Financial Aid FAQ

Find answers to questions related to receiving and managing your financial aid.

A group of people walking in a plaza.

The topics in this section walk you through the yearly cycle of receiving financial aid from beginning to end.

Have you completed your FAFSA or WASFA?

The 2024-2025 FAFSA and WASFA will open in December 2023 and can be completed at or Seattle University's priority aid deadline is February 1 each year.

The Department of Education will release the FAFSA for submission by December 31, 2023. Seattle University students should plan to file by Seattle University's priority of February 1.

Big changes are coming to the FAFSA for the 2024–2025 award year! The FAFSA Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and includes the first major redesign of the FAFSA system in over 40 years.

A better FAFSA means a better future and will offer families an improved interface and seamless filing experience. Updates to the FAFSA will reduce errors, remove barriers, and expand student eligibility for federal aid.

Previously, users had the option to enter their tax information manually or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Beginning with 2024–2025, all persons on the FAFSA will be required to use the IRS Direct Data Exchange to share tax information or confirm non-filing status. This change makes it easier to complete the FAFSA and reduces the number of questions on the application.

All “Contributors” Must Provide Financial Information

A contributor—a new term being introduced on the 2024–2025 FAFSA—refers to anyone who is required to provide information on a student's form (such as a parent/stepparent or spouse). A student's or parent's answers on the FAFSA will determine which contributors (if any) will be required to provide information. Contributors will receive an email informing them that they've been identified as such and will need to log in using their own FSA ID to provide the required information on the student's FAFSA. Contributors without a social security number can still create an FSA ID at Create Account | Federal Student Aid. Being a contributor does not mean they are financially responsible for the student's education costs, but it does mean the contributor must provide information on the FAFSA or the application will be incomplete, and the student will not be eligible for federal student aid.

The Student Aid Index (SAI) Is Replacing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

A notable terminology update within the new FAFSA is the replacement of the term Expected Family Contribution (EFC) with the Student Aid Index (SAI). This name more accurately describes the number used to determine aid eligibility and, unlike the EFC, the SAI may be a negative number down to -$1500. Although, a negative SAI does not mean a student will receive more aid. Regardless of updates to the FAFSA your benefits from Seattle University's Institutional Gift Aid Guarantee will not change.

SAI Calculation Differences

Previously, the FAFSA calculated the number of household members attending college into the EFC, dividing it proportionately to determine federal aid eligibility. Beginning with the 2024–2025 FAFSA, the application will still ask how many household members are in college, but your answer will not be calculated into the SAI.

The net worth of a business is no longer limited to those with more than 100 full-time employees. Applicants will be asked to report the net worth of all businesses, regardless of the size of business.

The net worth of a farm now includes the value of a family farm, however; the value of a family's primary residence is still excluded.

Child support received will be reported as an asset on the FAFSA instead of as untaxed income.

As such, undergraduate Seattle University students may see a change in their federal aid eligibility.

Some Students will Automatically be Awarded a Pell Grant

Families making less than 175% and single parents making less than 225% of the federal poverty level will see their students receive a maximum Federal Pell Grant award. Minimum Pell Grants will be guaranteed to students from households below 275%, 325%, 350%, or 400% of the poverty level, depending on household structure. Pell awards between the maximum and minimum amounts will be determined by the SAI.

Federal Student Aid Estimator Tool

Federal Student Aid Estimator | Federal Student Aid

With this tool, students can find out how much federal student aid they may be eligible for starting with the 2024–25 award year—note that this tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024–2025 award year, not the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for 2023–24 award year.

To apply for financial aid for this year (2023–2024), complete the 2023–2024 FAFSA® form.

The 2024–2025 FAFSA form will be available in December 2023.

How is your Seattle University Gift Aid Impacted?

Seattle University’s gift aid guarantee means that your total institutional gift aid will not change! If you are continuously enrolled, continue to make satisfactory academic progress and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually, Seattle University guarantees the amount of institutional gift aid (grants and/or scholarships) that incoming undergraduate students will receive each year over the course of their attendance at the university. For graduate students, scholarships may be renewed based upon program requirements and the student meeting satisfactory academic progress standards.

Learn More

The best way to be prepared, is to get prepared. Watch this recorded webinar.

A FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be filed for EACH YEAR a student wants to be considered for financial aid eligibility.  

The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available in December and will ask for financial data from two years ago. 

Students and their families are encouraged to file the online version of the FAFSA. The online version provides edits which alert filers to possible problems with their applications before the application is submitted. Applying online is also faster so updates and corrections can be submitted with ease.  If unable to file online, please contact Student Financial Services for assistance. 

Please file the FAFSA by February 1 to receive a financial aid offer as soon as possible. Although some funds are limited, Seattle University recognizes the challenges to the availability of the 2024-25 FAFSA, which is scheduled for release in December.  We welcome FAFSAs submitted after February 1. 

Select the correct version of the FAFSA to complete as each year two versions of the FAFSA are available: 1) for the current academic year and 2) for the upcoming academic year. 

New Students 

New students must be admitted to the university and have completed the FAFSA (including any additional information requested by Seattle University) before a financial aid award will be prepared for them.  To be considered for institutional aid, new students must submit their FAFSA by February 1 or within 30 days of admission if admitted after January 1. 

Continuing Students 

Continuing students should complete the FAFSA and provide any additional information requested by Student Financial Services in order for an award to be prepared for them.  Students wishing to be considered only for the non-need-based academic scholarship received in the prior year and for which they have met all the requirements for continuation, may be exempt from this requirement. 

All Students 

Student Financial Services strives to distribute financial aid award letters to new freshmen students in mid-March, to entering transfer students in mid-April and to continuing undergraduate students and all graduate students, new and continuing, in May. 

FAFSA Filing Tips 

  • Seattle University School Code: 003790 
  • Select the correct academic year of the FAFSA to complete. 
  • BOTH students and parents must consent to receive federal financial aid. 
  • Sign your FAFSA. The quickest way is to create and use a FSA ID—a username and password that lets you sign your FAFSA electronically. You can apply for a new FSA ID online.  Remember: a dependent student's FAFSA requires that both the student and one parent listed on the FAFSA have an FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically. 
  • Meet the Seattle University February 1 priority funding deadline. 
  • The FAFSA asks for financial data from two years ago. This allows many students and families who have filed their taxes to electronically retrieve their tax data from the IRS database using the IRS Data Exchange.  
  • FAFSA RESULTS. You will receive an email acknowledgement from FAFSA letting you know your application has been processed and will be forwarded on to the schools listed. After SU processes your FAFSA, you will also get an email from our office with more detailed information. 

Some common reasons why Seattle University may not have your FAFSA include:

  • Missing social security number. Seattle University needs your SSN to connect your student application information with the FAFSA and to view your FAFSA application. Please contact Student Financial Services to add your SSN information.
  • Missing school code. Seattle University may be missing from your school section on the FAFSA. Log in to make a FAFSA correction and include Seattle University using school code 003790.
  • FAFSA completed for incorrect academic year. Be sure you have completed the FAFSA for the correct academic year. For example, students attending Summer 2024 through Spring 2025 should complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

Seattle University guarantees the amount of institutional gift aid (grants and/or scholarships) that incoming undergraduate students will receive each year over the course of their attendance at the university. After a student has submitted all documents and/or information requested by Seattle University and the initial year's institutional gift aid award has been finalized, that amount will remain constant for each year of the student's eligibility as long as the student is continuously enrolled, continues to make satisfactory academic progress and files a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually.

While the names of the grants and/or scholarships that make up the student's gift aid may change from year to year, the total dollar amount of institutional grants and scholarships will not total less than that received in the student's initial year.

Students who are awarded institutional scholarships and grants, are required to be enrolled full-time during the academic year, not including summer. They can receive institutional aid in equal amounts during enrolled quarters. If a student were to graduate early, they would only be eligible to receive the quarterly disbursement, which means that they cannot receive more than 1/3 of the total award in any given quarter.

For incoming first year students, institutional (Seattle University) gift aid is guaranteed for four years (12 quarters) to apply toward one degree with one major.

For incoming transfer students, the institutional gift aid guarantee is as follows:

  • Transfer students admitted with more than 45 credits institutional gift aid guaranteed for up to three years (9 quarters).
  • Transfer students admitted with fewer than 45 credits institutional gift aid guaranteed for up to four years (12 quarters).

For graduate students, scholarships may be renewed based upon program requirements and the student meeting satisfactory academic progress standards.

Students who have extenuating circumstances may submit to Student Financial Services a request for approval to receive additional quarters of institutional aid.

Students must be continuously enrolled at Seattle University to retain their institutional gift aid guarantee. If, for example, a student leaves Seattle University for two quarters and then returns, the guarantee made initially is no longer in effect.

Because institutional gift aid is guaranteed at the same level for each year a student maintains eligibility, and tuition often increases from year to year, it's important for students and their families to have a financial plan in place for the entire span of the student’s enrollment​.

When a student's financial aid award has been prepared, the Student Financial Services Office sends a notification to the student's Seattle University email address notifying that the Offer Letter is ready for viewing online. Financial Aid Offer Letters are viewable online via mySeattleU.

Begin by logging into mySeattleU and then select Financial Aid to be taken to the Financial Aid Self Service Portal. From there, you can choose the appropriate option from the checklist to view your offer letter.

Using the link below, you can find an example of an undergraduate student offer letter and more information about the online award.

Check out our video with step-by-step instructions for how to view your offer letter.

View Sample Offer Letter 2023-2024

Enrollment Changes

Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduates and 3 credits graduate students) to be eligible for most forms of financial aid. However, some types of aid are available to eligible students who are enrolled less than full-time.

Generally, financial aid for students is based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits undergraduate and 6 or more credits for graduate students). Students who are registered in any given term for fewer credits than the enrollment status their financial aid is based on will not be disbursed until they have notified the Student Financial Services Office of the change in their enrollment status so their aid can be reviewed and revised, if necessary.

Students who register for more credits than their enrollment status indicates—enrolling full-time rather than half-time, for instance—may be eligible to receive additional aid and should notify Student Financial Services as soon as possible so their aid can be reviewed and revised if necessary.

The review and revision process takes approximately two weeks. All revisions must be completed prior to the last class day of the award year. Notification received from a student after aid has been disbursed may reduce the student's eligibility.

PLEASE NOTE: Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and enrollment standards for financial aid eligibility may be different than those for academic eligibility. Academically, a student may consider any or all the following:

  • Enrolling for less than 15 credits as an undergraduate; or
  • Enrolling less than full time; or
  • Rearranging a schedule to postpone a class to be taken in a subsequent year; or
  • Taking an incomplete in or withdrawing from a class; or
  • Receiving a failing grade (F Grade) in a course(s)
  • Taking additional credits to receive a minor or second major

These types of changes to a student's class schedule for the quarter—and any others that decrease the number of credits for which a student is enrolled and/or increase the number of quarters it takes for a student to receive a degree—may have an effect on the student's eligibility for financial aid.

Student Financial Services staff are not academic advisors, but they can tell students what effect these kinds of changes will have on their financial aid eligibility. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to understand the satisfactory academic progress and enrollment requirements as they apply to financial aid. Next check with Student Financial Services if an academic opportunity to deviate from these standards presents itself.

NOTE: If any of the items on the offer letter appear to be incorrect, please notify Student Financial Services as soon as possible. The information will be reviewed by Student Financial Services and updated, if needed. If revisions are made, a revised offer letter will be issued to the student.

Seattle University recognizes that undocumented students make important contributions to the intellectual and social foundation of the campus. Seattle University admits and enrolls students regardless of their citizenship. YOU are welcome here.

Who Is an Undocumented Student?

An undocumented student is a foreign national who: (1) entered the United States without inspection or with fraudulent documents; or (2) entered legally as a non-immigrant but then violated the terms of his or her status and remained in the United States without authorization (as defined by the National Immigration Law Center).

Most college-bound undocumented students:

  • have lived in the United States most of their lives
  • have been brought to the United States by their parents at a young age
  • have learned English—have attended elementary, middle, and high school in the United States
  • have excelled academically in high school and want to pursue a college education
  • currently lack a way to become legal residents or citizens in the United States


All undergraduate undocumented students are considered for Seattle University Merit-Based Scholarships, Costco Scholarship and Sullivan Leadership Award. Undocumented Washington state resident graduate students are encouraged to apply for the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) to be considered for SU Need-Based Scholarships within their program. For additional information/requirements on the above mentioned scholarships, please see our scholarship page.

Noncitizen students are also encouraged to seek funding from outside scholarship sources like non-profit organizations, individuals, government agencies, foundations, and more. Please see the list below for some of the many scholarships websites students can search on:

Financial Aid

At this time, undocumented students cannot legally receive any federally funded student financial aid, including loans, grants, scholarships or work-study money.

However, SB 6523 (The REAL Hope Act), has expanded eligibility for the Washington College Grant to undergraduate low-income, non-citizen students who meet the program’s eligibility requirements and satisfy the residency criteria. Complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) and find out what you may be eligible for. Priority deadline is February 1; students who file the WASFA after that date may still be considered based on available funding.

Those with questions about financial aid for undocumented students should contact Student Financial Services at 206-220-8020 or

The MOSAIC Center

Additional information and resources for undocumented students/applicants at Seattle University can be found at The MOSAIC Center.

New International Students, both incoming freshman and undergraduate transfer students, are eligible for academic scholarships which are awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Academic scholarships are awarded primarily based on the information in the admissions application, not family finances.

International students must verify resources to cover their educational costs before enrolling at Seattle University.

Continuing international students who find themselves experiencing financial hardship should talk with a Student Financial Services Counselor who will determine if financial aid funds are available to assist the student and explain the documentation the student should provide with a request for funding.

Student Financial Services strives to post financial aid funds to the student's Seattle University account beginning the first day of classes each quarter provided the student's financial aid file is complete. For fall quarter, students are encouraged to review their account information on the Student Account Center prior to September 1st each year to ensure the availability of financial aid funding in this timeframe.

Students should be prepared to pay for books and supplies from their own resources should their financial aid funds not be posted to their student account by the first class day of the quarter or should their financial aid offer for the quarter not be enough to cover these costs.

If payments on students' accounts, including the transmittal of financial aid, exceed the total charges, a credit balance results. For more information about how credit balances are processed, go to Credit Balance Refunds.

Student Financial Services (SFS) understands that students and their families may at times experience unique situations, and, as much as possible, SFS is here to help. SFS counselors may adjust, with appropriate documentation, the FAFSA or cost of attendance allowances that are specific to a student’s situation.

There are two categories of unique situations: special and unusual circumstances.

Special circumstances are financial situations that support a change to the cost of attendance or expected family contribution (EFC) calculation. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in employment status, income, or assets.
  • Change in where the student is living.
  • Medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance.
  • Child or dependent care expenses.
  • Severe disability of student or another member of student’s household.
  • Other changes or adjustments that impact the student’s costs or ability to pay for college.

Unusual circumstances are conditions that support a change to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation. Examples of unusual circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Human trafficking.
  • Refugee/asylee status.
  • Parental abandonment, estrangement, or parental incarceration.

Please note that unusual circumstances do not include:

  • Parents refusal to contribute to student’s education.
  • Parents refusal to provide information for the FAFSA or verification.
  • Parents do not claim the student for income tax purposes, or that the student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

Process for Appeal

Students who find themselves with special or unusual circumstances should contact the Student Financial Services Office to speak with a financial aid counselor. The counselor will research the student's situation and verify the information presented by the student. Additional information or documentation may be required from the student and/or parent. Notice of the need for any additional documentation or a decision will be sent to the student within 10 business days.

For summer session financial aid consideration, students must complete the FAFSA form for the upcoming year because summer is the first term of each financial aid award year. They must also submit an Seattle University Summer Aid Application via mySeattleU. To do so, login to mySeattleU and select Financial Aid and then Summer Aid Application.

The summer aid application becomes available when advance summer registration opens during the previous spring quarter. Students should complete and submit the summer aid application as soon as summer registration has been completed.

Undergraduate Students

Seattle University does not typically offer financial aid to undergraduate students for Summer Session if they will also attend the subsequent fall, winter, and spring quarters.

If an undergraduate student will graduate by the end of the winter quarter of the academic year that immediately follows the summer session, the student will be considered for a Federal Pell Grant, loans and/or work study. These students will not be considered for institutional funding.

Undergraduate students who will not graduate early will be considered only for work study and may also apply for Private Educational Loans to help cover summer costs.

Graduate Students

Loan assistance is available for eligible graduate students year-round, including summer quarter.

Students receiving financial aid must:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and
  • Complete their degrees within the maximum time frame allowed and
  • Maintain progress toward their degrees at a minimum cumulative pace.

These requirements apply to a student’s entire period of attendance at Seattle University (whether the student received financial aid for the term or not). Also, in some instances may include enrollment at other institutions before transferring to Seattle University, regardless if the student received financial aid at the other institution.

It is important to note that satisfactory academic progress requirements and enrollment standards for financial aid eligibility may not be the same as those for academic purposes. It is possible to be making satisfactory academic progress for academic purposes while not making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes. Therefore, it is important that students contact Student Financial Services to talk with a counselor when considering reducing the number of credits for which they are enrolled.

Review Schedule

Satisfactory academic progress for eligibility to receive federal and institutional aid is reviewed at the end of each spring quarter. For state aid, progress is reviewed at the end of each quarter of enrollment for which state aid is received. While students will be notified via email if they have not maintained satisfactory academic progress, it is their responsibility to monitor their own progress.

Financial aid will be suspended for students who do not make satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes as outlined briefly above and explained in detail below. That suspension may be appealed as explained in the Appeals section below.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Federal regulations require that students maintain GPAs that are consistent with successful completion of their program:

  • Undergraduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Graduate students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or the minimum cumulative GPA required by their program, whichever is higher.

Maximum Time Frame

Federal regulations require that the institution establish the standard length of time that students can receive aid while pursuing a degree. This requirement is called the "Maximum Time Frame" for aid eligibility and, for undergraduate students, includes all applicable credits earned from all institutions attended since high school.

Undergraduate Students

For its undergraduate students, Seattle University has established a maximum time frame for the receipt of financial aid as the earlier of:

  • Attempting 150% of the minimum number of credits required for a student's degree, or
  • Completing all courses required to earn a degree, regardless of whether the student chooses to receive a diploma at that point. For instance, even though the student’s intent is to earn two degrees, eligibility for financial aid ends when the coursework necessary to receive one of those degrees has been completed.

For undergraduate students, the maximum period of eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid is calculated as follows:

  • Federal aid: 150% of the published number of credits required to earn the student’s degree.
  • State Aid:  Washington State Need Grant eligibility is limited to
    • 15 full-time quarters or equivalent enrollment at less than full-time, not to exceed
    • 150% of the published number of credits required to earn the student’s degree.

Institutional gift aid is awarded to eligible, full-time undergraduates for the number of quarters needed to complete program requirements based on the student’s classification upon admission:

  • Four years (12 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified as freshmen (0-44 credits completed) upon admission.
  • Three years (9 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified by the Registrar’s Office as sophomores (45 to 89 credits) upon admission.
  • Two years (6 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified by the registrar’s office as juniors (90 to 134 credits) upon admission.
  • One year (3 quarters) for undergraduate students who are classified by the Registrar’s Office as seniors (135 or more credits) upon admission.

This policy applies to all institutional aid including grants and scholarships. Institutional aid is not available for extending a program to complete more than one major, minor or degree. To complete the undergraduate program within the institutional funding period, students are encouraged to enroll for 15 credits per quarter.

Graduate Students

For graduate students, the maximum time frame of eligibility to receive federal financial aid is 6 years (24 quarters) if the minimum, cumulative GPA and pace requirements continue to be met.


Pace measures progress toward a student’s degree within the maximum time frame and is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of credits the student has completed by the cumulative number of credits the student has attempted at the end of any review period.

Seattle University has established the minimum acceptable cumulative pace to be 67%. Pace considerations:

  • For students with transfer credits, all accepted credits count as both attempted and completed for the purpose of evaluating pace.
  • A passing grade includes A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, CR and P. A passing grade for financial aid considerations may not allow progression in the major and may not be accepted to fulfill a degree requirement.
  • Incomplete (I’s), suspended (N’s), in progress (IP’s), missing grades (M’s), withdrawals (W’s), hardship withdrawals (HW’s) and failed classes (F’s) count as attempted credits but not completed credits.
  • At the time incomplete, no grade, and missing grades are converted to a passing grade, they are considered in the calculation as completed credits.
  • If a class is repeated, successfully completed credits count only once; but each enrollment will count as credits attempted. Additionally:
  • Students who repeat a class they have previously failed may receive financial aid for each time the class is repeated until they receive a passing grade.
  • Students may only receive financial aid for one re-take of a class for which they’ve previously received a passing grade.
  • Coursework that may not apply to the degree, such as Culture and Language Bridge courses, will be counted toward the qualitative (GPA) component of satisfactory progress, although will not be included in the cumulative GPA on the student’s transcript. This coursework will not be counted toward satisfactory academic progress’s pace quantitative component.
  • Audit grades (Y’s) and audit withdrawal grades (YW) have no impact on pace as they are not included in either attempted or earned credits.
  • Credits earned by means other than by completing a college level course at another institution do not count as either attempted or completed credits.

Students must complete the minimum number of credits based on:

  • The higher of their actual enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time or less than half-time) or
  • The enrollment status for which they received financial aid, as noted on the “Enrollment Status” line of their award letter.

For example, if a student receives aid for initial enrollment of half-time (6-8 credits at the undergraduate level) but adds credits later in the term resulting in full-time enrollment, progress will be evaluated based on that full-time enrollment.

Enrollment Status Undergraduate Students Graduate Students
Full-time 12 credits minimum
15 credits strongly recommended
6 credits per quarter
Three-quarter-time 9 credits per quarter 4 or 5 credits per quarter
Half-time 6–8 credits per quarter 3 credits per quarter
Less Than Half-time 1 – 5 credits per quarter 1 –2 credits per quarter

Less Than Full Time Enrollment

To be eligible for financial aid for less than full-time enrollment, federal, state and/or institutional aid may require proration based on the reduced enrollment level which may, in turn, result in a reduction in the financial aid.

Institutional Aid

Institutional aid includes aid awarded through Student Financial Services and other offices at Seattle University which originates from the institution’s general fund, departmental funds, the financial aid budget, gifts to the university, and endowed scholarship funds.

Considerations for receiving institutional aid:

  • Students must maintain full-time enrollment fall, winter and spring terms to receive their institutional aid.
  • Institutional aid will be pro-rated, rather than withdrawn, if a student isn’t required to enroll full-time in their final quarter in order to complete their degree requirements.  Must be registered for a minimum of 5 credits to be eligible for proration. 
  • Institutional aid is not available during summer term.

Additional Requirements for Specific Institutional Scholarships

All institutional gift aid is limited to the student’s class standing when they are admitted to Seattle University as outlined above in the “Maximum Time Frame” section.

All scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative pace of 67% as outlined above in the “Pace” section.

It may be possible for students who have met the maximum time frame and pace requirements, but who did not maintain the required cumulative GPA (see specifics below), to improve their GPA by taking classes in the summer (without aid). For more information about this option, students should contact Student Financial Services to talk with a counselor.

In addition to the named scholarships below, there are other institutional scholarships which come with specific requirements. Those requirements are disclosed in the offer letter associated with those scholarships.

3.0 Minimum Cumulative GPA Required for Certain Institutional Scholarship Recipients

If you received a Sullivan Leadership Award, Bannan Scholarship, or Honors Scholarship when you entered Seattle University, you must meet all the standard satisfactory academic progress requirements outlined above AND maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirement of at least 3.0. Failure to meet this standard for the Sullivan Leadership Award, Bannan or Honors Scholarship at the spring review will result in suspension of these awards.

Additional State-Specific Requirements

Washington Financial Aid Programs

The progress of Washington College Grant/College Bound and/or Washington State Work Study recipients is monitored at the end of each quarter:

  • Failure to complete at least 50% of the credits attempted in a quarter will result in the cancellation of a student’s subsequent eligibility.
  • Students who complete at least 50%, but not all of the credits they attempt for a quarter, will be placed on state aid probation.
  • Receipt of state aid while on state aid probation is only permitted for two consecutive quarters.
  • If eligibility for state aid is suspended, but a student had special circumstances that prevented satisfactory progress, such as a serious illness or injury or a death in the family, the student may submit an appeal to request continued state eligibility.
  • There is no appeal of the maximum number of quarters for which a student may receive State Need Grant funding as described in the “Maximum Time Frame” section above.

Alaska State Loan Borrowers

  • Undergraduates: Alaska State Loan borrowers must enroll for at least 12 credits per quarter and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Graduate Students: Alaska State Loan borrowers must enroll for a minimum of 6 credits per quarter and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Appeals for reinstatement of Alaska loan eligibility are made to the Alaska Student Loan Commission.

Private Loan Borrowers

Some lenders require you to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Please check with your lender for academic requirements you must meet to continue receiving your Private Loan funds.


Satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes is reviewed annually at the end of spring quarter. Student Financial Services notifies students via their Seattle University email account if it appears that they have not made satisfactory academic progress. Students who failed to make satisfactory progress due to unanticipated circumstances beyond their control that prevented regular progress, such as illness or injury, a serious illness or death in the student’s family, may appeal to have their aid reinstated. Students begin the appeal process by contacting a Student Financial Services Counselor. They can be reached by phone at 206-220-8020, by email at or by coming to the Student Financial Services Office. We are located in Vi Hilbert Hall (2nd floor). You can meet with a counselor during our office’s walk-in appointment hours which are posted on the Student Financial Services web site. Counselors work with students to determine the best course of action based on each student’s specific circumstances.

If the student and counselor determine that submitting an appeal is the best next step, the student will be given a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form on which to provide the following information:

  • An explanation of the special circumstances that prevented the student from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements for financial aid and
  • What has changed in the student’s situation that will allow them to regain satisfactory academic progress in the future and
  • Any supplemental documentation that supports the student’s case. In the case of maximum time frame, students must provide an academic plan as described in the next paragraph.

Because eligibility to receive financial aid is suspended pending the outcome of an appeal and the appeal process can take a few weeks to complete, it is important to contact a Student Financial Services Counselor as soon as possible to begin the appeal process. This is particularly important if you want to receive financial aid for a summer session.

The Student Financial Services Counselor will review the student's appeal and make one of the following determinations:

If it appears possible and likely that you will be able to resume academic progress within the next quarter:

  • The student will be placed on probation for that quarter
  • The student's progress will be monitored at the end of that quarter
  • If the student is successful, the probationary status will be lifted, and the student will again be considered to be making satisfactory progress
  • If the student is not successful, eligibility will again be suspended, and the student will again have the right to appeal that suspension
  • Each appeal will be considered on its own merit. However, while there is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit, repeat appeals must generally be for reasons different than those of previous appeal to be approved and will take longer to process because they will be reviewed by a committee of Student Financial Services Counselors.

If it appears unlikely that the student will be able to resume academic progress within the next quarter and/or the request is that eligibility to receive institutional gift aid be extended, the student will be required to work with an academic advisor to develop an academic plan that, when followed, will:

  • Set the requirements the student will be required to meet to ensure that they are able to meet the institution's satisfactory academic progress standards by a designated point within the maximum time frame, or
  • Indicate the courses required for completion of the student's degree in support of their request that their eligibility to receive institutional aid be extended.
  • The plan will designate, quarter-by-quarter, the courses, number of credits of enrollment and GPA that must be earned to regain progress.
  • The student's progress will be monitored each quarter.
  • If the student successfully follows the academic plan, they will continue to be eligible to receive financial aid for the following quarter.
  • If the student is not able to successfully follow the academic plan, their eligibility to receive financial aid will be suspended and the student will again have the right to appeal that suspension.

Each appeal will be considered on its own merit. However, while there is no limit to the number of appeals a student may submit, repeat appeals must generally be for reasons different than those of previous appeal to be approved and will take longer to process because they will be reviewed by a committee of Student Financial Services Counselors.

Readmitted students who were not making satisfactory academic progress as financial aid recipients when they left Seattle University must resolve that deficiency under the policy in place when they re-enter. Readmitted students should make an appointment with a Student Financial Services Counselor who will make a determination about how the student needs to proceed using the options outlined above for continuing students.

If the student's appeal is denied, they will be notified of that decision via their Seattle University email address. A student may appeal that decision by sending an email or letter to the Director of Student Financial Services, explaining in as much detail as possible why they're asking that the decision be reversed.

Regaining Eligibility to Receive Financial Aid

If a student's aid eligibility is suspended due to failure to make satisfactory academic progress, they may be able to regain eligibility by pursuing their education without the benefit of financial assistance from Seattle University. This may involve taking additional classes at Seattle University to raise their cumulative GPA to an acceptable level or taking credits at Seattle University or another institution to regain "pace." Please note that taking credits from another institution will require official transcripts and evaluation of transfer credit, and sometimes an application for readmission, before eligibility can be restored.

Regaining eligibility is generally difficult to do, Student Financial Services highly recommends that students meet with a Student Financial Services Counselor to ensure that they understand what is required to regain eligibility. When a student believes they have regained satisfactory progress and are again eligible to receive financial aid at Seattle University, they must submit a request to the Student Financial Services office to confirm that they have regained eligibility. If additional courses were taken, that request must be submitted after the student’s courses have been evaluated and posted to their Seattle University transcript by the Office of the Registrar.

Being Proactive

If you are experiencing academic difficulties and are considering withdrawing from your courses or are concerned you might receive a failing grade(s), please contact a financial aid counselor to understand the ramifications of these actions. This is incredibly important if you have already appealed previously and been placed on an academic plan. Before you withdraw pursue all your options:

Important note before reading further: Dropping or withdrawing from some classes but remaining enrolled in others in the same academic quarter has different consequences, from a financial aid perspective, than dropping or withdrawing from all classes (that is, ceasing to be enrolled).

If the student is considering dropping or withdrawing from all classes within the same academic quarter, please read section below.

Depending on several factors, adjustments to financial aid may be required for students who drop some, but not all, of their classes for the same academic quarter. Students who are considering or have decided to withdraw from one or more courses, and are recipients of Financial Aid, are suggested to speak to the Student Financial Services Office to determine any outcomes of withdrawing before proceeding.

Withdrawing From All Classes

Students who receive financial aid and are considering withdrawing from all of their courses for the quarter are required to contact a Student Financial Services Counselor prior to completing the withdrawal process. A Financial Aid Counselor signature is required on the form if the student is a financial aid recipient.

If a student received federal student loans while in attendance at Seattle University, federal law requires that the student complete loan exit counseling through Seattle University as part of the withdrawal process. That counseling will give the student information about the status of the loan. Loan repayment will begin at the end of the grace period as defined by the loan's promissory note(s) that was completed by the student prior to the loan's transmittal to the student's account.

In order to understand how the student's withdrawal from all classes may impact future aid eligibility, please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress.

An undergraduate student's official withdrawal date is determined by either:

  • The date of the first signature of a university official on the completed withdrawal form, if the completed form is submitted to the Registrar's Office within five days of that date, or
  • If the completed withdrawal form is submitted to the Registrar's Office more than five days after the date the first university official signed the form, the official withdrawal date will be the date the form is received by the Registrar's Office.

A graduate student's official withdrawal date is the date assigned in the online system when the student completes his or her withdrawal online.

The Student Financial Services Office will determine eligibility for a refund of charges for the quarter based on the student's official date of withdrawal as described above. Refer to the Important Dates Calendar.

Students who begin attendance and then cease attending without notifying the university by officially withdrawing from their classes are, for tuition refund and financial aid purposes, considered to have withdrawn after 50% of the quarter has been completed and are not eligible for a tuition refund.

According to federal regulations, federal funds must be returned to federal programs based on the percent of the term remaining after a student is no longer enrolled unless the student has completed more than 60% of the term. If the student has completed more than 60% of the term, no return of federal funds is required. The Student Financial Services Office has 30 days in which to determine the amount of a student's federal aid was "earned" and "unearned" as defined in federal regulations, and then return the unearned aid in the following order:

  • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • Other Title IV Programs

Seattle University is required to return, on behalf of the student, the balance of "unearned aid" to the federal programs. Work study wages earned are not included in the return of federal financial aid calculation. The student is responsible for repaying, in accordance with the terms of the promissory note, any balance owed on the federal student loans.

For Recipients of State Aid

Students who fail to attend classes, who withdraw or reduce enrollment levels prior to the start of the term, fail to commence attendance in all classes for which their enrollment level/award amount are based on or who receive funding based on fraudulent information will be required to repay 100% of the funds received.

Students who have received state aid (aid disbursed prior to the start of the term) and who change enrollment status prior to the first day of the term, must have their state aid eligibility recalculated to reflect their enrollment status as of the start of the term.

Students who fail to commence attendance in all classes for which their enrollment level/award amount is based must have their state aid eligibility recalculated to reflect only their enrollment level for those classes they attended.

The student who decreases enrollment status prior to the first day of the term will owe a repayment of the overpayment amount. Students who increase enrollment status throughout the term are entitled to additional funds for enrollment status increases.

Students who make enrollment status adjustments (up or down) after disbursement and after the start of the term will be subject to completion of satisfactory academic progress requirements outlined under 250-21-010 (16) (a-e). Enrollment status increases must include WCG awards based on that enrollment and may not exceed need. However, students may not receive more WCG than the cost of their tuition and fees.

If a student’s enrollment is adjusted during the tuition refund period and tuition is reduced, and the student failed to commence attendance in all classes for which their disbursement was made, the grant must be reduced to not exceed the cost of tuition and fees. Student Financial Services will return institutionally funded aid to its source, based on the University's policy.

Get in Touch

We’re here to help. For financial aid questions contact:

Student Financial Services

Vi Hilbert Hall