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Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Policy for Law Student Financial Aid Applicants

Federal regulations (General Provision CFR 668.34) require that students at Case Western Reserve University maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to retain eligibility for Federal and institutional aid consideration. CWRU reviews the academic progress of all students who apply for and/or receive financial assistance at the end of each term of enrollment, including summer session.

Satisfactory academic progress comprises three components: a student must complete the degree within a specified period (maximum time frame); earn a minimum number of credit hours each term of attempted enrollment (quantitative requirement); and achieve a grade point average that is consistent with graduation requirements (qualitative requirement). These standards apply to all financial aid applicants, whether a previous aid recipient or not.

This policy on satisfactory academic progress relates to law school students who apply for and/or receive Federal financial aid.

Financial Aid Programs

Federal Programs
Federal Work Study
Unsubsidized Direct Loans
Graduate PLUS Loan

Institutional Programs
Law School Scholarships

Evaluation Criteria

Courses with grades of “F” (failure), “I” (incomplete), “NC” (no credit), “W” (withdrawal), “WF” (withdrawal failure) and “WD” (withdrawal from all classes) are counted as courses attempted but not earned and count toward the maximum time frame. Transfer credit hours (accepted for the student’s academic program or degree) are counted as credit hours attempted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree but do not impact the cumulative grade point average. Any term in which a student has enrolled and earned zero credit hours, will be included in the evaluation of hours attempted and hours earned for completion rate. All instances of repeated coursework will be factored into the calculation of the completion rate. Courses graded on a Pass/Fail basis will be included in the calculation of completion rate but not the grade point average. Financial assistance is not offered for audited courses and those hours will not be considered in the Satisfactory Academic Progress review.

The University Financial Aid Office will NOT automatically adjust a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress status when grades are changed, but the office will review upon request from the student. The grades must be available in the Student Information System before the review will be conducted. For any grade change (for example a prior Incomplete grade has been assigned a traditional letter grade), the student is responsible for notifying the University Office of Financial Aid of such a change and requesting a review of the Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation. This review is not an appeal and may not result in eligibility for additional student assistance.

Maximum Time Frame

A student must complete his/her degree within 150% of the published length of the program. This means that the student’s attempted hours at Case Western Reserve University and accepted transfer credit hours cannot exceed 150% of the credit hours required for completion of the degree sought at CWRU. The maximum time frame is measured in semesters. There are no appeals to the maximum time frame requirement. For dual degree or combined degree candidates the maximum time frame is based on the published program length associated for the combined program or degrees.

Credits counted in the maximum time frame include all attempted credits, including those taken during terms when the student is not receiving financial assistance. Attempted credits include earned credits, all attempts of repeated courses, all withdrawals, all failures, all incompletes, and all accepted transfer credits, including consortium agreement, Study Abroad, and cross-registration courses counted toward the degree.

Completion Rate

Satisfactory academic progress requires a law student to successfully complete at least 10 of the credit hours attempted with a term grade point average of 2.325 or higher to demonstrate steady progress toward degree completion. Accepted transfer hours are calculated as hours successfully attempted and completed.

Grade Point Average and Academic Standing

Students academically separated from the University are automatically not meeting the University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Otherwise, a student’s grade point average must be at least 2.325 after each term of attempted enrollment consistent with the Academic Standing Regulations of the School of Law. Transfer credits are not included in the calculation of the grade point average.

Failure to Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who fail to meet one or more requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified by email and postal mail by the Academic Dean’s Office and will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester of enrollment. During the semester of Financial Aid Warning, a student will receive all federal and institutional funding for which he/she has applied and is otherwise eligible. Consecutive semesters of Financial Aid Warning are not permitted. If the student was on Financial Aid Warning and does not return to good academic standing by the end of that semester, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

Students who fail to meet one or more requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress and good academic standing by the end of the term of Financial Aid Warning and Academic Probation will be notified by e-mail and postal mail of their status by the Academic Dean’s Office and will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the next semester of enrollment. In most instances, the student will be academically dismissed from the School of Law.

Appeal Process

Students who fail to meet one or more requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress after one semester of academic probation will be dismissed from the Law School. The student may not submit an appeal.

Academic Plan

Students with a significant credit hour deficit or very low grade point average and all students returning from Academic Separation should meet with the Academic Dean of the Law School to develop an Academic Plan that will permit the student to retain financial assistance for more than one semester. Academic Plan Forms are available through the Director of the Academic and Writing Support Program at the law School. An Academic Plan provides a specific listing of the credit hours the student will take in subsequent semesters to fulfill all degree requirements within the 150% timeframe upon satisfactory completion of all courses attempted and become compliant with all Satisfactory Academic Progress standards. Students who meet the requirements of the Academic Plan during the Satisfactory Academic Progress review conducted at the conclusion of each term will retain eligibility for Federal and institutional financial assistance for the next term of enrollment. An Academic Plan may extend for a maximum of four (4) semesters.

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