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Undergraduate Satisfactory
Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require that institutions monitor the academic progress of each applicant for federal assistance and that the school certify that the student is making satisfactory academic progress toward earning his/her degree. The determination of progress must be made at least once a year.

(Please note - this information is available as a pdf for printing)

Students who are aware of learning or other disabilities should immediately contact the Student Accessibility Office so that appropriate accommodations can be made. Also, free tutoring help is available for all students . Students with documented disabilities and functional limitations are still held to the same academic expectations as other students; if registered with the Student Accessibility Office and receiving appropriate accommodations, students should be able to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility.

Pursuant to Federal regulations, the following constitutes Malone University's policy of satisfactory academic progress for undergraduate students:

  • Maximum hours to earn a degree. To quantify academic progress, a school must set a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to complete a program.  For an undergraduate program, the maximum time frame cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours attempted.  

    The majority of undergraduate programs require 120 hours. The maximum time frame for students in these programs is 180 attempted hours (120 x 1.5=180).  This means that at the most, a student may attempt or enroll in 180 credits, with the objective of earning the 120 needed to graduate.  Students whose programs require more than 120 hours for a degree will have a higher limit.         

  • As expressed in years: students are normally expected to complete an undergraduate degree by the end of four years of full-time study. Therefore, students will forfeit their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs after six years of full time enrollment (4 x 150% - 6)

  • Grades of A, B, C, or D are considered attempted and earned hours.

  • Withdrawals (W), Incomplete (I), failures (F), No Credit (NC), and In Progress (IP) grades are considered attempted but not earned.

  • Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. They do not count in the calculation of “attempted hours.”

  • Pass/Fail Courses: These hours do count within the total of attempted and earned hours.

  • Remedial Courses: These hours are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.

  • Transfer credits accepted for the student’s academic program or degree is counted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree or program.

  • Repeated Courses: These hours are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.

  • Conditional Admission: Prospective freshman students whose credentials indicate deficiencies in specific disciplines may be admitted with a restricted registration. These students will be considered as “regular” students for the purposes of Title IV aid programs during their first academic year. These students will be required to work closely with the staff in the Office of Student Retention throughout their first year.

  • Double Majors and/or Minors: Students who receive permission to pursue a double major/minor will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.

  • Change in Majors: Students who change their majors will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 180 attempted hours.

  • Seco nd Bachelor’s Degree: A student who has already been awarded a bachelor’s degree may apply for a second degree only if the second degree is different from the first degree.  Students working towards a second bachelor’s degree are no longer eligible for Federal Pell Grants or Federal SEOG Grants. Further, undergraduate students are limited in how much they can borrow under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program. These limits are not increased for students working on a second bachelor’s degree.

Satisfactory Progress Definition:


Students have a limited amount of time to complete their undergraduate degree requirements.  To earn an undergraduate degree a student must successfully complete 120 hours.  For a student to be considered as progressing normally, the student’s ratio of earned hours to attempted hours (or pace towards degree completion) must be no less   than as shown on the following table:

When total attempted hours are: Earned hours must be at least:
Less than 26 hours 50 percent of scheduled hours
26 - 50 hours 55 percent of scheduled hours
51-75 hours 60 percent of scheduled hours
76 - 100 hours 65 percent of scheduled hours
101 - 125 hours 70 percent of scheduled hours
126 hours and more 75 percent of scheduled hours

Attempted hours are those hours for which students were still officially registered at the conclusion of each semester's Add/Drop period. Withdrawals are counted as attempted hours.