Current ASPIRE fellows are expected to participate in all ASPIRE program activities. In general, activities are held four times per semester, at times convenient for the most participants. In the event of a conflict with a course or other activity, a fellow can request an excused absence from one of the program faculty.
ASPIRE fellows are also required to maintain weekly contact with their assigned mentor. The type of contact will vary, but may include email, text, phone, or in person meetings.
To remain eligible, ASPIRE Fellows must be enrolled in AE or IE as full time students (≥ twelve credit hours per semester). Fellows must make satisfactory progress towards their degree. Fellows must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and financial-need eligibility. S-STEM project staff will review student progress, enrollment, and GPA at the end of the fall and spring semesters to determine continued eligibility. The MSU Office of Financial Aid will determine continued financial need. Students who do not maintain eligibility (cumulative GPA less than 3.0, less than 12 hours per semester, lack of financial need, or changing majors to something other than AE/IE) will not receive further funding from the ASPIRE program.
An appeals process will be employed for ASPIRE fellows. This process allows students who did not maintain GPA requirements to appeal the revocation of their award if they felt there were extraordinary circumstances that led to the decline in their GPA. This appeals process is modeled after the financial aid appeals process in place for MSU as a whole. In order to appeal a scholarship revocation for GPA reasons, the student is required to consult with their mentor and write a letter of appeal explaining the circumstances beyond his or her control that led to the decrease in GPA. The student’s letter is distributed to the project staff for review. If the majority of the staff feel the student's circumstances warrant, the scholarship is reinstated for one probationary semester. At the end of the probationary semester, the student is expected to have made progress towards restoring their GPA to the minimum required level in order to continue to receive funding. Generally a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher would be seen as evidence of progress even if the student’s overall GPA continued to be below 3.0. If the student has not improved the GPA after one semester, a second appeal would not generally be accepted except under extreme circumstances.