How many college credits can I earn as a CAAP participant? 

Students who complete the full program can earn up to 6 college credits.

Are college credits earned through this program accepted at other colleges or universities?

SAIC is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCS), and by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The decision to accept credits earned at SAIC is the purview of the other institution, but most institutions accept SAIC credit.

When are Early College Program courses offered?

  • Early College Program Fall: October to December, 10 weeks, Saturday or Sunday, morning or afternoon.
  • Early College Program Spring: February to April, 10 weeks, Saturday or Sunday, morning or afternoon.
  • Early College Program Summer: June, July, August, 1- and 2-week sessions.
    • 1-week session: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    • 2-week session: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

When are ECP Summer Institute courses offered?

The ECP Summer Institute is a two-week residential program in June and July, with classes Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and mandatory evening workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., plus a final day exhibition from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. CAAP participants will receive tuition, room, and board, as well as meals and supplies for the duration of the session as part of the program.

How are meals provided?

Funds for meals are automatically added to each CAAP student’s ID card to be used at dining locations on campus. The amount of the meal plan depends on the semester and the amount of time students are scheduled to be on campus.

How is transportation provided?

Students receive Ventra passes each semester that will cover the cost of transportation to and from SAIC.

Are supplies provided?

Students are provided with a supply budget for each term.

Are CAAP Application requirements weighted?

All of the items in the CAAP application are reviewed holistically.

What should I include in my portfolio?

We are most interested in how you communicate your ideas and personal voice through materials. You are welcome to include images from your sketchbook, works in progress, writing samples, or inspiration boards. You may also submit work in a variety of media. We encourage you to take risks and be inventive. Upload 3–5 pieces of work that you feel best showcases your style at saic.edu/CAAPapply.

How long should my application essay be?

There is no maximum or minimum word limit for the essay, but we suggest about one page.

Can I still apply if my grade point average is below 3.0?

Absolutely. We encourage you to solicit a letter of recommendation from an individual that can speak to your continued academic progress. Students accepted into CAAP must achieve and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to continue the program.

Will I be allowed to miss some classes?

SAIC recognizes that high school students have busy lives. However, to be successful the CAAP program requires a commitment to good attendance. CAAP students are expected to attend all classes and outside activities at the scheduled time, arrive prepared, and successfully complete all assignments at a passing level or above. During any given course, students with more than 2 absences or who do not complete assignments may impact their future participation in the program and/or be ineligible to receive credit.

Am I expected to attend other events outside of class?

In addition to good attendance in class, CAAP students are also asked to attend a small number of outside events/activities with their SAIC mentors to help strengthen their practice and connection to peers. Some examples of these events: CAAP orientation (late September), National  Portfolio Day (held at SAIC in late October), lunch with mentors, field trips to downtown Chicago exhibitions at places such as the MCA, Field Museum, or Cultural Center.

Will I have to attend National Portfolio Day (NPD) in Chicago?

Yes. CAAP students are expected to attend NPD at SAIC each year for invaluable feedback on their development as they progress through the program. For more information: tinyurl.com/saicnpd.

What financial documentation do I need to provide?

Financial documentation should include a copy of the family’s most recent 1040 tax form. If you are unable to provide this, please contact Continuing Studies at 312.629.6170 or caap@saic.edu.

Who should my parents contact with questions?

Any individual who has questions about the College Arts Access Program can email caap@saic.edu or call 312.629.6170.

Can I see examples of the type of work CAAP students have made?

Absolutely! Check out the CAAP 2021 final exhibition site!