Terms and Conditions

Academic progress requirements

Federal and state regulations require that an aid recipient make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completing his or her degree. Satisfactory academic progress includes 1.) completing a minimum number of cumulative credits; 2.) maintaining a minimum term and cumulative grade point average; and 3.) completing a degree within a reasonable period of time.

Please note: These policies govern financial aid and do not have any bearing on your Whitman academic standing as they are separate policies. The College’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 includes work for the entire time you have attended Whitman College; at the end of each semester, your entire academic history, up to that point, is reviewed.

Minimum requirements to remain eligible for aid

Minimum Cumulative Credits Minimum Term GPA Minimum Cumulative GPA
Complete 66.66% of attempted cumulative credits 1.7 GPA each semester 2.0 cumulative GPA after first semester on campus

Students who fail to meet the College’s academic standards are placed in an academic warning or academic probationary status by the Board of Review. Academic Warning and Probation are seen as one in the same when it pertains to financial aid. For that reason, either status warrants automatic placement on financial aid probation. The maximum period of financial aid probation is two consecutive semesters during which time the student will maintain their eligibility for financial aid. If the student does not resume good standing and/or satisfactory academic progress after two consecutive semesters on financial aid probation, they will lose their eligibility for all financial aid administered by Whitman College. Students will be notified if they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress.

Minimum credit requirement

All students receiving financial aid must complete at least 66.66 percent of the cumulative credits that they attempt each semester, in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Note: Recipients of Washington State aid must successfully complete 50% or more of their attempted credits each semester. Completing less than 50% of attempted credits will trigger immediate suspension of state aid eligibility. Any less than 100% completion will result in the student being placed in a warning/probationary status for the following semester.

During the warning/probationary period for state aid, the student is expected to complete 100% of attempted credits; if not, suspension of state aid will ensue, with the possibility for appeal. If approved for an additional semester of state aid probation, the student could receive aid for one more semester, again with the expectation that 100% of attempted credits be completed. If the student fails to complete 100% of attempted credits in this probationary semester, the student will no longer be eligible to receive state aid.

Minimum term and cumulative grade point average

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 1.7 each semester and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 during their second semester at Whitman and subsequently. Transferred credits, including those received during foreign or domestic off-campus 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 completed credits.

Maximum time frame

Whitman scholarships are awarded for four years (the equivalent of eight semesters in total). In order for a student to finish his or her degree within the four years, at least 31 credits or more should be finished each year. Transfer students 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).

If a student on Whitman scholarship will not complete their degree requirements within eight semesters and needs additional time to complete the degree, he or she may petition for a ninth semester of Whitman scholarship. The petition form can be found online on the Financial Aid Forms page. The petition letter 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.

Students are eligible to receive federal and state financial aid until they have attempted a maximum of 150% of the minimum number of credits required for the degree (186 credits), or completed all the requirements to receive their degree. Transfer students will be evaluated based on the transfer credits accepted toward the degree and credits attempted at Whitman. 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 Stafford and Perkins Loan programs have undergraduate aggregate loan limits.

Reinstatement of eligibility

Financial Aid Appeal Process

Students who are no longer eligible to receive financial aid after the completion of their financial aid probation semester because of lack of satisfactory academic progress may submit an appeal to the Admission and Financial Aid 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 two items:

  1. A statement from the student explaining why the degree could not be completed within eight semesters and the courses/credits still needed to graduate,
  2. A letter of support from the student’s academic advisor which corroborates that an academic plan has been made.

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.

Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress Failure After Warning Semester Failure During Probationary Status
Student is granted one semester of aid eligibility on a probationary 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 semester of probation. Student may appeal by submitting an academic plan for success created with the student’s academic advisor and/or the Academic Resource Center. Student is ineligible for further aid until he can regain eligibility without aid or have an additional appeal granted


Please note that the Board of Review’s decision to reinstate a student does not mean that a student will once again be eligible for financial aid.
The Board of Review’s 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 Whitman, but is ineligible for aid, he can raise his cumulative grade point average and/or satisfy credit deficiencies by taking additional course work at Whitman without receiving financial aid. The usual satisfactory academic progress requirements as listed above 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 Whitman. Transfer credits used to satisfy credit deficiencies cannot be credits that were earned prior to the term in which the student incurred the deficiencies. Students are also encouraged to consult the Office of the Registrar to confirm that the transfer credits will be accepted. Once the transfer credits have been posted to the student’s academic record at Whitman, the student should contact the financial aid office to have aid reinstated for the upcoming semester.

Financial aid reinstatement awards are based on available funds at the time the appeal is granted; therefore, students might not receive a financial aid award that is consistent with prior years’ awards.