Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress for Law School

Law School SAP

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to determine if a student is making acceptable progress toward a degree. A student’s failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards may result in loss of federal aid eligibility. Federal regulations require evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative academic progress for students who are receiving funds under the Federal Student Aid programs that are classified under Title IV aid: 

  • Federal Direct Loans

  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loans

  • Federal Work-Study 

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards are the same for all categories of students within each Law program (JD or LLM). SAP assessment does not differ if a student is full time or part time. All periods of enrollment will be included in the measurement of SAP. Semesters in which the student enrolls but is not receiving Federal financial aid are included in the measurement. 

  • Grades

    Law School students must maintain a grade point average that entitles them to a status of good standing.

    Each student must maintain satisfactory academic standing as a prerequisite for continued attendance in the Law School. For purposes of determining academic standing, a student's weighted cumulative grade point average will be computed only as of the end of the Spring semester of each academic year. Academic standing will not be determined for a first-year student until after completion of the academic year. In determining academic standing, the student's weighted cumulative grade point average will be expressed as a number carried out to two decimal places.

    A student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.33 as of the end of the Spring semester of each academic year to be in academic good standing. (A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.33 is necessary for graduation.) Some students, although in academic good standing, may be required, based on their cumulative grade point average, to take particular courses and/or repeat courses. 

  • SAP Review Process

    All students who have received financial aid are reviewed for satisfactory academic progress at the end of the spring term. Students who apply for financial aid for the first time must have demonstrated earlier progress in order to receive financial aid.

  • Enrollment Requirements

    Students must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for financial aid.

    • Half-time enrollment for day students is six units
    • Half-time enrollment for evening and LLM students is four units
    • Students attending summer session must enroll in a minimum of two units to be considered for financial assistance
  • Maximum Time Frame to Complete Degree

    All courses must be completed and graduation requirements satisfactorily met within a five year period, commencing from first enrollment in the Law School through graduation from the Law School. For transfer students, the Five Year Rule includes any time spent at a law school from which advanced standing was awarded.

  • Repeat Coursework

    Law School students are not eligible to receive federal funds for any course he/she is repeating. If a student withdraws from a course with a notation of "W" on his/her record, and enrolls in the same course in a subsequent semester, that course is considered to be a repeated course for the purpose of determining financial aid. If this information is not ascertained until after financial aid awards are allocated, the federal funds may be returned to the original source or a student's financial aid award may be adjusted for the subsequent academic year.

  • Academic Probation

    A day or evening student who at the end of the Spring semester of the first year has achieved a cumulative grade point average of 2.23 or above, but below 2.33, shall be permitted to continue into the second year of studies on a probationary status.

    Reference should be made to section 4.7. for the policies and procedures of academic probation. Other relevant sections are 3.13. Academic Success Program, 1.1.3. Required Courses, 5.6. Grading Range, and 5.8. Repeating Courses; a summary of the rules and conditions is also reflected in Section 4.6., Grade Point Average Standards.

  • Academic Disqualification

    A student will be academically disqualified if his/her cumulative grade point average falls below 2.23 at the end of the Spring semester of the first year day or evening.

    A student will be academically disqualified if his/her cumulative grade point average falls below 2.33 at the end of the Spring semester of the second, third, fourth, or fifth year day or evening.

    If a student is disqualified for failure to maintain the required weighted cumulative grade point average, the Office of the Registrar shall send a notice of disqualification to such student. Such notice shall be sent to the most recent mailing and Law School e-mail address as shown on the student's record in the Office of the Registrar.

    The academic disqualification and date of such action will be reflected on the student’s permanent record (i.e., transcript).

    Disqualified students are ineligible for any Law School privileges and services. Privileges and services that will be revoked include, but are not limited to, e-mail account, network access, Student Identification Card, and Parking Card.

    Any student academically disqualified shall be excluded from further attendance, except as permitted by the Reinstatement Policies and Procedures. 

  • Leave of Absence and Withdrawals

    Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence from the Law School are entitled to a refund of tuition and mandatory fees in accordance with the schedule outlined in the Tuition Liability/Refund Policy.

    The Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to calculate a Return to Title IV Funds for all students who withdraw, are dismissed, take a leave of absence, or stop attending before completing the semester. The policy applies to all students who discontinue enrollment in all classes, on or after the first day of the semester. 

    Based on these federal guidelines, any student who receives federal financial aid and does not complete at least 60% of the semester could be responsible for repaying a portion of the aid they received. Students who do not begin attendance must repay all financial aid disbursed for the term. 

    Federal funds will be returned in the following order:

    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
    • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

    The Return of Title IV Funds policy is separate from the university’s refund policy. A student who withdraws from the university may be required to return unearned federal aid and still owe LMU for tuition and fees. For more information on Loyola Marymount University’s withdrawal policy, please contact LLS Students Accounts Office.