COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions we are fielding with what we know at this time.

State

How does our Spring 2020 grade policy change to pass/pass D/no credit effect the ability for me to renew my Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship or Academic Challenge Scholarship?

Our office received the following update from the Arkansas Department of Education on April 7:

"Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, certain statues and rules regarding state funded scholarships/grants are suspended for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of the Order. The 30 days are referred to the period of the governor’s emergency powers, which is likely to be extended. The Governor has authority, with ADHE input, to authorize that our continuing eligibility rules for state scholarships be set aside. The list of suspensions can be found here: https://static.ark.org/eeuploads/adhe/DHE_Suspended_Provisions_03302020.pdf.

"Continuing eligibility requirements are suspended for the spring semester for state based scholarship programs including GPA and hours.

"If a student had to drop below the required number of credit hours after March 20th, they will remain eligible for their state scholarship. If a student was not in the allotted hours before March 20th, they can make up the hours in summer sessions."

The Spring 2020 grade policy provides more flexibility for grade or hour completion via petition for a move to pass/pass D/no credit. The university will report your completed UA hours to ADHE at the end of the spring semester.

NRTA/Academic Scholarship

How does the new pass/pass D/no credit option for grading policies affect the renewal of my scholarship?

How the policy will affect the renewal of your award will depend on how you use the policy. Please see an advisor before submitting a change of grade request and ask this question. A scholarship advisor will also be happy to assist you. The University's policy regarding GPA requirements for renewal of the New Arkansan Non-Resident Tuition Award, Alumni Legacy Scholarship, (NRTA), and University Scholarships remain unchanged. The Academic Scholarship Office will use the GPA reflected on your U of A transcript. Please see NRTA and Alumni Legacy Renewal or Academic Scholarships Renewal for more details.

Grades of pass (P), pass D (PD), and no credit (NC) will not affect your GPA though P and PD will count toward the number of hours required. For additional questions, please review the Spring 2020 grade policy.

The new grading policy provides increased options and may assist with in your scholarship renewal. For renewal purposes this spring, hours will be counted as of March 12 when the University of Arkansas moved to online instruction.

Students who lose an academic scholarship or the NRTA due to extenuating circumstances may appeal for continuation of the scholarship.

Federal Aid Eligibility and Academic Progress

How will dropping a class or withdrawing from the spring 2020 semester affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) that is required for federal, state, and some private aid?

The University's policy regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress and appeals will remain unchanged except that grades of "NC" (no credit) will be added alongside grades of "W" and "I" that are not considered passing grades for all students (for graduate and law students, grades of "pass-D" will also not be considered passing grades). Please refer to Satisfactory Academic Progress for more information. If a student drops a course, receives no credit for coursework, or if they fully withdraw for a semester and it results in their cumulative completion rate dropping below 66.67%, they will not be meeting the quantitative requirement for SAP. There is an appeal process for students with special circumstances and those appeals are reviewed on an individual basis. Students will be notified after the conclusion of the spring semester each year if they are not meeting SAP requirements and an appeal form for that year will be provided at that time.

This information is made in accordance with guidance from the US Department of Education provided in the CARES Act and the electronic announcement published on March 5, 2020, and as updated April 1, 2020.

How will the new grading policy for Spring 2020 affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) that is required for federal, state, and some private aid?

The University's policy regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress and appeals will remain unchanged except that grades of "NC" (no credit) will be added alongside grades of "W" and "I" that are not considered passing grades for all students (for graduate and law students, grades of "pass-D" will also not be considered passing grades). The qualitative requirement will be measured using a student's University of Arkansas cumulative GPA at the conclusion of the spring semester. Students will be notified after the conclusion of the spring semester each year if they are not meeting SAP requirements and an appeal form for that year will be provided for students with special circumstances. Those appeals are reviewed on an individual basis. Please refer to Satisfactory Academic Progress for the full SAP policy and information regarding appeals.

This information is made in accordance with guidance from the US Department of Education provided in the CARES Act and the electronic announcement published on March 5, 2020, and as updated April 1, 2020.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at finaid@uark.edu (Financial Aid) or scholars@uark.edu (Scholarships)