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Satisfactory Academic Progress

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal student aid regulations require all educational institutions administering funds to ensure that financial aid recipients are making satisfactory academic progress toward their educational objectives. The regulations apply to all students receiving federal, state and institutional financial aid funds. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to a financial aid office staff member. Satisfactory Academic Progress has been defined as follows:

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress will be checked upon the initial receipt of the FAFSA as well as each Spring semester after grades are posted. To be making satisfactory academic progress a student must maintain the required cumulative grade point average, attain a 75% completion rate and not exceed the normal completion time.
  2. Students failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Such status will make students ineligible for financial aid until such time as the satisfactory academic progress requirements are met.

    During the period of Financial Aid Suspension, students may (unless placed on Academic Dismissal) attend UH Hilo without financial aid. It will be the student’s responsibility to secure other financial resources during this period.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

  1. Maintenance of a minimum UH Hilo cumulative grade point average.
    1. For undergraduates, post baccalaureate and pharmacy students a 2.00 UH Hilo GPA is required.
    2. For graduate students, a 3.00 UH Hilo GPA is required.
  2. Attainment of a 75% completion rate (pace) towards educational objective for hours attempted at UH Hilo.
    1. Students must complete and pass 75% of all hours attempted at UH Hilo. A student’s completion rate is calculated by dividing hours earned by hours attempted. Courses with grades of F, W, I, NC, NG and repeated courses count as hours attempted. Hours declared in academic bankruptcy count as hours attempted.
  3. Normal Completion Time
    1. Undergraduate students will be eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 160 attempted credit hours. Transfer hours are included in the total number of credit hours attempted.
    2. Graduate students will be eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 45 attempted credit hours (adjustments can be made according to degree program requirements). Transfer hours are included in the total number of hours attempted.
    3. Pharmacy students will be eligible for financial aid for a maximum of 197 attempted credit hours. Transfer hours are included in the total number of hours attempted.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process

A student who is placed on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal the denial of financial aid. The appeal must be made by submitting a letter to the Financial Aid Office no later than 10 days after receipt of the notice of Financial Aid Suspension. The appeal must include information regarding why satisfactory progress was not made and what has changed that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory progress in the next enrollment period. The appeal will be directed to the Appeals Committee whose decision will be final. The decision will be based on demonstration of one of the following situations:

  1. Error of fact;
  2. Mitigating circumstances. Circumstances considered may include illness or injury, family difficulties, interpersonal and college adjustment problems.

If the appeal is granted, financial aid will be continued for a probationary period. The student will be advised in writing of the action on the appeal.


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Withdrawing from Classes

Official Withdrawals

It is the responsibility of any student wishing to withdraw from UH Hilo to follow the official withdrawal process with the University.  Students wishing to withdraw from the University should contact the Office of the Registrar to initiate the withdrawal process.  The University’s policy on complete withdrawal may be found in the General Catalog

Withdrawal from all classes during a term may result in a change in institutional charges for the term.  Please consult the General Catalog for the complete Tuition and Fees Refund Policy. 

Withdrawal from all classes during a term may also result in a change in the financial aid award for that term.  Federal financial aid regulations have created a Return of Title IV Funds Policy.  This policy states that students who withdraw or cease attendance before the 60 percent point of the term (as calculated by the number of days in the term) will have their financial aid reduced. 

Upon withdrawal, the Financial Aid Office will calculate, from the number of days in the term that the student was enrolled prior to withdrawal, the percentage of the term that the student completed.  This percentage will be applied to the amount of aid received for the term with the student being able to retain only the amount of aid for the percentage of the term actually completed.  The unearned portion of the financial aid award must be returned to the federal, state, and institutional programs that have been awarded.  If excess financial aid funds have been refunded to the student, a portion of these funds may also need to be returned to the financial aid programs awarded.  This may result in large sums being owed to both UH Hilo and federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs. 

Students considering withdrawal from classes should consult the Financial Aid Office prior to initiating the withdrawal process.  Withdrawal can have a significant impact on institutional charges, a current financial aid award, as well as future financial aid eligibility (see the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy).

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who cease attending all classes during a term may also be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy referenced above. In all cases, official withdrawal procedures should be followed.

Also, students who fail all classes during a term will be reviewed to determine if the failure was due to not attending the class. Students who stopped attending classes before the end of the term will be treated as an unofficial withdrawal.