Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid is awarded when a student has been accepted into one of the school’s degree programs, completed the FAFSA application and other supporting documents, demonstrated financial need, and made plans to enroll at least half-time (4.5 hours per semester).

You must complete the FAFSA. To sign the FAFSA, use your FSA ID number. If you do not have one or don’t remember yours, you’ll find help here. MTSO’s FAFSA school code is G03075.

Non-degree students, occasional students and those auditing courses are not eligible for financial assistance. All students must make satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress policy

Federal financial aid funds are awarded with the understanding that students will make progress toward their chosen degree. MTSO, as directed by the U.S. Department of Education, has established guidelines (Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress) to follow in order to meet this goal.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply for the following types of federal financial aid: Federal Work-Study, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan.

Policy standards

The Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress measures three components. Students must meet all three components to maintain their financial aid eligibility.

  1. Grade point average: 2.5 cumulative GPA
  2. Maximum time frame: Students are required to complete their degree within one-and-a-half times the length of their program’s published hour requirement (150 percent)
  3. Pace of progress: To ensure that students earn a degree within the maximum timeframe allowed, students must show a minimum completion rate of 67 percent of classes attempted.


  • WP or WF (withdrawal), and F’s (failing grade) do not count toward meeting completion percentage, therefore take away from your pace. Examples: A) register for 12 hours, drop 3 hours after add/drop deadline, completing 9 credit hours. Nine completed hours/12 attempted hours = 75 percent completion or pace…acceptable. B) register for 12 hours, drop 6 hours after add/drop deadline, completing 6 credit hours. Six completed hours/12 attempted hours = 50 percent completion or pace…not acceptable.
  • All terms of attendance are reviewed including terms no federal financial aid was received.
  • All hours are counted cumulatively including when changing degrees and repeating coursework.
  • All hours accepted in as transfer credit will be used to calculate timeframe and pace measures.

Appeal procedures

At the end of spring term each year, the academic records of all students who are receiving or applying for federal financial aid will be reviewed. Those students who fail to meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified that they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid funds.

Students have the following options available to restore their eligibility:

  1. Make up any deficient hours by raising your overall completion rate to at least 67 percent and/or bring up GPA to a 2.5 without the use of federal funds or through grade changes.
  2. Complete a full-time equivalent term with a 2.5 GPA without the use of federal funds. A student may complete multiple part-time terms with a 2.5 GPA to total the full-time equivalency in credit hours.
  3. Submit a written appeal if the failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress was due to extenuating circumstances (including how the situation has changed to allow progress).

Written notification of completing options 1 or 2 or an appeal based on option 3 should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at Submissions should detail efforts in achieving options above, the extenuating circumstance and a specific plan to enhance future academic performance.

Questions regarding SAP should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid. Decisions regarding satisfactory academic progress appeals are reviewed by the Financial Assistance Committee on Academic Progress, which consists of the Academic Dean, Financial Aid Officer and Registrar. Appeals may be granted if there are extenuating circumstances.

If aid eligibility is reinstated, the student’s record will then be reviewed each term to ensure specified requirements for retaining aid eligibility are being met or until the student has once again established eligibility in meeting all three components of the policy.

If a student fails to re-establish eligibility in an appeal, eligibility can be sought through options 1 and 2 above unless aid eligibility has been denied due to exceeding maximum timeframe for the academic program.

Scholarship eligibility

Students on special scholarship from MTSO may have additional requirements in order to retain that scholarship. Refer to the specific scholarship criteria in each program as documented in the Financial Aid award letter.

Return to Title IV policy

The federal government mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may keep only aid earned up to the time of withdrawal. If you have federal Title IV aid (Unsubsidized Direct Loan or Direct GradPLUS Loan) and you fail to complete at least 60 percent of a term, the Office of Financial Aid must determine how much of your aid, if any, must be returned to the federal aid programs based on the percent of the term you completed. Once you complete 60 percent of the term, you are considered to have earned 100 percent of your aid.

The Office of Financial Aid reviews all student withdrawal information to determine the effect on financial aid awards. The refund formula measures the actual number of days enrolled during the semester. Earned aid is determined by dividing the number of days enrolled by the number of calendar days in the semester, including weekends and holidays and excluding any breaks longer than five days.

All unearned Federal Title IV aid will be returned as soon as possible after the withdrawal has been requested (but no later than 30 days) in the following order: Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Direct GradPLUS loan.

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don't incur additional debt.

MTSO Awards may be reduced (or pro-rated) as a result of a withdrawal, Leave of absence or less-than-part-time enrollment status.

Withdrawal date

  • A student’s withdrawal date is the date the student notifies the institution in writing of his/her intent to withdraw.

  • Unofficial withdrawals encompass all other withdrawals where official notification is not provided to the school. This includes students who have not passed at least one of their classes at the end of the semester. The withdrawal date is the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment, or the last date of an academically related activity that the student participated in. Please note that withdrawing from the school will also affect a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress and may impact future federal financial aid eligibility.