Student Financial Assistance

General Information

We believe that a liberal arts education is one of the wisest investments a student can make. The college further believes 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 college 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.

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 Workstudy, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, ACG Grant, and Smart Grant)

  • Federal aid through the Federal Pell Grant Program

  • Federal Stafford 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 their tax return.

Students will receive a financial aid letter after acceptance for enrollment and receipt of application materials. Students are asked to accept or decline their financial awards within 21 days of receipt of their award letter. Students 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.

  • Financial assistance is awarded for one school year or less, depending on the number of terms 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 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.

  • Enrollment in a college study abroad program that is 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 College of Idaho and the study abroad school 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:

  • Complete the application process for admission to the college.

  • File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid — entering our school code, 001617, when completing the FAFSA form.

    • 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.


  • File The College of Idaho Financial Aid Application.

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


To apply online for admission, please see the college web site at: or call the Admission Office at 459-5305 or 1-800-224-3246.

Refund Policy for Withdrawals

Institutional Refund Policy

The refund amount is determined by the total payment on account from all sources, minus the charges for tuition, fees, room and board for the enrollment period, as outlined in the expenses section of this catalog. Funds are returned to the federal programs (according to the federal refund policy), institutional programs, outside scholarships and then to the student.

Federal Refund Policy

If the student is eligible for a refund based on the refund policy of this school, 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.

The amounts returned to the federal programs must be applied in the following order (no refund can exceed the amount the student received from that fund):

  1. The Federal Unsubsidized Loan Program
  2. The Federal Subsidized Loan Program
  3. The Federal Perkins Program
  4. The Federal PLUS Loan Program
  5. The Federal Pell Grant Program
  6. The Federal SEOG Program
  7. ACG Grant/Smart Grant

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.

Treatment of Special Academic Situation


If completed during the academic year in which they are incurred, incompletes may be counted toward the academic progress standard.


Withdrawals will reduce the number of credits earned and will affect the academic progress standards.

No Completed Courses

Failure to earn any credits in an enrollment period will result in loss of eligibility for aid in the next period.

Non-Credit Remedial Courses

These classes will count as part of the course load for the purposes of meeting the standards.

Repeated Courses

Courses may be repeated in accordance with the policies in the general catalog and satisfactory progress standard.

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 (Qualitative) and a set percentage of completed coursework (Quantitative) within a maximum timeframe.

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 (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 Grade Point Average by the end of the second academic year. Please note – many of our scholarships as well as 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.

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 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 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 attempts15 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.

Maximum Time Limit

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 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.

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 following semester in which they are incurred (fall incompletes completed in Winter/Spring and Winter/Spring incompletes by the following Fall) 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 a letter and/or an e-mail ( C of I 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 fromwarning status if both the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rate standards are met;
    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 Dean of 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. TheFinancial 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 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 has been placed on probation and are attending their program under an approved academic plan remains eligible for aid as long as they continues to meet the conditions of that plan. Students are not considered to be on financial aid warning or probation as long as the students 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 would be 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 his or her own 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.