Federal Aid Eligibility Requirements

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for federal student aid. Eligibility is established by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov (SCU school code 001326) and meeting the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form stating that:
    • You are not in default on a federal student loan;
    • You do not owe money on a federal student grant, and
    • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • Show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by
    • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate;
    • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law); or
    • Enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the “ability-to-benefit” alternatives described below.

Additional eligibility requirements can apply in certain situations including for non-U.S. citizens, students with criminal convictions, and students with intellectual disabilities. For more information visit studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility/.


Staying Eligible

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible for federal student aid, students must make satisfactory academic progress. A determination of satisfactory academic progress for continued federal student aid eligibility is distinct from a determination of academic good standing (which only requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.33 or above at the end of each academic year) as described in the Academic Policies section of the Student Bulletin.

To demonstrate they are making satisfactory academic progress for continued federal student aid eligibility students must meet both a quantitative (time-based) and qualitative (grade-based) standard. Students will be evaluated by the pace at which they are progressing through the program to ensure they will graduate within the maximum timeframe allowed, by their credit hour completion rate, and by their cumulative grade point average (GPA). Students enrolled in joint degree programs including the J.D./MBA, J.D./MSIS and J.D./LL.M Program must make satisfactory academic progress as defined for those programs.

Satisfactory academic progress is required to retain eligibility for all federal student aid programs including the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program (Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans), and Federal Work-Study.

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress, including those students who are readmitted following academic disqualification, are not eligible for federal student aid. Students may appeal that result based on injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances. The appeal must explain why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in their situation that will allow them to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.

There are additional requirements to reestablish federal student aid eligibility. Appeals will be reviewed by the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office and may be denied or approved. For the complete federal student aid satisfactory academic progress policy and appeal process, please review our full Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Regaining Eligibility

Students who lose their financial aid eligibility due to failure to meet the satisfactory academic progress may appeal their status. Students who wish to appeal their financial aid ineligibility must complete and submit the following:

  1. Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal – available on our website
  2. An attached statement describing the specific reason(s) beyond your control (events and/or circumstances) that directly contributed to the lack of meeting the satisfactory academic progress requirements and the steps you are taking to make sure you are successful.
  3. Any documentation to support your appeal

Once the completed appeal is received, the information will be reviewed by the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office. Based upon the documentation submitted, the Law Admissions and Financial Aid Office will approve or deny the appeal. Students will be notified of the decision by email no later than two weeks after the completed appeal is received.

For the complete federal student aid satisfactory academic progress policy and appeal process, please review our full Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.