Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal law requires that you must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree for you to be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds. These standards apply to all periods of
attendance, even periods when you did not receive financial aid. Students must meet all requirements listed to be in good standing for financial aid.

Maximum Time Frame / Pace of Completion

Students must progress through their program to ensure that they will graduate within the maximum time frame or 150% of program credits. For example, an Associate degree that requires 60 credits, the Maximum time frame would be 90 credits.

The financial aid office will evaluate student records at the end of each semester to make sure they have not and will not exceed the 150% maximum time frame allowed for each program. Students who change from one program to another without graduating will have their attempted credits and completed credits calculated to determine where they stand within the 150% maximum time frame.

Students graduating from one (1) program and beginning a new program will have their 150% maximum time frame start for the new program.


Students must be accepted into an eligible CEI program. Students must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and meet the academic standards of the institution. Workforce Training and Community Education courses are not eligible for financial aid.

Progress Eligibility

In addition to maintaining academic standards, all students will be required to satisfactorily complete (receive grades other than D+, D, D-, F, AU, CH, IC, S, I, or W), 67% of all credits listed on the transcript, including transfer credits from other institutions.

Credits completed are defined as all classes for which a student received a passing grade or better. Repeated courses count as credits attempted during each term the student is enrolled in the course. They will be counted as completed each time a passing grade is received for the course.

Incompletes and withdrawals do not count as passing, but are included in the credit completion rate calculation. Audit credits do not count as credits attempted or completed and will not be counted in the credit completion rate calculation.

Financial Aid and Repeat Course Work

Financial Aid can pay for unlimited repeats of a failed course as long as the student is meeting all other Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Financial aid will assist the student when repeating a course (or its equivalent) if all previous attempts were failures, as long as those failures are graded courses.  Once the student passes a course, they are only allowed to repeat the course one more time to have it count in their enrollment status and their financial aid eligibility.

Monitoring Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) will be reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if they are in compliance with the SAP policies. This review encompasses a student’s entire academic record, regardless of whether the student applied for or received financial aid.

Students not meeting these SAP standards will receive communication via email to their CEI email. Students should check Self-Service to view their progress by clicking on the “Satisfactory Academic Progress” link under the “Financial Aid Counseling” link.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who receive federal financial aid but do not earn any credits for the term will be immediately suspended from receiving future financial aid. Students who completely withdraw from CEI during the course of a semester may be required to return a percentage of that semester’s federal financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning

The first time a student is not meeting the Academic or Progress requirements the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students in Financial Aid Warning will still be eligible for financial aid for the following semester. Financial aid funds may be delayed the following term in order for prior term grades to be posted before federal aid can be released.

Any subsequent incidents of SAP violations will result in the suspension of financial aid eligibility. Students violating the Maximum Time Frame policy or zero credits earned, will be suspended financial aid with no Warning period

Withdrawal Policy

Students at CEI who receive federal financial aid and withdraw will have refunds calculated according to federal guidelines. This will help determine the largest refund to the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs or to the student.

All other federal financial aid recipients will have refunds calculated according to the State of Idaho’s or the U.S. Department of Education’s approved accrediting agency refund policies (if they exist). If no State or U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency refund policy exists, refunds will be calculated according to federal or institutional refund guidelines in order to determine the largest refund to the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs or to the student.

If a student contacts the CEI Financial Aid Office to withdraw, they will also be referred to the Registrar’s Office to complete the withdrawal process. Students who withdraw from one or more courses within the first week of school must notify the Financial Aid Office and return over-awarded funds to the Cashier’s Office at the time of withdrawal. No adjustments to financial aid will be made after the first week of each semester. Students who do a total withdrawal from all of their courses after the first week of the semester are subject to the return policy of the federal government and may be required to return a portion of their awards. Students who receive financial award disbursements and do not attend classes are not eligible for funds and must return any award money received by the institution.

Withdrawal Policy for Module Courses

A module course is a course that does not span the entire sixteen (16) week semester. Students must be aware that there are financial consequences for early withdrawal or failure of a module course that may include payback of financial aid funds received. If a student enrolls in a module course and needs to withdraw from that course for ANY reason, they must do so through the Registrar’s Office.

In addition, if a module course is a Prerequisite for another module course in the same term, the student must withdraw from the next module course(s) as well. If the student is receiving financial aid and is withdrawn from a module course prior to the start date the refund for that course will first be applied back to their financial aid balance. The financial aid monies received at the beginning of the semester are still the student’s responsibility to payback.

If the student is enrolled in another module course that does not have a Prerequisite they may remain in that module course as long as they fill out the Module Course Attend/Drop form in the Registrar’s Office.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

Students suspended from financial aid may regain eligibility by:

  1. Repaying any funds owed to CEI (see Cashier’s Office),
  2. Attending additional semester(s) without the assistance of financial aid and;
  3. Students must enroll in and successfully complete enough credits to meet academic standards as well as progress eligibility standards to be in compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) to be reinstated financial aid. The courses taken must be from the approved list of required courses for the student’s program of study.

Financial Aid Appeals Process

In the case of extenuating circumstances (such as injury, illness, or death of an immediate family member); students may appeal their financial aid suspension in writing by completing the General Appeal form or the Maximum Credit Appeal form and return it to the Financial Aid Office.  The appeal should address and document extenuating circumstances and describe how circumstances have changed so the student is able to be academically successful. Students must be registered for courses at the time the appeal is submitted.

A Financial Aid Professional Staff Committee will review submitted appeals. If the appeal is denied, students may meet in person with the SAP Appeals Committee. This committee’s decision will be the final decision. Incomplete appeals or those missing adequate documentation will be denied for missing information.

If an appeal is approved, the student will be required to complete the courses as outlined. If the student cannot be in compliance after the approved term and they have passed the courses, but may not be meeting all SAP requirements, they may be denied financial aid for the following term. The student may submit a General Appeal with an Academic Plan approved by an Academic Advisor and the Financial Aid Office until they are in compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress.

John E. Christofferson
Multi-Purpose Building

Room 353
Phone: (208) 524-3000
Fax: (208) 525-7026