Satisfactory Academic Progress

To receive financial aid you must be admitted to, enrolled in and attending classes in an eligible program at Humboldt.

When you accept financial aid you also accept the responsibility to make satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress is defined at Humboldt as the progress of a financial aid recipient in acceptable studies or other activities to fulfill a specified educational objective within a specific time frame, as defined by the institution. Requirements are stated in the Humboldt catalog, under Academic Regulations. Certificate candidates should verify eligibility with the Financial Aid Office.

Quality – Grades

The standards are stated in the “Academic Probation and Disqualification” sections of the Humboldt State University catalog. For purposes of determining a student’s eligibility to remain in attendance at the university and to receive financial aid, overall quality of performance (as measured by total grade points and cumulative grade point average) is considered. To continue financial aid eligibility, a student must maintain a grade point average of at least a “C” (2.0) or academic standing consistent with Humboldt graduation requirements.

Humboldt is taking steps to intervene with students who are apparently having academic difficulty. If you are a financial aid recipient who fails to complete the entire unit obligation, or if your grade point average falls to a certain level, the financial aid check may be withheld. You may be required to obtain an assessment from the Learning Center and may be required to meet with Academic Support staff. You may be required to meet with a Financial Aid Counselor. These requirements are being put into place to ensure satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. You will be notified of any specific requirements.

Quantity – Unit Caps

For most undergraduate majors, when students have attempted 180 or more semester units (graduates 50 or more semester units past their first degree), they are not eligible for most aid unless mitigating circumstances exist. These “caps” include time on aid as well as not on aid, including transferable units for students who attended college elsewhere. This generally equates to a time frame of six academic years for a baccalaureate degree, two academic years for a credential, and three academic years for a master’s degree. Students are not eligible for financial aid once they have completed the course work requirements for their primary degree objective.

If you will transfer to or have attended Humboldt and earned more than 120 units, you should meet with a financial aid counselor to determine your eligibility for financial aid programs to support completion of your degree. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions.

Summer Aid Recipients: Satisfactory academic progress is dependent upon the type and amount of aid received and enrollment level at time of disbursement. If you have questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Quantity - Units per term

Good Standing Status: To remain in good standing you must complete at least 83% of your obligation each semester. Obligation is generally 12 units (6 if student is receiving loan only). Undergraduate and credential students who are full-time would need to complete a minimum of 10 units to remain in good standing.

Warning Status: If you complete less than 83% of your unit obligation, you are placed on “warning” for one semester and sent a warning letter outlining what you must do to return to good standing during the subsequent semester of enrollment. To return to good standing, you must complete a minimum of 83% of your obligation for the semester.

If you complete less than 83% of your unit obligation for a second term consecutively, you have lost your eligibility for financial aid and must then submit a formal appeal.

Loss of Eligibility

„„Students who complete less than 33% of their unit obligation during a semester automatically lose eligibility for all financial aid programs.

Students who have received a warning in the prior semester and fail to complete a minimum of 83% of their unit obligation also lose eligibility for all financial aid programs.

Regaining Eligibility After LOE: The student must either:
  1. File a Formal Appeal regarding Satisfactory Progress (Form 491A) which delineates both:
    1. The reasons and circumstances surrounding the lack of completing sufficient units to meet satisfactory progress standards, and
    2. A plan to remedy and support successful completion of coursework in the future.*
  2. Successfully complete a minimum of six units of coursework relevant to their degree objective in one term at Humboldt State University without the benefit of financial aid (federal,state, and institutional). This can also be accomplished at another college or university without the benefit of state or federal financial aid.

*Second appeals after a failed probationary period will be granted only under exceptional circumstances and reviewed by the Directors.

Probation Status: The student’s formal appeal is reviewed and if the appeal is granted, the student is placed on probation for one semester. Student must meet the requirements of good standing during this probation semester.

  • If the terms of the appeal are met during the semester, the student returns to good standing.
  • If the terms of the appeal are not met, the student has lost his or her eligibility (LOE).
If the appeal is not granted in the first place, the student has lost his or her eligibility (LOE).


Mitigating Circumstances

Exceptions to satisfactory academic progress standards are granted on a case-by-case basis when mitigating circumstances warrant special consideration; however, due to lack of funds, many programs generally cannot be reinstated after cancellation. For specific information on reestablishing eligibility for financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office.

You may make an appointment to see a counselor to discuss your situation and to receive more detailed information on the appeals process. Any office decision may be appealed to the staff member who made the decision. If you feel that you will not complete the unit obligation, contact the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.

Concurrent Enrollment, Withdrawals, Incompletes, etc

Concurrent enrollment: College of the Redwoods courses that are transferable for credit to Humboldt, or required prerequisites for Humboldt courses, can be applied to your satisfactory academic progress standards. As an enrolled student at Humboldt State University who is
also receiving aid, you would be ineligible for federal and state financial aid at College of the Redwoods or any other post secondary institution. Please be aware that official transcripts are required to demonstrate your successful completion of those courses, and this is your responsibility to request transcripts from the other institution. If you are interested in concurrent enrollment, please contact the Financial Aid Office for additional information and the required forms.

Course withdrawal has no effect on financial aid eligibility unless such withdrawal drops you below your satisfactory academic progress requirement. Complete withdrawal from the University causes unit deficiencies and a loss of eligibility status (LOE) unless mitigating circumstances
are approved.

Incomplete courses (“I” grades) are not considered as units completed, and this too can affect your satisfactory academic progress status.

Course repetitions: If you are an undergraduate student and must repeat a course for the third time, you must meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss your eligibility for financial aid. You may not be eligible for financial aid for this repeated course.

Remedial courses are included in the quantitative unit totals and therefore count towards successful completion of your unit obligation and total number of units. More information about the Remediation policy is available in the Schedule of Classes.

Summer Aid Recipients: Your satisfactory academic progress is dependent upon the type and
amount of aid received and your enrollment level at the time of disbursement.
If you have questions, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Audited courses do not count toward enrollment for financial aid purposes, nor toward unit caps.


Graduate Enrollment

Full time enrollment for a graduate student enrolled in a Master's Program is nine (9) units; half time enrollment is five (5) units.

WARNING: Only the maximum number of thesis/project units allowed towards completion requirements for a Master's Degree will be counted towards satisfactory academic progress.

The acceptance of a full financial aid package may reduce a graduate student's receipt of CalWorks/TANF grant assistance from Humboldt County Social Services. We recommend contacting the agency caseworker prior to accepting financial aid funds if the student is enrolled in a graduate program.

Note About Aid Cancellation: Due to lack of funds, many programs generally cannot be reinstated after cancellation.