Financial Aid Academic Progress Policy
As a student who has been awarded financial assistance at Westmont College, it is important that you are aware of our policy that will allow you to remain in good standing and make satisfactory progress toward the completion of your program of study. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress may result in the loss of your financial aid awards.
Federal regulations require that all students receiving Title IV aid meet or exceed the academic requirements of the institution. In addition, Westmont College requires all students receiving institutional aid to meet or exceed the standards of academic progress (see "Satisfactory Academic Progress"). In order to comply, all financial aid recipients at Westmont College will have their academic progress monitored following the conclusion of each semester or period of enrollment (including Mayterm).
In order to receive financial aid, a student must first:
- Have a high school diploma, or
- Have a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or
- Have completed a homeschooling program.
A minimum full-time course load is 12 units per semester. During the first year of college, students may be encouraged to carry only 13 units each semester while they adjust to the rigors of academic life. A schedule of 17 units during each semester of the sophomore year and 16 in the semesters of the junior and senior years will bring students to the 124 minimum units needed for graduation when all four years of college are taken at Westmont. Unless students inform Student Financial Services otherwise, financial aid awards are made based on full-time enrollment.
Students receiving federally-, state-, or Westmont-funded financial aid must:
- Meet a “qualitative standard,” by maintaining a Westmont cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. Please note that grades from transfer coursework are not included in the Westmont cumulative GPA.
- Meet a “quantitative standard” by completing a minimum percentage of all units attempted:
- Students with "freshman" standing (students with fewer than 26 earned units) must have completed a minimum 66.7% of attempted units
- All other students must have completed a minimum 75% of attempted units.
- Academic progress is monitored and measured at the end of each period of enrollment.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses
- Good standing: Student is meeting both the qualitative and quantitative standards
- Financial Aid Warning: A student who was previously in good standing and is no longer meeting either the qualitative or quantitative measure. Such a student continues to be eligible for aid; there is no need for an appeal. The student will be notified that he/she has one semester to regain Good Standing.
- Financial Aid Suspension: A student who was on Financial Aid Warning for the previous semester and did not succeed in regaining Good Standing. The student is not eligible for aid but may appeal for reconsideration.
- Financial Aid Probation/Continued Probation: A student who does not regain Good Standing after being on Financial Aid Warning and, therefore, is on Financial Aid Suspension, may appeal for reconsideration. If the appeal is approved, eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one payment period.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Process
There is no need to appeal a status of Financial Aid Warning, as students in this status are allowed to continue to receive aid.
Students on Financial Aid Suspension may appeal to Student Financial Services. An appeal should address any extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s academic performance, as well as discuss the student’s plan for regaining Good Standing. Appeals will be decided by the Director and Assistant Director of Financial Aid and decisions made in response to these appeals will be final.
If, during the appeal process, it is determined that the student will require more than one term/semester to meet the progress standards outlined above, an appeal may be approved and the student placed on an "academic plan." The student's progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester (or Mayterm, if the student is enrolled) to ensure that the student is progressing toward "good standing" and is meeting the requirements of the academic plan. If the student is meeting the requirements of the academic plan (or has attained "good standing"), the student will be eligible to continue receiving financial aid. Any changes to an "academic plan" must be approved by Student Financial Services.
Reestablishing Aid Eligibility
Students whose status is either Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation must bring the qualitative and quantitative measures up to or above the minimum standard (see "Satisfactory Academic Progress") in order to regain Good Standing.
A student on Financial Aid Probation and who could not be reasonably expected to regain Good Standing after only one period of probation may, following an appeal, be allowed to be on Continued Probation if the previous semester’s performance would meet the qualitative and quantitative standards when examined on its own. This will be at the discretion of the Director of Financial Aid.
Academic Standards of Institution-based Funds
The following institutional funds require a student to meet, at a minimum, the quantitative and qualitative standards of academic performance:
- Augustinian, Monroe, President’s/Transfer President's, Candidate Award (min. GPA 3.25)
- Ruth Kerr/Transfer Kerr, Wallace Emerson, Provost’s/Transfer Provost’s (min. GPA 3.00)
- Founders/Transfer Founders, Dean’s/Transfer Dean’s (min. GPA 2.75)
- Warrior Academic Award
- Westmont Vista Award
- Westmont College Grant
- Faculty/Staff Education Benefit
- Tuition Exchange/CCCU Exchange/CCC Exchange
- Athletic, Music, Art, Theater, or other talent scholarships
- 5th year Teaching Program Discount
- Westmont College Interest-free Loan
- All other institutional gift aid, regardless of the source/department originating the award
- Westmont National Merit
- RA Rebate
Duration of Eligibility
Students may receive Westmont aid and Cal Grants for a maximum of eight semesters or until the student receives their first B.A. degree, whichever comes first. Transfer students receive aid for a prorated period of time based on the number of units transferred at the time of admission to Westmont. For example, a student who transfers to Westmont from another college or university with 32 semester units of coursework will be considered to be a first-semester sophomore and will be eligible for six semesters of Westmont-funded aid. Cal Grant will be available based on the number of semesters used at other institutions. Westmont-funded grant aid and some forms of federal aid are not available to students pursuing a second B.A. and /or B.S. degree.
Federal law limits the time needed to complete an undergraduate degree to 150% of the published length of the program. This means that for students pursuing a bachelor's degree, federal aid is limited to six years (12 semesters); students in the teaching credential program are eligible for up to three semesters of federal aid. A student becomes ineligible for federal aid if and when it becomes mathematically impossible for him to complete his program within 150% of its length.
Some forms of financial aid awards are awarded based on a student's class level. Class level at Westmont is based upon earned units as follows: first-year students: Fewer than 26 units; sophomores: 26-58 units; juniors: 59-91 units; seniors: 92 units or more.
This information is subject to change. Please contact Student Financial Services with any questions.