Search Glossary


Attempted Credits

Attempted Credits include all credits that appear on your academic history record including repeated, failed, incomplete, withdrawals (XM), and transcripted transfer credits. Pay close attention to the Registrar’s Office important dates and deadlines. The last day to withdraw from a class without incurring a “W” is the ninth day of every quarter. However, since XM grades count as attempted credits you must withdraw from a class sooner to avoid incurring an “XM” grade on your academic history record. The last day to withdraw from a class without incurring an “XM” grade is the fifth day of every quarter.


Completed Credits

Completed credits are credits for which a passing grade is received such as A through D-, P, or S. All credits transferred in to Western are considered as completed credits. 

Note: repeat courses do not count toward the completed credits per Western's Registrar's Office Repeat Policy.

Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day. This day commemorates the September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution. Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students on September 17. If that day falls on a weekend, Constitution Day should be held in the preceding or following week. WWU's Financial Aid Department publishes information about the program and Constitution Day on the website.


Direct PLUS Loan (Parent and Graduate Students)

This loan has a fixed interest rate and may be available to the parents of dependent students and to graduate students regardless of need. See the Direct Loan Interest Rates and Direct Loan Origination Fees tables for rate and fee details. Borrowers must complete a PLUS Application, pass a credit check, and complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Graduate students must complete Entrance Counseling. PLUS loans go into repayment 60 days after the last disbursement, but can be deferred with continuous enrollment.



The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form that must be filled out to apply for financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college or graduate school. The FAFSA asks for information about the applicants family finances, including information from tax returns.

FASFA Submission Summary

The FAFSA Submission Summary (beginning with the 2024-2025 aid year) is a summary Federal Student Aid that provides basic information about eligibility for federal student aid and lists the answers provided on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

The FAFSA Submission Summary is not a financial aid offer.

Financial Aid Probation

Financial aid probation is an aid-eligible status for a given quarter that allows students who failed to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements and who have appealed and had aid eligibility reinstated to receive aid. The Financial Aid Department will specify conditions for such students to receive continued financial aid.

If eligibility for financial aid is reinstated, the amount of financial aid the student receives is subject to the availability of funds. As a result, it is possible that some funds originally offered will not be available for a reinstated student.

Students placed on financial aid warning, suspension, or probation will be notified after the end of the applicable term. Notification will be delivered via e-mail to the student's official WWU e-mail account.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Department if a grade correction becomes available that may re-establish their eligibility for financial aid.

Financial Aid Suspension

Financial aid suspension is an aid-ineligible status whereby aid for future quarters is canceled and processing to calculate future aid eligibility is placed on hold until eligibility is regained.

Students will be placed on financial aid suspension if they do not:

  • Successfully complete the minimum number of credits on which financial aid eligibility is based while in financial aid warning status OR complete half of the minimum number of credits on which financial aid eligibility is based in any given quarter.
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA beginning with their sixth quarter at WWU or after completing 90 credits (including transfer credits) or 3.0 (for graduates), while in financial aid warning status;
  • Meet the minimum quarterly credit requirement, while in financial aid warning status;
  • Meet the pace requirement, while in financial aid warning status; or
  • Meet the maximum timeframe requirement (Maximum Attempted Credits).

SAP suspension status is for financial aid recipients and is separate from the University Scholastic Standards as outlined in the University Catalog.

Financial Aid Warning

Students who were previously in good standing for financial aid satisfactory academic progress purposes but have not met the following requirements will be placed on financial aid warning if they did not:

  • Meet the minimum number of credits but successfully completed at least half of the minimum credits on which their financial aid eligibility was based.-
  • Meet the pace requirement.
  • Meet the 2.0 minimum (for undergraduates) cumulative GPA requirement after completion of six quarters or 90 credits or 3.0 (for graduates)

Students remain eligible to receive aid for one quarter while in warning status.

Failure to meet these requirements listed above during the warning quarter will result in financial aid suspension.

SAP warning status is for financial aid recipients and is separate from the University Scholastic Standards as outlined in the University Catalog.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

The GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how high you scored in your courses on average. Using a scale from 0.0 to 4.0, your GPA tracks your progress during your studies. This number is used to assess whether you meet the standards and expectations set by the degree program or university.

When we evaluate Satisfactory Academic Progress, we look at your cumulative WWU GPA, which is calculated based on all the classes you've taken at Western. This means that transfer credits do not count towards this value.

Students must meet the scholarship standards of the University to remain eligible for financial aid. University scholarship standards include maintaining at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students (or higher depending on their program). The GPA requirement is monitored quarterly. Scholarship standards allow for a limited number of quarters during which a student may improve their cumulative GPA to the minimum requirement.

Students dismissed from the University for not meeting the scholarship standard will also have their financial aid eligibility placed in suspended status. There is no financial aid warning period after university dismissal. Scholastic standards for undergraduate and graduate students are fully described in the University Catalog.


Grants provide financial assistance that you don’t have to pay back after graduation. They are awarded based on financial need.


Information Disclosure Student/Parent Title IV HEA Loans

In accordance with HEOA 489 Amended HEA Sec. 485B, Western Washington University is required to disclose to all borrowers that any loan borrowed by a student or eligible parent will be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The information reported to NSLDS will be accessible by guarantee agencies, lenders, and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system. Borrowers may review their NSLDS history and information by logging into



A loan provides funding that you must pay back after graduation. Different loans accrue interest in different ways.

Loans at Western Washington University are funded through the federal government. We offer the Federal Direct Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized), and Parent PLUS Loan program. Loan eligibility and amounts are determined based on the FAFSA, class level, and dependency information. Loans must be repaid.


Other Financial Assistance (OFA)

Other Financial Assistance (OFA) are grants, scholarships, loans or other funding a student receives from an individual or organization separate from the Federal, State, and Institutional funding awarded by the Financial Aid Office.  OFA is funding that is provided due to post-secondary enrollment.  

Outside/Private Scholarships

Outside/Private Scholarships are awards that students apply for and are awarded outside of Western Washington University. These may be local scholarships from your community, state or national awards. There are many resources for assisting students in finding these opportunities. For example, is a free, student-centered, online clearinghouse for both Washington residents and students attending Washington colleges and universities who are seeking college scholarships.


Public Safety Officer

A fire or police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event or as defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b).



Scholarships are awarded based on a wide variety of criteria. While scholarships are based primarily on merit, you can also receive scholarships based on financial need, academic interests, talents, leadership, community service and career goals. Scholarships do not have to be repaid after graduation. Scholarship information is available in the Scholarship Center, Old Main 285 or students can visit the Scholarship Center website.

State Grants

State grants include all state grant and scholarship programs. 

Student Aid Index (SAI)

The SAI is an index value that is used to determine the types and amounts of financial aid a student is eligible for. The information submitted on the FAFSA is used to calculate the SAI.

The SAI is calculated according to a formula established by law. Data elements such as income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) all could be considered in the formula. Also considered is family size. 

Contact the Financial Aid Department if corrections need to be made, or to request a reevaluation of aid eligibility if there has been a significant loss or reduction of income since completing the FAFSA.

Student Aid Index (SAI) Changes

If there has a significant loss or reduction in income or ability to pay for educational expenses since the FAFSA was filed or since the tax year associated with filing the FAFSA, a Professional Judgement determination may be applied to allow the Financial Aid Department on a case-by-case basis to revise the SAI and re-calculate financial aid eligibility.

Examples may include loss or reduction of income due to job loss or loss of financial benefits or extraordinary medical expenses that will impact the ability to pay for educational expenses. Contact the Financial Aid Department for more information.

Subsidized Direct Loan

The Subsidized Direct Loan is a need-based loan for undergraduate students with a fixed interest rate. Interest rates are fixed rates that will not change for the life of the loan. The federal government pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time.


Title IV Aid

Title IV aid refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended in 1998, and includes: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Work Study.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits -  All credits transferred in to Western are considered as completed credits. For example, a new transfer student coming in with a direct transfer AA degree is considered to have 90 attempted and completed credits for a completion rate of 100%.


Unsubsidized Direct Loan

The Unsubsidized Direct Loan interest accrues with the first disbursement. Students will be billed for the accrued interest while in school and during the six-month grace period. See the Direct Loan Interest Rates and Direct Loan Origination Fees tables for rate and fee details. Only the principal amount of the loan is deferred until after the grace period. If the student chooses not to pay the accrued interest while in school, it will be added to the principal of the loan at the time of repayment. The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not based on financial need.



The Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) is for people who don't file a federal FAFSA application. People who complete a WASFA are applying for state aid.

A person should complete the WASFA if they are undocumented or do not qualify for federal financial aid because of their immigration status. The WASFA can also be used in limited circumstances by other select applicants who cannot or choose not to file a FAFSA.

People who complete a WASFA only are applying for state aid. If you are eligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA to maximize financial aid awards.

Work Study

Work Study is a form of financial aid which provides employment opportunities on campus and in the local community. Students earn a paycheck for the hours worked and the funds earned are not subtracted from the tuition bill. While work study earnings are subject to federal income tax like other jobs, they have the benefit of counting as an income exclusion on the FAFSA for the upcoming aid year (this may be impacted beginning with the 2024-2025 FAFSA).

Work study is offered to students with high financial need. Those students who are not offered work study are encouraged to access the Student Employment web page where a variety of non-Work Study jobs are posted. Additional information is available in the Student Employment Center, Old Main 245 or on the Student Employment Center website.