Academic progress requirements
As a financial aid recipient, a student is expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress and complete degree requirements or educational objectives in a timely manner according to institutional and office policies. Students must meet Western Oregon University’s academic requirements outlined in the WOU catalog and comply with WOU’s financial aid academic requirements as outlined below. The Financial Aid Office monitors financial aid recipients’ academic progress at the end of every term and on an annual basis. The annual review is performed each June after the end of spring term. Summer session is monitored separately.
Letter grades of F, W, NC, I, X and AU do not apply toward the satisfactory completion of the credit hour minimums. Students may not use credits by exam (credits earned by challenging an individual course) or College Level Equivalency Test (CLEP) credits to meet the minimum credit requirements. A class taken to improve a grade may be included in minimum credit requirements if maximum credit hour limits are not exceeded.
Lack of satisfactory academic progress could consist of the following:
Insufficient credit hours earned
Minimum credit hour requirements.
All financial aid recipients are required to register for and satisfactorily complete the following number of credit hours for each term of attendance. Summer session credit hour requirements are the same as for all other terms.
Under-graduate Post Bac/2nd Undergrad Graduate/ Masters
Full time 12 cr. 12 cr. 9 cr.
¾ time 9-11 9-11 7-8
½ time 6-8 6-8 5-6
½ time 5 or fewer NA NA
- If you pass fewer than 6 credit hours during the term, your aid will be placed on hold and you will be required to petition for the reinstatement of future financial aid.
- If, at the end of the academic year, you are cumulatively deficient credit hours, your future financial aid will be placed on hold and you will be required to petition for reinstatement of future financial aid.
- If you are a full-time student attending fall, winter and spring terms, a grace of 3 credits deficiency is allowed at the end of the academic year if you have met all other satisfactory progress requirements while you have been a student at WOU.
A repayment of financial aid may be required if you receive X grades.
- If you do not attend any classes or receive all X grades, you will be required to repay all aid disbursed during that term unless you can provide documentation of class attendance. Your documentation must be submitted within a given time limit.
- If you receive some X grade(s) in addition to your other grades, you may be required to prove class attendance if the X grade(s) cause(s) a deficiency in credit hours. If you cannot prove attendance in your X class(es), you may be required to repay a portion of your financial aid. Documentation of attendance in your class(es) must be submitted within a given time limit.
The Financial Aid Office will assume that students who complete zero credits (excluding students who receive all “I” or “X” grades) did not complete the entire term and these students will be considered as “unofficially withdrawn.” The student will be considered as unofficially withdrawn as of half-way through the term. Students who unofficially withdraw may need to repay some or all of their financial aid.
Documentation of class attendance must be submitted by a professor with an e-mail or a memo on letterhead directed to the Financial Aid Office.
If you are a transfer student (beginning your first term at WOU), the Financial Aid Office will consider you to be making satisfactory academic progress since you met WOU’s admission criteria. However, if you have exceeded the maximum credit hours allowed for financial aid eligibility, you may need to petition. Refer to excessive credit hours attempted, next.
Excessive credit hours attempted
Maximum credit limits. Your financial aid will be placed on hold and you will be required to petition for the reinstatement of financial aid if your cumulative number of attempted credit hours (including any transfer credits) exceed the following:
- Undergraduate degree: 220 credit hours
- Post baccalaureate/second undergraduate degree: 48 credit hours
- Graduate/master’s degree: varies by program
If you are academically suspended from WOU, your aid will be placed on hold and you will be required to petition for reinstatement of financial aid. You must first petition for readmittance to WOU. Your petition for readmission must be approved prior to petitioning for reinstatement of financial aid. Petitions for readmission are available from the Registrar’s Office.
Failure to meet previous petition/appeal requirements
Read petition results carefully. If you are directed to meet certain criteria to continue receiving financial aid, you must comply with those conditions. If you do not comply with the conditions, your financial aid will be suspended and you will be required to petition for reinstatement of aid. Previous petition requirements will be monitored each term of the requirement.
Juniors or seniors with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0
Your financial aid may be placed on hold at the end of each term and you may be required to petition for the reinstatement of financial aid if you are a junior or senior and your cumulative GPA is less than 2.0.
Financial aid petition forms are available at the Financial Aid Office or on the financial aid Web page.
- If you do not meet the academic progress criteria, you must petition and explain your special circumstances prior to receiving any additional financial aid. Special circumstances such as, but not limited to, an injury or illness to you or death of a relative will be considered in petition determination.
- If your aid is on hold because of excessive credit hours, you must submit a petition indicating the reason(s) for accumulating excessive hours and your expected graduation date. A graduation summary sheet or degree plan may be required. Please allow the Registrar’s Office at least one term’s advance notice to prepare the graduation summary sheet.
- If your petition or appeal is approved, you may be placed on a probationary period for financial aid purposes. During this period, you may be required to comply with certain criteria. The criteria may be more restrictive than WOU’s and/or the Financial Aid Office academic requirements. Any criteria will be given to the student with the petition or appeal results.
- If your financial aid petition is denied, you may be required to compensate for your academic deficiencies before further aid consideration will be given.
- Petitions for reinstatement of financial aid not received in a timely manner will result in cancellation of any pending financial aid.
You have the right to appeal your petition determination. Appeal forms are available from and must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
Withdrawing from school
To withdraw from WOU, students must complete the required paperwork, available from the Registrar’s Office and obtain the required signatures (ask about making links easy to use). If a student is eligible to receive a refund and is a financial aid recipient, some or all of that money will be returned directly to the aid programs. By withdrawing from school, a student may be required to repay a portion of the financial aid disbursement. Students who withdraw from all classes prior to completing more than 60 percent of an enrollment term will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the term completed. For example, a student who withdraws completing only 30% of the term will have earned only 30 percent of any Title IV aid received (other than Federal Work-Study). The student and/or the school must return (repay) the remaining 70 percent of the funds received. Contact the Financial Aid Office for complete withdrawal details. Unearned financial aid funds will be returned in the following order depending on the type of financial aid the student received during the term of withdrawal:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
- Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG
- other Title IV aid programs
If a student withdraws, the student must petition the Financial Aid Office to be considered for financial aid in subsequent terms. The student must have attended classes to be eligible to receive federal financial aid. Non-attendance means a total repayment of all federal aid received for that term. Please refer to Return of Title IV Aid policies in WOU’s schedule of classes.
Students are also required to attend loan exit counseling if they received federal loans while attending WOU. Exit interviews are available at the end of the term, by appointment or online at the Financial Aid Office home page.