Financial Aid

Receiving an education at The College of Idaho is an investment that gives students a competitive advantage throughout their lives. We believe that an outstanding learning experience at the College should be available to every qualified student, regardless of financial considerations, and we are committed to helping families find the financing options that support their student’s educational goals.

A college education represents a major financial undertaking. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services is eager to work with students to help them develop an educational funding strategy. The College of Idaho seeks to identify and obtain maximum funding from all available sources through a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study.

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 deadlines outlined in student correspondence, or aid may be held up or canceled due to an incomplete file.

The College of Idaho uses a combination of federal aid methodology and institutional policy to determine a family’s financial need and award aid factoring in the student’s cost of attendance (COA). The COA, also known as the student budget, includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, room, board, personal expenses, and transportation.

Applying for Financial Aid

Students applying for financial aid must be admitted as regular students working toward eligible degrees at The College of Idaho.

Types of Aid

Financial assistance at The College of Idaho comes in three forms: merit-based scholarships, talent-based scholarships, and need-based aid. All students are automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship when applying for admission. Need-based funds are granted based on a student's demonstrated need, indicated on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Federal Aid

The College of Idaho encourages all students and families to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at The FAFSA must be filed each year in order to determine a student's eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and loans, as well as any need-based institutional aid. Continuing students must also reapply each academic year in order to determine eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and loans. The FAFSA is typically available in October, and it is important to complete the form for the upcoming year and not for the current academic year.

The College of Idaho's Federal School Code is 001617.

State Aid

Residents of Idaho may be eligible for a variety of scholarships or grants offered by the Idaho State Board of Education. All Idaho residents should complete the FAFSA and apply for Idaho scholarships through Next Steps Idaho at The College distributes grants and scholarships to students determined to be eligible by the Idaho State Board of Education and to those who meet eligibility criteria set by the Idaho Legislature for campus-based programs.

Merit Scholarships

Merit Scholarships—the Presidential, Trustee, Dean’s, William Judson Boone, and PEAK Scholarships—are based on a student’s grade point average at the time of admission. The amount of the merit scholarship remains the same throughout the student’s attendance at the College. The maximum merit scholarship, established at the time of admission, may be met by one or more endowed or funded scholarships donated by contributors to The College of Idaho. All or a portion of these funds may be renamed at any time during a student's enrollment.

Merit scholarships are guaranteed through the student's fourth year of undergraduate enrollment provided the student meets the scholarship criteria, is enrolled full time (12 credits per semester) and maintains Satisfactory Academic Standing (SAP). Students transferring in credit hours from another school may receive a merit for less than three years. Students enrolled in fifth-year undergraduate courses may receive half the original merit scholarship amount, reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Each of the merit scholarships listed above recognizes academic excellence and is renewable through the fourth year as long as the student maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress and a cumulative GPA of 2.0.

Talent-Based Scholarships

Students may apply for several different types of talent-based scholarships offered at The College of Idaho. These include but are not limited to:

  • Art
  • Athletics
  • Christian Leadership
  • Cheer and Dance
  • Debate
  • Design and Technical Theater
  • Music (Choral, Marching Band, Ensembles, etc.)
  • Playwriting
  • Theatre

Students should follow the guidelines for each scholarship found on the application or outlined on the Institutional Scholarships page of the College website. Each scholarship application may request unique items that pertain to the talent; students should be sure to submit all requested items in order to be evaluated and awarded accordingly if selected.

The College of Idaho competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and therefore offers athletic scholarships. These scholarships are awarded at the discretion of each athletic program. Please contact the identified head coach directly to discuss scholarship and participation options.

External Scholarships

There are many other sources of financial aid available through private foundations, companies, service clubs, or other organizations that are not directly managed by the College. The College recommends all students seek out and apply for any source of financial assistance available. Students may apply for outside scholarships by contacting the organization and completing the requirements listed.

If awarded a scholarship from an external agency, please provide the College a copy of your scholarship letter, email or certificate, so that we may add it to your financial aid package. Scholarships will not be listed without supporting documentation.

Aid Offer or Notification

Students will receive two funding notifications. The letter of acceptance for enrollment will include the merit scholarship; the second notice will detail scholarships, loans, or other eligible aid. Students are asked to accept, adjust, reduce, or decline their financial aid offer prior to the start of their first semester each academic year.

  • Financial aid offers are for one academic year or less, depending on the number of semesters of intended enrollment.
  • 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, dependent on need and funding.
  • 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 regular basis, following semester end.
    • Part-time students (less than 12 credits) must earn half the required units and maintain academic standing.
  • Part-time students (less than 12 credits per semester) are not eligible for institutional scholarships, and federal aid may be prorated based on the number of enrolled credits.
  • All students receiving federal aid must be working toward a degree or teaching certificate to maintain eligibility. (Please note that graduate certificate programs are not eligible for federal or institutional financial aid.)
Most funds that appear on the Financial Aid Offer are applied to the student account with student acceptance via Self Service or written acceptance with valid ID, and confirmation of attendance following the 10th day of the semester (census day). Exceptions to this rule include:
  • External scholarships are applied when the scholarship check is received by the College. Students must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid Services if they are receiving any external scholarships, as those may affect the overall aid package.
  • Federal, state, and College of Idaho work-study earnings are paid directly to the student by check as money is earned.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and/or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are applied directly to the student account upon completion of the Loan Entrance Counseling session and Master Promissory Note.
  • Federal PLUS Loans are applied directly to the student account.
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 Office of Student Financial Aid Services.

Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to be eligible for federal, state, and institutional financial assistance. Federal regulations require all colleges and universities to publish and apply standards that monitor students' progress toward completion of their certificate or degree program. Two departments monitor SAP at the completion of each semester. The Registrar's Office monitors coursework for academic standing, and the Office of Student Financial Aid Services ensures that all students (including full-time students, part-time students, and students without aid) are meeting the requirements for SAP. These standards apply to all students regardless of whether a student has received previous financial aid or transferred from another institution. The federal regulations set minimum requirements, but schools can choose their own acceptable thresholds. This means that SAP standards can vary from one institution to the next.

Students failing to meet SAP standards will receive communication to their College of Idaho email address. All students should check their email on a regular basis for any changes or updates to their student account, financial aid awards, or requests for documentation.

In order to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student must meet each of these criteria:

  • Earn a grade point average which meets the minimum requirements for continuation of study at The College of Idaho.
    • Earn a 2.00 or higher semester (term) grade point average for the most recent fall or spring semester.
    • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher.
  • Maintain a 67% completion rate: credits attempted divided by credits completed.
  • Complete all degree requirements within a specified time frame.

Evaluation of Academic Progress

At the end of each semester, 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 criteria are considered when evaluating a student's SAP.

  • Credits Attempted: Credits attempted are defined as all classes for which a student receives a passing grade (D- or better, or P), or an F, I, W, or CIP. Excluded credits are counted as withdrawals—attempted, but not completed.
  • Credits Completed: Credits completed are defined as all classes for which a student receives a passing grade of D- or better, or P.
  • Credits Excluded from the Pace Calculation: Audit credits do not count as credits attempted or completed.

Repeat courses count as attempted and completed credits. Financial aid will be paid for repeat courses when the initial grade is an F. Financial aid will only be paid twice for a repeat course if the course has been passed with a D- or better at any time.

By rule, SAP standards must include both qualitative (grade-based) and quantitative (time-based) requirements.

  • Qualitative Requirement: A student must maintain an acceptable GPA in order to continue to receive financial assistance. The criterion is the maintenance of a 2.00 cumulative GPA; initially, students with less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA will be placed on warning and have one semester to improve their academic record before being placed on suspension. Grade point averages are monitored by the Registrar's Office; see Policies and Procedures for additional information. Students placed on warning are eligible to receive financial aid.

    Please note: College scholarships and some state grants are reduced if the student's cumulative GPA falls below a 3.00. Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid Services for additional information.

  • Quantitative Requirement: The completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of successfully completed credits by the number of attempted credits over the student's 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. Students must complete 67% of all credits attempted at The College of Idaho and those transferred and accepted from other schools.

Maximum Time Limit (Pace)

Pace is required to ensure students complete their program of study within the maximum time frame. Timeframe is calculated by a student's ability to complete an undergraduate program, measured in credit hours, a period no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the program. That is, students must complete the 124 credits required for completion of a College of Idaho degree; 150 percent of total credits is 186 credits, at which point the student may lose financial aid eligibility.

Please note: If a SAP review makes it clear the student cannot mathematically complete the degree in the allotted time frame or is unable to raise the GPA to the minimum 2.00 within the maximum time frame, the student is placed on suspension.

Pace of Progression

Pace is calculated by dividing cumulative credits successfully completed by cumulative credits attempted.

Cumulative Credits Successfully Completed ÷ Cumulative Credits Attempted = Percent Completed

At each SAP review, students must have completed 67% of all credits attempted.

Pace to Completion

To ensure federal compliance, students who enroll in a degree program and have earned 124* credits or more, including transfer and regular credits, should be on an academic plan or applying for graduation, at which time a credit evaluation will be completed.

  • If the remaining credits needed to complete the bachelor's degree plus the credits already attempted will cause the student to exceed the 186 maximum allowable attempted credits, the student will be required to complete a petition.
  • 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 enrollment in the fifth-year internship program through the Education Department, which occurs after a student graduates.

*For undergraduate students to reach 124 credits, enrollment will be approximately 16 credits each fall and spring semester for four years.

Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

Student is granted one semester of aid eligibility on warning status. No appeal is necessary, but the student should meet with their advisor to ensure success for future semesters. Students may have multiple warning semesters.

Failure After Warning Semester

Student may appeal by submitting:

  • Completed appeal form;
  • An academic plan for success created by the student and advisor; and
  • Supporting documentation regarding any extenuating circumstances.

Failure During Probationary Status

Student is ineligible for further aid until the student can regain SAP eligibility without aid or student submits an additional appeal.

Petition Process

Students who are placed on dismissal may petition if there are extenuating circumstances that led to academic difficulties. A student may petition (with supporting documentation) in these situations:

  • Extenuating circumstances: situations over which the student has no control and may include death in the student's immediate family, hospitalization, accidents, and illness. Supporting documentation is required.
  • Suspension resulting from a grade of Incomplete (I) or missing grades.
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 academic plan with advisor signature.

The Financial Aid and Academic Standing Committee will:

  • Review the petition and current academic performance.
  • Convey in writing to the student the approval or disapproval of the petition.

If the petition is approved, the student will be placed on probation for the next semester. If the student does not meet the requirements of the approval as outlined in the approval document, the student will be automatically placed on dismissal.

Students who have been dismissed and choose not to petition, or who miss the petition's deadline, or whose petition is denied may be considered for re-admission upon presenting evidence of ability to do satisfactory college work. Normally, the expectation is that the student will complete at least twelve credits at another regionally accredited college or university with no grade below a C. Students who have been dismissed and do not appeal may not enroll in any classes at The College of Idaho unless they have permission from the Financial Aid and Academic Standings Committee.

A student may submit a maximum of two petitions during their time of study at The College of Idaho.

Student Standings

Students' progress according to the SAP standards is measured at the end of every semester in order to determine academic and financial aid eligibility for future semesters. Students can be in one of the following SAP status categories:

Dean's List

To receive Dean's List recognition, a student must complete at least nine or more graded credits (excluding grades of P and S) in a given semester and achieve a GPA of 3.75 or higher for that semester. Dean's List recognition is given only for the fall and spring semesters.

Good Status

Students who are meeting all of the standards of SAP and are not in a period of warning, suspension, or probation are in good standing; no additional enrollment, advising, or academic plan requirements are specified.

Warning Status

Should a student’s semester GPA and/or cumulative GPA fall beneath a 2.0, or their pace to completion fall below the mandatory threshold, the student’s academic standing will be put on academic warning. The semester of academic warning is designed to serve as a "wake-up" call. It is notice that the student’s current academic plan, goals, or study routines are not working and need to be evaluated and perhaps changed.  

Students earning this status in the fall will be placed on academic warning in the spring. Students earning this status in the spring will be placed on academic warning in the fall. Students on academic warning are expected to remain in a full course load (at least 12 credits) during their semester of academic warning.

If a student finishes their academic warning semester with at least a 2.0 for their semester GPA and brings their cumulative GPA above a 2.0, and/or raises their pace to completion above the threshold, the student will be deemed in good standing.  Should the student not meet these criteria, they will be dismissed with the right to appeal.

Probation / Academic Plan

A student on probation may enroll and receive federal, state, and institutional aid for one semester pending evaluation.  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.

Dismissal Status

Students who do not meet both qualitative and quantitative standards are no longer eligible for financial aid. Students will receive a letter informing them that they have been dismissed. Students can take classes (using their own funding) and can raise their cumulative GPA and completion rate to meet the above standards to be reviewed for SAP. Students who have been dismissed may petition if there are extenuating circumstances that led to academic difficulties (see Petition Process).


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 coursework 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 once all SAP 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 removal of Incompletes, if this will result in the students' meeting the requirements of SAP for financial assistance.

Return to Title IV (R2T4)

Repayment of Unearned Financial Aid

If students are enrolled beyond the tenth-day census date in any semester in which they receive financial aid and then withdraw (officially or unofficially) or otherwise do not complete the full length of the semester, repayment of a portion of the financial aid received for that semester may be required.

If students enroll but do not attend classes, they will need to repay all financial aid. Students who do not attend classes have not established eligibility for the financial aid received, and all financial aid must be repaid within 30 days.

Students agree that if they withdraw or otherwise cease attendance up through and including the 60 percent point of a semester, they may owe a repayment of a portion of the financial aid received and agree to pay back any and all amounts due to either the College or the U.S. Department of Education.

Please note: If a student attends beyond the 60 percent point of a semester, that student is considered to have earned 100 percent of the aid received for the semester.

These procedures apply to all financial aid recipients. Financial aid is awarded and disbursed to students in anticipation of students' successful completion of their courses and progression toward graduation. The U.S. Department of Education regulates the management of Title IV funds and, in some cases, students who receive Title IV financial aid but do not complete their coursework are not considered to have "earned" the Title IV aid they received.

When a student officially withdraws from all of their courses, audits all of their courses, receives unsatisfactory grades in all of their courses, or otherwise fails to attend the full period of enrollment, The College of Idaho is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid the student was scheduled to receive.

The earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid are determined as of the date a student ceased attendance, based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance. Up through the 60 percent point in each period of enrollment, a prorated schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student had earned at the time of withdrawal.

After the 60 percent point in the period of enrollment, students have earned 100 percent of the Title IV funds they were scheduled to receive during the period.

When a student officially withdraws at any time through the 60 percent point of a period of enrollment, the official withdrawal date is the earlier of these two options:

  • The date the student begins the official withdrawal process (submits a signed complete withdrawal form); or
  • The date the student otherwise provides official notification of intent to withdraw.

When a student fails to officially withdraw (does not complete the official withdrawal process), but receives unsatisfactory grades in all their courses:

  • If the unofficial withdrawal is due to circumstances beyond the student's control, the date the College identifies as the withdrawal date will be related to the circumstances that were beyond the student's control.
  • In all other cases the midpoint of the enrollment period or the last date the student participated in an academically-related activity will be counted as the last date of attendance (as reported by the student's instructors), whichever is later.

When a student is determined to have withdrawn either officially or unofficially, the College will use federal law/regulations to make the following determinations and complete the following activities:

  • Determine the amount of the student's institutional charges.
  • Determine the Title IV aid disbursed to the student.
  • Determine the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed to the student (if any).
  • Determine the student's official withdrawal date.
  • Calculate the amount of the student's earned and unearned Title IV aid.
  • Calculate the amount of Title IV aid the College must return.
  • Calculate the amount of Title IV aid the student must return.
  • Notify the student of the determinations and calculated values used in the R2T4 calculation.
  • Notify the student of the resulting balance owed to the College and/or the U.S. Department of Education.

The following list is of financial aid programs to which the Return of Title IV Funds requirement applies. The financial aid programs are listed in the order that the school must return per the federal formula:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Parent PLUS Loans
  4. Pell Grant
  5. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  6. Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant

Amounts required to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education by The College of Idaho become debts immediately due and payable to the College upon completion of the R2T4 calculation and will be billed to the student. The student must make prompt payment or payment arrangements to satisfy the debt owed to the College. The College reserves the right to refer the debt to a collection agency for servicing. Amounts returned by the College to the U.S. Department of Education on the student's behalf and owed to the College must be paid directly to the Business Office. Do not send payments to any other department or agency.

Exit Counseling

Exit counseling is a mandatory information session which takes place when a student graduates or attends school less than half-time; the session explains loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins. If the student borrowed federal loans, unlike grants and work-study, this constitutes borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. Students cannot have these loans canceled because they didn't like the education received, didn't get a job in their field of study, or because they are having financial difficulty. Loans are legal obligations that students must repay.

Exit counseling:

  • Is required when a student withdraws, graduates, or drops below half-time attendance (even if one plans to transfer to another school).
  • Helps the student understand rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower.
  • Provides useful tips and information to help the student manage loans.

These procedures, as well as the federal regulations they are based on, are subject to change without advance notice.