The grades of FA and FN are federally required by the Department of Education and Veterans Affairs for the purpose of monitoring attendance and ensuring the accurate payment of federal funds by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs. In addition, state programs such as the Tennessee Lottery scholarship also require attendance grade reporting.
Failure to follow the procedure for FA and FN grades may result in a federal or state audit finding and financial penalties for the University for overpayment of funds. Faculty are encouraged to read the section on Dropping Courses, Grades Awarded, Withdrawals in the current APSU Undergraduate Bulletin for more information.
After a student has officially registered for a class, the student is considered to be a member of the class unless the student officially drops the class, officially withdraws from the University, is canceled by administrative authority, or is permanently excluded by the Student Academic Grievance Committee. All financial obligations are retained when the student discontinues class attendance without officially dropping or withdrawing from the University.
The FA grade is defined as “the grade to be assigned as of the date at which the faculty member has determined the student has stopped attending class and is no longer receiving instruction.” A grade of FA (to include the last date of attendance) must be reported within 14 days of the last day of attendance. If the faculty later agrees to allow the student back into class, the grade of FA may be removed and the student should notify the Office of Student Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs of the grade change.
Faculty should use the regular F grade, not the FA, when a student is failing due to absences that breach the faculty member’s class policy, but does not meet the FA policy as described above. (For example, if the class policy states that a student will fail after five absences, and a student has accrued that many, the student should be given an F as either a midterm or a final grade.) Unlike the FA, the F grade may be given by a faculty member even when the student has continued to attend class.
The FN grade is to be given only when a student has never attended class. A grade of FN and an entry of the first date of class in the last date of attendance column must be reported within the first 14 days of class. The FN grade is considered to be an official withdrawal from the class and may impact the enrollment status of a student (full-time to part-time).
Note: If a grade of FA or FN is changed after submission, an email from the professor confirming active participation in the class is required. A grade change from F to W does not indicate participation in the course and will not allow reinstatement of financial aid. For additional information, you may refer to the University Bulletin and/or Faculty Handbook.