Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility

The various federal and state regulations governing student financial assistance programs require that an institution develop a standard to measure students’ reasonable progress towards a degree objective – Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic progress is reviewed at the conclusion of each term. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in the denial or cancellation of your financial aid.

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid may administratively grant one probationary semester of assistance for students whose academic progress has changed to “not in good standing” at the conclusion of their first semester of enrollment at UH. The following qualitative and quantitative standards MUST be met to remain eligible for aid and retain financial aid at the university. Certain programs, including the Texas Grant and B-on-Time Loan, may have higher standards than those listed below.

Qualitative Measures of Academic Progress
The minimum cumulative UH grade point average for undergraduate students is 2.00. The minimum cumulative UH grade point average for graduate students is 3.00. When a student applies and is accepted to graduate school, the student's satisfactory academic progress will be measured according to graduate student classification.

Quantitative Measures of Academic Progress
The Financial Aid Office determines the number of hours a student must complete by the end of each enrollment period based on the student's total registered hours during Fall, Spring and Summer at UH. Summer will be considered part of the total hours of the current academic year. Students are required to complete 75% of the courses in which they enroll for that semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
ClassificationCumulative GPARatio of Passed Hours to Attempted HoursTotal Maximum Attempted Hours (Including Transfer Credits)
Undergraduate Minimum 2.00 75% 190 Credit Hours
Graduate Minimum 3.00 75% 100 Hours Beyond Bachelor's Degree
Law Minimum 2.00 75% 100 Hours Beyond Bachelor's Degree
Optometry Minimum 2.00 75% 200 Hours Beyond Bachelor's Degree
Pharmacy Minimum 2.00 75% 100 Hours Beyond Bachelor's Degree
Post Baccalaureate Minimum 2.00 75% 100 Hours Beyond First Bachelor's Degree

NOTE: Hours passed DO NOT include grades of: I (incomplete), U (unsatisfactory), F (failed); Q or W (withdrawal); however, these hours are included in hours attempted. Courses that have been repeated will be counted for each enrollment as hours attempted and will be counted as hours completed if a grade other than I, U, Q, or W is received.

9 passed hours — 12 attempted hours = 75% ratio

Repeat Course Policy for Financial Aid 
Federal policy states that a student may receive federal financial aid for a repeated course only once if the course was previously passed (credit was received). You can read the form here for a complete explanation of the policy.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Process
If extenuating circumstances exist, you may initiate an appeal through our office. The satisfactory academic progress appeal form, requirements, and deadlines are available on the Financial Aid & Scholarship Forms page.

Unusual Enrollment History
Beginning in 2013-2014, some Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be flagged for “unusual enrollment history” (UEH) by the U.S. Department of Education as a result of students having received federal Pell Grants at multiple institutions in recent years. These flags (flags “2” and “3”) will be indicated on the FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR). 

The University of Houston’s Financial Aid Department will be required to review UEH flags and check the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for complete enrollment history (i.e., name of each school attended during the 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13 academic years). The Financial Aid Department will then determine if a student had a valid reason for having unusual enrollment at multiple institutions or if the student was only enrolled long enough to receive cash refunds of federal student aid.

NOTE: Unusual Enrollment History (UEH) must be resolved before you can receive federal financial aid.

How to Resolve
All students with UEH flag 3 and some students with UEH flag 2 will be required to provide the University of Houston their academic transcripts from all colleges and universities attended during the review period. If Pell Grants were received and credit hours (passing grades:  A-D) were not earned at each institution attended during these award years, the student may be determined ineligible for further federal financial aid. The Financial Aid Office has the authority to request official academic transcripts from any/all colleges attended during the review period, if the documents you submit are unclear.

If your Student Aid Report (SAR) includes UEH flag 3, please complete the Unusual Enrollment History form and submit it to the University of Houston's Financial Aid Department along with all required documentation.

If your SAR includes UEH flag 2, the university will notify you if you will be required to complete the Unusual Enrollment History Review form.

Appealing the Ineligibility Determination
If a student has been determined by the university as ineligible for federal student aid, he/she may appeal the determination by completing the Unusual Enrollment History Appeal form.

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility
 
Students whose aid eligibility is denied as a result of their UEH may be re-considered for federal student aid. In order to regain eligibility a student must complete all attempted courses according to their academic plan, in one semester of full-time enrollment or two semesters of at least half-time enrollment. Students cannot drop or withdraw (officially or unofficially) from any courses after the term begins, and must meet the university’s standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If eligibility has been lost, a student cannot receive financial aid. Also, aid cannot retroactively be reinstated.

Annual, Aggregate, and Lifetime Limits, and Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements
Federal Pell Grants may only be received for up to twelve (12) full-time semesters.  (Pell Grants received for part-time attendance are pro-rated against the 12 full-time semesters.)  

There are annual and aggregate borrowing limits on Federal Direct Loans, and these loans can be borrowed only up 150% of the published length of the student’s academic program. 

All financial aid programs are subject to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, which measure students’ progress toward program completion