Maintaining Eligibility

To maintain your eligibility to receive financial aid, you must meet the following requirements:
  • You must be a degree-seeking student.
  • You must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time (except for the Pell or TEACH Grant).
Scholarships & Financial Aid monitors your SAP at the end of every semester. If you do not meet the requirements for SAP, you have the right to appeal and provide information about extenuating circumstances that may have hindered your progress. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that SAP and minimum enrollment requirements for individual financial aid program eligibility may vary.

In addition to potentially affecting current semester financial aid, drops and withdrawals are considered unsuccessfully completed coursework when determining SAP and will impact completion rate. If you drop below the necessary completion rate you may lose eligibility for financial aid in future terms.

Federal financial aid regulations require us to confirm whether you began attendance in at least one course to establish eligibility for federal student loans. You must begin attendance in all courses if receiving Federal Pell Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, and/or Iraq-Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG) funds. Based on the information we receive, adjustments to financial aid awards may be necessary and will likely result in a balance due to the University.

Instructors will confirm if you began attendance or became academically engaged in your courses through the Howdy portal. Instructors may reference any of the following to confirm that you began academic engagement:
  • You attended a class (in-person or synchronous online) where there was an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students
  • You submitted an academic assignment
  • You took an exam
  • You participated in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction
  • You participated in a study group, online discussion, or group project that is assigned by the institution
  • You interacted with an instructor about academic matters
Please note that the following DO NOT constitute attendance for financial aid purposes:
  • Logging into an online class without active participation (including accessing prerecorded lectures that do not allow for direct interaction between the instructor and students)
  • Living in university housing
  • Utilizing university meal plans
  • Meeting with an academic advisor or participating in group advising
  • Attending a voluntary or informal study group not assigned by the university
If the instructor confirms you began attendance in the class, your financial aid will not be adjusted. If we do not receive confirmation that you began attendance in your course(s), we are required to adjust your financial aid (Pell, TEACH, IASG) based on your remaining hours enrolled. If we do not receive confirmation you began attendance for ANY enrolled course, we are required to cancel ALL of your federal financial aid (Pell, TEACH, IASG, Direct Loans).

In addition to potentially affecting your current semester financial aid, drops and withdrawals are considered unsuccessfully completed coursework when determining your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and will impact your completion rate. If you drop below the necessary completion rate you may lose eligibility for financial aid in future terms. For more information on SAP, please review the SAP information below.

Repeated Coursework may also affect your financial aid eligibility. More information on Repeated Coursework may also be found below.

SAP Components

There are three components to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If you do not comply with any component, you may lose aid eligibility. The three components are as follows:

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Undergraduate Students: 2.0

Completion Rate (Deficit Hours)

You must successfully complete a minimum percentage of all credit hours attempted. This percentage includes all institutional and transfer credit hours, regardless of whether you received financial aid. Grades of W, F, I, U, Q, X, NG, and grade exclusions are not considered to be adequate grades for completion.
  • Undergraduate Students: 75%

Maximum Hours (Excessive Hours)

You are expected to complete your degree within a maximum timeframe, including transfer hours earned as well as institutional attempted hours. You may not receive financial assistance beyond the following:
  • Undergraduate Students: 134% of degree program requirements
Credit hours are cumulative. If you are working towards earning more than one degree in the same category (e.g., double major, undergraduate nursing), you may reach this maximum timeframe before completing your course of study and may need to appeal eligibility.

SAP Warnings

If you do not meet SAP standards for a semester, you will be given a warning at the end of the semester. You will be allowed to receive financial aid for the next semester. If you fail to meet the SAP components after your warning semester, you will be ineligible for financial aid. If you do not meet SAP minimums after your warning semester, you will be given the opportunity to appeal. This appeal process is outlined below.

SAP Notifications

Students who fail to meet minimum SAP standards are not eligible to receive financial aid. Students will be notified of the reason(s) for the loss of eligibility through an email sent to their TAMU email address as well as via their Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal.

Students may appeal their ineligibility by providing information on extenuating circumstances, indicating what has changed to allow successful academic progress. However, the submission of an appeal is only a request and does not guarantee that scholarship or financial aid eligibility will be reinstated. The appeal must be submitted online through the Howdy Portal. Click the My Finances tab and enter the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal. Students should provide evidence of the extenuating circumstances that occurred. For more information, please review the "Appeal Process" section. Please note that the financial aid appeal process is different from college/department academic appeal processes. Scholarships may require a separate appeal process.

Students who graduate from Texas A&M University but do not meet Scholarships & Financial Aid SAP minimums will be denied aid eligibility for additional coursework taken at the same degree level (i.e., teacher certification or post-baccalaureate work), but may visit with a Scholarships & Financial Aid advisor to determine continuing eligibility. Academic progress for students beginning a new degree level (i.e., undergraduate to graduate or undergraduate to professional) will be evaluated based on coursework/performance at the new level.

Changes to recorded grades that take place after SAP evaluation has occurred will be included in the next official SAP evaluation at the end of the subsequent semester. If a grading error is corrected after the SAP evaluation was completed, students may contact our office by phone, email, or in person to request a recalculation of SAP status using the corrected grade. Recalculations will not be done when an Incomplete (I) grade is updated once missing work is completed.

SAP Appeal Process

If extenuating circumstances have prevented you from meeting the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards required for financial aid eligibility, federal regulations provide you the opportunity to appeal the loss of your eligibility.

If an appeal is granted, you will be placed on financial aid probation and asked to follow an academic plan that will lead to meeting minimum SAP requirements in the future. If you do not meet the terms of probation, eligibility for financial aid will cease and all remaining aid will be cancelled. Subsequent appeals of the same nature are not permitted. Once you fail to meet the terms of your academic plan and lose eligibility, the only way to regain eligibility for financial aid is to meet the SAP minimum requirements.

Appeal Process

To facilitate this appeal opportunity for exceeding Maximum Hours or not meeting Completion Rates, please follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the Howdy Portal and access the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal channel on the My Finances tab to review the qualifications and file the appeal form.
  2. Print the Academic Advisor Appeal Questionnaire form and meet with your Academic Advisor to have this completed. Return to the portal to upload it.
  3. Once Steps 1-2 are complete, a link will be provided in your portal to schedule an appeal appointment. At this appointment you will discuss options for your academic success and financial aid.
Note: Completion of the steps listed above does not guarantee your appeal will be granted.
Undergraduate students receiving financial aid are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. Scholarships & Financial Aid does not recognize the GPA that results from the submission of the Grade Exclusion Form. Grade excluded courses will be calculated in financial aid GPA based on the grading mark earned in each course (D, F, or U).

Students must also complete at least 75% of all course work attempted. Because grade excluded courses cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements, they will be considered attempted but not passed. This will impact cumulative hours completed and possibly leave students to fall below the minimum 75% completion rate that is required for Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Grade exclusions may also impact student loan eligibility. Annual loan limits are determined based upon classification. Grade exclusion may change a student’s grade level/classification.

*Grade exclusions are no longer an option available to students after August 2013.

All financial aid offers are based on full-time enrollment. However, most of the financial aid programs we offer require students to be registered at least half-time. Students may only receive federal financial aid for eligible courses that count towards the program of study.  State and Institutional Aid are not subject to the same regulatory restrictions. However, the cost of attendance for students will be reduced for courses that are not counting to the program of study, which can result in a lower amount of state and institutional aid a student could receive.

Students enrolled less than full time in courses that count towards their degree should contact our department to determine the impact on scholarship and financial aid eligibility as they may be subject to award proration based on the number of hours of enrollment.

For example:
If a student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and enrolled in 12 hours and only 9 hours of the 12 hours are required for their degree, they will receive their Federal Pell Grant based on 9 hours. Their Federal Pell Grant payment will be reduced based on courses that apply to their degree program.

Federal Direct Loans for undergraduates require 6 hours of enrollment. If a student is enrolled in 12 hours and only 3 hours of the 12 are required for their degree, they cannot receive a Federal Direct Loan. 

See Program of Study FAQ for more details. The Award Proration page includes information regarding funds and proration rules.

Students who plan to change their enrollment by withdrawing or Q-dropping courses should contact the office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss how this could affect their financial aid eligibility.  

For Federal, State and Institutional Aid (including fall/spring scholarships), the following will apply:

Scroll Table Left and Right
Classification Fall Spring Summer
Undergraduate Full-time: 12
Three-quarter: 9
Half-time: 6
Full-time: 12
Three-quarter: 9
Half-time: 6
Full-time: 12
Three-quarter: 9
Half-time: 6
Federal regulations require colleges to consider all educational financial assistance to be calculated in determining student eligibility. If it is determined an over award has occurred and needs to be resolved, it may result in funds being returned to an aid program and the student owing the University money. 
Financial assistance includes:
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Waivers, fellowships & assistantships
  • Work Study
  • Specific Veteran educational benefits
  • Programs used to cover postsecondary educational expenses
An over award will be caused when a student receives more aid than their:
  • Financial Need
  • Enrollment eligibility
  • Cost of attendance
Scholarships & Financial Aid is required to correct all over awards at the time they occur.  If you receive additional resources after all aid has disbursed, then your aid will be adjusted as needed to keep eligibility for each aid program.  If the adjustment results in the student owing a balance of $ 500 or more, Scholarships & Financial Aid (along with Student Business Services) will place a hold on the student’s account.  The hold will prevent course registration and transcript release.  Once payment is made, the hold will automatically expire.

How does this affect my financial aid?

Scholarships & Financial Aid initially awards all students assuming full-time enrollment. Students’ records are then reviewed each semester to determine if they are enrolled less than full-time. Adjustments are then made to the financial aid awards of students enrolled less than full-time. This review and adjustment occurs each semester, prior to the financial aid disbursement date and then again at census date (12th class day for fall and spring, 4th class day for summer).

Award and Program enrollment requirements
You can only get federal financial aid for one repeated course you have passed before. For example: 
Allowed: You received an unsatisfactory or failing grade in the course. You want to take the course again to receive a satisfactory or passing grade. You can take the course again. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake a course if you continue to receive a failing grade.Allowed: You are enrolled in 15 or more credit hours, including a previously passed 3 credit hour course. Your financial aid will not be affected because you are in 12 credit hours (full-time) that are not repeated courses.Not allowed: You received an A or a B in a course at Texas A&M, and you want to take it again. You will not get federal financial aid for this class because you already received a passing grade. However, your financial aid will not be affected if you are enrolled in 12 other credit hours in addition to the repeated class.Not allowed: You received a D in a course, then retook it for a better grade and got a C. You want to take it a third time for a better grade. You will not get financial aid for this class because you already repeated the class once and received a passing grade each time. However, your financial aid will not be affected if you are enrolled in 12 other credit hours in addition to the repeated class.  Caution: You received a C or a D in a course and want to take it again for a better grade. You can only retake a course one time if you got a passing grade.
View the text version of Repeated Coursework.

  • You can only get federal financial aid for courses that count towards your degree. 
  • Each course you attempt counts toward your Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. Both the repeated course grade and the original grade are included in your GPA calculation for financial aid purposes.

Beginning with the 2021-2022 award year, having a drug conviction while receiving federal (Title IV) financial aid will no longer impact a student’s federal financial aid eligibility. However, students who are awarded the Toward EXcellence Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant are still required to certify annually, prior to the disbursement of funds, that they have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance.

According to federal regulations, students convicted for a drug offense that occurred during a period of enrollment while they were receiving Title IV Federal Financial Aid, may lose eligibility for Federal Aid.

Federal Aid includes:

  • Federal Pell and SEOG Grants
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal Plus Loan
  • TEACH Grant
If a student answers ‘Yes’ to the question on the FAFSA, regarding conviction for possession or sale of illegal drugs a worksheet will be sent to the student by the federal processing center to determine if the conviction affects eligibility for aid. Should the financial aid office be notified that a student has been convicted of sale or possession of illegal drugs, the financial assistance will be suspended immediately. If a conviction was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record it does not count. Convictions occurring during periods of non-enrollment do not count. In addition, any conviction received as a juvenile does not count, unless they were tried as an adult.

The period of ineligibility is dependent upon the type of conviction (sale or possession) and if there were previous offenses. The information below demonstrates the periods of ineligibility:

Possession of Illegal Drugs

1st offense- 1 year from date of conviction
2nd offense- 2 years from date of conviction
3+ offenses- Indefinite Period

Sale of Illegal Drugs

1st offense- 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense- Indefinite period

If the student was convicted of both selling and possessing illegal drugs, they will be ineligible for the longer period.

Regaining Eligibility

The student may regain eligibility:
  • The day after the period of ineligibility ends,
  • When they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program, or
  • If the student passes two unannounced drug tests given by a qualified rehabilitation program they may regain eligibility.
Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it after:
  • Successfully completing a rehabilitation program as described below,
  • Passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program, or
  • If a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility.

Qualified Drug Rehabilitation Program

A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:
  • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government
  • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company
  • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court
  • Be administered or recognized by a federal or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.
Additional drug convictions will make the student ineligible for federal aid again. It is the student’s responsibility to certify to the school that they have successfully completed the rehabilitation program. In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, students who are awarded the Toward EXcellence Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant must certify annually, prior to the disbursement of funds, that they have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance.
The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned by the University and/or the student to the federal government. This situation could result in the student owing aid funds to the University, government or both.

To determine the amount of aid the student has earned up to the time of withdrawal, Scholarships & Financial Aid will divide the number of calendar days the student attended classes by the total number of calendar days in the semester (less any scheduled breaks of 5 days or more). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total federal funds that were disbursed (either to the student’s university account or to the student directly by check or direct deposit) for the semester. This calculation determines the amount of aid earned by the student which he or she may keep (e.g., if the student attended 25% of the term, the student will have earned 25% of the aid disbursed). The unearned amount – total aid disbursed less the earned amount – must be returned to the federal government by the University or the student. Scholarships & Financial Aid will notify and provide instructions to students who are required to return funds to the government.

Allocating Returned Title IV (Federal) Aid

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Any state or institutional aid received may also be subject to reduction or cancellation, based on the same withdrawal date used to calculate the return of federal funds.

Financial aid returned (by the University and/or you or your parents) must be allocated in the following order:
  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal SEOG
  7. TEACH Grants
If your circumstances require that you withdraw from all classes, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Aggie One Stop and your academic advisor before doing so. At that time, the consequences of withdrawing from all classes can be explained and options discussed.

You should also be aware that as a recipient of financial assistance, withdrawing may negatively affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Please see information regarding our SAP policy above. By withdrawing, you may not be eligible for financial assistance from Texas A&M University in the future, because you did not complete a specified number of credit hours for which aid was disbursed.