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Eligibility Implications for Financial Aid and Veterans Education Benefits

The information below is subject to change. For important updates regarding the university and COVID-19, review the Coronavirus web page.

Federal Student Aid

CARES Act Eligibility and Federal Reporting Requirements -- Review APSU's CARES Act information on this web page.

Pass/Fail Grade Options – For the Spring 2020 semester, students receiving a grade of P or XF will not be negatively impacted in terms of GPA.  A grade of P will be not be counted as part of the GPA, but will be counted in attempted and earned hours.  A grade of XF will not be calculated as part of the GPA. XF will count as part of the attempted hours, but not earned hours. Contact your academic advisor to determine any other impacts of opting for a P/XF grade before choosing to do so.

Cost of Attendance -- Based on guidance provided by the Department of Education, cost of attendance will not be adjusted for students enrolled in a payment period that begins on or before June 1, 2020, due to the university moving to an all online format for the Spring 2020 semester. 

Withdrawals -- The policy associated with withdrawal and allocation of refunds for Return of Title IV still applies.

Federal Student Loans -- As part of the third COVID-19 relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, Congress mandated the Department of Education (ED) suspend payments and interest accrual on federally-held student loans until September 30, 2020. President Trump signed an Executive Memorandum on August 8 that extened the suspension of payments and interes accrual until December 31, 2020. Another was signed that provided an additional extension until January 31, 2021. On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an execurive order that continued the suspension until Septeber 30, 2021.

Satisfactory Academic Progress – Students who have failed Satisfactory Academic Progress for not passing 67% of their courses due to a COVID-19 related circumstance can submit an appeal. Allowable circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness of the student or family member, need to become a caregiver or first responder, economic hardship, added work hours, loss of childcare, inability to continue with classes via distance education, inability to access wi-fi due to closed facilities. 

Verification -- Students who are required to turn in the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 Verification of Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose form are typically required to complete it either in person at the Financial Aid office or with a notary. The Department of Education is temporarily allowing submission of this form through electronic means, such as student APSU e-mail or the upload option in AP OneStop. This will remain in effect through the payment period (semester) that begins after the date on which the federally declared qualifying emergency related to COVID-19 is rescinded.

Tennessee Lottery Scholarship Programs

Typically the Lottery Scholarship cannot be awarded based on residual ACT scores. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) is temporarily allowing Austin Peay to determine eligibility using residual scores, provided students meet all other eligibility criteria. If you would like to schedule a residual ACT test, please visit our Testing Center at https://apsu.edu/testing. This guidance will only extend through the end of Fall 2020.

The GPA for Lottery recipients is reviewed at 24 attempted hour benchmarks (24, 48, 72, 96, 120).  See https://www.apsu.edu/scholarships/tn-education-lottery-programs/dont-lose-hope.php. You can check your benchmark in AP OneStop – Student Tab – Student Records – View Lottery Eligibility. 

Pass/Fail Grade Options –Students who are NOT at one of the above benchmarks at the end of Spring semester will not be negatively impacted for Spring or Summer 2020 if selecting the P grade option. Note: Students must, however, meet the applicable benchmark requirement Fall 2020 or thereafter.

Students who ARE at one of these benchmarks at the end of the Spring or Summer semesters may be negatively impacted. See the information below.

GPA calculations for students at a benchmark at the end of Spring 2020

GPA calculations for students at a benchmark at the end of Summer 2020

Tennessee Promise

Mandatory Meeting --  For entering Freshmen, the mandatory meeting has been extended to May 15 and moved to an online format.

Community Service for Summer 2021 -- For continuing students, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission/Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (THEC/TSAC) has made the decision to waive the April 1 community service requirement for the summer term. A Tennessee Promise student enrolling at an eligible institution for the summer term will not be required to complete and submit community service to maintain eligibility for that term.

Community Service for Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 -- Community Service hours and Mandatory Meetings are required for eligibility in the Fall 2021 semester. Please contact your TN Achieves Mentor for more information. 

THEC/TSAC will continue to monitor the impact from COVID-19 on our state to determine any additional accommodations which may become necessary in the fall semester and beyond.

If you have questions regarding this decision please contact TN Achieves tn.promise@tn.gov.

GPA -- If continuing students do not meet the minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA at the end of the Spring and Summer semesters, we may use the Fall 2019 GPA to review for continuing eligibility.

All Other TSAC Programs (Including TN Reconnect)

GPA -- If continuing students do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA required for their scholarship at the end of the Spring and Summer semesters, we may use the Fall 2019 GPA to review for continuing eligibility.

TSAA Grant

The eligibility threshold for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been moved from 2100 to 3500.

Institutional Scholarships

Scholarships requiring service hours had the service hours waived for the remainder of Spring 2020 semester beginning with the March COVID announcement. Service hours were also waived from Fall 2020.

Typically GPA's are reviewed at the end of the Spring semester for institutional scholarship, but the GPA requirement was waived from the Spring 2020, and was checked at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. This includes Presidential, Dean's, Achievement, Advancement, Howell C. Smith, Kimbrough, Luther Tippit, and Honors.

Donor Scholarships

Guidance is pending. We will update when we have the details.

Veterans Education Benefits

Pass/Fail Grade Options -- On May 14, 2020, we received a decision VA will treat the XF grade as non-punitive for the Spring 2020 semester. This means VA views XF the same as a withdrawal from the course. 

VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR & E)

Pass/Fail Grade Options -- Students receiving VR & E must contact their counselor for guidance.