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Satisfactory Academic Progress

For purposes of determining financial aid eligibility under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, all institutions, including Mercy College, must establish reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP). On October 29, 2010, the Secretary of Education published final rules aimed at improving the integrity of programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA. Effective July 1, 2011, institutions must comply with the published regulations that impact SAP. The Office of Enrollment Services has implemented its satisfactory academic progress policy to comply with said regulations.

Mercy College students who do not make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree will not be eligible for the following federal Title IV aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grants.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG).
  • Federal Work Study Program.
  • Federal Direct Loan Programs, both Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans.
  • Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan Program.

In addition, students who do not meet satisfactory academic progress will not be eligible to receive institutional (Mercy College-based) grants and scholarships.
NOTE: Students receiving academic scholarships must also meet the criteria outlined in the initial scholarship notification letter.

The Office of Enrollment Services will review academic records annually after each spring term to monitor that students are making progress towards degree completion. Students are required to maintain qualitative and quantitative standards, and may not exceed the maximum time frame for their program.

Qualitative Measure Standards

To maintain the qualitative standards of satisfactory academic progress, students must meet the cumulative GPA at the end of each academic year, as outlined in the charts below. The end of an academic year is defined as the end of the spring term of each academic year, regardless of the term an individual student began his/her studies with the College in a given academic year.

Undergraduate Students

Credit hours attempted Cumulative GPA Credit hours attempted Cumulative GPA
0-15 credits 1.50 GPA 0-30 credits 1.50 GPA
16-30 credits 1.75 GPA 31-60 credits 1.75 GPA
31+ credits 2.00 GPA 61 credits or above 2.00 GPA

Graduate Students

Credit hours attempted Cumulative GPA
1+ credits 3.00 GPA


Quantitative Measure Standards

Cumulative Progress

To quantify academic progress, students must successfully earn credits toward their degree greater than or equal to 67 percent of the credits attempted.
For example, if a student has attempted 30 credit hours, he/she must earn 21 credits of those attempted (21 earned credits / 30 attempted credits x 100 percent = 70 percent). In this case, earning 20 credits would not be enough to equal 67% (20 earned credits / 30 attempted credits x 100 percent = 66.66 percent).

Maximum Time Frame

The number of credit hours for which a student may receive federal financial aid may not exceed 150 percent of the credit hours required to complete the academic program's published length.
Examples: If Student A is enrolled in a bachelor's program that requires 120 credit hours for completion, then 180 hours is the maximum number of attempted hours permitted for federal student aid eligibility (150% x 120 credit hours = 180). If Student A enrolled in an associate's program, he/she may receive aid for up to 90 attempted credit hours (150% x 60 credit hours = 90).
If Student B is enrolled in a master's program that requires 48 credit hours for completion then 72 hours is the maximum number of attempted hours permitted for federal student aid eligibility (150% x 48 credit hours = 72).

Evaluation and Notification of Federal Title IV Aid Ineligibility

The Office of Enrollment Services will review all students’ academic records annually at the conclusion of the respective spring term. Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree will immediately lose eligibility for future Title IV aid. Students will be notified of their ineligible status via electronic or postal mail from the Office of Enrollment Services. Note: If a student has a grade change or correction to their academic record subsequent to the review process, he/she should notify his Student Services Counselor in writing to request a reevaluation of their Title IV academic progress.

Determination of Attempted Credits and Earned Credits

The College includes all courses attempted at Mercy College plus course work accepted
as transfer credit towards the student’s declared major in the quantitative measurement
in determining successful SAP.
Click here for a more detailed policy.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals

Mercy College has established a Title IV SAP appeal process. Students who have unforeseen extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making SAP may submit an appeal in writing to the SAP Appeals Committee.
Click here for more information on submitting an appeal.