Financial Aid

Receiving an education at The College of Idaho is an investment that will give you a competitive advantage throughout your life. We believe that our outstanding learning experience should be available to every qualified student, regardless of financial considerations, and we are committed to helping your family find the financing options to support your goals.

A college education represents a major financial undertaking. The Student Financial Aid Services Office is eager to work with students to help them develop an educational funding strategy. Working closely with each student, The College of Idaho seeks to identify and obtain maximum funding from all available sources with a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and work.

Students who complete the financial aid process in a timely manner and are pre-registered have an advantage in the awarding process. Information must be provided within the deadline outlined in each student's correspondence or aid may be held or canceled.

The College of Idaho uses a combination of Federal aid methodology and institutional policy to provide a uniform method to assess a family's financial strength and to estimate the expected family contribution (EFC) toward the student's cost of education (COE - the student expense budget). The COE includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, room, board, personal expenses, and transportation allowance.

Applying for Financial Aid

Students applying for financial aid must be admitted as regular students who are working toward eligible degrees at The College of Idaho.

Types of Aid

Financial assistance at The College of Idaho comes in three forms: merit-based scholarships, talent-based scholarships, and need-based aid. Each student is automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship when they apply for admission. Need-based awards are granted based on a student's demonstrated need indicated on their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Federal Aid

The College of Idaho encourages all students and families to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at The FAFSA must be filed each year in order to determine a student's eligibility for federal grants, work study, and loans, or any need-based institutional aid. Continuing students should reapply each academic year (beginning in January) by completing a FAFSA or renewal FAFSA online at Early applications (submitted between January 1st and February 15th) receive priority consideration.

The College of Idaho's Federal School Code is 001617.

State Aid

Residents of the state of Idaho may also be eligible for a variety of scholarships or grants offered by the Idaho State Board of Education. All Idaho residents should complete the Federal FAFSA application AND apply for Idaho scholarships through the State Board of Education at The College distributes grants and scholarships to students determined to be eligible by the State Board of Education and to those who meet eligibility criteria set by the Idaho Legislature for campus-based programs.

Merit Awards

Merit Scholarships (Presidential, Trustee, and Dean) and the William Judson Boone Scholarship are based on grade-point average and test scores at the time of admission. The maximum merit award and/or need-based scholarship, established at the time of admission, may be met by one or more endowed or funded scholarships donated by major contributors to The College of Idaho. All or a portion of these awards may be renamed at any time during enrollment.

This scholarship award is guaranteed through the student's senior year of undergraduate enrollment provided they meet the scholarship criteria and maintain Satisfactory Academic Standing. Students transferring in credit hours from another school may receive a merit award for less than 3 years.

Presidential Scholar and Trustee Scholar –These funds are in recognition of your academic excellence and are renewable through the senior year as long as a cumulative GPA of 3.00 is maintained (if cumulative GPA falls below 3.00, one semester is given of probation before the scholarship is reduced). After the one semester of probation half the scholarship amount will be awarded. If the student drops below a cumulative GPA of 2.00, the full amount of the scholarship will be lost.

Dean's Scholar and William Judson Boone Scholarship – These funds are in recognition of your academic excellence and are renewable through the senior year as long as a cumulative GPA of 2.50 is maintained (if cumulative GPA falls below 2.50, one semester is given of probation before the scholarship is reduced). After the one semester of probation half the scholarship amount will be awarded. If the student drops below a cumulative GPA of 2.00, the full amount of the scholarship will be lost.

The College of Idaho Need-Based Scholarship - These scholarship funds are based on need and are subject to change based on the information we receive on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), through the verification process, or in some cases if you receive additional financial aid. A cumulative GPA of 2.00 is required to continue to receive this scholarship. This scholarship is funded through The College of Idaho funded and endowed scholarships.

Outside Scholarships

There are many other sources of financial aid available through private foundations, companies, service clubs, or other organizations that are not directly managed by the College. All students should seek out and apply for any source of financial assistance available. The College encourages all students to apply for outside scholarships by contacting each organization individually.

Award Notification

Students will receive a financial aid letter after acceptance for enrollment. Students are asked to accept, adjust, reduce, or decline their financial awards within 30 days of receipt of their award letter. Students are expected to read, sign, and return a copy of the Award Letter included in the award package.

  • Financial assistance is awarded for one academic year or less, depending on the number of terms of intended enrollment.
  • Assistance continues each year provided the student is still eligible to receive aid. The amount of federal aid granted and components of the financial aid package may vary from year to year, dependent on need and funding.
  • The ability to provide aid depends not only on the availability of funds but also on the student maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress, i.e., earning 24 credits per academic year. See Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid.
  • Satisfactory progress is reviewed on a continuing basis each school year. Part-time students (less than 12 credits) must earn half the required units and maintain academic standing.
  • Part-time students (less than 12 credits per term) are not eligible for institutional financial awards. Federal aid is prorated based on the number of credits taken.
  • All students receiving federal aid must be working toward a degree or teaching certificate.

Most of the awards that appear on the Financial Aid Award Notification are automatically applied to your student account with receipt of a signed award letter and confirmation of attendance following the 10th day of the semester (census day). Exceptions to this rule include:

  • Outside scholarships are applied when the scholarship check is received by the College. NOTE: Please notify the Office of Student Financial Aid Services if you are receiving any outside scholarships.
  • Federal, state, and College of Idaho Work-Study earnings are paid directly to you by check as you earn the money. It is your responsibility to make payments on your student account.
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Student Loan and/or Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans are applied directly to your student account.
  • Federal PLUS Loan is applied directly to your student account.

Since changes occur regularly in federal regulations concerning financial aid programs, the information in this catalog may change without notice. Additional information about financial aid can be obtained from the Student Financial Aid Services Office.

Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) - Undergraduate

Students are required to maintain and remain in good Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to be eligible for Federal, State, and institutional financial assistance. Federal regulations require The College of Idaho to establish, publish, and monitor student progress toward completion of your degree. There are two departments that monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress. The Registrar's Office monitors course work for academic standing and the Office of Student Financial Aid Services is responsible for ensuring that all students (including full-time, part-time, and students without aid) are meeting the standards set for Financial Aid. The standards apply for all financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study, Federal Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS), as well as state grants and institutional scholarships and grants.

Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) is used to define successful completion of coursework and is used to both establish eligibility for and maintain eligibility for financial aid and scholarships. Federal regulations require all colleges and universities to publish and apply standards to monitor students' progress towards completion of their certificate or degree program. The federal regulations set minimum requirements but schools can choose their own acceptable thresholds. This means that SAP standards can vary from one institution to the next.

By rule, SAP standards must include both a qualitative standard and a quantitative standard:

  • Qualitative Requirement: A student must maintain an acceptable Grade Point Average (GPA) in order to continue to receive financial assistance. The criterion is the maintenance of a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the second academic year. Please note: many College scholarships and some state and federal grants are reduced if the student's cumulative GPA falls below a 3.00. Students should refer to their award letter and Financial Aid Handbook or the Office of Student Financial Aid Services for additional information.
  • Quantitative Requirement: A sliding scale is used to monitor an undergraduate student's quantitative requirement. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of successfully completed credits by the number of attempted credits over the student's entire academic career, including all accepted transfer credits and any credits earned during periods of enrollment when the student was not receiving financial aid. If a student changes course of study (major), the hours attempted under all courses of study are included in the calculation of attempted and earned hours.

Maximum Time Limit (PACE)

There is a time limit and a number-of-credits limit set for financial assistance during one's undergraduate studies. Students who begin an academic term with more than 124 credits will receive only half of their institutional scholarship funds. Students are no longer eligible for financial assistance once they have received 186 undergraduate credits during their academic career or after they have graduated. The exception to this is the fifth-year internship program through the education department, which occurs after a student graduates.

Number of Credits Successfully Completed Completion Rate Required

0-28 completed undergraduate credits

70% completion rate

29-60 completed undergraduate credits

75% completion rate

61 or more completed undergraduate credits

80% completion rate

Example 1: A first-year student is enrolled for 12 credits during the Fall term and successfully completes 9 of those credits. To calculate the completion rate, 9 credits divided by 12 credits attempted equals 75%. This student is making satisfactory progress.

Example 2: A first-year student is enrolled for 12 credits during the Fall term and successfully completes 6 credits (a 50% completion rate). This student would be placed on financial aid warning for the Winter/Spring combined term. During the Winter/Spring term the student attempts 15 credits and completes 12 credits. The student's completed percentage at the end of the Winter/Spring term (18/27) is 66%. The student is placed on financial aid discontinue.

Example 3: A student has previously attempted and completed 28 credits and during the next semester attempts 15 credits and only successfully completes 6 credits; 34 credits completed divided by 43 attempted credits equal a 79% completion rate. The student has met the completion rate required for the second tier of the standard and would be making satisfactory progress.

Evaluation of Academic Progress

At the end of each term (Fall term and the combined Winter/Spring term) an undergraduate student's academic progress will be measured by comparing the number of attempted credit hours (including accepted transfer credits) with the credit hours earned and by the student's cumulative grade point average. This includes any course for which the student has remained enrolled past the Add/Drop period. The following are considered when evaluating a student's satisfactory academic progress:

  • Withdrawals, incompletes, and failures are considered attempted but not earned hours.
  • Incompletes if completed during the academic year in which they are incurred may be counted toward one's earned credit hours.
  • Passing credits received for pass/fail courses are considered attempted and earned credits; failing grades in pass/fail courses are considered attempted but not earned.
  • Repeated courses and courses for which the student has been granted academic reprieve are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
  • Audited courses are not considered credits attempted or earned.
  • Remedial courses are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours.
  • Transfer credits are included in the calculation of the cumulative GPA and in attempted and earned hours.

Students' progress according to the SAP Standards is measured at the end of every semester in order to determine eligibility for future semesters. Students can be on one of four SAP "standings":

  • Good
  • Warning
  • Discontinue "Suspension"
  • Probation

Financial Aid Good Status

Students who are meeting all of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and are not in a period of "Warning," "Discontinue," or "Probation" are in good standing and no additional enrollment, advising, or education plan requirements are specified.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Students falling below the standards for the first time will be placed on financial aid warning and will receive a letter and/or an e-mail (The College of Idaho e-mail account) from the Financial Aid Office. A student may continue to receive financial assistance during the warning period. A student on financial aid warning is encouraged to work with their advisor and to use the counseling, tutoring, testing, and other services available on campus to assist them with improving their academic standing. At the end of the next semester, progress will be reviewed and the student will:

  • Be removed from warning status if both the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate standards are met; OR
  • Be placed on Financial Aid Discontinue and suspended from receiving assistance from Federal, state, and institutional sources.

Financial Aid Discontinue Status "Suspension"

Students who do not meet both standards (Qualitative and Quantitative) are no longer eligible for financial aid until classes have been taken (using their own funding) and have raised their cumulative GPA and completion rate to meet the above standards. Students will receive a letter from the Financial Aid Office informing them of their aid suspension.

  • Students who are on Academic Dismissal are also on Aid Suspension.
  • Failure to earn any credits in an academic year will result in a student being placed on aid suspension.


A student on financial aid probation may receive Federal, State, and Institutional aid for one semester. While a student is on financial aid probation, the institution may require the student to fulfill specific terms and conditions such as taking a reduced course load or enrolling in specific courses. At the end of one semester on financial aid probation, the student must meet the institution's satisfactory academic progress standards or meet the requirements of the academic plan developed by the institution and the student to qualify for further assistance through these programs.

  • Students who have been placed on probation and are attending their program under an approved academic plan remain eligible for aid as long as they continue to meet the conditions of that plan. Students are not considered to be on financial aid warning or probation as long as they are making satisfactory progress under the academic plan.
  • Students who have failed to make satisfactory academic progress and have an appeal approved with an academic plan in place are considered to be on financial aid probation status for the next semester.

Appeal Process

Students who are placed on "Suspension" may appeal if there are extenuating circumstances which led to academic difficulties.

A student may appeal on the basis (must provide documentation) of:

  • Extenuating circumstances are those over which the student has no control and may include death in the student's immediate family, hospitalization, accidents, and illness. Supporting documentation is required.
  • Students who are placed on "Suspension" as a result of "Incomplete (I)" or missing grades may also appeal using the standard appeal form and procedure.

    The following must be included with the petition:
  • Why the student failed to meet satisfactory progress
  • What has changed in the student's situation that will allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory progress at the next evaluation
  • A written plan of action
  • A statement from an academic advisor in support of the plan.

The Vice President for Enrollment in consultation with the Financial Aid Office will:

  • Review the appeal and current academic performance
  • Convey in writing to the student the approval or disapproval of the petition. If the appeal is approved the student will be placed on probation for one semester.

If the student finds the decision unsatisfactory, the student may appeal to the Financial Aid Committee for further review. The Financial Aid Committee's decision on the appeal is final.

Incomplete Financial Aid Petitions will not be reviewed until all documentation has been received in the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified if they need to provide additional documentation.


The policy does not preclude a student from enrolling in subsequent semesters. Students can raise their GPA and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional course work at The College of Idaho without receiving financial aid or by transferring in credits from another institution. Students who have lost eligibility for financial aid will not regain eligibility simply by paying for his or her classes for a semester or by sitting out a semester. Students may have their financial aid reinstated by the Financial Aid Office once all satisfactory academic progress standards (both qualitative and quantitative) are met. Students can also submit a copy of their College of Idaho transcript and a petition form to verify grade changes, including removal of Incompletes, if this will result in the student meeting the requirements of satisfactory academic progress for financial assistance.

Withdrawal Policy

Registered students who officially withdraw from the College after the start of a semester may be eligible for a refund of charges, in accordance with the College policy. Students may also be subject to a recalculation of their eligibility for financial aid based on their withdrawal. Students must initiate the official withdrawal process in the Registrar's Office.

Federal regulations may require a recalculation of federal aid eligibility if a student withdraws from, drops, or does not begin a scheduled course. A recalculation of aid eligibility may be required for students who cease enrollment during the semester but who have not gone through the official withdrawal process.
Based on the College's policy, the Business Office will determine whether to make any changes to a student's institutional charges. The Financial Aid Office will perform separate calculations to determine how much institutional and federal aid the student is eligible to retain in light of his or her withdrawal. Eligibility for institutionally funded financial aid sources will be prorated based on the percentage of tuition the student is charged. Eligibility for federally funded financial aid sources is prorated based on the number of days of attendance compared with the number of days in the semester. Once a student has attended more than 60 percent of the semester, he or she is eligible to retain 100 percent of his or her processed federal aid to apply to educational expenses. The College will use the date the Registrar's Office receives written notification of withdrawal to calculate the amount of Federal financial aid the student is eligible to retain, unless there is a documented last day of attendance that is earlier than the notification date.

The College will calculate any student account credit balance to be refunded to the student or any balance due from the student only after the financial aid has been adjusted and any funds required to be reversed from the student account have been returned to the respective financial aid program.

All scholarships and loans awarded for periods after the withdrawal will be canceled, and any loan funds received will be returned to the lending institution. Any outside scholarships received after withdrawal will be returned to the donor.

Institutional Refund Policy

Please see the Cost of Attendance.

Federal Refund Policy

If the student is eligible for a refund based on the refund policy, and the student has received any federal monies, part of the refund must be applied to those federal funds. A calculation will be done by the Student Financial Aid Services Office to determine the amount of funds to be returned to the Federal programs. Work-study funds, both federal and institutional, are not included in this calculation. The student will receive a copy of the calculation and the assignment of refund amounts to the various fund accounts will be itemized. No refund can exceed the amount the student received from that fund.