Financial Aid Policies

Overview of the policies related to Federal and Institutional Financial Aid.

The Financial Aid Policy Statement and Syracuse University Financial Aid Policies page outline the manner in which decisions about financial aid for law students are made. 

The Syracuse University Bulletin of Tuition and Fees and Bulletin of Related Policies provide information about program tuition rates, fees and policies. Consumer information is also linked below. 

Most Frequently Asked Policies:

This policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress relates specifically to law students who are receiving Federal Student Aid (including Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work Study). 

Federal regulations require that we monitor the academic progress of all law students who receive any type of federal financial aid, including Federal Direct Loans. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for recipients must be the same as or stricter than standards for non-Title IV recipients. All law students must also meet the academic standards described in the College of Law Academic Handbook.

Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as earning a minimum number of credits over a specific number of semesters and maintaining a minimum grade point average (GPA).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

  • J.D. students (full-time J.D. residential students, JDinteractive students, and reduced load, part-time J.D. students) must maintain a cumulative Law Grade Point Average of at least 2.50 to be considered in good standing. LL.M. students must maintain a 2.20 GPA to be considered in good standing.
  • Students must earn at least 67% of all credit hours attempted (cumulative, including transfer credits). Transfer courses are counted as both attempted and completed hours when measuring SAP (Pace) progress. Attempted credits include:
  1. Earned credit (grades of A-C-, and/or HH, H, P)           
  2. Repeated courses—both attempts
  3. Withdrawals (WD)
  4. Failures—Failed (F),Unsatisfactory (U)
  5. Incompletes
  6. All accepted transfer credits (including consortium agreements and Study Abroad courses) toward the degree program.
  • Law students must complete the degree program in a maximum time frame of no more than 150% of the average length of the program. For example, the credit hours required to complete the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Syracuse is 87 credits. The maximum time frame for degree completion is 131 attempted credit hours.

Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed every term. If a student fails to achieve satisfactory academic progress, the student will be placed on Warning status and may receive financial aid for one term only to provide an opportunity to regain eligibility. Should the student continue to fail satisfactory academic progress after this one term on Warning status, Syracuse University may not award and disburse future federal/private loan funds to the student.

Students who are readmitted to the program will be reviewed at the time of readmission or upon return from a leave of absence to determine if SAP standards are met. Students who do not meet SAP for the first time will be placed on ‘Warning’ status. Those who left while on Financial Aid Probation or SAP Failure will be placed in ‘Not Meets’ status and will not be eligible for federal aid until they are back in compliance.

Regaining Eligibility

Students may regain financial aid eligibility by enrolling in and completing sufficient credits and achieving and maintain the required academic and grading standards described in the above policy without the benefit of federal financial aid.

SAP Appeal Process

Any student who falls below the standard to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress may submit a written petition to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards Committee (in care of the College of Law Office of Financial Aid, Suite 100, Dineen Hall) to initiate an appeal for a waiver. The appeal must address the reasons for the student’s academic performance or circumstances that necessitated withdrawal from classes as well as the resources and plan for progress moving forward rather than the need for financial assistance.

Financial Aid Probation

Students whose petitions are approved by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards Committee will be considered for a financial aid waiver and placed on financial aid probation for one semester. Students must adhere to the requirements of the academic plan set by the Academic Standards Committee and/or the Office of Student Affairs. Students who meet SAP requirements will be eligible to receive financial aid in the subsequent semester.

Students repeating classes need to be aware of the impact repeating classes may have on their federal financial aid in addition to Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements of meeting pace. Repeated courses can be funded with federal aid if the student has not passed the course previously while attending Syracuse University College of Law. All attempts are counted in the overall review. Only one repeated course can be funded with federal aid if the student has previously passed the course. Both attempts are counted toward attempted however only one passed course is counted towards the total earned.

Students with questions are encouraged to contact the College of Law Office of Financial Aid at (315) 443-1962 or

Law students must complete all degree requirements within the ABA required time frame of seven years of their start date, regardless of part-time status, leaves of absence, failed courses, repeated courses or other delays.

  • Students should arrive on campus with funds for books, living expenses, and miscellaneous expenses.
  • To renew financial aid awards, students must annually file required applications by the posted deadline. For more information, view your MySlice To Do List.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the full registration is on record with the Registrar.
  • A student receiving financial aid agrees to the following:
    • Federal and/or state financial aid will be used only to pay the cost of attending an institution of higher education.
    • Are not in default on a federal student loan or have made satisfactory arrangements to pay it.
    • Do not owe money back on a federal student grant or have made satisfactory arrangements to repay it.
    • Will notify SU if he/she defaults on a federal student loan.
    • If requested, will provide information that will verify the accuracy of completed financial aid forms.
    • The Secretary of Education has the authority to verify information reported on a student’s application with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal agencies.
    • If a student purposely gives false or misleading information, he/she may be fined $20,000, sent to prison, or both.
    • Comply with the Code of Student Conduct  and Academic Integrity  standards.

  • Financial aid is disbursed at the beginning of each term you are enrolled in. You may refer to MySlice for award amounts.
  • Summer financial aid for graduate and law students will disburse at the beginning of the summer enrollment period.
  • Awards will not be disbursed if there are outstanding requests for additional information or if other requirements are not met.
  • Financial aid that has been disbursed will appear as a credit on the student’s Bursar bill.
  • Federal and University financial aid will disburse to the student’s Bursar account when all financial aid and admissions requirements are met, including receipt of official degree-bearing transcripts.
  • Disbursement of institutional funds may be rescinded should a student fail to comply with the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity standards.

Mid Semester Withdrawal : Federal financial aid (Title IV funds) and institutional aid for students who withdraw from the University before the semester ends is adjusted according to Department of Education and Syracuse University policy. Title IV funds include the Federal Direct Student, Parent and Graduate PLUS loans, FSEOG, Federal Pell Grant, and TEACH Grants. Title IV aid received is based on the number of days students are enrolled for the semester. Prior to the 60 percent point of the semester, students may receive Title IV funds in proportion to the length of time they are enrolled. A student who withdraws before the 60% point may have their Title IV aid reduced. Students who remain enrolled beyond the 60% point may receive all Title IV aid for the semester. Adjustments to Institutional Scholarships and Grants are awarded according to institutional policy. Students who withdraw before the semester ends may either lose their institutional scholarships and grants or have their institutional aid prorated. Scholarships and grants are awarded on the basis of full-time enrollment for the full semester.

Withdrawal From a Module Course: At Syracuse University we monitor students’ enrolled in a series of modules to ensure full eligibility for Title IV aid based on cost of attendance and enrollment status. Should a student withdraw from module classes, we are required to determine the student’s eligibility for earned federal financial aid based on a student’s date of withdrawal. The R2T4 calculation is used to determine the amount of federal funds the student has earned based on the number of days in the enrollment period and the number of days the student actually attended. In some cases, these students may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV Funds. The school must obtain written confirmation from the student at the time of the withdrawal from the course that he or she will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment. If the student does not enroll or submit confirmation the student will be considered withdrawn.

Click here for more information on the Return of Title IV Funds.