Massachusetts School of Law at Andover utilizes a typical four point system of grading. Therefore, an A counts four points, a B three points, a C two points, a D one point, and an F (or a failing grade) no points.

student’s grade is increased 3 tenths of a point for a plus (e.g., a B+ represents 3.30 points) and will be diminished 3 tenths of a point for a minus (e.g., a B- represents 2.70 points).

Students may make appointments with professors to review their exams. No grades are changed unless a mathematical error has been made. To ensure academic rigor, MSLAW, when necessary, requires professors to comply with a grading curve designed to make certain that high grades at MSLAW represent significant academic accomplishment.

Academic Probation

A student whose overall grade-point average falls below a two-point average is placed on academic probation for the next semester. Once determined to be on academic probation, a student is not eligible to take summer session classes. If the student was enrolled in such classes prior to the determination that he or she is on probation, the grades received in the class cannot be used to determine whether the student shall be removed from the probationary list.

Academic Suspension

If the student does not attain a two-point or better overall average at the end of that probationary semester, the student is not able to return to school thereafter.

Two F Rule

In addition, any student who receives a total of two or more F grades during his or her career at MSLAW is automatically dismissed from the program. Any student seeking readmission to MSLAW must submit a written petition to the school’s Registrar. Students are limited to one (1) petition for readmission per academic semester. Such petitions are rarely granted. Satisfactory academic progress must be maintained.

Financial Aid & GPA

Students are required to have an overall grade point average of a 2.0 to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students whose overall grade point average falls below 2.0 are placed on academic probation for the next semester and these students are ineligible to receive Federal Stafford Loans for that semester or any semester until the student becomes eligible again. A student may petition in writing to the Director of Financial Aid, Kathy Perry, for an exception to this policy. Exceptions to this policy are granted by a case by case basis and only in extraordinary situations. You can use this GPA calculator for current-term grade approximations.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In order for MSL students to receive Federal Student Financial Aid, they must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with federal rules. MSL’s academic progress rules are required to be the same as, or stricter than, the Federal SAP rules. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) must be maintained. Students are required to have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of a 2.0 or better every semester with a minimum of 6 credits per semester. Students should have completed 45 credits (half of the total 90 credits required) of continuous enrollment at the half way point, which is 2 years. Students are required to meet with their Academic Advisors to schedule credits for the completion of the program. The Registrar reviews Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each grading period to determine academic standing. As a general rule, the timeframe to complete the MSL program and receive a JD is 48 months. In some cases, a student may have extenuating circumstances which may prolong their attendance. Students have a maximum timeframe of 150% of the published length of the program (or 72 months) to complete the program. If it becomes mathematically impossible for the student to complete the program within this maximum timeframe of 72 months, the student will be ineligible to receive Title IV funding.

Students with an incomplete, withdrawal or receive an F, must repeat the course and if the CGPA is 2.0 or greater AND they are registered for a minimum of 6 credits, they can receive Title IV funding. If the CGPA is under a 2.0 or they are not registered for a minimum of 6 credits, the student is not eligible for Title IV funding.

Students not meeting all SAP requirements will be placed on Academic and Financial Aid Probation. Students on Financial Aid Probation are not eligible for Federal Direct Loans for Grad PLUS loans unless a successful appeal is submitted per the guidelines below.

The Financial Aid Department reviews SAP at the official start date of each semester. Any students remaining on Academic/FA Probation will be ineligible for Title IV financial aid for the semester.

Students on Academic Probation are expected to check in with Professor Kaldis, Assistant Dean of Students, Academic Advisor for Academic Probation students.  She will help students develop a plan to succeed and make academic progress. Students on Academic Probation are asked to review their final exams with their professors from the previous semester, to check for mathematical errors, and to learn from the mistakes they may have made on the final exams. 

If a student takes a semester off or leaves MSL, the AP status stays on their record and the student will be considered on AP until the student achieves progress by making SAP.  At the end of the SAP semester and under certain circumstances, students may be able to be funded their previously requested Federal Direct Student Loan if they have achieved SAP.  Students also have an option to appeal the institution’s SAP policy by following the SAP Appeal Process. 

Appeal Process:  If a student needs his/her financial aid reinstated for the semester they are on AP, he or she may submit appeal paperwork within 10 days of the official grades being released. Eligibility for Reinstatement occurs when there are mitigating circumstances which have resulted in deficiencies that could not be made up while on SAP probation.

The following criteria will be used as the basis for an appeal:

  • A new medical or mental health issue – A doctor’s statement on official letterhead is required as documentation.
  • A death in the immediate family – father mother sibling husband or child (Documentation required would be a death certificate or obituary notice stating your name.)
  • Military call for active duty – Copy of official military orders is required for documentation.
  • Family/relationship issues (i.e. abusive relationship) – legal documentation required.
  • Natural Disaster: Flood, Fire, or Tornado – insurance verification required for documentation.
  • Loss of Job, if previously held a job – Unemployment verification, W-2 Termination letter from employer for documentation.
  • Review of student’s overall GPA to determine whether it is feasible for the student to make SAP during the semester the appeal is being sought.
  • Other – Extenuating or unusual circumstances that prevented the student from succeeding academically. (Documentation required, i.e. Covid, adjusting after Covid, Flu, pandemic, study skills, etc.)

    Note: The following criteria are NOT considered extenuating:
  • Lack of funds.
  • Employment scheduling issues.
  • Change in marital status.
  • Childcare issues.
  • Transportation issues.
  • Lack of knowledge of school policy.
  • Dissatisfaction with instructor and/or course.

Appeal forms can be requested from the Office of Financial Aid Via email to Appeals for reinstatement of eligibility are the responsibility of the student. The Appeal Forms must be submitted within 10 business days of the release of the official grades for the prior semester grades. Appeals must specifically reflect the unique circumstances that were beyond the control of the student. The appeal should provide specific resolution to circumstances and supporting documentation as indicated on the appeal form. Appeals made without documentation will be denied.

Students petitioning / appealing for reinstatement of eligibility remain ineligible to receive aid but may pursue participating in the Massachusetts School of Law Installment Payment Plan.  Students should be prepared with other resources to pay all educational expenses not covered by the payment plan. Students whose appeals are approved may have their eligibility for aid reinstated.

For students currently on AP, if a student is unable to find an alternative means of paying their semester’s tuition, Kathy Perry, Director of Financial Aid, will work with each student, individually, to develop a monthly payment agreement for these charges. As a student on Academic Probation is not eligible for Federal Direct Stafford loans, payment in full for the semester is not expected.  Payment of any past tuition, however, is expected before the student graduates.

Termination of Aid: Students who are dismissed from the Massachusetts School of Law for any reason are terminated from financial aid.

Assessment Tests

  • Following the completion of Civil Procedure, Torts, and Contracts at the end of the 1L year, 1L students are required to take and pass the Level 1 Assessment Test at the end of the exam period.
  • Following the completion of Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Evidence at the end of the 2L year, 2L students are required to take and pass the Level 2 Assessment Test at the end of the exam period.
  • Following completion of Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Constitutional Law, and Real Property,3L students are required to take the Level 3 Assessment Test. The Level 3 Assessment Test will cover Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Constitutional Law, and Real Property.
  • For the full text of the rule, visit the Assessment Tests page.