Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations (Sections 668.16(e).668.32(f) and 668.34) and Law School policies require that schools monitor the academic progress of each applicant receiving financial assistance and that the school certify the applicant is making satisfactory academic progress (SAP). Financial aid eligibility is based on SAP standards established by the University, pursuant to federal law, to ensure all financial aid recipients progress towards degree completion. All students who receive University, State, private and/or Federal aid must meet criteria in this policy.

Students that have not completed at least 67% of their attempted units and/or have exceeded maximum units to complete graduate degree are at risk of losing their financial assistance eligibility.

To obtain financial aid funding and to retain financial aid eligibility, students must maintain SAP as defined by their program of study. The Office of Financial Assistance will monitor maximum time frame, qualitative and quantitative (pace) standards for law students after the end of each term.

SAP Requirements: Students meet SAP requirements by satisfying the following conditions:

a.    meet the minimum grade point average of 2.3 required by the program

b.    complete all degree requirements within 150% of the maximum time frame described in the Academic Catalog and measured in attempted credit

c.    successfully complete at least 67% of attempted units on a cumulative basis

Repeated Courses: Students must repeat courses for which they fail to earn a passing grade. Students who wish to repeat a course(s) completed with a passing grade can use federal aid for only one repeat of each course. All repeated courses are included in the calculation of attempted units.

Withdrawal from Courses: Grades of W are counted toward the maximum time frame (“W”– withdrawal in good standing, “WM”-withdrawal military in good standing. All “W”s will be calculated as attempted units and could affect the quantitative area of SAP.

Qualitative Standard: All Law students must maintain a cumulative 2.3 grade point average. Students must complete a minimum of 67% of their attempted units.

Quantitative Standard (Pace): Students must complete their law degree within 150% of the maximum time frame described in the Academic Catalog and measured in attempted units for their specific program.

Audited Courses: Students do not earn any academic credits for audited courses. These courses are not included in the calculation of attempted units.

Pass/Fail Courses: These hours will be included in the total of attempted and earned hours.

Information or changes in the registration of any student receiving veterans’ benefits will be forwarded to the Veterans Administration whenever such changes occur.

SAP Evaluation Timeline: Academic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester.

SAP Warning: Students who fail to meet SAP for the first time (excluding students above 150% attempted units for their program) will be placed in a Warning Status for the following semester. The Financial Aid Office notifies students by Pepperdine email account. Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of Warning Status will be placed on financial aid suspension.

SAP Suspension: Students who do not meet the terms of the academic plan, the cumulative grade point average standard, and/or the unit progression requirement will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension (FAS). Students on FAS are not eligible to receive financial assistance and all aid will be cancelled for future semesters until the student has regained SAP. Students that qualify may receive an alternative or private loan to cover the cost or pay out of pocket if allowed to re-enroll while on FAS.

SAP Appeal and Probation: Students who are declared ineligible to receive aid (placed on financial aid suspension) for not maintaining SAP will not receive any financial aid in subsequent terms and will be notified promptly via Pepperdine email. If special circumstances exist which caused a student to fail to meet one of the standards, a written appeal may be submitted. Specific instructions for submitting an appeal will be included in the email notifications. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to: death, of an immediate family member, injury or medical condition of the student, or other circumstances. The appeal should address and document these special circumstances and describe how circumstances have changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP progress at the next evaluation. The student will be notified via Pepperdine email of the decision to approve or deny financial aid eligibility. Appeals must be submitted to the Office of Financial Assistance and must include the Appeal Form located in the office and support documentation. Incomplete appeals or those missing adequate support documentation will not be reviewed.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility: Students who are not meeting SAP standards but have successfully appealed will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and have their eligibility reinstated, subject to available funds. The probation is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic or disciplinary probation policies for other scholarships with the University.The Office of Financial Assistance will evaluate the student’s academic progress at the end of each term, when applicable, as determined in the approved appeal. Students who are on Financial Aid Probation are expected to follow the SAP plan and meet the term units and GPA requirement.