Financial Aid FAQs - Coastal Carolina University
In This Section

Financial Aid questions regarding the Pass/Fail Grading Policy for Spring 2020 are below.

1. What do Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades mean?

Should a student decide to switch course(s) to Satisfactory (S)/Unsatisfactory (U) grades, grades ranging from A-D will be converted to “S” and the grade of “F” will be converted to a “U.” An “S” grade indicates credit is earned and a course is completed. An “S” grade will also satisfy completion requirements of a “C” or better for core, major, and minor classes. A “U” grade indicates no credit earned and a course is not completed. Neither an “S” nor a “U” affects the grade point average. In both cases, the credits count as attempted credits.

2. When do I have to decide to use Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades?

The window to request such a modification will open on May 9, 2020, and close on June 10, 2020. During that period, students may submit a request to change their grading method via WebAdvisor. This choice may be made for each course individually, so students may end the term with a mix of traditional and S/U grading based on their situation.

Prior to May 9, 2020, students are expected to work with their academic advisors and Financial Aid & Scholarships to determine the wisdom of such a switch. In some cases, receiving traditional grades may be necessary to retain certain scholarships and grants, especially when eligibility is determined by state or federal regulations.

3. How do Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades affect federal financial ad and/or state and CCU need-based aid?

Federal regulations and institutional policy require that students receiving federal financial aid maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Some private loan lenders, state aid programs and CCU need-based aid also require students to maintain SAP. Undergraduate students are generally required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative CCU GPA, a minimum of 67 percent completion rate of the courses that he/she attempts at the institution, and may not exceed the equivalent of 12 full-time (15 credit hour) semesters or 180 attempted credits. Graduate students are generally required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative CCU GPA, a minimum of 67 percent completion rate of the courses that he/she attempts at the institution, and must complete requirements for a single master’s degree within six (6) years of beginning the program.  Please note that courses dropped from a student’s schedule after the published drop/add period are included in the completion percentage.  Please also note that all transfer work accepted by the University is included in a student’s total attempted credits.  Students who are receiving aid based on a previous appeal must refer to their individual appeal stipulations to determine future eligibility.

Credits for courses graded as Satisfactory will count as attempted and completed.  Credits for courses graded as Unsatisfactory will count as attempted and not completed.  In both cases, the GPA will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

For more information on our SAP policy, please visit https://www.coastal.edu/financialaid/sap/.

*Pell/TEACH/FSEOG/IASG Grant, Chanticleer Grant, SC Need Based Grant, Direct Student Loans, Parent PLUS Loans

4. How does changing all my failing grades (F) to Withdrawn (W) or Unsatisfactory (U) grades affect my financial aid?

Students who receive all F’s, all W’s, all U’s, or a combination of F’s/W’s/U’s (no passing traditional (A,B,C,D) or Satisfactory (S) grades) do not receive any completed credits for Spring 2020.  Students with W’s & U’s will have no GPA for Spring 2020. Their cumulative CCU GPA or LIFE GPA will be the CCU or LIFE GPA at the end of Fall 2019.  Students with F grades are graded per normal grading policy (may decrease cumulative GPA). 

Students who receive all F’s, all W’s, all U’s, or a combination of F’s/W’s/U’s (no passing traditional (A,B,C,D) or Satisfactory (S) grades) and do not complete or cease to attend their registered courses are considered to be an unofficial withdrawal.  Per Title IV regulations, a Return of Title IV Funds calculation must be done for students who unofficially withdraw from the University and have federal financial aid.  This calculation measures the percentage of aid earned based on the midpoint of the term or the last date of attendance in an academically related activity.  Unearned aid may be returned to the US Department of Education (ED).  The return of any unearned aid to ED may result in the student owing a balance to Coastal Carolina University.  Please note that the institution is not required to return any funds for a student who has earned more than 60% of their aid.

5. How do Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades affect My CCU Merit-based award?

To renew a CCU Merit-based award, students typically must complete an average of 30 credits each academic year and maintain a minimum 3.00 CCU GPA. Students who began their enrollment in the Spring 2020 semester must complete 15 credits with a minimum 3.00 CCU GPA.  Students who complete a minimum of 27 credits (12 credits for 2020 Spring starts) and/or earn a minimum 2.95 CCU GPA may be offered the Merit Award and extended a one-time probationary period to regain eligibility criteria.

Credits for courses graded as Satisfactory will count as completed credits toward the credit hour requirement.  Credits for courses graded as Unsatisfactory will NOT count as completed toward the credit hour requirement.  In both cases, the cumulative CCU GPA will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. Traditional grading will affect GPA as normal.

6. How do Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades affect My SC State Scholarships (Hope/LIFE/Palmetto Fellows)?

The SC Commission on Higher Education (CHE) regulates requirements for SC State Scholarship renewal. SC Hope Scholarship* and SC LIFE Scholarship recipients must complete an average of 30 LIFE credits and maintain a minimum 3.00 LIFE GPA each academic year. Students who began their initial college enrollment in the Spring 2020 semester must complete a minimum of 15 LIFE credits with a minimum 3.00 LIFE GPA. (*The SC Hope Scholarship is available only for the first year of enrollment. Eligible recipients will renew to the SC LIFE Scholarship starting in the second year of enrollment.)

SC Palmetto Fellows recipients must complete a minimum of 30 new credits and maintain a minimum 3.00 Home Institution (CCU) GPA. Students who began their initial college enrollment in the Spring 2020 semester must complete a minimum of 15 new credits with a minimum 3.00 Home Institution (CCU) GPA.

Credits for courses graded as Satisfactory will count as completed credits toward the credit hour requirement.  Credits for courses graded as Unsatisfactory will NOT count as completed toward the credit hour requirement.  In both cases, the cumulative CCU GPA/cumulative LIFE GPA will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.  Traditional grading will affect GPA as normal.

7. How do Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades affect my other financial aid?

Private Loan requirements vary with each lender.  Please contact your private loan lender for academic requirements.  Any private loan lender that requires Satisfactory Academic Progress will follow the requirements for federal financial aid.

Private scholarship requirements vary with each organization. Please contact your scholarship organization with questions in regards to academic requirements.

8. Should I use the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading if I have federal financial aid?

Credits for courses graded as Satisfactory will count as completed credits toward the credit hour requirement.  Credits for courses graded as Unsatisfactory will NOT count as completed toward the credit hour requirement.  In both cases, the cumulative CCU GPA will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.  Traditional grading will affect GPA as normal.

For most students, using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will be beneficial.

  • Changing traditional grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory typically does not change completion rate or attempted hours (traditional passing grades (A,B,C,D) & Satisfactory (S) grades are both counted as attempted and completed credits; traditional failing or withdrawn grades (F,W) & Unsatisfactory (U) grades are both counted as attempted and not completed credits). 
  • Changing traditional grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory typically changes a student’s CCU GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 2.0 CCU GPA or higher at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for all of their courses to be Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will maintain a 2.0 CCU GPA at the end of Spring 2020.  Satisfactory grades will help maintain or increase completion rate.  Unsatisfactory courses will decrease completion rate.
    • Students with a cumulative 1.99 CCU GPA or less at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for all of their courses to be Satisfactory grades will help maintain or increase their completion rate.  Unsatisfactory courses will decrease completion rate.  In both cases, the student will maintain a 1.99 CCU GPA.  Students failing 2.0 cumulative GPA after Spring 2020 would fail satisfactory academic progress and may not be eligible for future financial aid.
    • Students with a cumulative 1.99 CCU GPA or less at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for some of their courses to be Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will need to work with their academic advisor and financial aid staff to determine how changing course grades will affect their CCU GPA.  Students failing the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement after Spring 2020 would fail satisfactory academic progress and may not be eligible for future financial aid.
9. What happens if I fail Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards?

Students who fail Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are not eligible for federal financial aid and some state and private aid. Students may elect to take future courses and pay out of pocket or with private aid that does not require students to meet SAP standards until back at CCU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards.  Students who experienced extenuating circumstances may also complete a Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards appeal with Financial Aid & Scholarships.  The Appeal form and instructions can be found at https://www.coastal.edu/media/administration/financialaid/pdffiles/forms/facsap.pdf. Payment deadline for Fall 2020 is August 1st.  Students who turn in appeals after July 15th may need to set up alternative payment arrangements with Student Accounts if an appeal decision is not made by the payment deadline.

10. Should I use the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading if I have CCU Merit-based Awards?

Credits for courses graded as Satisfactory will count as completed credits toward the credit hour requirement.  Credits for courses graded as Unsatisfactory will NOT count as completed toward the credit hour requirement.  In both cases, the cumulative CCU GPA will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

For most students, using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will be beneficial.

  • Changing traditional passing grades (A, B, C, D) to Satisfactory (S) typically has no bearing on the number of completed credit hours.  Traditional passing grades and Satisfactory grades are both counted as completed credits.
  • Traditional failing or withdrawn grades (F,W) and Unsatisfactory (U) grades do not count as completed credits.
    • Changing traditional grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory typically changes a student’s CCU GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 3.0 CCU GPA or higher at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for all of their courses to be Satisfactory may increase their credit hours but their GPA will not increase based on these courses.  Students who elect for all of their courses to be Unsatisfactory will not have any completed credits for Spring 2020 but will maintain a 3.0 CCU GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 2.99 CCU GPA or less at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for all of their courses to be Satisfactory may maintain their credit hours but their GPA will not increase based on
      these course grades.  Students who elect for all of their courses to be Unsatisfactory will not have any completed credits for Spring 2020 but will maintain a 2.99 CCU GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 2.99 CCU GPA or less at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for some of their courses to be Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will need to work with their academic advisor and financial aid staff to determine how changing course grades will affect their CCU GPA.  The idea is to maintain traditional grades that will increase your CCU cumulative GPA and move traditional grades that will decrease your CCU cumulative GPA to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, meanwhile earning enough credits to meet the credit requirements.
11. What happens if I fail Coastal Carolina University Merit-based Award renewal criteria?

Students who fail University Merit-based Award renewal criteria are not eligible for merit-based awards. Students may elect to take summer courses to assist in meeting renewal criteria. Students who experienced extenuating circumstances may complete a Scholarship Appeal with Financial Aid & Scholarships. To request an appeal form, students must send an email to scholar@coastal.edu. Payment deadline for Fall 2020 is Aug. 1.Students who turn in appeals after July 15 will receive an appeal decision, but may need to set up alternative payment arrangements with Student Accounts for that payment deadline if an appeal decision is not made at that time. Appeal approvals may not be considered for previous semesters.

12. Should I use the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading if I have SC State Scholarships?

HOPE and LIFE Scholarship recipients must complete an average of 30 credit hours per year.  Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipients must complete 30 new credit hours per year (no average).  Credits for courses graded as Satisfactory will count as completed credits toward the credit hour requirement.  Credits for courses graded as Unsatisfactory will NOT count as completed toward the credit hour requirement. In both cases, the cumulative CCU GPA (Palmetto Fellows) will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading.  The cumulative LIFE GPA (Hope/Life) will neither increase nor decrease based on courses using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading.

Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA at their home institution (CCU GPA). HOPE and LIFE scholarship recipients must maintain a 3.0 LIFE GPA. A student’s LIFE GPA may be different from their CCU GPA. A student’s LIFE GPA is based on grades earned at ALL institutions attended excluding remedial, continuing education, and non-degree credit courses by the end of each academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer). Please note that the LIFE GPA does include any college grades earned while in high school.

For most students, using Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will be beneficial.

  • Traditional passing grades (A, B, C, D) and Satisfactory grades (S) are both counted as completed credits.
  • Traditional failing or withdrawn grades (F,W) and Unsatisfactory (U) grades do not count as completed credits.
  • Changing traditional grades to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory typically changes a student’s LIFE GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 3.0 LIFE GPA or higher at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for all of their courses to be Satisfactory may increase their credit hours but their LIFE GPA will not increase based on these courses.  Students who elect for all of their courses to be Unsatisfactory will not have any completed credits for Spring 2020 but will maintain a 3.0 LIFE GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 2.99 LIFE GPA or less at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for all of their courses to be Satisfactory may maintain their credit hours but their LIFE GPA will not increase based on these courses. Students who elect for all of their courses to be Unsatisfactory will not have any completed credits for Spring 2020 but will maintain a 2.99 LIFE GPA.
    • Students with a cumulative 2.99 LIFE GPA or less at the end of Fall 2019 who elect for some of their courses to be Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will need to work with their academic advisor and financial aid staff to determine how changing course grades will affect their LIFE GPA. The idea is to maintain traditional grades that will increase your cumulative LIFE GPA and move traditional grades that will decrease your cumulative LIFE GPA to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, meanwhile maintain the credit hour requirement.
13. What happens if I fail SC CHE State Scholarship renewal criteria?

Students who fail SC CHE State Scholarship renewal criteria are not eligible to receive these scholarships. Students who fail to earn a cumulative 3.0 LIFE GPA at the end of the academic year or the requisite number of hours required, may regain eligibility the next academic year if their cumulative LIFE GPA is a 3.0 at the end of the academic year and they have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours if a rising sophomore, 60 credit hours if a rising junior, or 90 credit hours if a rising senior. The academic year is considered Fall, Spring and Summer. Therefore, you can use summer courses to bring up a GPA or earn credit hours. Please consult Financial Aid and Scholarships to verify that credit hours earned during the summer at another institution will be accepted. Students who do not meet the annual credit hour requirement at the end of each academic year (based on initial date of college enrollment) cannot receive a LIFE/Palmetto Fellows Scholarship or LIFE/Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement.

If a truly extenuating circumstance resulted in the loss of SC State Scholarship eligibility, you may submit an appeal to the SC Commission on Higher Education. For this academic year, the appeal cycle will begin on April 3, 2020, and the appeal submission deadline is Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Students can submit completed appeals to the Commission via regular mail or electronically. Payment deadline for Fall 2020 is Aug. 1. Students who turn in appeals may need to set up alternative payment arrangements with Student Accounts if an appeal decision is not made by the payment deadline. The appeal guidelines in their entirety can be found on the CHE website, at the following link:

https://www.che.sc.gov/Students,FamiliesMilitary/StudentAppeals.aspx.

Please check the CHE website for additional information. Students cannot submit an appeal to the Commission for the LIFE/Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Enhancement. Students can only appeal the loss of a LIFE or Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.

14. How Does Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory work with Repeat Forgiveness and Standard Repeat Policies?

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades will not be allowed for repeat forgiveness and standard repeat policies.  Repeated courses that students elect to move to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will not replace the previous grade and the attempted and completed credits will only be counted once.

15. How can I calculate my CCU GPA?

Students may use the “Cum GPA Calculator” under the “Academic Planning” section on WebAdvisor to assist in calculating their cumulative CCU GPA.

16. How can I calculate my LIFE GPA?

Students may use the “LIFE GPA Projection Calculator” in the “LIFE GPA” link under the “Financial Aid & Scholarships” section of WebAdvisor.

17. Who can I talk to if I’m completely lost?

Academic advisors and Financial Aid and Scholarships counselors are here for you.

  • Reach out to your academic advisor. Many advisors are working remotely and can be contacted through email.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships counselors can be reached remotely at 843-349-2313 or finaid@coastal.edu.