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Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress

The following policy applies to all graduate-level aid recipients including incoming, current, transfer, and graduate non-degree students.


To receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid, students must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree program (with the exception of teaching certification, there are no aid-eligible certificate programs offered). Federal regulations require evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative academic progress as well as completion of degree objective within 125% of normal time frame.
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Minimum Academic Progress Standards for Graduates

  1. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75.
  2. Graduate students must successfully complete at least 70% of all attempted credit hours.
    1. This allows students to graduate within 125% of the published timeframe required for degree completion.
    2. The calculation is made as follows: "Earned Credit Hours" divided by "Attempted Credit Hours" = "Completion Rate Percentage" 
    3. Courses with grades of “W”, “I”, “F”, “IF”, “NF”, “NR”, courses taken under the class repeat regulations, and courses for which the student was granted academic forgiveness are included in attempted credit hours. Transfer coursework on the student’s academic record is also included.
  3. Maximum Timeframe for Degree Completion
    1. Students must obtain their degree objective within 125% of the published timeframe for degree completion for their program of study.  For example, in programs requiring 30 credit hours, students must obtain their degrees within 37 attempted credit hours (30 x 1.25 = 37).
    2. The number of credits required for degree completion will vary by program and area of emphasis.
    3. Students pursuing a course of study with greater credit hour requirements need to notify the Mountaineer Hub in order to have their aid reviewed.  If the review finds the student is within the 125% timeframe for the program of study listed on the student’s academic record, this request for review will not be considered an appeal.
    4. Dual degree students should also contact the Mountaineer Hub for review. If the review finds the student is within the 125% timeframe for the program of study listed on the student’s academic record, this request for review will not be considered an appeal. However, if the student has earned the credit hours required for graduation or has graduated from one of the degree programs, the student is considered to be seeking a second master's degree.
    5. Students who are pursuing second degrees may be considered for financial aid.
      1. The attempted hours for a second degree are measured from the point at which the student earned the initial degree.
      2. For a second master's degree, the student's academic advisor should provide a list of required coursework for the second degree which will serve as a guide to the student's progress.
      3. Courses not required for degree completion will not be included as eligible for financial aid.

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There may be extenuating circumstances encountered by a student which have impacted their ability to be successful during an enrollment period. These circumstances must occur during a period in which the student was enrolled.

Who Can Appeal

Students must meet ALL of the following conditions to be eligible to appeal.

  1. Students must have extenuating circumstances which occurred during a period in which the student was enrolled that impacted their ability to be academically successful.  Potential circumstances include but are not limited to: personal injury or illness, death of an immediate family member or legal guardian, or other documentable circumstances that were unexpected in nature and beyond the student's control.
  2. Students must be able to provide documentation addressing their extenuating circumstances to support the appeal.
  3. Students must have taken steps to address those circumstances and explain how these circumstances will no longer impede their ability to succeed academically.
  4. Within the three semesters addressed on the Academic Success Plan portion of the appeal, students must be able to either come back into compliance with SAP standards or be able graduate.

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How to Appeal

  • See the steps below for the appeal process and important deadlines.
  • Remember advisors often have earlier deadlines, so set up an appointment with yours as soon as possible.
  • Students can only appeal once during a semester.
  • Completed appeals submitted with all necessary documentation are usually reviewed within 3 to 5 business days, with the exception of points in the year with higher volume.
  • Incomplete appeals will not be reviewed.

The Appeal Process

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After the Appeal

If the appeal is approved...

  1. Financial aid eligibility will be established on a probationary basis.
  2. You will be reviewed at the end of each semester to ensure you are meeting the terms of the Academic Success Plan developed with your advisor (or to see if you have come into compliance or graduated).
  3. You must adhere to the courses listed on your Academic Success Plan for the specific semesters they are listed under.  If you are not able to take the courses during the listed semesters, you must develop a new Academic Success Plan with your advisor prior to the start of the semester.
  4. If you do not meet the terms of your Academic Success Plan (and have not come into compliance at that time), further aid eligibility is removed immediately.

If the appeal is not approved, you can consider other forms of funding such as...

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