Note: This section discusses satisfactory academic progress only as it relates to financial aid eligibility. Official law school policy regarding satisfactory academic progress can be found in Southwestern's Student Handbook.
Full-Time Division: Federal financial aid recipients enrolled in this division are expected to complete the requirements for the J.D. degree in three years. One additional year may be granted upon a showing of good cause. However, unless granted a leave of absence, the student must remain enrolled in sufficient units to meet minimum American Bar Association (ABA) residency requirements for full-time student status (10 units per semester). If a student enrolls in fewer than the units required to maintain full-time residency, that student will be classified as a part-time student for the purposes of determining eligibility for federal financial aid.
Part-Time Division: Federal financial aid recipients enrolled as part-time students are expected to complete the requirements of the J.D. degree in four years. One additional year may be granted upon a showing of good cause. However, unless granted a leave of absence, the student must remain enrolled in the minimum number of units to maintain part-time status under the ABA residency rules (eight units per semester). Should a student fail to maintain this minimum enrollment, federal financial aid may be denied.
SCALE®: SCALE students receiving federal financial aid must complete requirements for the J.D. degree in two years. However, if a student transfers from SCALE to the full-time program, that student may be granted one additional year. Two additional years may be granted if the student transfers to the part-time division from SCALE. If otherwise eligible, the student will retain federal financial aid eligibility throughout this time.
Course Incompletion: A grade of Incomplete may be awarded only when substantially all of the work in the course has been satisfactorily completed and a time for completing the remaining work has been fixed and approved by the instructor. A grade of Incomplete may have an effect on federal financial aid eligibility and the Financial Aid Office should be contacted immediately.
Course Withdrawal: No course of action will be taken if a student withdraws from a course but remains enrolled in sufficient units to remain classified within their division for that semester (e.g. full-time or half-time) under the American Bar Association residency rules. However, if a course withdrawal results in a student falling below minimum residency requirements for the student's division, financial aid may be recalculated, and lenders may be notified.
Course Repetition: Repetition of a course is allowed only with the approval of an academic dean. Credits taken for a repeated course will not count toward course load in regards to federal financial aid eligibility (i.e. financial aid may not apply toward these classes). The student should contact the Financial Aid Office to determine the effect on financial aid.
Withdrawal from School: Any student considering withdrawal, permanent transfer or a semester at another law school is encouraged to seek assistance and counseling about these matters from the Financial Aid Office. A student who receives a Federal Stafford or Private Loan is required to contact the lender immediately upon withdrawal or transfer to another institution.
Leave of Absence: A leave of absence is generally granted only to students who have successfully completed their first year of study. A student is not eligible for federal financial aid during a leave of absence, but may be reinstated upon re-enrollment in the law school, if otherwise eligible. Students who fail to return from a leave of absence will be considered withdrawn from the last date of attendance.
Probation: Students on academic probation who use Federal Work-Study funds may continue to work but should seek guidance from the Dean of Students.
Students wishing to petition regarding financial aid award changes resulting from probation may do so through the regular petitioning/appeal process.
Disqualification: A student who has been academically disqualified from Southwestern will lose financial aid eligibility at Southwestern.