Financial Aid

Warren Wilson College provides an educational opportunity for many students who might otherwise not be able to attend college. The College endeavors to keep expenses at a minimum by offering a substantial and comprehensive financial aid program to those who are eligible.

The bases for determining eligibility is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be filed each year that students wish to be considered for aid. The amount of assistance from the College may increase or decrease from one year to the next depending on the financial circumstances of the family. Aid for evaluated need is offered to students as long as funds remain available and students make satisfactory progress toward completion of their courses of study.

1.05.1 – Federal and State Programs Available

The College cooperates with all federal and state educational assistance agencies including the Veterans Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation, and other agencies that aid students in obtaining a post-secondary education. Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, Federal Work College, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and all state programs are channeled through the College to the students.

Additional information may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office web site:

1.05.2 – Other Loans

Warren Wilson College has an emergency loan fund for students who need to borrow a limited amount for a short period (usually 30 days). Loans for educational costs with a long-term repayment option are also available with a completed FAFSA.

1.05.3 – Financial Aid Deadline

The priority date for new students to apply for financial aid for the fall semester is March 1. Applications completed prior to this date will be given priority in the award process for grants and scholarships. APPLICATIONS RECEIVED AFTER MARCH 1 WILL BE HANDLED ON A DATE-PRIORITY BASIS. The availability of need-based grants is limited.

1.05.4 – Campus Work Program

All resident students, regardless of their financial resources, participate in the Campus Work Program during the academic year. The College also offers work contracts during the summer and other break periods, but these are limited. Students may apply to the Work Program Office for break employment. The College’s work program is supported by both Federal Work Study and Federal Work College funds.

1.05.5 – Scholarships

Academic Scholarships: Warren Wilson College offers scholarships to newly admitted students based on academic achievement and promise, not on financial need. To be considered, new or re-admitted students should contact the Admission Office.

North Carolina Students: Full-time students who are residents of North Carolina and file the FAFSA will be considered for the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship. This scholarship is based on need that is defined by the state of North Carolina. There is also a required residency form that must be filled out to make the final award to the student.

For Presbyterian Students: Members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) may apply for aid through the PCUSA office of Financial Aid for Studies. Information is available by writing to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Financial Aid for Studies, 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396, or through their web page: Dependents of Presbyterian ministers will automatically receive a $1,000 grant from Warren Wilson College. Warren Wilson College will also match up to $500 per semester any scholarship provided by a Presbyterian Church to one of its students. The scholarship from the congregation must be applied to tuition charges. For further information, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

1.05.6 – Required Financial Aid Forms

Students begin the financial aid process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at Please add our school code so Warren Wilson College will receive the results of your FAFSA. Our school code is 002979 and we are listed as located in Asheville, NC. Both students and parents must apply for a PIN (electronic signature) to submit the FAFSA — student and parent PINs must be safeguarded as they are electronic signatures for subsequent FAFSA filings and loan application materials.

North Carolina students are required to file a FAFSA to be considered for the North Carolina Need-Based Grant. Students are encouraged to file their FAFSA by the March 1st priority filing date. Students from Delaware, Rhode Island, and Vermont are encouraged to apply for a grant from their states of residence.

Requests for financial aid will be considered after applicants have been officially accepted for admission to the College and their aid files are complete.

1.05.7 – Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Students receiving Title IV federal funds or need-based state grants are required to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree or certificate in order to maintain eligibility for this aid. Warren Wilson College also applies the same “progress” guidelines to its institutional aid (need-based scholarships, honor/merit scholarships, international grants, etc). Minimum standards require that students remain off of academic probation and pass 12 credits each semester (August-December or January-May; and, June/July summer courses). In reviewing students’ progress, these standards are applicable regardless of whether or not financial aid has previously been received. For the purpose of administering financial aid, WWC defines an academic year as two 16-week semesters during which undergraduate students complete a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours per semester (full-time). However, 24 credits each year are fewer than the number needed to progress in classification (i.e. freshman, sophomore).

Minimum Number of Hours: All hours refer to “semester” credits as earned at Warren Wilson College. The following minimum number of credits must be passed: a) full-time (required of all resident students) = no less than 12 credits per semester; b) three-quarter = no less than 9 credits per semester, or; c) half-time = no less than 6 credits per semester. Reminder: Loans will either enter repayment or begin a six-month grace period once students fall below half-time (6 credits). “If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his degree, they cannot be used to determine enrollment status… (full-time).” (2015-2016 Federal Aid Handbook, Volume 1) This means that aid cannot be awarded to students for courses that do not count toward their degree.

NOTE: All aid will be recalculated to three-quarter, half-time or less-than-half-time for students who fail to attend a course and those course credits are (or were) needed for full-time status. Charges will not be adjusted. Refer to the “Withdrawal and Refund Policy”. Loss of aid is a possibility for any Federal aid recipients who fail to pass at least one course within a semester. Refer to “unofficial withdrawal” in the Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Maximum Length of Eligibility (Studies should be paced to graduate within five years.): Eligibility for financial aid ends with the completion of academic requirements for one degree or certificate. Length of eligibility is determined on the assumption that students are capable of completing degree requirements within a maximum of 5 years (10 semesters) as full-time students. Less than full-time enrollment will be evaluated as stated in minimum number of hours. To graduate within this maximum period of 10 semesters, the following percentages of completed work are recommended: after 2 semesters, 20%; 4 semesters, 40%; 6 semesters, 60%; 8 semesters, 80%; and 10 semesters, 100%. Changing majors does not increase the length of eligibility for completion of the program or the number of hours (128) needed to graduate. Refer to the Academic Catalog for the number of credits needed each year to progress from one status to another. (i.e. freshman to sophomore, etc.).

Minimum GPA: Students (all students — not just aid recipients) must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average based upon hours attempted as defined by the Scholastic Standards Committee and published in detail in the Student Handbook and the Academic Catalog.

Incompletes: Warren Wilson College allows two weeks into the following semester for students to complete work for courses in which they earned an “incomplete.” The SAP determination will be made following this two-week period or prior to the two-week period if the student is currently in an “aid warning” status. Failure to earn a passing grade when finishing an incomplete can result in the immediate termination of aid retroactive to the first day of classes. (No credit is given for grades of WP or WF; however, a WF is computed in the GPA as an “F”.) There are some grants and scholarships that cannot be fully awarded until a final cumulative GPA is calculated.

Repeats: The credits for a repeat course are counted only once toward graduation. The higher grade will be counted in the GPA. Aid will not be adjusted retroactively for lost credits from an earlier semester due to a repeated course. A repeated course must be taken as an addition to 12 other semester hours in the event that a higher grade is not earned. Aid recipients will not be paid for more than one repetition of a previously passed course.

Transfer Students: Transfer students are considered to be making SAP upon acceptance for admission. Transfer students will be provided a minimum of two (2) semesters of aid eligibility to compensate for the College’s academic residency requirement. All official academic transcripts must be on file with the WWC Registrar. All credits accepted for transfer, AP or IB will be applied to SAP.

Continuing and Readmitted Students (who are also first-time aid recipients): The eligibility of these students will be based upon the academic performance of their most recent semester at Warren Wilson College.

Withdrawal during Term 1 or Term 3 Add/Drop: Students who withdraw during the Term 1 or Term 3 add/drop period (the four day period at the beginning of each semester) will be subject to the Withdrawal Policy, but will not be penalized for failing to make SAP. Withdrawal from WWC after the Term 1 or 3 add/drop periods will result in a failure to make SAP since attempted credits were not passed (ie less than 12 credits passed)

Graduation (128 hours): Warren Wilson College has a commitment to assist with the completion of one degree and one major as long as students remain eligible in all aspects. “A student who completes the academic requirements for a program but does not yet have the degree or certificate is not eligible for further Federal Student Aid Funds for that program.” (2015-2016 Federal Aid Handbook, Volume 1)

Financial Aid Warning: The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of all aid recipients will be reviewed at the end of each semester. To meet SAP requirements students must: remain off of academic probation and pass a minimum of 12 credits which do not include course credits earned by a second repetition. Aid recipients who fail to meet these minimum standards will each receive a written warning which will allow them to continue to receive aid for one additional semester. All aid for which the recipients remain eligible will be renewed during warning periods.

A “warning period” is an automatic status, does not require written appeal, and is not available for two consecutive semesters.

Appeal for Financial Aid Probation: If, after the “warning period,” the aid recipient again failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), aid will be cancelled with the exception of work on campus (if a resident), private loans and private scholarships. However, the aid recipient may make a written appeal to the Director of Financial Aid for financial aid “probation”. If the appeal is approved, all aid for which the recipient remains eligible will be renewed during the probationary period. An appeal form is available from the Financial Aid Office. NOTE: WWC honor and merit scholarships have minimum cumulative GPA requirements that exceed SAP.

There are two types of financial aid probation that students may receive. “Without an Academic Plan” will allow only one semester to make SAP. “With an Academic Plan” will allow a maximum of two consecutive semesters to make SAP. The Director of Financial Aid, with advice from the Registrar, will determine which probationary status students are eligible to receive.

Financial Aid Probation without an Academic Plan: A probationary period “Without an Academic Plan” is available for one semester only. This type of probation may be approved by the institution if it is determined that the student is capable of making SAP by the end of one probationary period. Failure to make SAP at the end of this one semester of probation will result in loss of aid eligibility for the next semester without appeal.

Financial Aid Probation with an Academic Plan: The Director of Financial Aid, with advice from the Registrar, will review a student’s possibility of making SAP after two consecutive semesters of aid probation. If SAP can be accomplished, the student will be considered for probation “With an Academic Plan.” The student making the written appeal would need to go one step further and provide a written academic plan along with the appeal for the two pending semesters of probation. If it is not possible for the student to make SAP after two consecutive semesters of aid probation, the appeal will be denied and the student will be ineligible for aid. If the two semesters of aid probation “with plan” are approved, aid can be lost after one semester if academic goals are not met or after two semesters if SAP and academic goals are not met. Guidance will be provided on the minimum requirements for an academic plan.

Lost Aid: If the Appeal for Probation Status is denied or the aid recipient fails to make SAP by the end of an approved probationary period, all aid will be lost with the exception of work on campus as a resident student, private loan, and private scholarships. Lost aid includes, but is not limited to, Federal Direct Loans (Stafford and Parent PLUS), Pell Grants, WWC need-based scholarships and honor or merit scholarships, SEOG, state grants, etc.

How to regain aid after it is lost: Aid is “lost” for a minimum of one semester if a student fails to make SAP after taking advantage of an automatic “warning” period followed by an appeal for a “probationary” period (approved or denied appeal). Continuing students who have exhausted financial aid warning and an appeal for probation have two options:

  1. Continuing students can attend a semester at WWC without aid (full pay or private loan/scholarship) and reestablish Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of that semester. If SAP is not made by the end of the semester, students may make an appeal for probation; however, the appeal will not be approved if they failed to show academic improvement OR cannot make SAP by the end of a semester of probation.
  2. Continuing or readmitted students may take a semester off and return to appeal for probation “With … ” or “Without…” an academic plan as determined by the Director of Financial Aid and the Registrar. Refer to the above financial aid probation status.

Summary: To maintain “satisfactory academic progress” (SAP) at WWC, students must remain off of academic probation; pass no less than 12 credits each semester; and, graduate within ten (10) semesters or 128 credits whichever comes first. Transfer/Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate credits will be included in the 10 semesters/128 credits. Students may retroactively lose Federal aid if they fail to pass at least one class in a semester (in this circumstance students are also subject to academic suspension). All aid will be recalculated for students whose aid packages are based upon full-time attendance and who fail to attend or begin attendance in at least 12 credit hours of classes.

SAP Standards are subject to change as necessary to remain in compliance with Federal Regulation.

Updated 4/15/2015