A A A print this page

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Millsaps College Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy


Effective July 1, 2011

In order to receive and maintain federal financial assistance, students are required to progress satisfactorily toward completion of their course of study. Federal financial assistance includes grants, loans and employment. The satisfactory academic progress of students will be monitored at the end of each spring semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is measured in three ways:

  • Students must progress qualitatively by earning the required number of grade points.
  • Students must progress quantitatively by completing the required minimum number of credits each year (PACE).
  • Students must complete their program of study within a reasonable time period.

1. Qualitative Measure

The Office of Financial Aid strictly adheres to the academic standards established by Millsaps College and printed in the College Catalog. Students who have attempted up to a total of 28 hours must earn a 1.5 cumulative grade point average. Students who have attempted more than 28 hours and less than 60 hours must earn a 1.8 cumulative grade point average. Students who have attempted 60 or more hours must earn and maintain a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. Total hours attempted will include credit taken at Millsaps College and any credit transferred from another institution. Grade point averages are based solely upon credits earned while enrolled at Millsaps College.

Minimum acceptable academic standards are represented in the following table:

Total Hours Attempted
(Including Transfer Credit)
Minimum Cumulative GPA
(Millsaps Only)
0-28 1.5
29-59 1.8
60 and above 2.0


Transfer Students
Students transferring into Millsaps College shall be assumed to be maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Hours transferred from previously attended schools will be considered when establishing total hours attempted for GPA requirements, as well as determining the maximum number of hours allowed for financial aid eligibility.

2. Quantitative Measure (PACE)

Students receiving financial aid must also satisfactorily complete 66% of financial aid hours (hours in which a student is enrolled the last day to add a class) at the end of each spring term.

Passing grades include A, A-, B+, B, B-,C+, C, C-, D+, and D. Grades of I, CR, W, NR, NC, IP and AU will not be accepted as passing grades.

  • Withdrawals
    Courses with a grade of W will affect the quantitative measure of academic progress in determining eligibility and maintaining financial aid.
  • Audit Courses
    Courses taken for audit do not count for credit or graduation and, therefore, are not counted in determining eligibility for receiving or maintaining financial aid.
  • Credit/No Credit Grades
    Courses taken for credit/no credit grades are not counted in determining eligibility for receiving or maintaining financial aid.
  • Repeat Courses
    Repeat courses are counted for credit and will affect cumulative grade point averages in determining eligibility and maintaining financial aid as well as determining the maximum number of hours allowed for financial aid eligibility.

3. Maximum Hours to Complete Course of Study

Students must complete degree requirement within a normal time frame. To remain eligible to receive financial aid, students must complete their degree requirements within 150% of the published length of their academic program. In most cases students will be eligible to receive financial aid during the first 192 attempted hours as an undergraduate, whether or not they received financial aid or whether or not the course work was successfully completed. This includes both College and transfer hours. A student will be placed on financial aid suspension if his/her course work is in excess of 192 attempted hours or if at any time it becomes clear that the student will not meet the quantitative standards by graduation date.

  • Second-Degree Undergraduate Students
    Students who have already earned a baccalaureate and are currently seeking a second undergraduate degree will be reviewed for financial aid eligibility on an individual basis.
  • Graduate Students
    Graduate students will be eligible for financial aid until they have completed six years of study at the graduate level.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who fail to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements will be placed on financial aid suspension. Students on financial aid suspension are NOT eligible to receive federal financial aid. The mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost eligibility for failure to make satisfactory academic progress. The student may appeal the Financial Aid Suspension if unusual circumstances beyond their control prevented them from meeting satisfactory academic progress (see appeal process).

Appeal Process

A student may appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility if extenuating circumstances interfered with the ability to meet satisfactory academic progress standards. In order to appeal the loss of financial aid eligibility, the student must submit a detailed appeal letter explaining the extenuating circumstances that resulted in the lack of academic progress and documentation to support extenuating circumstances. To complete the appeal process, the student may be required to submit an academic plan provided by the student's department.

Circumstances must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Prolonged illness, medical condition, or injury to student or immediate family member 
  • Death of an immediate family member 
  • Extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control

Appeal must include the following information:

  • A detailed appeal letter
  • Circumstances and how the circumstances affected academic performance
  • Dates and time periods involved 
  • Explanation of how your situation has changed and the steps you are taking to resolve the circumstances

Documentation may include:

  • Physician's letters and hospital records (must include dates of illness and recovery time) 
  • Death certificate or obituary 
  • Court or police documents 
  • Letters from third party professionals on his/her letterhead

Students that have exceeded the maximum time frame must include additional information:

  • Explanation of why you were unable to complete your program within the time frame allowed for your degree 
  • Number of hours needed to complete current degree and intended graduation date 
  • Copy of your academic degree plan listing all remaining classes needed to graduate

ATTENTION:  No appeal will be accepted without supporting documentation. The appeal may not be based upon the need for financial aid assistance or the lack of knowledge that the financial aid assistance was in jeopardy.

Appeals may be mailed to:
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee
Millsaps College
Box 151150
Jackson, MS  39210
Fax to 601-974-1224

Appeal Decisions

  • Requires approximately 3 weeks
  • Notification will be mailed to the student's financial aid address currently on file
  • If approved, financial aid will be awarded on a probationary period for one semester

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility can be re-established after the student improves their academic record to meet the minimum standards required by the SAP Policy, without the assistance of financial aid funds. Similarly, financial aid eligibility can be re-established by successfully appealing your suspension.
Approved Appeals and Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation

For approved appeals, the student will be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation. (Financial Aid SAP Probation is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic standing probation.)  While on Satisfactory Academic Progress Probation, certain conditions for academic performance will be set and monitored.

Students placed on 'Probation' regain eligibility for financial aid if:

  • The student meets ALL of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of one subsequent period of enrollment; or
  • The student is placed on an academic plan leading to graduation that, if followed, ensures that the student is able to meet ALL of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress by a specific point in time.

Students who meet all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress while on 'Probation' will be placed in 'Meets SAP' at the conclusion of the period of enrollment or academic plan period. Progress in an academic plan is measured at the end of each period of enrollment. Students who do not meet all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress or academic plan requirements while on 'Probation' will be placed on 'Suspension.'

This policy is subject to change without notice in order to remain compliant with federal regulations.