Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How will my financial aid change?
Answer: Financial aid will continue to be awarded based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). On the quarter system, financial aid awards are typically made for fall, winter, and spring. On the semester system, financial aid awards will be made twice per year, typically fall and spring. The total amount of the award for which you may be eligible will remain the same.
The 2012-13 award year will begin with fall semester 2012.
Question: Why is Washington State moving to a semester based academic calendar?
Answer: The Ohio Board of Regents called for such a conversion by all University System of Ohio (USO) institutions in its recent "Strategic Plan for Higher Education." WSCC is one of 17 institutions make the change from quarters to semesters so that all public colleges and universities will be on the semester system. The change will facilitate the transfer of credit across institutions.
Question: What if I don’t graduate until 2012?
Answer: If you plan to graduate on or before the end of summer term 2012, you will do so in the current quarter system. If you plan to graduate fall term 2012 or after, you will work with an academic adviser to create an individual advising plan that will lead to successful completion of your degree with both quarter and semester credit.
Question: Will tuition and fees be higher under a semester-based academic calendar?
Answer: The total cost of one year (nine months) of college will be about the same. Your tuition will be divided into two semesters rather than among three quarters. A shortened summer semester will also be offered for those who wish to study year-around.
Question: When will Washington State transition from a quarter- to semester-based academic calendar?
Answer: The transition process has already begun and the first semester courses will be offered in the fall term 2012. To view the 2012-13 academic year calendar, click here.
Question: What is the difference between a quarter- and a semester-based academic calendar?
Answer: The quarter system consists of three 11-week terms plus an 8-week summer term. The semester system will consist of two 16-week semesters plus an 8 or 10 week summer term.
Question: If I am a transition student, will my anticipated graduation date change as a result of the transition to a semester based academic calendar?
Answer: Working with an adviser, you will create an individual advising plan that will allow you to graduate within approximately the same time frame as you would have been able to complete under the quarter system. Start and end dates for semesters will be different from quarters, so there will be some variation. Variation will be greater for part-time students than for full-time students.
Question: How will this affect my winter and summer break schedules?
Answer: The fall semester term will start in August and conclude after Thanksgiving. The winter term will begin the second week of January and conclude in early May. The break between fall and winter terms will be shorter in the semester system than it is in the quarter system.
Question: If I am a transition student will I have to take more hours under a semester-based academic calendar?
Answer: You will work with an adviser to create an individualized quarters to semesters transition plan. In general, fewer semester credits are required to complete a degree than are required in the quarter system. The total number of semester hours you will need to complete will depend on how many quarter hours you have already completed.
Question: Who will be affected by the transition to a semester-based calendar?
Answer: Any student who has not yet completed a degree program by the start of fall semester 2012 will need to work with an adviser to create a quarters to semesters advising plan.
Question: What if I have specific questions about the effect of the transition on my academic progress?
Answer: Talk with your adviser, a department chair or a dean. WSCC wants to help make the transition as smooth as possible for you. Students are encouraged to maintain open lines of communication with their adviser to ensure completion of their individualized transition plan.