Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

STANDARDS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is required to establish minimum academic standards that students must meet to be eligible or maintain eligibility for federal and state financial aid, including grants, loans and college work study.

» Students who are receiving financial aid or who seek financial aid in the future are required to meet these minimum standards.

» Failure to meet these standards for two consecutive semesters (fall, spring, summer) means the student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid.

» Students must meet both a qualitative requirement (GPA) and a quantitative requirement (number of hours successfully completed) to maintain eligibility.

» Undergraduate students are eligible to receive aid for only 180 credit hours – this is referred to as the maximum time frame requirement.


The qualitative requirements for undergraduate students are:

  • If you have earned 1-24 UNK credit hours you must have a minimum cumulative University GPA of 1.8
  • If you have earned 25-45 UNK credit hours you must have a minimum cumulative University GPA of 1.9
  • If you have earned 46 or more UNK credit hours you must have a minimum cumulative University GPA of 2.0

Students who already have a bachelor's degree and are admitted to a second bachelor's degree program must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA or above. Students who are seeking their first teaching certificate or additional subject or field endorsement to their teaching certificate must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA or above.

The quantitative requirements for undergraduate students are based upon your enrollment status (full-time, part-time, half-time) at the end of drop and add week at the start of each semester. You must successfully complete the number of hours for which your financial aid was based.

Enrollment status and quantitative progress for undergraduate students is defined as follows:

  • Full-time = 12 or more Credit Hours. Minimum required Earned Hours must be 12 credit hours.
  • Part-time = 9 to 11 Credit Hours. Minimum required Earned Hours must be 9 credit hours.
  • Halftime = 6 to 8 Credit Hours. Minimum required Earned Hours must be 6 credit hours.
  • Less than Halftime = 5 or less Credit Hours. Minimum required Earned Hours is 1 credit hour.

Successful Completion of Courses

  • To be counted as successfully completed or earned hours, the student must receive a grade of A, B, C, D or CR.
  • Withdrawals (W), incompletes (I) or failures (F) are counted in the attempted hours but are NOT successfully completed or earned hours.

For example, at the end of drop and add week, a student was registered for 15 credit hours. At the end of the semester, that student has failed one three credit course and has withdrawn from another three credit course. The student has only successfully completed 9 credit hours. Twelve or more credit hours are defined as full-time enrollment, and the student received financial aid based upon full-time enrollment. But, the student only successfully completed 9 credit hours, which is defined as three-quarter time enrollment. Therefore, this student did not meet the minimum quantitative standards for progress.


What happens if I fail to meet the minimum standards of progress?

If you have failed to meet one or both (qualitative or quantitative) of the minimum standards for one semester you will be placed on financial aid warning status for the following semester. You will maintain financial aid eligibility and continue to receive financial aid during your warning status semester. Notification will be sent to your UNK email account that you have been placed on warning status. That means you have the following semester to meet all of the minimum standards of academic progress. 

If you fail to meet one or both of the standards again in the subsequent semester, you will be placed on financial aid suspension. That means you will no longer be eligible for any financial aid.

If you meet the minimum standards the subsequent semester you will be placed back in good standing.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement 

Undergraduate students can receive financial aid for up to 180 credit hours. Second bachelor’s degree seeking or initial teaching certificate students can receive funding for up to 150% of the credit hours required to complete their certificate or endorsement or second bachelor's degree as defined by the University catalog. The credit hours attempted include transfer hours. They also include hours in which the student did or did not receive financial aid. Students will be suspended from financial aid eligibility the semester following the semester their attempted hours exceed their limit. There is no warning period. 

If my financial aid is suspended, how can I regain eligibility?
You can enroll for classes without financial aid and meet the minimum standards. We will check your academic standing after each semester. However you should notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing if you feel you have met the minimum standards and should be reinstated.  

Or If you feel there were mitigating circumstances that impacted your ability to do well in the classroom, you can appeal the suspension. Mitigating circumstances include an illness or injury. Or they might include a personal struggle or family difficulty. When you are notified of your suspension you will be told about the right to appeal.

You will be given a date by which your appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Supporting documentation is highly recommended. This might include a letter from a physician or counselor, your academic advisor or a trusted faculty member. 

If you attend another college or university and want to use the academic work at the other institution as the basis of your appeal, you will need to write a letter requesting reinstatement and attach a copy of your grade report or unofficial transcript from the prior institution to your appeal letter.

Click on the "SAP Appeals" tab above to read guidelines for writing a financial aid appeal letter. 

How will I know if my appeal is approved?
You will be notified in writing. The Office of Financial Aid will use the local or permanent address on the University’s computer system. It is critical that you ensure your address is correct with the University if you want to make sure any correspondence goes to the correct address. That is your responsibility. Updates to your address can be made by logging into MyBLUE.

How does Satisfactory Progress work if I am co-enrolled? 
At the end of each semester we will ask for a copy of your transcript from the other institution(s) in which you are enrolled. We will add those hours and GPA into your UNK semester statistics when determining whether you are meeting the minimum standards of progress. You must meet UNK’s minimum standards of progress if you are receiving financial aid as a degree-seeking UNK student.      

Can I still borrow a student loan if I’m on financial aid suspension?
No. The Stafford Loan, Subsidized and Unsubsidized, as well as the Perkins Loan are federally-guaranteed student loans. Therefore, you must meet the minimum standards of progress to maintain eligibility. Additionally, if you are a dependent student and you are on financial aid suspension, your parents cannot borrow a PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students).

STANDARDS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is required to establish minimum academic standards that students must meet to be eligible or maintain eligibility for federal financial aid.   

» Students who are receiving financial aid or who seek financial aid in the future are required to meet these minimum standards 

» Failure to meet these standards for two consecutive semesters (fall, spring, summer) means the student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid. 


Qualitative Requirement 

Must maintain a minimum University grade point average of 3.00 or higher.

Quantitative Requirements 

The quantitative requirements for graduate students are based upon your enrollment status (full-time, part-time, half-time) at the end of drop and add week at the start of each semester. You must successfully complete the number of hours for which your financial aid was based. 

Enrollment status & quantitative progress for graduate students is defined as follows: 

  • Awarded as 1/2 time (4-5 hours) must complete a minimum of 4 hours
  • Awarded as 3/4 time (6-8 hours) must complete a minimum of 6 hours
  • Awarded as full-time (9 or more) must complete a minimum of 9 hours

Successful Completion of Courses  

  • To be counted as successfully completed or earned hours, the student must receive a grade of A, B, C, D or CR. 
  • Withdrawals (W), incompletes (I) or failures (F) are counted in the attempted hours but are NOT successfully completed or earned hours.  

For example, at the end of drop and add week, a student was registered for 9 credit hours (full time). At the end of the semester, that student had an incomplete in one 3 credit course and withdrew from another 2 credit course. The student successfully completed 4 credit hours. Since the student was awarded for full-time status, he/she did not meet the minimum quantitative standards for progress. 

* Maximum Time Frame Requirement 

  • Graduate students working on their Masters or Specialist degrees are eligible to receive financial aid up to 150% of the required program hours.
  • The credit hours attempted include transfer hours. They also include hours in which the student did or did not receive financial aid. 

Example: MBA program that requires 30 credit hours for a degree -- 30 credits X 150% = 45 credit hours which will be funded. 

Students will be suspended from financial aid eligibility the semester following the semester their attempted hours exceed 150%. There is no warning status semester. 


What happens if I fail to meet the minimum standards of progress? 

If you failed to meet one or both (qualitative or quantitative) of the minimum standards for one semester you will be placed on financial aid warning status for the following semester. You will maintain financial aid eligibility and continue to receive financial aid during your semester of warning status. You will be notified via your UNK email account or in writing that you have been placed on warning status. That means you have the following semester to meet all of the minimum standards of academic progress.  

If you fail to meet one or both of the standards again in the subsequent semester, you will be placed on financial aid suspension. That means you will no longer be eligible for any financial aid. 

If you meet the minimum standards the subsequent semester you will be placed back in good standing. 

If my financial aid is suspended, how can I regain eligibility? 

You can enroll for and attend a new semester without financial aid. During this semester, you must register for the same number of credit hours as the semester which resulted in suspension and meet the minimum standards of academic progress. We will check your academic standing after each semester. However you should notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing if you feel you have met the minimum standards and should be reinstated.  

Or 

If you feel there were mitigating circumstances that impacted your ability to do well in the classroom, you can appeal the suspension. Mitigating circumstances include an illness or injury. Or they might include a personal struggle or family difficulty. When you are notified of your suspension you will be told about your right to appeal. 

You will be given a date by which your appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of Financial Aid Appeals Committee. Supporting documentation is highly recommended. This might include a letter from a physician or counselor, your academic advisor or a trusted faculty member.

Click on the "SAP Appeals" tab above to read guidelines for writing a financial aid appeal letter. 
 

How will I know if my appeal is approved? 

You will be notified in writing. The Office of Financial Aid will use the local or permanent address on the University’s computer system. It is critical that you ensure your address is correct with the University if you want to make sure any correspondence goes to the correct address. That is your responsibility. Updates to your address can be made by logging into MyBlue.  

Can I still borrow a student loan if I’m on financial aid suspension? 

No. The Stafford Loan, Subsidized and Unsubsidized, is a federally-guaranteed student loan. Therefore you must meet the minimum standards of progress to maintain eligibility. Additionally, you may be ineligible to borrow some types of Student Alternative Loans at the University of Nebraska at Kearney while you are on suspension. 

Back to Financial Aid Home Page

If your financial aid eligibility has been suspended due to not meeting UNK's Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, and if you feel there were mitigating circumstances that impacted your ability to do well in the classroom, you can appeal the suspension. Mitigating circumstances might include an illness, injury, personal struggle, family difficulty or other reasons. When you are notified of your suspension you will be told about the right to appeal.

***Please note that completion of a Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Letter does not appeal an Academic Suspension.  If you have been academically suspended, you will need to submit a separate appeal to the Office of Academic Affairs.  For more information on completing an Academic Appeal, please visit  http://www.unk.edu/offices/registrar/academic_policies_handbook/Appeal_Procedures.php

If you are planning to appeal a financial aid suspension, here are some guidelines for writing your appeal letter:

  1. First Paragraph: Explain your understanding of the reasons you have been suspended. Suspension occurs after two semesters of not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, so your appeal should address both semesters. If you are not sure why you went on warning status and then suspension, please contact our office so that you will be able to address the right circumstances and include the necessary documentation in your letter. Please keep in mind that circumstances such as not getting along with your professor or not liking the class are not valid reasons for appeal.
     
  2. Supporting Documentation: It is required that you provide documentation to support your appeal. Some examples of documentation include:       
    • If you had an illness or injury, you must include a note from your doctor or copies of medical records. Keep in mind that obtaining medical records may take some time, so you'll want to plan ahead if you know you are going to submit an appeal.    
    • If there was a death in your family, you must submit a copy of the obituary from the newspaper or a link to it on the Internet.    
    • If you and your professor are in the process of having a grade changed, we will need documentation from that professor describing the circumstance.
       
  3. Second Paragraph: Explain, in detail, your plan for completing your college career and meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. Some examples of items you might include in your plan are:  
    • Taking fewer hours so you have more time to concentrate on the classes you are taking.
    • Changing your major because you’ve found out it’s not for you.
       
  4. Document Your Plan For Success: Have your academic advisor or a faculty member confirm your plans to meet the standards of progress.

Please sign and date your appeal letter before submitting it to our office. Once complete, your appeal letter and supporting documentation should be addressed to the Office of Financial Aid Appeal Committee and can be dropped off at our office or sent to:

Mail:         University of Nebraska Kearney
                Financial Aid Office
                905 W 25th St
                Kearney, NE  68849

Fax:         308.865.8096

Email:      finaid1@unk.edu

Note: Students needing to file a complaint that cannot be addressed by the appeals procedure may contact the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) - Private Postsecondary Career Schools at (402) 471-4825 or by submitting this form.