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Financial Aid - Graduate

The College of Idaho strongly encourages all students and families to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be filed each year in order to determine a student’s eligibility for any type of federal aid, including loans, grants and work-study; need-based institutional aid; and select other scholarships or awards.

While each type of award has its own specific requirements to apply, receive, and maintain funding, there are certain criteria the apply to most types of aid.  For example, receiving funding from any federal loan or grant program under Title IV is contingent upon:

  • Authorization and appropriation of funds for each program by the federal government under existing regulations.
  • Receipt of anticipated funding levels in each program by the College.
  • A student's full- or part-time enrollment in a degree program at the College.
  • Meeting and maintaining any award-specific eligibility requirements.

Why Should I Fill Out the FAFSA

If you don’t fill out the FAFSA, you could be missing out on a lot of financial aid!

We’ve heard a number of reasons students think they shouldn’t or don't need to complete the FAFSA. Here are a few of the most common:

  • I – or my parents – make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.
  • Only students with good grades get financial aid.
  • The FAFSA is too hard to fill out.
  • I’m too old to qualify for financial aid.

If you think any of these statements apply to you then you should read a few myths about financial aid. The reality is that everyone should fill out the FAFSA every year.

To speed up FAFSA processing, The College of Idaho’s Title IV school code is 001617.

Need More Help?

The FAFSA website includes links to information and videos all about the FAFSA – how it works, what's it for and what you need to do.  If you're not sure where to go next, start here.  If you still need help, please contact us and we'll do our best to answer your questions.

Additional Information

The College makes payment information available upon enrollment. Terms and options for payment have been designed to make paying for graduate programs straightforward, ensuring students can focus on classes instead of bills.

Full-Time Enrollment

All awards are based on a student being in attendance as a full-time student for the academic year.  Full-time status for federal and institutional purposes for graduate programs is 5 credits each semester/term.  Institutional aid is not given to students enrolled less than full-time.  Federal aid is pro-rated if less than full-time.  Students enrolled for only one term will receive one-half of their annual awards. Changes in enrollment status must be reported to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services and will affect your award.

Award Letters

When you receive your financial aid award letter, it may list any combination of scholarships, grants, loans, or work-study funds.  All awards are based on being a full-time student for the entire academic year.  You will be notified if a revision of your awards occurs based on new or updated information, including changes in your eligibility.

We reserve the right to review and adjust the award package if we become aware of new or misrepresented information, and awards may change without notice.  Your award is based on the information provided on your application materials.  It is important that the Office of Student Financial Aid Services is notified of any changes in your enrollment or status while attending.  You have the right to appeal, in writing, in the event of a revision, non-renewal, or cancellation.  Documents in support of your information may be required.

Revised Awards

You will be notified via student email of the revision of your awards. Your awards may be revised based on additional information you supply via the FAFSA, verification process, changes to your academic credentials or less than full-time enrollment for the entire academic year. All or a portion of your Scholarships may be reallocated with an endowed or funded scholarship, these funds are provided to The College of Idaho by donor(s), individuals, families, organization(s) or other funds.

Tentative Awards

A tentative grant, scholarship or loan means that the Office of Student Financial Aid Services has determined that you should be eligible for the amount indicated but official verification has not been received. It is your responsibility to forward the appropriate verification paperwork to the College. A tentative award will not be credited to your student account.

Outside Scholarships

You must report any financial assistance that you anticipate receiving from sources other than C of I to the Office of Student Financial Aid Services. This includes scholarships, grants, loans or other monetary assistance received from churches, service organizations, VA benefits and more. Such awards may affect your financial aid award package.

Outside scholarship funds do not appear as a credit on your student account until funds have been received from the donor.

Over Awards

An over award occurs when aid exceeds need or the published cost of attendance. Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid Services to reduce aid packages when an over award exists. Most often, over awards occur when the Financial Aid Office learns of outside resources available after federal aid has already been awarded. You are responsible to pay back any monies refunded to you if an over award occurs after receiving your refund. An over award may also occur if you make changes to your FAFSA information after you initially submitted it.

Return of Title IV Funds

Under the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, if a student withdraws from all courses on or before the 60% point in time period of the semester, calculated by calendar days, the College must return a portion of the Title IV funds received, which for graduate programs are funds from Federal Unsubsidized Loans. Withdrawn students will receive a copy of the return calculation and an itemized list of returns to the various fund accounts.


Verification is the process used to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. The College has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports the information you reported. If you’re selected for verification, don’t assume you’re being accused of doing anything wrong. Some people are selected at random, and some schools verify all student FAFSAs. All you need to do is provide the documentation we ask for. If we don't receive the information you won’t be able to get financial aid.

If you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when filling out your FAFSA, and you have not changed any of the information retrieved, you will not have to verify that information. If you didn’t use the DRT and you’re selected for verification, log back into the FAFSA to see whether you can use the DRT to fill in the relevant fields. If not you'll need to submit a tax transcript as part of the verification process. You can find your tax transcript through the IRS Get Transcript service.

Change in Family Income Circumstances

If your family’s income is significantly reduced you are encouraged to meet with the Director of Financial Aid, as this change may impact your financial need and could result in addition funding. Examples of changes include the death of a parent, permanent and total disability of a parent, unemployment or retirement and loss of untaxed income. If you petition for additional aid the Director will review the petition for additional funding or resources that may be available to you. You may be required to provide additional information about the scope and nature of the change.

Scholarships as Taxable Income

Most scholarship income is not taxable and does not require reporting on your tax return. Under certain circumstances, however, you may be required to pay tax on part of your scholarship income if the funds were used to pay for "incidental expenses" like room and board, travel, and optional equipment. IRS Topic 421 discusses scholarship taxes in more detail. If in doubt consult a tax expert.