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Financial Aid

Financial Aid Explained

The purpose of the financial aid program at College of Eastern Idaho is to facilitate and foster successful academic participation of students who need help funding their education.  While maintaining our responsibility as custodians of public funds, CEI’s objective is to establish standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) that is consistent with institutional goals and philosophies and at the same time sensitive to the needs of students.  These standards apply to all students receiving financial aid from the following programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant (PELL)
  • Federal Parent Loans (PLUS)
  • Federal Direct Loan Program
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-study (FWS)

For more information on individual awards and what they mean, please see the CEI catalog or visit our financial aid page.


Award is based on 12 credits or more.  Awards are typically awarded in two disbursements, usually Fall and Spring. 

Student Loans

A student interested in receiving student loans must visit the CEI website to (1) accept the loan on Student Self-Service (2) sign a Master Promissory Note and (3) complete Entrance Loan Counseling.  A student must also be enrolled in 6 credits or more.  First time borrowers who are first time CEI students will have to wait 30 days from the beginning of the semester before their loan funds will be disbursed.

Year Dependent Students (except students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans) Independent Students (and dependent under graduate students whose parents are unable to obtain PLUS Loans)
First-Year Under graduate Annual Loan Limit $5,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $9,500—No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Second-Year Undergraduate Annual Loan Limit $6,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $10,500—No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Third-Year and Beyond Under graduate Annual Loan Limit $7,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $12,500—No more than $5,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Aggregate Loan Limit $31,000—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. $57,500 for undergraduates—No more than $23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Student and Program Eligibility

To be eligible to receive financial aid, federal regulations require that a student be a “regular student enrolled in an eligible program”.  The student must maintain good standing and make satisfactory academic progress according to federal, state and institutional standards in his/her course of study.  Students receiving financial aid must be enrolled in a course of study leading to an associate degree, advanced technical certificate, or technical certificate.

Default or Overpayment on Title IV Funds

Students who are in default on a student loan or owe a Title IV program overpayment are not eligible for federal aid.  If a student owes an overpayment, the debt must be cleared before any federal aid will be disbursed.  In the case of a student loan default, financial aid may be reinstated once the student makes satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the loan and proof of such arrangements are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.  Students who have met the maximum loan limits will no longer be eligible for any federal aid.

Total Withdrawal

CEI applies the Return of Title IV Funds Policy outlined in the Federal Student Aid Handbook, to students who withdraw from all classes.  Affected students may be required to return the unearned portion of the federal aid they received.

High School Diploma or the Equivalent

Federal regulations require financial aid students to either have graduated from high school or have completed a recognized equivalent (such as the GED). 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulation requires that all financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress and remain in good standing.  Academic progress is reviewed prior to the student’s first disbursement for each term.  Additionally, prior to each payment, the student’s enrollment status will be verified to determine eligibility for financial aid.

Enrollment Status Required Credit Hour Completion
Full-time = 12(or more) credit hours 9 credit hours
Three-quarter time = 9-11 credit hours 6 credit hours
Half-time = 6-8 credit hours 6 credit hours
Less Than Half-Time = 1-5 credits Must complete all credits registered for.


Summer Term Enrollment Status Required Credit Hour Completion
Summer Full-time = 6 (or more) credit hours 5 credit hours
Summer Three - quarter time = 5 credit 4 credit hours
Summer Half-time = 3-4 credit hours 3 credit hours
Summer Less than half-time = 1-2 credit hours Must complete all credits registered for.

Grade Point Average

To maintain eligibility, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 (“C”) or higher for all coursework attempted.

Maximum Time Frame

Students must progress through their program to ensure that they

will graduate within the maximum time frame (150% of program credits) for example:

  • an associate degree that is 61 credits can earn 91.5 credits before reaching maximum time frame.
  • a one year certificate program that is 34 credits can earn 51 credits before reaching maximum time frame.

The financial aid office will evaluate students at the end of each semester, to make sure they have not exceeded 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 added in the calculation to determine where they stand with the 150% maximum time frame.

Students graduating from one program and beginning a new program will have their 150% maximum time frame restart, for the new program.

The maximum time frame may only be extended under professional judgment if the college determines that mitigating circumstances exist. (See Appeals Section)

Additional Elements

  • GradesCompleted units means that credit was given for the credits enrolled. Grades of “D+”,”D”, “D-“, “F”, “AU”,”CH”,”IC”,”S”, “I” and “W” will not count as completed classes for SAP but will count as credits  attempted.
  • Course Repetition:  Students may be allowed to repeat any course in which a grade below a “C-” was recorded. See the CEI College Catalog for additional information about repetition of courses.
  • Credit by Exam or Audited Course Work:  Credits earned from credit by exam courses, or courses taken by audit, are not counted for financial aid purposes.
  • Concurrent Enrollment:  A consortium agreement must be submitted for consideration of concurrent enrollment.

Dismissal Status

Students who fail to meet the requirements of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) will be denied financial aid. A student may reestablish their eligibility by submitting an appeal to the Financial Aid Office (Appeals Section).


If a student believes that he/she has a documented extenuating circumstance which may affect his or her financial aid eligibility, the student can request to have his/her situation evaluated by submitting a financial aid appeal.  Each appeal will be reviewed then approved or denied based on the student’s individual extenuating circumstances and supporting documentation. Some appeals require a student’s educational plan approved by a CEI academic advisor. Appeal forms are available online at the CEI Financial Aid website.  Each of the following appeal forms identify the process and provide directions for submission:

  • General Appeal:  Satisfactory Academic Progress– Under extenuating circumstances, a student may petition his/her dismissal from financial aid due to a failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Dependency Override:  An otherwise “dependent” student, who cannot obtain parental income information, may be eligible to have a dependency status change to “independent” based on documented circumstances.
  • Special Circumstance Appeal:  (Extenuating Financial Circumstances) An adjustment can be made to student or parent income information due to extraordinary circumstances which were not addressed on the FAFSA.
  • Maximum Credit Appeal:  A student who has exceeded 150 percent of the published length of the CEI program must complete a maximum credit appeal.

A student whose appeal is approved will be reinstated to good standing for financial aid eligibility and the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) will be recalculated, if appropriate. The student will be notified of any changes to his or her eligibility by the Financial Aid Office.

A student whose appeal is denied will receive notification advising the student of the reason their appeal was denied. Notification will be sent from the Financial Aid Office.  

A student has the right to submit a written request for a student meeting to be conducted before the Financial Aid Appeals Committee if he/she does not agree with the outcome of the appeal. The student will represent him or herself at the meeting. All decisions rendered by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee are final and binding.


In order to be reinstated to good standing, a student must: (1) meet all financial aid satisfactory progress standards (qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame) or (2) successfully petition, under the petition process in Section X.


A student who attempts to obtain financial aid fraudulently may be suspended from college and from all financial aid program eligibility.  The College will be required to report such instances to local law enforcement agencies, the U. S. Department of Education, and the Office of Inspector General. Restitution will be required of any financial aid received under fraud.

Disbursement of Financial Aid Awards 

Financial aid funds are disbursed in equal installments at the first of the each semester.  If a student only attends one semester, disbursement of loans will be made in two equal disbursements, one at the beginning of the semester and one halfway through the semester.  Funds may be credited to a student’s account to pay registration fees with the balance being disbursed in the form of a check.  Checks are disbursed by the Cashier in the Business Office. Questions concerning check disbursement should be referred to the cashier at 524-3000 ext. 3335. 

Financial aid policies and procedures are subject to change without notice to assure compliance with federal regulations.

College of Eastern Idaho, 208.524.3000, 1600 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Student Right To Know

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