Federal regulations require the Law School to establish and apply reasonable standards of satisfactory progress for the purpose of the receipt of financial assistance under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The law requires institutions to develop policies regarding satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Each institution must design criteria, which outlines the definition of student progress towards a degree and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved. New England Law students who wish to be considered for financial aid must maintain satisfactory progress in their selected course of study as set forth in this policy. The Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress apply to all financial assistance programs including Federal Direct Loans (Stafford and Graduate PLUS) and Federal Work-Study. SAP standards apply to all degree candidates.
A. Satisfactory Academic Progress–New England Law | Boston Policy
The satisfactory academic progress of a student will be reviewed annually based on the following standards:
- Qualitative Standard: For qualitative purposes, SAP requires students to meet requirements as outlined in the Student Handbook. Students who fail to meet this standard will not be awarded federal aid until they meet these requirements.
- Quantitative Standard: Each semester, a student's academic progress will be measured by comparing the number of attempted credit hours with the actual number of credit hours earned (i.e., received a grade of A, B, C, or D). Students must successfully complete a minimum of 67% of the credits that they attempt each semester.
- Maximum Time Frame Standard: Students are not eligible to receive financial aid once they have exceeded the fifth year of enrollment for Full Time students or the sixth year of enrollment for Part Time study.
Important Considerations: The following are considered when evaluating a student's satisfactory academic progress:
- Withdrawals, incompletes, and failures (W, I, Fs) are considered attempted but not earned hours.
- Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
- Repeated courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
- Transfer credits, completed with a minimum grade of C or its equivalent, including those received during consortium study, are considered earned credits.
- Cumulative totals include all periods of the student’s enrollment including periods of enrollment when the student did not receive aid.
In the event that a student fails to meet any of the above criteria at the end of an academic year, the student is considered ineligible for federal financial aid going forward. A student has the right to appeal their ineligible status.
B. Right of Appeal
In order to regain federal financial aid eligibility for the next semester enrolled, a student can petition to have their status changed from “financial aid ineligible” status to “financial aid probation” status by submitting an appeal. Approval of a financial aid appeal will be based on extenuating circumstances outside the normal school activities that have an impact on the individual student’s ability to achieve the minimum standards of SAP.
A Financial Aid Appeal includes a completed appeal cover sheet and the following items:
- A typed statement regarding the circumstances that caused the student’s failure to meet Financial Aid SAP standards including documentation if relevant. Circumstances may include, but are not limited to, illness of the student or close family member, death of a relative, divorce, or other personal problems or issues. Other circumstances may be considered if they are determined to have caused physical or psychological stress on the student. A description of changes or resolution of the described circumstances should be included.
- An Academic Success Plan developed with the Associate Dean or Director of Student Services. The plan should include clear and specific semester goals to aid in the determination of whether there is continued progress at the close of each semester.
Each situation is reviewed, based on the written appeal, on a case-by-case basis.
The appeal and all supporting documents will be saved in the student’s file. If the student’s appeal and academic plan are approved, the student will be on “financial aid probation” status for the next semester enrolled, with federal financial aid eligibility.
C. Re-Establishing Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students may re-establish SAP once they reach the minimum standards stated in Section A. Until such time, students may only retain federal financial aid eligibility by meeting the requirements of an approved appeal. If students fail to meet one or more of the SAP standards at the end of the probation semester, or fail to meet the semester goals as stated in their academic plan, they will be in “financial aid ineligible” status until they meet the SAP standards or submit a new appeal and academic plan and have them approved. Students in good academic standing may continue to attend New England Law without the assistance of federal funding.