Student Financial Aid Federal School Code: 003425

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy FAQs

General Questions about Satisfactory Academic Progress


1. How do I determine my Minimum Cumulative GPA?

2. How do I determine my Maximum Timeframe?

3. How do I determine my Credit Hours Attempted?

4. How do I determine my Pace of Completion?

5. If my MCGPA is too low, how do I make a plan to improve it?

6. If my Pace of Completion is too low, how do I make a plan to improve it?

7. Can I make up credit hours in summer school?

8. Can I make up credit hours by taking classes elsewhere?

9. If I am not maintaining satisfactory academic progress, can I appeal?

10. If I cannot make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the warning period, will I lose my financial aid?


Questions for Graduate Students


11. I completed my master’s degree at Clemson, and I am starting a Ph.D. program which will put me over 90 hours that are allowed for satisfactory academic progress. Do I need to submit any documentation?

12. My graduate program requires more than 90 hours. I have over a 3.0 GPA, and I have completed at least 67% of my attempted credit hours. Why did I receive a notification about unsatisfactory academic progress?

13. I am a graduate student who has taken over 90 credit hours. I am not currently receiving federal aid, but I may request federal aid in the future. Should I submit documentation?

14. I am a graduate student who is planning to submit the Authorization of Satisfactory Academic Progress form. Do I need to submit a letter as well?

15. I did not submit a FAFSA, and I am not interested in receiving federal aid. I received notification that I have unsatisfactory academic progress. Do I need to submit documentation?


General Questions about Satisfactory Academic Progress


1. How do I determine my Minimum Cumulative GPA?

Access “My Unofficial Transcript” on SISWeb and find your UNDERGRADUATE CUMULATIVE SUMMARY under the GRADE column. According to your credit hours, see the MCGPA chart in the undergraduate University Announcements at http://www.registrar.clemson.edu/html/catalog.htm.

2. How do I determine my Maximum Timeframe?

Clemson University uses the average published time to complete an undergraduate degree, which is 126 hours. 126 hours x 150% is 189 hours, which is the standard Maximum Timeframe for an undergraduate student. The maximum time frame for a graduate/professional degree is at an average of five years which is 90 hours (graduate level full time status of 9 hours per semester multiplied by 2 semesters per year is 18 x 5 years = 90 credit hours).

3. How do I determine my Credit Hours Attempted?

Access “My Unofficial Transcript” on SISWeb and add the SEMESTER SUMMARY under the CREDITS column for each term. To this figure, add:

  • Accepted transfer credits
  • Accepted AP/IB credits
  • “W” classes  
  • “P/F” classes

 

If you do not know the credits for a course, you can look up the course in the undergraduate University Announcements at http://www.registrar.clemson.edu/html/catalog.htm.

4. How do I determine my Pace of Completion?

Access “My Unofficial Transcript” on SISWeb and find your UNDERGRADUATE CUMULATIVE SUMMARY under the EARNED column. Divide your Credit Hours Completed (earned) by your Credit Hours Attempted (see Question 3 above). Your answer must equal or exceed .67 for satisfactory academic progress. Alternately, you can multiply your Credit Hours Attempted by 67%. If your answer is a decimal, round up to the next whole number. This is the minimum number of hours you must have completed for satisfactory academic progress.

Example:

COURSE TITLE
COURSE
CREDITS
EARNED
GRADE
GPTS
FALL SEMESTER                  NURSING
COMMUNICATION I
COMM 101 P/F
 
1
P
 
COMPOSITION I
ENGL 101
3
3
B
9
GENERAL BIOLOGY I
BIOL 103
3
0
F
0
GENERAL CHEMISTRY
CH 101
 
 
W
 
INTRO TO NURS
NURS 130
1
1
A
4
INTRO TO PSYCHOLOGY
PSYCH 201
3
3
C
6
SEMESTER SUMMARY
 
10
8
1.9
19

CREDITS (10) plus “W” hours (CH 101 is 4 credit hours) plus “P/F” hours (1) = 15

Hours Attempted = 15

Hours Completed (EARNED) = 8

8/15 = .53

.53 is less than .67, so the Pace of Completion is unsatisfactory.

Alternately, 15 x .67 = 10.05 (round up to 11)

8 is less than 11, so the Pace of Completion is unsatisfactory.

 

5. If my MCGPA is too low, how do I make a plan to improve it?

Access “My Unofficial Transcript” on SISWeb and find your UNDERGRADUATE CUMULATIVE SUMMARY under the CREDITS column and the GRADE column. You will need these figures to enter in the GPA Calculator. Use the GPA Calculator located at www.clemson.edu (under G in the A-Z Index) to project the number of credits hours you must take or the average you much maintain to reach your GPA goal. You can also improve your GPA by forgiving classes in which you earned a grade of “D” or “F.”  You may wish to discuss your strategy with your academic advisor.

6. If my Pace of Completion is too low, how do I make a plan to improve it?

Project your possible Pace of Completion by adding the number of credit hours in which you plan to enroll to your Credit Hours Completed and your Credit Hours Attempted and recalculating. Recalculate with various hours to see how many credit hours and/or terms it will take you to reach a Pace of Completion of at least 67%. You may wish to discuss your strategy with your academic advisor.

Example:

In the example in Question 4 above, if the student enrolls in and completes 12 hours in the next term, he/she will then have 27 Hours Attempted and 20 Hours Completed.

20/27 = .74

.74 exceeds .67, so the Pace of Completion is now satisfactory.

Alternately, 27 x .67 = 18.09 (round up to 19)

20 is more than 19, so the Pace of Completion is now satisfactory.

7. Can I make up credit hours in summer school?

Credit hours earned in summer school will be added to your Credit Hours Attempted and your Credit Hours Completed. Successfully completing hours in any term will improve your Pace of Completion, but summer school is not considered a “make-up” period as it was under the previous Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

8. Can I make up credit hours by taking classes elsewhere?

Credit hours earned as transfer credits will be added to your Credit Hours Attempted and your Credit Hours Completed. Successfully completing hours elsewhere will improve your Pace of Completion, but classes taken elsewhere do not make up for GPA deficiencies.

9. If I am not maintaining satisfactory academic progress, can I appeal?

Yes, you can appeal by explaining why you failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in your situation that will allow you to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation. You should describe your plan to meet the MCGPA and a Pace of Completion of 67% or more. If you have exceeded your Maximum Timeframe, you should describe your graduation plan and list the semester you plan to graduate. Click here for a Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal form.

10. If I cannot make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the warning period, will I lose my financial aid?

Yes, you may be denied financial aid, but you can submit an appeal letter if you have extenuating circumstances. If it will take you more than one additional semester to regain satisfactory academic progress, then you may want to attach an estimated academic/graduation plan signed by you and your advisor as part of your appeal. 

Questions for Graduate Students


11. I completed my master’s degree at Clemson, and I am starting a Ph.D. program which will put me over 90 hours that are allowed for satisfactory academic progress. Do I need to submit any documentation?

If you would like to receive federal aid (Direct Loans), you will need to submit your FAFSA (fafsa.gov) and the Authorization of Satisfactory Academic Progress form. Our system cannot separate graduate degrees so the form allows us to see the timeline of completion for your current degree program.

12. My graduate program requires more than 90 hours. I have over a 3.0 GPA, and I have completed at least 67% of my attempted credit hours. Why did I receive a notification about unsatisfactory academic progress?

Although you are on track with your program, our office needs to know your timeline of completion for the degree program. If you will submit the Authorization of Satisfactory Academic Progress form and appeal letter, we can review your situation and determine if you need to be placed on a graduation plan. Once you are on an approved graduation plan, our office will not request submission of any additional documentation regarding your satisfactory academic progress as long as you meet the GPA and pace of completion requirements.

13. I am a graduate student who has taken over 90 credit hours. I am not currently receiving federal aid, but I may request federal aid in the future. Should I submit documentation?

Yes, if you believe you will require federal aid in the future, we will need the Authorization of Satisfactory Academic Progress form and appeal letter before you can receive federal aid.

14. I am a graduate student who is planning to submit the Authorization of Satisfactory Academic Progress form. Do I need to submit a letter as well?

Yes, we will need a letter or email explaining your situation. If you received a prior degree at Clemson or your program requires more than 90 hours, please mention that information in your letter. If you are attempting more credit hours than the typical number for your program, please explain your circumstances and submit a graduation plan explaining how you will complete your degree in a reasonable amount of time.

15. I did not submit a FAFSA, and I am not interested in receiving federal aid. I received notification that I have unsatisfactory academic progress. Do I need to submit documentation?

No, as long as you do not plan to receive federal aid, you do not need to submit an appeal or Authorization of Satisfactory Academic Progress form. If you decide you would like to receive aid in the future and you are still considered as having unsatisfactory academic progress, you will need to submit an appeal to our office.