Financial Assistance

Receiving an education at The College of Idaho is an investment that gives students a competitive advantage throughout their lives. We believe that an outstanding learning experience at the C of I should be available to every qualified student, regardless of financial considerations, and we are committed to helping families find the financing options to support students' goals.

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

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 deadlines outlined in student correspondence or aid may be held up or canceled due to an incomplete file.

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 estimate the expected family contribution (EFC) toward the student's cost of education (COE). The COE, also known as the student budget, includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, room, board, personal expenses, and transportation.

Applying for Financial Aid

Students applying for financial aid must be admitted as regular students 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. All students are automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship when applying for admission. Need-based awards are granted based on a student's demonstrated need, indicated on the 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, as well as any need-based institutional aid. Continuing students reapply each academic year (beginning January 1). Early applications (submitted between January 1 and February 15) receive priority consideration.

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

State Aid

Residents 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 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 Idaho 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, Dean, and the William Judson Boone Scholarship — are based on grade-point average and test scores at the time of admission. Transfer credits may also be considered (see the Transfer Student policy). 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.

Merit scholarship award is guaranteed through the student's 4th year of undergraduate enrollment provided they meet the scholarship criteria, are enrolled full time (12 credits per semester) and maintain Satisfactory Academic Standing (SAP). If SAP is not met, a Merit Scholarship will be reduced to half the original amount until SAP is regained. Students transferring in credit hours from another school may receive a merit award for less than 3 years. Students enrolled in 5th year undergraduate courses may receive half the original Merit scholarship amount, reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Presidential Scholar and Trustee Scholar. These funds are in recognition of academic excellence and are renewable through the 4th year as long as a cumulative GPA of 3.00 is maintained; if the cumulative GPA falls below 3.00, one semester is given of probation before the scholarship is reduced. If the student drops below a cumulative GPA of 3.00, the scholarship will be reduced to half of the original amount, following the probationary semester.

Dean's Scholar and William Judson Boone Scholarship. These funds are in recognition of academic excellence and are renewable through the 4th year as long as a cumulative GPA of 2.50 is maintained; if the cumulative GPA falls below 2.50, one semester is given of probation before the scholarship is reduced. If the student drops below a cumulative GPA of 2.50, the scholarship will be reduced to half of the original amount, following the probationary semester.

The College of Idaho Need-Based Scholarship. These scholarship funds are based on need and are subject to change based on the information the College receives from the FAFSA, through the verification process, or, in some cases, if the student receives additional financial aid. A cumulative GPA of 2.00 is required to continue to receive this scholarship as well as enrolling full time (12 credits). This scholarship is funded through The College of Idaho funded and endowed scholarships.

Talent-Based Scholarships

Students may apply for several different types of talent-based scholarships offered at The College of Idaho:

  • Art
  • Athletics
  • Debate
  • Music
  • Theatre

Students should follow the guidelines for each scholarship found on the application or outlined on the Talent-Based Scholarships page. Students interested in an athletic scholarship should contact the head coach for the program(s). Each scholarship may request unique items that pertain to the talent; students should be sure to submit all requested items in order to be evaluated and awarded accordingly if selected.

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. The College recommends all students seek out and apply for any source of financial assistance available; apply for outside scholarships by contacting the organization and completing the requirements listed.

Award Notification

Students will receive two award notifications. The Merit award accompanies the letter of acceptance for enrollment; the second notice will detail scholarships, loans, or other eligible aid. Students are asked to accept, adjust, reduce, or decline their financial award within 30 days of receipt of their award notification. Students are expected to read, sign, and return a copy of the Award notification. Included in the award package:

  • Financial assistance is awarded for one academic year or less, depending on the number of semesters 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, following semester end.
    • 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 semester) are not eligible for institutional financial awards, and federal aid is prorated based on the number of enrolled credits.
  • All students receiving federal aid must be working toward a degree or teaching certificate to maintain eligibility.

Most of the awards that appear on the Financial Aid Award Notification are applied to the student account with receipt of a signed award notification 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: Students must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid Services if they are receiving any outside scholarships as they may affect the overall award package.
  • Federal, state, and College of Idaho Work-Study earnings are paid directly to the student by check as money is earned.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and/or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are applied directly to the student account upon completion of the Entrance Counseling Session and Master Promissory Note.
  • Federal PLUS Loan is applied directly to the 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

SAP is used to define successful completion of coursework — both for establishing and maintaining eligibility for financial aid and scholarships. Federal regulations require all colleges and universities to publish and apply standards that monitor students' progress towards completion of their certificate or degree program. Two departments monitor SAP at the completion of each semester. The Registrar's Office monitors course work for academic standing, and the Office of Student Financial Aid Services ensures that all students (including full-time, part-time, and students without aid) are meeting the requirements for SAP. These standards apply to all students regardless of whether or not a student has received previous financial aid or transferred from another institution. 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.

Students failing to meet SAP standards will receive communication via email to their C of I email address. All students should check their email on a regular basis for any changes or updates to their student account, financial aid awards, or requests for documentation.

In order to maintain SAP the student must

  • Have a grade-point average which meets the minimum requirements for continuation of study at C of I;
  • Earn a minimum number of credits for each academic year; and
  • Complete all degree requirements within a specified timeframe.

Evaluation of Academic Progress

At the end of each semester 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 criteria are considered when evaluating a student's SAP:

Credits Attempted
Credits attempted are defined as all classes for which a student receives a passing grade (D- or better, or P), or an F, I, W, L, or WA. Excluded credits are counted as withdrawals - attempted, but not completed.

Credits Completed
Credits completed are defined as all classes for which a student receives a passing grade of D- or better, or P.

Credits Excluded from the Pace Calculation
Remedial credits will not be counted as credits attempted or completed.
Audit credits do not count as credits attempted or completed.

Repeat Courses
Repeat courses count as attempted and completed credits. Financial aid will be paid for repeat courses when the initial grade is an F. Financial aid will only be paid twice for a repeat course if the course has been passed with a D- or better at any time.

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

  • Qualitative Requirement: A student must maintain an acceptable GPA in order to continue to receive financial assistance. The criterion is the maintenance of a 2.0 cumulative GPA; initially, students with less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA will be placed on "Warning" and have one semester to improve their academic record before being placed on "Suspension." Grade-point averages are monitored by the Registrar's office; see the "Policies and Procedures" section for additional information. Students placed on "Warning" are eligible to receive financial aid.

    Please note: 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)

Pace is required to ensure students complete their program of study within the maximum time frame. Timeframe is calculated by a student's ability to complete an undergraduate program, measured in credit hours, a period no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the program. That is, students must complete the 124 credits required for completion of a C of I degree, 150 percent of total credits is 186, at which point the student may lose financial aid eligibility. Students must complete 70% of all credits attempted at C of I and those transferred and accepted from other schools.

Please note: If a SAP review makes it clear the student cannot mathematically complete the degree in the allotted time frame or is unable to raise the GPA to the minimum 2.00 within the maximum time frame, the student is placed on "Suspension."

Pace of Progression

Pace is calculated by dividing cumulative credits successfully completed by cumulative credits attempted.

Cumulative Credits Successfully Completed ÷ Cumulative Credits Attempted = %

Pace to Completion

To ensure federal compliance, students who enroll in a degree seeking program and have earned 124* credits or more, including transfer and regular credits, should be on an academic plan or Applying for Graduation, at which time a Credit Evaluation will be completed.

*For undergraduate students, to reach 124 credits, enrollment will be approximately 16 credits each Fall and Spring semesters for 4 years.

  • If the remaining credits needed to complete the bachelor's degree plus the credits already attempted will cause the student to exceed the 186 maximum allowable attempted credits, the student will be required to complete a petition.
  • 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 semester 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 student is enrolled in 12 credits during the Fall semester and successfully completes 6 credits (a 50% completion rate). This student would be placed on "Warning" for the Spring semester. During the Spring semester the student attempts 15 credits and completes 12 credits. The student's completed percentage at the end of the Spring semester (18/27) is 66%. The student is placed on "Suspension."

Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress Failure After "Warning" Semester Failure During “Probationary” Status
Student is granted one semester of aid eligibility on "Warning" status. No appeal is necessary, but the student should meet with his/her advisor to assure success for future semesters. Student may appeal by submitting:
  1. Completed Appeal Form
  2. An academic plan for success created by the student and advisor
  3. Supporting documentation as to any extenuating circumstances.
Student is ineligible for further aid until he/she can regain SAP eligibility without aid, or submit an additional appeal.

Student Standings

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 in one of following SAP status categories:

Dean's List

To receive “Dean's List” recognition, a student must complete at least nine or more graded credits (excluding grades of P and S) in a given semester and achieve a GPA of 3.75 or higher for that semester. “Dean's List” recognition is given only for the Fall and Spring semesters.

Good Status

Students who are meeting all of the Standards of SAP and are not in a period of “Warning,” “Suspension,” or “Probation” are in “Good” standing and no additional enrollment, advising, or “Academic Plan” requirements are specified.

Warning Status

Students falling below the standards for the first time will be placed on "Warning" and will receive a letter and/or an e-mail (to The College of Idaho e-mail account). A student may continue to receive financial assistance during the "Warning" period. Students on "Warning" are 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 may

  • Be removed from "Warning" and placed in "Good" status if both the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate standards are met;
  • Be placed on "Suspension" and suspended from receiving financial assistance from federal, state, and institutional sources.

Suspension Status

Students who do not meet both standards (Qualitative and Quantitative) are no longer eligible for financial aid. Students will receive a letter informing them of their "Suspension." Students who are placed on "Suspension" may petition if there are extenuating circumstances that led to academic difficulties (see petition process below).

Probation / Academic Plan

A student on "Probation" may receive federal, state, and institutional aid for one semester pending evaluation.

  • 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.

Petition Process

Students who are placed on "Suspension" may petition if there are extenuating circumstances that led to academic difficulties. A student may petition (with supporting documentation) in these situations:

  • Extenuating circumstances: situations 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.
  • "Suspension" resulting from a grade of "Incomplete (I)" or missing grades.

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 academic plan with advisor signature.

The Financial Aid and Academic Standing Committee will:

  • Review the petition and current academic performance,
  • Convey in writing to the student the approval or disapproval of the petition.
    • If the petition is approved, the student will be placed on "Probation" for the next semester.
    • If the petition is approved and the student does not meet the requirements of the approval as outlined in the approval document, the student will be automatically placed on "Suspension."

Students who have been "Suspended" and choose not to petition, or who miss the petition's deadline, or whose petition is denied may be considered for re-admission upon presenting evidence of ability to do satisfactory college work. Normally, the expectation is that the student will complete at least 12 credits at another regionally accredited college or university with no grade below a C. Students who have been dismissed and do not appeal may not enroll in any classes at The College of Idaho unless they have permission from the Financial Aid and Academic Standings Committee.

A student may submit a maximum of 2 petitions during their time of study at The College of Idaho.


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 once all SAP 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 SAP for financial assistance.

Return to Title IV Funds (R2T4)

Repayment of Unearned Financial Aid
  • Students should understand that if they are enrolled beyond the census date in any semester in which they receive financial aid and then withdraw (officially or unofficially) or otherwise do not complete the full length of the semester, repayment of a portion of the financial aid received for that semester may be required.
  • If a student enrolls but does not attend classes, he/she will need to repay all financial aid. Students who do not attend classes have not established eligibility for the financial aid received, and all financial aid must be repaid within 30 days.
  • Students agree that if they withdraw or otherwise cease attendance up through and including the 60 percent point of a semester, they may owe a repayment of a portion of the financial aid received and agree to pay back any and all amounts due to either C of I or the U.S. Department of Education.

Please note: If (as determined by classroom instructors) a student attends beyond the 60 percent point of a semester, that student is considered to have earned 100% of the aid received for the semester.

These procedures apply to all financial aid recipients. Financial aid is awarded and disbursed to students in anticipation of students' successful completion of their courses and progression toward graduation. The U.S. Department of Education regulates the management of Title IV funds and, in some cases, a student who receives Title IV financial aid but does not complete their coursework is not considered to have "earned" the Title IV aid they received.

When a student officially withdraws from all of their courses, audits all of their courses, receives unsatisfactory grades in all of their courses, or otherwise fails to attend the full period of enrollment, C of I is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid the student was scheduled to receive.

The earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid are determined as of the date a student ceased attendance, based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance. Up through the 60% point in each period of enrollment, a prorated schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal.

After the 60% point in the period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period.

For a student who officially withdraws at any time through the 60% point of a period of enrollment, the official withdrawal date is the earlier of:

  • the date the student begins the official withdrawal process (submits a signed complete withdrawal form);
  • the date the student otherwise provides official notification of intent to withdraw.

For a student who fails to officially withdraw (does not complete the official withdrawal process but receives unsatisfactory grades in all their courses):

  • for a student who unofficially withdraws due to circumstances beyond their control, the date C of I determines is related to the circumstance that was beyond the student's control.
  • for all other students who unofficially withdraw, the midpoint of the enrollment period or the last date the student participated in an academically related activity will be counted as the last date of attendance(as reported by his/her instructors), whichever is later.

When a student is determined to have withdrawn, either officially or unofficially, C of I will use federal law/regulation to make the following determinations and complete the following activities:

  • Determine the amount of the student's institutional charges.
  • Determine the Title IV aid disbursed to the student.
  • Determine the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed to the student (if any).
  • Determine the student's official withdrawal date.
  • Calculate the amount of the student's earned and unearned Title IV aid.
  • Calculate the amount of Title IV aid the College must return.
  • Calculate the amount of Title IV aid the Student must return.
  • Notify the student of the determinations and calculated values used in the R2T4 calculation
  • Notify the student of the resulting balance owed to the College and/or the U.S. Department of Education.

The following list is of financial aid programs, Title IV, to which the Return of Title IV funds requirement applies. The financial aid programs are listed in order that the school must return per the federal formula:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Parent PLUS Loans
  4. Pell Grant
  5. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  6. Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant

Amounts required to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education by C of I become debts immediately due and payable to C of I upon completion of the R2T4 calculation and will be billed to the student. The student MUST make prompt payment or payment arrangements to satisfy the debt owed to C of I and C of I reserves the right to refer the debt to a collection agency for servicing. Amounts returned by C of I to the U.S. Department of Education on the student's behalf and owed to C of I must be paid directly to Business Office. Do not send payments to any other department or agency.

Exit Counseling

Exit Counseling is a mandatory information session which takes place when a student graduates or attend school less than half-time; the session explains loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins. If the student borrowed for federal loans, unlike grants and work-study, this constitutes borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. Students cannot have these loans canceled because they didn't like the education received, didn't get a job in their field of study, or because they are having financial difficulty. Loans are legal obligations that students must repay.
Exit Counseling:

  • Is required before a student withdraws, graduates, or drops below half-time attendance (even if one plans to transfer to another school)
  • Helps the student understand rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower
  • Provides useful tips and information to help the student manage loans

These procedures as well as the federal regulations they are based on are subject to change without advance notice.

Institutional Refund Policy

See the Cost of Attendance section of this catalog.