Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Office of Student Financial Services



Academic success is important and necessary for students to receive federal Title IV financial aid. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that student financial aid recipients are meeting satisfactory academic progress standards. In an effort to comply with federal regulations, Lincoln University has developed the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for students to maintain or reestablish eligibility to receive Title IV funds.



The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and final regulations set by the United States Department of Education (34CFR668.16) require that institutions of higher education establish reasonable standards of satisfactory academic progress as a condition of continuing eligibility for federal aid programs. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as an exemption of the requirements of any other federal or state agency, or other granting or governing authority that apply to what assistance a student receives, nor does this policy limit the authority of the Director of Financial Aid when taking responsible action to eliminate fraud or abuse in these programs.


SAP policy applies to ALL students receiving Federal Financial Aid at Lincoln University.


According to the United States Department of Education regulations and Missouri Department of Higher Education policy, all students applying for federal and/or state financial assistance (as well as some private, credit-based loans) must meet and maintain satisfactory academic progress in a degree program to receive funding. Students who are not making academic progress when they initially apply for aid will not be eligible for financial aid at Lincoln University until academic progress is met or the student submits an appeal for financial aid and Lincoln University approves the appeal. Lincoln University Financial Aid Office will review the satisfactory academic progress of enrolled financial aid recipients annually; students currently serving on a probationary status will be reviewed after each semester. Each such review of measurements includes:

  • Qualitative (GPA)
  • Quantitative (Pace of Completion)
  • Maximum Timeframe (150%)
 To remain eligible for financial assistance, a student must:
  • Complete courses at an overall rate which will ensure graduation within the maximum time frame;
  • Earn credit for a reasonable number of credit hours toward a degree or certificate each term;
  • Complete developmental and incomplete courses in a timely manner;
  • Graduate prior to the maximum time frame specific to his/her degree program;
  • Maintain academic standing, usually specific term and cumulative grade point average, consistent with Lincoln University"s academic policy.


Qualitative Measure (GPA)

The quality of a student's progress is measured by grade point average (cumulative GPA). The minimum cumulative GPA for financial aid recipients is the same as the academic standard for Lincoln University:

Undergraduate Students-

Cumulative Hours Attempted--1 – 59 60 – and Above

Minimum Cumulative GPA -- 1.67 2.00

Second Baccalaureate UG Students-

  • Cumulative Hours Attempted -- 0 - 42
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA -- 2.00 or Higher


Graduate Students- All Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 AND 66.67% Cumulative Completion Rate.


Quantitative Measure

The quantity of a student's progress is measured by the Cumulative Completion Rate (credit hours earned divided by credit hours attempted). Students are required to complete 2/3 (66.67%) of attempted credit hours. Courses and grades considered in determining Satisfactory Academic Progress. All courses attempted and on the academic record (that is, every time a student is enrolled in a course past the add/drop date, the course will count as an attempt) at the time of progress check are considered when determining the Cumulative Completion Rate.

Please note the following:

Incomplete courses (I) - Students receiving incomplete or "I" grades are not progressing satisfactorily, and will count toward total hours attempted for the Cumulative Completion Rate, will not be considered completed courses, and will not be included in the GPA calculation. Consequently, a student who has six or more hours of incomplete in any term or at any time will be placed on financial aid probation for the next term of attendance and expected to complete the courses with "I" grades according to the university's "I" grade policy.

Minimum completion within a term - A financial aid recipient is to earn credit for at least one course per term. A student who receives financial aid but does not earn credit for any course within a term is not to receive financial aid in subsequent terms.

Withdrawals (W) - including excused withdrawals, will count toward total hours attempted for the Cumulative Completion Rate, will not be considered completed courses, and will be included in the GPA calculation.

Failing (F)- grades will count toward total hours attempted for the Cumulative Completion Rate, will not be considered completed courses, and will be included in the GPA calculation.

Repeated courses - will count toward total hours attempted for the Cumulative Completion Rate (but only one passing grade will be considered as a completed course). The newest grade will be included in the GPA calculation and the older grade will be excluded. Federal student aid is available for only one retake of a passed course.

Pass/Fail courses- will count toward total hours attempted for the Cumulative Completion Rate (calculation of both cumulative attempted credit hours and, if passed, cumulative completed credit hours), but will not count in the GPA calculation.

Transfer credits - accepted by Lincoln University (including those received during consortium student) will count toward the Cumulative Completion Rate (calculation of both cumulative attempted credit hours and cumulative completed credit hours), and will not count in the GPA calculation.

Change in Majors - only courses counting toward a student's program (major) will count toward maximum timeframe. There is not a limit to the number of times a student can change majors.

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses- All undergraduate courses count in the calculation of the Cumulative Completion Rate for undergraduate students. All graduate courses count in the calculation of Cumulative Completion Rate for graduate students.

Grade Changes- once a grade change occurs, it is the responsibility of the student to contact Lincoln University Financial Aid Office if they wish to have their eligibility for financial aid recalculated based on the grade change.

Developmental course completion--Students taking developmental courses are eligible to receive financial aid for the first 20 hours of developmental classes attempted. Developmental courses must be completed at the same rate as other courses (see overall completion rate above). A student who must attempt developmental courses beyond twenty hours may appeal to continue receiving aid on probation during a term in which the additional developmental courses are attempted. As part of the appeal, the student should provide a letter of support from the Director of Student Support Services, Academic Enrichment Center or the Counseling Center.

Grade point average/suspension--Students must meet the university's policy on scholastic standing and grade point average as defined in the appropriate catalog. A student on scholastic suspension has not maintained acceptable academic progress. All Financial Aid will be suspended for future terms.


Maximum Timeframe Measure

Financial aid recipients must complete an educational program within a timeframe no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program. Students for whom it is no longer mathematically possible to complete their educational programs within 150% of the published length will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid. In addition, students who do not complete their educational programs within 150% the published length, will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Example- a student pursuing a bachelor's degree requiring 120 credit hours may attempt up to 180 hours before financial aid eligibility is suspended (120 x 150% = 180). However, if that student fails the first 61 attempted hours, it is no longer mathematically possible for the student to complete the 120-hour program within 180 attempted hours (61 + 120 = 181), and the student's financial aid eligibility will be suspended at the 61-hour mark.

All coursework attempted including periods when the student did not receive federal Title IV aid will be considered in determining the maximum time frame students have to complete a degree and in the calculations of the cumulative grade point average and pace.

Transfer Hours: All transfer work transcript by Lincoln University Registrar will be counted in determination of the cumulative grade point average and pace, and in the ratio to determine the successful completion of course work, and in the determination of the maximum time frame.

Repeated Coursework: If the student repeats a course, the highest grade earned will be used to calculate his/her grade point average. All hours attempted including repeated courses will be used to determine the student's pace and maximum time frame. Only one repeat per course with a passing grade will be eligible for financial aid.

Academic Clemency: The Office of Student Financial Services must count all prior work attempted in determining eligibility for federal financial aid, including hours forfeited through the Academic Clemency Policy.

Grade Changes: Once a grade change occurs, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Office of Student Financial Services if they wish to have their eligibility for financial aid recalculated based on the grade change.


Notification of Financial Aid Termination

Students who fail to meet the minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements, will be placed on federal financial aid suspension. Satisfactory academic progress requirements are reviewed at the completion of the warning semester to determine if the student meets the minimum (quantitative, qualitative, or maximum timeframe) requirements. Those who do not, will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible to receive federal financial aid.

Students will be notified of financial aid suspension in writing via Lincoln University email account. If a student is placed on financial aid suspension, all federal and state aid will be withdrawn for future semesters at Lincoln University. Students on financial aid suspension have option to reinstate aid as described below.



Financial Aid may be reinstated when one of the following conditions has been met:

Undergraduate with greater than 160 attempted hours and no degree--The student must appeal on the appropriate form and provide a graduation plan signed by his/her academic advisor. If the plan is considered reasonable, the student will receive financial aid on probation for one or more terms until the degree is completed.

Student on Financial Aid suspension-- The student completes courses without federal aid in one or more terms (semesters) at Lincoln University until the cumulative GPA and Cumulative Completion Rate meet the required standard (while meeting maximum timeframe conditions). It is the student's responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office when reinstatement conditions have been met.

Student with grade changes--The student may regain financial aid eligibility by notifying Student Financial Aid of the grade change, including grades posted for incomplete courses.

Student satisfies Appeal Probation--The student has completed one semester on a probation status and has satisfied the minimum required under this SAP policy. The student's financial aid eligibility will be restored..

Student submits a Financial Aid Appeal-- The student files an appeal and Lincoln University's Financial Aid Appeal Review Committee approves the appeal. (See appeal procedures below).



Students who are suspended from federal financial aid may make a written appeal for reinstatement of eligibility if extenuating circumstances have contributed to their inability to meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress, and the students' circumstances have changed such that they are likely to be able to meet those requirements at the next evaluation or through an appropriate academic plan. Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Severe injury or illness of the student or an immediate family member
  • Legal separation from spouse or divorce
  • Military reassignment or required job transfers or shift changes.

Students who have extenuating circumstances may appeal using the following procedures:

recommendations. The Committee's decision is final.

  1. Submit a completed Appeal Form online and additional supporting documentation. Submission of additional supporting documentation is optional. The form is available on the Financial Aid "Forms Page" on the institutional website. All supporting documentation that a student wishes to have reviewed by the appeal board should be submitted by the student.
  2. The appeal packet is presented to the Lincoln University's Financial Aid Appeal Review Committee for review.
  3. Deadline submission and result notification dates will be communicated and is set as the 5th day of class each semester. The Appeal Information deadline is provided in the student's Lincoln University email notification and also available on the institutional website.
  4. The student is notified via their Lincoln University email account of the Committee's decision and

Financial Aid Appealed Probation

Financial aid appealed probation is a status assigned to students whose written appeal has been reviewed by the Appeal Committee and the decision was made to reinstate aid for one semester. Students will be required to meet minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements for the semester while in appealed probation status.

Minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements for the term (semester) are defined as a term GPA of 1.67 (if under 60 undergrad hours) or 2.0 (if over 60 undergrad hours) AND a 66.67% term pace of completion rate for an undergraduate student. Graduate students must meet a 66.67% term pace of completion rate and a term GPA of 3.0.

The individual academic plan will consist of the individual academic requirements that the student needs to obtain in order to graduate from Lincoln University before reaching the federal aid maximum time frame. At the end of the appealed probation semester, a student's cumulative GPA and Cumulative Completion Rate will be reviewed to determine if the student met minimum satisfactory academic progress for the term (semester).

What happens when the appealed probation semester is complete?

A student may regain or lose federal eligibility following the appealed probation/ probation with academic plan semester. The status for the semester following the appealed probation semester will fall into one of the categories below:

Remain in Probation with Academic Plan status

In order to remain in this appealed probation status, a student must show progression while seeking the minimum satisfactory academic progress requirements for the term (semester). This is an academic success plan requirement. The student will continue to have an individual academic plan for regaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Students who move back to a suspension status—will not have aid in place the next semester.

Move back to a suspension status. If a student does not meet either

- The required pace of completion or GPA for the semester OR

- The requirements of his/her academic plan the student's status will return to suspension and will no longer be eligible for federal aid.

Students who move to a satisfactory status- will have aid reinstated and will be reviewed again at the time of the next upcoming satisfactory academic progress evaluation.

Move to a satisfactory status. If a student meets the overall GPA and Cumulative Completion Rate (while meeting maximum timeframe conditions) for satisfactory academic progress, aid will be reinstated. Will be cancelled for future semesters.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Application to Students Not Receiving Federal Student Aid

Lincoln University does not award federal financial aid to students who are ineligible due to being non-degree seeking or failing to meet other eligibility requirements. Students who apply for aid after enrolling at Lincoln University must meet all general eligibility requirements including Satisfactory Academic Progress before any federal aid is awarded.


Appeal Addendum

The Director of Financial Aid may take action on the appeal or forward it to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for review. The committee's decision may be appealed to the Director/VP for Student Affairs on a case-by-case basis.

The Financial Aid Appeals Committee, appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs, shall have a membership that consists of two faculty and/or staff members familiar with university academic policy, in addition to a member of Student Financial Aid and Student Accounts Receivable. It may also have an additional member who participates in general committee matters. The committee considers, in a timely manner, appeals that are referred to it. The committee normally reviews on the written record and does not conduct hearings unless unusual circumstances warrant such. A student is encouraged to submit third-party written document to support his/her appeal.


Amendment to the Requirement

This requirement will be amended whenever applicable federal or state law or regulations are changed. Upon approval of the President, the Director of Student Financial Aid is authorized to incorporate and implement changes required by federal or state law or regulations. Other amendments, not required by changes in the law or regulations, will be considered through the revision procedures.



Attempted Course--A course that remains on the student's record after the first three weeks of the term.

Completed Course/Earned Credit--A course in which a grade of A, B, C, D or S was received. Withdrawals, no credits, blank grades, incomplete grades (I) or (X), failure (F), progress (PR) or unsatisfactory (U) are not considered "earned credit" for meeting progress requirements.

Developmental Course—Course(s) with the prefix of "AE" or numbered "0XX" (not 100 level skills course).

Financial Aid--Federal Title IV programs, plus the state and institutional programs listed below:

- Federal Pell Grant

- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

- Federal Work Study

- Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)

- Federal Direct PLUS Loan

- Missouri State Financial Assistance Programs

- Foundation Scholarships/Grants

- Scholarships (LU, departmental or external)

- Tuition Waiver (except graduate and employee waivers)

- Sponsored Billing

Financial Aid Probation--A term in which a student who has been identified as not meeting one or more standards in this policy but continues to receive financial aid. By the end of the term of financial aid probation, a student is expected to have improved his or her academic progress in order to receive further financial aid.

Financial Aid Termination--The point at which a student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid as defined in the policy; normally, this is following an unsuccessful term of probation.

Incomplete--A grade of "I" or "X" received for an attempted course; no credit until the course is completed.

Maximum Time Frame--Time limit set for receipt of financial aid that is specific to a student's program of study. For undergraduate programs, federal law defines this limit as 150% of normal program length.

Satisfactory Academic Progress/Satisfactory Progress--Completion of courses at a rate that meets the standard defined in this policy.

Transfer Credit--Course accepted for credit at Lincoln University from another institution.