Academy of Art University Sues To Reinstate Cal Grants For Students

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The Academy of Art University is suing the California Student Aid Commission to reinstate Cal Grants for its students, after the for-profit school was deemed ineligible earlier this year due to low graduation rates.

Colleges and universities in the Cal Grant program must have a 30 percent graduation rate and a default rate lower than 15.5 percent, under new rules adopted this summer.

Ed Emerson with the California Student Aid Commission said the school’s default rate is quite low for an institution of their size.

“They do an excellent job with financial literacy. When students take out loans at many of these schools they don’t get the proper information, but Academy of Art does a fine job in that regard,” Emerson said.

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

However, Emerson said the Academy of Art’s 2010 29.2 percent graduation rate falls below the 30 percent needed for the program.

In the lawsuit, the Academy of Art is now saying the commission should have used the school’s 34 percent graduation rate in 2011 to determine eligibility.

Sue Rowley with the Academy of Art claimed the school’s graduation rate has been more than 30 percent, as far back as the 2004-2005 school year.

“In 2010 it was 29.2, so we’re doing what they want us to do,” Rowley contended.

A hearing in the suit is scheduled at the end of October.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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