If a student is granted an academic restart from the registrar office, it will have no bearing on the student's satisfactory academic progress as it pertains to federal financial aid eligibility. The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic restarts. Therefore, a school must always include courses applicable to a student’s major (whenever taken) in evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress (both quantitative and qualitative components).
Students transferring into the University will be assumed to be maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Hours transferred from previously-attended schools will be considered when establishing class standing for grade requirements, as well as when determining the maximum number of hours allowed to receive financial aid.
A student is eligible to receive federal financial aid for up to one academic year's worth of remedial course work.
Courses taken for audit do not count for credit or graduation and, therefore, are not counted in determining eligibility for receiving or maintaining financial aid.
Courses taken under this category do not constitute full-time or half-time status, therefore are not counted in determining eligibility for receiving or maintaining financial aid.
In regards to repeating courses, students are still eligible for federal financial aid because they are allowed to repeat any previously-passed course once and repeat any previously-failed course until it is passed.
Students are not considered as enrolled for credit hours during the terms they are employed and, therefore, are ineligible to receive financial assistance. Co-op students are, however, considered enrolled for purposes of deferring prior loans during periods of co-op.
Academic transcripts of financial aid recipients will be reviewed at the end of each semester or term to ensure that the student simultaneously meets all the minimum Satisfactory Academic Policy requirements stated above.
Undergraduate Undeclared Majors:
An undergraduate undeclared student with a clear admission status is eligible to receive federal financial aid until they have exceeded 30 hours of earned credits (including transfer hours). Failure to declare a major after the student has earned 30 credit hours could possibly result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension. The Office of Financial Aid reviews this measure at the conclusion of each spring semester.
Transfer Undergraduate Students:
An undeclared undergraduate transfer student with a clear admissions status is eligible to receive federal financial aid until they have exceeded 30 hours of earned credits. Undeclared students transferring in more than 30 earned credit hours will be deemed eligible to receive federal financial aid for one academic semester. Failure to declare a major prior to the beginning of the student’s second term could possibly result in the student being placed on financial aid suspension. The Office of Financial Aid reviews this measure at the conclusion of each spring semester.
Students who have their aid suspended because they have exceeded the maximum length of time allowed to meet degree requirements may appeal that suspension ONLY for one of the following reasons:
The student is enrolled as an undeclared major with 30 or more earned credit hours but doesn’t have the appropriate grade point average that is necessary to declare a major.
Students who have their aid suspended because of failure to meet quantitative or qualitative standards may appeal that suspension ONLY for one of the following reasons:
Students may be allowed multiple appeals throughout their academic career. However, each appeal must demonstrate new mitigating circumstances beyond the student's control, unless it demonstrates that student is making academic progress.
An appeal and supporting documentation needs to be filed by the appeal processing priority deadline which is 7 business days prior to the semesters add/drop date. The priority deadline is established to ensure the appeal committee can process the appeal in time for the student to withdraw from classes without financial penalty if the appeal is denied. If the appeal is submitted after the priority deadline or the appeal is denied and the student does not drop by the add/drop date, the student will be responsible for the semester charges.
The Office of Financial Aid Appeals Committee will review all appeals and notify students by email of their financial aid eligibility. Although documentation may be required, the reinstatement of financial aid is never guaranteed even if documentation is submitted with the appeal.
If a student's financial aid is reinstated, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. The Office of Financial Aid will monitor the student's academic progress at the conclusion of each semester. After the reinstatement of aid, if the student fails to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress and/or conditions outlined by the Office of Financial Aid, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension.
Students whose appeals are denied by the Office of Financial Aid must continue to enroll at The University of Southern Mississippi on at least a half-time basis until they have removed the deficiency that caused their aid to be suspended. However, neither paying for one's classes nor sitting out a semester affects a student's satisfactory academic progress standing, so neither is sufficient to re-establish the student's financial aid eligibility.