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Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations (CRF § 668.34) require that students demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degree to continue to receive institutional, federal and state financial aid. In addition to meeting the standard for receiving financial aid, students must also meet the academic standards of Rice University.

Undergraduate Students: With the exception of the five-year program in architecture, eligibility for institutional aid is limited to the equivalent of 8 semesters of undergraduate enrollment, including coursework taken at other colleges and universities. In addition to meeting the standard for receiving financial aid, students must also meet the academic standards of Rice University.

Graduate Students: Graduate students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward completion of their degree to continue to receive federal and state financial aid. In addition to meeting the standard for receiving financial aid, students must also meet the academic standards of Rice University.

All Students: Satisfactory academic progress is comprised of three areas as required by federal regulations. A student must complete their degree within a specified period that does not exceed 150% of the published length of the program, demonstrate they are making progress towards the completion of their degree by successfully completing 67% percent of all attempted courses, and maintain a cumulative 1.67 GPA for Undergraduate students. Graduate students must meet GPA requirements consistent with graduation requirements. This regulation applies to each financial aid applicant, whether a previous recipient or not.

The GPA and pace completion are affected by courses with incompletes, withdraws, repeated courses, failed and unsatisfactory grades. Credits counted in the maximum time are all attempted credits (even when not a financial aid recipient). Attempted credits include:

  • Earned credits – Passed (A through D-), Satisfactory (S)
  • Repeated courses
  • Withdrawal
  • Failures – Failed (F), Unsatisfactory (U)
  • Incomplete
  • All accepted transfer credits (including Study Abroad courses) toward the degree program
  • Transfer Credit towards the degree program

If a student fails to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards by the end of the academic year, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will not be eligible for aid until the satisfactory academic progress standards are met.

Appeal—Students are allowed to appeal their Financial Aid Suspension in cases of the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. Students must submit a letter discussing why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress, and what has changed in the student's situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. Supporting documentation (doctor's letter or academic plan) must accompany the appeal letter and must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid prior to the beginning of the subsequent term. The Appeals Committee will review appeals on a case-by-case basis.

If an appeal is approved by the Appeals Committee, the student will be placed on financial aid probation and may receive financial aid for one probationary semester. At the end of the probationary term, the student must meet the satisfactory academic progress standards or meet the requirements of an approved academic plan developed by the student’s academic department(s).

Financial Aid after academic suspension—Students who have been suspended by the university for academic reasons need to be aware that if they are readmitted by the Committee on Examinations and Standing, they may not be eligible for financial aid based on their prior academic performance. Students who are petitioning for readmission are advised to contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine their aid eligibility.