Satisfactory Academic Progress
In order to receive financial aid, you must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you could lose your eligibility.
Federal regulations require the financial aid office to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether you are making progress toward a degree. Making progress toward a degree is important for your academic success and a key factor in reducing student debt.
All coursework is evaluated against these standards, including coursework you completed during a period when you did not receive financial aid. Both pace and maximum time frame are measured in credit hours, regardless of full time or part time attendance.
Satisfactory academic progress standards in graduate law programs
To maintain SAP, a student must meet the following standards.
- Minimum Qualitative Requirements
Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average:
- 2.0 or higher if you are in the JD program
- 3.0 or higher if you are in the LLM or MSL program
- 3.0 or higher if you are in another graduate program
- Pace of Progression – 67%
At least 67% of all credit hours attempted must have successfully passing grades. The pace of progress is calculated by dividing cumulative hours that have been successfully completed by the cumulative hours attempted.
- Maximum Time Frame – within 150%
Complete a degree or certificate program in no more than 150% of the average published length of the program in credit hours. For example:
Master's degrees which require 45 credit hours - attempted credit hours must be 68 or less (45 credits x 150% = 68 credits)
JD degree requires 86 credit hours - attempted credit hours must be 129 or less (86 credit hours x 150% = 129 credits)
Satisfactory academic progress for students in the JD, LLM and MSL programs is monitored at the end of each academic year. Students who are not maintaining SAP will lose their eligibility to receive financial aid. As progress is measured annually, there is no warning semester. If you are denied aid, you may appeal.
Outstanding grades may change or delay your SAP status decision and aid in a future semester will not be applied until your status can be confirmed. If you submit a SAP appeal and it is approved, you will be put on Financial Aid Probation for the payment period. If you fail the satisfactory progress check after the end of the probationary period, you may only continue to receive aid if you are meeting the requirements of your academic plan.
The financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy is separate from the academic regulations at the Law School.
You can view your SAP status at any time in Academica. If you are an active student with a FAFSA on file, you will be notified by email if you fail to meet SAP standards. If not all of your grades are posted when we run the SAP evaluation, be aware that your status may be delayed or changed.
How to appeal
When you lose financial aid eligibility for failing to make satisfactory progress, you may appeal that result based on: injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. To appeal:
- Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal and Academic Action Plan form.
- Include an explanation statement and supporting documentation.
- Submit all documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid before the deadline listed on the form.
The SAP appeal must include an explanation statement. Your explanation MUST contain the following:
- Explain what happened - why you were unable to maintain satisfactory progress
- Explain what has changed - the corrective measures you have taken or will take to achieve and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
If you repeat a course, credit hours for each registration will be added to your attempted credit hours total. However, only the most recent grade received in the course will be included in the calculation of your qualitative measure. Note: Federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course.