Students should refer to the Wake Forest University School of Law Student Handbook for detailed information regarding all School of Law policies.
Cost of Attendance
The Law School Financial Aid Office establishes the annual Cost of Attendance (COA) budget in accordance with federal aid regulations. The COA is based on the 9-month standard academic year and includes direct expenses such as tuition and fees as well as indirect living expenses. Students who enroll at least half-time in the summer term will have their standard COA increased to include the summer period of enrollment. The COA is the maximum amount of financial aid students may receive for their period of enrollment.
Cost of living allowances in the COA are determined based on student surveys of average costs and other public research data. In limited circumstances, the Law School Financial Aid Office may approve an increase to the COA. Examples of expenses that may be approved include dependent care expenses, unexpected medical bills or disability-related expenses, and one-time computer purchases. Third-year JD students and LLM students can request the bar exam fee be added to their COA one time only if the cost is incurred while the student is enrolled. All requests are reviewed on an individual basis and documentation is required. Requests for increases to housing and other costs already included in the COA will not be approved except in extraordinary circumstances.
All Federal Direct Loan borrowers are required to complete exit counseling upon graduating, withdrawing, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Exit counseling can be completed online at StudentAid.gov. For more information, please review the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide.
Recipients of additional aid from any source which is not included on the financial aid letter must notify the Law School Financial Aid Office of receipt. The total amount of all sources of financial aid may not exceed the Cost of Attendance.
Return of Title IV Program Funds Policy
The 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 (Section 484B), and subsequent regulations issued by the United States Department of Education (34 CFR 668.22), establish a policy for the return of Title IV grant and loan funds for a recipient who withdraws. Wake Forest University does not have a leave of absence policy that would either exempt any student from the requirements of the Return of Title IV Funds policy or extend federal student loan deferment benefits. Title IV funds subject to return include the following aid programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), and Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
The percentage of the payment period completed is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days comprising the payment period (excluding breaks of five or more consecutive days) into the number of calendar days completed. The percentage of Title IV grant and loan funds earned is: (1) up through the 60% point in time, the percentage of the term completed, (2) after the 60% point in time, 100%.
The amount of Title IV grant and loan funds unearned is the complement of the percentage of earned Title IV funds applied to the total amount of Title IV funds disbursed (including funds that were not disbursed but could have been disbursed).
If the amount earned is less than the amount disbursed, the difference is returned to the Title IV programs. If the amount earned is greater than the amount disbursed, the difference is treated as a late disbursement in accordance with the federal rules for late disbursements.
A student who completes all the requirements for graduation from his or her academic program before completing the days in the payment period that he or she was scheduled to complete is not considered to have withdrawn.
In a program offered in modules, a student is not considered to have withdrawn if the student successfully completes:
i. one module that includes 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period, excluding scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days and all days between modules;
ii. a combination of modules that when combined contain 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period, excluding scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days and all days between modules; or
iii. coursework equal to or greater than the coursework required for definition of a half-time student for the payment period.
Successful completion of a module requires that the student receive at least one passing grade for that module. Successful completion of coursework equal to or greater than the coursework necessary for half-time enrollment requires that the student receive a passing grade in a sufficient number of credits to comprise half-time enrollment status for the payment period.
Institutional charges include tuition and required fees. When calculating the return of Title IV funds, the University is required to first apply federal aid toward institutional charges, regardless of any non-federal aid received.
Unearned funds, up to the amount of total institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds, are returned by the University; the return of Title IV funds may be rounded to the nearest dollar for each aid source. The student returns any portion of unearned funds not returned by the University.
A student repays the calculated amount attributable to a Title IV loan program according to the loan’s terms. If repayment of grant funds by the student is required, only 50% of the unearned amount must be repaid. A student repays a Title IV grant program subject to repayment arrangements satisfactory to the University or the Secretary of Education’s overpayment collection procedures.
Funds returned are credited in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education Grants, and other Title IV funds for which a return of funds is required.
The Financial Aid Office calculates the amount of unearned Title IV grant and loan funds and can provide an example of the application of this federal policy as well as the relevant section of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 668.22).
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Section One: Policy for Federal Financial Aid
Federal regulation requires that students maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree for continued eligibility for federal student aid. The standards of academic progress outlined here are for the purpose of evaluating eligibility to continue receiving financial aid. They do not replace or modify academic standards required for continued enrollment at Wake Forest University. The standards for financial aid eligibility are as strict as, or stricter than, the standards required for continued enrollment.
The Higher Education Act requires that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving federal aid. When assessing SAP for federal financial aid, the University reviews all terms of enrollment at Wake Forest University as well as transfer work accepted toward degree requirements at Wake Forest, regardless of whether the student received financial aid during those terms.
Section Two: Qualitative and Quantitative Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Evaluation of students’ progress for financial aid purposes is made at the end of each term to determine financial aid eligibility for the upcoming fall, spring, or summer term. Students must meet the minimum standards below at the time SAP is evaluated.
- Grade Point Average
Students must have achieved the following cumulative grade point average:
- 2.33 for students in the Juris Doctor (JD) program,
- 2.0 for students in the Master of Laws (LLM) program,
- 2.5 for students in the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program, and
- 2.0 for students in the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) program.
- Credit Hour Completion Rate
Students must have successfully completed 67% of all attempted coursework in a term. Successful completion of a course means receiving one of the following grades: A, B, C, D, H, L, P, S, or CR.
- Maximum Time Frame
Students must complete the requirements for their degree within the 150% maximum time frame or maximum length of degree program as defined in the Wake Forest University School of Law Student Handbook. A student becomes ineligible for aid at the point it is determined that they cannot complete the degree requirements within the remaining maximum time frame.
|Academic Program||Minimum Requirement |
|Maximum Number of Attempted Credit Hours or Length of Degree Program|
|Juris Doctor (JD)||90 credits||135 credits|
|Master of Laws (LLM)||24 credits||36 credits|
|Master of Studies in Law (MSL)||30 credits||45 credits|
|Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)|
|Ten semesters unless exception granted by the Dean|
Incomplete coursework, withdrawals, transfer credits, pass/fail coursework, and course repetitions impact the GPA and Attempted Credit Hours in the following ways:
- Incomplete coursework (grade = I) is not included in the GPA or in the number of credits earned but is counted as attempted credit.
- Courses from which a student withdraws after the Drop/Add period has ended are not included in the GPA or in the number of credits earned but are counted as attempted credit.
- Transfer credits are counted in the number of credits attempted and earned but are not included in the GPA.
- Pass/Fail and Credit/No Credit courses are counted in the number of credits attempted but are not included in the GPA.
- Repeated courses are counted only one time as earned credits. However, credits for each course taken, including all repeated courses, are counted as attempted credit. All grades earned in repeated courses will be calculated in the cumulative GPA.
- Audited courses do not count as credits attempted or earned and are not included in the GPA.
Section Three: Financial Aid Warning and Loss of Eligibility
Students not meeting the SAP requirements for federal financial aid at the end of the term will be placed in a warning status for the following term. During the warning term, students will remain eligible to receive federal student aid during that term. If, at the end of the warning term, students are still not meeting SAP, they will not be eligible for any additional financial aid until the standards are met.
Section Four: Appeals
Denial of aid under this policy may be appealed by the student, in writing, to the Law School SAP Committee at email@example.com within 30 days of notification that the student is no longer eligible for aid. Appeals will be considered for the following circumstances: the death of a relative of the student; an injury or illness to the student; or other special circumstances. A student’s appeal must include information regarding why the student is not meeting the SAP standards and what factors have changed that will allow the student’s academic progress to improve by the next evaluation.
Section Five: Reinstatement of Aid Eligibility
Successful appeals will lead to one of two SAP statuses: Financial Probation or Academic Plan. A student may be placed on Financial Probation for the subsequent enrolled term if it is determined that the student can regain eligibility after one term. If the student cannot regain eligibility after one term, the student will be placed on an academic plan that outlines future academic progress for the student as established by the Law School SAP Committee. The student will be notified of their SAP status via the student’s Wake Forest email based on the outcome of the appeal. If the appeal is not granted, the student will be notified of the decision and will be financially responsible for their educational expenses.
The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to verify certain information of aid applicants who are selected for verification. If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS), you will be asked to provide additional documentation to the Law School Financial Aid Office to maintain eligibility for federal student aid.