Office of Student Financial Services

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard

The Satisfactory Academic Progress standard used for continued financial aid eligibility is a separate policy from the College's academic standard monitored by the Registrar's Office.

To be eligible to receive financial aid from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), you must make satisfactory progress toward the completion of your degree within 6 years of full-time attendance or 12 years of part-time attendance (transfer credits are included in the 6 or 12 year calculation). If you don't maintain satisfactory academic progress, you are not entitled to receive aid.

Progress Requirements

  • First year: Successfully complete 60% of your attempted credits (1-24) and have an overall minimum GPA of 1.75.

  • Subsequent years: Successfully complete 75% of your attempted credits (25-120) and have an overall GPA of 2.0, regardless of enrollment status.

For example:

Year 1

If 30 credits taken, you must complete 18

If 18 credits taken, you must complete 11

If 12 credits taken, you must complete 7

Years 2-6
(or 2-12)

If 30 credits taken, you must complete 23

If 24 credits taken, you must complete 18

If 12 credits taken, you must complete 9

Your academic progress is measured at the end of the spring semester or after you complete your financial aid application, whichever date is later. If you start attending in January, you are evaluated after the spring semester (first semester of attendance) at the same time as other students and must meet the percentage of credits and GPA standards listed above.

Credits earned at other institutions aren't counted as "credits successfully completed" unless an Off Campus Study Approval Form is processed by the Registrar's Office.

Credit bearing skills courses, courses withdrawn from after the drop period ('W'), and repeated courses are calculated when determining Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you withdraw during a semester or course, it is considered "attempted" and counts toward Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Incomplete & Pass Continue Status: If your satisfactory progress is pending due to Incomplete or Pass Continue coursework, you must submit an appeal, described below.

Readmit Students: If you had a prior progress problem while at MCLA, withdrew, and are readmitted, you must have at least six credit hours of transfer accepted to be in compliance with the standard for that year.

Appeals: If you lose your financial aid eligibility due to exceptional circumstances, you may appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (the Financial Aid Director and Assistant Director, the Registrar, and one student representative). You must submit your appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Office within two weeks of the date that you receive notification regarding loss of eligibility. Appeals must include:

  • A detailed description of the circumstances that contributed to your failure to make progress
  • Any available supporting documentation
  • A description of what changed that enables you to make satisfactory progress going forward

You can only appeal twice during each degree program at MCLA. If you don't appeal or your appeal is denied, you are still re-evaluated at the end of the academic year for the next year.