Satisfactory Academic Progress
The U.S. Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and Ball State University require that students applying for federal, state, and some institutional funds demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. The programs at Ball State University affected by the satisfactory academic progress policy include:
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)
  • Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant
  • Indiana Evan Bayh 21st Century Scholars Award
  • Indiana Adult Student Grant
  • Indiana National Guard Supplement
  • Indiana Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant (CVO)
  • State of Indiana scholarship programs
  • Fees Assistance Grant
  • Ball State Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate or undergraduate students receiving aid from or intending to apply for aid from any of these programs must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress or face denial of aid from these sources.

Continuing or returning students applying for aid from these programs for the first time must have demonstrated earlier progress in order to receive aid. Satisfactory academic progress is checked each semester. No financial assistance, including Stafford Loans and PLUS Loans, will be reinstated for prior terms in which the student was not in compliance with this policy. Academic clemency does not apply to financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid is defined as:

  • maintaining a GPA consistent with university graduation requirements
  • staying on pace to graduate
  • completing a degree within a maximum time frame Failing to maintain any one of the three progress measures means you cannot receive aid from financial aid programs subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

You can check your academic progress in Self-Service Banner.

To check your progress:

  1. Enter your login information.
  2. Select the “SSB-Self Service Banner” link.
  3. Select “Financial Aid.”
  4. Select “Eligibility.”
  5. Select the “Academic Progress” tab.
Check Your Academic Progress

Your GPA must meet or exceed the university academic progress policy.

The Office of Registration and Academic Progress will notify you if you are placed on probation or denial for failing to maintain the GPA requirements.

If you’re placed on probation, you have an opportunity to improve your GPA. Failure to do so in the required time frame will result in disqualification from the university.

Academically disqualified students are not eligible for financial aid. Even if you are reinstated by the Office of Registration and Academic Progress through an appeal, you are not automatically eligible for financial aid.

You can complete a separate appeal for financial aid, but there is no assurance the appeal will be approved simply because you are allowed to re-enroll.

See full Academic Progress policy

You are required to earn 67 percent of cumulative hours attempted to stay on pace to graduate (See below for examples (anchor link to “Examples).)

Pace is calculated by dividing cumulative hours earned by cumulative hours attempted. Pace is measured at the end of each semester.

If you do not meet the pace requirement at the end of each semester, you will be placed on financial aid warning for the following semester. After the warning semester, you will need to have regained pace (earning 67 percent of cumulative hours attempted) or financial aid will be denied.

Please Note: Students who receive grades of incompletes because of studying abroad, independent learning courses or for other reasons may fall below the 67 percent pace requirement. As a result, they may lose their financial aid eligibility until grades and hours earned have been posted for those courses.

Examples

Example 1: A student enrolled for 12 hours during a first semester of attendance but earned only six hours and had a GPA consistent with university graduation requirements. Although the necessary GPA has been met, pace was not maintained (six cumulative hours earned divided by 12 cumulative hours attempted equals 50 percent). This student would be placed on financial aid warning the following semester.

Example 2: The above student enrolled for and completed 14 hours during the warning semester with a GPA consistent with university graduation requirements. This student is now off financial aid warning because the student regained pace (20 cumulative hours earned divided by 26 cumulative hours attempted equals 76 percent). Example 3: A student who just finished the warning semester has a pace of 65 percent and a GPA consistent with university graduation requirements. This student would not be eligible for financial aid because pace is not at 67 percent.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree are expected to complete degree requirements within a maximum time frame based on attempted hours (including transfer hours and advanced standing hours).

You will be ineligible for financial aid once you reach your maximum time frame or it has been determined you cannot complete your degree within this time frame.

This time frame is:

  • for students seeking a bachelor’s degree – 180 hours
  • for students seeking an associate’s degree – 90 hours Therefore, eligibility for aid from sources listed previously is limited to the same time frames.

Exceptions

The following are limited to eight semesters for students who are working on a bachelor’s degree:
  • Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant
  • Indiana National Guard Supplement
  • Indiana 21st Century Scholars Award
The Indiana Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant is limited to 124 attempted hours. Graduate students need to complete their degree within the time frame specified by their academic department.

Appeals

Students enrolled in a second undergraduate degree program who have reached their maximum time frame will need to appeal. If an appeal is granted, only the hours required to earn the second degree will be used in extending the maximum time frame.

Incompletes (“I” Grades)

Incomplete grades will not count toward progress until such time as the grade and hours earned are posted. At that time, hours completed will count for the period of original registration. If you are denied financial aid due to not maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, you may not receive aid retroactively for the term(s) you are attending while finishing the incomplete. You will need to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships when the final grade is posted by the Registrar’s Office.

Grade Changes

Grade changes need to be reported by the student to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships once the grade has been posted by the Registrar’s Office.

Withdrawals (“W” grades)

Withdrawals will not count toward progress and, as a result, will negatively affect a student’s pace, as well as count against the maximum time frame.

Course Repetitions

Course repetitions will count toward progress without penalty but will not extend the maximum time frame established for undergraduate students.

Add/Drop hours

Add/Drop hours are locked in at the end of the add/drop period for purposes of satisfactory academic progress. The add/drop period for fall, spring, and summer semesters ends the fifth day of the semester. The add/drop period for First Summer Semester and Second Summer Semester ends the third day of the semester.

Transfer and Advanced-Standing Hours

Transfer and advanced-standing hours will count toward both earned and attempted hours. Attempted hours are used in calculating the maximum time frame.

Periods of Enrollment with no Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress is a measurement of a student’s academic progress regardless of whether or not aid was received in a particular enrollment period.

Students who are denied financial aid due to GPA and/or pace can regain their financial aid eligibility once they have raised their GPA to be consistent with university graduation requirements and/or have earned hours to put them back on pace to graduate (earned 67 percent of cumulative hours attempted). Students can also regain their financial aid eligibility through the appeal process explained below.

Students who have reached their maximum time frame can only become eligible for financial aid again if they have an appeal granted.

Students who were academically dismissed from the university and have been reinstated by the Registrar’s Office are still ineligible for financial aid and must submit a separate appeal to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Students who are denied financial aid may appeal if they have documented extenuating circumstances such as an illness, a death in the family or other personal and family difficulties.

If your appeal is granted, you are put on a probationary status for one semester. You have one semester to raise your GPA to be consistent with university graduation requirements and/or to be back on pace to graduate. An appeal is not likely to be approved if it is not mathematically possible for you to regain eligibility in this probationary semester.

Important

If you have been academically disqualified from the university, there is a separate appeal process in addition to this financial aid appeal. Being reinstated to the university does not mean that you are eligible for financial aid.

Learn more about appealing a disqualification.

However, in instances where you have extreme circumstances and you cannot regain eligibility in one semester, your academic adviser must submit an academic plan that includes the courses you need to graduate or to regain eligibility requirements. The plan must include the number of credit hours for each course, the semester in which the course is to be taken, and your expected graduation date. If the appeal is approved, progress will be measured each semester to ensure continued compliance with the plan. Failure to meet the plan requirements will result in a denial of financial aid.

Receipt of aid is contingent upon funds being available at the time of the request for reinstatement of aid.

File an Appeal

To file an appeal, complete the “Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal” and submit it to our office by mail, email, or in person.

Download the Form

The priority date for fall semester appeals to be submitted is July 15. The priority date for spring semester appeals to be submitted is November 15.

Widthdrawing from Individual Courses

Withdrawing from individual courses can affect your current and future financial aid.

Pell Grants are recalculated through the first week of a semester. Learn more.

Most state grants require students to maintain minimum enrollment requirements through the first four weeks of a semester. In addition, recipients of the Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant, Indiana 21st Century Scholars and the Indiana Adult Student Grant have minimums for the number of hours that must be completed to receive the awards each year. See additional information at Indiana Grants.

Satisfactory Academic Progress requires students to stay on pace to graduate. Measured at the end of each semester, students must complete at least 67 percent of cumulative hours attempted. For the full policy, see the pace to graduation requirement of the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. (Anchor Link)

Withdrawing from All Courses

We want you to be successful and achieve your educational goals while you are studying at Ball State. But we also understand that sometimes circumstances present obstacles. When this happens, we encourage you to contact the university right away so we can help you determine your best options.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships can help you understand how your decision affects your financial aid awards and student loans. If you receive financial aid and withdraw from ALL courses, changes to your financial aid package are likely. In many cases you can lose all or some aid for a particular semester.

Please refer to the Return of Funds Policy for additional information regarding the impact of withdrawal on financial aid.

Learn more about official withdrawal.

Withdraw from Main Campus Courses

If you have any main campus courses and want to withdraw from ALL courses, you must contact:

Assistant Dean of Students
Administration Building, Room 238
Phone 765-285-1545

Staff in this office will help explain the guidelines regarding withdrawal and assist you with the necessary paperwork. For more information or to start the process, visit the Associate Dean of Students.

Withdraw from Online Courses

If ALL of your courses are online and distance education, you must complete an online application for withdrawal.

Withdrawal from all courses at any time on or after the first day of classes must be requested on this form and submitted to Online and Distance Education.

For more information or to start the process, visit Online and Distance Education.

Refunds

If you withdraw from all courses early in a term, you may be entitled to a refund of some of your charges.

See Cancellation and Complete Withdrawal.

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who stop attending courses at any point before the end of a term without completing the official withdrawal process are considered to have unofficially withdrawn.

Any student determined to have unofficially withdrawn and not having completed at least 60 percent of the term will be given a withdraw date equal to 50 percent of the term.

Any student who fails to attend at least one course will have all funds cancelled and returned to the source of the funds.

Return of Funds Policy

The federal government has issued regulations regarding the return of funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from or abandons classes.

If you remain enrolled beyond the 60 percent point of the term, you earn all aid for that period.

During the first 60 percent of the term, you earn federal financial aid funds in direct proportion to the length of time you remain enrolled and attend classes. Any unearned financial aid will be canceled and returned to the appropriate program(s). Federal funds will be returned to the federal programs in the following order up to the maximum amount awarded: Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

You will be responsible for any charges previously paid with the aid. Any refunds of university fees will be applied to these charges before they are released to you.

State program guidelines require that a student receiving the Indiana Frank O’Bannon Grant or Indiana Evan Bayh 21st Century Scholars Award maintain full-time enrollment during the first four weeks of each semester. Less than full-time enrollment during the first four weeks will result in cancellation of the award. The National Guard Supplement and the Adult Student Grant require a student to maintain half-time enrollment during the first four weeks. After the first four weeks of the semester, funds will be returned at the same percentage as the university refund policy.

If you stop attending classes and do not notify the Office of the Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs, you are considered an unofficial withdrawal. Any student determined to have unofficially withdrawn will have a withdraw date equal to 50 percent of the term completed. Financial aid will be reduced in accordance with federal policy. You will be responsible for any charges previously paid by the aid.

Any student who fails to begin attendance in at least one course will have all funds canceled and returned to the source of the aid.