Academic Progress Dismissal

Senior in Business Administration Program Regains Good Academic Standing After Successful SAP Appeal

The registrar of a large public university in the Deep South notified a senior student in the university's business administration program that the student was on academic probation and facing dismissal for not meeting the university's satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. The notice alleged that the student's course withdrawals and incompletes, together with two semesters off, had left the student out of compliance with the university's SAP percentage of credits completed and maximum timeframe requirements. The notice surprised and concerned the student because the student had carefully calculated those requirements when deciding to take time off or drop courses. When the registrar refused to meet with the student to review the calculations, the student promptly retained the Lento Law Firm. The firm's student defense team researched the university's SAP standards and confirmed the student's calculations as reasonable interpretations of the university's SAP policy. The law firm then contacted the registrar's office, indicating that it represented the student and was invoking the student's SAP appeal rights. The law firm's communication indicated that the student would be proving extenuating circumstances justifying the school's waiver of its SAP standards but that the student was nonetheless in compliance with those standards. The law firm simultaneously copied the university's general counsel with whom the law firm had prior successful dealings. That contact resulted in a communication from the registrar's office accepting the student's calculation and rescinding the SAP probat