Mar 05, 2024  
NCU Juris Doctor Program Catalog & Handbook - Fall 2022 
    
NCU Juris Doctor Program Catalog & Handbook - Fall 2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Aid



General Student Aid Eligibility

To be eligible for FSA funds, a student must meet the criteria listed below. NCU ensures that eligibility requirements are met before the awarding of aid occurs. A student must:

  • Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible program
  • Not be enrolled simultaneously in elementary or secondary school
  • Demonstrate financial need (for some FSA programs)
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) status that they:
    • Are not in default on a federal student loan and does not owe money on a federal student grant
    • Will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show they are qualified to obtain a college education by one of the following:
    • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Education 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)
    • Enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the “ability-to-benefit” alternatives:
      • Passing an approved “ability-to-benefit” test
      • Completing six credit hours or equivalent coursework toward a degree or certificate
  • Have a valid Social Security Number with the Social Security Administration
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required
  • Not be in default on a Title IV loan or, if in default, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the loan holder
  • Have not obtained loan amounts that exceed annual or aggregate loan limits made under any Title IV loan program
  • Not be liable for an overpayment of a Title IV grant or Federal Perkins Loan or, if liable, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the debt
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Not have property which is subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the U.S. or, if subject to a judgment lien, have made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the debt holder
  • Not have been convicted of an offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs that occurred while enrolled and receiving Title IV aid
  • Have completed repayment of funds to either ED or the holder of a loan, as applicable, if the student has been convicted of, or pled guilty to, a crime involving fraud in obtaining Title IV aid

Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have the results sent to NCU. Once the results are received by NCU, they are reviewed to ensure that the student meets all eligibility criteria. If a student is deemed ineligible due to one of the above issues, the Student and Financial Services team will inform the student of the issue so that the student can work towards a resolution.

If the student meets the eligibility criteria for federal financial aid and all the required documents have been received, they will be awarded financial aid funds.

Transfer coursework is used to establish grade level for loan eligibility. Credit evaluations from unofficial transcripts are accepted to determine loan eligibility.

Financial Aid Programs and Assistance

NCU participates in a variety of financial aid programs. Assistance may include scholarships, grants, and loans. Scholarships and grants are gift awards that do not need to be repaid. Loans are considered self-help awards, since repayment is required. The type and amounts of aid awarded depends upon the student’s financial need and the cost of attendance.

NCU participates in the following Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs:

Additional Assistance Options

Non-FSA assistance may be available to students. Click on the link below for additional information:

Northcentral University Payment Plan and Fees

Description of Northcentral University
Payment Plans and Fees

Fee Amounts

Pay-in-Full Payment Plan Processing Fee

$0

Pay-by-Term Payment Plan Processing Fee

$0

Monthly Payment Plan Processing Fee - Undergraduate

$25.00 Per Course

Monthly Payment Plan Processing Fee - Graduate and Non-Degree

$50.00 Per Course

Late Payment Fee

$25.00

Returned Check Fee

$25.00

Declined Credit Card Fee

$25.00

Application and Forms

The financial aid process begins when a student indicates their interest in financial aid during the application process and discusses their intent with an Academic and Finance Advisor. Students may be eligible to receive Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds once they have completed the entire financial aid process.

Forms

FSA forms, applications and/or instructions for applying are available on the FSA website at https://studentloans.gov. This site is a resource of information from the U.S. Department of Education about how to apply for and manage student loans. These forms and instructions include, but are not limited to:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a need analysis document published by the Department of Education
    • Students must complete the FAFSA and receive a valid federal output document in order to be eligible for Title IV funds
  • Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and/or PLUS or GradPLUS loans are required only of those students interested in borrowing through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program
  • Entrance Counseling is required for all first-time borrowers and first-time students at any post-secondary education institution

Students must complete these applications, forms, and processes electronically in order for the SFS Department to determine eligibility.

For additional information regarding student aid, please visit the NCU Catalog at: https://catalog.ncu.edu/

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the standard by which NCU measures students’ progress toward completion of a degree or certificate program. The School of Law JD program also has an Academic Standards Committee that reviews a student’s academic standing specifically within the JD program and is separate and independent of the SAP standards utilized by NCU. Within the JD program, a student must be in good standing under both SAP guidelines and the standards of the Academic Standards Committee to proceed into their next term.

The three components of SAP are Grade Point Average (GPA), Course Completion Rate (pace), and Maximum Timeframe. If at any time, a student is not meeting the minimum requirements for SAP, they will receive an email notification in NCUOne as well as an email to the address on file. However, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to know these requirements, and failure to receive notification does not nullify the SAP status.

SAP Component Definitions 

Program Grade Point Average (GPA) - A Cumulative Program GPA is calculated using only grades earned at the university for the student’s current program of study. The minimum GPA requirement for undergraduate and Juris Doctor students is 2.0. 

Course Completion Rate (Pace) - Students must earn a passing grade in two-thirds or no less than 66.66% of the course credit hours attempted toward completion of their program of study. The Course Completion Rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credit hours successfully completed by the cumulative number of credit hours attempted. All courses count as attempted except for drops and withdrawals for Military Leave of Absence (“WL” grade). Only courses for which the student receives a passing grade count as completed.

SAP Maximum Timeframe -The SAP Maximum Timeframe to complete a program cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the student’s active program and is measured in credit hours. For example, if an undergraduate program consists of 120 credit hours, the student must successfully complete the program after attempting no more than 180 credit hours. See the table below.

Maximum Timeframe resets for SAP only if there has been a substantial change in degree program. Refer to the substantial change definition in the Re-entry policy for more information. A SAP Appeal will need to be filed for all program extensions when it has been determined that a student cannot complete their program within the allowed attempted credit limits per their individual program requirements and will need more time to complete their degree program.

Pursuant to the Rules for Accredited Schools of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California, all students must complete the JD Degree no earlier than thirty (30) months and no later than eighty-four (84) months after a students has commenced law study at this school, or a law school from which transfer credit was accepted.

Treatment of Courses and Credits

Course Repetitions - Only the most recent grade for a repeated course is counted in the Program GPA. All attempted courses are counted toward the Course Completion Rate and the SAP Maximum Timeframe for program completion.

Dropped Courses - Courses dropped before the end of the drop period are not included in SAP calculations. Courses from which the student withdraws due to an approved Military Leave of Absence or for which an “NG” (No Grade) is granted are treated as dropped courses and are also excluded from SAP calculations.

Applied/Migrated Credits Within the University - All credits earned at NCU that are accepted into the student’s current program of study are considered as both attempted and completed credits for calculation of the Course Completion Rate, are counted toward the SAP Maximum Timeframe, and are included in Program GPA calculations.

If a comparison of the original program and the program the student is entering results in the determination of a substantial change by the Office of the Registrar, the student is considered to be starting a new program. In this case, SAP will restart. See the Re-entry policy for further information.

Transfer Credits From Another Institution - All accepted transfer credits from an outside institution transferred into the student’s current program of study are considered both attempted and completed credits for purposes of calculating the Course Completion Rate. Graduate transferred credits are not included in SAP Maximum Timeframe or Program GPA calculations. Undergraduate transfer credits are included in SAP Maximum Timeframe but not in Program GPA calculations.

Course Withdrawals - All courses from which a student withdraws after the end of the drop period and before 71% of the class is completed receive a “W” on the student’s transcript. These courses are considered attempted credits for calculation of the Course Completion Rate and are counted toward the SAP Maximum Timeframe. 

Withdraw from a class after 71% of the class is completed results in a grade of no credit or an F. These courses are considered attempted credits for calculation of the Course Completion Rate and are counted toward the SAP Maximum Timeframe. A grade of F will also be considered when calculating cumulative GPA.

Changing Programs - Students are only permitted to make a substantial program or degree change once per degree level in their tenure with the University. If a comparison of the original program and the program the student is entering results in the determination of a substantial change by the Office of the Registrar, SAP will restart. The substantial change definition remains the same for both re-entry and continuing students who wish to change programs. Refer to the substantial change section in the re-entry policy for more details.

SAP Evaluation Schedule

Undergraduate Programs – Students enrolled in undergraduate programs are evaluated for SAP after every 12 credit hours attempted in their programs.

Graduate Programs – Students enrolled in graduate programs are evaluated for SAP after every 9 credit hours attempted in their programs.

Term-Based Programs (School of Law) – Students enrolled in term-based programs are evaluated for SAP after each term in their program.

SAP Evaluation Statuses 

Good Standing – A student is in good standing if: 1) No grades have been posted yet, or 2) If SAP has not been evaluated yet, or 3) Student is meeting minimum SAP requirements at time of evaluation, or 4) Student regained Good Standing after being placed on an Academic/Financial Aid Warning or Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probationary period.

Academic/Financial Aid Warning – A student is in an Academic/Financial Aid Warning status when they are not maintaining Good Standing pursuant to the terms of this policy at the time of any SAP evaluation. Financial aid may be received while in this status. If SAP is regained by the next scheduled SAP evaluation period, the student is returned to Good Standing status.

Academic Probation – A student is in an Academic Probation status when they did not regain Good Standing after being placed on an Academic/Financial Aid Warning. If the student wishes to maintain their financial aid, they will need to submit an Appeal. See below for directions on the Appeal process. If SAP is met by the next scheduled evaluation period and the Academic Plan was successfully followed, the student will regain Good Standing status.

Financial Aid Probation – A student is in Financial Aid Probation status only if they were first placed on Academic Probation and then decided to Appeal to reinstate federal financial aid. If SAP is met by the next scheduled evaluation period, the student will regain Good Standing status and will also remain eligible for federal financial aid.

Extended Probation – Special circumstances may permit a student to continue on Extended Probation and possibly receive federal financial aid for an additional evaluation period. A student is in Extended Probation status only if they were placed on Academic or Financial Aid Probation and fails to regain Good Standing status before the next evaluation point and has then decided to Appeal based on special circumstances. If SAP is met by the next scheduled evaluation period, the student will regain Good Standing status and will remain eligible for federal financial aid.

SAP (Academic) Dismissal – This status indicates a student was in a probationary SAP period and did not regain good standing by the next SAP evaluation. Students may appeal the dismissal to return to the University. Students who receive approval to return from academic dismissal are subject to the Re-entry policies and procedures. If ever it is determined that it is mathematically impossible for the student to regain good standing within the current program, the student may consider a different program. A student is allowed one substantial program change per degree-level without the submission of a SAP appeal.

*To protect the integrity of NCU, a student may also be Administratively Withdrawn. Refer to the Code of Conduct policy for further details.

** For students using educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), upon reaching SAP Dismissal status, unsatisfactory progress will be reported to VA and educational benefits will be discontinued. Benefits may be resumed if the student reenrolls in the same program.

SAP Right to Appeal

Occasionally, a student’s academic progress may be delayed by circumstances beyond their control. A student may appeal:

  • For federal financial aid to continue after the student has been placed on Academic Probation, or
  • For an extension when it has been determined that a student cannot complete their program within the allowed attempted credit limits per their individual program requirements and will need more time to complete their degree program, or
  • To get permission to make a substantial change of program if they have already made a substantial change once, or
  • To return to the University and their program of study after being Academically Dismissed. All SAP Academic Dismissal Appeals must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the dismissal notification.

Students must be able to regain good standing status by the next SAP evaluation point. Appeals by students who cannot mathematically attain good standing by the next evaluation point will not be considered.

Students able to regain good standing status who wish to appeal for any of the above reasons should email their Academic and Finance Advisor or saphelp@ncu.edu to request a SAP appeal form. Completed SAP appeal forms, including supporting documentation, should be emailed to saphelp@ncu.edu for the SAP Appeal Committee to review. The SAP Appeal Committee comprised of various University leaders who meet on a periodic basis to review student appeals. Committee appeal decisions are made within 15 business days of receipt and are final. Students may not submit a second appeal for the same situation without new information documenting any extenuating circumstances not previously disclosed.

For consideration, students should provide the following:

  • An explanation and/or document that they have suffered from extenuating circumstances such as death of a relative, injury, disability, illness or other special circumstances;
  • Specific information in the Appeal regarding why they failed to meet SAP;
  • An explanation as to what has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to achieve SAP by the next evaluation.

NOTE: Please refer to the Code of ConductAcademic Integrity, and Attendance and Continuous Enrollment policies information on administrative dismissals due to violation of academic and University policy.

Time Limits for Degree Completion

All students at NCU are held to two standards regarding time to degree completion: Satisfactory Academic Progress and Academic Maximum Time Frame. Students in the JD program are also subject to the requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California that all students complete their JD program no later than 84 months after beginning the program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a standard by which NCU measures students’ progress toward completion of a degree or certificate program. The three components of SAP are Grade Point Average (GPA), Course Completion Rate (pace), and SAP Maximum Time Frame. For Academic Maximum Time Frame, NCU sets the deadline in calendar years from the first date of attendance in the degree program. SAP Maximum Time Frame rules will supersede Academic Maximum Time Frame when it comes to financial aid eligibility.

SAP Maximum Time to Completion

Program Type Course Completion Rate Minimum GPA SAP Maximum Timeframe
Bachelor’s Degrees- 120 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 2.0 180
attempted credit hours
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate -12 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 18
attempted credit hours

Paralegal Certificate

No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 2.0 46.6
attempted credit hours
Juris Doctor Degree - 82 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 2.0

123
attempted credit hours

Master’s Degrees - 30 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 45
attempted credit hours
Master’s Degrees - 36 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 54
attempted credit hours
Post-Master’s Certificate -18 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 27
attempted credit hours
Education Specialist (EdS) -33 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 49.5
attempted credit hours
Doctoral - 54 credits hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 81
attempted credit hours
Doctoral - 60 credit hours No less than 66.66% of total course credit hours attempted 3.0 90
attempted credit hours

Academic Maximum Time to Completion

NCU requires all students to complete all degree or certificate program requirements within specific time limits as outlined in the Catalog to be eligible for graduation. Students who do not complete their degree or certificate program within the required time limits may be academically dismissed from the University. The program completion guidelines outline the maximum time frames allotted to students and do not supersede the obligation to maintain satisfactory academic progress through the student’s program of study. Program completion deadlines are calculated based on the first date of attendance in the student’s program. In extenuating circumstances, with accompanying documentation, Deans may approve an extension to the academic maximum time frame. Approved extensions may not exceed the requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Students in the JD program are also subject to the requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California that all students complete their JD program no later than 84 months after beginning the program

Program Type Academic Maximum Time Frame
Bachelor’s Degrees 180 attempted credit hours
Paralegal Certificate 2 years
Master’s Degrees - 36 credit hours or less 5 years
Master’s Degrees - More than 36 credit hours 6 years
Post-Baccalaureate and Post-Master’s Certificates 2 years
Education Specialist Degree (EdS) 5 years
Doctoral Degrees - 60 credits hours or less 7 years
Doctoral Degrees - More than 60 credit hours 8 years

Return of Title IV Funds

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption the student will attend NCU during the entire period for which the assistance was awarded.

The University is required to determine whether any Title IV funds must be returned to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs when a student does not complete the period of enrollment in which the student is currently enrolled. For example, due to a student’s withdrawal from the University, the University dismissing a student, not participating in a course for more than 28 consecutive days, or a student transferring to a substantially different program.

The percentage of earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid is calculated based upon the scheduled number of days in the period of enrollment and the date either in which the student withdrew from the University or when the student ceased participating in their course work for more than 28 consecutive days. For purposes of determining the percentage of Title IV aid earned, the date of withdrawal is determined to be the last date the student participated in a course. For students who have ceased participating in their course for more than 28 consecutive days, the University will record in the Return of Title IV calculation worksheet, as the date of determination, the 14th day after the last date the student participated in an academic-related activity.

As mandated by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the Return of Title IV calculation determines what portion of Title IV funds, whether disbursed or could have been disbursed, that can be used to pay institutional and non-institutional charges.

For students subject to a Return of Title IV calculation, the calculation accounts for the initial charges that are assessed for the period of enrollment. Initial charges may only be adjusted by those changes NCU makes prior to the student’s withdrawal (for example, dropping a course unrelated to a withdrawal).

The following Title IV aid programs in which NCU participates are covered in the Return of Title IV calculation and are referred to as the Title IV aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan (for parents of dependent students and graduate students)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

If the calculation results in the return of funds, those funds will be returned first to the federal loan programs. If the remaining amount exceeds the amount of the loan disbursements, the remaining amount will be returned to the federal grant programs. The order, in which Title IV aid is returned, if required, is as follows: