Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academy Progress for Title IV Financial Aid

In order to maintain eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid (specifically for Cranbrook Academy of Art: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans; Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans; Federal Work Study), students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.  It is important to understand that students may be allowed to continue in their academic studies but not be eligible to receive federal aid if they fail to maintain financial aid SAP.

Students may not receive federal financial aid for any coursework attempted at the Academy after they have completed the necessary coursework required for their degree, and financial aid is not available for students who choose to pursue a second degree from the Academy.

All students at Cranbrook Academy of Art are enrolled in 15 credits in their major each semester; enrollment below 15 credits is not allowed.  Students are expected to achieve 15 credits per semester, and 60 credits are required for graduation.

SAP is assessed at the end of every semester.  All three measures of SAP (Qualitative Standard; Maximum Timeframe for Completion; Quantitative Standard) are measured, and failure to meet any one of the three measures results in loss of financial aid.  SAP standards are the same for all students within both programs of study (M.Arch and MFA).  All periods of enrollment are included in the measurement of SAP.  SAP assessment does not depend on whether a student is receiving Federal aid; terms in which the student enrolls but is not receiving Federal financial aid are included in the measurement.

The three measures of SAP are as follows:

Qualitative Standard:  Students are expected to receive a grade of Pass in their major each semester in order to meet SAP.  The Academy’s program awards 15 credits or no credits in the major each semester; therefore, a passing grade for the student’s major each semester is the academic standard that is consistent with the requirement for graduation.  A passing grade in the student’s major, with 15 credits earned in the semester is required in order to meet the Qualitative Standard.  Any student who fails to meet the Qualitative Standard loses eligibility for financial aid.

Maximum Timeframe for Completion:  The Maximum Timeframe for Completion of the degree is 6 semesters (90 credits attempted).  Changes in major do not extend the Maximum Timeframe. Any student who does not complete their degree after 90 credits attempted loses eligibility for financial aid.

Quantitative Standard:  Students must meet the quantitative standard of Pace of Progression in order to meet SAP.  Pace of Progression is defined as follows:

Cumulative Hours Completed

Cumulative Hours Attempted

The Quantitative Standard is tied to the Maximum Timeframe for Completion.  60 credits are required for degree completion and a maximum of 90 credits attempted is allowed.  Students must therefore complete at least 67% of hours attempted in order to maintain SAP.  Any student who fails to meet the Quantitative Standard loses eligibility for financial aid.

Loss of eligibility for financial aid:  SAP is evaluated at the end of each semester. Students who fail to meet the requirements of any one of the three measures of SAP when evaluated at the end of a semester lose eligibility for financial aid.

  • Failure to meet Qualitative Standard: Students are expected to receive a grade of Pass in a given semester in order to meet SAP requirements.  Students who receive a grade of No Credit for a semester lose their eligibility for financial aid.
  • Failure to meet Maximum Timeframe for Completion: Students must complete their degree requirements within 6 semesters.  Students who have not completed their degree requirements after attempting 90 credits lose their eligibility for financial aid.
  • Failure to meet Quantitative Standard: Students must complete at least 67% of the cumulative credits attempted in order to meet SAP requirements.  Students who have not completed at least 67% of cumulative credits attempted lose their eligibility for financial aid.

Regaining eligibility for financial aid: Financial aid eligibility will be regained as outlined below, with the understanding that all three SAP standards must be met in order to be eligible for financial aid.

  • Students who lose eligibility for financial aid for failing to meet the Qualitative Standard will regain eligibility for financial aid after receiving a grade of Pass in a subsequent semester; eligibility may also be regained through a successful SAP appeal.
  • Students who lose eligibility for aid because they have exceeded the Maximum Timeframe for Completion of 90 credits attempted can only regain eligibility through a successful SAP appeal.
  • Students who lose eligibility for financial aid for failure to meet the Quantitative Standard will regain eligibility for financial aid when they complete at least 67% of cumulative credits attempted; eligibility may also be regained through a successful SAP appeal.

SAP Appeal Process:  Students have the right to appeal a determination that they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid due to failure to meet SAP requirements.  The appeal must be initiated within 14 days of the date the student is informed of their loss of financial aid eligibility by the Registrar, Financial Aid & Admissions Manager.  This appeal must contain a detailed explanation of why the student failed to make satisfactory progress and what has changed in his/her situation that will allow him/her to make satisfactory progress during the subsequent term of enrollment.  In addition, the student may be required to follow an academic plan developed by his/her Artist-in-Residence, who shall have the final determination regarding whether the plan has been adequately followed.

Appeals are reviewed based on a documentable extenuating circumstance impacting academic performance. Extenuating circumstances are considered to be past events that are no longer barriers to academic progress. The appeal application should support how the student is now in a position to be academically successful. Examples of extenuating circumstances to be considered for appeal: Serious illness or injury to student or immediate family member (parent, spouse, sibling, child) that required extended recovery time; death of an immediate family member; significant trauma in student’s life that impaired the student’s emotional and/or physical health; withdrawal due to military service; change of major; other unexpected circumstances beyond the control of the student.

Any relevant documentation pertaining to the circumstances leading to the failure to meet the standards for SAP must be submitted as part of the appeal.  All three standards of SAP must be met.  If student lost eligibility for financial aid based on failure to meet more than one standard of SAP, any appeal must address all standards not met; such an appeal will be deemed successful only if all standards addressed in the appeal are determined to be successfully appealed.

Appeals are to be directed in writing, including a manual signature (requests made within the body of an email are not acceptable).  Students are not eligible to receive financial aid while an appeal is pending.  Appeals may be dropped off in the Academy Offices or sent to: Leslie Tobakos, Registrar, Financial Aid & Admissions Manager / CAA / 39221 Woodward Avenue / P.O. Box 801 / Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801 / Fax: (248) 645-3591 (or scan the request and email the written, signed request to ltobakos@cranbrook.edu).  All Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal decisions are final; no further appeal is available.

Successful SAP Appeal:  Students who successfully appeal the determination that they have lost eligibility for financial aid due to failure to meet SAP requirements will be placed on SAP Probation and will be allowed to receive financial aid for the semester in which the appeal is approved.

SAP Probation: SAP will be evaluated at the end of the semester; all three standards of SAP will be reviewed at this time.  Students who meet all three standards will no longer be on SAP Probation and will be eligible for financial aid.  Students who do not meet one or more of the SAP standards will lose eligibility for financial aid.

Effect of Transfer Credits on SAP:  The Academy does not accept transfer credits.

Effect of Repeated Courses on SAP:  The Academy does not allow course repeats.  Exception:  1-credit elective courses may be repeated as long as the student remains in compliance with all other standards of SAP.  Financial aid is not used to pay for elective courses; these are free of charge and available only to students enrolled in 15 credits in a major, are capped at one elective per semester, do not make the difference between a student being full time or not, and on a mathematical basis have no measurable effect the pace of completion.

Effect of Withdrawal from semester on SAP:  Withdrawing from coursework directly related to the student’s major results in withdrawal from the Academy; no credit is earned for the semester.  A student who withdraws from the Academy on or after the first day of class will be graded as Withdrew (WD).  There is no distinction between Withdrew/Passing and Withdrew/Failing; all students who withdraw are graded WD.  The credits from which the student withdraws will be counted toward the Maximum Timeframe to Completion and the Quantitative Standard.  Note:  Withdrawal from a 1-credit elective course does not necessarily result in loss of financial aid eligibility, as long as the student remains in compliance with all other requirements of SAP.

Effect of Incomplete grade on SAP:  A grade of Incomplete is not a final grade; therefore, SAP eligibility will be reviewed at the time the final grade is assigned.  If the final grade is No Credit, the student loses financial aid eligibility for the current term for failure to meet the Qualitative Standard of SAP; the student may also fail to meet either of the other two measures of SAP as a result.  Any aid disbursed for the semester will be removed from the student’s account (creating a balance owed to the Academy).