Applying for Financial Aid

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Student Financial Services is here to help you invest in your future. We offer many financial aid choices for undergraduate, degree completion, credential and graduate students. It's a good idea to apply for financial aid at the same time that you apply for admission to FPU. Although we won't review your financial aid information until after your admission application is filed, you can still apply for financial aid before you have been admitted to FPU.  Learn more about your options at FPU by choosing a category below so that you can start the process of applying for aid and reaching your goals.

What is it?

Financial aid is based on the premise that you, and in the case of dependent students, your parents are primarily responsible for providing for your educational expenses, and it is intended to supplement student and family contributions toward educational costs. Financial aid comes from many sources, including federal and state government, private organizations, and Fresno Pacific University’s institutional funds. These funds consist of grants, scholarships, federal work study, subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, and parent loans.

Who is eligible?

Fresno Pacific University uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your financial need and eligibility for various programs. Your financial aid award is designed to meet as much of your financial need and eligibility as possible, and is determined by your need level as determined by the FAFSA, and by the availability of funds. Fresno Pacific University offers merit-based scholarships, as well as need and non-need based financial aid. For a complete list of federal eligibility requirements, visit theFederal Student Aid website.

International Students

FPU offers and administers a number of scholarships for qualified international students. Scholarship and award information for newly admitted and continuing students, undergraduate and graduate students can be found in FPU Scholarships. Please note that international students are not eligible for U.S. federal financial aid.

How do I apply?

To apply for federal aid you must:

  1. Make sure you meet federal eligibility requirements to receive financial aid.
  2. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), applying as soon as possible after October 1 using previous year tax data (for example the 2017/18 application will use 2015 tax information). You (and your parents if applicable) may estimate your income information as accurately as possible in order to complete the form and submit it by the Fresno Pacific University priority deadline of March 2. Improvements to the FAFSA application process now allow for direct data download from your IRS return! Follow the prompts while completing the application to authorize this information exchange. Always remember that there is no fee to apply for federal aid.
  3. List Fresno Pacific University on your FAFSA application using our school code, 001253.
  4. The priority FAFSA application deadline for California is March 2nd. This date is used to determine eligibility for some need-based aid programs as well as State and Institutional funds. Applications received after the priority deadline will still be eligible for federal aid such as the Pell Grant and Direct Loans. Graduate students are not eligible for federal grants.
  5. Apply for admission to Fresno Pacific University: Apply Online. You will not be considered for any financial aid award until you have applied to the University.

Applying as a Transfer Student

When transferring to another institution, it is important to understand that a financial aid award is not always fully transferable to other schools; each institution may award you different amounts and types of aid. Awards are determined by eligibility, the cost of attendance at each school, and the total number of aid dollars available at each school. To begin the process of requesting aid at a different institution, simply add your new school’s code to the FAFSA, that school will then receive your FAFSA application and begin the process of awarding you financial aid.

You should also contact the financial aid office of the school you will be attending to determine:

  • their aid application procedures
  • what aid is available
  • what forms may be required
  • if you must be admitted before your file will be reviewed

Also allow a reasonable amount of time for the necessary paperwork to be processed. Be sure to follow through with the process by staying in touch with the school to make sure paperwork has been received and your file is complete.

Transferring to Fresno Pacific University

To start the financial aid process at Fresno Pacific University you must first have applied for admission. Below is a helpful checklist to make sure your transition is smooth and successful.

  1. Apply for admission to Fresno Pacific: Apply Online.
  2. Add Fresno Pacific to your financial aid application (FAFSA) by adding our school code (001253) online at or by calling the FAFSA processor at 1-800-433-3243 FREE.
  3. Contact your current school's financial aid office and cancel any financial aid for subsequent terms. You cannot receive aid at more than one school at a time so it is critical that this process occur.
  4. Once your FAFSA has been received you will receive an award notification, or a request for additional information from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships via email.
  5. Turn in any information that is requested by financial aid.
  6. Accept your financial aid award.

Applying for Scholarships

Fresno Pacific is committed to recruiting and retaining motivated, diverse, and driven students. In an effort to assist with the expenses involved in a high caliber education, incoming students are automatically considered for scholarships based on their application for admission and completion of the scholarship portion of the application at the time of admission and prior to the February 1 deadline.

Where to look for other scholarships

State aid in California includes the Cal Grant (for CA residents) and many additional opportunities can be found at the CSAC(California State Aid Commission) website.

Institutional aid includes scholarships based on need, merit, and extracurricular activities. 

Private aid includes scholarships and aid given by outside agencies and can include such places as churches, labor unions, service groups; like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, your local community, your parents place of employment, and professional organizations in your major, i.e. Society of Women Engineers. Also go to your local city or county library for scholarship books, or find opportunities on the Internet search using various criteria. A little time spent researching can pay off in the end!

International Students

FPU offers and administers a number of scholarships for qualified international students. Scholarship and award information for newly admitted and continuing students, undergraduate and graduate students can be found in FPU Scholarships. Please note that international students are not eligible for U.S. federal financial aid.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study is a Federal aid program administered by FPU Student Financial Services. Eligibility is need-based and limited to students with exceptional financial need. Part-time federal work-study employment gives you the opportunity to earn money during the school year to help pay for educational costs including rent, books, food, and personal expenses.

If you have been awarded Federal work-study funds, and have accepted them, we encourage you to take advantage of the work-study opportunities during the upcoming year, and hope this information helps you find a federal work-study job. NOTE: If you have not been awarded federal work-study, you can still work on campus in a regular student job.

When do I apply?


Now is a good time to start searching for scholarships for the next year. There are many resources available to aid you in your search, such as the Fresno Pacific Scholarship Page, and a number of online search engines as well! Be sure you keep up on any deadlines that are tied to scholarships to insure you don’t miss out on an opportunity!


The FAFSA application is available for submission beginning January 1st. You can submit your FAFSA using estimated amounts and update it later once your taxes are complete. The initial filing date is used to determine your status date for funds with limited availability (Funds such as Pell Grant and Direct/PLUS loans are not affected by an early deadline). Be sure you are as accurate as possible with your estimates, as we will award your initial financial aid based on your estimates. Should your updated tax information change your eligibility, your aid award will be revised accordingly. FPU's FAFSA Priority Deadline is March 2nd! This is the date used for awarding limited funds. FAFSA applications submitted after March 2nd will still be eligible for federal financial aid such as the Pell Grant, and Direct Loans.

Cal Grant-Awarded by the California State Aid Comission (CSAC), the Cal Grant is available to California residents and Fresno Pacific is notified of your eligibility by CSAC. The FAFSA application is required to be submitted by March 2nd to be considered for an award. Cal Grants are awarded first-come, first-served, according to eligibility criteria and application date until funds are depleted. We encourage all applicants to submit their FAFSAs as close to January 1st as possible to be considered. For more information, visit the CSAC website.


California State FAFSA Priority Filing Deadline is March 2nd! FAFSA applications submitted after March 2nd will still be eligible for federal financial aid such as the Pell Grant, and Direct Loans.

Private Loans

Private Supplemental/Alternative Loan – You may need additional funding for school and opt to apply for funding through a private lending agency. Always remember to borrow federal financial aid first! Private/Alternative loans can have a higher interest rate and a credit check must be done on all applicants. Fresno Pacific University cannot recommend private lenders, but we have provided additional information on questions to ask and things to consider on our Private Loans Information page. Our best advice is for you to explore options with a lender you may already do business with and feel comfortable using. We also recommend doing your research before signing on the dotted line to be sure that you will not be in for any surprises later. The Federal Student Aid website provides some additional information on how to avoid deceptive offers. The article can be found in its entirety here.