Satisfactory Academic Progress

Once you have received your financial aid, you must keep up satisfactory academic progress in your studies in order to maintain those awards. If you do not make satisfactory academic progress toward your degree, you could lose your financial aid. You could also lose your financial aid if you are convicted of a drug-related offense while receiving your funding.

Determining Satisfactory Academic Progress

The measures used to determine satisfactory academic progress are mandated by federal law, and your progress is evaluated annually to make sure you qualify. As required by federal student aid regulations, after reviewing all student transcripts, notification is sent to any student who is not meeting satisfactory academic progress criteria. Then, that student becomes ineligible for financial aid. Any student in this situation is informed of the transcript component(s) that must be improved. The student may appeal the determination of ineligibility for financial aid and is required to submit the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form to the Office of Financial Aid.

This request must be submitted if you wish to be placed on financial aid “Probation” and to continue to receive financial aid for one semester. The appeal must be due to an injury or illness of the student, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. The appeal letter must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress. The student also should explain what has changed in his/her situation that will allow him/her to make satisfactory academic progress by the end of the financial aid “Probation” semester.

Bear in mind that some Harvey Mudd scholarships carry their own requirements, such as full-time attendance (12 credits per semester), and may be available for only eight semesters. Thus, even if you maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress according to federal student aid regulations, you may not remain eligible for Harvey Mudd scholarships since some of these awards are determined by a different set of standards. Consult the requirements for each Harvey Mudd award regarding renewal requirements.

Qualitative Progress (GPA)

Qualitative progress refers to the quality of the work you’re doing in your classes, as indicated by your cumulative grade point average (GPA). According to federal regulations, by the end of your second year (measured in time, not grade level), your cumulative grade point average must be consistent with requirements for graduation at Harvey Mudd. In most cases, this is a cumulative 2.00 GPA.

At Harvey Mudd, qualitative progress is tracked by the Scholarly Standing Committee, which evaluates transcripts each semester to ensure students are progressing toward graduation. This same assessment is used by the Office of Financial Aid in our yearly evaluation of eligibility for federal aid.

Quantitative Progress (timely completion of course credits)

To remain eligible for federal aid, you must also take an appropriate number of courses to ensure a timely graduation. At Harvey Mudd, we expect that it will take four years (eight semesters) to complete the degree requirements. Our entire academic plan and our support services for students are centered on this expectation. In a few cases, it may take longer (for example, you decide to take a leave of absence from the College). In all cases, you would need to appeal in writing to the Office of Financial Aid in order to take a ninth or tenth semester at Harvey Mudd. In your appeal letter, include the reason(s) you did not complete the program in eight semesters and your academic plan to do so. Five academic years (10 semesters) is the maximum amount of time for completing the undergraduate program.

If you entered Harvey Mudd prior to the fall 2017 semester, to graduate in 10 semesters with 128 credits, you must complete an average of 25.6 credits per academic year, or 12.8 credits per semester. Students who do not meet the 25.6 credits per academic year requirement will become ineligible for financial aid. 

These conditions will vary based on the term you entered Harvey Mudd. Refer to the Quantitative Progress (Time-Based) Chart based on Term Entered.

A. Term EnteredB. Minimum credits needed per semesterC. Minimum credits needed per academic yearD. Normal credits needed per semesterE. Normal credits needed per academic yearF. Credits requirement for degree
Prior to Fall 2017, with reductions by petition only12.825.616.032.0128
Fall 2017, 2018 & 201912.525.015.62531.25125
Fall 202012.424.815.531.0124
Fall 2021 and beyond12.

If you withdraw from all courses in a semester (so that no GPA can be calculated), the Office of Financial Aid is obligated under federal regulations to consider the credits attempted when considering quantitative progress toward a degree.

Other Considerations

Harvey Mudd College also considers the following when determining satisfactory academic progress:

When we monitor your quantitative progress, we calculate the average number of credits completed. If you withdraw from a course (but remain enrolled in some Harvey Mudd courses), we will not include that withdrawn course in the calculation.

  • Credit for incomplete courses will not be included until the course has been completed and the Harvey Mudd registrar has posted a grade.
  • Credit for a repeated course will be included if the course is required to graduate.
  • Summer school courses from outside of The Claremont Colleges and transfer courses to Harvey Mudd will be included in satisfactory academic progress only. However, you must have advance written permission from the chair of the Harvey Mudd academic department in question. Permission must be requested prior to registration. Upon completion of the summer session, you should request that the college send a transcript to the Harvey Mudd registrar. The grade obtained in a summer school course is not counted in determining your cumulative grade point average at Harvey Mudd.
  • Once you earned the number of credits required to graduate and met all other degree requirements, you may not continue to receive financial aid to continue studies at Harvey Mudd. However, aid may still be offered if you have enough credits to graduate but have not yet met all degree requirements. If you change your academic major, you must still complete all degree requirements for the new major in the five-year period of study at Harvey Mudd.
  • If you lose financial aid eligibility, you must meet the course credit requirements for the grade level prior to reinstatement of financial aid eligibility.
  • If you lose financial aid eligibility, you may appeal for reinstatement in writing. In such cases, it is important to document any extenuating circumstances such as illness, injury, death in the family or other reasons. The Office of Financial Aid will review appeals on an individual basis, and reinstatement of aid eligibility is applicable to the semester in which the appeal is approved. Eligibility will not be retroactive. Therefore, make sure to include your academic plan in the appeal letter and forward it to the Office of Financial Aid.