Financial Aid

The College believes that a liberal arts education is one of the wisest investments a student can make. We further believe that good scholarship performance should be rewarded, regardless of a family's ability to finance an education. No qualified student should be denied the right to pursue this type of post-secondary education because of a lack of financial resources.

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 Financial Aid Office 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, supplies, room, board, personal expenses, and transportation allowance.

All students are encouraged to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for:

  • The College of Idaho scholarship and need-based aid programs, as well as campus-based federal aid (Federal Work-study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant)
  • Federal aid through the Federal Pell Grant Program
  • Federal Stafford (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) Direct Loan and Plus Loan Programs
  • State Student Aid Programs

Per IRS guidelines, scholarships and grants received in excess of the amount used to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment (not including room and board) are considered taxable income for U.S. income tax purposes. It is the student's responsibility to report this income on tax returns.

Students will receive a financial aid letter after acceptance for enrollment and receipt of application materials. Students must accept or decline their financial awards within 21 days of receipt of their award letter, then must submit a $300 new-student fee if they choose to attend. Students are expected to read, sign, and return a copy of the Award Letter included in the award package. These conditions apply:

  • Financial assistance is awarded for one school year or less, depending on the number of semesters of intended enrollment.
  • Students must file the FAFSA each academic year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Any student on academic probation may not be awarded institutional financial aid unless otherwise approved through petition to the Financial Aid Committee through the Student Financial Aid Services Office.
  • Part-time students (less than 12 credits per semester) 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.
  • Enrollment in a college study abroad program approved for credit by The College of Idaho is considered enrollment at The College of Idaho for the purpose of applying for federal student financial assistance. Federal aid may be used to pay for study abroad provided a consortium agreement between the C of I and the study abroad provider has been completed but institutional aid is not available.

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.

Application Procedure

Students seeking financial assistance must:

  1. Complete the application process for admission to the College.
  2. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); enter the C of I code--001617--when completing the form.
  3. Renewal FAFSA applications-Students who applied for federal aid for the prior academic year will receive a pre-completed Renewal Application form from the federal processor. It will be in the same format as the Student Aid Report, and students simply update information that is no longer accurate on the Renewal Application. Renewal Applications will be prepared each year by the federal processor for applicants who applied before the start of the prior academic year.
  4. File The College of Idaho Financial Aid Application.

Continuing students need to file The College of Idaho Financial Aid renewal application.

Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress - Undergraduate

To maintain eligibility for financial assistance, both from the institution and the federal and state governments, the student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Progress is defined as attempting a minimum of 12 credits each semester with an appropriate cumulative Grade Point Average and a set percentage of completed coursework within a maximum timeframe.

Two departments monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress. 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) meet the standards set for Financial Aid. The standards apply for all financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study (FWSP), Federal Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized and PLUS), as well as state grants and institutional scholarships and grants.

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 students' 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.

Number of creditssuccessfully completed Completion rate required

0-28 Completed undergraduate credits

70% completion rate

29-60 Completed undergraduate credits

75% completion rate

61> 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 first-year student is enrolled for 12 credits during the fall and successfully completes 6 credits (a 50% completion rate). This student would be placed on financial aid warning for the Winter/Spring combined semester. During the Winter/Spring semester the student attempts15 credits and completes 12 credits. The student's completed percentage at the end of the Winter/Spring semester (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. A total of 34 credits completed divided by 43 attempted credits equals 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.

Maximum Time Limit (PACE)

There is a time limit and a number of credits limit set for financial assistance during one's undergraduate studies. Any student who begins an academic semester with more than 124 credits will receive only half 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.

Evaluation of Academic Progress

At the end of each semester (Fall semester and the combined Winter/Spring semester) an undergraduate student's academic progress will be measured in the two ways described above. 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.

Financial Aid Warning Status

Students falling below the standards for the first time will be placed on financial aid warning and will receive notification from the Financial Aid Office. A student may continue to receive financial assistance during the warning period. Students 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 either (1) Be removed from warning status if both the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate standards are met or (2) Be placed on Financial Aid Discontinue and suspended from receiving assistance from federal, state, and institutional sources. A Financial Aid Discontinue Letter with information on filing an appeal will be sent to the student.

Financial Aid Discontinue Status

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.

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

Appeal Process

A student not meeting the institution's satisfactory academic progress standards may appeal the financial aid suspension by submitting to the Financial Aid Office, within two weeks (14 days) of notification, a signed Financial Aid Appeal Form explaining why his or her financial aid should not be discontinued.

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

  • the death of a relative
  • an injury or illness to the student or other special circumstances

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.


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 semesters 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.


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 their 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 the removal of incompletes if this will result in the student meeting the requirements of satisfactory academic progress for financial assistance.