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How your grades can affect your financial aid

You probably know the recommendations for how your financial aid should be used, like buying your books instead of blowing it on a spring break trip. But did you know that your grades and credit hours can affect your aid?

We spoke with Melissa Heinrich, senior director of ASU’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, to find the answers you need to stay on top of your academic and financial situation.

What requirements do I need to meet to keep my aid?

You must meet the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. Not meeting even one of these categories puts you at risk of losing your aid.   

  • GPA – Students must maintain a minimum GPA based on the standards of their program. It is usually 2.00 for undergraduates but it can be higher based on your program.

  • Pace rate – Students must pass 67% of the classes they attempt to take. This means 67% of the classes you attempt must be completed with a passing grade.

  • Maximum credit hour standard – There is a maximum number of credit hours available for students to graduate and maintain financial aid eligibility. If you exceed the maximum number of credit hours, you could lose financial aid eligibility. Generally this is 150% of the published course length.

What happens if I don’t meet one of these categories?

You’ll be notified by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Services office if you are not meeting the SAP requirements. Once you are notified by the financial aid office, you will be given the chance to appeal.

How do I appeal?

You’ll need to complete an SAP Appeal form and submit it to the financial aid office. Next, meet with your academic advisor to establish an academic plan to get you back on track and meet the SAP requirements. You will also need to submit a statement to show how you’re overcoming the issues that made you unsuccessful previously and that you’re taking positive steps to make changes.

Then what happens?

If your appeal is approved by Financial Aid and Scholarship Services, you’ll be on probation and eligible for financial aid. If you improve over the probationary period enough to meet the SAP requirements, you’ll remain eligible for financial aid. If you’re unable to meet the SAP requirements, eligibility could be lost.

Your best bet for keeping your aid is to stay on top of the eligibility requirements so you never have to go through this process. You can view your SAP status under the finances tab on My ASU.

screenshot with arrow pointing at satisfactory academic progress status

It’s up to you to understand the academic requirements of your major, but your academic advisor can help. Work with your advisor to create a plan that will keep you on track, successful, and in control of your grades and your financial aid.


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