The hours earned in these courses will count towards hours needed to meet scholarship renewal criteria, but will not be factored into any GPA calculations for both university and state scholarships.
New Grading Policy FAQ
Before changing a grade, consider these options.
- Academic advisors will help students determine which grading strategy is most advantageous based on the individual student’s academic goals.
- You are encouraged to input any grade changes into the GPA calculator provided by the Clemson University Academic Success Center.
- Check scholarship requirements in iROAR or the Clemson Scholarship website.
- As a resource, the Offices of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships have created some common FAQs below. Please read each one carefully and follow up with any questions you may have regarding how your scholarship could be impacted by changing a grade.
How does the new grading policy affect scholarship renewals?
- Will my courses count toward my scholarship renewal criteria if I receive a Pass Grade (SCP)?
- What about No Pass (SCN)?
If you earn a letter grade of D or F (undergraduates) and choose a grade of SCN, the hours will not have been earned and will therefore not count towards your hours needed to renew your scholarship. The benefit of being able to receive an SCN versus a letter grade of D or F is that the SCN will not impact your GPA; therefore you will not have to use academic forgiveness.
- Are there any benefits to taking a letter grade rather than an SCP?
If you earn an A or B in your course, it may improve your GPA both in the near and distant future. If you opt to take an SCP rather than an A or B, keep in mind while the hours earned will count, these letter grades will not be used to raise your GPA if you ever find you are falling below the typical 3.0 GPA needed. If you earn a C grade, it may have impacts beyond your scholarship. You are encouraged to discuss these carefully with your academic advisor. For these situations, we would encourage students to use the GPA calculator provided by the Clemson University Academic Success Center to determine the best course of action.
- How is an SCD (Special Pass) different than an SCN (No Grade)?
The biggest difference between an SCD and an SCN is that the SCD allows you to earn the credit hours without the grade impacting your GPA. SCD is an option only available to undergraduates.
- If I need to select mostly Passing grades, due to not being able to perform as well as anticipated academically this semester, but I will still need to raise my GPA to meet scholarship renewal criteria, what can I do?
As always, students have the opportunity to take courses over the summer. The grades earned in the upcoming summer session will count towards their GPA for the current academic year (2019-20).
- What happens if I have to take an Incomplete (I) in a (or multiple) course(s)?
If an incomplete is assigned by your professor, university policy still remains in effect. You have 30 days into the fall semester to finish coursework and to have a final grade assigned. Scholarship evaluation for renewal will not occur until a final grade is assigned.
- Will someone in the Scholarship Office be able to assist me in making these determinations?
While we are happy to help go over your scholarship requirements and what impact the new grading policy may have on you meeting renewal criteria, we will not be able to calculate your GPA. Please use the GPA calculator provided by the Clemson University Academic Success Center.
- Will the delay in grades being posted for the spring term affect my summer scholarships?
A delay in grades being posted/finalized may result in your requested summer scholarship not being posted until after summer bills are due (May 6). Please remember that state scholarship regulations require that we make sure a student has met renewal criteria for their state award at the end of the academic year prior to awarding a summer stipend, which means we do need to see your final grades for the spring semester. If you are a recipient of an Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship, we will not need to wait for grades to post before we begin awarding a summer scholarship.
**The Scholarship Office is not an authority regarding your overall academic needs. Please discuss all grading options with your advisors as your decisions impact things other than scholarships (graduate school applications, making academic progress in your major, etc.).
How does the new grading policy affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (Federal Aid)?
- Do SCP (Pass), SCD (Special Pass) and SCN (No Grade) grades affect SAP?
The special grades do not affect the GPA requirement for SAP in any way, but they may help with the pacing requirement, which states that a student must earn credit for 67% of classes that are attempted. Choosing to convert a low letter grade to a Pass grade or Special Pass will allow students to earn credits without impacting their GPA.
- What is the benefit of taking an SCD (Special Pass) or SCN (No Grade) instead of a D or F?
The special grades will not count in your GPA calculation, but D and F letter grades will count.
- Is there a benefit to taking a letter grade rather than a P?
Taking a letter grade could help maintain or increase your GPA to meet SAP standards. If the letter grade is higher than the student’s prior GPA, the student should consider keeping the letter grade. Please use the GPA calculator provided by the Clemson University Academic Success Center to determine if keeping a grade could be helpful in any particular situation.
- How would taking one or more incomplete (I) affect the SAP calculations?
For GPA calculations, an Incomplete will count as an F until it is resolved. Therefore, Incompletes can greatly decrease a student’s GPA for SAP purposes. When students resolve their Incompletes, they should notify the Office of Student Financial Aid at email@example.com to request a review.
- If, after deciding to take a letter grade or a special grade, a student is not meeting SAP requirements, what will happen?
If this is the first semester that the student has not met SAP requirements, the student will be assigned one semester of financial aid eligibility (known as their “warning” semester). If the student is currently on their warning semester or on unsatisfactory academic progress, they would not be eligible for federal financial aid unless they have a granted appeal. To submit an appeal, please complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form.
- If I have questions specific to my situation, what is the best way to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid?
Any questions can be directed to our general e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. This e-mail is being monitored closely, and you will receive an answer from a financial aid counselor.
While we are happy to help go over your SAP requirements and what impact the new grading policy may have on your academic progress, we will not be able to calculate your GPA. Please use the GPA calculator provided by the Clemson University Academic Success Center.
- What will be the effect of a delay of grades being posted for SAP?
The special grading policy gives students and advisors a reasonable period of time to discuss and decide on a course of action. However, this will delay a final SAP determination, which may impact your decision to attend summer school.
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