Carnegie Mellon University

Academic Progress for Federal Title IV Aid

Federal Financial Aid Academic Progress Improvment Plan

Students who have failed to meet the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress for federal financial aid must appeal to have their aid reinstated. Appeals for reinstatement of federal financial aid are reviewed on an individual student basis. A student can have the appeal approved for one semester on a probationary basis at which time they must have earned a cumulative 2.0 QPA and complete 80% of accumulated attempted units, to continue to receive federal funding. Students that are unable to meet the minimum satisfactory academic requirements after one semester are also required to design and submit a Federal Financial Aid Academic Progress Improvement Plan as part of the appeal to have their federal aid eligibility reinstated.

The goal of the Academic Progress Improvement Plan is to give the student a final opportunity to get on track towards successful completion of his or her degree at Carnegie Mellon. The student’s unique Academic Progress Improvement Plan must be developed with either:

  • Academic Advisory Center advisor (for undeclared students)
  • Major advisor (for declared students)

The Academic Progress Improvement Plan must include (at a minimum):

  • Specific steps that the student will take throughout the semester to address academic difficulties that they encountered in previous semesters.
  • Referrals to any other on-campus department to address any other problems that have impacted the student’s ability to succeed academically.
  • Regular meetings throughout the semester with an academic advisor to address issues that impact progress.

The Academic Progress Improvement Plan must be submitted to the HUB (Attn: Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Committee) prior to the disbursement of any federal financial aid for the probationary semester. If the Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Committee accepts the student’s Academic Progress Improvement Plan, federal aid eligibility will be reinstated for the upcoming semester. The Committee reserves the right to add additional requirements to the Federal Financial Aid Academic Progress Improvement Plan.

The goal of the Academic Progress Improvement Plan is to make sure the student makes documented steady progress towards meeting our federal “satisfactory academic progress” standards and graduates within the university’s normal time frame to complete a degree. Standard academic progress for federal aid includes completing coursework on a minimum established pace (80% completion of units attempted) and a cumulative 2.0 QPA.

The Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Committee will review the academic records of all students whose aid was reinstated on a conditional basis at the end of the semester to verify that the student met all the conditions defined in their Academic Progress Improvement Plan.

Potential Outcomes

Students who now meet the federal satisfactory progress standards will have their federal aid eligibility fully reinstated.
Students who fail to meet all conditions set in their Academic Progress Improvement Plan will forfeit their eligibility to receive further federal student aid funds. Students who have been given a second chance to receive aid are expected to meet all the requirements set forth in the Academic Progress Improvement Plan. Appeals will only be accepted from students who experience a one-time, unexpected, serious event that precluded them from meeting the conditions of their Academic Progress Improvement Plan.
Students who meet all the conditions of their Academic Progress Improvement Plan but who still do not meet the university’s satisfactory academic progress standards for federal aid may be allowed to continue in federal aid programs. The Financial Aid Academic Progress Appeal Committee in consultation with the student’s academic department may make changes to the original Academic Progress Improvement Plan based on changes in the student’s situation. Students who meet all the conditions of the revised Academic Progress Improvement Plan will be permitted to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs on a semester by semester basis.