University of Southern California
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Graduate and Professional Education

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

To be eligible for federal financial aid, graduate and professional students must maintain satisfactory academic progress, which includes maintaining the academic standards and degree progress required for their programs of study, as well as completing the degree within a maximum number of attempted units and a maximum number of semesters enrolled.

Reasonable Degree Progress
To be eligible for financial aid, graduate and professional students must be making reasonable degree progress. Reasonable degree progress for graduate and professional students is defined by their respective programs in accordance with university policy as stated in the Catalogue.

Maximum Unit Allowance
Students pursuing graduate and professional degrees can apply for financial aid for up to the maximum number of units of course work required for the particular program of study. Course work transferred to the university in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements will be subtracted from the unit allowance.

Maximum Semester Allowance
Students pursuing graduate and professional degrees can apply for financial aid for the equivalent of up to eight full-time semesters for a master’s degree and 10 full-time semesters for a doctoral degree.

Students in authorized dual-degree programs of generally longer duration than single- degree programs may be granted an increase in the semester allowances commensurate with the additional program requirements.

Failure to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students whose academic standing or degree progress falls below the standard will be placed on financial aid warning during the next two semesters of registration. If their academic standing or degree progress is not raised to the standard by the end of the two semesters of financial aid warning, all financial aid will be terminated for these students until the requirements have been met. In addition, students on warning who receive grades of D, W, UW, IN, F, IX, MG, NC, NR, NP and V will no longer be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and will become immediately ineligible for financial aid. Students who exceed the maximum unit or semester allowance are ineligible for financial aid.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility
Students who are notified that they are on financial aid warning should consult their academic advisors.

Students who are no longer eligible for financial aid may have their eligibility reinstated if they successfully complete sufficient units and/or improve their academic averages to meet stated requirements.

Students with extenuating circumstances may appeal the determination that they are not meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. The following can be considered: extended illness; on-time extenuating circumstances that have since been resolved; and enrollment limitations due to academic advisement. The student and advisor must submit a satisfactory academic progress review form with complete supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal will be evaluated and the student will be notified of the decision. Some appeals are approved through the use of an academic year or semester-by-semester contract. Students placed on a contract are eligible for financial aid strictly according to the terms of the contract. Any deviation by the student from the terms of the contract will result in the forfeiture of future financial aid eligibility.