Student Financial Assistance

Maintaining Financial Aid

Academic Standards

Students who receive financial aid at Delta State University must conform to the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress set by the University and outlined here.  These standards encourage students to successfully complete their educational goals in a timely manner.  It is important to remember that this SAP policy is administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance and is separate from the Scholastic Standards administered by the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

These guidelines apply to ALL Title IV aid: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study, Federal Stafford Loans, and Federal PLUS Loans.


Undergraduate Students

The minimum academic standards an undergraduate student must meet in order to receive financial assistance are illustrated in this chart:

Minimum Qualitative Academic Standards

Overall Hours Attempted

Delta State Grade Point Average

0 – 29

1.80

30 – 59

1.90

60+

2.00

Minimum Quantitative Standards 

Hours Attempted

Ratio of Hours Passed

0 – 29

50%

30 – 59

60%

60 – 89

70%

90+

75%


Graduate Students

The minimum academic standards a graduate student must meet in order to receive financial assistance are illustrated below:

Minimum Qualitative Academic Standards

Overall Graduate Hours Attempted

Delta State Grade Point Average

0 – 6

3.00

7 – 11

3.00

12+

3.00

Minimum Quantitative Standards

Graduate Hours Attempted
Ratio of Hours Passed
0 – 6
67%
7 – 11
67%
12+
67%

Suspension, Probation, Appeals and More

MAXIMUM TIME FRAME. Maximum time frame for a degree program is 150% of the published number of credits required for that degree program. A student is ineligible for federal and state financial aid when it is determined at an official evaluation that it is mathematically impossible to complete the program within 150% of the length of the program. See the chart below for attempted credit limits.

Degree Attempted Credit Limit  
Bachelor’s Degree (in all majors except listed below) 180
BMEd 195
BS (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science) 186
BS (FCS – Dietetics) 203

The attempted credit limit above applies beginning with the 2017-2018 catalog. For students who are on the 2016-2017 catalog or prior, the following attempted credit policy applies:

Degree Attempted Credit Limit
Bachelor’s Degree (in all majors except listed below) 186
BMEd 195
BS (FCS – Dietetics) 204
BSIS 191

 

Students who do not meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of a semester will automatically be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester. Notification of Financial Aid Warning status will be communicated to the student. Financial Aid may still be received during the warning period. At the end of the warning period the student must have achieved satisfactory academic progress as outlined above or financial aid will be suspended. Students will be removed from Financial Aid Warning if they have achieved satisfactory academic progress.

Repeated Courses: Courses in which the student received a grade of “F” may be repeated and may be eligible for financial aid. Other courses in which the student received a passing grade may be repeated once and may be eligible for financial aid. When a course with a passing grade has been repeated, subsequent repeats of the course will not be included in the total number of credits for the semester when determining financial aid eligibility. Credits attempted in repeated courses will be included in the cumulative credits attempted.

Withdrawn Courses: Withdrawn courses count towards the cumulative credits attempted. However, if a student drops a course during the first 10 days in a semester, it does not count towards the cumulative credits attempted. Please view the Academic Catalog to determine the date by which Grades of W go into effect and the refund policy of tuition and fees each semester: http://www.deltastate.edu/PDFFiles/Academic%20Affairs/2018-2019-UG-Complete-REVISED-NOVEMBER-2018.pdf (p. 4, 28). Students may retake courses from which they have withdrawn. When retaken, these courses will be included in the total number of credits for the semester when determining financial aid eligibility.  Students who receive financial assistance and then withdraw from school will be placed on financial aid suspension.  Students on suspension are not eligible to receive financial aid.  W’s and F’s are not considered successful completions.

Incomplete Courses: Students who have earned I’s are ineligible for financial aid the following term because an I is not considered a passing grade.  Financial aid will be reinstated once the student completes the course requirements and receives a grade.  Should the student fail to obtain grades in the courses in question, he will be responsible for all fees.

Grade Changes: A student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress is re-evaluated at the time the Financial Aid Office is notified by the Registrar’s Office of a grade change.

Audit Courses: Audit courses receive no credit and do not influence grade point average. They are not counted in credits attempted and are not eligible for financial aid.

Remedial Courses: Remedial courses will be included in the total number of credits for the semester when determining financial aid eligibility. Students who have been granted full admission with academic deficiencies must participate in a Summer Developmental Program to remove those academic deficiencies.  Financial assistance is available for this program.  If deficiencies are still evident after completion of the Summer Developmental Program, a student will not be eligible for re-admission and any financial assistance offered for an up-coming term will be cancelled.

Pass/Fail Courses: Pass/Fail courses are not calculated in the cumulative GPA but will be included in credits attempted.

Transfer Students: All credits attempted at DSU and all transfer credits accepted by the University must be counted toward the calculation of SAP (including credits earned during winter and summer sessions) regardless of whether the student received federal aid while attempting the credits.

Official transcripts from all previous colleges must be forwarded to Delta State’s Admissions/Registrar’s office and evaluated for transfer credits. All transfer credits that are accepted by the University, including those earned while in high school, after high school, or after being admitted to Delta State, are counted as both attempted and completed credits. All credit hours added to the Delta State transcript will affect a student’s cumulative pace of progression and maximum timeframe. Transfer students not meeting maximum time frame requirements will be assigned a status of financial aid suspension.

Example: A transfer student working on their 1st Bachelor’s degree. The student transferred 215 hours that are included on the Delta State transcript as attempted. The student has passed 200 hours with a 3.00 GPA. Even though the student’s GPA and pace of progression is satisfactory, the student is over the maximum time frame for a student working towards his/her 1st Bachelor’s degree. The student would be placed on financial aid suspension. The student would be required to pay for his/her remaining hours at Delta State.

Students who have accumulated a high number of credits at other institutions may risk loss of financial aid by the 150% timeframe for their degree program earlier than anticipated.

Summer School: Students attending in the summer semester will have SAP evaluated again at the end of the semester.

Financial Aid Warning: Students may receive financial aid for the semester they are on warning. If they fail to meet the necessary SAP requirements at the end of this period, their financial aid will be suspended until they have regained satisfactory progress status. When a student has been placed on financial aid warning for a semester and has regained SAP at the completion of that semester, that student will be removed from financial aid warning and will be eligible to receive financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension: Financial aid suspension will result in the loss of all federal aid, including grants, loans and work-study. A student’s financial aid may be suspended if their enrollment record indicates to the financial aid staff/director a recurring pattern.  This may include, but is not limited to: course drops, withdrawal from school, and degree progress.

  1. SAP Appeal

2.1 Appeal Process

Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress standards and lose financial aid eligibility can appeal this decision. Appeals should be made within thirty days after the student receives notification of their financial aid suspension status. Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Financial Aid Office for consideration by the Financial Advisory Committee. An appeal must be based on mitigating circumstances that affected academic performance. Mitigating circumstances are situations that are outside of the student’s control that affect their academic performance. Examples of mitigating circumstances include: death of a relative, student/parent injury or illness, natural disaster, or other unforeseen circumstances. Students may only appeal the same situation once. Acceptable reasons for an appeal include the following:

  • Medical difficulty.
  • Family difficulty.
  • Emotional difficulty.
  • Learning disability.
  • Change in/or addition to a degree program requiring more than the maximum allowable Credits Attempted, documented by a statement from DSU’s Registrar.
  • Other special, significant or unusual circumstances.

In the appeal, the student must provide documentation validating the reason for appealing the SAP standing and explain what has changed that will allow the student to make Satisfactory Academic Progress in future semesters at Delta State.

Student Notification: Students who submit an appeal will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office within 30 days from the receipt of the appeal stating the decision of the Financial Advisory Committee of financial aid Probation, placement on a financial aid Academic Plan, or financial aid Suspension.

Appeal Approval: If an appeal is approved a letter will be sent to the student detailing any specific requirements established by the Financial Advisory Committee to help the student achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress. It is the responsibility of the student to follow the stated requirements. Students should consult with a financial aid counselor if they have questions.

Appeal Denial: If an appeal is denied the student may choose to enroll without benefit of financial aid. If a student successfully completes a semester without receiving financial aid and is not meeting cumulative SAP requirements another appeal may be submitted. If a student successfully completes a semester without receiving financial aid and meets the cumulative SAP requirements the student will regain financial aid eligibility.

Regaining Eligibility: Students on financial aid Suspension may regain aid eligibility by meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress minimum requirements as stated in DSU’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy available online or in the Financial Aid Office.

If you wish to appeal your financial aid suspension status, please complete and submit the Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension form.

2.2 Appeal Decisions

Financial Aid Probation: If a student completes their warning semester and is not meeting the SAP requirements, that student may appeal their status. If their appeal is approved they will be eligible to receive financial aid during the following semester. The student will be on financial aid probation status during this semester. After the probationary semester, students meeting the required SAP standards will be placed back in satisfactory standing. Students not meeting the required standards will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. A status of probation can only be assigned to students for whom it is mathematically possible to meet the minimum SAP standards within one semester.

Academic Plan: Academic Plans may be used for students who appeal their Financial Aid Suspension and it is not mathematically possible for them to meet SAP standards within one semester. Academic Plans are individualized based on the student’s Advisor. If a student is granted an appeal based on an Academic Plan, they will be eligible on a semester-by-semester basis. Students are required to submit an Academic Plan and Program of Study signed by their advisor before financial aid can disburse funds for the semester. Students must follow their Academic Plan exactly in order to continue to receive federal aid. If an Academic Plan is not followed, their financial aid status will be placed back on Financial Aid Suspension. Once a student is again meeting the minimum SAP standards, their Academic Plan will be removed. The first semester of a student’s academic plan would be considered financial aid probation.

Sample Academic Plan:

John is a full-time undergraduate student who has attempted 50 hours and has passed 26 hours at the end of the Fall 2018 semester. He has a competition rate of 52%. The following academic plan proposes that John will meet the SAP completion rate by Spring 2020:

John’s Proposed Academic Plan for Completion Rate
Semester Attempted Credit Hours Passed

Credit Hours

Cumulative Attempted Credit Hours Cumulative Passed Hours Completion Rate
Spring 2019 9 9 59 35 59%
Fall 2019 12 12 71 47 66%
Spring 2020 12 12 83 59 71%

Readmitted Students: If a student is placed on financial aid warning or suspension status and does not return the following semester, they will be given the same status if they return at a later date. When a student withdraws or is dismissed from Delta State and is later readmitted, the semester in which they withdrew or were dismissed is included when the student’s satisfactory academic progress status is evaluated.

Student Notification: Students who are not meeting the minimum Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be notified by the Financial Aid Office of their Warning or Suspension status. Students who submit an appeal will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office within 30 days from the receipt of the appeal stating the decision of the Financial Advisory Committee of financial aid Probation, placement on a financial aid Academic Plan, or financial aid Suspension.

Change of Majors or Degrees: If a student changes majors or degrees the credits earned under all majors or degrees will be included in the calculation of attempted and earned credits and affect pace of progression, maximum timeframe, and cumulative DSU GPA calculation.

Second Degree: Students who are pursuing a second undergraduate degree must submit a program of study required to complete their second undergraduate degree. This can be obtained from their advisor or Dean.

Over 21 Program: Students admitted to Delta State University in the Over 21 program are not eligible for federal financial aid until they have successfully completed twelve (12) semester hours with at least a 2.0 grade point average at Delta State.  Additional information about this program can be obtained in the Admissions office.

Amendments to Policy: This policy will be amended whenever applicable federal or state laws or regulations are changed. The Financial Advisory Committee is to be appraised of these changes. Other amendments to the policy, not required by changes in laws or regulations, will be considered through the revision procedures of the Financial Advisory Committee.

This policy is effective June 2017. All student receiving financial aid at Delta State University beginning June 1, 2017 are subject to these guidelines. This policy was updated April 2019.

 

 

Withdrawals

Student’s should be aware that if they withdraw from the university after having received financial assistance, they might have to repay a portion of that assistance.  Students who receive Federal Stafford Loans should also know that the Office of Student Financial Assistance is required to notify lenders of student withdrawals.

Money Management

In an effort to assist Delta State students and parents become better informed on all aspects of personal finance, our office has compiled a list of financial literacy and personal finance websites we feel to be beneficial.


The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has developed the cashcourse.org web site specifically to help college-age students on campuses across the country.  This turnkey program allows universities to provide college students with the resources necessary to cultivate positive money management habits that will last a lifetime.  Money management skills and access to personal financial planning resources are necessary for college students to build a healthy financial future.

MyMoney.gov is the U.S. governement’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) maintains this financial literacy website for personal information, education, and communication pertaining to the various stages of an individual’s life to help the individual make the most appropriate financial diecisions.

Bank Rate publishes original and objective personal finance stories to help consumers make informed financial decisions.  Our staff of award winning reporters and editors provides expert advice on just about every major financial decision facing our readers: from purchasing their first home, to selecting a new car, to saving for retirement.  Bankrate’s unparalled combination of comprehensive rate information and original financial content is what makes us unique and such a valuable resource to our clients.

AnnualCreditReport.com is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports.  It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies–Equifax, Experian andTransUnion.
Annual CreditReport.com provides consumers with the secure means to request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.

Ths Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft. On this site, consumers can learn how to avoid identity theft-and learn what to do if their identity is stolen.


Additional Finance Websites:


Useful Debt Management Websites

While obtaining a degree from Delta State is a wise decision to help students achieve their career goals, it is also extremely important for students to make wise decisions regarding the management of any student loan debt or other forms of debt both while in school and upon graduation. In an effort to assist students in their own debt management efforts, our office has provided the following list of management websites that we feel to be beneficial.


 Useful Personal Finance Calculators