Do Bad Grades Affect College Financial Aid

Q: Do bad grades affect what a student receives for college financial aid?

A: There are federal regulations that require a student receiving financial assistance under Title IV programs (federal student loans an grants) to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress is calculated by using a few factors, one being a cumulative GPA minimum requirement. Each school has a different SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Policy for financial aid, once a student fails to meet the school’s required SAP they may no longer be eligible to receive the financial aid they would typically qualify for had they meet the school’s SAP policy. To maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, Undergraduate students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and Graduate and Doctoral students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Failure to meet the Cumulative Grade Point Average requirements as outlined by Satisfactory Academic Progress, could result in the student being placed on financial aid probation. However, a student who is placed on financial aid probation because of failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, does have the ability to regain eligibility when the school determines that the student is again meeting its satisfactory progress standards. If you think your bad grades may have an affect on your eligibility to receive financial aid, the best course of action is to speak with your school’s Financial Aid Office or Department. Your school’s financial aid staff will be the best resource to answer any questions you have regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress.

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