Self-paced courses are offered through the WWU Outreach and Continuing Education Western Online program. Self-paced coursework has important differences from regular Western courses for financial aid eligibility:
Limited Time for Course Completion
Although students have up to six months to complete self-paced coursework for academic purposes, students must successfully complete self-paced coursework in the quarter to which the credits are applied for financial aid satisfactory academic progress purposes. Failure to successfully complete self-paced coursework in the quarter the credits are transcripted may result in financial aid warning or suspension. It may also create a financial aid repayment circumstance.
At the time of registering for a self-paced course, students choose which quarter their credits will apply to. For example, a student may register for a self-paced course in mid-May. The credits can be applied to either spring quarter or summer quarter. If the student chooses spring quarter, the student must successfully complete the course by the end of spring quarter (e.g., in 4 weeks in this case) for satisfactory academic progress purposes.
Limited Enrollment Level
The amount of self-paced credits counted toward a student’s enrollment level cannot be more than the number of credit hours of regular coursework in which the student is enrolled. Exception: if the student is taking at least a half-time load of self-paced courses, the student is considered to have at least a half-time enrollment, regardless of the credit hours of regular coursework. The following table illustrates how enrollment levels are determined when students enroll in a mix of regular and self-paced coursework:
|Enrollment Status for Financial Aid Purposes
|6 or more
|3 - 5
|4 or more
|1 - 3
|2 or more
|3 or more
|Less than half time
|Less than half time
|6 or more
|Half time for federal financial aid only (no state aid)
|1 - 5
|Not eligible for state or federal financial aid
We strongly urge financial aid recipients to discuss with the Financial Aid Department their plan to take self-paced courses in order to avoid unexpected consequences.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is my financial aid affected if I enroll in self-paced Western Online courses?
Self-paced courses are available through the Extended Education Western Online program. These courses are listed in the WWU Catalog and are designed by faculty members to provide students an opportunity to complete classes at home.
Financial aid for self-paced coursework has two important limitations: Completion Time and Enrollment Level.
Completion Time: Review the FAQ How long do I have to complete a self-paced course to understand how a self-paced course may impact Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Enrollment Level: See the Self Paced Coursework page for further information about how a mix of self-paced coursework and main campus coursework OR enrollment in only self-paced coursework may impact financial aid eligibility.
Can my financial aid pay for a self-paced course?
Yes, under certain circumstances.
1. You must be eligible for financial aid by being an admitted (matriculated student at WWU) having a valid FAFSA on file, meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, etc.
2. You must meet enrollment level requirements. The amount of self-paced credits counted toward a student’s enrollment level cannot be more than the number of credit hours of regular coursework in which the student is enrolled. Exception: if the student is taking at least a half-time load of self-paced courses, the student is considered to have at least a half-time enrollment. For example, fulltime enrollment (12 or more credits for undergraduates) requires at least six credits of regular coursework. The remaining six credits can be self-paced credits. An enrollment of two regular credits and four self-paced credits gives a less than half-time enrollment (fewer than 6 credits for undergraduate) since only two of the four self-paced credits can be counted. A chart outlining the enrollment level requirements is available on our website.
Contact Financial Aid at 360.650.3470 if you plan to enroll in self-paced coursework to avoid unintended aid eligibility consequences.
How long do I have to complete a self-paced course?
Although students have up to 6 months to complete a self-paced course for purposes of posting a grade, students planning to receive financial aid for self-paced coursework or at any time in the future MUST complete the course during the quarter it was registered for. If the self-paced course is not completed within the quarter it was registered for, future financial aid eligibility could be jeopardized, and it may create a financial aid repayment circumstance. Contact Financial Aid at 360.650.3470 if you plan to enroll in self-paced coursework to avoid unintended aid eligibility consequences.
Will my financial aid automatically be applied to my self-paced course tuition from my student account?
Financial aid will apply to self-paced course tuition just as it does to regular course tuition. If you register for a self-paced course after financial aid has paid out for the quarter, you will need to pay the tuition yourself.
If I receive financial aid, how do I register for a self-paced course?
Follow these steps:
- Determine your enrollment level based on your expected regular and self-paced course enrollment. Review our Self-Paced Coursework page to estimate your expected enrollment level given your mix of regular and self-paced courses.
- Contact the Financial Aid Department to verify how your financial aid status will be affected with the addition of self-paced courses to your credit load.
- Visit the Western Online website for registration information, deadlines, and tuition.
Important Note: Financial aid will not disburse until you are registered for the required number of credits for the enrollment level on which your financial aid is based.