,
    3.0 for graduate students.
    We only count USU courses for this standard.


  2. Pace: Undergraduates must earn passing grades in 67% of the courses they attempt (all classes listed on their transcript).
    Incompletes, repeated courses, audits, Rs, Fs, Ws, and WFs do not count as passing grades.
    We count all credits, including transfer credits for this standard after your first semester at USU.

    Frequently asked questions about pace.


  3. Maximum Credits: All students must be able to complete their program before attempting 150% of the required credits. 
    Attempted credits include all graded courses, transfer courses, testing credits, Pass/Fails, repeats, as well as Fs, Incompletes, Rs, Ws, and WFs.
    We count all credits, including transfer credits for this standard. Incoming transfer students who exceed 150% of the required credits may not be eligible for financial aid
    .
    - Certificated Program: 31 credits
    - Associate Degree: 75 credits
    - First Bachelor's Degree: 180 credits
    - Additional Bachelor's Degree: 60 credits
    - Master's Degree: 60 credits
    - Ph.D.: 60 credits

Please note that these standards are not the same as Utah State University's academic requirements. You may be eligible to attend USU but not be eligible to receive financial aid.

Additional requirements:

  • If you receive federal student loans and federal Work-Study, you must maintain at least 6 credits each semester you receive this aid.
  • Once you have earned more than 60 credits, you must have a 2.0 overall GPA to continue receiving financial aid.

Dropping Classes

Attempted credits do not include classes you drop before the last day to add classes (generally the end of third week). If you need to drop some of your classes before the last day to add, it will not count against your academic progress. However you may be required to repay some or all of your financial aid. Dropping or withdrawing from classes after the last day to add will affect your academic progress, and you will receive a W on your transcript.


Withdrawing or Failing Classes

Students must begin attendance in every class. If students withdraw from or fail a class and the professor cannot document academic participation, assignments, tests, etc., they may be required to repay the aid they received for that class.


All F Grades

Students who earn all F grades during a term may immediately lose eligibility for further federal financial aid. Students in this situation may appeal for circumstances beyond their control. In most circumstances, students are required to immediately repay all or a portion of their financial aid for the semester.


Complete Withdrawal

Dropping or withdrawing from all of your classes after the last day to add will affect your academic progress, and you will receive a "W" grade on your transcript.

If you completely withdraw from the University during the course of a semester, you will be required to return a percentage of your Federal Student Financial Aid. All types of Federal Financial Aid are included in the repayment, including: Pell Grants, Supplemental Grants, Perkins Loans, and Direct Loans. Students who withdraw, or cease attending, after completing 60% of the semester are not required to return aid unless they never participated academically. (However, they may still face warning or suspension from financial aid for failing to maintain their pace. See full policy.)


Financial Aid Warning

If your overall pace or your USU cumulative GPA drops below the standards listed above, you will be placed on financial aid warning. You will be required to submit a plan to improve your performance.  You may receive aid for one semester in this status.  If your performance doesn't lift your USU cumulative GPA and overall pace to the minimum standard, you will be ineligible for further aid. For example, if you are placed on warning at the end of fall semester, you will receive aid spring semester once you have submitted your plan for improvement. If your USU cumulative GPA and overall pace at the end of spring semester are below the required standard, you will lose eligibility for aid (“suspended”).


Financial Aid Suspension

Students suspended after their warning term for failing to make satisfactory progress are ineligible to receive further federal aid including grants, work-study, and federal student loans.

Note: Financial aid suspension does not prevent students from attending the university. In some cases, students may be able to continue at their own expense so they can improve their performance and regain aid eligibility.


Financial Aid Probation

See Appeals. Students who have been suspended are sometimes allowed to continue receiving financial aid on probation. Students on probation are given specific conditions to receive aid to get back into good standing. Students who fail to meet these conditions are suspended again.


Appealing Financial Aid Suspension

In extraordinary circumstances beyond your control, such as accidents, extreme illness, or death of an immediate family member, you may appeal your suspension to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Check with your financial aid counselor for specific appeal procedures. Students whose appeals are granted may continue to receive aid on financial aid probation. 

  • Appeals cannot be granted twice for the same circumstances.
  • Students will be given conditions they must meet each semester to get back into good standing.
  • Suspended students who have earned more than 60 credits must have a 2.0 overall GPA to appeal for financial aid.

2-Year Absence: Returning Students May Appeal for Probation

Suspended students who have been out of school for at least two years may appeal to be reinstated on probation. The appeal needs to document to the satisfaction of the Appeals Committee that circumstances which prevented students from making satisfactory progress have now been resolved.

  • 2-year absence appeals will only be considered once in a student's career.
  • Suspended students who have earned more than 60 credits must have a 2.0 overall GPA to appeal for financial aid.

Never Received Aid? Appealing to Start on Probation

If you have completed prior semesters at USU without receiving financial aid, and your GPA and/or pace are below the required level, you may appeal to be placed on financial aid probation the first term you receive aid.

  • Suspended students who have earned more than 60 credits must have a 2.0 overall GPA to appeal for financial aid.

Maximum Credits Appeals

You may appeal for an extension to finish your degree.

Please visit with your financial aid counselor to pick up the Total Hours Appeal. You should not appeal for an extension until you have been suspended from financial aid.