House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Higher Education Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Defining satisfactory academic progress for purposes of higher education.
Sponsors: Representatives Van Werven, Manweller, Zeiger, Haler, Hargrove, Holy, Magendanz and Kochmar.
Hearing Date: 2/18/15
Staff: Megan Mulvihill (786-7304).
A student receiving financial aid needs to maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to keep receiving their financial aid. For state financial aid, satisfactory academic progress is determined by the Student Achievement Council (Council) in a quantitative manner and by the institutions of higher education in a qualitative manner. This means that the Council determines the standard for the minimum number of credits or clock hours that a student needs to complete while the institutions have authority over a standard grade point average or equivalent measure.
The Council defines satisfactory academic progress as the successful completion of a minimum number of credit or clock hours for a term. The minimum number of credit or clock hours a student needs to achieve in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress is as follows:
twelve credits or 300 clock hours per term for full-time status;
nine credits or 225 clock hours per term for three-quarter time status;
six credits or 150 clock hours per term for half-time status; or
three credits or 75 clock hours per term for less than half-time status.
If a student fails to complete at least half of the credits or clock hours for which their financial aid was calculated and disbursed, they loose their state financial aid. If the student completes half, but less than all of the credits or clock hours their state financial aid was calculated and disbursed for, the student may go on a probationary status for a term. The probationary policy is determined by the institution of higher education.
Summary of Bill:
Satisfactory academic progress is defined as the successful completion of a number of credit or clock hours for each academic year, including summer, in which state financial aid was received. The minimum satisfactory academic progress standards for each academic year including summer are as follows:
thirty-six credits or 900 clock hours for full-time students;
twenty-seven credits or 675 clock hours for three-quarter time students;
eighteen credits or 450 clock hours for half-time students; or
nine credits or 225 clock hours for less than half-time students.
The institutions of higher education must have policies in place that deny further disbursements of state financial aid at the conclusion of any academic year, including summer, if a student fails to complete at least one-half of the minimum number of credits or clock hours for which their financial aid was calculated and disbursed or otherwise fails to fulfill the conditions of the institution's satisfactory academic progress policy. A student may go on probationary status if they completed at least half of the credits or clock hours for which their aid was calculated and disbursed, but less than all of the minimum number required. The institution's financial aid administer may use professional judgment on a case-by-case basis to reinstate a student back into satisfactory academic progress for extenuating circumstances.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.