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Admissions . Financing Your Education . Financial Aid + Academic Progress 

Financial Aid + Academic Progress

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

In order to receive federal financial aid, you must make satisfactory academic progress toward your degree. Your SAP will be checked prior to initial receipt of financial aid and at the end of spring semester each academic year. If you attend only one semester, you will be evaluated on one semester's work. If you have been granted an appeal your academic progress will be reviewed each term or until you have met the standards of SAP (see below).

Federal Programs Affected by SAP 

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Work-Study Program
  • Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG)
  • Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Paul Douglas/Byrd Teacher's Scholarships

Note: The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Grant is not governed by federal SAP but by academic standards established by each state. Institutional funds and veteran's benefits are governed by the Cleveland Institute of Art's standards of SAP. 

SAP Academic Requirements

  • As an undergraduate student, you must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (3.0 for graduate students). Grades A through F and P will count towards the GPA calculation. Grades of incomplete (I) and withdrawal (W) are considered unsatisfactory and unacceptable.
  • If your undergraduate cumulative GPA is below 2.0 (3.0 for graduate) at the end of the academic year, you will not receive financial aid until you maintain SAP as outlined in these guidelines or until you are reinstated through the appeal process.
  • If you leave the Institute for an entire academic year or more, you will be evaluated on your performance during the most recent academic year of attendance at CIA. 

Credit Hour Percentage Completion Requirements 

  • You must earn at least 70 percent of hours attempted each year at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
  • Percentage completion is calculated by dividing earned hours by attempted hours. Earned hours include all grades of A through D- and P. Attempted hours include all grades of A through F, P, I, and W.
  • If you attend only one semester, you will be evaluated on one semester's work. If you leave the Institute for an entire academic year or more, you are exempt from the percentage requirements. 

Hours Attempted

You are not allowed to attempt credit hours that total 150 percent of the expected number of earned hours needed to complete your program of study. For example, undergraduates needing at least 150–153 credit hours to complete their degree may not attempt more than 225–230 credit hours, and graduate students needing at least 60 credit hours to complete their degree may not attempt more than 90 credit hours. Transfer hours and repeated courses are included in total attempted hours. 

Transfer Students and Cross Registration

  • Transfer students will be awarded aid for one academic year before academic progress will be evaluated. At the end of your first academic year, you must comply with the above Standards of SAP, Credit Hour Percentage Completion Requirements, and Hours Attempted.
  • All transfer hours accepted upon admission by CIA will be considered when determining compliance with the standards of SAP. Transfer hours will be included in the number of hours completed.

Transfer, Study Abroad, and Cross Registration Credit Hours

All transfer, study abroad, and cross registration hours you attempt and earn while enrolled as a degree seeking student at CIA will be calculated in credit hour percentage completion and hours attempted requirements.

Monitoring

SAP will be measured at the end of each academic year. When grades have been posted at the end of the academic year, the Office of Financial Aid will request a copy of your transcripts. The Office of Financial Aid then will evaluate your transcripts, and if you are in violation you will be cited and a hold placed on all financial aid processing (i.e., awarding and disbursing) until an appeal has been submitted and approved. If an appeal is denied, all aid will be deleted. You may re-appeal after successfully completing one semester of enrollment without the use of your financial aid. Approved appeals may contain conditions that must be met for SAP to be automatically approved for the following semester.

Appeals

The Office of Financial Aid will notify you if you apply for CIA financial aid but fail to meet SAP standards. You are given the opportunity to appeal the denial of financial aid. Financial aid appeals must be based on an undue hardship caused by the death of a relative, personal injury, illness, absence from the Institute for an academic year, or other special circumstances supported with appropriate documentation. 

Your appeal must be made in writing to the Office of Financial Aid within 10 working days after receipt of the denial notification. The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will respond in writing with its decision.  

If an appeal is approved for one semester, you will receive a letter outlining the conditions of approval and a Reinstatement of Aid Contract which must be signed and returned to the Office of Financial Aid before your hold is released and financial aid is processed.

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