Calendar | Map | myWestern

Financial Aid Home Western Washington University Home

Requirements

Please carefully review these requirements to make sure you maintain your financial aid eligibility.


New Students
Open the Door with 2 or More! 2.0 cumulative GPA or better by the end of the second year

At the end of your second year, you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, otherwise you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one quarter if you are otherwise in good financial aid standing. If your cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 after the warning quarter, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will have an opportunity to petition to regain eligibility. During your first two years, you can remain eligible for financial aid even if the cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 as long as you are meeting the university scholarship standards to rebuild your GPA. University scholarship standards provide for a continuing academic probation status allowing you to use multiple quarters to rebuild your GPA as long as you achieve at least a 2.3 quarterly GPA each quarter. Please review the university catalog for more information about the university scholarship standards

Pace – Aim for 100! Get at least 80 – complete at least 80% of cumulative attempted credits

For financial aid eligibility, you must complete 80% of your cumulative attempted credits to be on pace to graduate. All students are monitored for pace at the end of every quarter. If your completion rate drops below 80%, you will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for one quarter. If your completion rate remains below 80% after the warning quarter, you will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension and will have an opportunity to petition to regain eligibility.

Some definitions

Attempted credits -- All credits that appear on your academic history record including repeated, failed, incomplete, withdrawals (XM), and transfer credits. Pay close attention to the Registrar’s Office important dates and deadlines. The last day to withdraw from a class without incurring a “W” is the ninth day of every quarter. However, since XM grades count as attempted credits you must withdraw from a class sooner to avoid incurring an “XM” grade on your academic history record. The last day to withdraw from a class without incurring an “XM” grade is the fifth day of every quarter.

Completed credits -- Credits for which a passing grade is received such as A through D-, P, or S.

Transfer credits -- All credits transferred in to Western are considered as completed credits. For example, a new transfer student coming in with a direct transfer AA degree is considered to have 90 attempted and completed credits for a completion rate of 100%.

Here are some examples of how the 80% Pace requirement works:

Example 1: Imanue Student is a new freshman who has no transfer credits or previous credits from WWU. Imanue enrolls fall quarter for 16 credits, but needs to drop a four credit class. At the end of fall quarter Imanue completes 12 out of 16 credits for a rate of completion of 75% and is placed on financial aid warning.

During winter quarter Imanue completes 12 out of 12 credits. At the end of winter quarter Imanue returns to good financial aid standing because over the course of two quarters, Imanue completed 24 credits out of 28 cumualtive attempted credits for a completion rate of 85.7%.


Summary Table -- Example 1 (Try the Pace Calculator)

Quarter Fall Winter
Attempted credits 16 12
Completed credits 12 12
Completion rate 75.0% 100.0%
Cumulative attempted 16 28
Cumulative completed 12 24
Completion rate 75.0% 85.7%

Example 2: Anothernue Student is a freshman who has no transfer credits or previous credits from WWU. Anothernue enrolls for 16 credits during fall quarter and withdraws from a four credit class. At the end of fall quarter, Anothernue completes 12 out of 16 credits for a completion rate of 75% and is placed on Financial Aid Warning for winter quarter.

During winter quarter, Anothernue completes 12 out of 15 credits for a quarterly completion rate of 80%. However, the pace requirement is based on cumulative credits. For fall and winter quarters combined, Anothernew completed 24 out of 31 attempted credits for a completion rate of 77.4%. Since Anothernue did not meet the 80% pace requirement while on warning, Anothernue is placed on Financial Aid Suspension. If Anothernue submits a petition to regain eligibility for spring quarter and the petition is approved, Anothernue will be eligible for financial aid on a probationary status.

In this example, if Anothernue had successfully completed 12 out of 12 credits during winter quarter, then the completion rate jumps to 83.7% (36 completed credits out of 43 attempted credits) and Anothernue would be back on pace and in good standing for spring quarter financial aid.


Summary Table -- Example 2 (Try the Pace Calculator)

Quarter Fall Winter Spring
Attempted 16 15 12
Completed 12 12 12
Completion rate 75.0% 80.0% 100.0%
Cumulative attempted 16 31 43
cumulative completed 12 24 36
Completion rate 75.0% 77.4% 83.7%

Example 3: Pat Moorecredits is a new transfer student with 90 credits and a completion rate of 100% (new transfer students begin with a completion rate of 100%). During fall quarter, Pat experiences health concerns that affect Pat's academic progress and Pat only completes six out of 15 credits for a quarterly completion rate of 40%. Even though Pat only completed six credits at the end of fall quarter Pat remains on pace because Pat successfully completed 96 out of 105 cumulative attempted credits for a completion rate of 91.4%. This example shows that as students build up their completed credits, they can weather a tough quarter and still be on pace for financial aid eligibility.

IMPORTANT NOTE: although Pat is meeting the Pace requirement, Pat has not met the credit completion requirement. A long standing policy requires students to complete the minimum number of credits for which they receive aid. For example, an Undergraduate full-time aid recipient must succcessfully complete 12 credits each quarter to avoid being placed on warning or suspension. To view additional details about the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, review the financial aid bulletin.


Summary Table -- Example 3 (Try the Pace Calculator)

Quarter Transfer or Prior Year Credits Fall
Attempted 15
Completed 6
Completion rate 40.0%
Cumulative attempted 90 105
Cumulative completed 90 96
Completion rate 100.0% 91.4%

Give Credit Where Credit is Due – complete a sufficient number of credits every quarter

The Financial Aid Department reviews academic progress at the end of each quarter for all students. To establish and maintain financial aid eligibility, you must successfully complete the minimum number of credits associated with the enrollment level on which a financial aid award is based. For example, an undergraduate student must successfully complete 12 or more credits if the enrollment level at enrollment lock is full-time. Please view the Financial Aid Bulletin to see the full text of the credit completion requirements.

Can Pete Repeat? Just once and have it count for financial aid

If you previously passed a course, but wish to retake it to earn a better grade, you are allowed to repeat the course one time and have the repeat credits count toward your enrollment status for financial aid eligibility. Should you choose to repeat the course for a second time, the credits will not count toward your enrollment status. The number of credits you enroll in determines your enrollment status (e.g., half-time, three-quarter time, full-time). Your enrollment status affects your financial aid eligibility. An undergraduate student is at a full-time enrollment status if enrolled in 12 or more credits. Please view the Financial Aid Bulletin to see the credit completion requirements for other enrollment statuses.

Example: Pete Repeat received a C in a four-credit course. During the next quarter, Pete enrolled in the course again to get a better grade and earned a B. When Pete repeated the course, the credits were included in determining the enrollment status and financial aid eligibility. However, Pete is striving to get an A in the course and repeats it again -- a second repeat. This time the credits for this course do not count in determining Pete’s enrollment status. In order to be eligible for financial aid at full-time status, Pete would need to enroll for a minimum of 12 other credits in addition to the four-credit class Pete is repeating for the second time.

Example: Pete enrolled in a course for the first time. Unfortunately, Pete did not pass the course. Pete can repeat the course and have it count for financial aid eligibility. If Pete then successfully completes the course, he can repeat one more time and have the course count in the enrollment status for financial aid eligibility. See our Financial Aid Bulletin, credit completion requirements, for a listing of grades that are considered unsuccessful completion.

Be aware of Maximums while Completing Your Academic Program

There are several financial aid maximums in time and amount that you need to consider while completing your degree.

Program/Requirement Maximum Eligibility
The Maximum Attempt Credit requirement Limits financial aid eligibility to 125% of the credits needed to complete the program.
Washington State Need Grant Program Maximum of 15 quarters of eligibility (5 years at 3 quarters per year).
Washington State College Bound Scholarship Program Maximum of 12 quarters of eligibility (4 years at 3 quarters per year).
Federal Pell Grant Program 600% Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) – you may receive over your lifetime the equivalent of six years (600%) of annual Pell Grant funding.
Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loan Program Annual maximum award amounts depend on class standing. Aggregate lifetime maximums are determined by dependency status and undergraduate or graduate program status. See details in the WWU Financial Aid Bulletin.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program Federal Direct Subsidized Loan borrowers have a time limit. You may receive loans for a period that does not exceed 150% of the published length of the academic program in which you are currently enrolled (6 years of eligibility in a 4-year program).

You May Need to Repay Financial Aid If . . .

You may need to repay federal, state, or institutional financial aid funds that you have already received in certain circumstances:

  • You receive a financial aid disbursement, and then reduce your enrollment status on or before the enrollment lock date – the second Friday of the quarter. See the Financial Aid Bulletin, Receiving Your Financial Aid, for additional details.
  • You receive a financial aid disbursement, and then withdraw from all classes. The amount of financial aid repayment depends on the time you completely withdraw. See the Financial Aid Bulletin, Withdrawing, for additional details.
  • Corrections to errors on the FAFSA or WASFA, a loss of eligibility based on verification of information, or other less common eligibility circumstances may also create repayment requirements. For additional details, review the Washington Student Aid Council Ready Set Grad website for the FAQ on State Need Grant Repayment. Also, see the Federal Student Aid website for information regarding federal financial aid.

Students with an overdue unpaid balance on their student account are subject to late fees, interest charges, and course enrollment holds. Contact the WWU Student Business Office and the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Open 9am - 4pm Monday - Friday | Old Main 265 | 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Western Washington University - Bellingham, Washington| Accessibility Notice