Satisfactory Academic Policy

Spalding University offers financial assistance to students based on need and academic achievement. To determine student need, the university utilizes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which takes into consideration certain factors relating to the family financial status.

Three basic types of financial aid are made available by the university: (1) scholarships/grants (which is money that does not have to be repaid), (2) loans (which is money that has to be repaid) and (3) part-time employment. Some funds for grants and loans are provided through programs sponsored by the federal and state governments. All university sponsored aid is open to any student regardless of race, religion, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. Aid is available to students who are accepted to the University and meet the particular award's eligibility requirements.

Assistance that is funded in whole or in part by the federal/state government is administered according to federal/state guidelines covering the particular programs. Funds provided by the federal government are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education act of 1965 and are awarded according to those guidelines. These programs are available to students who carry at least six credit hours per term as an undergraduate or FLEX/Online student, or five credit hours per term as a graduate student, and who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens with a social security number. One exception is the Federal Pell Grant program, which is available to eligible students carrying fewer than six credit hours per term. Classes in which a student does not participate in academic activity will not be counted towards the credit hours for financial aid eligibility. If financial aid has paid for a class and it is determined that academic activity has not occurred, then the aid will be adjusted accordingly.

Academic activity for Title IV purposes includes but is not limited to:

• Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
• Submitting an academic assignment;
• Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;
• Attending a study group assigned by the school;
• Participating in an online discussion about academic matters; and
• Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

What is not considered academic activity includes but is not limited to:

• Living in on campus housing
• Participating in the school’s meal plan
• Participating in a student-organized study group
• Logging into an online class without active participation
• Participating in academic counseling or advising
• Purchasing a book or supplies for a class.

Assistance that is funded in whole or in part by state governments is administered according to the guidelines enacted by the respective states.

A student seeking financial aid through Spalding University must not be in default on a student loan from Spalding or any other previously attended institution of higher education and must not owe a refund on a government-sponsored grant or loan.

For information on specific awards and eligibility requirements, please see the Financial Aid section of the University's website at  and/or contact the appropriate financial aid counselor.

Applying for Financial Aid
Any student, except an international student, wishing to be awarded financial assistance at Spalding University must complete the following steps:

  1. The student must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The FAFSA may be filed online at or a paper copy may be downloaded from website. Spalding University's school code is 001960. The results of the FAFSA determine the student's eligibility for federal and state financial assistance.
  2. The student must be accepted to Spalding University. Admission applications are available in the Admissions Office or online at .
  3. If the student is selected for verification by the federal government, he or she must submit copies of the paperwork used to complete the FAFSA to Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) as Spalding has contracted with KHEAA to complete the verification process. In this event, an email is sent to the student from Spalding informing them to work with KHEAA.  The student (and parent, if student is considered dependent on the FAFSA) will need to create a log in for the website to complete the online verification worksheet as well as to upload any required documents into their secure portal.   Federal Verification is a process conducted by the University/KHEAA, under the direction of the Department of Education, to verify accurate information is given when a student applies for financial assistance. Any student may be selected for verification by the federal government during any year he or she files a FAFSA.

Once the above steps have been completed, a Financial Aid Award Letter will be mailed from the Office of Financial Aid to the student. Students are encouraged to review financial aid information on the student portal. If a student wishes to make changes to their financial aid award, he or she must indicate those changes on the letter and return it to the Office of Financial Aid no later than fourteen days from the date of the award. After fourteen days from the date of the award, the Office of Financial Aid automatically certifies the aid package unless the student has requested a change.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations mandate that all students make satisfactory, measurable academic progress toward completion of a degree in order to receive federal assistance through Title IV federal grant, work and loan programs. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) includes qualitative progress (grade-point average), quantitative progress (hours earned) toward degree completion and Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion.

These standards are for financial aid purposes only and do not replace or override the academic policies of Spalding University. Academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester for currently enrolled students. It is the responsibility of the student to stay informed of the University’s SAP standards and policy.


Undergraduate Students
Must maintain at least a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 and be in good academic standing.

The Higher Education Act of 1964 as revised requires a specific qualitative review at the end of your second academic year. Students enrolled in a program of more than two academic years must have a GPA of at least a “C” or its equivalent or must have an academic standing consistent with Spalding’s graduation requirements

Graduate Students
Must maintain at least a cumulative G.P.A of 3.0 and be in good academic standing.

QUANTITATIVE PROGRESS (hours attempted vs hours earned)

In order to complete the necessary number of credit hours to complete a degree at Spalding at an acceptable rate, students must complete 67% of all hours attempted. All attempted hours will be totaled and multiplied by 67% to determine the number of credit hours a student must have earned. Grades of P, W, I, F and transfer hours are counted as attempted hours, however grades of W, I, and F will NOT count as earned hours. Retaking courses will add to the attempted total but will count only once as an earned credit.


For example: a student who receives financial aid during the fall and spring semesters for full-time enrollment in each semester (24 hours total) would be required to earn at least 16 credit hours in order to meet quantitative standards. A part-time student who receives financial aid during the fall and spring semesters for 6 hours enrollment in each semester (12 hours total) would be required to earn at least 8 credit hours in order to meet quantitative standards. Summer semester hours attempted and completed are also considered in the Quantitative progress.


Fall Hours Attempted

Spring Hours Attempted

Total Attempted

Student Must Earn



24 x .67




18 x .67




12 x .67




Students pursuing a bachelor degree are allowed to attempt 180 credit hours. Exceptions may be made for a student pursuing a bachelor degree which requires considerably more than 120 hours for completion as stated in the university catalog, but the maximum hour allowance will not exceed 150% of the hours required for completion.

The maximum hour allowance will not exceed 150% of the hours required for completion of a graduate degree as stated in the university catalog.

The maximum time frame may be adjusted for students pursuing a second degree. Generally, students will be allowed to attempt up to 150% of the additional credit hours required to earn the second degree.

Changes in major and/or double majors do not increase the time frame allowed.



Incompletes will not be considered as hours earned for an academic year until a grade is received, however, the hours will be considered to be attempted.

Withdrawn hours (including administrative withdrawals) are considered attempted hours for financial aid purposes.

Remedial coursework will be considered in the evaluation of courses attempted.

Repeated hours are considered attempted hours each time the course is taken. If you enroll for an excessive number of repeated courses, you will not be making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the degree program and this could result in a loss of financial aid.

Transfer hours are counted as both hours attempted and hours earned.

Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or earned.

Courses taken while in high school are counted in your hours attempted and appear as transfer hours if taken somewhere other than Spalding. Courses taken at Spalding while in high school, are counted as regular credits on the academic transcript.  

To receive financial aid, you must be a degree-seeking student and taking courses applicable to your degree program.


YEARLY SAP REVIEWS/Notification of Results

Academic progress is reviewed at the end of each spring semester. If you are not meeting the requirements stated above, you will no longer be eligible to receive federal, state or institutional financial aid. You will be notified in writing of the suspension if you fail to meet SAP standards.

If you become ineligible to receive financial aid, reinstatement of financial aid will occur either when you successfully meet the above requirements by a subsequent semester or semesters of enrollment at your own expense or if the Committee for Financial Aid Appeals approves reinstatement through your written appeal.


How to Regain Eligibility

The mere passage of time will not restore your eligibility for financial aid if you are not meeting satisfactory academic progress policy.  You may continue to enroll in courses at your own expense without financial aid assistance.

Quantitative-Maximum Time Frame
To regain eligibility, you must graduate and advance to a new career level (UG to GR).

Quantitative-Hours Attempted vs. Hours Earned
To regain eligibility, take courses at your own expense in a subsequent term or terms and meet the standards according to the cumulative credit hours completion ratio outlined above under the heading Quantitative. Once you have taken the courses and earned passing grades, you will need to notify the Office of Financial Aid to complete a clearance form.

To regain eligibility, complete courses at your own expense at Spalding and raise your cumulative GPA to the acceptable standard. Once you have completed the course and raised your GPA, you will need to notify the Office of Financial Aid to complete a clearance form.

Appeal Process

If there were extenuating circumstances (injury, illness, death of a relative, etc.) that prevented you from meeting the standards of our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, then you have a right to file an appeal with the Committee for Financial Aid Appeals.

NEW (3-20-2020): Any circumstances related to the outbreak of COVID-19, including, but not limited to your illness or the illness of a family member, compliance with a quarantine period or a general disruption resulting from the outbreak may form the basis of a SAP appeal.



The appeal must include a letter written by you and must include supporting documentation.

In the letter you must explain the following items:

  1. The reasons why you did not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress
  2. What now has changed that will allow you to make satisfactory academic   progress at the next evaluation
  3. An academic plan that details a specific plan of action for success that will allow you to demonstrate academic progress in the future


An appeal may be approved, denied or approved with an academic plan. If you are granted an appeal, you will be placed on financial aid probation for ONE semester. At the conclusion of the next semester, your academic progress will be reviewed. If you do not meet SAP or are not meeting your academic plan at that time, you will no longer be eligible for financial aid.

If any modification is made to the academic plan during probation period then you must re-appeal to regain eligibility.

You are allowed two (2) approved appeals of SAP suspension during the lifetime of your undergraduate enrollment and two (2) approved appeals of SAP suspension during the lifetime of your graduate enrollment at Spalding University. Your SAP appeals cannot be for the same circumstances.

The Director of Financial Aid reserves the right to allow additional appeals under extreme special circumstances.

If your appeal is denied, you have the option of following the steps under “Regaining Eligibility” above for self-correction of your satisfactory academic progress.  You may re-appeal a denial once you have demonstrated progress within the SAP standards as defined for Spalding for the equivalent of one full time semester.

The decision of the Committee for Financial Aid Appeals is final.