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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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, 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 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.