SAP Policy for College of Law Students


As required by federal regulations, the University of Kentucky must evaluate and determine whether students meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to receive aid through federal and state and certain institutional financial aid programs. SAP requirements are comprised of qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame measures, and the      standards are required to be as strict as or stricter than the College of Law academic policies.

SAP evaluation for Law students occurs at the conclusion of the summer term. The student’s entire academic history must be considered when determining SAP status irrespective of whether the student received financial aid.

Requirements of the SAP Policy:

Qualitative (Grade Point Average)

The qualitative component measures the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). Only grades that carry quality points are used to calculate a student’s GPA. To meet the qualitative requirement, students who matriculated prior to fall 2020 must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0. Law students who matriculated fall 2020 or after must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.2.

(Specific external and institutional scholarships, and assistantships may require a different GPA    for continued eligibility. Students should refer to the terms and conditions of these awards specified at the time of original offer.)

Quantitative Measure (Calculating Pace or Completion Ratio)

The quantitative component corresponds to the pace at which the student must progress through the program of study. This evaluation is to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe permitted and provides for the measurement of the student’s progress at the end of each period of enrollment. Pace or completion ratio is calculated by determining the cumulative number of credit hours the student has successfully completed divided by the number of cumulative credit hours the student has attempted.

To meet the quantitative requirement, the student’s completion ratio must be 66.7% or higher. To determine the completion ratio percentage, earned credit hours are divided by attempted credit hours.

Maximum Time Frame Measure

The maximum timeframe is determined in accordance with the requirements of the American Bar Association, the accrediting body of the College of Law.  The maximum timeframe is a period of no longer than four years beyond the expected duration to complete the degree. Law students must complete the Juris Doctor Degree within the maximum time period from matriculation, including any leaves of absence approved by the Law Faculty Academic Status Committee.



Expected Duration

Maximum Duration

Juris Doctor

3 years

7 years

College of Law Academic Policy Requirements

In addition to the three measures referenced above to determine a student’s SAP, students must meet the College of Law minimum academic standards.

Students whose admission is reinstated by the Law Faculty Academic Status Committee after being academically suspended from the College of Law do not automatically  gain financial aid eligibility reinstatement. For consideration of financial aid eligibility reinstatement, academically suspended students whose admission has been reinstated must follow the SAP Appeal procedures and deadlines prescribed below.

Treatment of Audited Courses

Because audited courses are not credits counted towards completion of the student’s degree and students cannot receive financial aid for these, they are not evaluated for SAP.

Treatment of Pre-requisite Courses

Pre-requisites or preparatory courses are those which a student must complete to meet admission requirements into a degree program but do not count toward the student’s degree requirements.  

Treatment of Repeated Courses

If the student repeats a course, those credits are counted when calculating the quantitative and  maximum timeframe measures.

(Courses that a student repeats may be included when determining a student’s enrollment status for Title IV-federal student aid purposes as long as it is not a result of 1) more than one repetition  of a previously passed course, or 2) any repetition of a previously passed course due to the student failing other coursework. This rule is not related to SAP requirements but is a general financial aid eligibility requirement.)

Treatment of Courses Transferred In

Transfer credits that apply to a JD degree are not counted in the calculation of the student’s GPA and therefore are not included in the qualitative measure.

Effect of Dropping or Never Attending Courses

Courses a student registers for but drops prior to the end of drop period are not included in the calculation of SAP. Courses in which the student registers but never attends (i.e., assigned a grade “N”) are not included in the calculation of SAP.

Effect of Withdrawn Courses

Credits for withdrawn courses (i.e., assigned a grade “W”) are counted as attempted credit hours in the quantitative and maximum timeframe measures but are not counted in the qualitative measure.

Effect of Incomplete Grades

Credits for incomplete courses are counted as attempted credit hours in the quantitative and maximum timeframe measures but are not counted in the qualitative measure.

SAP Definitions:

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

SAP is the term used to define successful completion of degree requirements to maintain eligibility for federal and state financial aid.

Financial Aid Probation

Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who fails to make SAP and who has successfully appealed. A student who is placed on Financial Aid Probation may receive financial aid for one subsequent payment period. A student assigned a Financial Aid Probation status will be placed on a Financial Aid Academic Plan and is required to sign a Financial Aid Academic Probation Agreement. At the conclusion of the SAP Academic Probation payment period, the student must either meet the SAP standards or fulfill the requirements specified in the Financial Aid Academic Plan to receive financial aid for a subsequent payment period.

Financial Aid Academic Plan

If the student fails to meet SAP standards or the requirements set forth in the Financial Aid Academic Plan, the student is deemed ineligible for financial aid, but may appeal again for a future payment period by published deadlines.

Continued Financial Aid Probation

Continued Financial Aid Probation status is assigned to a student who was placed on Financial Aid Probation during the previous semester/term and at the end of the semester/term did not meet the standards of SAP but met the conditions of the Financial Aid Academic Plan.

SAP Appeal Procedures:

If a student fails one or more of the three measures (qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame) or is placed on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension, the student is not eligible for federal and state financial aid including grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Students failing SAP standards who have had mitigating circumstances (e.g., death in the family, illness, involuntary military leave), however, may request reinstatement of their financial aid eligibility by submitting their SAP Appeal and supporting documentation by the published Satisfactory Academic Progress deadlines. Students who are identified as not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards are sent an email informing them of their ineligibility and are provided a link in which they can securely create their appeal and submit supporting documentation. The link is also available in the student’s myUK portal.

The appeal, which must be typed, includes the following student requirements:

  1. A completed and valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline dates specified below.
  2. Detailed explanation for failure to meet SAP standards for each applicable payment period the student failed to perform satisfactorily.
  3. Documentation to support the reason for failure or justification for why documentation cannot be provided.
  4. Detailed explanation of what has changed that will now allow the student to comply with SAP standards, and, when warranted, a statement of academic objectives, corrective action plan, and/or plan of study indicating which courses apply to the degree and which courses remain to complete the program of study.

SAP Appeal Deadlines:

2023 Fall Semester – Friday, August 25, 2023 (last day to add a course)

2024 Spring Semester – Friday, January 12, 2024 (last day to add a course)

2024 Summer Term – Sunday, June 30, 2024

SAP Appeals Committee and Decision:

Students will be notified by email of the decision of the SAP Appeals Committee. The decision of the SAP Appeals Committee is final; however, the student may appeal again by  the published deadlines for a future payment period.

SAP Notification:

Students are notified of their ineligibility for financial aid due to SAP and the decision of their appeal by email. Students may also refer to their myUK account to check the status of SAP and/or decision of the SAP appeal.

Viewing SAP Appeal Decisions via myUK Portal: Login to myUK.

Select Financials, then Financial Aid.

Select academic year 2023-24 to view fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 SAP statuses.

Re-establishing Financial Aid Eligibility:

A student who has a change made to his or her academic transcript (i.e., grade change) during the semester in which the student is ineligible, may request a re-evaluation of SAP.

Students who are ineligible because they do not meet SAP requirements shall be re-evaluated at the conclusion of each semester/term in which they enroll to determine whether they have re-established financial aid eligibility.