Catalog Policies

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility

To receive federal and state funds administered by the Financial Aid Office at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), students must be making measurable academic progress toward completion of an eligible degree program.   Accordingly, the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for students who receive financial aid is in place.  These standards require that a student make academic progress during all periods of enrollment, including periods when a student did not receive financial aid.  CalArts will be consistent in applying the SAP policies to full- and part-time, independent and dependent students.

Students enrolling at CalArts for the first time (including transfers) are initially considered to be meeting SAP.  The measurement of academic progress will be made at the conclusion of the first enrollment period and will include all acceptable transfer credits/units that the CalArts academic record contains.

Minimum Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

  • Maintain required cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) based on matrix below, or higher (qualitative measure) 
   Undergraduate Students       2.0 GPA for all coursework completed at CalArts based on equivalency.
   Graduate Students                     3.0 GPA for all coursework completed at CalArts based on equivalency.
   Doctoral Students                  3.0 GPA for all coursework completed at CalArts based on equivalency.


AND

  • Successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative attempted units (a quantitative measure) and
  • Make positive progress toward a program of study within 150% of the average published program length (units needed to earn a degree). 

Financial Aid Eligibility Statuses

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history. Fully eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student did not meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate in the previous evaluation period. Student is still eligible for financial aid, but must reach all minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility. 
  • Ineligible – Student has failed to meet minimum standards for cumulative GPA and/or 67% completion rate SAP at the end of the evaluation period. Student is ineligible for financial aid.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted more than 150% of the published program length toward a Bachelor's Degree. For example, majors requiring 120 units will be allowed up to 180 attempted units (120 x 1.5 = 180). Graduate and Doctoral students must earn their degree within 150% of the timelines set by the Graduate or Doctoral School per their program. If a student exceeds these unit limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within 150% federal requirement. Student is ineligible for financial aid. 

How is the 67% completion rate calculated? The calculation is made as follows: earned units divided by attempted units = completion rate (result will be rounded to closest whole number). 

Successful completion of a class: Although CalArts does not follow a standard letter grading system, grades of High Pass, Pass, and Low Pass are assigned to reflect the quality of a students' work in each course. The equivalencies are calculated as follows: 

HP = 4.0
P = 3.0
LP = 2.0

AND 

  • Will be used to determine cumulative GPA, Completion Rate and Timeframe.

Incomplete Grades: An (I) grade is given if the student has been given approval to extend the amount of time needed to complete the course. This grade will be factored into the completion rate and maximum timeframe.

Non-Passing Grades: NC and NG=0.0.  A No Credit grade is assigned to students who do not meet the minimum course requirements, and a No Grade is given if the instructor does not submit a grade for the students and will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe. If the grade is submitted later by the instructor, the student will need to contact the Financial Aid Office and we will recalculate the SAP status for the student.

Withdrawals: All institutional withdrawals are factored into the completion rate and the maximum timeframe.

When is Academic Progress Evaluated?  A student’s satisfactory academic progress will be evaluated at the end of each semester (Fall and Spring).  Students will not be eligible for federal funding during this time if in an ineligible SAP status.

New Financial Aid Students with prior academic history:  CalArts students with prior academic history will be evaluated at the time they apply for financial aid. They will receive one of four financial aid statuses.

  • Eligible – Student is meeting the minimum academic standards or has no academic history.  Fully eligible for financial aid.
  • Warning – Student is below minimum standards in their prior semester.  Student is still eligible for financial aid, but must reach the minimum standards at the end of the next evaluation period to maintain eligibility.
  • Ineligible – If after evaluating all prior semesters, and it is determined that the student is not making SAP based on the standards outlined prior, the student is ineligible for financial Aid.
  • Timeframe – Student has attempted more than 150% of the published program length toward a Bachelor’s Degree.  For example, majors requiring 120 units will be allowed up to 180 attempted units (120 x 1.5 = 180). Graduate and Doctoral students must earn their degree within 150% of the timelines set by the Graduate or Doctoral School per their program.  If a student exceeds the unit limits, they are not making progress toward a degree within the 150% federal requirement. Student is ineligible for financial aid.
Transfer Students and Transfer units: Students transferring to CalArts are required to have all prior college transcripts evaluated for transfer units. All units accepted by CalArts will be used to determine 67% completion rate and maximum timeframe of 150%.
Repeat Courses: Students repeating courses, for the first time only, can receive aid for that repeated course.  All repeat courses will be used in determining completion rate and timeframe.  Actual equivalent grades are included in the cumulative GPA.

Audited Courses: Courses taken on an audit basis are not counted when determining the completion percentage or for purposes of determining your cumulative GPA.

Second Degree/Interschool Programs: Undergraduate students seeking second degrees and students with interschool programs (double majors) are monitored like any other student under this policy.  If the Financial Aid Office determines that the student will exceed maximum timeframe or when the students exceed the maximum timeframe allowed for their respective programs, the student will not be eligible for additional aid.  Students can appeal for additional time, please see appeal section.

Likewise, when determining eligibility for graduate and doctoral students who complete one graduate degree program at CalArts and begin another graduate degree program, hours from the prior degree are calculated toward maximum time frame.  If the Financial Aid Office determines that the student will exceed maximum timeframe or when the students exceed the maximum timeframe allowed for their respective programs, the student will not be eligible for additional aid.  Students can appeal for additional time, please see appeal section.  If the appeal is approved, the hours from the prior graduate degree will be removed from the maximum timeframe calculation.
 

How to Reestablish Eligibility: 

  • A student must bring their GPA completion rate up to the minimum standards of the required cumulative GPA, and 67% completion rate. A student is ineligible for financial aid and cannot be reimbursed during this time.
  • Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has experienced mitigating circumstances (illness, family illness, change of major) during the most recent evaluation period, they may submit an Appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. A deadline for appeal submission will be published each semester. Appeals received after the deadline will not be reviewed until the next semester.

    In the appeal, the student must explain what has changed that will now allow them to meet the SAP requirements.  The student must also submit supporting documentation with the appeal. The following may be considered acceptable documentation to support reason for appeal (examples):

    -Statement from physician or health professional reflecting condition, dates of occurrence, treatment and resolution.
    -Copy of death certificate, obituary or statement from physician.
    -Other documentation that support circumstances and resolution.

    Appeals that are incomplete, and/or lack supporting documentation are not reviewed and the student is notified. If the request is granted, the student will be placed on one of two Financial Aid Eligibility Statuses: 

    • Probation – The student is expected to improve to minimum standards by the end of the next evaluation period. The student is eligible for financial aid, but must meet minimum standards by the next evaluation period. A student cannot be on probation for two consecutive semester. 
    • Academic Plan – The student cannot be expected to improve to minimum standards by the next evaluation period.  The student and CalArts have agreed to an academic plan to allow the student to meet minimum standards within a fixed number of evaluation periods.  The student is fully eligible for financial aid as long as they are strictly following the academic plan.  If at any time the student stops following the plan and they are not meeting minimum standards they will become ineligible for financial aid.  If a student meets minimum standards at any time while on an academic plan their Financial Aid Eligibility Status will be updated to eligible.

    If the request is not granted, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid until they meet all minimum standards.

  • Timeframe Mitigating Circumstances: If a student has not completed their program of study within the 150% timeframe and there are mitigating circumstances (illness, job related, family illness, change of major), they may submit an Appeal to reinstate financial aid eligibility. If this application is granted, the student will be placed on the following Academic Eligibility Status:

    • Timeframe Academic Plan – The student and CalArts have agreed to an academic plan. The student is fully eligible for financial aid, as long as they are strictly following the success plan. If at any time the student stops following the academic plan, they will become permanently ineligible for financial aid.

    If the request is not granted, the student will be Ineligible for financial aid.  All students are limited to one Timeframe Academic Plan.

  • All appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid SAP Appeals Review Group. All decisions of this group are final. 

​Availability of SAP Policy: The SAP policy is available to students on the CalArts Financial Aid website. Office staff may also print copies of the policy in the office if a request is made. The policy is updated as needed or whenever changes in federal regulations occur.

STUDENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL, OF THEIR SAP STATUS, AT THE END OF EACH SEMESTER

NOTICE TO APPLICANTS
Student Financial Assistance Programs Disclosure of Social Security Account Number

Section 7(a) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5U.S.C.552a) requires that when any federal, state, or local government agency requests an individual to disclose their Social Security Account Number, that individual must also be advised whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority the number is solicited, and what use will be made of it. Accordingly, applicants are advised that disclosure of the applicant’s Social Security Account Number (SSAN) is required as a condition for participation in student financial assistance programs sponsored by the federal government, state, or the local government, in view of the practical administrative difficulties that would be encountered in maintaining adequate program records without the continued use of the SSAN. The SSAN will be used to verify the identity of the applicant and as an account number (identifier) throughout the life of the loan or other type of assistance in order to report necessary data accurately. As an identifier, the SSAN is used in such program activities as determining program eligibility, certifying school attendance and student status, determining eligibility for deferment or repayment of student loans, and for tracing and collecting in cases of defaulted loans. Authority for requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s SSAN is grounded on Section 7(a)(2) of the Privacy Act, which provides that an agency may continue to require disclosure of an individual’s SSAN as a condition for the granting of a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law where the agency required this disclosure under statute or regulation prior to Jan. 1, 1975, in order to verify the identity of an individual.



Policy Category:
Adopted Date:
Jan 2019
Revised Date:
Jun 2019
Responsible Office:
Financial Aid