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Home > Student Services >
Financial Aid/M Center
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In keeping with government regulations and Mills policy, financial aid recipients must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate in order to receive institutional, federal and/or state aid. Progress is monitored each semester in accordance with the policy outlined below. 

Undergraduate Students

A. Course Load and Credit Completion

The normal undergraduate course load at Mills College is 4.25 credits per semester.  Accordingly, students are expected to complete:

     • 8.5 credits by the end of the first year;

     • 17 credits by the end of the second year;

     • 25.5 credits by the end of the third year; and

     • 34 credits by the end of the fourth year.

A financial aid recipient who currently is making satisfactory academic progress can enroll for less than 4.25 credits for a given semester without jeopardizing aid eligibility for that semester as long as the student enrolls for a minimum of 3.5 credits.  An aid recipient enrolling in fewer than 3.5 credits will jeopardize eligibility for federal and state grants, Mills scholarship and grant funds, and possibly loan funds; therefore, students giving any consideration to enrolling in fewer than 3.5 credits must submit a written explanation of their circumstances to the M Center and should meet with a financial aid staff member to ensure that they understand how their aid eligibility would be affected.

To be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid, a student must have completed a minimum number of credits by the end of each semester.  The total number of credits includes any transfer credits accepted by Mills.  Accordingly, students must meet the following credit benchmarks to remain in good academic standing for financial aid purposes.

     Semester                  Total number of credits a student
                                     must have completed by the end 
                                     of each semester 

  1st Semester                                     3.50
  2nd Semester                                    8.00
  3rd Semester                                   12.00
  4th Semester                                   16.25
  5th Semester                                   20.50
  6th Semester                                   25.00
  7th Semester                                   29.25
  8th Semester                                   34.00

Dropped, failed, and incomplete courses cannot be counted when determining the total number of credits completed.  A repeated course may be counted when determining the total number of credits completed as long as it is not the result of more than one repetition of a previously passed course or the result of any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework. 

Students who are planning to take a reduced course load due to disability will need to submit an academic plan (forms are available in the Division of Student Life) to the M Center before the end of the second week of classes for the semester, complete the number of credits indicated in the academic plan, and maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0 to be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.  Any changes to the academic plan for a given semester should be submitted before the end of the second week of classes, as changes made to the academic plan after the second week of classes will not be considered in determining the number of credits which must be completed by the end of that semester. 

Other issues, such as leaves of absence during a semester, will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee upon receipt of a petition from the student.

B. Grade Point Average

To be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes, a student must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0. 

C. Enrollment Status

Students must be enrolled full-time to be considered for Mills College scholarship or grant assistance. 

Part-time students are expected to complete all credits attempted and to maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0.

D. Duration of Student Aid Eligibility

Entering first-year students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Mills are expected to graduate after completing the equivalent of eight semesters of course work. Changes in anticipated degree date do not automatically extend a student’s financial aid eligibility.

For transfer students, the number of semesters of aid eligibility is established by the initial graduation date defined by the M Center upon entrance to Mills.  The M Center reviews each transfer student’s previous college course work and establishes an anticipated degree date for the student.  A transfer student is eligible for financial aid for only the number of semesters remaining to the original anticipated degree date for a first baccalaureate degree.  Changes in anticipated degree date do not automatically extend a student’s financial aid eligibility.

Note: All transfer students are strongly advised to meet with their faculty advisors and visit the M Center during their first semester of enrollment to confirm any change in their anticipated degree date.

Students in the Nursing Program are eligible for financial aid for a maximum of four semesters while attending Mills College.  For transfer students, the number of semesters of eligibility is established by the initial expected completion date defined by the M Center upon entrance to Mills.  Financial aid received at Mills College is not transferable for attendance at Samuel Merritt University. Upon enrollment at Samuel Merritt University, students are subject to the tuition, fees, and financial aid policies of Samuel Merritt University.

Financial aid eligibility for all undergraduate students continues only to the original expected date of graduation for a first baccalaureate degree.  For example, a request to extend a graduation date in order to complete a second major or to participate in an international visit (study abroad), domestic visit, international exchange, or domestic exchange program is not a basis for extending financial aid eligibility an additional semester(s).

E. Financial Aid Warning, Probation, and 
    Disqualification

An aid recipient who is placed on academic probation by the College or who fails to meet the financial aid credit and/or GPA benchmarks during a given semester will be placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status for the upcoming semester.  A student may continue to receive financial aid during the semester in which she is placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status but will lose her eligibility for financial aid if she has not restored herself to the financial aid credit and GPA benchmarks by the end of that semester.  Exception: Students who fail to complete a given semester and/or fail to receive at least one passing grade in a given semester will be disqualified from financial aid eligibility for subsequent semesters without first being placed on “Financial Aid Warning” status.

A student who fails to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks at the end of a semester in which she has been placed on "Financial Aid Warning" status is subject to "Financial Aid Disqualification."  A student who has been disqualified for financial aid purposes is no longer eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid. 

A student denied financial aid due to lack of satisfactory academic progress will not be considered for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility until minimum GPA and credit completion standards have been met. The student must also meet satisfactory academic progress standards during semesters in which she does not receive aid. 

A student requesting reinstatement of financial aid eligibility after a period of ineligibility must submit to the M Center a written request for a review of her progress toward meeting the academic standards for financial aid eligibility.  The student should include in this request the total number of credits completed, her semester GPA, and her cumulative GPA to demonstrate that she has restored herself to the credit and GPA benchmarks.  The student should outline any extenuating circumstances which affected her ability to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks in the previous semester(s).  She must also explain how the circumstances have changed and indicate how the current circumstances will enable her to meet satisfactory academic progress standards in the upcoming semester.   

Appeals regarding decisions made according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy should be addressed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and submitted to the M Center. Circumstances which may warrant an exception to the satisfactory academic progress standards include serious illness, injury, or death of a family member.  The appeal must include a written statement from the student outlining the extenuating circumstances which affected the student's ability to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks and documentation in support of the appeal, i.e., a letter from a medical professional for medical circumstances.  The appeal must also include an explanation of how the circumstances have changed and how the current circumstances will enable the student to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards in the upcoming semester. 

The deadline to appeal decisions made according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is the end of the second week of the semester.  The deadline for the Fall 2013 semester is September 11, 2013.  For the Spring 2014 semester, the deadline is February 5, 2014.

Students for whom an appeal has been approved will be placed on “Financial Aid Probation” status.  A student may continue to receive financial aid during the semester in which she is placed on “Financial Aid Probation” status but will lose her eligibility for financial aid if she has not restored herself by the end of that semester to the financial aid credit and GPA benchmarks outlined in the terms of her probation.  

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Graduate Degree and Certificate Students

A. Credit and GPA Requirements

Full-time graduate degree students are expected to complete a minimum of 2 credits per semester and maintain a minimum 3.0 semester and cumulative grade point average (GPA). Part-time graduate students are expected to complete all credits for which they are enrolled and maintain a minimum 3.0 semester and cumulative GPA.

Post-baccalaureate certificate students are expected to complete a minimum of 2 credits per semester and maintain a minimum 3.0 (2.75 in their first semester) semester and cumulative GPA.

Dropped, failed, and incomplete courses cannot be counted when determining the total number of credits completed. A repeated course may be counted when determining the total number of credits completed as long as it is not the result of more than one repetition of a previously passed course or the result of any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework.

Students who are planning to take a reduced course load due to disability will need to submit an academic plan (forms are available in the Division of Student Life) to the M Center before the end of the second week of classes for the semester, complete the number of credits indicated in the academic plan, and maintain the appropriate minimum semester and cumulative GPA to be making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Any changes to the academic plan for a given semester should be submitted before the end of the second week of classes, as changes made to the academic plan after the second week of classes will not be considered in determining the number of credits which must be completed by the end of that semester.

Other issues, such as leaves of absence during a semester, will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee upon receipt of a petition from the student.

B. Duration of Student Aid Eligibility

Master's and doctoral degree candidates and certificate students are eligible for financial aid through their original anticipated degree date, which is established by the M Center upon entrance to Mills. Full-time students enrolled in a master's degree program or the Post-baccalaureate Pre-Medical Certificate Program may receive federal financial aid for a maximum of four semesters. Full-time students enrolled in other eligible certificate programs may receive federal financial aid for a maximum of two semesters. Students pursuing a doctorate in education may receive federal financial aid for a maximum of six semesters.

C. Financial Aid Warning, Probation, and Disqualification

Aid recipients who are placed on academic probation by the College or who fail to meet the financial aid credit and/or GPA benchmarks during a given semester will be placed on "Financial Aid Warning" status for the upcoming semester. Students may continue to receive financial aid during the semester in which they are placed on "Financial Aid Warning" status but will lose their eligibility for financial aid if they have not restored themselves to the financial aid credit and GPA benchmarks by the end of that semester.  Exception: Students who fail to complete a given semester and/or fail to receive at least one passing grade in a given semester will be disqualified from financial aid eligibility for subsequent semesters without first being placed on "Financial Aid Warning" status.

Students who fail to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks at the end of a semester in which they have been placed on "Financial Aid Warning" status are subject to "Financial Aid Disqualification." Students who have been disqualified for financial aid purposes are no longer eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid.

Students denied financial aid due to lack of satisfactory academic progress will not be considered for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility until minimum GPA and credit completion standards have been met.  Students also must meet satisfactory academic progress standards during semesters in which they do not receive aid.

Students requesting reinstatement of financial aid eligibility after a period of ineligibility must submit to the M Center a written request for a review of their progress in meeting the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.  Students should include in this request the total number of credits completed, their semester GPA, and their cumulative GPA to demonstrate that they have restored themselves to the credit and GPA benchmarks.  Students must outline any extenuating circumstances which affected their ability to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks in the previous semester(s).  They must also explain how the circumstances have changed and indicate how the current circumstances will enable them to meet satisfactory academic progress standards in the upcoming semester.

Appeals regarding decisions made according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy should be addressed to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and submitted to the M Center.  Circumstances which may warrant an exception to the satisfactory academic progress standards include serious illness, injury, or death of a family member.  The appeal must include a written statement from the student outlining the extenuating circumstances which affected the student's ability to meet the credit and/or GPA benchmarks and documentation in support of the appeal, i.e., a letter from a medical professional for medical circumstances.  The appeal must also include an explanation of how the circumstances have changed and how the current circumstances will enable the student to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards in the upcoming semester. 

The deadline to appeal decisions made according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is the end of the second week of the semester. The deadline for the Fall 2013 semester is September 11, 2013.  For the Spring 2014 semester, the deadline is February 5, 2014.

Students for whom an appeal has been approved will be placed on "Financial Aid Probation" status.  Students may continue to receive financial aid during the semester in which they are placed on "Financial Aid Probation" status but will lose their eligibility for financial aid if they have not restored themselves by the end of that semester to the financial aid credit and GPA benchmarks outlined in the terms of their probation.

 

 

 

 

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M Center
Carnegie Hall
P: 510.430.2000
F: 510.430.2003
E: finaid@mills.edu
Last Updated: 6/7/13