share this

Early action application deadline: December 1
Get started here.
Share This Search
Admissions

Admissions . Financing Your Education . Financial Aid + Academic Progress 

Financial Aid + Academic Progress

Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations (General Provision CFR 668.34) require that students at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree to retain eligibility for federal and institutional aid consideration. CIA reviews the academic progress of all students who apply for and/or receive financial assistance at the end of each semester of enrollment. 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 semester or until you have met the standards of SAP.

Satisfactory academic progress comprises of three components. A student must:

  1. Achieve a grade point average that is consistent with graduation requirements (Grade Point Average [GPA] - Qualitative Requirement)
  2. Earn a minimum number of credit hours each term of attempted enrollment (Completion Rate - Quantitative Requirement)
  3. Complete the degree within a specified period (Maximum Time Frame)

These standards apply to all financial aid applicants, whether a previous aid recipient or not. 

This policy on satisfactory academic progress relates to undergraduate students who apply for and/or receive federal financial aid and/or institutional need-based assistance. The retention requirements for institutional scholarships are different and are available underCIA Merit Scholarship Eligibility.

Additional information regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Courses with grades of “F” (failure), “I” (incomplete), “W” (withdrawal) are counted as courses attempted but not earned and count toward the maximum time frame. If a grade of “I” is changed to a grade that counts toward the maximum time frame, the student’s transcript will be evaluated to determine if that changed grade updates the student’s SAP status. Upon the status being changed to Satisfactory, the student will no longer be on a warning or probation status. Upon the status not being changed to Satisfactory, the student will remain on either a warning or probation status.

Transfer credit hours (accepted for the student’s academic program or degree) are counted as credit hours attempted when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree but do not impact the cumulative grade point average. See Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and CIA Merit Scholarship Eligibility Review for Transfer Students.

  • Any semester in which a student has enrolled and earned zero credit hours will be included in the evaluation of hours attempted and hours earned for completion rate.
  • In case of a major change, credits and grades that do not count toward the major change, will be included in the SAP determination
  • All instances of repeated coursework will be factored into the calculation of the completion rate.
  • Courses graded on a Pass/No pass basis will be included in the calculation of completion rate and grade point average.
  • Financial assistance is not offered for audited courses, and those hours will not be considered in the Satisfactory Academic Progress review.
  • CIA does not offer courses during the summer, therefore SAP is not affected during the summer  

The Office of Financial Aid will not automatically adjust a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress status when grades are changed, but the office will review the student’s transcript at the end of each semester and advise the student of his/her current SAP status at that time.

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
  • Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Paul Douglas/Byrd Teacher's Scholarships
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Note: The Ohio College Opportunity Grant, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) Grant, and other State grant programs are not governed by federal SAP but by academic standards established by the state of origin for each state’s grant program. Institutional funds and veteran's benefits are governed by the Cleveland Institute of Art's standards of SAP. 

Monitoring

If you are receiving federal, state or CIA funded sources of financial aid, you are required to maintain “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP) toward your degree in order to retain eligibility for financial aid as specified in Federal, State and CIA policies and procedures. SAP is monitored at the end of each semester.  SAP is evaluated for both CIA Merit Scholarship and for need-based financial aid funded by CIA, Federal, and State programs.

SAP Requirements

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • As an undergraduate CIA student, you must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale after each semester of attempted enrollment. 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 at the end of the academic semester, you will not receive financial aid until you attain 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 semester of attendance at CIA. Transfer credits are not included in the calculation of the grade point average. 
  • CIA does not accept or evaluate non-credit remedial courses as a part of students’ requirement to complete a CIA undergraduate degree.
  • CIA and the Ohio Board of Regents require a minimum cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in order to remain eligible for need-based funds from CIA and for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG). If you are receiving state funds from another state (like Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, etc.) they have similar requirements. Recipients of CIA need-based funds, the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and other state grant programs can only receive these funds for a maximum of 4 years (eight semesters).

Completion Rate 

  • You must earn at least 67 percent of credit hours attempted each semester 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 leave the Institute for an entire academic year or more, you are exempt from the percentage requirements upon your return to CIA. However, your need-based financial aid will be awarded on a probationary status.

Maximum Time Frame

A student must complete the degree program within 150 percent of the published length of the program.  For example, undergraduates needing at least 120 credit hours to complete their degree may not attempt more than 180 credit hours (i.e. a student in a 4 year program may be allowed to complete that program in 6 years of full-time enrollment; earning a minimum of 20 to 23 credit hours per academic year depending on the major). Transfer hours and repeated courses are included in total attempted hours.

Credits counted in the maximum time frame include all attempted credits, including those taken during semesters when the student is not receiving financial assistance. Attempted credits include earned credits, all attempts of repeated courses, all withdrawals, all failures, all incompletes and all accepted transfer credits, including consortium agreement, Study Abroad, and cross-registration courses counted toward the degree.

CIA does not accept or evaluate non-credit remedial courses as a part of students’ requirement to complete a CIA undergraduate degree, thus non-credit remedial credits obtained from another college are not counted towards maximum time frame.

Failure to Meet Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who fail to meet one or more requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress will be notified of their status by the Office of Financial Aid and will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for the next semester of enrollment. During the semester of Financial Aid Probation, a student will receive all federal and institutional funding for which he/she has applied and is otherwise eligible. 

Students who withdraw completely during a semester will be evaluated on their performance during the most recent academic semester of attendance at CIA. 

Students who do not successfully complete the required number of credit hours based upon semesters of attempted enrollment and/or do not attain the required cumulative grade point average by the end of the semester will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and will be required to complete a Financial Aid SAP appeal with the Office of Financial Aid for financial assistance from the federal sources previously listed. Upon appeal approval, the student will remain on Financial Aid Probation for the current semester and will be required to follow the stipulations provided on the approved Financial Aid SAP Appeal. If the appeal is denied, the student will not receive federal financial assistance.

Appeal Process

The Office of Financial Aid will notify you if you fail to meet need-based aid and/or CIA Merit Scholarship Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. Students cited for failing to maintain eligibility for need-based aid and/or a CIA Merit Scholarship are given the opportunity to appeal. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of Financial Aid within 10 working days after receipt of the denial notification. An appeal must be based upon extraordinary circumstances, such as personal injury or illness, death of a relative or other reason that caused undue hardship and impacted the student’s academic performance to a significant degree. Any appeal submitted must have supporting documentation. All appeal forms are available from the Office of Financial Aid.

The student must show an understanding of the specific Satisfactory Academic Progress components that were not met and must indicate what changes have occurred that will enable the student to be academically successful in the next term. A student may submit a letter of support from an academic advisor. The committee will send a response to the appeal by email within 10 days of receipt. 

Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Committee or the Financial Aid and Scholarship Appeals Committee, depending on the type of appeal submitted. The Financial Aid SAP Committee or the Financial Aid and Scholarship Appeals Committee will notify the Office of Financial Aid regarding the decision. Once the Office of Financial Aid is notified of an appeal decision, staff will contact the student regarding the appeal decision.

If the appeal is denied, the decision is final for that semester. The student may re-establish eligibility for financial assistance for a subsequent semester by successfully completing coursework at CIA that restores compliance with the quantitative and qualitative standards of the Institute’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Coursework taken at other institutions may not be used to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards following a failure to meet the requirements.

If the appeal is approved, students will receive a letter outlining the conditions of the approval of the appeal. In many cases the Financial Aid and Scholarship Appeals Committee will require that an Academic Plan be completed. All Academic Plans must be completed, signed and returned to the Office of Financial Aid before financial aid is processed. While on probation, the student will receive all federal and institutional funding for which he/she has applied and is otherwise eligible. By the end of that semester, the student must be compliant with the SAP regulations or have successfully met the stipulations provided on the approved Financial Aid SAP Appeal. Students who are not compliant will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension. 

A student may not submit an appeal for consecutive terms; however, a student may submit an appeal with documentation of new circumstances that prevented the student from making satisfactory academic progress.

Creating a Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Plan

Students who did not attain the required cumulative grade point average and/or completion rate by the end of the semester while receiving financial aid under a probation status or who has a significant credit hour deficit or very low cumulative grade point average at the end of an academic semester will be denied federal and institutional financial aid and are required to complete a Financial Aid SAP Appeal with the Office of Financial Aid for financial assistance from the federal and institutional sources previously listed. 

A Financial Aid SAP Plan provides stipulations, including but not limited to: a specific listing of the credit hours the student will take in the subsequent semester, required semester GPA that must be attained, coupled with academic stipulations in order to:

  1. Fulfill all degree requirements within the 150 percent time frame
  2. Successfully complete all courses attempted
  3. Become compliant with all Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

Students who meet the requirements of the Financial Aid SAP Plan during the Satisfactory Academic Progress review conducted at the conclusion of each semester will retain eligibility for federal and institutional financial assistance for the next semester of enrollment.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and CIA Merit Scholarship Eligibility Review for Transfer Students

  • Transfer students will be awarded aid for one academic year before academic progress will be evaluated. Transfer students will be evaluated for Satisfactory Academic Progress and to determine if they are still eligible to receive their CIA Merit Scholarship after each semester of attendance.
  • In order to successfully fulfill the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, each student must: maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00, complete 67% of classes attempted each semester, and complete the BFA in no more than 6 years of full-time enrollment each semester.
  • 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. All accepted credit hours for transfer to CIA upon admission to CIA will be considered when determining the compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation. All credit hours attempted during your academic career will be used to make sure you do not exceed the six year limit to receive financial aid while earning your BFA.

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.

CIA Merit Scholarship Eligibility

CIA requires that a student maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for all merit scholarship funding with the exception of the CIA Dean’s Scholarship and CIA Transfer Dean's Scholarship. Both of these scholarships require a 2.6 cumulative grade point average. Students who fail to maintain the required cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for their CIA Merit Scholarship will be placed on a warning, probation, or suspended status. Students with a warning or probation status are still eligible for their CIA Merit Scholarship for the subsequent semester, despite not having met the minimum required cumulative GPA. They will be notified in writing of their status and of the GPA target that they are to achieve in the subsequent semester in order to retain their scholarship.

Students receiving a CIA Merit Scholarship who are placed on a suspended status are no longer eligible for their CIA Merit Scholarship and may appeal the suspended decision. These students are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to receive funds from CIA to help offset a portion of the CIA Merit Scholarship for which they are no longer eligible. The CIA funds awarded will be less than the original amount of the CIA Merit Scholarship.

Please note:  In all instances where, following a warning, probation, or suspension status, students are able to achieve the requisite cumulative GPA for their CIA Merit Scholarship, and they have not exceeded the allotted time frame for CIA Merit Scholarship eligibility, their CIA Merit Scholarship will be fully reinstated and the CIA funds awarded to help offset the loss of CIA Merit Scholarship will be revoked. Recipients of CIA Merit Scholarships can only receive these funds for a maximum of 4 years (eight semesters).

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies for Second Degree-Seeking Undergraduate Students

  • Second degree-seeking undergraduate students should apply for financial aid by following the same procedures as other undergraduate students.
  • Second degree-seeking undergraduate students must have declared majors different from the major in which they have already earned a degree.
  • Second degree-seeking undecided majors are considered undeclared for financial aid purposes, and are not eligible for aid.
  • Second degree-seeking undergraduate students may be eligible for Federal Work Study, Federal Direct and Perkins Loans (provided program has not been terminated), CIA Merit Scholarships and CIA Grants.
  • Second degree-seeking undergraduate students are NOT eligible to receive grants, such as Pell, FSEOG, OCOG, PHEAA, and other state aid grant programs.
  • Second undergraduate degree seeking students are also reviewed for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) purposes. Second degree students are allowed up to 90 attempted hours. Once second degree seeking students have exceeded 90 attempted hours, they will be placed on a suspension status. Students placed on a suspension status can appeal and if the appeal is successful, the students will be placed on an academic plan. Credit hour accumulation will be monitored by the Office of Student Financial Assistance each term.

Second degree seeking students, who previously submitted an academic plan outlining the courses needed for degree completion, must continue to follow the plan to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.

All second degree seeking students must meet all components of SAP to receive financial aid.

All undergraduate coursework is considered when calculating completion ratio and GPA for second degree seeking students.

 

Read More

Support CIA

Show the world creativity matters: make a gift to the annual fund.

Read More

The Art of Exchange

The Art of Exchange: Contemporary Cuban Art in Cleveland opens on November 2.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Creating. Connecting. Building better futures.