Home » Financial Aid » Eligibility

The following policies apply to students who receive any of the following kinds of Financial Assistance: Pell, SEOG, Federal Work Study, Federal Direct Student Loans.

When your Financial Aid Award is revised, you are sent a revised award letter. Therefore, always read your most recent award letter to confirm your Financial Aid Award for the academic year.

Do I have to pay my bill if I am eligible for financial aid?

  • All accounts are due in full prior to the start of the quarter unless these accounts are paid in full by financial aid and/or scholarships.

How do I purchase my books?

  • If your Financial Aid Award is greater than your bill for tuition and fees, you may be allowed to charge your books providing it does not exceed the amount of the aid refund.
  • If you do not receive Financial Aid you will need to purchase books at your own expense. See Bookstore for list of books.

What happens if I withdraw from SKC?

  • You are encouraged to meet with your instructors and academic advisors, utilize tutorial services and speak with the Retention Office before withdrawing from SKC. This is important because your withdrawal may affect your eligibility for financial aid and could result in you having to repay all or a portion of your financial aid award to SKC or the Department of Education.

Do I need good grades to get Financial Aid?

  • Yes! We are required to confirm that you are attending and passing all of your courses and progressing toward your program of study at SKC. This is called Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you do not maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, you risk losing your Financial Aid Awards.
  • You must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA and
  • Complete at least

SKC’s Financial Aid Office reserves the right to change its policies and procedures in this brochure at any time during the period this publication is in effect.

Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct

rev. 6-17-2010
Financial Aid Office
Statement of Policy:

The staff of the Salish Kootenai College (SKC) Office of Financial Aid is committed to the highest standards of ethical principle and conduct. All financial aid decisions and/or actions made on behalf of Salish Kootenai College will be in compliance with Department of Education regulations and existing laws at all federal, state, and tribal levels. All financial aid employees of Salish Kootenai College will remain committed to acting in the best interests of the students and ensuring that business practices are consistent with that principle and existing law. The Office of Financial Aid will continue to be committed to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Statement of Ethnical Principles adopted in April 1999.

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the SKC Office of Financial Aid personnel shall:

  1. Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit or that reasonably could appear to be for his or her personal benefit.
  2. Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
  3. Protect the privacy of students and assure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
  4. Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
  5. Recognize the need and provide professional development and continuing education opportunities.
  6. Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
  7. Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student
Financial Aid Director
Jackie Swain
(406) 275-4859


Federal regulations governing the administration of federal student financial aid funds provide that no payment of funds may be made unless the institution determines that the student is maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in the course of program he/she is pursing, according to the standards and practices of the institution at which the student is in attendance.


To be eligible to receive federal student aid, student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in their program of study. SAP represents minimal standards of completion for financial aid eligibility.

In order to receive financial aid, the student must be enrolled in an eligible program of study that leads to a Certificate, Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree. In addition students must adhere to the maximum length of time for which they may receive financial aid, maintain the minimum grade point average (GPA), complete the number of credits required to meet the minimum pace of progression each year.

To receive financial aid through Salish Kootenai College Financial Aid office, students must maintain BOTH the quantitative requirement and the qualitative requirement. Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluation with be done ANNUALLY, after Spring term. The following is the satisfactory academic progress policy for the Federal PELL Grant, Federal Direct Loan, Federal Work Study, FSEOG. Many scholarships follow these guidelines, but be sure to check with the funder as specific scholarships may have different rules regarding quantitative and qualitative requirements.

Quantitative Requirement

Students must complete 67% minimum of their cumulative attempted credits at the end of the academic year.

Pace of Progression

Students must complete a minimum number of credits to successfully meet a cumulative 67% progression rate. To calculate a student’s cumulative rate of progression please use the following formula:

Example: Attendance of 3 Consecutive terms (3 quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring)

Quarter 1 Term Pace Cumulative Pace
9 hrs completed/12 hrs attempted =75% 9/12=75%
Quarter 2    
6 hrs completed/12 hrs attempted =50% 15/24=62.5%
Quarter 3    
12 hrs completed/12 hrs attempted =100% 27/36=75%
Total: 27/36=75% with 2.0 GPA    

Example: Attendance of 2 Consecutive terms (2 quarters: Winter, Spring)

Quarter 1 Term Pace Cumulative Pace
9 hrs completed/12 hrs attempted =75% 9/12=75%
Quarter 2    
8 hrs completed/12 hrs attempted =67% 17/24=70%
Total: 17/24=70% with 2.0 GPA    

Example: Attendance of 1 term ( Spring)

Quarter 1 Term Pace Cumulative Pace
8 hrs completed/12 hrs attempted =67% 8/12=67%
Total: 8/12=67% with 2.0 GPA    

*Please Note that Salish Kootenai College does NOT have a summer term.

For the purpose of determining satisfactory progress, grades “F” and “I” (incomplete) or “W” (withdrawal or audit) and “D’s” for the term will count towards determining the number of credits attempted. Accepted credits from previous colleges will count toward pace of progression.

Incomplete Grade: The Incomplete Grade will be counted as an “F” when calculating the Quantitative measure until the grade change is completed with the Registrar and changed on student’s transcript.

A student may receive financial aid for repeating a course required for their major, only after they have failed the course with an “F” and/or “D”, up to a maximum of 3 times. The repeated course must be identical and will count towards 150% requirement.

A student may receive financial aid for repeating an elective course up to a max of 2 times and will count towards 150% requirement.

Students may include as part of their minimum credit load developmental study courses that do not apply toward graduation requirements. Such courses are not to exceed a total of 36 credits. Credits will not count towards 150% requirement but will be calculated in Satisfactory Factory Progress standards.

Repeated courses will be counted when calculating the pace of progression.

In order to receive financial aid, the student must be enrolled in an eligible program of study that leads to a Certificate, Associate’s Degree or Bachelor Degree. In addition, students must adhere to the maximum length of time for which they may receive financial aid, maintain the minimum grade point average (GPA), complete the number of credits required to meet the minimum pace of progression each quarter.

Qualitative Requirement
Students must maintain an SKC cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0

Students who do NOT meet BOTH of these standards at the end of the academic year will be placed on Financial Aid Suspension at the end of spring term.

Recipients of financial aid will be suspended from aid if they fail to meet BOTH the cumulative 2.0 GPA and do not complete 67% of their attempted credits towards their degree.

*Students that do not meet BOTH requirements will not be eligible to receive (Pell, Direct Loans, FESOG, Work Study, SKC Scholarships, State funding and any other scholarship awarded).

*Please note some funding sources may have their own Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

*Students will not be reinstated until they have completed one quarter (at least 8 credits) satisfactorily without federal aid.

Appeal Process:

Students with special mitigating circumstances contributing to their suspension may be able to appeal for reinstatement provided they can properly document their circumstance. Students may ONLY receive a reinstatement ONCE in their career at SKC and it may only be applied to one quarter. The student would then be placed on a Probationary status if the appeal is approved. After one quarter students will be re-evaluated for good standing.

Students may appeal Financial Aid Suspension based on mitigating circumstances but not limited to: injury or illness, death of a relative (spouse, child, sibling, and parent) or in a case of undue hardship.

The appeal application process includes the following:

  1. Submit an appeal application to the Financial Aid Director.
  2. Write a letter clearly stating what the mitigating circumstances were; why the student
    failed to make satisfactory progress; what has changed in the situation that will allow
    the student to make satisfactory progress at the next evaluation.
  3. Submit any and/or all supporting documents to support the appeal.
  4. Submit graduation plan from advisor for major w/signature.

Appeals are reviewed by the Financial Aid committee and students are notified of the results by email or face to face communication. If appeals are denied student must Complete a Quarter on your own: Student who successfully complete a quarter of at least 8 credits with a term 2.0 GPA and return to good satisfactory academic progress standing will be automatically reinstated.

Probationary Status:

  1. A student may be placed on financial aid probation if students appeal has been
    approved. While on financial aid probation, a student continues to receive financial
    aid, but financial aid will not be released for the next quarter until after grades and
    pace of progression for the current quarter have been evaluated.
  2. Once a student is placed on financial aid probation, he/she must successfully
    complete all hours enrolled and must be in your major with a quarter 2.0 GPA. A
    student on probationary status who does NOT meet the requirements immediately
    loses financial aid eligibility until the student completes one quarter of 8 credits with
    a 2.0 GPA without federal aid

Maintaining Eligibility:
If a student falls below the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements and either of the following occur, the student must notify the financial aid office according to the guidelines:

  1. Grade changes: If your grade from a quarter in which you were placed on suspension
    changed, please notify the financial aid office and re-evaluation will be completed
    and adjust your status accordingly.
  2. Complete a Quarter on your own: Student who successfully complete a quarter of at
    least 8 credits with a term 2.0 GPA and return to good satisfactory academic progress
    standing will be automatically reinstated.
  3. Appeal for Reinstatement of Aid: If the cause of your being unable to complete

Maximum time frame

Students may receive aid for a maximum of 150% of the published length of their current educational program.

For example:

Certificate of Completion – 45 credits (45 x 150% = 67)
Associate degree(s) – 90 credits (90 x 150% = 135)
Bachelor degree(s) – 180 credits (180 x 150% = 270)

All attempted SKC credit hours, including periods without Title IV assistance and withdraws,
will be counted when calculating a student’s maximum time frame.

**Please note that as of 07/01/2012 the Department of Education has imposed an 18 quarter
and/or 6 year limit, measured by a percentage of Scheduled Awards disbursed (600%), for
receiving PELL Funds. This is unappealable and is a federal directive applicable to all past and present PELL recipients.

All accepted transfer credit hours towards your degree will be counted to determine financial aid
eligibility. Transfer students will need to submit all previous academic transcripts to the
Admission Office and have them evaluated for transferability. *Please see catalog for Transfer
of Credit to SKC policy.

Changing Majors:

Students who change majors during the academic year are strongly encouraged not to withdraw from any classes as they still must successfully complete a minimum 67% of the hours attempted at Salish Kootenai College including all hours accepted in transfer. Students who change majors or degree programs are at risk of exceeding the Maximum Allowable Total Attempted Hours before obtaining a degree. Students who decide to change majors or degree programs should do so early in their academic career so as not to jeopardize future eligibility for student financial aid at Salish Kootenai College. Changing majors is not a justification for failing to maintain SAP.

Return to Title IV

This policy applies to students who withdraw either official or unofficially or who are dismissed from enrollment at Salish Kootenai College. The Return of Title IV (R2T4) Funds process is separate and distinct from the Refund Policy. The calculated R2T4 funds earned by the school and student are determined by the following definitions and procedures.

Salish Kootenai College has 30 days from the date the institution determines the student withdrew to return all unearned funds from which it is responsible and will notify the student if they owe a repayment by written notice. If Salish Kootenai College determines there should be a post withdrawal disbursement the school will notify the student they have 14 calendar days to accept the payment. If Salish Kootenai College does not receive a response the school will adjust COD to reflect the actual Pell Grant award received by the student.

Salish Kootenai College must determine when a student officially or unofficially withdraws from the institution. Salish Kootenai College is not required to take class attendance.


To officially withdraw from Salish Kootenai College, the student initiates the withdrawal process by:

  1. Obtaining a Student Drop/Add Form from the Registrar’s Office.
  2. Student completes the form with identifying information
  3. Student takes form to student’s class instructor for signatures
  4. After completion of the form it is returned to the Registrar’s Office for final processing.
  5. Student is officially withdrawn as determined by student signature and effective date
    student initiates the withdrawal process.

This process will ensure all classes are officially dropped and if applicable financial aid office completes the Return to Title IV process.


If students leaves the school and does not complete the Student Drop/Add Form it is considered an unofficial withdrawal. The last day of attendance is determined by the last academically related activity and will be used as the withdrawal date is used in the R2T4 Calculation. Students who withdraw in the first week of the quarter without attending classes will receive a 100% refund, less the registration fee. Students receiving Title IV funds will not receive refunds until funds representing Title IV awards have been applied back to the respective accounts.

Refunds will be made in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsub Loan
  2. Federal Direct Sub Loan
  3. Federal Pell Grant
  4. Federal SEOG
  5. Other Title IV program
  6. To the student

Student receiving financial aid assistance greater than the amount of institutional charges and withdrawals prior to completing more than 60% of the quarter, the student will most likely be subject to refund some of those funds. In determining the amount that a student will have to return, Financial Aid Director will use existing software from the Department of Education to run the calculation. Salish Kootenai College Business Office will notify the student of any refund owed to the Department of Education, or to Salish Kootenai College.

Repayment Policy

Student receiving financial aid in excess of direct costs; (tuition and fees) may be required to repay a percentage of Title IV aid. The amount repayable depends on how many days the student was enrolled and the amount of Title IV aid received. 100% of the financial aid is returned to COD when a student withdraws or drops out before the first day of class less registration fee and $10 for student identification card. Students may be billed for an overpayment if she/he drops out of school before the end of the quarter. Students who owe a repayment to any federal sponsored student aid program cannot receive any type of federally supported aid disbursements for future enrollment at any school.

Salish Kootenai College Refund Policy (non-Title IV)

Tuition and Fee Refund Policy – The policy for tuition and fees refunds is as follows:
The registration fee is non-refundable. All other refunds are made according to the
following schedule:

1st week – 90%
2nd week – 80%
3rd week – 70%
4th week – 60%

Salish Kootenai College
Statement of Loan Code of Conduct
rev 11-22-2011

All Salish Kootenai College (SKC) employees who are in any way responsible for the administration of student educational loans will adhere to the Salish Kootenai College Student Loan Code of Conduct. This includes all Financial Aid staff, supervisors of Financial Aid administrators and Business Office staff who deal with loans and anyone who otherwise has responsibility or authority or are involved in decision making regarding student loans.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008, and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). On October 28, 2009, the Department published in the Federal Register final regulations regarding Institutions and Lender Requirements Relating to Education Loans, to implement requirements relating to education loans that were added to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The Secretary also amends the regulations for Student Assistance General Provisions, the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program to implement certain provisions of the HEA that involve school-based loan issues and that were affected by the statutory changes made to the HEA by the HEOA. These regulations are effective July 1, 2010.

Because these changes included transfer of all federal lending and servicing activities from the FFEL loan program to the Department of Education Direct Loan Servicing program, Salish Kootenai College no longer certifies any FFEL loans, and there is no longer a preferred lender list for FFEL loans. Also, Salish Kootenai College does not certify any private or alternative student loans, so there is no preferred lender list for private or alternative student loans. The following code of conduct remains in force in general to comply with regulation; i.e., The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008 includes provisions that campuses participating in Federal Student Aid loan programs publish a code of conduct which describes prohibited practices related to loan programs. To avoid any conflict of interest with the responsibilities of Salish Kootenai College employee with respect to student loans, the Salish Kootenai College Code of Conduct prohibits the following:

  • SKC employees should receive no personal benefit.No officer, trustee or employee of Salish Kootenai College shall accept anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution. For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, etc. should never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual should never receive payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars. However, an officer, trustee or employee of SKC may:
    1. conduct non-SKC business with any Lending Institution and, subject to state law, receive value in connection with such non-SKC business, so long as such value is not intended to influence the officer, trustee or employee in conducting SKC business;
    2. conduct SKC business and, subject to state law, receive value on behalf of the SKC that is unrelated to the student loan activities of the Lending Institution;
    3. attend conferences and meetings of tax-exempt organizations that are funded or sponsored by more than one entity and, subject to state law, receive materials, refreshments, and other things of like value provided at such professional conferences and meetings; and,
    4. hold membership in, serve on the board of or participate in the activities of any tax-exempt organization and, subject to state law, receive travel reimbursements and other things of like value from the tax-exempt organization for such activities.
  • SKC employees should not serve on lender advisory boards for remuneration.No officer, trustee or employee of SKC who makes financial aid decisions for SKC or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over SKC financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service. Any officer, trustee or employee of SKC who serves as a member or participant of a Lending Institution board shall recuse himself or herself from any board discussions regarding the SKC financial aid operations, if any.
  • SKC should not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution. SKC shall not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software. Likewise, SKC shall not allow any Lending Institution to: (a) staff the SKC financial aid office at any time; or (b) communicate with the SKC students or their parents in such a manner as to create the impression that the Lending Institution is an employee or agent of SKC in connection with SKC student financial aid operations, including through the use of mascots, logos, etc. Finally, SKC shall not enter into any agreement with a Lending Institution to provide alternative (i.e., non-federal or “opportunity”) student loan programs if the provision of such alternative loan programs prejudices other students or parents.
  • SKC should make appropriate use of any Preferred Lender Lists.If SKC decides to promulgate a list or lists of preferred or recommended lenders for private or alternative student loans or similar ranking or designation (“Preferred Lender List”), the selection of Lending Institutions for inclusion on the Preferred Lender List shall be based on the best interests of SKC students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of SKC.

In addition, any Preferred Lender List shall clearly explain:

Students and their parents are free to select the Lending Institution of their choice and will suffer no penalty imposed by SKC from using a Lending Institution that is not a “preferred lender”;

Students and their parents are not required to use any of the “preferred lenders”; Where to find information on other Lending Institutions for student loans; SKC will promptly certify any loan from any Lending Institution selected by a borrower, in accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations; The process SKC utilized to select “preferred lenders,” including but not limited to the criteria used and the relative importance of such criteria; In the event a Preferred lender list for alternative or private loans is established at some future date, any preferred lender on the list must provide to the school and to the students:

  • Where to find information on other Lending Institutions for student loans;
  • Where to find information on the competitive interest rates, terms, and conditions of federal loans;
  • Where to find information on the interest rate, loan servicing or other benefits offered by “preferred lenders”; and,
  • Where to find information on any agreements by “preferred lenders” to sell their loans to other Lending Institutions

In the event a Preferred Lender list is established, Salish Kootenai College shall review its Preferred Lender List on an annual basis to determine that the information appearing on the list is accurate and that any website links are still viable. NOTE: Because Salish Kootenai College does not participate in the administration of private or alternative loans, nor does it certify private or alternative loans, Salish Kootenai College does not provide a preferred lender list for private educational loans. In the event that a private or alternative loan is ever certified by SKC, students who choose to borrow privately should contact his or her bank, credit union, or other lender and carefully compare terms and rates.

  • Lending Institution is any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans.
  • The institution may accept any assistance that is authorized by 34 C.F.R. 682.200(b)(5)(i) (definition of “Lender”).
  • The institution also shall not place a Lending Institution of a private or alternative loan on a Preferred Lender List for a particular type of student loan in exchange for benefits provided to SKC, its students or their parents in connection with a different type of student loan.