Online Degree

Online Degree Programs: Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ for University Programs

FAQ for the Juris Doctor Program

FAQ for University Programs

When was Abraham Lincoln University founded?
Abraham Lincoln University (ALU) was founded in 1996 by President and CEO, Hyung J. Park. ALU’s mission is to offer accessible, affordable education to working adults who may be underserved by traditional institutions. ALU seeks to enroll a highly qualified and diverse student body from different age groups, perspectives, and backgrounds.

How do I apply to a diploma, associate, undergraduate, or graduate program?
Once you have identified your program of interest and had your questions answered by the ALU Admissions team or through ALU’s online admissions resources, you may complete the online application through the link below. All applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee of $50.00 by a credit card, debit card or usage of a PayPal account in order for applications to be processed, except for active-duty military and veteran who quality for an application fee waiver.

Also, additional information is available for those who seek transfer credit or want to study at ALU as an international student. More information about programs is provided under University or School of Law in the Academics section.

You may also see the latest information on applying at the Admissions page. Contact the Admissions team at 213-252-5100 or admissions@alu.edu with any specific inquiry.

 

What are the technology requirements for attending ALU?
We strive to keep our online platform accessible and user friendly. Our IT team is here to help during business hours at: tech@alu.edu or 213-252-5100 ext. 223 or 206. To access our online program, students’ equipment must meet the minimum requirements below. Note that the minimum computer and software requirements may be updated during a student's course of studies.
Minimum Hardware and Operating System

  • 2.0 GHz or faster Intel or AMD Processor
  • 2 GB RAM or more
  • Windows Vista or greater or Mac OS (10.6 or greater)
  • Web camera, microphone and speakers

Software
  • Google Chrome or Firefox with Adobe Flash Player 11.0 or higher
  • MS Word 2003 or higher or a word processor that can create files with the following extensions: .doc (MS Word 2003), docx (MS Word 2007), or a standard .rtf (rich text format)
  • Adobe Reader 9.0 or higher (downloaded online)

Internet Connection
  • A reliable broadband Internet connection, either cable or DSL of at least 2Mbps speed for adequate audio video quality
  • An email address that will accept all emails, including attachments, from the domain name alu.edu
  • Note: Students are presumed to receive the messages sent to designated email addresses. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that messages from ALU Law School are not blocked and that the mailbox is not too full to receive messages.

Technological Competency
  • Ability to use email to correspond
  • Ability to access, create, and save documents in MS Word or standard.rtf (rich text format)
  • Ability to browse the Web

How does ALU protect student privacy and records?
The California Administrative Code Section 18804(a) requires colleges and universities to maintain student records for a period of five years after final enrollment, with exception of the student's permanent record.
Abraham Lincoln University’s policy regarding confidentiality and student privacy is in keeping with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and DETC Standard II. L. Student Privacy, Integrity and Identity, which afford students certain rights with respect to their education records, a summary of which follows:

  • The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day Abraham Lincoln University receives a request for access
  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent
  • One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School officials are individuals or entities working for or on the behalf of the educational institution. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • As allowed within FERPA guidelines, Abraham Lincoln University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S Department of Education concerning alleged failure by Abraham Lincoln University to comply with the requirements of FERPA

At its discretion, Abraham Lincoln University may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

To protect student privacy, students’ directory information is released only upon approval of the Registrar. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar in writing; please note that such withholding requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for those exceptions allowed under the Act. Students may access their rights to the Maintenance and Confidentiality of their Student Records as outlined under FERPA in ALU catalogs.


How can I view an enrollment agreement?
Prospective students may view a sample enrollment agreement for the JD program and a sample enrollment agreement for master’s, bachelor’s, associate, and diploma programs.


How do I file a complaint about the master’s, bachelor, associate and diploma programs?
The ALU grievance policy addresses issues requiring resolution and to promote honesty and respect inherent to the educational work of students and faculty. This policy is applicable to students, administrators, faculty or any party who has good reason to believe that the institution is not in compliance with Distance Education and Training Council standards, policies or procedures.

A grievance on the part of a student, staff or faculty is defined as any decision or action taken by a faculty or staff member in the course of official duty that violates or constitutes arbitrary, capricious or unequal application of written campus policies or procedures. Student complaints are typically about items such as:

  • administrative issues
  • financial issues
  • technical issues
  • faculty performance
  • grading
  • program content and program effectiveness/expectations
  • library services

The university believes that problems can be resolved through cooperation among students, faculty and staff administrators. Fundamental to the process is the principle that all parties have made a good-faith effort to resolve the grievance prior to initiating this process.
The following are steps recommended to resolve grievances at Abraham Lincoln University:

Step 1: The student is encouraged to resolve the problem informally with the faculty or staff member involved.

Step 2: If Step 1 does not resolve the problem, the student is encouraged to communicate informally with the faculty or staff member's supervisor.

Step 3: If Step 2 does not resolve the problem, the student should submit a written letter to Student Affairs, explaining the situation; any supporting documentation must be attached to the letter. This letter must be submitted within one month of the time the grievance occurred. The student has the right to forego the first two steps of this process and submit a letter of grievance directly to Student Affairs.

Step 4: After reviewing the grievance, the Dean shall attempt to resolve the situation directly to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.

Step 5: If such resolution is unsuccessful, the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) shall conduct a hearing. The Committee shall review the grievance and render a decision in writing no later than 30 days after the letter is submitted.

Step 6: The student may appeal, in writing, any decision of the Committee to the president of Abraham Lincoln University. An appeal may also be made to the president in cases of probation, suspension, expulsion, and/or other disciplinary action. The president's decision shall be in writing and shall be final.

Students or members of the public may also file complaints with the following entities:
Distance Education Accrediting Commission
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808
Washington, DC 20036
202.234.5100

California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Physical address: 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Ste. 400, Sacramento, CA 95833
Mailing address: P.O. Box 980818, W. Sacramento, CA 95798-0818
Toll-free: 888.370.7589
Local: 916.431.6959
Fax: 916.263.1897
Online complaint forms are accessible at www.bppe.ca.gov.

FAQ for the Juris Doctor Program

Is the J.D. program fully online?
ALU’s Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree is a part-time, four-year distance-learning legal-education program. Students may attend lectures fully online or on campus on weekday evenings and weekends.

Here are the formats through which we offer law school lectures:

  • Live Lectures Online: ALU offers live-streaming, interactive law school lectures. From their computers, students interact with the professor and each other in real time. Feedback is immediate.
  • Recorded Lectures Online: All recorded lectures are available online 24 hours a day to watch or re-watch. Missing a class is not an issue.
  • Faculty Availability and Interaction: Faculty reply to student questions via email and online discussion forums provide additional student and professor interaction. This flexibility means your personal schedule always syncs with your school schedule.
  • On-Campus Attendance: For students local to Los Angeles, coming to lecture in person is a popular option, though not a requirement.
No matter how you attend lectures, ALU professors are available through online chat, via email, one-on-one phone conversations, and in-person meetings.

Our staff is available in the case of technical difficulties or for any other questions. You can reach the IT team at 213-252-5100 during business hours or email: tech@alu.edu.

How many graduates have passed the California General Bar Examination?
More than 140 ALU School of Law graduates have passed the California Bar Examination.

What are the academic requirements for law school admission to ALU?
Applicants must have an earned bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. More details about program requirements are in the Admissions section.

How do I apply to ALU School of Law?
Once you have identified your program of interest and had your questions answered by the ALU Admissions team or through ALU’s online admissions resources, you may complete the online application through the link below. All applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee of $50.00 by a credit card, debit card or usage of a PayPal account in order for applications to be processed, except for active-duty military and veteran who quality for an application fee waiver.

Also, additional information is available for those who seek transfer credit or want to study at ALU as an international student. More information about programs is provided under University or School of Law in the Academics section. Contact the Admissions team at 213.252.5100 or admissions@alu.edu with any specific inquiry.

You may also see the latest information on applying at the Admissions page.

When does the next law school term begin?
We admit first year students three times a year, in the fall, spring and winter cohorts.

Do I need to take the LSAT?
No. We have our own assessment test that applicants can take as one step of the admissions process. Contact the School of Law Admissions Office at admissions@alu.edu or 213.252.5100 for more information.

Once I submit my law school application, transcripts and take my assessment test, when will a decision be made?
The review process generally can be completed within two to three days, unless there are special circumstances that require follow-up with the prospect.

What if I need help in my first year?
The School of Law has an excellent academic support program to assist its first year students.

Is ALU a full-time law school?
ALU’s Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a part-time, four-year legal distance learning education program. Classes may be taken on campus as an evening and weekend program.

What degree do students obtain upon graduation?
A Juris Doctor (J.D.). In order to practice law in California, one must pass the California Bar requirements and Examination.

For whom is the ALU JD Program designed?
Primarily for working adults with busy schedules or anyone who finds it difficult to attend class or who travels frequently. Many of our students live far from brick-and-mortar law schools or they simply feel more comfortable taking classes online. ALU is designed to fit into any schedule and lifestyle.

What opportunities are there for ALU School of Law graduates?
Graduates of ALU School of Law who are admitted to the State Bar of California are permitted to practice law in California, like others who fulfill State Bar requirements. They can join or form law firms, work as corporate counsel, and appear in state court and Federal courts in California.

When do lectures occur?
Law students can attend lectures entirely online through live interactive streaming video or can view, at any other time, day or night, archived recordings of the live class sessions. ALU also offers opportunities to students to attend classes on campus in the broadcast studios in Los Angeles, at the exact same time as their classmates are attending online.

How large are the classes?
The class size varies. Many working adults are able to attend the Saturday morning classes, so those classes can be very popular for students attending them live. On weekdays, fewer students may choose to attend class live and some may opt to see that class in archived video instead.

Who are the faculty members and what are their qualifications?
ALU's faculty is composed of experienced professors (full-time faculty) and adjunct faculty consisting of practicing attorneys or judges from the Los Angeles area. Many have served in the field of legal education for several years.

How long is the school year?
The school year runs year-round in order for students to complete the program within approximately four years.

What is the cost of attending ALU?
We are proud to keep our costs low and our programs accessible. The present tuition is $8,000.00 per year. Federal financial aid is available for the Juris Doctor Degree program for those who qualify. We strive to make higher education accessible to a diverse and non-traditional student body.

What is the cost of books for each year of study?
The best effort estimate cost of textbooks and other materials per year of study in the JD program is $750; therefore, the best effort estimate of books for four years of study in the JD program is $3,000.

Do I have to pay my entire tuition in one single payment?
ALU has a monthly payment plan with no interest charges.

When can I sit for the bar exam in California as an ALU School of Law graduate?
Upon passing the First-Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSX, also known as the "Baby Bar"), General Bar Examination (GBX, also known as California Bar Exam), the moral character evaluation, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and not being in arrears with family support obligations, ALU School of Law graduates are eligible to become full members of the State Bar of California and are eligible to practice in California.
More information about the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California is below.
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (Main Office)
415-538-2000 (Main Office)
845 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515 (Branch Office)
213-765-1000 (Branch Office)
www.calbar.ca.gov.

What opportunities exist for ALU School of Law graduates to practice law outside of California?
While the majority of our graduates practice law in California, some graduates of ALU Law School may decide to practice law in other states. Each state has its own standards for admitting attorneys. Due to our registration being limited to the Committee of Bar Examiners for the State Bar of California, we do not guarantee that a student can qualify to sit for any bar exam outside of California and strongly recommend that if you wish to practice law in another state, you contact the state bar where you wish to practice law.

How do I file a complaint about the online JD program?
The School of Law grievance policy addresses issues requiring resolution and promotes honesty and respect inherent to the educational work of students and faculty. This policy is applicable to students, administrators and faculty of ALU.
A grievance may involve a complaint that includes administrative issues, financial issues, technical issues, faculty performance, grading, program content, program effectiveness/expectations, or library services.
ALU will review all grievances in a timely, fair, and equitable manner. If the complaint concerns a faculty member or administrator, ALU will consult with the faculty member regarding the complaint.
ALU notifies students and other interested parties regarding how to make complaints to state agencies and accrediting agencies by providing contact information in the Accreditation and Regulation section of the JD catalog.

Step 1.
If a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved by in¬formal procedures, the student or interested party may file written grievance with the Dean of School of Law within 60 days of the act or event which is the subject of the grievance, by submitting the Formal Grievance Petition, available on the ALU website. Within five working days of receiving the grievance, the Dean shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet or call with the student or interested party in an effort to resolve the grievance. The Dean shall present all concerned parties with a written answer to the grievance within ten working days after the meeting or calls.

Step 2.
If a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at step 1, the student or interested party may file the written grievance with the Academic Standards Committee within ten working days of receiving the answer at step 1. All information presented at step 1 shall be included with the grievance, and the Dean shall submit to the Academic Standards Committee a report describing attempts to resolve the grievance at step 1.

Within ten working days of receiving the grievance, the Academic Standards Committee shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet with the student or interested party in an effort to resolve the grievance. The Academic Standards Committee shall present all concerned parties with a writ¬ten answer to the grievance within ten working days after the meeting.

Step 3.
If a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at step 2, the student may file a written appeal to the President of Abraham Lincoln University within five working days of receiving the answer at step 2. All information presented at steps 1 and 2 shall be included with the appeal, and the Academic Standards Committee shall submit to the President a report describing attempts to resolve the grievance at step 2.

The President shall make a decision within 30 days of the written appeal and shall mail the decision to all concerned parties. The President's decision shall be final.

Students or members of the public may also file complaints with the following entities:

Distance Education Accrediting Commission
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808
Washington, DC 20036
202.234.5100

California State Bar
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
415.538.2000

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