Federal Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Students are required to meet minimum academic standards in order to retain eligibility for federal financial aid, which includes grants, loans and work study. This policy is in addition to the Academic Standing Policy that all students must adhere. This policy is available online at RMU - Academic Policy and Procedures. At the end of every term, the Financial Aid Office will review students' academic records to ensure that they are meeting both of the following minimum standards required under federal regulations:

  1. Students must earn 2/3 of all credits attempted. Under this policy, credits attempted include credits for courses in which a student has withdrawn. Credits earned will only be those credits for courses with grades of "A" through "D" and grade "P." No other grades will be considered credits earned, including "F," "W," "L," "N," "I," and "NG." However, "F," "W," "L," "N," "I," and "NG" grades are counted towards credits attempted. A student may also earn credit for a course only once (even if a checksheet requires a higher grade). 
  2. Students must earn a minimum cumulative QPA of 2.0 (Graduate students 3.0) at the end of each term. First-time freshmen must earn a minimum QPA of 1.75 at the end of their first academic year, but must earn a minimum QPA of 2.0 at the end of each subsequent academic year. The maximum time frame for full time students to complete a program of study is five years or ten full time semesters. For part time students, the maximum time frame to complete a program of study is ten years or twenty part time semesters. Periods of enrollment in which students did not receive financial aid will be counted. For federal financial aid purposes, a student must complete their program with 150% of the number of credits required for their program of study. A student in a bachelor's degree program must complete their program within six years or 180 credits. Students can receive federal loan funds up to the maximum dollar amount allowed by federal regulation. The maximum number of credits attempted applies to federal financial aid recipients only. Effective March 5, 2020, any withdrawals that are documented to be due to COVID-19 will be excluded from maximum time frame and pace calculations.

Students who do not meet these minimum academic standards will be placed on financial aid warning. They will be notified through their RMU email address of the warning status.  Students can receive financial aid while on financial aid warning, but must achieve the minimum standards prior to the completion of the next term they are enrolled. If a student on financial aid warning does not meet the minimum academic standards at the end of the following term, the student will be placed on financial aid suspension. Notification will be sent to the students RMU email of the suspension status.  Appeal information is included in the email that they receive.  Students cannot receive any federal financial aid, including grants, loans or work study, while on financial aid suspension. Financial aid suspension can only be lifted after a student has met the minimum standards listed above. This will require a student to enroll for courses at his own cost if the student remains in good academic standing according to the Academic Services guidelines.

Financial aid suspensions can be appealed to the Financial Aid Appeals Board. Appeal forms can be obtained by calling the Financial Aid Office or by visiting Financial Aid Forms.

Incompletes, Withdrawals and Transfer Credits

Courses with grades of Incomplete or Withdrawn will be counted as courses attempted but not earned.  Credits transferred from another institution shall be counted as both attempted and earned.

Appeal Process

Robert Morris University provides an appeal process for students who are determined to be on Financial Aid Suspension.  Students are able to appeal if they had extenuating circumstances such as personal illness or accident, death of a member of the student’s immediate family and/or other extraordinary circumstances that have prevented the student from attending classes that led to their academic difficulties at RMU.  Students should submit the completed Financial Aid Appeal Form along with documentation to the financial aid office.  The appeal board meets once a month to review all appeals submitted.  A letter informing the students of the committee’s decision will be mailed shortly after the appeal has been reviewed.  If approved, the letter will detail the academic plan the student needs to adhere to in order to remain eligible for their aid.  Approved plans are reviewed at the end of each term to ensure they are still on track.  If they fall below the requirements of the plan, a letter will be generated indicated they did not meet the minimum requirements and are ineligible for federal or institutional aid going forward.  Students are still able to attend classes at RMU if on Financial Aid Suspension but must make other payment arrangements through Student Financial Services.

Effective March 2021