Sullivan Hall Exterior

Entering Class 2016-17 Onward

Satisfactory Academic Progress (Students beginning in 2016-17 and onward)

This Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is effective beginning with the entering class of 2016-17 and forward. Continuing students remain under the prior SAP policy (http://www.law.seattleu.edu/x13682.xml ). 

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 and Appendix A (ASC). Students are awarded financial aid up to a maximum of 90 credits. 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, Transfer and Appeal 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.

An academically dismissed student who seeks readmission must petition the Dean of the Law School for readmission within two weeks of the date that the Registrar notifies the student of the dismissal.  In deciding the merits of the student’s petition, the Dean shall consider whether readmission is in the best interests of the student and the Law School.  The Dean may consider criteria including but not limited to the following:  (1)  the extent to which any factor that compromised the student’s academic performance or Academic Action Plan (AAP) compliance will no longer adversely affect the student’s performance or compliance with the student’s AAP; (2)  the evaluation of the student’s potential for competent academic performance by faculty who have a basis for evaluating that potential; (3) the recommendation of the Director of the Academic Resource Center; and (4)  the degree to which the student has exhibited those qualities essential to the effective discharge of a lawyer’s professional responsibilities.  The Dean’s decision on a student’s petition for readmission is final. 

Students who are dismissed are not eligible for financial aid. However, students granted readmission 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 who have a 2.3 or below after fall semester of their first year will be placed on academic probation and will receive a financial aid SAP warning letter. 

Students must have a 2.3 GPA, at a minimum, after their first year in order to receive financial aid for the second year of their studies. 

Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.3 after the spring semester of their first year or in any semester afterwards will be academically dismissed and thus not eligible for financial aid. Academically dismissed students may petition for readmission and if accepted must petition for financial aid (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 each 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.

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 readmission 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). 

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).

Readmitted students will be placed on an AAP. Students who do not meet the terms of the AAP will not be eligible for future financial aid unless they meet the appeal requirements set forth below and allowed to remain enrolled. Readmitted students must petition for reinstatement of their financial aid (see #7).

Qualitative requirements at end of second year

The Academic Standards Committee has established a minimum GPA of 2.3 as the 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 must meet the terms of the AAP by the academic evaluation date and if dismissed lose financial aid eligibility. If allowed to continue, students must appeal for continued financial aid (see #7). 

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). 

Readmitted students will be placed on an AAP. Students who do not meet the terms of the AAP will not be eligible for future financial aid unless they meet the appeal requirements set forth below and allowed to remain enrolled. Readmitted students must petition for reinstatement of their financial aid (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 (2.3 minimum) and must have completed the minimum credits as put forth in the ASC.

A student whose GPA is below 2.3 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.