Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

All Federal Financial Assistance Programs are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and require the establishment of minimum standards of academic progress that students must meet to maintain general eligibility for financial aid. Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible for federal aid such as Direct Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans, as well as private loans through their loan lenders. The school enforces the following standards of measuring SAP:

  • Charleston School of Law qualitative SAP standard:  Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher to receive federal financial aid and to be considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students’ grade point average will be verified at the end of each semester or grading period.
  • Charleston School of Law quantitative SAP standard:  Students should successfully complete 67 percent of the cumulative credit hours they attempt in order to complete the degree requirements for graduation within the maximum time limit and to be considered to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress. The quantitative SAP assessment will be reviewed for all students at the end of each semester or grading period.
  • Charleston School of Law maximum time-limit for earning a degree:  Students must complete all of their law degree requirements no earlier than 24 months and no later than 84 months after a student has commenced law study at the Charleston School of Law or at a law school from which the School of Law has accepted transfer credit. The maximum time frame for students to finish their degree will be verified at the end of each semester or grading period to insure compliance toward graduation and to monitor the students’ Satisfactory Academic Progress.

**Please note these standards and provisions are different from the academic standards at the Charleston School of Law and may have no bearing on your status of academic probation or disqualification. All decisions related to your academic standing are made through the Office of Academic Affairs, and all decisions related to your financial aid eligibility are made by the Office of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Warning

The Office of Registrar and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will review and monitor the qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time-limit requirements for all enrolled students.  Students who do not meet the school’s SAP requirements will be placed on financial aid warning. Students on financial aid warning are encouraged to meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to discuss their failure to meet the necessary standards and determine the necessary actions the student or school must take for a student to regain SAP compliance.  Students are allowed to receive federal or private aid for the subsequent semester or grading period after they have been placed on warning. Students who are not in SAP compliance after their subsequent semester or grading period are NOT eligible for federal or private loans and may only become eligible after successfully appealing and being granted financial aid probation.

Appeals Process

A student who is ineligible for aid may submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to the Director of Financial Aid if they feel they encountered mitigating circumstances during the academic period(s) that affected their academic ability when they fell out of compliance.  Examples of mitigating circumstances are a student’s injury or prolonged illness, death of a relative, repercussions of a natural disaster, or other special circumstances. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and documentation must reflect how the mitigating circumstances led to an academic deficiency that was out of the student’s control. The student’s appeal must provide a detailed plan on how the student will limit the mitigating circumstance or resolve any issues so that they may regain their financial aid eligibility and return to making Satisfactory Academic Progress. If the appeal is denied, the student must immediately set up a payment plan to pay for their school expenses. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on financial aid probation, but may be able to receive financial aid during the subsequent academic period. Students may have only one appeal approved during their attendance at the Charleston School of Law.