Carnegie Mellon realizes that extenuating circumstances may contribute to a student’s inability to achieve Satisfactory Academic Progress. Once a student receives notification of their Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress status and it is determined that they are not making progress, the student is encouraged to appeal the determination.
A letter of notification will be mailed to the student that will address the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress and define the student’s specific academic progress to date. This letter will also address the appeal process and provide directions for filing the appeal.
A student may appeal a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress decision by writing a letter explaining the extenuating circumstances, defining information that prevented them from making academic progress and what has changed in their situation that would allow them to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. The next period of evaluation will be defined in the appeal notification and may be the next semester or combination of enrollment periods.
This letter should be attached to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and returned to The HUB, ATTN: Financial Aid Academic Progress. The student will be notified in writing of the appeal decision within two weeks of the receipt of the appeal.
Examples of Appeals:
- Extended illness
- Changes in major
- Difficult transition to first-year in college (academically and socially)
- Recent diagnosis of learning disability
- Recent death of a close family member
If summer courses at Carnegie Mellon will enable the student to meet the minimum academic progress requirements, the student will regain financial aid eligibility. The student should submit an appeal or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating that they have now achieved Satisfactory Academic Progress due to summer course completion. If the student takes courses at another institution during the summer that will increase the number of units completed, they will need to forward a copy of the official transcript to their HUB liaison with the copy clearly marked "ATTN: Financial Aid Academic Progress."
If there are missing grades for the spring semester, the student will need to have their instructor update the missing grades. Grades can be checked via Student Information Online (SIO). When all missing grades have been updated, the student should email their HUB liaison to indicate that Satisfactory Academic Progress has been achieved due to the updating of missing grades.
If an appeal is approved for the fall semester only, then the fall semester is considered a probationary semester for financial aid eligibility. To be eligible for financial aid funds for the spring semester, the student is required to achieve a cumulative 2.0 QPA (3.0 for graduate students) and successfully pass a minimum of 80% of the accumulated units attempted/carried. Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation and reinstatement of spring financial aid occurs shortly after the fall grade submission deadline.
Depending on the nature of the appeal, the appeals committee may require the student to develop an academic plan in consultation with their academic advisor, which may put the student on track to successful program completion. This will be determined on an individual student basis and depend on the length of the student’s enrollment, class completion rate and earned grade point average. All subsequent or second appeals will require an academic plan.
If the student is required to develop an academic plan, their progress is reviewed at the end of each payment period according to the requirements specified in the plan. If the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan, they are eligible to receive financial aid as long as they continue to meet those requirements.
If an appeal is denied, the student should make arrangements to meet with their HUB liaison and an Associate Director of Student Financial Aid to discuss funding options. If an appeal is not received, the student is not eligible to receive financial aid.
Financial Aid Academic Progress Improvement Plan
Students who are unable to meet the minimum satisfactory academic requirements for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress may be required to design and submit a Financial Aid Academic Progress Improvement Plan (pdf). The goal of the improvement plan is to ensure the student makes documented steady progress toward meeting our Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and graduates within the university's normal time frame to complete a degree. The need for the plan will be determined on an individual student basis and depend on the length of the student's enrollment, class completion rate and earned grade point average. All subsequent or second appeals will require an academic plan. View more details about the Financial Aid Academic Progress Improvement Plan.