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Scholarships & Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal Financial Aid regulations require that the University of Houston-Downtown establishes, publishes and applies reasonable standards for measuring students' satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their educational programs. Included in these standards are a qualitative measure, a quantitative measure and a maximum time frame requirement. The qualitative and quantitative standards used to monitor academic progress must be cumulative and must include all periods of the student's enrollment including periods for which the student did not receive financial aid. This policy will be enforced at the beginning of each academic year, regardless of previous years' decisions.

Definitions: The following definitions apply to terms used in this policy.

Academic Plan. Academic Plan is a plan that, if followed, will ensure that the student is able to meet UHD’s satisfactory academic progress standards by a specific point in time. A student may be allowed financial aid on an academic plan for a maximum of 3 semesters.​

Appeal. Appeal means a process by which a student who is not meeting the satisfactory academic progress standards petitions UHD Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for reconsideration of the student's eligibility for title IV, program assistance.

Completion Rate. Completion Rate is the pace at which a student should progress in order to complete a degree within maximum time frame requirements.

Financial aid probation. Financial aid probation means a status assigned by UHD Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid  to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has appealed and has had eligibility for aid reinstated.

Financial aid suspension. Financial aid suspension means a status assigned by UHD Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to a student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and who has been previously granted financial aid probation.

Maximum time frame. Maximum time frame means—
(1) For an undergraduate program measured in credit hours, a period that is no longer than 170 hours attempted before receiving the 1st undergraduate degree.
(2) For a graduate program, measured in credit hours, a period that is no longer than 54 hours attempted prior to receiving the graduate degree.

Elements of Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress:

Undergraduates

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement
    Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average on all hours attempted at UHD.
    Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Completion Rate Requirement
    Students must complete 73% of all hours attempted, including transfer hours.
  • Maximum Time Frame
    Students receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within a reasonable time frame. The maximum time frame established for UHD as an undergraduate is 170 credit hours (to include all transfer credit hours). ​
Maximum Time Frame for Financial Aid Purposes
Undergraduate15 semesters of full-time (12 hrs.) enrollment
Graduate7 semesters of full-time (8 hrs.) enrollment

 

Please note, regardless whether or not a student has met their maximum term limit, students are not eligible for additional financial aid funds beyond completion of their degree requirements.

Post-Baccalaureate

If a student has earned his/her first Bachelor's degree and is working toward a second degree or teacher's certification the student must provide a copy of an official degree plan or certification plan indicating the remaining number of hours needed to complete the program. For those students seeking a second undergraduate degree, the student must not have attempted over 170 hours prior to obtaining a degree.

Graduate Students

In order to be eligible for financial aid, all graduate students must:

Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0

  • Successfully complete at least 73% of all hours attempted. Grades of F (Failing), W (Withdrawal), U (Unsatisfactory) and I (Incomplete) are not considered as satisfactory completion.
  • Complete their program of study within 54 hours. This includes hours that have been attempted as a graduate student at all schools attended.

If the student is not in compliance with these requirements at the beginning of each academic year, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.

Consequences of not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):

  1. Financial Aid Probation – The first time that a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA and 73% completion rate, he or she may submit an appeal to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. If the appeal is approved, the student will remain eligible for financial aid for one semester during the probation period.
  2. Financial Aid Suspension – If, after being placed on financial aid probation status, a student fails to meet the SAP standards of a cumulative 2.0 GPA (3.0 for graduates) and 73% completion rate or fails to meet the requirements of the academic plan, he or she will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.  The student will remain ineligible until such time that he/she is able to meet the cumulative financial aid SAP standards. Students on financial aid suspension will be responsible for payment of their own tuition and fees.
  3. Maximum Time Frame Suspension – If a student fails to meet the Maximum Time Frame standards, he or she will be placed on Maximum Time Frame Suspension and will immediately lose financial aid eligibility.

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension

Students may appeal their Financial Aid Suspension in writing to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Forms are available online.  A student may submit no more than 3 appeals within their academic career.  After the 3rd appeal no further appeals will be considered.  A student on Financial Aid Suspension whose is no longer eligible to appeal may attend the University of Houston-Downtown at his/her own expense, if eligible.

Appeals may be made based on:

  • A death in the immediate family.
  • Serious injury or illness of the student or a member of the immediate family.
  • Improvement sufficient to meet required standards in hours and/or GPA while attending a subsequent semester at student's own expense.
  • Special circumstances to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. (Students on Financial Aid Suspension who have not attended college for at least one calendar year may appeal based on change of circumstances.)


    A student whose appeal is granted will be awarded financial aid on a probationary basis. Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the semester to determine if progress has been made. If progress has been made, but student still does not meet the SAP standards, the student will be placed on an academic plan. Failure to meet the conditions of the academic plan will result in permanent suspension of financial aid eligibility until such time that student is in compliance to receive financial aid. If progress has not been made the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the remainder of the academic year. A student on Financial Aid Suspension whose appeal is denied may attend the University of Houston-Downtown at his/her own expense, if eligible.

Financial aid appeals must be turned in to our office in a timely fashion. Failure to appeal in a timely fashion can reduce or nullify your eligibility for aid. Financial aid appeals cannot be approved retroactive to completed semesters. You will be notified of our decision in writing.

Financial aid may be reinstated under the following conditions:

  • The required cumulative GPA is attained; and
  • An overall completion rate of 73% of hours attempted is achieved; and
  • Hours attempted have not exceeded 170.

Frequency of Evaluation

Your academic record will be evaluated once a year, generally at the end of the spring semester, or when you reapply for aid. If you have been placed on financial aid probation, you may have your record checked more frequently.

Application Deadline

Please submit your Satisfactory Academic Appeal form for financial aid by the deadlines indicated on the appeal form, unless otherwise stated in notification sent directly to you.

Office of Student Affairs
Last updated 1/3/2017 3:32 AM