POL-U7600.01 Student Financial Aid: Satisfactory Academic Progress For Financial Aid Recipients

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

March 1, 1999

Approved by:

Western Washington University President's Council

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to students at Western Washington University who receive financial aid.


Purpose of Financial Aid Programs:

The primary purpose of financial aid programs consists of helping students to successfully complete their degree or certificate programs. Students are therefore required to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements toward 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. If you have questions about the academic progress requirements of individual scholarship programs, please obtain clarification from the Scholarship Center.


There are no definitions for this policy.

Policy Statements

1. Academic Progress is Measured Quarterly

Effective Fall Quarter 1999, the academic progress of all financial aid recipients will be measured on a quarterly basis. Students who do not meet academic progress requirements for aid programs will be among the first to receive word that their academic goals are at risk. Student Financial Resources staff will inform students who find themselves 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. Although aid­-suspended students may petition for financial aid reinstatement, reinstatement is not guaranteed. Please read on for further details.

2. General Policy Requirements

  1. Maintain the required grade point average (GPA)
  2. Complete the minimum number of credits associated with the enrollment status for which aid was received.
  3. Complete your degree or certificate within the maximum allowable time frame.

1. Grade Point Average Requirements

You must meet the scholastic standards of the University, which expects an undergraduate student to maintain 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 exception that they bring their GPAs to acceptable levels within the University time frames. Scholastic standards for undergraduate and graduate students are fully described in the University catalog.

2. Minimum Credit Requirements

Prior Academic Progress Requirements.

Prior to receiving financial aid, any transfer credits and coursework you have enrolled for at Western will be examined to determine whether you have met academic progress requirements expected of aid recipients. Re: aid regulations specify that even periods of enrollment for which financial aid was not received must be measured according to academic progress criteria required of aid recipients. Students who have enrolled for coursework at Western and have not received financial aid but have applied for aid effective Fall Quarter 1999, are expected to have satisfactorily completed at least 80% of the credits they have attempted at Western. Minimum credit requirements associated with prior academic standards for students who have a past academic history at Western and have not received aid but have applied for aid for periods of enrollment beyond Fall Quarter 1999 will consist of the current academic progress requirements described below.

Current Quarter Academic Progress Requirements.

Academic progress is reviewed for financial aid purposes at the end of each quarter. To maintain financial aid eligibility, you are expected to satisfactorily complete the minimum number of credits associated with the enrollment status for which you received aid. The following grades do not indicate successful completion of academic credit: F, Z, U, NP, K, I, W, X, an audited class, or absence of a grade. All credits must be completed at Western or through an exchange program endorsed by Western.

If you with to have Student Financial Resources re­examine your academic progress upon satisfactory completion of a K grade, you must first confirm that the Registrar has made the grade change and then notify Student Financial Resources 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 Student Financial Resources at any time and a determination made as to the reasonableness of counting credits derived from repeated coursework toward academic progress requirements for aid purposes. Aid recipients who wish to repeat coursework while receiving aid are strongly advised to provide justification and obtain approval from Student Financial Resources prior to receiving aid for such coursework.

Undergraduate and graduate credit completion requirements are provided below.

Undergraduate students (Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 8)
Enrollment Status Minimum Quarterly Credit Requirements
Full-time 12
3/4 time 9
1/2 time 6
Less than 1/2 time All credits attempted


Graduate students (Class 5, A)
Enrollment Status Minimum Quarterly Credit Requirements
Full-time 10
Part-time (between 1/2 time & full-time) 5

Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress criteria for a given quarter will be placed on financial aid probation or suspension.

3. Maximum Timeframe Requirements

For purposes of receiving financial aid, students are expected to complete degree or certificate programs within maximum allowable time-frames. Students who meet or exceed the maximum allowable time-frames that apply to them are ineligible for financial aid. Western measures whether students have met or exceeded their maximum time-frames by adding the number of credits they have attempted. Attempted credits are defined as credits for which the student has enrolled as of the add/drop deadline each quarter. Should students receive financial aid, the total hours attempted would consist of the minimum credits associated with the enrollment status for which financial aid was calculated or actual hours enrolled, whichever is higher. Credits earned from repeated courses are counted as attempted credits each time the courses are taken.

Undergraduate Students

May attempt 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.

Graduate Students

May attempt up to 90 credits for completion of their graduate degrees.

Post­-baccalaureate Students Pursuing a Second Undergraduate Degree or a Certificate Program:

May attempt up to 90 credits for completion of the additional degree or certificate.

Upon reaching maximum time-frame limitations, students are no longer eligible for financial aid. If you believe that unusual circumstances prevented you from completing your degree within the time-frame allowed, you may petition for aid reinstatement. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. Your petition should: a) explain why you were unable to complete your degree within the allowable time-frame; b) provide the number of remaining credits needed to complete your degree or certificate; c) specify the quarter and year you plan to graduate; and d) include a senior evaluation performed by the Registrar’s Office.

Financial Aid Suspension

Financial aid suspension is an aid-­ineligible status, whereby aid for future quarters will be canceled and processing to calculate future aid eligibility will be put on hold unless eligibility is regained.

Undergraduate students who have satisfactorily completed less than 6 credits while receiving financial aid will automatically be placed on financial aid suspension.

Graduate students who have satisfactorily completed less than 5 credits while receiving financial aid 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

If you are placed on financial aid suspension, you may petition for financial aid reinstatement if unusual circumstances beyond your control prevented you from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. Reinstatement is not guaranteed.

If your petition for financial aid reinstatement has not been granted, you may re­petition for aid reinstatement after you have successfully completed a full-­time quarter on your own, without the benefit of financial aid funding. A full­ time credit load for undergraduate students would consist of 12 credits; for graduate students, this would consist of 10 credits.

If you are a part-­time student, you may contract with Student Financial Resources for the number of credits you would need to complete to reinstate your aid eligibility.

If you are unable to reinstate yourself using the above options and have been unable to attend Western for a full academic year, you may re­ petition for aid reinstatement. Your petition for reinstatement should explain why you have not been able to reinstate yourself using the above options and how continued eligibility would constitute an undue hardship.

If your eligibility for financial aid is reinstated, the amount of financial aid you receive will be based on available funds. It is possible that you will not receive your original financial aid award.

3. Withdrawals

Aid recipients who withdrew from all coursework will lose their aid eligibility and may be required to repay 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. Aid recipients who have unofficially withdrawn may be required to pay tuition and fees for the applicable quarter through sources other than financial aid.

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