Financial Aid

Financial Aid Policies

Financial aid applicants have the right to:

  • Be informed about financial aid application procedures, cost of attendance, aid availability, and renewal requirements.
  • Confidential protection of your financial aid records. The contents of your file are maintained in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Appeal decisions made by the Financial Aid Office staff. Appeals should be submitted to the appropriate offices.

You have the responsibility to:

  • Complete applications accurately and on time.
  • Read and understand all materials sent to you from the Financial Aid Office and other agencies.
  • Keep copies of all forms and materials submitted.
  • Know and comply with the rules governing your aid programs.
  • Comply with the provisions of any promissory note and all other agreements you sign.
  • Inform the Financial Aid Office of any outside resources you have or will be receiving.
  • Register for the number of credits required and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Request personal assistance if you have questions or don’t understand the information provided to you.
  • Use the financial aid award for school expenses, tuition and fees; room and board; books and supplies; and transportation.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Click for PDF version of the SAP policy

Federal financial aid recipients must be making academic progress towards their degree in order to maintain financial aid eligibility.

  1. Log onto your MyUH Portal
  2. Select My Financial Aid Information (All campuses)
  3. Click on the Financial Aid tab
  4. Click on Academic Progress under My Eligibility
  5. Select the campus you are admitted to and the aid year
  6. Click on Submit
Regulation

668.34
Federal regulations require that a student receiving financial aid under the Title IV programs make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with the standards set by the home campus, University of Hawai'i Community Colleges and the US Department of Education pursuant to 34 CFR 668.34. The law and federal regulations require that progress be determined using both qualitative and quantitative measures.

General Policy

Financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is separate and distinct from the institution’s academic progress policy. All credits attempted in any semester of enrollment at the student’s home campus, regardless of aid status, will be counted when calculating all measures of satisfactory academic progress.

In order to be eligible for financial aid the student must meet specific academic requirements. Financial aid calculations for GPA and credits earned and attempted includes all home campus coursework ever taken. Transfer credits are only factored into calculations for credits earned and attempted. The minimum academic requirements and the student’s current status can be viewed in their MyUH Services portal.

Frequency of Evaluation

Student's academic progress will be evaluated annually. For students placed on Probation and have Academic Plan requirements, satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of every payment period.

For students in certificate programs that are less than 24 credits, academic progress will be evaluated at the end of every term.

Minimum Standards for Academic Progress
Qualitative Measure (GPA)

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative Financial Aid grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0. For Financial Aid purposes, GPA is calculated by dividing the total points earned by the total credits attempted.
  • Grades will be calculated into the student’s GPA as follows:(A-4 points, B- 3 points, C- 2 points, and D- 1 point, F-0 points).
  • The following grades will not be calculated into the student’s GPA: Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), No Grade (N), Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Record Delayed (RD), Audit (L), Credit by Exam (CE).
Example: Kimo completed his first year in school.
  • Fall semester grades: Math 100 ‘D’, Eng 100 ‘B’.
  • Spring semester grades: Math 100 ‘B’ , Bio 100 ‘A’.
  • Institutional GPA is 3.33. Kimo’s first ‘D’ grade is no longer counted in institutional GPA because he retook the class and received a higher grade.
  • Financial aid GPA is 2.75. Financial aid calculates grades for every class that Kimo has taken.
Kimo is meeting the minimum GPA requirement but this example shows how an institutional and financial aid GPA may differ.

Quantitative Measure (Pace & Maximum Time Frame)

Pace (Completion Rate)

Students must successfully pass/complete at least 67% of all credits attempted (calculation will be rounded down to the nearest percent).

Example: Since Kimo started attending school, he attempted 60 credits. He only successfully completed (passed) 50 credits because he withdrew from a few classes and failed one. The calculation is 50 credits divided by 60 credits equals 83% (50 ÷ 60 = 0.833 or 83%). Therefore, Kimo has met the completion rate criteria.
  • Grades: The following grades will be considered as credits attempted but not earned: Failing (F), No Credit (NC), No Grade (N), Withdrawal (W), Incomplete (I), Record Delayed (RD).
  • Incomplete Grades An incomplete grade will be calculated as no credit earned. When it reverts to a letter grade, it will be calculated at the next financial aid evaluation period.
  • Audit: Audited classes are not eligible for financial aid and will not be counted towards credits attempted or completed.
  • Credit by Exam: Credit by exam (CE) will be counted as credits attempted and completed.
  • Transfer Credits: All transfer credits will be counted as credits attempted and completed.
  • Repeat Courses:
    • Students who repeat a course for which they have already earned a passing grade may be allowed to receive funding to repeat that course only ONCE.
    • All repeat courses will count as credits attempted and earned (if passed) which may be different from the institution’s academic progress policy.
  • Concurrent Enrollment Courses (Financial Aid approved):
    • Concurrent enrollment courses taken at another campus that are “completed” will be factored into the completion rate when the courses are transferred into the student’s home campus.
    • Concurrent enrollment courses that are not completed/earned but have been included towards the student’s financial aid credit load will be counted as an attempted but not completed credit(s) towards your completion rate.
  • Administrative Withdrawal Credits: Administrative Withdrawal credits may be counted as attempted but not completed credit(s).
  • Academic Renewal: Any credits forgiven through academic renewal will still be counted as credits attempted for credit completion rate.
Maximum Time Frame

Students must complete their degree program within 150% of the credits required for their degree program. All attempted credits previously mentioned will be applied towards a student’s time frame. Students who are unable to complete their program and achieve minimum SAP standards by the end of their timeframe may be determined ineligible for financial aid.

  • Change of Major Students may choose to change their major at any time, however, all credits previously attempted at the college and accepted transfer credits will be counted in their new major and resulting maximum time frame.
  • Remedial/Developmental credits: A student is allowed 30 remedial English and Math credits that are not counted towards the maximum time frame.
  • English as a Second Language: ESL credits are not counted against the time frame.
  • Transfer Credits: All credits will be factored into the maximum time frame.
  • Non-applicable Program Credits: Non-applicable credits to a student’s current major may be factored into the maximum time frame.
  • Multiple Degrees: When a student completes a degree at the home campus, the student may continue receiving financial aid for a second or subsequent degree. Please contact your Financial Aid Office for more information.
Example: Kimo’s degree program requires 60 credits to graduate; therefore, he must complete his degree program within a total of 90 credits (60 credits x 150% = 90 credits).
Failure to Meet Minimum Standards for Academic Progress
Financial Aid Suspension

Students who do not meet the minimum standards for academic progress or have exceeded the allowable maximum time frame will not be eligible to receive financial aid.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

To reinstate eligibility, a student must meet all three of the following conditions:

  1. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  2. Complete at least 67% of all credits attempted (includes all credits reflected on the transcript).
  3. Be able to graduate within the 150% time frame allowed by Federal regulations.

Appealing a Financial Aid Suspension
Appeal Process

A student who is not eligible may appeal if they have experienced unusual hardship that prevented the student from meeting the minimum standards. Such situations must be exceptional, generally beyond their control, and non-recurring in nature. Common situations that may cause a student to fail to meet SAP standards include:

  • Family difficulties, such as divorce or illness;
  • Interpersonal problems with friends, roommates, significant others;
  • Difficulty balancing work, family responsibilities, etc., and school;
  • Financial difficulties.

The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in the situation that will allow the student to demonstrate progress at the next evaluation. Student’s must complete and submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified of an appeal decision via their UH email. Please contact your home campus Financial Aid Office for any deadlines.

A student’s appeal will not be considered if they are unable to meet the minimum cumulative academic standards (2.00 cumulative GPA and 67% cumulative completion rate) by the end of their financial aid timeframe.

Academic Probation

If an appeal is approved, the student is placed on Financial Aid Probation and given academic requirements to complete per semester until they meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The academic conditions will be monitored after every payment period. Students who do not meet the academic conditions will be suspended and ineligible for financial aid. Students are notified of their suspension status via their UH email.

Academic Plan

Student’s with an approved appeal will be placed on a Financial Aid Probation status and be required to meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss academic requirements of their plan. For students with an Academic Plan, the Financial Aid Office will review their progress at the end of each payment period. Students will be notified of any updates to their academic standing via UH email.

For more information on your home campus Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, please visit their website.

Official and Unofficial Withdrawal

When a student who is receiving financial aid from a campus partially withdraws, completely withdraws or stops attending classes, a revision is made to their financial aid award. It is the student’s responsibility to follow the official withdrawal process and to notify the Financial Aid Office of any changes made to their enrollment status. View the campuses catalog for the official withdrawal process.

Official Withdrawals
  • Withdrawing from all classes during a term may result in a change in institutional charges and will change the financial aid awards for that term. Recent changes to Federal financial aid regulations have created a new Return of Title IV Funds Policy.
  • Upon withdrawing, the Financial Aid Office will do a calculation to determine how much aid a student “earned”. This is based on a pro-rated schedule of enrollment up through the 60% point in an enrollment period that shows how much aid the student and school will need to return to the Federal aid programs. Basically, it is any “unearned” aid that must be returned to the Federal aid programs; which Federal aid programs funds will need to be returned; and does the student have a post-withdrawal disbursement due to them, if so, how it will affect the student and their future eligibility.
  • Students who are considering withdrawing from classes should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the impacts it will have on their current financial aid and future financial aid eligibility.
Unofficial Withdrawals
  • Students who cease attending all classes during a term may also be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. In all cases, official withdrawal procedures should be followed. This is based on a pro-rated schedule of enrollment up through the 60% point in an enrollment period. The calculation will show any "unearned" aid that the student and school will need to return to the federal aid programs.
  • Also, students who fail all classes during a term will be reviewed to determine if the failure was due to not attending the class. Students who have stopped attending classes before the end of the term will be treated as an unofficial withdrawal.
Review your home campus Return of Title IV Funds Policy by visiting their website

Course Program of Study

What is Course Program of Study (CPOS)?

Course Program of Study is a process that helps our school stay in compliance with Title IV (federal) guidelines regarding financial aid. Guidelines state that financial aid can only be awarded for courses that are required for the degree or certificate you are enrolled in.

These guidelines make it very important to take courses that apply towards your degree. Doing so will help you ensure your courses may be eligible for financial aid and will also help you finish your degree faster!

  • How do I know what degree or certificate I am enrolled in?  You can see your degree plan in your STAR account. Your major will be listed at the top of your GPS Registration page.
    Image of University of Hawaii STAR GPS registration major
  • How do I know what courses count for this degree / certificate?  Your STAR account will be a helpful tool in displaying the required courses for your degree or certificate. They are listed in your STAR Graduation Pathway. You can also click on a requirement for more details regarding what courses count for that requirement.
    Image of University of Hawaii STAR GPS required coures
  • What if I need to change my degree or certificate?  To change your degree or certificate, contact your home campus Admissions and Records Office. If you find that your degree or certificate is incorrect, it is very important that you make this change as soon as possible.
How do I know if my classes "count" for financial aid?

When you register, be sure to check your STAR GPS Registration. Any course listed as NOT IN PLAN or Non-Applicable will not count for financial aid. Here are how the courses will appear in your STAR:

Image of University of Hawaii STAR GPS courses not in plan

If any of your courses are noted as NOT IN PLAN or Non-Applicable, don’t worry! We encourage you to email or make an appointment with your academic advisor as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

Why would a class not count for financial aid?

Generally, a course will display as NOT IN PLAN because it does not count for a requirement for the degree. This could be because the course is not part of the degree plan or because you took a course(s) that already fulfills that requirement.

A course will display as Non-Applicable when it is a repeat; however, some repeats can count and will be adjusted accordingly. See the next section for details on repeats that can count for financial aid.

Can I repeat courses and still have them count for financial aid?

Per Federal regulations, you may repeat an applicable course once for financial aid if you previously earned a passing grade (‘D’ or better).

Example 1:
Kimo took MATH 100 (3) times but only eligible for financial aid for the first two attempts:

  • 1st Attempt, received a ‘D’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 2nd Attempt, received a ‘F’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 3rd Attempt – not eligible for financial aid because Kimo passed with a ‘D’ grade in his first attempt and tried to better his grade in the 2nd attempt but did not pass

Example 2:
Nani took MATH 100 (3) times and eligible for aid for all (3) attempts:

  • 1st Attempt, received a ‘F’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 2nd Attempt, received a ‘D’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 3rd Attempt – eligible for financial aid because Nani did not complete the 1st attempt with a passing grade and has one more attempt to better her grade. After this attempt, the course will not be eligible for financial aid.

Example 3:
Kekoa took MATH 100 (4) times and eligible for aid for all (4) attempts:

  • 1st Attempt, received a ‘W’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 2nd Attempt, received a ‘F’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 3rd Attempt, received a ‘D’ grade and course is eligible for financial aid
  • 4th Attempt – eligible for financial aid because Kekoa did not complete the first (2) attempts with a passing grade and has one more attempt to better his grade. After this attempt, the course is not eligible for financial aid.

What about courses that can be repeated for credit?

Courses which can be repeated for credit - meaning they can count more than once even with passing the course more than two times - can be counted for financial aid. Be sure to check with your counselor if a repeatable course will be counted towards a requirement in your degree.

What if I am taking courses at another University of Hawai’i campus?

If you are enrolled in Distance Education courses and/or concurrently enrolled at other University of Hawaii Campuses, under certain conditions you may be able to receive aid for those courses. All courses will be reviewed for Financial Aid eligibility.

For more information, visit your home campus website.