Financial Aid Policies & Definitions

Policies

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

    In order for a student to receive Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits at Valdosta State University, the student must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP includes two standards: qualitative and quantitative. Students must meet both standards at the end of each Spring Semester to continue to receive Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    SAP CALCULATOR



    Undergraduate Students:

    Qualitative:

    All undergraduate students are expected to maintain the minimum cumulative GPA required based on the number of semester hours they have attempted, including courses taken at Valdosta State University and courses transferred from other institutions. If a student repeats a course, only the latest course grade will be included in the GPA calculation. Any student who does not meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement at the end of the Spring Semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    Minimum GPA Requirements:

    Total Attempted Hours

    Minimum GPA

    1-29 Semester Hours

    1.6

    30-59 Semester Hours

    1.75

    60 Or More Semester Hours

    2.0

    Quantitative:

    The maximum timeframe for completion of an undergraduate program of study is 150% of the minimum semester hours required for that program of study. Students remain eligible until they have attempted 150% of the credit hours required to receive their degree. In order to meet this quantitative standard, students must successfully complete and pass (earn) 67% of courses attempted. At the end of the Spring Semester, any student who has attempted 150% or more of the semester hours required for their program of study will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid assistance or Veterans Education Benefits. For example, if you are pursuing a degree which requires 120 hours and you have attempted 180 hours or more without earning your degree at the end of the Spring Semester, you will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    All undergraduate students must successfully complete 67% of their cumulative attempted hours including all courses taken at Valdosta State University and courses transferred from other institutions. The grades of A, B, C, D or S count as successful completion of a course. The grades of F, W, WP, WF, WY, WH, I, IP, U, NR, NC, or V do not count as successful completion of a course. Students who have not successfully completed 67% of their cumulative attempted hours at the end of the Spring Semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    All attempted hours will be included in quantitative calculations. This includes attempted hours for courses from prior institutions, courses which are not included in the student’s GPA calculation due to withdrawal or repeated coursework or courses taken during terms for which the student did not receive any financial aid. Students who are seeking a double major or double degree will have 150% of the total amount of hours it would take to complete both majors and degrees.

    A student can receive financial aid for no more than 30 hours of remedial course work (including Learning Support courses, and CPC courses); however, students who are required to take remedial course work will be eligible to have their maximum time frame extended by the number of remedial hours taken, up to a maximum of 30 hours.

    Graduate Students:

    Qualitative:

    All graduate students are expected to maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, including all courses taken at Valdosta State University and courses transferred from other institutions. Any student who does not meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement at the end of the Spring Semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    Quantitative:

    The maximum timeframe for completion of a graduate program of study is 150% of the minimum semester hours required for that program of study. Students remain eligible until they have attempted 150% of the credit hours required to receive their degree. In order to meet this quantitative standard, students must successfully complete and pass (earn) 67% of courses attempted. At the end of Spring Semester, any student who has attempted 150% or more of the semester hours required for their program of study will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits. For example, if you are pursuing a graduate degree which requires 36 hours and you have attempted 54 hours or more without earning your degree at the end of the Spring Semester, you will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    All graduate students must successfully complete 67% of their cumulative attempted hours including all courses taken at Valdosta State University and courses transferred from other institutions. The grades of A, B, C, D or S count as successful completion of a course. The grades of F, W, WP, WF, WY, WH, I, IP, U, NR, NC, or V do not count as successful completion of a course. Those students who have not successfully completed 67% of their cumulative attempted hours at the end of the Spring Semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible for Federal or State financial aid or Veterans Education Benefits.

    All attempted hours will be included in all quantitative calculation, including those from prior institutions, hours which are not included in the student’s GPA calculation due to withdrawal or repeated coursework and courses taken during terms for which the student did not receive any financial aid. Students who are seeking a double major or double degree will have 150% of the total amount of hours it would take to complete both majors and degrees.

    Appeal Process:

    Students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) may appeal their status based on extenuating circumstances. Examples may include, but are not limited to, student’s illness, illness or death in the immediate family, other family circumstances or other extenuating circumstances.

    The student should complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form which is available from the Office of Financial Aid web page. Additionally, there must be a written Appeal Statement from the student which explains the extenuating circumstances and a written Action Plan which explains the corrective measures which have been or will be taken to ensure the student will come into compliance with all SAP policies. Documentation verifying the extenuating circumstances described in the student’s appeal must be submitted along with the appeal. Only SAP appeals containing both required statements and documentation will be processed and evaluated. Incomplete appeals will be denied.

    If a student’s SAP appeal is approved, and they can come into compliance within one semester, the student will be granted a one semester SAP probation and be eligible for financial aid for one semester. If the student cannot come into compliance in one semester they will be placed on an Academic Plan which will ensure that they come into compliance with all SAP policies within a specified period of time or prior to graduation.

    All attempted course hours must be included in this calculation, including those that are not included in the student’s GPA for repeated coursework and terms for which the student did not receive any financial aid. Students who are seeking a double major or double degree will have 150% of the total amount of hours it would take to complete both majors and degrees.

    • You may not appeal for the following circumstances:
    • Financial reasons or lack of knowledge that your aid was in jeopardy
    • Not being prepared for or mature enough for college
    • Unfair or incorrect grade for a course
    • Problems with professor or course content
    • Living situation is not conducive for academic success
    • Child care or day care issues
    • Work-related issues

    Students whose initial appeal is denied may appeal to the Faculty Senate’s Student Financial Aid Subcommittee. Second appeals should be addressed to the Chair of the Student Financial Aid Subcommittee and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid. Second appeals must meet all of the same requirements as initial appeals. The decision of the Student Financial Aid Subcommittee is final and cannot be appealed further.

    Students who appeal and are denied and either attend Valdosta State University at their own expense, including the use of a private education loan to pay tuition and fees, or who have credits accepted from another institution and come into compliance with all SAP policies will have their eligibility reinstated.

    Students who appeal and are denied and either attend Valdosta State University at their own expense, including the use of a private education loan to pay tuition and fees, or who have credits accepted from another institution and are still not in compliance with all SAP policies and who have extenuating circumstances may submit an additional initial appeal.

    Students terminated from financial aid for failure to exit Learning Support may apply for reinstatement of aid when he/she has exited Learning Support.

    REINSTATEMENT OF AID (Pending Availability):

    1. A student terminated from aid for failure to maintain the required Cumulative GPA or complete 67% of attempted courses may apply for reinstatement once they have earned the required Cumulative GPA and are in compliance with the 67% pace of completion.
    2. A student terminated from aid for failure to exit Learning Support may apply for reinstatement of aid when he/she has exited Learning Support may apply for reinstatement of aid when he/she has exited Learning Support.

    Academic Renewal:

    VSU is required to include the attempted hours for all courses in the SAP quantitative evaluations regardless of  Academic Renewal, however, when students are granted Academic Renewal by VSU, grades for courses approved to be omitted from GPA calculations will not be included in the qualitative GPA calculation for SAP.

    Summer Semester: 

    Courses taken during a Summer Semester are treated as any other semester and are counted in the maximum time frame, GPA calculation and are considered in the 67% completion rate requirement.

    Transfer Students:

    Until transfer credits from other institutions are accepted, students will be treated as incoming freshmen for the initial disbursement of aid. All grades, including transfer courses accepted from prior schools, will be used to determine the qualitative SAP grade point average and all courses in academic history, including transfer credits from prior schools, will be included as attempted and earned hours for quantitative SAP calculations when evaluating financial aid eligibility.

    Repetition of Courses, Remedial Coursework, Withdrawals and Incompletes: 

    Students should be careful in repeating courses as all attempts at a course are counted in the maximum hours allowed to obtain a degree. Students are also reminded that withdrawing from a course does not count as successful completion and does not count toward the required 67% completion rate.  Incompletes also do not count as the successful completion of a course and excessive incompletes can result in the termination of financial aid. A student can receive financial aid for no more than 30 hours of remedial course work (including Learning Support courses and CPC courses); however, students who are required to take remedial course work will be eligible to have their maximum time frame extended by the number of remedial hours taken, up to a maximum of 30 hours.

    Federal Financial Aid Regulations allow a student to retake any previously passed course one time. For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an “F,” regardless of any school or program policy requiring a higher grade in order to meet academic program requirements. This retaken class may be counted towards a student’s enrollment status and the student may be awarded Title IV aid for the enrollment status based on inclusion of the class.  After the one allowed repeat of any course in which a student receives an “F,” we are not allowed to count this course towards a student’s enrollment status or award federal financial aid for enrollment in this course.  If a student withdraws from a course they are repeating, the attempt of this course does not count as the one allowed repeat and they may again repeat the course one time.

  • NON-ELIGIBLE CLASSIFICATIONS

    Non-eligible classifications include:

    • irregular students
    • non-degree students
    • transient students
    • unclassified post-graduate
    • provisional
    • post-baccalaureate students

    Students with these classifications are not eligible for federal or state student financial aid. Some transient students may be eligible for financial aid by making arrangements through their home institution.

  • SECOND UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES / REQUIRED TEACHER CERTIFICATION

    Students enrolled in a required teacher certification or second undergraduate degree program are eligible to apply for Federal Loans or Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans.

    These students must be enrolled for at least six hours per semester.

    For more information related to Maximum Time Frame and Satisfactory Academic Progress, please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

  • SUMMER AID DEADLINES

    Aid is awarded on an academic-year basis. Dates to apply for summer aid will be announced by the Office of Financial Aid during the academic year.

    Students who plan to apply for aid for the first time in the Summer semester must mail a current FAFSA in time for it to reach the Federal Processor by June 30th.

    No aid can be awarded if this deadline is missed.

  • CANCELLATION OF AWARDS

    The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right, on behalf of VSU, to review and cancel awards at any time if you fail to meet the requirements of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Student Financial Aid Recipients, or because of changes in your financial or academic status, academic program, resident status, enrollment status, etc.

    All student financial aid awards are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Definitions

  • APPLY EARLY

    Awards will be made to each accepted student with a complete financial aid application, with priority given to those students with the greatest need. For applications completed after May 1st, awards will be made weekly as available. Federal Pell Grants, Federal ACG, Federal Smart Grant, Federal Loans and Federal PLUS funds are available throughout the year.

    Academic Loads At Valdosta State University

    • Full-time for undergraduate students is twelve credit hours per semester
    • Three-quarter time is nine to eleven credit hours per semester
    • Half-time is six to eight credit hours per semester
    • Full-time for graduate students is nine credit hours per semester
    • Half-time is five to eight credit hours per semester
  • COST OF ATTENDANCE

    The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the cost for a student to attend Valdosta State University. The COA is based upon the student's residency and dependency status. The COA includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, board, living expenses and loan fees. This is the maximum amount of aid that the university can award.

    Out-of-State students receiving tuition and fee waivers will be awarded using a Georgia Resident COA.

    Tuition and Fee Schedule

  • ACADEMIC YEAR

    A "full academic year" includes a total of 24 semester hours. This is the equivalent of 2 full-time semesters.

  • LEARNING SUPPORT LIMIT

    Only the first thirty attempted semester hours of non-degree credit coursework (including Learning Support and College Preparatory Curriculum) will be allowed in determining aid eligibility.

    Voluntary Learning Support and audits will not be considered in determining aid eligibility.

  • OUTSIDE SOURCES

    Any aid you receive or expect to receive from an outside source must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid, regardless of when you receive notification of the award. This includes scholarships, grants, loans, and assistantships or fee waivers.

    The receipt of such aid may result in a reduction, cancellation, and/or repayment of your need-based award(s).

  • PRE-REGISTRATION PAYMENT

    If you pre-register for classes, you should note the Payment Deadline as listed in the Semester Registration Guide. Your schedule will be canceled if you do not pay all fees by the Payment Deadline.

    Pre-registered students who have been awarded student financial aid by the fee payment deadline each semester will have a deferment until the first day of class if they have enough financial aid to cover their fees and all necessary paperwork has been completed.

  • CURRENT ADDRESS

    The Office of Financial Aid uses the address on file with the Office of the Registrar for all correspondence.

    To update your address, submit a Change of Address Form online through MyVSU on the Banner registration system, or by completing and printing the form then mailing it to the Office of the Registrar.

    Change of Address Form

  • ELIGIBLE NON-CITIZENS

    Students applying for Title IV aid as eligible non-citizens, and whose citizenship status is not confirmed on their SAR, must provide the OFA with appropriate documentation (Alien Registration Receipt Card-Form I-151 or Form I-551, a passport, or I-94) showing that they are permanent residents or other eligible non-citizens.

    The OFA will then initiate a secondary confirmation with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). This confirmation must be received before the student will be awarded any aid.

  • TAXABLE AID

    If your total gift aid (grants and scholarships) exceeds the total of your tuition, fees, books and supplies, you should consult your federal and state income tax instructions when completing your income tax returns.
  • VETERANS BENEFITS

    The Office of Financial Aid will ask students receiving veterans benefits to provide documentation of their VA Benefits. These benefits must be used to reduce the Cost Of Attendance and will reduce the amount of aid we can offer.
  • AID ADJUSTMENTS

    Your official VSU enrollment status is determined each term at the end of Drop/Add (the first week of classes).

    If you enroll full-time and receive aid, and then drop to less than full-time during Drop/Add, your aid may be reduced. 

    At the end of Drop/Add, enrollment is frozen and no further increases in enrollment can be considered for financial aid purposes.  If a course is added after financial aid is disbursed the student may be responsible for paying any additional fees.

  • STUDYING ABROAD

    Students who are studying abroad and are regularly enrolled in a degree-seeking program are eligible for aid.

    Students should read the “Financial Aid Payment” section of each semester’s Registration Guide for details on how student financial aid is disbursed.

  • RETROACTIVE AID

    If the enrollment period for which you are requesting aid has ended, generally you will not be eligible for reimbursement. For example, you will generally not be eligible for reimbursement of Fall 2019 funds in January 2020.

    If you are involved in verification when the semester ends, you may be eligible to receive aid when verification is complete. The Office of Financial Aid cannot process aid requests if your enrollment period has ended and your aid application is still incomplete. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have questions.