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Financial Aid Eligibility Criteria

The College of Idaho assumes that parents have the first obligation to provide for the education of their child. The obligation next falls upon the student to contribute to their own education from personal assets and earnings, including appropriate borrowing against future earnings. The costs of tuition and expenses can be offset with the help of financial aid. 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.

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, housing, 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.

Eligibility Criteria

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.

Renewable Awards

Some C of I scholarships are renewable based on specific criteria. These scholarships require fulfillment of the renewal criteria by the specified deadline. It is your responsibility to know and fulfill all requirements of your awards.

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.

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.

Changes 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.


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 in to 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.

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 is 12 credits for Fall term and 12 credits for Spring 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.

Study Abroad

There are several College-approved, third-party programs with agreements in place to allow financial assistance. Unapproved programs are solely at your expense. Please contact the PEAK Center for additional information and procedures.

Student Account Refunds

If your financial aid will create a credit on your student account a refund will be sent to your campus mailbox. A credit balance or refund created by a PLUS Loan on a student account will be sent to the parent unless prior arrangements have been made with the Business Office.