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Financial Aid Information
The Financial Aid Office at Biola University is dedicated to helping students gain access to Christian higher education, especially those who would be unable to attend Biola without aid. It is our desire to provide financial assistance to students with demonstrated need, within the limits of the University's resources.
With this goal in mind, Biola holds to the following financial aid philosophy:
We will partner with the student and his or her family to arrange financing for the student's education, using the family's resources, the government's resources, and Biola's resources.
Demonstrated need will be measured by a consistent and equitable need-analysis system. To be fair to all students seeking aid, need must be based objectively on a family's financial resources, not their willingness to pay.
Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and we will use our professional judgment to determine when adjustments should be made.
Biola University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color or national and ethnic origin in administration of its scholarship and loan programs. For further information on any of the items in this section, please visit the Financial Aid Office website.
Undergraduate Financial Aid
All students who want to be considered for need-based aid are required to file a FAFSA (or Dream Act Application, for AB540 eligible students).
Biola University Award (Biola University Grant for Dream Act students)
The University will provide a Biola University Award to students with exceptional need and limited resources. The Biola University Award is based partially on academic performance, incoming GPA (freshmen and transfers) and SAT or ACT scores (freshmen only). A FAFSA application (or Dream Act Application) is required each academic year. Awards are granted on a first come, first served basis, and are dependent on availability of funds.
Academic Scholarships ($3,000–$18,000)
This is awarded to incoming freshmen and transfer students, based on high school or college GPA, and SAT/ACT scores. Students are notified of the award at time of acceptance to Biola. The scholarship is renewable if GPA requirement and all other eligibility requirements are met (as outlined in scholarship policy).
Pastor and Missionary Dependent Scholarships (up to $1,000)
This is a need-based scholarship awarded to eligible dependent children of pastors or missionaries. Dependent children of pastors or missionaries must file a FAFSA and the appropriate requested paperwork (available on the Financial Aid website) to receive this scholarship. Biola employee dependent tuition waiver recipients are not eligible. Available only to students who entered Biola during or after Fall 2012.
LEAD Scholarship ($2,000–$6,500)
Awarded to students who have developed a personal understanding of their own ethnic background and have engaged in activities that promote multi-ethnic awareness, learning, and celebration within the context of the United States. Must have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA and/or cumulative transfer GPA of 2.5. Requires participation in LEAD program. Please contact Undergraduate Admissions for details on the application deadline.
Community Service Scholarship ($2,000–$5,000)
Awarded to freshmen and transfer students who have demonstrated outstanding spiritual leadership and services in their community. Renewable with demonstrated leadership involvement and services at Biola. Student must file a FAFSA application. Available only to students who entered Biola prior to Fall 2014.
Alumni Dependent Scholarship (Up to $1,000 per student)
Awarded to dependents of persons who have completed 30 credits of coursework at Biola University (including Talbot School of Theology, Rosemead School of Psychology, or Cook School of Intercultural Studies). Tuition Waiver eligible faculty and staff dependents are not eligible for this scholarship.
FirstGen Scholars Program Scholarship ($2,500)
Scholarship awarded as part of a program for select incoming first generation students. Applicants must file FAFSA or Dream Act Application, along with application by for the program by deadline to be considered. Requires involvement in FirstGen Scholars Program.
Church Matching Scholarship (Up to $1,300)
Biola will match up to two church checks per year for a total match of up to one award per year up to $1,300 for a full-time student demonstrating need. Some programs may not be eligible. Program availability information available on the Financial Aid website. Each church's check must be submitted along with the Church Matching Scholarship Application. Fall semester deadline is October 1. Spring semester deadline (for spring entrants only) is March 1. No exceptions are made to the deadline and funds are awarded as available. A FAFSA must be filed by the deadline for all US Citizens and non-citizens who are eligible for federal financial aid. Dream Act eligible students must complete the California Dream Act Application. The student must demonstrate financial need as demonstrated by the FAFSA or Dream Act Application. International students enrolled at Biola on a F-1 or R-1 visa are exempt from the FAFSA requirement.
President's Award (100% tuition)
This is awarded to one graduating senior at Biola with the intention to graduate at the end of the school year required, along with a minimum 3.60 GPA, attendance at Biola for at least two years as well as personal qualifications. Determined by committee nomination.
Teaching Credential Grant
This award is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA or Dream Act Application, and is for post baccalaureate Teaching Credential students only. Up to $2,750 per year. Funds are limited to availability and are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Awarded by the Conservatory of Music to music majors for outstanding performance and scholastic capabilities. The scholarship must be used for the area in which the applicant auditioned. Recipients may also be required to participate in an ensemble.
Offered to students who demonstrate outstanding ability and achievement in a particular sport. Awarded by the Athletic Department.
Offered to participants on the school's competitive speech team. Students awarded this scholarship do not need to be communication majors. Awarded by the Communication Studies Department.
Biological Sciences Scholarships
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Biology/Science Department.
Cinema and Media Arts Scholarships
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Cinema and Media Arts Department.
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Communication Studies Department.
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Media, Journalism and Public Relations Department.
Public Relations Scholarships
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Media, Journalism & Public Relations Department.
Offered to students who are highly involved with the Chimes (Biola's student newspaper). Awarded by the Media, Journalism and Public Relations Department.
Communication Disorders Scholarship
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Clinical Nursing Scholarships
Offered to students who demonstrate a high level of achievement within this major. Awarded by the Nursing Department.
Federal Aid to Students
Federal Pell Grant Program
A federal program designed to assist students with high financial need. The maximum grant is $5,920 for 2017-18.
Federal TEACH Grant (Up to $4,000)
A federal program for eligible financial aid recipients. Applicants must fulfill 4 years of teaching in a specific program emphasis at an eligible Title 1 school within 8 years of program completion. Failure to fulfill these requirements will result in the grant converting into an unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. To apply, students must complete online Entrance Counseling, as well as the Agreement to Serve on the following website.
The Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is a campus-based federal aid program, and is designed to assist the neediest undergraduate students. Must be eligible for Pell Grant. Based on availability of funds. Up to $2,000.
Federal Work Study
This program allows students, who obtain certain on-campus jobs and exhibit need, to have their income "protected" from the subsequent year's FAFSA calculation. Federal funds pay 75% of a student's wages, while the University pays the remaining 25%. Wages paid to students in the work study program vary according to the student's qualifications and duties performed. The University cannot guarantee a job for every student. A limited number of community service job opportunities are also available.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Perkins Loan is a need-based loan program offered to early financial aid applicants. The loan is subsidized (interest-free while enrolled), and has a 5% fixed interest rate once in repayment. Based on availability of funds, and only available for prior recipients who remain in the same academic program (major).
Repayment of Perkins Loan begins nine months after graduation or withdrawal from school. If the total amount is paid within nine months of graduation, interest will not accrue. Payments may be extended over a 10-year period at 5% interest on the unpaid balance. Members of the armed forces on active duty and students who transfer to other schools to complete undergraduate or graduate work, may defer payment and interest and extend the repayment period.
The Biola Loan is a need-based loan program offered to early financial aid applicants. The loan is subsidized (interest-free while student is enrolled), and has a 5% fixed interest rate.
Repayment begins nine months after ceasing to be a regular student at Biola University. If the total amount is paid within nine months of graduation, interest will not accrue. Payments may be extended over a 10-year period at 5% interest of the unpaid balance.
Federal Nursing Loan
The Nursing Loan is a need-based loan program offered to students accepted into the Clinical portion of the Nursing Program who are early financial aid applicants. Nursing students in the 2017–18 year will be eligible for $4,000 in Federal Nursing Loans, regardless of whether they are Level I, II, or III. 5% interest rate.
Repayment begins nine months after ceasing to be a regular student at Biola University. If the total amount is paid within nine months of graduation, interest will not accrue. Payments may be extended over a 10-year period at 5% interest of the unpaid balance. Members of the armed forces on active duty, Peace Corps volunteers and students who pursue further Nursing training may defer payment and interest and extend the repayment method.
Federal Direct Student Loans
Federal Direct Student Loans are awarded to students after they have filed their FAFSA and submitted all requested paperwork to the financial aid office (including the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note required for the loan).
The program allows students to borrow up to $9,500 as freshmen, $10,500 as sophomores and up to $12,500 as juniors and seniors, depending on borrower’s dependency status. Portions of these amounts may be subsidized (interest paid by the government while student is enrolled at least half time) based on the student's "financial need" as demonstrated on the FAFSA. Post baccalaureate Teaching Credential students are eligible for up to $12,500, and may qualify to have $5,500 of the amount subsidized. Funds are disbursed directly from the government to the student's Biola account. The student may defer repayment until six months after graduation. See the financial aid website for current interest rates. Standard repayment period is 10 years.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial aid. See Financial Aid website for current interest rates.
State Aid to Students
Cal Grants are awarded by the State of California to students who meet state residency, GPA and financial need requirements. To be considered for the Cal Grant, first time applicants must file a FAFSA form and a GPA verification form to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) by the March 2nd deadline. Current Cal Grant recipients applying to renew their Cal Grant do not need to file the GPA Verification Form, but do need to complete a FAFSA.
Students who are eligible for consideration under AB540 legislation should file a California Dream Act application, rather than a FAFSA, by the March 2nd deadline. Such students should follow the same guidelines listed above for GPA verification.
Students attending Biola can qualify for either the Cal Grant A awarded to students from low or middle-income households) or the Cal Grant B (awarded only to students from low income households). Students attending Biola are not eligible for the Cal Grant C program (awarded to students enrolled in a recognized career or technical program only).
Graduate Financial Aid
The following aid programs are available to graduate students.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Maximum $20,500 per year ($33,000 for Rosemead students)
Federal Direct Student Loans are awarded to students after they have filed their FAFSA and submitted all requested paperwork to the financial aid office (including the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note required for the loan). See financial aid website for current interest rates. Standard repayment period is 10 years.
Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan
Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial aid, including any Direct Unsubsidized Loans for which a student may be eligible. See the Financial Aid website for current interest rates.
Graduate Grant (Talbot Graduate Grant, Rosemead Graduate Grant, School of Education Grant, Cook Graduate Grant)
This award is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Up to $3,000 per year depending on graduate school of enrollment. Funds are limited to availability and are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Church Matching Scholarship (Up to $750 from Biola)
Biola will match up to two church checks per year for a total match of up to $750 for a full-time student demonstrating need. The match is prorated for a part-time student. Not available to students in these programs: Doctor of Ministry, Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics, Master of Arts in Science and Religion, Talbot Doctor of Philosophy, or other special programs.
Each church's check must be accompanied by the Church Matching Scholarship Application signed by the pastor or church official. Fall semester deadline is October 1. Spring semester deadline (for Spring entrants only) is March 1. International students on an F-1 or R-1 visa are exempt from the FAFSA requirement. Dream Act eligible students must complete the California Dream Act Application.
Determined by each graduate school. For scholarship opportunities, contact the graduate school of attendance.
General Financial Aid Information
The following apply to both undergraduate and graduate aid applicants.
Biola University is authorized as an institution to grant benefits to veterans and dependents of veterans, social security benefits and assistance from the California Rehabilitation Program. Students interested in this type of aid should contact the Office of the Registrar.
Biola will notify all new students of their Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility on their Financial Aid Award Letter. Continuing students will be notified of their Direct Student Loan eligibility on my.Biola, once all required paperwork is completed.
PLUS loans and private loans require separate applications, and the student must initiate to process. See the Financial Aid website for more details.
International applicants who hold an F-1 visa must establish the degree of their ability to meet the costs of an education at Biola University. Each international applicant must submit a signed statement of financial responsibility as well as signed statements from any agencies or individuals who have taken the responsibility of underwriting the student's expenses. These statements must include the exact amount of the commitment. Inquiries regarding financial aid for international students should be directed to the Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions Offices for new students, and to the Financial Aid Office for continuing students.
The University maintains an employment office for the benefit of students needing part-time work. While this office does not guarantee employment, it does make an effort to place every student desiring work in a position.
Jobs are available both on and off campus, according to student's ability, and their capacity to handle the added burden of employment. Student worker positions range from 10–20 hours per week.
Application for Aid
Students may apply for financial aid by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Biola University and the school code (001122) should be included on the appropriate sections. Dream Act eligible students must complete the California Dream Act Application.
All undergraduate California residents who have not already been paid a Cal Grant are encouraged to apply by filing a FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application as appropriate) and GPA Verification form before March 2. For students who have already been awarded a Cal Grant in the prior academic year, only a FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application as appropriate) is required.
Departmental Scholarship applications (i.e. music, athletics and forensics, etc.) are available from the academic departments only. In addition, a FAFSA may need to be filed unless a student can demonstrate disqualification for need-based aid.
Note: FAFSA and Plus and/or Private loan applications need to be re-filed for each academic year.
Deadlines for Filing
The following deadlines have been established for the various aid programs:
Cal Grant Programs
New Applicants: March 2
While there is not a "deadline" to apply for financial aid and students are allowed to apply throughout the academic year, resources are limited and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, students are encouraged to apply and complete their financial aid file as soon as possible after the various applications and documents become available.
Financial Aid Disbursements
All financial aid is awarded for the academic year; one half is applied to a student's school account each semester (unless stated otherwise). Students enrolled for only one semester are entitled to only that semester's award after it is adjusted to a one-semester expense budget. Financial Aid is not awarded for Summer term, except sources that are mandated by federal regulations.
Financial Aid Withdrawal/Return of Aid Policy
Biola University's "Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy" is employed when a student withdraws prior to completing 60% of the semester. Financial aid adjustments caused by a change in semester enrollment status (student remains enrolled in at least one course) are not included in this policy, but are addressed in the Financial Aid Handbook.
If a recipient of financial aid withdraws during a period of enrollment, the amount of financial aid earned will be calculated according to regulations and policies established for the various categories of aid. The unearned aid will be returned to the various aid sources. These sources include:
Title IV Financial Aid: Most types of government aid are included in this category, i.e. Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Student Loan, Direct PLUS Loan (Work Study is not included in the withdrawal calculation).
State Aid: Includes Grants awarded by the California Student Aid Commission, i.e. Cal Grant A, B.
Institutional Aid: Includes all sources of financial aid awarded by Biola University, i.e. scholarships, grants and campus-based loans.
Outside Assistance: Includes any aid received from outside organizations, i.e. churches, civic organizations, Employee Tuition Waivers, private foundations, scholarship associations, etc.
When a student wishes to withdraw from Biola University, a "Departure Card" must be obtained from and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The official withdrawal date is the earlier of either the date the student begins the withdrawal process, or the date the student provided official notification of the intent to withdraw, and received acknowledgment of the same from the Office of the Registrar.
Students who unofficially withdraw (fail to submit departure card, but stop attending class) will be given an official withdrawal date determined by the last date of class attendance. If the last date of attendance cannot be determined, the official withdrawal date will be the 50% point of the semester.
Return of Aid
Title IV Aid: Federal aid must be returned to the Title IV program(s) if a student withdrew on or before completing 60% of the enrollment period (semester or term). The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester divided by the number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled breaks of more than four consecutive days are excluded.
Note: If prior to withdrawing, funds were released to a student because of a credit balance on the student's account, the student may be required to repay the federal funds back to Biola upon withdrawing.
State Aid: State aid must be returned in the amount of the difference between the State aid awarded for the enrollment period and the actual tuition charged once the tuition refund is reflected.
Institutional Aid: In most cases, institutional aid is reduced when a student withdraws during the first eight weeks of the semester. The institutional aid is reduced by the same percentage of tuition refund. For example, a student has a $1000 scholarship for the semester, and withdraws during the third week of the semester (80% tuition refund). The student keeps 20% of the scholarship, or $200; $800 is returned to the institution. Aid is usually not reduced after the eighth week of the semester, unless the student has contracted for the aid, i.e. scholarships for athletics, music.
Outside Aid: Outside organizations providing financial aid are contacted when a student withdraws and receives a tuition refund that produces a credit on the student account. The organization can decide if any of the aid must be returned to them. Some organizations specify beforehand the terms of their scholarship if a student withdraws. Unless requested, outside aid sources are not contacted when the withdrawal occurs after the eight week refund period.
Private/Alternative Loans: Alternative loans are only adjusted upon request of the student. Returning excess funds remains the responsibility of the student.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Students attending Biola University who wish to receive financial aid (including federal, state, Veterans benefits, Social Security benefits, etc.), in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria, must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their degree or certificate program as described below.
Quality of Progress "GPA Requirement"
Students requesting aid must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA as follows:
Minimum Cumulative GPA
- GPAs are reviewed at the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring, and Summer).
- Students who fail to maintain the minimum GPA will be given a warning status for one academic term, during which they will continue to receive financial aid. At the end of the term, the cumulative GPA requirements must be met, or the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended until they once again meet the applicable GPA requirement.
Quantity of Progress "Pace Requirement"
Students requesting aid must complete 67% of all credits attempted.
Pace is reviewed at the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring, and Summer).
Students who fail to maintain the pace requirement will be given a warning status for one academic term, during which they will continue to receive financial aid. At the end of the term, the Pace Requirement must be met, or the student’s financial aid eligibility will be suspended until they once again meet the requirement.
Duration of Progress "Maximum Time Frame"
Students requesting aid are expected to complete an academic program within a reasonable time frame (including transfer credits) as follows:
Full-time: 11 semesters
Part-time: 17 semesters
Full-time: 11 semesters
Part-time: 17 semesters
Time frame is reviewed at the end of each academic term (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Students may appeal for extended time by submitting a letter of petition to the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Suspension Appeals
Any student whose aid has been suspended may appeal for a term of aid probation, by completing the "Financial Aid Suspension Appeal Form," which is available on the financial aid website. By the end of the probation term, the student must meet all Satisfactory Academic Requirements, as specified above, to regain financial aid eligibility.