Hamline Policies

Email this

Financial Aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy: Undergraduate Students

Owner: Financial Aid

Pertains to: Undergraduate students

Description: Financial aid eligibility is based on satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards that Hamline University's financial aid office is required by the U. S. Department of Education to establish, publish, and apply.


Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic progress (SAP)
Last updated July 2011

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Financial aid eligibility is based on satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards that Hamline University of Financial Aid is required by the U. S. Department of Education to establish, publish, and apply. The Financial Aid Office measures academic performance and enforces SAP standards to ensure that financial aid recipients progress toward completion of their degree or certificate program. Students who fail to meet these standards become ineligible to receive financial aid until compliant with all of the requirements detailed in this policy.

To demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student’s academic performance must meet two main SAP components. The first is a qualitative component, represented by grade point average (GPA). The second is a quantitative component measured by credit completion (the ratio between attempted and completed credits) and the maximum timeframe to complete the degree or certificate program.

Section 1. Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Grade Point Average - All undergraduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 by the end of their second year.

Credit Completion – Students must complete 67% of all credits attempted by the end of their second year. A completed credit has a grade of A, B, C, D, H, or HP. Withdrawals, incompletes, and repeated courses are included in attempted credits.

Minimum Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid

Cumulative attempted Credits

Cumulative GPA

Completion Rate

Fewer than 16 credits



16-32 credits



32-48 credits



64+ credits



Maximum Time Frame – All students are expected to finish their degree or certificate within an acceptable period of time. Financial aid recipients may continue to receive federal aid through their cumulative attempted credit that equals 150% of the required number of credits needed to complete their program, including transfer credits from another college that apply to the Hamline program. Students who require developmental coursework may appeal to have the 150% limit extended.

Section 2. Definitions/Conditions

Credit – A credit is the unit by which academic work is measured.

Attempted credit – An attempted credit includes all credits for which you are registered at the beginning of each term.

Cumulative credits – Cumulative credits represent the total number of credits evaluated (attempted and earned) for all periods of enrollment at the University, including summer and J-terms or terms for which the student did not receive aid.

Earned credits – Earned credits are those that are successfully completed with a grade of A, B, C, D, HP, and P and all plus and minus variations. Grades of I, W, N, F, and EX, or drops are not counted as earned credits. Audit credits are not counted as attempted or earned credits.

Grade Point Average (GPA) – The GPA is calculated using a grade point value outlined in the catalog for grades A, B, C, D, and F and all plus or minus variations. Although a grade of P or HP will count as credit earned, it carries no grade point value.

Incompletes – An “I” or “EX” are included in the cumulative credits attempted. These credits cannot be used as earned credits until a passing grade is assigned.

Repeat Credits – Repeats may be allowed in order to improve a grade or meet program requirements. They are included in credit completion and maximum time frame standards. The most recent grade will become the grade calculated for GPA.

Transfer Credits – Grades associated with transfer credits are not included in the cumulative GPA calculation. Transfer credits accepted by Hamline University that are applicable to the current degree program apply toward the maximum time frame calculation for that program.

Change of Major, and Dual Degree – Many students receive multiple awards from Hamline University. Only attempted credits eligible for application toward the student’s current degree program will count toward the maximum time frame of that degree. Attempted and earned credits under all majors will be included in the calculation of GPA and credit completion. Students who change majors or seek a dual degree may appeal for an extension of the maximum time frame provision of this policy. Appeals will be evaluated on an individual, case-by-case basis.

Post Secondary Education Options (PSEO) – Credits earned while a PSEO student at Hamline University will be included in the cumulative credit completion standard, GPA, and maximum time frame calculation. PSEO credits earned at another postsecondary institution will be treated as transfer credits for federal financial aid purposes.

Consortium/Joint Program Credits – Credits accepted by the University are included with attempted and earned credit totals.

Section 3. Implementation

Academic progress for every financial aid applicant will be monitored after each semester, including summer term. If the program is less than one year in length the review will take place at the mid-point. All of a student’s academic coursework is considered in the review process, whether the student received aid that term or not. The assessment will be based on the student’s entire academic record, including all transfer credit hours accepted.

Financial Aid Warning Status
If the student does not meet either the GPA or Credit Completion standard, the student will be placed on Financial Aid warning for the next registered term. While on warning status, students are eligible to receive financial aid. Students on warning status are encouraged to use the many academic support services on campus to improve their academic standing.

To be removed from financial aid warning status the student must meet GPA and credit completion standards. A student who has reached the maximum time frame prior to completing the program will no longer eligible for financial aid.

Financial aid ineligibility/suspension
Students who do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA and/or credit completion ratio or do not meet the terms of financial aid warning status will be no longer eligible for federal, state or institutional aid. Students may be eligible for private loan programs and outside assistance that does not require SAP.

Provided the student’s academic status allows for registration, s/he may attend the University at his or her own expense until the minimum cumulative GPA and credit completion requirement has been met.

Hamline University may immediately deem a student ineligible for financial aid in the event of extraordinary circumstances, such as a student who registers for but does not earn any credits for two consecutive terms, or a student who demonstrates an attendance pattern that abuses the receipt of financial aid.

Students who failed to meet these standards due to unusual circumstances may appeal the financial aid SAP suspension status.

Academic suspension
Students who have been suspended by the University are no longer eligible for financial aid. If a student is readmitted, s/he may need to complete the financial aid suspension appeal process. Eligibility for financial aid will be determined based on financial aid SAP standards through a review of the academic record.

Section 4. Right to Appeal

Financial aid ineligibility/suspension
A student who is unable to achieve satisfactory academic progress and is suspended from receiving financial aid has the right to appeal based on unusual or extenuating circumstances, such as illness, injury or other special circumstance. The student may appeal the financial aid suspension status at any time during the term if:

  • The record shows that the student has now earned the required cumulative minimum GPA and credit completion ratio to meet SAP standards. 
  • The student is readmitted after suspension by the University. 
  • Unusual circumstances interfered with the student’s ability to meet SAP standards, including but not limited to: 
    • Illness, accident, or injury experienced by the student or a significant person in the student’s life.
    • Death of a family member or significant person in the student’s life.
    • Divorce experienced by the student or parent.
    • Reinstatement after an academic dismissal or extended break in the student’s enrollment.
    • Personal problems or issues with spouse, family, roommate, or other significant person.
    • Exceeding time frame while in a second undergraduate or dual degree program or as a result of changing major.

To appeal, students must submit to the Financial Aid Office the following: 

  • A statement from the student explaining the nature of the extenuating circumstances that contributed to the SAP deficiency.
  • Third party documentation to support the circumstances.
  • An explanation of how the barriers/circumstances to academic success have been removed.
  • Approved academic plan developed by the student and Center for Academic Services (CAS)

Financial aid Probation
If the student successfully appeals the financial aid ineligibility/suspension status, the student will be placed on Financial Aid probation for their next registered term. While on probation, students are eligible to receive financial aid. Students on probation status are encouraged to use the many academic support services on campus to improve their academic standing.

To be removed from financial aid probation for following terms, the student must meet the GPA and credit completion standards.
In order to continue on probation for additional terms and student must be meeting the terms listed in their specific approved academic plan.