The primary purpose of financial aid programs is to help students successfully complete their degree or certificate program in a timely manner. Students are required to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements while earning their degree or certificate programs to receive aid. Financial aid programs include grants, tuition and fee waivers, work study employment, need-based and non-need-based loans, and scholarship programs. Specialized academic progress requirements associated with specific scholarship programs may exceed the general policy requirements outlined below. Questions about the academic progress requirements of individual scholarship programs should be directed to the Scholarship Center.
The academic progress of all students is measured on a quarterly basis. Financial aid recipients failing to meet academic progress requirements for aid programs will be among the first to receive word that their academic goals are at risk. Students placed on financial aid probation or suspension under the satisfactory academic progress policy will be notified after the end of the quarter in which probation or suspension occurs. Notification may be delivered via mail or via email to the official WWU email address of record. Financial Aid staff will inform students in this situation of a number of specific, on-campus resources to help them meet satisfactory academic progress requirements.
Failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements will result in financial aid probation or suspension. Students whose aid is suspended may petition for aid reinstatement. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. Please read on for further details.
General Policy Requirements
- Maintain the required grade point average (GPA).
- Complete the minimum number of credits associated with the enrollment status for which aid was received.
- Complete your degree or certificate within the maximum allowable timeframe.
Grade Point Average Requirements
Students must meet the scholastic standards of the University. Undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA. Academic standards allow for a probationary period during which an undergraduate student’s cumulative GPA may fall below 2.00. Students on academic probation are eligible for financial aid, with the expectation that they bring their GPAs to acceptable levels within University timeframes. Scholastic standards for under-graduate and graduate students are fully described in the University catalog.
Minimum Credit Requirements
Academic progress is reviewed for financial aid purposes at the end of each quarter for aid recipients and non-aid recipients alike. To establish and maintain financial aid eligibility, all students must successfully complete at least the minimum number of credits associated with their enrollment level at lock (see “Changes in Enrollment” on page 4). The following grades do not indicate successful completion of academic credit: F, Z, U, NP, K, W, I, X, XM, NX, XW and audited classes or absence of a grade.
If a student’s coursework does not meet minimum requirements, the student will be placed on financial aid probation or financial aid suspension, depending upon the extent of the credit deficiency.
Students who request that the Financial Aid department re-examine their academic progress upon satisfactory completion of a K grade must first confirm that the Registrar has made the grade change, and then notify the Financial Aid department of the change in writing. In order for satisfactorily completed correspondence course credits to apply toward minimum credit requirements, the correspondence course must be completed within the term for which it was registered. Credits earned for repeated coursework may count toward current quarter academic progress requirements. However, justification for repeating specific courses may be requested by the Financial Aid department at any time and a determination will be made as to the reasonableness of counting credits derived from repeated coursework toward academic progress requirements for aid purposes.
Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress criteria for a given quarter will be placed on financial aid probation or suspension.
|Credit Completion Requirements
|Less than one-half time
||All credits attempted
Maximum Attempted Credit Requirements
For purposes of receiving financial aid, students are allowed to attempt a specified number of credits in order to complete their degree or certificate program. As soon as it is clear that a student will not graduate within this period, the student becomes ineligible for aid. Western determines whether students have reached or exceeded their maximum timeframes by totaling the number of credits they have attempted. Attempted credits are defined as all credits which appear on the academic history record. These credits include repeated, failed, incomplete, withdraws, and transcripted transfer credits. If the Financial Aid learns that graduation is imminent, aid eligibility must be calculated and is limited solely to enrollment in courses required for graduation. Second majors and elective minors are not eligible to be funded with financial aid.
- May attempt up to 125% of the minimum credit requirements for their baccalaureate program of study, as defined in the University catalog. No additional allowance is granted for concurrent completion of a double major or an elective minor, unless it is included in the official university registration record.
- May attempt up to 125% of the number of credits required by their program. Graduate students are advised to consider limiting their enrollment to the courses appearing on their Plan of Study for aid purposes. Additional coursework cannot be funded, and may jeopardize continued financial aid eligibility under the Maximum Attempted Credit policy.
Post-baccalaureate Students Pursuing a Second Undergraduate Degree or a Certificate Program
- May attempt up to 125 percent of the credits required for the completion of the degree or certificate program.
Students may petition for aid reinstatement if unusual circumstances prevented the completion of the degree within the maximum timeframe limit; however, reinstatement is not guaranteed. Petitions must: a) explain why the student was unable to complete the degree within the allowable timeframe; b) provide the number of remaining credits required to complete the degree or certificate; c) specify the quarter and year that the student plans to graduate; and d) include a degree evaluation performed by the Registrar’s Office. If a petition is approved, any additional financial aid is limited to funding only coursework required to complete the degree or certificate program as specified on the graduation evaluation.
Financial Aid Probation
Undergraduate students who have satisfactorily completed at least 6 credits but have not completed the minimum quarterly credit requirements associated with the enrollment status for which aid was received will be placed on financial aid probation. Scheduled aid will be disbursed for the following probationary quarter; however, failure to meet minimum quarterly credit requirements during the probationary quarter will result in financial aid suspension.
Graduate students who have satisfactorily completed at least 4 credits but have not completed the minimum quarterly credit requirements associated with the enrollment status for which aid was received will be placed on financial aid probation. Scheduled aid will continue to be disbursed for the following probationary quarter; however, failure to meet minimum quarterly credit requirements during the probationary quarter will result in financial aid suspension.
Financial Aid Suspension
Financial aid suspension is an aid-ineligible status, whereby aid for future quarters is canceled and processing to calculate future aid eligibility is put on hold until eligibility is regained.
Undergraduate students successfully completing fewer than 6 credits will automatically be placed on financial aid suspension.
Graduate students successfully completing fewer than 4 credits will automatically be placed on financial aid suspension.
Undergraduate or graduate students who fail to satisfactorily complete the minimum number of credits associated with the enrollment status for which aid was received during a probationary quarter will automatically be placed on financial aid suspension.
Reinstatement of Aid Eligibility
Students placed on financial aid suspension may petition for aid reinstatement if unusual circumstances beyond their control prevented them from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. Reinstatement is not guaranteed.
If a student’s petition for financial aid reinstatement is denied, the student may re-petition after having successfully completed a full-time quarter without the benefit of financial aid. The full-time credit load is 12 credits for undergraduate students and 8 credits for graduate students.
Part-time students may contract with the Financial Aid department in advance for the required number of credits necessary for financial aid reinstatement.
Students unable to reinstate their financial aid eligibility using the above options and who have been unable to attend Western for a full academic year may re-petition for aid reinstatement. Petitions for reinstatement must explain why the student has been unable to reinstate using the above options and how continued ineligibility would constitute an undue hardship.
If eligibility for financial aid is reinstated, the amount of financial aid the student receives is subject to the availability of funds. As a result, it is possible that some funds originally awarded will not be available for the reinstated award.
Students placed on financial aid probation or suspension under the satisfactory academic progress policy will be notified after the end of the term in which probation or suspension occurs. Notification may be delivered via mail or e-mail to the official WWU address on record.
It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid department if updated or corrected information becomes available that may re-establish their eligibility for financial aid.
Aid recipients withdrawing from all coursework will lose their aid eligibility and may, based on the date of withdraw, be required to repay the financial aid they have received. Students are considered as having unofficially withdrawn from the University if they have received a combination of the following grades for a given quarter: F, Z, U, NP, W, X, XM. Aid recipients having unofficially withdrawn may be required to repay all, or a portion of their tuition and fees and financial aid for the applicable quarter.
Specific Requirements for Alaska Loan Recipients
Satisfactory academic progress requirements for continued receipt of Alaska Student and Alaska Family Education loans differ from those associated with federal and Washington State programs:
- Full-time attendance is required for most Alaska Loan programs. Although the Alaska Supplemental Education Loan may allow for less-than fulltime attendance, students considering less-than fulltime attendance are urged to consult the Alaska Commission on Post-secondary Education because state residency and future loan eligibility may be jeopardized by such enrollment.