Academic Progress Guidelines for Financial Aid 

transferevalIn order to receive institutional financial aid (Arcadia-funded Scholarships and/or Grants) on the undergraduate level, be it need-based or merit-based aid, a student must be a matriculating student enrolled on a full-time basis (12 or more credit hours/semester). The following types of financial aid are considered institutional financial aid:

  • Arcadia University Grant
  • Distinguished Scholarship
  • Achievement Award
  • Campus Achievement Award For Returning Students
  • Alumni Legacy Grant 
  • Collaborative Scholarship
  • Leadership Award
  • Arcadia Collaborative Education Scholarship (ACES)
  • Writing Achievement Award
  • Majors Abroad Grant
  • President's Scholarship
  • SAGE Grant
  • Knights Scholarship/Knights Grant
  • FAFSA Early Filer Grant
  • Arcadia Transfer Partner Scholarship
  • Sister City Scholarship

Institutional financial aid is not available to students who drop below full-time status (12 credits/semester); however, matriculating undergraduate students who are enrolled on at least a half-time (6 credits) basis could qualify for the following types of aid

  • Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan
  • PHEAA State Grant (available to PA residents who qualify)
  • Federal Pell Grant (matriculating undergraduate students taking only 3 credits may qualify to receive this)

Other types of financial aid not listed above are reserved for full-time undergraduate students (SEOG Grants, Perkins Loans, Federal Work Study awards).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines for Financial Aid

Institutional Financial Aid (Arcadia University Grants and/or Scholarships)

Full-time students must maintain successful academic progress standards to continue receiving institutional financial aid. For full-time students, successful academic progress for institutional (Arcadia) financial aid purposes is defined as completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit for every two semesters of financial aid received as well as a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for upper classmen and 1.75 for freshmen. One-term exceptions to this standard may be permitted. In such cases, the academic record will be re-reviewed after one other semester has passed to determine that academic progress standards are once again being met.

Federal (Title IV) Aid (Pell, SEOG & TEACH Grants, Federal Direct Stafford & PLUS Loans, Federal Work Study, Perkins Loans)

Satisfactory academic progress guidelines for renewal of Title IV aid are different than the above guidelines outlined for Institutional aid.  Please review these Title IV academic progress guidelines carefully.

PHEAA State Grant Aid

In order to receive PHEAA State Grant aid, a student is required to successfully complete (pass) a minimum of six (6) credits per semester for each part-time PHEAA State Grant received and a minimum of 12 credits per semester for each full-time PHEAA State Grant received.  Failure to meet these minimum requirements means that a student would be ineligible for State Grant aid until he/she has successfully completed the required number of credits.

EXAMPLE: Fall and Spring semester, a student receives a full-time PHEAA Grant. The student's academic record for the year is as follows:


  • PSY 101 (3 cr.): C-
  • MA 202 (3 cr.): D
  • CS 150 (3 cr.): C-
  • HS 117 (3 cr.): F


  • EN 101 (3 cr.): C-
  • MA 203 (3 cr.): B
  • FA 103 (3 cr.): C-
  • TH 130 (3 cr.): D
  • PSY 102 (3 cr.): WF


Since the student only successfully completed 21 credits (F's and withdrawals do not count), if he/she does not successfully complete 3 credits during the summer term, he/she will not be eligible for a PHEAA State Grant for next Fall.  

Grade Level Classifications For Stafford Loan Purposes

A student's grade level classification is determined according to the number of credits they complete.  Such classifications are based on the following:

  • 0-26 credits — freshman
  • 27-56 credits — sophomore
  • 57-86 credits — junior
  • 87+ credits — senior

However, day program students with normal progress will typically need to complete the following number of credits to complete a four-year program within that time frame:

  • End of first year — 32 credits
  • End of second year — 64 credits
  • End of third year — 96 credits

Successful completion of a total of 128 credits is required for graduation in day programs and 120 credits for evening programs.

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