Entering Class 2013-14 Onward

Satisfactory Academic Progress (Students beginning in academic year 2013-14 and onward)

This Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is effective beginning with the entering class of 2013-14 and forward. Continuing students remain under the prior SAP policy (Pre 2013-14 Class). 

Financial aid recipients must meet qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (pace) requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards their degree. SAP will be reviewed annually after spring term.

All credit definitions included herein are based on the Law School Student Handbook and the Academic Standards Code (ASC). Students are awarded financial aid up to a maximum of 90 credits unless a waiver of this requirement has been granted by appeal (see below). The minimum allowable credits were used to determine the credit ranges and year in school.

1. Purpose

This policy is set forth by Student Financial Services (SFS) for the purpose of establishing quantitative and qualitative requirements for financial aid recipients to maintain satisfactory academic progress towards their degree. This policy conforms to federal regulations and requirements as published in the Student Handbook and the ASC.

2. Maximum Duration of Study

Students are enrolled in a full-time (FT) or in a part-time (PT) program as monitored by the Registrar for a maximum of 90 successfully completed credit hours. Students may not take more than seven years (84 months), including periods of non-enrollment such as leaves of absence, to complete law studies which is also in accordance to ABA standards.

3. Effect of Withdrawals, Leaves of Absence, Transfers and De Novo status

If a student is granted a leave of absence or withdraws and resumes study, all credits successfully completed prior to the leave or withdrawal may be counted towards the 90 credit maximum, provided that the student returns before the leave of absence expires and before the time limit discussed above is exceeded. Transfer credits are accepted as completed credits toward the degree.

De Novo students are allowed to repeat their first year of law school studies without penalty and receive no credit for coursework from their initial year of study. The student will be eligible to complete the degree program within the maximum duration allowable. If a student has been granted de novo status, the party granting the appeal will provide a written statement to Student Financial Services indicating that the student has been reinstated de novo status. Occasionally the Dean will grant de novo status to a second year student and the same situation applies. De novo students must appeal to receive financial aid (see #7).

4. First Year review

Quantitative requirements at end of first year

At the end of the first year of study, students must have completed a minimum of 16 total credit hours (8 credits per term) during the academic year. Summer is an option term. However, if enrolled, students must complete a minimum of three credits. Students must meet these minimum requirements for SAP. If not, they will lose financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal to be placed on financial aid probation (see #7).

Qualitative requirements at end of first year

Students must be determined by the Associate Dean of Students to have a minimum 2.0 GPA after their first year in order to receive financial aid for the second year of their studies. Students who have been academically disqualified at the end of the first year are not eligible for financial aid unless they successfully petition, are granted de novo status by the Dean and thus are considered to be in good standing. Students may appeal to be placed on financial aid probation (see #7). 

First Year Probation

Students who do not meet the completed credit requirements or GPA to meet SAP may be allowed to continue by approval of the Dean. However, if a student does not meet financial aid SAP, they are ineligible for financial aid the following term. Students may appeal and submit a petition for financial aid. If the petition is approved, they are considered to be on Financial Aid probation. Probation consists of a review of the student's progress after the next term/payment period (or to ensure progress if on an academic plan) to verify that the student has met SAP in order to continue to receive financial aid (see #7).

Academic probation is reviewed after the full academic year (unlike financial aid which is reviewed after the next term). If a student has not met academic SAP after the second year of study, they will be dismissed and therefore will be ineligible for financial aid.

5. Second Year Review

Quantitative requirements at end of second year

At the end of the second year of study, a student receiving financial aid must have completed a minimum of 32 total credit hours in order to continuing receiving financial aid. Summer is an option term, however, if enrolled, students must complete a minimum of three credits. Students must meet these minimum requirements for SAP. If not, they will lose financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal to be placed on financial aid probation (see #7).

De Novo students will be reviewed at the end of their de novo year of completed and graded studies. Students who do not meet these minimum standards will not be eligible for future financial aid unless they meet the appeal requirements set forth below.

Qualitative requirements at end of second year

The Academic Standards Committee and federal regulations have established a 2.0 GPA as the minimum GPA requirement for the continuation of law studies after the second year. Students who fail to meet this standard will be academically disqualified and will no longer be eligible for financial aid. A student on academic probation after the first year must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or above by the next academic evaluation date or be dismissed, and thus would lose financial aid eligibility. 

All appeals of academic disqualification will be reviewed by the Dean, and may be appealed as set forth in the ASC. See the Student Handbook. If the student's appeal is successful, the party granting the appeal will provide a written statement to Student Financial Services, stating in part that the student has been reinstated and that they are considered to be in good academic standing. The notice of reinstatement should also include any restrictions placed upon the student as a result of the appeal approval. If a student petitions for financial aid reinstatement and is approved for probation, SAP will be reviewed after the next term/payment period (see #7). 

6. Third Year and Beyond Review

In order to receive financial aid for study after the third year and beyond, the student must have a GPA consistent with the requirements for graduation (2.0 minimum) and must have completed the minimum credits as put forth in the ASC.

A student whose GPA is below 2.25 after any academic evaluation date and who has been on academic probation at any previous time, will be dismissed, and thus would lose financial aid eligibility.

Appeals to the Third and Fourth Year Review policies will be reviewed by the Dean, and may be appealed as set forth herein for prior years and in the ASC. See the Student Handbook

7. Petition/Appeal

SAP for financial aid is evaluated annually after spring term. If a student does meet SAP standards, either the qualitative or quantitative measure, a student will lose financial aid eligibility for the following term. A student may appeal and petition for reinstatement of aid. If approved, SAP will be evaluated after one payment period/term while on probation.

The appeal must include the reasons why SAP was not met. For instance, the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances (documentation may be requested by the institution); and must include an explanation of what has changed in the student's situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation.

If an appeal is approved, a student on financial aid probation may receive financial aid funds for one payment period. At times, it may be necessary to develop an academic plan that will ensure a student may meet SAP by a specific point in time. If so, the student may need to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as taking a reduced course load or working a minimum number of hours, etc. 

If on financial aid probation, SAP evaluation occurs after the next payment period, rather than annually. The student must meet SAP or meet the requirements of the academic plan to qualify for continued financial aid.

If a student does not meet SAP after the end of the probation payment period/term (or making progress according to the stipulations of the academic plan), they are ineligible for financial aid the following term. In order to reinstate financial aid eligibility, students must use their own resources to pay for coursework and living expenses until such time they are able to successfully meet satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid.

Note: Students who do not receive financial aid one year and then request it the next, are held to these same quantitative (credits) and qualitative (GPA) standards and will be reviewed for SAP prior to awarding aid.

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