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Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Financial Aid Recipients

Federal and state regulations mandate that an aid recipient must make satisfactory academic progress toward completing his or her degree or certificate. Whitworth will hold to these same standards for establishing eligibility for institutional funding, including any additional eligibility criteria specific to the scholarship or grant for which the student is eligible. This requirement applies to the aid recipient's entire period of attendance at Whitworth, even though s/he may not have received financial aid in one or more semesters. (Students enrolled in graduate programs may find that their departmental requirements to stay in good academic standing is considerably stricter than the criteria outlined below.)

Satisfactory academic progress includes 1) completing a minimum number of cumulative credits, 2) maintaining a minimum cumulative and term grade point average and 3) completing a degree or certificate within a reasonable period of time. Please note: These policies govern financial aid and do not have any bearing on your Whitworth academic standing, as they are separate policies. The university's catalog has more information on academic requirements.

Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid is reviewed at the end of each semester. Cumulative credits and cumulative grade point average include work for the entire time you have attended Whitworth University; therefore, your entire academic history up to that point is reviewed at the end of each semester.

Minimum Requirements to Remain Eligible for Aid

Minimum Cumulative Credits

Minimum Cumulative GPA

Minimum Term GPA

Completion of 66.67% of attempted cumulative credits



Students who fail to complete these minimum requirements for the first time will be placed on financial aid warning status and will be granted one additional semester to regain satisfactory academic progress. Failure to regain satisfactory academic progress at the end of the financial aid warning-status semester will result in the student having his or her aid suspended for the upcoming semester. Students will be notified if they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress; however, it is each student's responsibility to monitor his/her own progress, which can be done by reviewing grades on Pirate Port. Below you will find further information about each of these criteria.

Minimum Credit Requirement

All students receiving financial aid must, at the end of each semester, complete at least 66.67 percent of the cumulative credits that they attempt, in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Washington state aid recipients must successfully complete 50 percent or more of their attempted credits each semester to be eligible for state aid the following semester. State aid recipients are considered on probation status and eligible for aid if they complete 51-99 percent for the semester. Students receiving state aid in a probationary status must complete 100 percent of the credits upon which their state aid was based during the probationary semester, or state aid will be suspended in the following semester.

  • Incompletes, withdrawals, failed classes, credits by examination, non-credit remedial courses and audits do not count as completed credits.
  • Earned credits received for pass/no pass courses, remedial or English-language-instruction (ESL) coursework do count toward the minimum credit requirement, but are not included in the cumulative grade point average.
  • Transferred credits, including those received during consortium study, are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned hours, but they do not count in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.
  • A repeated class (when it is the same class with the same content) is counted toward completed credits only when it is successfully completed, but it is counted as part of the attempted credits each time the course has been taken.
  • A student may repeat a class (with the same content) that was successfully completed and receive financial aid for the course only one additional time.
  • Students who drop credits during the 100-percent-refund period will have their offers revised to reflect the correct charges, and the new enrollment status will be considered the attempted credits for the semester.
  • A student's cumulative attempted credits are the credits that the student attempted at the end of the 100-percent-refund period for each semester of attendance at Whitworth University. It includes repeated coursework and all credits that were considered transferable by the registrar's office.

Minimum Cumulative and Term Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and must complete each term with a minimum 1.0 grade point average for each term of study. Only the highest grade obtained is counted in the grade point average when a course is repeated*. As stated above, transferred credits including those received during consortium study, do not count in the calculation of the cumulative and term grade point average, but they are included in the calculation of both attempted and earned credits.

For these scholarships, these special minimum cumulative grade point averages apply:


Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average

Honors Colloquium Scholarship (full-tuition scholarship)


Teach Grant


Whitworth International Aid


Note: Endowed, restricted, federal and state scholarships tied to strong academic performance may require higher standards than those listed here.

*The exception for this is for graduate students who have been gone longer than six years and then return to Whitworth. Their credits expire after six years and these students have to repeat their courses. Only the newest grade is counted in the grade point average. See Whitworth's catalog for more information.

Maximum Time Frame

Students are eligible to receive financial aid until they have attempted a maximum of 150 percent of the minimum number of credits required for the degree or certificate (189 credits for undergraduates), or completed all the requirements to receive their degree or certificate. At 158 credits the financial aid office will have the Registrar determine if a student can mathematically complete the degree within the maximum timeframe of a 150%. If the student can't complete his/her degree within the 150% maximum time frame, the student can appeal.

The appeal should explain why the degree could not be completed within the time frame allotted and should indicate the amount of additional time needed. The student must attach documentation from his advisor that substantiates the appeal and indicates the plan to finish the student's degree successfully. If the appeal is approved, the student will be place on an academic plan and monitored each term to ensure the plan/degree is completed as outlined.

The maximum time frame for state aid recipients is 125%. Transfer students will be evaluated based on the transfer credits accepted toward the degree and credits attempted at Whitworth. Attempted credits include any repeated courses. Students with double majors or students who change majors are still held to this maximum time frame requirement. Please note, some federal and state financial aid programs have maximum time limits or funding limits that are not affected by an appeal. For example, the Federal Direct Student Loan and Perkins Loan programs have undergraduate aggregate loan limits.

The maximum time frame for graduate students in their respective program is monitored by the individual graduate program according to program requirements and deadlines.

Whitworth's undergraduate academic scholarships are offered for four consecutive years of full-time study. In order for a student to finish her degree within the four years, at least 30 credits or more should be finished each year. Transfer-scholarship recipients will be eligible to receive institutional scholarships based on the class standing they are assigned upon admission and evaluation by the registrar's office (i.e., a junior transfer student will have two years of scholarship eligibility).

Reinstatement of Eligibility

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Students who are no longer eligible to receive financial aid after the completion of their financial aid warning semester because of lack of satisfactory academic progress may submit a Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee, care of the financial aid office. We encourage students to submit the appeal as soon as possible; waiting until once the next semester has begun is usually too late for the student to make payment arrangements that include aid. The appeal consists of three items:

  1. The Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form to be completed by the student,
  2. The Academic Plan for Success completed with the associate dean for academic affairs, and
  3. A statement from the student explaining the changes that he/she will be making to have a more successful semester. Supporting documentation is encouraged.

Incomplete satisfactory academic progress appeals will not be accepted. The Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form is available in the financial aid office or on the web at Appeals will be reviewed for circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the student that prevented the student from maintaining satisfactory academic progress; for example, personal illness or accident, or serious illness or death within the immediate family. If the appeal is denied, the student's aid will not be reinstated. If the appeal is approved, the student will be granted financial aid on a probationary basis and will be informed what requirements must be met to continue to be eligible for aid, as determined by the financial aid committee and a review of the academic plan. Failure to meet the probationary period's requirements for financial aid will result in suspension of aid for the upcoming semester. A student may submit a maximum of three appeals during her time of study at Whitworth University.

Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

Failure After Warning Semester

Failure During Probationary Status

Student is granted one semester of aid eligibility on a warning status. No special action is required of the student to be granted a warning semester, however, the student should be sure to meet with his advisor to assure success during the warning semester.

Student may appeal by submitting:

  1. an appeal form
  2. an academic plan for success created with the student's academic advisor
  3. A statement from the student explaining the changes that he/she will be making to have a more successful semester.  Supporting documentation is encouraged.

Student is ineligible for further aid until he can regain eligibility without aid or have an additional appeal granted.

Please note that an Educational Review Board decision to reinstate a student does not mean that a student will once again be eligible for financial aid. Educational Review Board decisions are distinct and separate from those of the financial aid office.

Regaining Satisfactory Academic Progress Without Benefit of Aid

If a student is still in good standing with the academic affairs office's educational review board and able to continue his studies at Whitworth, but is ineligible for aid, he can raise his cumulative grade point average and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional course work at Whitworth University without receiving financial aid. The usual satisfactory academic progress requirements as listed must be met at the end of the term without aid in order for aid to be reinstated the following semester. A student who successfully regains satisfactory progress should contact the financial aid office for a review of the student's progress and the possibility of reinstating aid for the upcoming semester.

A student can only eliminate credit deficiencies - but not grade point average deficiencies - by successfully completing course work at another institution and transferring the credits to Whitworth University. Transfer credits used to satisfy credit deficiencies cannot be credits that were earned prior to the term in which the student incurred the deficiencies. Once the transfer credits have been posted to the student's academic record at Whitworth, the student should contact the financial aid office to have aid reinstated for the upcoming semester.

You can also continue your studies without benefit of financial aid until you are once again in good academic standing.

Financial aid reinstatement offers are based on available funds at the time the eligibility is regained; therefore, students might not receive a financial aid offer that is consistent with prior years' offers.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Records

Financial aid satisfactory academic progress records are kept in the student's financial aid file. These records do not appear on the student's permanent academic record (transcript) in the registrar's office.

For More Information

Contact the Whitworth Financial Aid Office at finaid@whitworth.edu800.533.4668 or 509.777.3215, 300 W Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251; fax: 509.777.4601.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements Frequently Asked Questions

What if my first-term GPA drops below the required minimum GPA?

You have one financial aid warning semester where you will continue to be eligible for aid to obtain the required cumulative grade point average.

What if my cumulative grade point average remains below the required minimum at the end of my financial aid warning semester?

You will be ineligible for aid for the upcoming semester unless you submit an appeal and it is granted. Provided you are in good academic standing with the Educational Review Board, you can attend without benefit of financial aid.

What can I do to have my aid reinstated after I have lost it? Or, to put it another way, how can I regain eligibility?

You must complete and submit a satisfactory academic progress appeal form to the Financial Aid Appeal Committee. This form can be found on our website at The form should be submitted directly to the financial aid office. If you begin the semester prior to your satisfactory academic progress appeal being approved, you will be responsible for all charges without the benefit of financial aid if the appeal is denied. If your appeal is granted, your financial aid offer will be reevaluated.

You can also continue your studies without benefit of financial aid until you are once again in good academic standing.

What if I lose my Faculty or Full-Tuition Honors Colloquium Scholarship?

You will have one financial aid warning semester to improve your academic record. If after the financial aid warning semester you still do not meet the requirements for the scholarship, you will not be eligible to receive the scholarship for the next semester, unless you are granted an appeal. If you meet the minimum requirements for other aid, your offer will be reevaluated and any unmet need as a result of losing the scholarship will be reconsidered if no appeal is granted.

What if I have to withdraw during a semester for medical reasons?

When you withdraw during a semester a refund calculation for federal, state and institutional aid is performed and the results are forwarded to you. Adjustments to your financial aid offer are made based on the results of the refund calculation. (More information is available on our website.) When you withdraw after the 100-percent-refund period, and you cannot meet satisfactory academic progress requirements, you will be automatically granted one subsequent financial aid academic warning semester to meet the standard satisfactory academic progress requirements if the Educational Review Board will allow you to continue your studies at Whitworth. If you are unable to meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements after your warning semester, you may wish to submit a satisfactory academic progress appeal along with documentation from your doctor and an academic plan for success that the associate dean of academic affairs has created with you to assure your success.

Will my satisfactory academic progress status at Whitworth follow me to another school?

No. Satisfactory academic progress statuses do not transfer from school to school. However, you may have used federal and/or state assistance that will affect your maximum eligibility in the future.