May 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Catalog

Financial Aid



Room 353, Christofferson Building (3) • 208.535.5374 
financial.aid@cei.edu

Staff

Tiffany Cleverly, Director

Amy Anderson, Coordinator

Krysta Madrigal, Financial Aid Advisor and VA Certifying Official

Kelly Catale, Financial Aid Advisor

Mia Adamson, Financial Aid Technical Records Specialist

Financial aid can make College of Eastern Idaho education a reality for many students. Many CEI students qualify for some type of financial assistance. Financial assistance includes grants, loans, work-study and scholarships. To begin the financial aid process, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, degree/certificate seeking students, and in good academic standing. In order to assure compliance with federal regulations, financial aid policies and procedures are subject to change without notice.

Self-Service

Students can access Self-Service to view their financial aid offer, information requested for their financial aid file, view their award letters, and accept or reject their financial aid offer.

Application Priority Deadlines

Fall - June 1st

Spring - November 1st

Summer - February 1st

Students who have completed the FAFSA by the Priority Deadline will have their aid by the first day of class. In order to meet the priority deadlines, all information must be turned in, correct, complete, and ready to be awarded for the semester(s). FAFSA applications may still be submitted after the priority deadline, but students may have to wait to receive their aid until after the first two weeks of class. Regardless of when the FAFSA is received by the institution, registration fees must be paid by the fee payment deadlines. If the first falls on a weekend, the priority deadline is the following business day.

Financial Aid Application Procedure

In order to begin the financial aid process, each student is required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov. By entering the CEI school code (011133) on the FAFSA application, CEI will receive the information. If other documents are required, an email will be sent from the Financial Aid Office and listed on Student Self-Service. All required forms can be accessed and printed off from https://www.cei.edu/financial-aid/forms-links, then submitted to the CEI Financial Aid Office.

Awarding Financial Aid

Financial aid award offers are based on the information a student reports on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligibility for these financial aid offers may change if new information is received, including information CEI may receive with regard to Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). CEI reserves the right to adjust a student’s awards as necessary.

All financial aid offers are based upon the assumption of full-time enrollment and acceptance in an eligible program at CEI. A student who withdraws from one or all classes at any time during the semester may be required to repay any financial aid received. All sources of non-federal funding are only estimates.

Request for Adjustment

A student has the option of requesting an adjustment to their financial aid offer. Requests for any changes must be made to the CEI Financial Aid Office by the student. Students can request changes in their Student Self-Service or complete the Request for Adjustment form. Changes could include requesting or canceling grants, work-study, and loans. Request for Adjustment form can be found on the Financial Aid webpage https://www.cei.edu/financial-aid/forms-links.

No adjustment will be made to the award due to change in enrollment status after the first week of each semester. 

Summer Aid

Summer term financial aid is unique in awarding from the fall and spring semesters. Students must submit the FAFSA, to be considered for summer federal financial aid. Summer aid is limited to a student’s remaining eligibility from the current academic year. If a student has used their full annual eligibility for grants and loans in the Fall and Spring semesters, the student may or may not have remaining eligibility for Summer term. To request an evaluation of eligibility for financial aid for the summer, students need to complete the Summer Application form found on the Financial Aid webpage https://www.cei.edu/financial-aid/forms-links.

Disbursement of Financial Aid Awards

Financial aid funds are disbursed in equal installments at the first of each semester. If a student only attends one semester, disbursement of loans will be made in two (2) equal disbursements, one (1) at the beginning of the semester and one (1) halfway (1/2) 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 an electronic refund (eRefund)/direct deposit, or a check. First-time borrowers who are first time students will have to wait thirty (30) days from the beginning of the semester before their loan funds will be disbursed.

Refunds are disbursed by the Business Office. Questions should be referred to the Business Office at 208.535.5352.

Enrollment Status 

For enrollment verification for federal and some state funding; only credits which are required to satisfy graduation requirements of the current certificate or degree program in which the student is enrolled will be used for enrollment status. The following chart will be used for all semesters including summer: 

Status Credits
Full Time 12+
Three-Quarter Time 9-11
Half Time 6-8
Less than Half Time 1-5

Types of Financial Aid

Grants

Grants provide financial aid which does not have to be repaid. Grants are awarded based on the student’s need and are generally provided by the Federal government or individual states. 

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants provide direct grants from the government to undergraduate students for educational expenses. Grants range in size from $400 to a maximum of $7,395 per year and the amounts are subject to change.

There is a limit, equivalent to six years, that a student may receive a Pell Grant, known as Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility. For more information on Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility, visit https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/grants/pell/calculate-eligibility.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is a program designed to assist students who have exceptionally high financial need. College of Eastern Idaho uses the FAFSA to determine who is eligible and how much each grant will be. Students with Pell Grant eligibility and low Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) will be given priority.

Work-Study

Federal and Atwell Parry State Work-Study funds are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and want to work part-time while attending college. The work-study program provides on-campus jobs for students allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Students will earn at least federal minimum wage ($7.25 for the State of Idaho) and be paid hourly. Students may work up to nineteen (19) hours per week. Additional information about the work-study program at CEI, visit https://cei.edu/financial-aid/student-work-study

Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)

Direct Student Loans are low interest loans used to help students pay for educational expenses. Loans are money borrowed and must be paid back with interest. The interest rate is fixed and has been set by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. Direct loan eligibility is determined by the student’s year of study, federal limits, financial need, and other types of aid awarded.

Borrowers must do the following to receive their student loans:

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Accept loan(s) on Self-Service
  • Complete Loan Entrance Counseling
  • Complete the Master Promissory Note(MPN) for a Subsidized/ Unsubsidized Loan
  • Complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment (Recommended)

Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment

The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment is an online session that allows students and parents to see how much they have borrowed, preview what a monthly payment might be, and explains concepts such as capitalization and the difference between federal and private loans. Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, borrowers of Federal Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Plus loans are recommended to complete the acknowledgment annually. The informed borrowing process is to help students understand how loans affect their financial future. First time borrowers accepting a federal student loan are acknowledging their responsibility to repay student loan(s). Students with existing federal loans are acknowledging how much they owe and how much more can be borrowed.

Types of Loans

Direct Subsidized (FDSL), Direct Unsubsidized (FDUL), and Parent PLUS Loan are available. Additional unsubsidized loans may be available to students whose parent cannot qualify for Parent PLUS Loans or for independent students requesting additional loans.

Direct Subsidized Loan (FDSL)

The government pays the interest while a student is in school. To be awarded this loan a student must:

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Accept loan on Student Self-Service

Direct Unsubsidized Loan (FDUL)

Interest will accrue while the student is in school.

To be awarded this loan a student must:

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits)
  • Accept loan on Self-Service

Parent PLUS Loan

Interest will accrue while the student is in school.

To be awarded this loan a student must:

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Be a dependent student
  • Parent must pass credit check

Most students begin repayment of any of these loans six (6) months after leaving college or when they drop below half-time status or six (6) credits. Under some conditions repayment may be deferred.

How Much Can a Student Borrow?

Depending on the student’s year of study, the federal government limits the amount a student can borrow. These amounts are the maximum; the student’s amount may vary depending on financial need, other types of aid awarded, and the cost of attendance.

Aggregate Maximum

(Effective July 1, 2008)

Undergraduate Dependent Student: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized).

Undergraduate Independent Student: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized).

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans for Independent Students

Freshman Year

$9,500 if the student is a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year. No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Sophomore Year

$10,500 if the student has completed their first year of study and the remainder of their program is at least a full academic year. No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans for Dependent Students

Freshman Year

$5,500 if the student is a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year. No more than $3,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

Sophomore Year

$6,500 if the student has completed their first year of study and the remainder of their program is at least a full academic year. No more than $4,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.

For dependent students, Direct Loan limits include unsubsidized and subsidized amounts borrowed in the same year. (See Aggregate Maximum).

Independent students may also qualify for additional amounts through the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program. Dependent students may also qualify if their parents cannot obtain a PLUS Loan.

Loan Repayment

Students that received a subsidized or unsubsidized loan must complete the Loan Exit Counseling each time they graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment (six credits). Loan repayment begins after the one-time six-month grace period. The grace period allows time for the student to get financially settled and to select a repayment plan. Loan Exit Counseling provides important information students need to prepare for repayment of federal student loans. Students will make payments to their loan servicer. They can find their loan servicer by logging in to https://studentaid.gov/

Verification Policy

Verification is a process by the Department of Education and colleges to ensure information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Because students sometimes make errors on their application, there is a process for verifying applications and making corrections. Institutions that participate in Federal Title IV aid programs are REQUIRED by federal regulations to perform verifications on selected students. Students can be randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. Other students may be selected by the school, if conflicting information or discrepancies are present on the FAFSA. CEI reserves the right to verify the student records as deemed necessary.  

Students selected for verification will be notified by the Department of Education on their Student Aid Report (SAR). CEI Financial Aid Office will also send weekly and bi-weekly email notifications to the students’ email address, upon receipt of their FAFSA or selection for verification. Once students are admitted, all correspondence will be sent via their CEI email.

Students selected for verification will be required to submit certain documents to the CEI Financial Aid Office, before financial aid eligibility can be determined. Requested documents will be listed on CEI Student Self-Service. To verify that the information provided is correct, the Financial Aid Office will compare the FAFSA with the requested documents. If there are differences, the FAFSA information may need to be corrected by the school to the Central Processing System (CPS). If conflicting information is detected during the review, additional documentation may be required from the student to resolve the discrepancies. Documents must be received, and all corrections must be returned from CPS before financial aid eligibility will be determined. Incomplete forms, documents or errors made can delay processing. Students should allow 3-4 weeks for processing. When all corrections, updates, and conflicting information have been resolved, a financial aid offer is generated (if a student is eligible) and a notification is sent to the student via their CEI email. Financial aid offer letters can be accessed on Student Self-Service.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require the student to meet and continue to meet some basic academic progress standards. The following are College of Eastern Idaho’s (CEI) Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policies and the colleges appeal process. 

Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility

Federal law requires that students must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree in order to be eligible to receive federal financial aid funds. These standards apply to all periods of attendance, even periods when students did not receive financial aid. Students must meet all requirements listed to be in good standing for financial aid.

Maximum Time Frame / Pace of Completion

Students must progress through their program to ensure that they will graduate within the maximum time frame or 150% of program credits. For example, an associate degree that requires 60 credits, the Maximum time frame would be 90 credits.

The Financial Aid Office will evaluate student records at the end of each semester to make sure they have not and will not exceed the 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 calculated to determine where they stand within the 150% maximum time frame.

Students graduating from one (1) program and beginning a new program will have their 150% maximum time frame restart for the new program.

Transfer credits count toward the Maximum Credits standard and in the credit completion Rate Standard for SAP except where noted. 

Academic

Students must be accepted into an eligible CEI program. Students must maintain at least a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and meet the academic standards of the institution. Workforce Training and Continuing Education courses are not eligible for federal financial aid.

Progress Eligibility

In addition to maintaining academic standards, all students will be required to satisfactorily complete (receive grades other than D+, D, D-, F, AU, CH, IC, S, I, or W), sixty-seven percent (67%) of all credits listed on the transcript, including transfer credits from other institutions.

Credits completed are defined as all classes for which a student received a passing grade or better. Repeated courses count as credits attempted during each term the student is enrolled in the course. They will be counted as completed each time a passing grade is received for the course.

Incompletes and withdrawals do not count as passing and are included in the credit completion rate calculation. Audit credits do not count as credits attempted or completed and will not be counted in the credit completion rate calculation.

Financial Aid and Repeat Course Work

Financial Aid can pay for unlimited repeats of a failed course as long as the student is meeting all other SAP requirements. Financial aid will assist the student when repeating a course (or its equivalent) if all previous attempts were failures, as long as those failures are graded courses.

A student can receive Title IV aid for a previously passed course only once as long as the student is receiving credit for the course. A student who previously passed a course and then subsequently failed the same course, any additional attempt of that course cannot be included in the student’s enrollment status for Title IV purposes.

For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an “F,” regardless of any school or program policy requiring a higher qualitative grade or measure to have been considered to have passed the course.

Incomplete Course Work

Incomplete (IC) grades do not count as passing grades and will be included in the credit rate calculation at the end of each semester. An IC is calculated as a (F). A student on an Incomplete Contract will have their Satisfactory Academic Progress re-evaluated by submitting an appeal, after the incomplete course is completed, within the designated time, and after the grade(s) change has been initiated by the Registrar.

To recalculate a student’s SAP retroactively for a completed payment period within the current award year, the student must submit a SAP appeal and that SAP appeal must be approved. The SAP appeal approval must make the student SAP-eligible (Satisfactory) retroactively to the start of a payment period within the current award year/academic year.

Please refer to the Grading   section for more information on Incomplete Grades.

Monitoring Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student’s satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if they are in compliance with the SAP policies. This review encompasses a student’s entire academic record, regardless of whether the student applied for or received financial aid.

Students not meeting these SAP standards will receive communication via their student email. Students should check Self-Service to view their progress by clicking on the “Satisfactory Academic Progress” link under the “Financial Aid Counseling” link.

Financial Aid Suspension

Students who receive federal financial aid but do not earn any credits for the term will be immediately suspended from receiving future financial aid. Students who completely withdraw from CEI during the course of a semester may be required to return a percentage of that semester’s federal financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Warning

The first time a student is not meeting the Academic or Progress requirements the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning. Students in Financial Aid Warning will still be eligible for financial aid for the following semester. Financial aid funds may be delayed the following term in order for prior term grades to be posted before federal aid can be released.

Any subsequent incidents of SAP violations will result in the suspension of financial aid eligibility. Students violating the Maximum Time Frame policy or zero credits earned, will be suspended financial aid with no warning period.

Reinstatement

Students suspended from financial aid may regain eligibility by:

  • Repaying any funds owed to CEI (see Cashier’s Office), or over-payments to the Department of Education
  • Attending additional semester(s) without the assistance of financial aid and;
  • Students must enroll in and successfully complete enough credits to meet academic standards as well as progress eligibility standards to be in compliance with Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) and be reinstated financial aid. The courses taken must be from the approved list of required courses for the student’s program of study.

Withdrawal Policy

Total Withdrawal

Students at CEI who receive federal financial aid and withdraw from all courses, will have financial aid calculated according to federal guidelines. This will help determine the largest refund to the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs or to the student.

CEI applies the Return of Title IV Funds Policy, outlined in the Federal Student Aid Handbook, to students who withdraw from all classes. The U.S. Department of Education regulates the management of these funds and in some cases, a student who receives Title IV aid but does not complete their coursework is considered to have not “earned” the Title IV aid they received. Affected students may be required to return the unearned portion of the federal aid they received.

All other federal financial aid recipients will have refunds calculated according to the State of Idaho’s or the U.S. Department of Education’s approved accrediting agency refund policies (if they exist). If no State or U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency refund policy exists, refunds will be calculated according to federal or institutional refund guidelines in order to determine the largest refund to the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs or to the student.

If a student contacts the CEI Financial Aid Office to withdraw, they will be referred to the Registrar’s Office to complete the withdrawal process. Students who want to withdraw from all courses need to complete the Total Withdrawal form found on the Registrar Form/Links.

Students who withdraw from one or more courses within the first week of school must notify the Financial Aid Office and return all over-awarded funds to the Cashier’s Office at the time of withdrawal. No adjustments to financial aid will be made after the first week of each semester. Students who do a total withdrawal from all of their courses after the first week of the semester are subject to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy of the federal government and may be required to return a portion of their awards. Students who receive financial award disbursements and do not attend classes are not eligible for funds and must return any award money received by the institution.

Withdrawal Policy for Module Courses

A module course is a course that does not span the entire sixteen (16) week semester. Students must be aware that there are financial consequences for early withdrawal or failure of a module course that may include payback of financial aid funds received. If a student enrolls in a module course and needs to withdraw from that course for ANY reason, they must do so through the Registrar’s Office.

In addition, if a module course is a prerequisite for another module course in the same term, the student must withdraw from the next module course(s) as well. If the student is receiving financial aid and is withdrawn from a module course prior to the start date the refund for that course will first be applied back to their financial aid balance. The financial aid monies received at the beginning of the semester are still the student’s responsibility to payback.

If the student is enrolled in another module course that does not have a prerequisite, they may remain in that module course as long as they speak with the Registrar’s department.

Return of Title IV Funds

The following procedures apply to federal Title IV financial aid recipients. CEI is required to determine the earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid the student was scheduled to receive.

Title IV aid is awarded and disbursed to students in anticipation of students’ successful completion of their courses and progression toward graduation. Student recipients of Title IV aid who do not complete the semester are impacted by applicable federal laws. Federal regulations do not override the institutional refund policy for students who have received federal financial aid.

A financial aid recipient who has completed more than 60% of the term is considered to have ‘earned all of his/her aid’. After the 60% point in the period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period. Students who receive federal aid and do not complete more than 60% of the semester must repay a portion of the ‘unearned’ aid immediately. The earlier a student withdraws, the less aid the student earns.

Federal regulations specify the following:

Withdrawal Date

For official withdrawals, the date a student withdraws from all classes is the date for the Return of Title IV Funds calculations, unless the student’s intent to withdraw on an alternate date is documented. If the student is not going to continue to attend school, they need to complete an official withdrawal as soon as the student decides to leave or stop attending classes. In the case of an unofficial withdrawal where the student did not complete the semester but took no action to officially withdraw, the institution determines the withdrawal date.

Refund Amounts

Federal regulations mandate the calculation of the amount CEI must return to Title IV programs when an aid recipient withdraws. The student may be required to repay CEI for funds the institution is required to return to the Federal Financial Aid Program in excess of the CEI refund amounts. The portion of the CEI refund that is greater than what must be returned to financial aid/scholarships/agencies will be returned to the student.

Repayment Obligations

If a student does not attend classes, the student needs to repay all financial aid. If the student has not attended classes they have not established eligibility for financial aid received and all financial aid must be repaid within 30 days. If the student attended classes, the institution will calculate the repayment based on federal regulations and requirements. The repayment calculation is based on the time the student attended the program, the withdrawal date, and the type of financial aid received. The calculations identify the financial aid you earn for the semester and the amount the institution and the student must return to the Title IV programs within 30 days.

Order of Return of Title IV Funds

When returning Title IV funds to the U.S. Department of Education, CEI returns them in a specific order per federal regulations:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loan
  2. Subsidized Direct Loan
  3. Parent PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  6. Other Student Title IV Aid Programs

Financial Aid Appeal Policy

Appeals Process

Students who have experienced academic difficulty due to extenuating circumstances that have prevented the student from achieving one or all of the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies, may appeal the denial of their financial aid. Some examples of extenuating circumstances might include: injury, illness, or death of an immediate family member, major hospitalization or medical condition of the student.

Students may appeal their financial aid denial in writing by completing the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form or the Maximum Credit Appeal form and return it to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal should address and document extenuating circumstances and describe how circumstances have changed so the student is able to be academically successful. Students must be registered for courses at the time the appeal is submitted. Incomplete appeals or those missing adequate documentation will be denied for missing information.

A Financial Aid Professional Staff Committee will review submitted appeals. In all cases, the outcome of any appeal depends on the nature of the circumstances, the quality of documentation provided, how the circumstances are being resolved or managed, and how well the student has demonstrated whether academic progress is being made toward earning a degree.

If the appeal is approved, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for the semester they are appealing. The student will be required to complete the courses as outlined on the degree plan.

At the conclusion of the semester, if the student has met the terms of the approved appeal but still do not meet the overall Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, the student will be required to appeal again to have their progress evaluated.

If the appeal is denied, the student may meet in person with the SAP Appeals Committee. This committee’s decision will be the final decision.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

A Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal may be used in situations of medical hardship, death in the family, emergencies, and other extreme circumstances that affect the student’s satisfactory academic progress. The appeal form may also be used by students after they have attended a semester without financial aid and are requesting reinstatement of their aid although they may not be back within satisfactory academic progress requirements.

Maximum Credit Appeal

A Maximum Credit Appeal is to be used when a student exeeds the maximum time frame allowed by Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. The maximum number of credits allowed for a degree or certificate will be up to 150% of the credits needed to complete the degree. If the student does not successfully complete the conditions of the appeal the student may be denied further financial assistance.

Professional Judgment Policy

Professional Judgments

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not provide families with a place to explain unusual circumstances affecting their ability to pay for the student’s education. The Federal Need Analysis Methodology (FM) is a rigid formula with no provisions for exceptions. To remedy this, Congress, through The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1992, delegated to school’s financial aid administrators to make professional judgment decisions when there are special or unusual family or student circumstances that may call for adjustments in determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Circumstances requiring professional judgment will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and will require documentation.

Professional judgment refers to the authority of a school’s financial aid administrator to make adjustments to the data elements on the FAFSA, the Cost of Attendance (COA) or the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation.

The Financial Aid Office may exercise professional judgment and change elements in the federal need analysis to account for circumstances that they feel have not been adequately considered in the original FAFSA. The Director for Financial Aid has the final authority in making professional judgment decisions. Their decision cannot be appealed. By law, neither the school’s president nor the U.S. Department of Education can override the financial aid administrator’s decision.  (Higher Education Act of 1965, Section 479A and 480(d) (7).

Circumstances that may qualify for a professional judgment decision include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Parent’s death or divorce for dependent students; death of or divorce from spouse of independent students.
  • Significant loss of income/loss of employment
  • Loss of untaxed income/benefits (e.g. disability, child support, or other benefits)
  • Excessive medical expenses (not covered by insurance)
  • One-time taxable income used for life changing event (e.g. IRA, pension distribution)
  • Extraordinary dependent care expenses
  • Transportation costs for college
  • Housing changes due to homelessness
  • Parental abandonment, incarceration, risk of contact, abuse, etc.
  • Human trafficking, refugee or asylee status
  • Other special circumstances not listed

Circumstances that do not qualify as unusual or special circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Parents refusing to contribute to your education.
  • Parent unwilling to provide information for the FAFSA or documents for verification
  • Parents not claiming you as a dependent for income taxes
  • Student demonstrating total self-sufficiency
  • Mortgage payments
  • Car payments
  • Credit card or other personal debts
  • Vacation expenses
  • All other discretionary expenses

The reason for the adjustment must relate to the student’s unusual or special circumstances and must be documented in the student’s file. A student will be asked to complete an appeal form, listed below, if the circumstance merits. A student will be asked to provide documentation supporting the request. Some extenuating circumstances will only apply during the student’s active attendance (e.g., daycare costs, rent, gas, etc.).

Special Circumstances Appeals

The Special Circumstances Appeal form is to be used by students or parents of dependent students who have had loss of income or to change the financial information on the FAFSA. Such changes could impact the Expected Family Contribution or Cost of Attendance. These situations could include: changes to family income, unemployment, housing change due to homelessness, death of a parent, divorce of a parents, divorce of a student, medical expenses that affect income, etc.

Unusual Circumstances Appeal

Federal financial aid regulations require the family to take primary responsibility for meeting the educational costs of students. Financial aid eligibility is determined by using both the student and parent financial information for students who are considered dependent according to the federal government criteria. To be considered and receive federal financial aid, dependent students are required to provide parental information and signature(s).

In certain unusual circumstances, the Financial Aid Office can consider a student that cannot obtain the parental information required, to be an independent student. To be considered independent, a student must complete and submit an Unusual Circumstance Appeal Form and the appropriate documentation to the Financial Aid office.

Marital Status Appeal

The Department of Education determines a student’s status as dependent or independent based on the information received from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, there are situations such as a student marrying before or during a given FAFSA year that can change the student’s dependency status. Students that want to appeal their single or married status must complete both the Special Circumstances Appeal and the Unusual Circumstances Appeal.

These Appeals will be used to determine the student’s eligibility for an award year. The Financial Aid Office will review the student’s appeals by examining the supporting documentation provided by the student and will approve or deny the student’s request.

Veteran’s Services

The Veteran’s Services webpage https://www.cei.edu/financial-aid/veterans-services contains information on how to apply for benefits, what is required, what to do each semester, and provides links to helpful websites and information.

Applications for benefits should be completed online at www.va.gov. GI Bill® Veterans are required to provide their “Certificate of Eligibility (COE)” to the Certifying Official at CEI along with a copy of the veteran’s DD-214 and Veteran Request for Certification Form. CEI does not participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

CEI accepts transfer credits from military transcripts of education and training courses students have taken while in the military. CEI follows the credit recommendations of ACE (American Council on Education); these recommendations can be found in the Guide to Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Credit for these courses will be applied to the student’s account 5-10 business days after receiving the official military transcript. Most courses will be used to fulfill general elective requirements; those that are more specific to a degree requirement will need approval from the appropriate dean.

Military transcripts for Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard can be ordered from https://jst.doded.mil using most internet browsers. Military transcripts for the Air Force can be ordered through the Air University, Community College of the Air Force Transcripts (CCAF) website https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF/.

Please refer all benefit questions to the Financial Aid Office. Students may also receive additional Veteran’s Services at the Armed Forces Center.

Veteran Students looking to use their VA Education Benefits need to provide the following documents to the School Certifying Official.

  • DD-214
  • Certificate of Eligibility
  • Veteran Request for Certification
  • Joint Service Transcripts

If the service member is still enlisted and wishes to use Tuition Assistance, then additional documentation may be requested, such as, but not limited to the service members social security number. Veterans students will be asked to complete the Veteran Request for Certification Form each semester.

Enrollment Status 

For enrollment verification to the Veteran’s Administration, only credits that are required to satisfy graduation requirements* of the current certificate or degree program in which the student is enrolled will be used for enrollment status and eligibility. The following chart will be used: 

Status Credits Required
Full Time 12+, 6+ in summer
3/4 Time 9-11, 4-5 in summer
1/2 Time 6-8, 3 in summer
Less than 1/2 Time Fewer than 6, Fewer than 3 in Summer

*Only exceptions for additional courses that are in-program that may not count towards graduation can be made for the final term a VA student is expecting to graduate or complete a certificate. The VA calls this exception rounding out. The student needs to discuss this exception with the VA School Certifying Official for more information or to see if they are eligible.

Veteran’s Residency

Pursuant to Public Law 117-68 amendments and in compliance with Section 702 & 301 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 requires the Veteran’s Administration to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill, Chapter 31, Veteran Readiness and Employment, Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill, Chapter 35, Dependence and Education Assistance Program, and active duty service members at public institutions of higher learning if the school charges qualifying Veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015.

In support of student Veterans and in order for CEI’s currently eligible programs to remain approved for the VA’s GI Bill® programs, CEI will charge in-state tuition to all non-resident students who can prove to the institution that they meet the eligibility criteria set forth under Section 3679(c) of Title 38, United States codes.

For those that have moved to Idaho and have resided in Idaho for less than a year, will need to complete an in-state waiver through the Registrar’s Office, to receive the in-state tuition rate for residents. This is a requirement per Idaho State legislation and CEI policy.

Veteran In-State Residency Requirements

  • A member of the Armed Forces who entered service as an Idaho resident, has maintained Idaho resident status, but is stationed outside the state of Idaho on military orders.
  • A Veteran, Service Member, or Dependent that is planning on moving to the state the institution is located.
  • A member of the Armed Forces stationed in Idaho on military orders.
  • An officer or enlisted member of the Idaho National Guard.
  • A person separated, under honorable conditions, from the Armed Forces after at least 90 days of service in the active military, naval, air, or space service. A member of the armed forces or who has been honorably discharged and is living in the state in which the institution is located.

In-Residency and Online Courses 

Distance Learning (as defined by the VA)-Training which uses one or more technologies to deliver instructions who are separate from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the student and the instructor, synchronously or asynchronously. 

  • Web-based learning 
  • One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics or satellite 
  • Audio conferencing or other forms of wireless communications devices 
  • Online is categorized as courses that only utilize the above technologies. 

In-Residence (In-Person) Courses-These courses meet in person for at least one standard class session (i.e. one 50-minute class) but do not need to meet weekly. In-residence courses can generally be identified because they have a building and room number. 

Taking online courses can affect Post-9/11 Housing Allowance. 

Post-911 Students Online and In-Residence Impacts 

Individuals only enrolled in distance learning courses (i.e. online courses) are eligible for an MHA equal to 50% of the national average of all BAH rates. 

For clarification this is taking the national average and cutting it in half. 

A Veteran or dependent with Transfer of Eligibility under Post-9/11 benefits can take at least one In-Residence course to receive their full housing allowance for the region. Example: A Veteran student takes one (1) course in-residence (in-person) and then takes nine (9) courses that are fully online, to complete a full-time course load, then that student can receive their full housing allowance. 

Veteran or Dependents with Transfer of Eligibility under Post-9/11 education benefits who are taking a majority of online courses should always check with their School Certifying Official and Academic Advisor to ensure that they understand the impact their courses will have on their benefits. 

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.