Eligibility for Federal and Quinnipiac Financial Aid

To be eligible for graduate financial aid you must be matriculated into a degree-granting program, be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen as defined by the FAFSA, be in compliance with various regulatory requirements of federal and state programs and University policies and procedures including making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Only courses towards the degree requirements are eligible for financial aid. In addition, you must be enrolled as least part-time.

Full-time students are enrolled in 9 or more credits each semester (summer/fall/spring) per the Registrar’s office. Some financial aid programs are limited to full-time students only.

Part-time students are enrolled in 5 to 8 credits each semester (summer/fall/spring) per the Registrar’s office.

Less than half-time students are enrolled in 1 to 4 credits each semester per the Registrar’s office. These students are not eligible for any form of Federal or university financial aid. Students can apply for private educational loans.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduate Students

Students are required to be making a minimum level of academic progress towards their degree completion in order to receive Federal or University funds; this is referred to as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

SAP Components

  • GPA: Students must have a cumulative grade point average each semester of 3.0 or higher
  • Pace: This is the percentage of successfully completed credits vs. attempted credits. To be in good academic standing students must pass 67% of the coursework attempted each semester. Successful completion of credits is defined as receiving a passing grade. Grades of F (failure), W (withdrawal), U (Unsatisfactory), I (Incomplete) are not considered successful completion. The only exception is an IP (in Progress) grade.
  • Maximum time limit: In addition, regardless of a student’s academic standing, financial aid cannot extend beyond a 150% of the published program length.  Each term you are enrolled in school will count, towards the 150% calculation, even the terms when you do not receive financial aid.
    For example, a program that requires 30 credit hours x 1.5 = 45 maximum allowable credits hours attempted to qualify for financial aid.   

When is SAP checked?
SAP is reviewed at the end of each semester including the summer.

What happens if a student is not meeting the SAP requirement?
The first semester a student does not meet the SAP requirements, they will be placed on a “Financial Aid Warning” for one semester (this allows a student to still receive financial aid but warns them of what is required to continue receiving any type of aid in the future).

Failure to meet the requirements for two semesters will result in a loss of their financial aid eligibility for any future semester until the minimum standards for SAP are met.  Students have an opportunity to appeal for reinstatement.

How can I appeal to have my financial aid reinstated?
Students must write a detailed letter explaining the extenuating circumstances (death, divorce, illness, etc.) that hindered them from making satisfactory progress.  The letter should include documentation of the extenuating circumstance(s) (obituary notice, doctor’s note, etc.) and explain what has changed, and how they plan to make satisfactory progress in the future.  Decisions to reinstate eligibility are made based on the information in the letter, the supporting documentation and a review of the academic record. 

What happens after I submit my appeal?
The Graduate Financial Aid Appeals committee is made up of various members within the University, including academic and administrative personnel.  These University officials will review the appeal.  Decisions to reinstate or deny eligibility are made based on the information the student provides in the letter, the supporting documentation and a review of the academic record. If your appeal includes information falling under Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972, we are required to disclose it to the university Title IX coordinator. 

How do I find out the outcome?
A letter and/or email will be sent to the student with the committee’s outcome.  

  • If the appeal is approved, the student will be offered the opportunity to accept the terms of their academic plan.  As long as the plan is followed, the student may receive financial aid.
  • If the appeals committee upholds the loss of financial aid, then the student will need to make other payment arrangements.


FAFSA Verification

Verification is a process where we match up the information provided on your FAFSA with what you filed on your federal income tax returns. A random portion of FAFSA applicants are selected each year either by the Department of Education or by the university. 

If your FAFSA is selected, our office will contact you via email to request the appropriate documentation such as Federal Tax Transcript or Tax Return with all schedules, W-2 statements, non-filer letters, university verification worksheet. If selected, please respond as quickly as possible so we can review your file and determine your financial aid package.

We encourage students to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when filing their FAFSA, in order to reduce or eliminate the need for many of the documents. 

If you are having difficulty in providing this information or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.