Satisfactory Academic Progress

This section discusses Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) only as it relates to federal financial aid eligibility. The federal statute outlines SAP as a set of qualitative and quantitative standards that require students to maintain an academic standing that is consistent with the school's policy on progress toward graduation requirements.  The Department of Education requires that students be enrolled in qualifying programs and make Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive federal financial aid. These measures include minimum GPA (qualitative) requirements and maximum time frame (quantitative) in which a student must complete their education program.

Qualitative (GPA) and Quantitative Measures (Maximum Time Frame)

Qualitative Standard (GPA): 2.3 

  • For more information for the Chicago-Kent College of Law please see the Student Handbook.

Quantitative Standard (Maximum Time Frame): complete at least 57% of attempted credits each semester, and finish the JD program within the maximum timeframe (7 years).

More than qualitative standards are needed to accurately measure a student's progress in a program. SAP policies must also include a quantitative measure to determine the percentage of courses/credit hours completed each semester. For information regarding time to complete your degree, please see the following:

  • For more information for the Chicago-Kent College of Law please see the Student Handbook.

Evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress

All DTC students are evaluated for SAP at the end of each semester, including summer.  The Office of Financial Aid will place students on "financial aid warning" or "financial aid probation" if the SAP requirements are not met. These requirements apply to part-time as well as to full-time students for all terms of enrollment within an academic year, including those terms for which no financial aid is received.

The rules defining Warning and Probationary Periods (contingent upon an Appeal) are described in the chart below:

  Financial Aid Warning Period/Semester Financial Aid Probation Period/Semester
Definition The initial status assigned to a semester when a student fails to meet SAP requirements during the previous semester. A status assigned when a student fails to meet SAP requirements after a Financial Aid Warning semester.
Required Student Action None *File an Appeal with the Office of Academic Administration and Student Affairs.
Eligible for Federal Aid Yes, the student Is eligible for aid during the Financial Aid Warning semester. No, unless the student has submitted an Appeal and the Appeal is approved.

**At the end of the Financial Aid Probation semester, the student must be meeting the requirements of SAP. If the student is not meeting SAP requirements, but is successfully following an established academic plan, the student would continue to be eligible for aid.

Additional SAP Components

All coursework attempted, including repeat, withdrawn and incomplete courses, that are on the students' academic record at the time of the progress check, is considered when determining if the student meets satisfactory academic progress standards.

1.)   Incomplete & Withdrawal Grades- Quantitative Impact: Withdrawn and incomplete grades are counted as attempted, but not completed. Qualitative Impact: Withdrawal grades are not counted towards the students GPA.  Incomplete grades count towards the GPA once the grades are posted. Once the incomplete grade has been changed to a letter grade it will be included in the qualitative SAP evaluation that occurs at the completion of the term. 

2.)   Change in Course of Study- If a student reaches his maximum timeframe for SAP purposes because of a change of major or he is pursuing more than one degree, the student will be allowed to appeal to request an  extension of the time needed to complete the program(s).

3.)   Nonstandard Courses- Quantitative Impact: Pass/Fail  courses count toward the student program requirements but audit courses do not.  Qualitative Impact: Classes taken as Pass/Fail and audited courses have no effect on the GPA.

4.)   Repeat Courses-   Qualitative Impact: If a student repeats a course in which an E or WE was received, the student's cumulative GPA will include both the E or WE grade and the grade received on repeat. A student may not repeat a course in which the grade of D- or higher was received. Quantitative Impact: Repeat courses are included as attempted credits.

5.)   Transfer Courses-   Qualitative Impact: Transfer credits are not counted towards the students' GPA. Quantitative Impact: Transfer credits are counted towards a students attempted and completed courses.

Financial Aid Disbursements

Financial Aid disbursements for the following term are held for students that are currently on Warning and Probation Periods. The Office of Financial Aid will hold disbursements until verifications are received announcing the students (SAP) status.

*Appeal Procedure
Students may appeal a financial aid denial if extenuating circumstances exist (e.g., serious illness, hospitalization, death of a family member, etc.), which negatively affected the student's ability to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. A signed, written appeal must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of Academic Administration and Student Affairs (Chicago-Kent).  Students must describe the reasons why their SAP requirements were not met and how they plan to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next semester. Financial Aid appeals must include all relevant supporting documentation that a student desires to be considered (e.g., hospital records, doctor's note, etc.).

The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee will meet as needed to evaluate any appeals. Decisions on appeals will be communicated by a letter mailed to the student's address on file with Illinois Institute of Technology (DTC). Decisions will be mailed out within two weeks from the time an appeals decision is made. All appeal decisions are final.

If an appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester.   At the end of the probationary semester, academic performance will be reevaluated. At that time, the student must meet the conditions for Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to continue receiving financial aid.

**Academic Plan

Students may be placed on an Academic Plan once their Appeal has been approved. If it is mathematically impossible for a student to resolve all deficiencies during one term of attendance and the student's reason for appeal is valid, the student may be placed on an Academic Plan with the end goal being to resolve all deficiencies. An Academic Plan varies in length and is determined by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee. It does not have to equate to the exact number of terms it would take a student to resolve all deficiencies. An Academic Plan may be extended contingent upon the student meeting the requirements of the Academic Plan.