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Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal financial aid regulations limit how long any student can continue to receive financial aid. In order to keep your eligibility for financial aid, you must be making progress toward earning your degree. You can lose eligibility for aid if you are not doing well in your classes and/or if it is taking a longer than average time to earn your degree. If you are not meeting the minimum standards, even if you are allowed to continue your enrollment, you will have to do so without benefit of financial assistance.

Federal Regulations (34 CFR Part 668) require that in order to receive student financial aid under the programs authorized by Title IV of The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, students must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in the course of study they are pursuing according to the standards and practices of the institution. Therefore, students receiving federal financial aid are expected to maintain full academic standing as described in the University Catalog. In addition, students must maintain satisfactory progress according to the policy stated below.

These Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulations require that all Universities establish and publish a policy that takes into account both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (progress through the program toward completion) measures as well as establishing a maximum time frame that cannot exceed one and one half the normal time frame for the program. At the University of Maine at Fort Kent, students' progress is measured by their grade point average (GPA) and the number of credits successfully completed compared to the number of credits attempted. Students must meet both the minimum GPA requirement and have successfully completed the required percentage of credit hours attempted within established time frames to retain eligibility for federal financial aid. Students who have a break in attendance will be reviewed including all UMFK credits attempted and including any credits they transfer into UMFK toward the degree.

SECTION I: Policy Details

The following shall be considered as credits successfully completed:

  1. "A" through "D" grades;
  2. "P" passed for credit on a Pass/Fail basis

The following shall be considered as credits attempted but not successfully completed:

  1. "F" grades;
  2. "AUD" - audited course;
  3. "W" - withdrawal;
  4. "I" - incomplete;
  5. "PR" - in progress;
  6. "Non-credit" courses;
  7. "DG" - deferred grade;
  8. "L" - did not attend the course;
  9. "MG" - missing grade

Change of Program - For one time only, when a student changes program, SAP is based on all the credits attempted to date, excluding those that would have no place in the new program even if the student had successfully completed the course. 

Transfer Students - If a student earned credits at a previous institution(s) that will be accepted toward his/her degree, satisfactory progress evaluation will take place at the proper level in the time frame; e.g., a full-time student who transfers 30 credits toward the UMFK degree would be considered to have attempted and completed 30 credits towards the degree.

Financial Aid Suspension - At the end of each academic year, each student's academic standing will be reviewed to determine if the minimum requirements outlined in Section II are being maintained. In the event that the student fails to meet the minimum requirements, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.  The student will be notified by the financial aid office. A student in this status is not eligible for financial aid. Any prior aid offers made to the student will be retracted for the applicable time period. If a student has extenuating or mitigating circumstances that would justify why they did not do well, the student may appeal the financial aid office decision.

**ALL** courses taken at UMFK will be used in calculating SAP, including any UMFK courses taken while in high school.

What your SAP Suspended Aid Appeal Letter Should Address:  - A student placed on Suspension may appeal, in writing, within 30 days of notification, to the financial aid office stating:

  1. What went wrong and why the minimum requirements were not met
  2. What you have done and will do differently in order to succeed in the future. What are you doing to correct the problems that led to the unsatisfactory academic progress?
  3. Third party documentation for extenuating circumstances must be included in the appeal submission.  

A student who’s aid is suspended and who chooses not to appeal, or whose appeal is not accepted will remain on financial aid suspension beginning with the subsequent semester, and may not receive aid until the student is again in compliance with the requirements.

Letters of Appeal should be returned to:

University of Maine at Fort Kent
Financial Aid Office
23 University Drive
Fort Kent, ME 04743

Fax: 207-834-7841

Appeal Review: Upon review of the appeal, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing and/or by email (at your mail@maine.edu address) of the decision. If your appeal is not granted, a student wishing to appeal the Financial Aid Office decision may do so (in writing) to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee, if still not granted, the student may appeal (in writing) to the President.

If granted an appeal, a student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. A student on Probation may receive financial aid for the upcoming semester. If it appears that the student cannot bring academic performance into compliance with the requirements during the next semester, the student will be required to meet with

Christine Nunemaker, Assistant Dean of Student Success, to establish an Academic Plan for future semesters as part of the appeal. If the appeal is successful, the student may receive aid for the subsequent semester. The student’s record will be reviewed again at the end of the subsequent semester to determine if the student in now in compliance with the requirements and, if applicable, has met the requirements of the Academic Plan. In the case where it may take a student several semesters to come into compliance, as long as the student continues to meet the requirements of the Academic Plan, the student will be eligible to receive aid.

Failure to achieve the required minimum GPA and credits at the end of the Probation semester will result in Suspension of Title IV financial aid eligibility.

Condition of Financial Aid Reinstatement - Students must complete the required percentage of credits within the maximum time frame, with the corresponding grade point average, in order to be reinstated. The student must notify the Financial Aid Office, in writing, that the conditions of reinstatement have been met. The student will observe the normal application procedures and deadlines for financial aid consideration and will receive written notification if financial aid is to be reinstated.

Section II: Specific Progress Requirements

First, your total number of credits attempted is determined, regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for that semester. Your attempted credit hours are the total number of credit hours for which you were enrolled as of the last day of the Drop/Add period (plus any transfer credits accepted toward your degree.)

Then the total number of credits successfully completed is divided by the total number attempted to arrive at a percentage earned. The percentage earned must be at least:

  • 0 to 30 credits attempted, must have earned at least 50%
  • 30.01 to 45 credits attempted, must have earned at least 55%
  • 45.01 to 60 credits attempted, must have earned at least 60%
  • 60.01 to 75 credits attempted, must have earned at least 65%
  • 75.01 to 90 credits attempted, must have earned at least 70%
  • 90.01 to 999 credits attempted, must have earned at least 75%

Second, you must maintain a minimum GPA as indicated in the University Catalogue:

Minimum GPA:

  • 0 -29 attempted hours: 1.67 Cumulative GPA
  • 30-59 attempted hours: 1.75 Cumulative GPA
  • 60+ attempted hours: 2.00 Cumulative GPA

Third, the maximum time frames are as follows:

  • For a four year, 120 credit Baccalaureate degree, 180 attempted credits
  • For a four year, 125 credit Baccalaureate degree, 187.5 attempted credits
  • For a four year, 128 credit Baccalaureate degree, 192 attempted credits
  • For a four year, 129 credit Baccalaureate degree, 193.5 attempted credits
  • For a four year, 133 credit Baccalaureate degree, 199.5 attempted credits
  • For a two year, 60 credit Associate degree, 90 attempted credits
  • For a two and ½ year, 78 credit Associate degree, 117 attempted credits

Revised: 01/27/2017