Satisfactory Academic Progress

Bucknell University students who receive federal financial aid are required to be in good academic standing and to be achieving satisfactory academic progress toward their degrees. (Please be aware that satisfactory progress for federal financial aid eligibility is separate from the University's academic progress policy.) The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid at the end of each semester.

Bucknell University students who receive federal financial aid must meet or exceed the following requirements:

  • Must successfully complete at least 67% of all attempted coursework. Calculations that do not result in whole numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number. Course withdrawals, incompletes, transfer credits and pass/fail grades are included in this calculation.
  • Must achieve a cumulative minimum GPA as noted in the following chart:
Credits AttemptedMinimum GPA
1 - 8.991.80
9 - 15.991.90
16+2.0

Treatment of W, I, AU, F, TR and Pass Grades

  • Course withdrawals (W) are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework.
  • Incomplete (I) grades are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered a non-completion of attempted coursework until the incomplete grade is replaced with a permanent grade and academic progress can be reevaluated.
  • An audit (AU) is not considered attempted coursework. It is not included in the GPA calculation or completion rate determination.
  • A failing grade (F) is treated as attempted credits not earned; it will be included in the calculation of the GPA and the minimum completion rate.
  • Transfer credits (TR) accepted by Bucknell University are counted as both attempted and earned credits. Grades received for transfer credits are not included in the calculation of the GPA.
  • A passing grade (P) is counted as both attempted and earned credits, but it is not included in the calculation of the GPA since it does not represent any quality points.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who do not achieve the levels of financial aid satisfactory academic progress listed in the chart above will be placed on financial aid warning by the Office of Financial Aid for the upcoming semester and will be notified of this status in writing.

Students placed on financial aid warning are eligible to receive federal aid during their financial aid warning semester. Such a student will be expected to achieve financial aid satisfactory academic progress by the end of the upcoming semester. If the student does, then federal financial aid may still be awarded for the next semester. If the student does not achieve financial aid satisfactory academic progress, then federal financial aid will be suspended (financial aid suspension) for the next semester, and the student will need to secure other sources of funding outside the University. Students placed on financial aid suspension who wish to re-establish financial aid eligibility have one of two options: pay for the next term on their own and have their financial aid satisfactory academic status reevaluated after the completion of that term or submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid.

In addition, please be aware that institutional and state financial aid may be suspended as well. If it is determined that a student is not eligible for federal/state aid, but is still eligible for institutional aid, it is important to understand that the family is responsible for securing funding to replace the federal/state aid that was lost. If it is determined that a student is not eligible for either institutional or federal/state aid, then the family is responsible for securing funding to replace all aid that was lost. It is important to keep in mind that Bucknell University institutional financial aid is limited to eight semesters. Federal guidelines stipulate that federal aid may be awarded for a maximum of 12 semesters.

If a student wishes to appeal the loss of institutional and/or federal/state aid, the student must submit an appeal letter to the Office of Financial Aid within two weeks of being notified of their loss of financial aid eligibility. The letter must include any extenuating circumstances (including but not limited to death in the family, catastrophic injury, serious medical situations, etc.), any information the student feels was relevant to his or her lack of academic progress, and a specific plan to retain financial aid satisfactory academic progress and good standing. The Office of Financial Aid will review such appeals and consult the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, Freeman College of Management or Registrar's Office as necessary. Each student's situation will be reviewed individually and on its own merits. It is possible that a student may be granted a waiver of the financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy if the situation warrants such consideration due to the student's circumstances. If so, the student will be placed on financial aid probation or an academic plan for their next period of enrollment. However, this is not guaranteed and should not be expected. Each situation is unique and will be reviewed thoroughly.

Students on financial aid probation may only receive Title IV funds for one payment period. A student on financial aid probation may not receive Title IV funds for the subsequent payment period unless: the student is now making satisfactory academic progress after the semester they were placed on financial aid probation or the student was placed on an academic plan and the student is meeting the minimum requirements of the academic plan.

If a student is placed on an academic plan and fails his academic plan, the student can only regain federal aid eligibility by paying for the next term on his own and successfully meet the requirements of Bucknell's financial aid satisfactory academic policy.