Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students receiving federal student aid are required to adhere to academic standards that may differ from those already required through the Office of the University Registrar.

In order to receive and maintain federal financial assistance (grants, student loans, and work-study employment), students are required to progress satisfactorily toward completion of their course of study.  If a student does not maintain the minimum satisfactory academic progress after the spring semester, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.  Satisfactory academic progress is measured based on the following:

  • The student must progress qualitatively by maintaining the required minimum grade point average.
  •  The student must progress quantitatively by completing the required minimum number of credit hours each semester.
  •  The student must complete a program of study within a reasonable time period.

 

Qualitative Measure

The Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs strictly adheres to the academic standards presently practiced by The University of Southern Mississippi and printed in the University Bulletin.  Students who have attempted up to a total of 29 credit hours must maintain at least a 1.5 cumulative grade point average.  Students who have attempted up to a total of 59 credit hours must maintain at least a 1.75 cumulative grade point average.  Students who have attempted 60 or more total credit hours must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average.  Total hours attempted will include credits taken at the university and any credits transferred from another academic institution.  Grade point averages, however, are based solely upon credits earned while enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi.  Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in order to maintain their financial aid.  Minimum acceptable academic standards are represented below:

Total Hours Attempted

(Including transfer work)

Minimum Cumulative GPA

(Southern Miss work only)

0-291.50
30-591.75
60 and above2.00

If a student does not maintain the minimum acceptable grade point average outlined above for total hours attempted after the spring semester of each academic year, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.  A student placed on financial aid suspension is ineligible for any federally-funded financial aid programs until the student's grade point average improves to the minimum required level.

Quantitative Measure

Students receiving financial aid must also complete a minimum number of credit hours each semester.  The minimum requirements are outlined below:

Undergraduate: Undergraduate students enrolled during a fall or spring semester must attempt at least six credit hours in each of those semesters in order to receive financial aid, while undergraduate students enrolled during the summer semester must attempt at least four credit hours.  At the conclusion of each semester during which aid is received, undergraduate students must complete at least 67 percent of the classes attempted (undergraduate students with a full-time enrollment status must complete only 67 percent of the classes attempted based on the minimum full-time enrollment status of 12 semester hours).  The Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs review this measure at the conclusion of each spring semester.

Graduate:  Graduate students enrolled during a fall or spring semester must attempt at least four graduate-level semester hours in each of those semesters in order to receive financial aid, while graduate students enrolled during a summer semester must attempt at least three graduate-level semester hours.  At the conclusion of each semester during which aid is received, graduate students must complete at least 67 percent of the classes attempted (graduate students with a full-time enrollment status must complete only 67 percent of the classes attempted based on the minimum full-time enrollment status of 9 semester hours).  The Office of Financial Aid reviews this measure at the conclusion of each spring semester.

Completed grades include A, B, C, D, E, and P.  Grades of F, N/A, I, AW, W, and Audit are not accepted as completed grades.  Students failing to complete the minimum number of semester hours after the spring semester will be placed on financial aid suspension, making them ineligible for federal financial aid.

Maximum Time to Complete Course of Study

Students must complete degree requirements within a normal time frame, and the following maximums have been established:

Undergraduate: A first-time undergraduate student will be deemed in good standing and eligible to receive federal financial aid until he or she has attempted 150 percent of the number of hours normally required to complete degree requirements, usually 192 hours.  Attempted hours will include all courses on the academic transcript including grades of A, B, C, D, E, F, P, W, N/A and I.

Graduate: Graduate students will be deemed in good standing and eligible to receive federal financial assistance until they have attempted twice the number of hours normally required to complete their program of study leading to a master's or doctoral degree.  Attempted hours will include all courses on the academic transcript including grades of A, B, C, D, E, F, P, W, N/A, and I.

Second Degree Undergraduates: Students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree and are now seeking a second undergraduate degree will be eligible to receive federal financial assistance for up to 288 undergraduate hours attempted.

Second Degree Graduate: Graduate students pursuing an additional master's degree will be limited to a maximum of 120 graduate hours.  This total includes all graduate hours accumulated.  Once a student earns a specialist's degree, he or she will be eligible for additional financial assistance on at the doctoral level.  Once a student earns a doctoral degree, he or she will be ineligible for additional federal financial assistance.