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Washington State University
Maintain your eligibility while Dropping Classes

How dropping classes can affect your financial aid

You are required to successfully complete a minimum number of credits and make progress toward a degree to maintain eligibility for financial aid. This requirement is called SAP—Satisfactory Academic Progress.

If you are considering dropping classes after the start of the semester, please keep the following credit guidelines in mind.

Credits enrolled at beginning of semesterCredits that must be completed
12+ creditsMust complete at least 12 credits
9-11 creditsMust complete at least 9 credits
6-8 creditsMust complete at least 6 credits
5 or fewer creditsMust complete all credits

If you fail to meet SAP during any term, you will be placed on a one-term warning status or may have your aid denied. The following criteria is used to determine your status:

Effects to financial aid

Warning status

Warning status occurs if you fail to complete the minimum number of hours required, based on your individual enrollment. You are allowed one warning term to complete the minimum credit hours that are needed in order to get back into compliance.

The minimum number of credits to complete based on enrolled credits is as follows:

Credits enrolled at beginning of semesterYou will receive a SAP warning if you complete
12+ credits 6–11 credits
11 credits 6–8 credits
10 credits5–8 credits
9 credits5–8 credits
8 credits4–5 credits
6 credits3–5 credits

Denial of financial aid funds

Denial of your financial aid funds will occur if you fail to complete the minimum number of hours required during a warning term or if you fail to complete at least 50% of the minimum number of hours required based on individual enrollment. If you are attempting 5 or less credits, you will be in denial if you fail to complete ALL of these credits by the end of the term.

If you are placed in a denial status, you must successfully complete a SAP Appeal to continue receiving your aid.

Pace towards degree

In addition to completing the minimum credit hours, you must complete at least 67% of your overall attempted credits, which includes any additional credits transferred to WSU.

  • If you drop below the cumulative 67% completion rate, you will be placed on warning status. You will have one term to bring your completion rate above 67% before losing your aid eligibility.
  • If you remain below the cumulative 67% completion rate at the end of the warning term, you will be disqualified from receiving aid.

At any point you become disqualified to receive aid, you may regain eligibility by successfully appealing or completing a term on your own and in addition are no longer in disqualification status.

Dropping classes after census

Census is a process that is ran on the 10th day of the semester, where a snapshot of student schedules is taken, and aid is adjusted based off of the number of credits taken at the time that the census process is ran. Hence, it is important to finalize schedules before the census process. When dropping classes after census, it is possible for financial aid to be affected, and is dependent on a variety of factors.

  • If you are withdrawing for the semester, a return of financial aid is done under our Return of Title IV Policy, where a percentage of earned may be returned dependent on how much aid you have earned.
  • If you are in classes and your aid has not disbursed, your aid will be adjusted based on enrollment level once whatever is holding the disbursal of aid is resolved.
  • If you are in classes, aid has disbursed, and your class has already started, the census snapshot stands and no aid will be adjusted.
  • If you are dropping a class that starts in the future, your aid will be adjusted based on enrollment level as financial aid has not been earned for that class. If there is no change in enrollment level, then aid will not be adjusted.