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Federal & State Eligibility Requirements

Financial Aid Handbook

Applying for Federal and State Financial Aid

Application for federal and state financial aid must be made by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at In order to complete online filing of the FAFSA, students and parents should create a FSA User ID. The FSA ID may be used to provide an electronic signature on the FAFSA which will ensure prompt processing, typically between 48-72 hours. The FAFSA can also be completed on paper (processing can take 3-6 weeks) and submitted via US mail. Please contact our office for a paper copy of the FAFSA.

The FAFSA should be submitted by our priority deadline of March 1 each year that you plan to attend Coe. Failure to file the FAFSA by the priority deadline may result in the loss or reduction of federal, state and Coe need-based grants, and low-interest federal loans. Upon submission of the FAFSA the family is provided with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that your family is estimated to be able to contribute toward college costs. Please note that the EFC and your family’s direct costs will not necessarily be consistent.

Students filing online who provided a valid email address will be notified electronically when the results of their FAFSA are available to be viewed. We strongly recommend that you log back into your application at and view your application. Any necessary corrections or updates to tax information can be made online by the applicant at this time.

Federal and State Eligibility Requirements

  1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): A student must file a FAFSA to establish eligibility for federal, state, and institutional funded grant and loan programs.
  2. Regular student in an eligible program: A regular student is someone who is enrolled for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate.
  3. Elementary or secondary enrollment: A student who is concurrently enrolled in high school and at Coe College is not considered a “regular student,” and is not eligible for financial aid.
  4. Academic qualifications: Coe requires an admitted student to have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. A home-school student is also eligible under certain circumstances.
  5. Satisfactory Academic Progress: A student must attend classes on a regular basis and meet Coe’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
  6. Citizenship: A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. For any student who fails the Social Security match for citizenship or the Department of Homeland Security match for permanent residency on their FAFSA application, the Office of Financial Aid requires confirmation or documentation of status as specified by federal regulations. These documents must be presented in person to a designated financial aid official.
  7. Social Security Administration: If a student’s application fails the Social Security match on their FAFSA application, the Office of Financial Aid is required to resolve the discrepancy. Typically such discrepancies can be resolved by submitting a copy of the student’s social security card to the financial aid office.
  8. Selective Service Administration: General registration requirements apply to males who are at least 18 years old and were born after December 31, 1959. Any student that is required to register but fails to do so is ineligible for federal aid.
  9. Defaulted student loans and overpayments of federal aid: A student must certify that he or she is not in default on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on a federal grant or loan.
  10. Total and Permanent Disability Discharge of prior student loans: To receive a new Title IV loan (Perkins Loan or Direct Loan) or a TEACH Grant after receiving a discharge due to total or permanent disability, a borrower must:
    1. Obtain a certification from a physician that he or she is able to engage in substantial gainful activity; and
    2. Sign a statement acknowledging that the new loan or TEACH Grant service obligation cannot be discharged in the future on the basis of any injury or illness present at the time the new loan or TEACH Grant is made, unless the condition substantially deteriorates so that he or she is again totally and permanently disabled.
  11. Conviction of possession or sale of drugs: A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for financial aid funds. A student self-certifies on the FAFSA application that he/she has never been convicted of possessing or selling drugs for an offense that occurred while he/she was receiving federal student aid. A student who is unsure if the nature and dates of his/her conviction is disqualifying him/her from receiving financial aid, should contact the Department of Education at 1.800.433.3243 for clarification.
  12. Verification of FAFSA application data: A student selected for verification must comply with the guidelines as outlined below.

Enrollment Status

The amount of your financial aid award depends on your enrollment status, as of the college’s official date of record (Fall term 9/4; Spring term 1/24). You may receive less financial aid if your full time enrollment status changes prior to the official date of record. The amount of the reduction can vary and is contingent upon the following enrollment statuses: full-time (3 or more course credits); three-quarter time (2.5 course credits); half-time (2 course credits); less than half-time (less than 2 course credits).

Financial Aid Eligible Coursework

If you are receiving any federal or state financial aid (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, Federal Stafford loan) please note the following regarding your coursework and federal aid eligibility.

Federal Financial Aid is awarded based on a student’s enrollment status as defined by the US Department of Education and may be prorated if the student is taking less than 3 course credits. When determining enrollment status (full, three-quarter, half and less than half), the US Department of Education only allows you to receive financial aid for courses that are required in order to complete your program of study.

Frequently Asked Questions

I earned a D for a class required by my major, however a C is required. Can I retake the class as financial aid eligible?

For financial aid purposes, a D is considered passing. You may retake it one time and have it count in your enrollment as financial aid eligible.

How many times can I repeat a failed grade?

You are not necessarily limited in the number of retakes for a class that you do not pass. However, failing classes can impact your eligibility for financial aid in other ways. More information about Satisfactory Academic Progress can be found below.

A course is required for my degree completion but it isn’t counting in my enrollment hours. What can I do?

Contact the Office of Financial Aid at or 319-399-8540.

I only need 1 class to graduate and there is nothing in my program of study left to take. What can I do?

Please contact our office to explore other aid alternatives.

I am required to be enrolled full time in order to receive my scholarship, but I don’t have three course credits left in my program of study.

Scholarships are not considered federal aid. All of the hours you are registered for will be counted in your enrollment for all other purposes. Federal financial aid is the only type of aid that is limited to your program of study.

Can I still repeat the class that financial aid won’t cover if I am registered full time with other courses in my program?

Yes, as long as you are taking a minimum of 3 course credits in your program of study you will be considered full time for financial aid purposes.

What if I retake a class that I previously passed and withdraw from that class? Is that still counted as my retake?

If you officially withdraw from the class before completing it, then it is not counted as your one retake.

I retook a course I previously passed, and I failed it the second time. Can that course count in my enrollment again?

No. Retaking a previously passed course and failing it, still counts as your one retake.


Federal regulations require that selected FAFSA applications complete the verification process before aid is disbursed. Students may be chosen for verification by the U.S. Department of Education or by Coe College. Additional information can be found under the Verification section of the FA Handbook.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

The Office of Financial Aid is required to monitor students who receive federal financial aid to determine if they are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward their degree program. SAP standards apply to all students receiving federal, state, and institutional financial aid. These standards apply to a student’s entire degree program including terms for which financial aid was not applied or for which enrollment was less than full-time. SAP for federal financial aid recipients is measured each term of the academic year* for which a student is enrolled. The specific criteria of SAP and the consequences to the student if progress is not achieved, is outlined in the SAP Policy listed below. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid with questions regarding the intent or the interpretation of these standards.

SAP is measured in three components: Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA); Pace (Completion Rate); and Maximum Time Frame Limitation.

1. GPA: A student in an undergraduate program must meet minimum GPA standards. 

Total course credits attempted** Cumulative minimum GPA
0-4.9 1.5
5.0-7.9 1.75
8.0-11.9 1.8
12-15.9 1.9
16 and above 2.0

A student in a graduate program must meet the minimum GPA standard established by the academic department.

2. Pace:

A student must complete an incremental percentage of all cumulative credits attempted.

Total course credits attempted** Minimum percentage of attempted course credits completed
0-7.9 58%
8-15.9 64%
16 and above 70%

*Academic Year Definition.

An academic year for the purpose of administering federal financial aid is defined at a minimum of two 15 week terms during which the average undergraduate student is expected to complete a minimum of 6 course credits. Enrollment in a minimum of 3 course credits per term is required in order to be considered a full-time student.

**Course Credit conversion to Semester Hours:

One Course Credit = 4 Semester Hours

3.  Maximum Time Frame:

A student must complete their educational program within 150% of the published length of the program measured in attempted course credits(cc). For example: the majority of undergraduate programs at Coe College require 32 cc for graduation. A student can receive federal financial aid for a maximum of 48 attempted cc (32cc x 1.5). A student pursuing a double major/minor or a student who changed majors will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before reaching 150 percent of attempted cc required to complete a program.

Financial Aid Warning

A student who does not meet the minimum SAP standards for GPA or Pace will be placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following term. Federal financial aid can be received during a Financial Aid Warning term. A Financial Aid Warning notice is sent to the student by the Office of Financial Aid at the beginning of the warning term.

Financial Aid Suspension

A student who fails to meet SAP during the warning term or has attempted 48 cc is no longer eligible to receive federal financial aid and is placed on Financial Aid Suspension. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student of their financial aid suspension; the notice will include information on the financial aid appeal process.

Financial Aid Appeal

A student may appeal a financial aid suspension by completing the SAP Appeal Form. The appeal should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and must include an explanation of why the student failed to meet SAP and what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow them to meet SAP standards during the term. Circumstances are limited and cannot be based upon a student’s need for assistance or the lack of knowledge that financial aid assistance was in jeopardy. Examples of possible situations include documented serious illness, severe injury, death of a family member, or other circumstances that prevented the student from meeting SAP standards. The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review the appeal and notify the student of the outcome within 14 days of the receipt of a completed appeal form. A student whose appeal is denied will be granted a 100 percent refund of tuition charges if he or she officially drops all courses.

Financial Aid Probation

A student who successfully appeals their financial aid suspension is placed on Financial Aid Probation. Federal financial aid can be received for the term a student is on Financial Aid Probation.

Academic Plan

A student who cannot demonstrate that SAP standards can be met during one term on Financial Aid Probation is required to submit an academic plan as part of a Financial Aid Probation Appeal. An Academic Plan is generally developed based on a student’s individual needs.

A student whose appeal has been granted based on an Academic Plan must meet the terms of the plan in order to receive federal financial aid. A student’s Academic Plan will be evaluated each term and, if it is determined that the conditions of the plan are not met, the student may be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the subsequent term.

Regaining Eligibility when a Financial Aid Appeal has not been granted

If a Financial Aid Probation Appeal is denied or an appeal was never submitted, the student may regain eligibility to receive financial aid by completing a number of courses without receiving federal financial aid. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Office of Financial Aid if it can demonstrated that SAP standards are being met or that an Academic Plan has been developed that, if followed, will ensure the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time.

Impact on SAP of certain types of status marks and credits:

Audited Courses:

Audited courses do not count towards degree requirements and do not impact SAP.

Status Mark of I:

Courses for which a grade has not been reported at the time of the SAP evaluation will be counted as attempted credits. Credit is not earned and GPA is not impacted. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Office of Financial Aid when a grade has been reported.

Satisfactory – Unsatisfactory Graded Courses:

Grades of S count as attempted credits and credits earned. Grades of U count as attempted credits, but not credits earned. Grades of S and U do not impact GPA.

Transfer Credits:

Accepted transfer courses count as attempted and earned credits, but do not impact the cumulative GPA. Courses that are taken at another institution that are not accepted by Coe College do not impact SAP standards.

Updating Coursework:

Successfully completed courses that are repeated are counted as attempted credits but not credits earned. The grade earned in a repeated course will replace the previously earned grade and may impact the cumulative GPA. A student must report any grade changes/updates that affect aid eligibility directly to the Office of Financial Aid.

Failed courses that are repeated are counted as attempted and earned hours and therefore impact the cumulative GPA.

Status Mark of W and WF:

Courses for which a mark of  W are recorded count as attempted credits.  Courses for which a mark of  WF are recorded count as attempted credits and impact GPA.