Federal regulations require that all institutions participating in Federal Title IV funded Financial Aid Programs establish, publish, and apply standards of satisfactory progress for each student enrolled.  To ensure compliance with these regulations, the following policy will be in effect governing standards of satisfactory progress for all students attending Valley City State University.  Students who fail to meet these standards of satisfactory progress will be ineligible to receive federal financial aid until eligibility has been reestablished.

Satisfactory Progress Policy

To be eligible to receive federal aid, the student must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment and determined to be a “regular student” enrolled in an “eligible program” for the purpose of obtaining a degree.  The student must be in good academic standing and must be making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree.  All periods of the student’s enrollment count when assessing progress, even periods in which the student did not receive federal student aid funds.

Quantitative Rate of Progress (Pace of Progress) standards include a maximum time frame allowed for financial aid eligibility.  All credits transferred to the University and/or credits earned at VCSU will apply towards the maximum number of credits allowed.  The maximum time frame for completion of a student’s degree program must not exceed 150% of the published length of the program (this equates to 180 credit hours attempted for a baccalaureate program.)  Drops/withdrawal credits are counted as “attempted” and can affect eligibility.  Changing majors, degree programs, or pursuing a second degree will not exclude previously attempted credits when determining the maximum credits attempted.

The following Qualitative Academic Standard (GPA) measures have been established as grade point average standards indicating satisfactory progress toward a degree.

                   Semester                                                                                     Cum GPA Required

                   First Semester                                                                                          1.60

                   Second Semester                                                                                     1.80

                   Third Semester                                                                                         2.00

                  *A student “admitted” into teacher education must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA to receive financial aid.

To maintain Quantitative Progress (Pace), a student is required to complete a minimum of 66.67% of the credit hours attempted each academic term.  In addition, all students are required to complete no less than 25% of attempted credits each semester or face “immediate” Financial Aid Disqualification.

The standards apply to all regularly enrolled students.  Students will be evaluated at the completion of each semester.  A student not making satisfactory progress will be placed on “financial warning” the next semester.

Additional Standards Used to Evaluate Satisfactory Progress

  • All students, including transfer students, enrolling at VCSU for the first time will be assumed to be making satisfactory progress.
  • Non-credit remedial courses will be counted in the “hours attempted” evaluation.  However, grades will not be counted in GPA.  If the courses are failed/incomplete, they will not be counted as completed in the evaluation.
  • Students must be making satisfactory progress according to the requirements of this policy PRIOR to receiving financial aid.
  • Credit hours completed with a grade of “D” or better, or “S” attempted on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis, will be used to calculate hours earned as well as all GPA calculations.
  • Incompletes are considered the same as “Failed” when evaluating Satisfactory Progress.  When an incomplete grade (I) is changed to complete, satisfactory progress will be recalculated as soon as the office is notified or at the end of the semester.
  • If a student receives a grade change Satisfactory Progress will be recalculated as soon as the office is notified or at the end of the semester.
  • Grades of Failed (F), Unsatisfactory (U), Incomplete (I), Withdrawn (W), AND Not Reported (NR) count as credits attempted but not completed and will be applied towards the maximum number of credits attempted.
  • Students who receive all F’s (F=Attended, FN=Stopped Attending and requires the last date of attendance, FNN=Never Attended) for a term will be evaluated based on the Last Date of Attendance (LDA) submitted by instructors.  Using the most recent LDA, a calculation will be performed to determine if funds were earned for the time attended.  If necessary, funds will be returned to the Department of Education and the student will be responsible for any charges incurred at VCSU while enrolled.
  • Courses that are repeated will count in the calculation of hours attempted and completed hours earned if the student receives a passing grade.  Repeated courses are limited for financial aid consideration.  You may repeat a course one time only to improve your grade.  If the course was “failed” it may be repeated as needed to get a passing grade.  Courses repeated to improve grade status do not qualify for financial aid consideration if repeated more than once.  If you withdraw from a “repeated” course before the end of the semester, it will not be counted as a repeat, but it will count as attempted credits.
  • Courses taken for audit only will not be considered for financial aid.
  • Students with a previous bachelor’s degree from another institution and wishing to pursue a second degree from VCSU will be considered by filing a “Previous Degree Request Form” and submitting a list of “required” courses/credits needed for a second degree and approved by an advisor.
  • Any student who withdraws from the University because of extenuating circumstances (such as lengthy and serious illness, family emergencies, legal or emotional reasons) and thus fails to make satisfactory progress may appeal to reestablish financial aid eligibility.


The Financial Aid Office will perform a Qualitative and Quantitative review of academic records.  Those students currently receiving financial aid and who fail to meet the GPA standard or the pace standard will receive notification regarding Warning or Disqualification by email and letter.  Since all students are required to meet these standards of satisfactory progress, the academic transcripts of those students who have not previously received financial aid will be reviewed at the time they make application for financial aid and they will be notified regarding their eligibility status at that time.


A student who is on Warning due to Qualitative GPA and/or Pace hours must bring his/her cumulative GPA up to the required level both for the term and cumulatively.  The student must also bring his/her cumulative pace requirement up to 66.67% for the term and cumulatively or he/she will be Disqualified.

Reestablishing Eligibility

Any student who loses federal student aid eligibility because they are not meeting VCSU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will regain eligibility once the student meets the standards (i.e., successful completion of 66.67% of hours attempted and meeting the minimum GPA standards).  Students who are ineligible to receive federal financial aid are encouraged to remain in school to reestablish their eligibility.


A student who has been placed on Financial Aid Disqualification may appeal by submitting the "Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form" to the Financial Aid Director.  Specific guidelines have been established and must be followed for consideration.  This information can be found at Financial Aid Disqualification Appeal Process.