Types of Financial Aid

Federal Aid Eligibility Requirements

To apply for federal aid, a student must meet certain eligibility requirements including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number (some exceptions apply)
  • Be enrolled at least half-time for most federal aid programs
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress

A student must also complete all initial admission requirements for their program and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for every school year they are enrolled. For more details on eligibility, visit the Federal Student Aid website.


Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program may receive a Federal Pell Grant. Effective on July 1, 2012, students can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters or the equivalent. Students will receive notification from the federal government if they are near or have surpassed the limit. For more information, contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020.

Cal Grant

Cal Grants are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and are funded by the state of California. There are several types of Cal Grant awards. Students pursuing an undergraduate associate’s or bachelor’s degree or an occupational training program normally qualify for Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B Competitive Awards. The Cal Grant program utilizes the federal FAFSA form to determine eligibility, requiring students to meet a March 2 submission deadline. Verification of a high school GPA is required as well.

  • Cal Grant A Competitive awards are for students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are from low- or middle-income families. These awards help pay tuition and fees at qualifying schools with academic programs that are at least two years in length.
  • Cal Grant B Competitive awards are for students with a minimum 2.0 GPA who are from disadvantaged and low-income families. These awards can be used for tuition, fees, and access costs at qualifying schools with programs that are at least one year in length. If you get a Cal Grant B Competitive Award, it can be used only for access costs in the freshman year. These costs include living expenses, transportation, supplies, and books. Beginning the second year, you can use your Cal Grant B Competitive Award to help pay tuition and fees at public or private four-year colleges or other qualifying schools.
  • Cal Grant B Access awards are designated for costs including living expenses, transportation, supplies, and books.

Azusa Pacific University will transfer the eligible access award to the student’s account and apply it toward the outstanding balance. Students have the right to request, in writing, a refund of the access award in lieu of transferring it to pay the outstanding balance on a student account. If the award is transferred prior to the written request, the request will be honored for future disbursements.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) (Professional Undergraduate Students Only)

Professional undergraduate students may be eligible for FSEOG funds, eligibility for which is based upon the availability of funds and financial need at the time a student is awarded. Priority is given to Pell-eligible students. Azusa Pacific University receives a limited amount of FSEOG funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. FSEOG funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis within the term. These funds, known as a campus-based award, work differently from the Federal Pell Grant program, which provides funds to every eligible student.

Teaching Credential Cal Grants (Graduate Students Only)

Graduate students pursuing a teaching credential are eligible for a Teaching Credential Cal Grant if they received Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B as an undergraduate student and meet the following additional eligibility requirements:

  • Submit a FAFSA
  • Submit a G-44 form to the CSAC
  • Have received at least one payment in the Cal Grant A or B program as an undergraduate
  • Have received a bachelor’s degree or completed all required coursework for their bachelor’s degree
  • Be accepted to and enrolled in a teacher preparation program at a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)-approved institution within 15 months of the end of the term for which the recipient last received a Cal Grant payment
  • Have not received or submitted an application for an initial teaching credential, such as a Preliminary or Clear Credential
  • Maintain financial need for a Cal Grant renewal

Golden State Teacher Grant (Graduate Students Only)

The Golden State Teacher Grant provides up to $20,000 to students enrolled in a professional teacher preparation program who meet certain requirements. For more information, visit the CSAC website.

TEACH Grant (Graduate Students Only)

Azusa Pacific University offers the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant to qualified students who are enrolled in a program that prepares them for a career in teaching. Learn more about the TEACH Grant.

Federal Work-Study

Azusa Pacific University does not automatically package graduate and professional students with federal work-study, as graduate and professional programs are geared toward working professionals. If you are interested in federal work-study, contact the Student Services Center.


Federal Direct Loan

The Federal Direct Loan is a low-interest loan to help pay for the cost of a student’s education. The loan’s interest rate, determined by the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, is tied to the financial markets. Interest rates are determined each spring for new loans made for the award year which runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Each loan has a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. To be eligible for the Federal Direct Loan, a student must be admitted to a degree- or credential-seeking program. The student is required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN), complete loan entrance counseling prior to receiving the first disbursement, and loan exit counseling upon completing a program or dropping below half-time attendance. 

Note: APU professional undergraduate students are defined as undergraduate students by the Department of Education, since they are seeking a first-time bachelor’s degree. For the purpose of determining federal aid eligibility, APU professional undergraduate students should refer to the criteria for undergraduate students set forth by the Department of Education.

Three types of the Federal Direct Loan are available based upon a student’s aid eligibility as determined by the FAFSA and the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Subsidized loans are need-based and available to undergraduate students and teaching-credential/certificate-seeking graduate students who demonstrate sufficient need to be eligible for the loan. The interest is paid by the government while the student remains enrolled at least half-time and for a six-month grace period following withdrawal or graduation. Subsidized loans were eliminated for master’s and doctoral programs as of July 1, 2012. 

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

This is a non-need-based loan with interest starting to accrue upon disbursement. The student has the option to postpone payment of interest, which is then capitalized (added to the principal balance).

  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan

This is a non-need-based loan available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students based upon credit worthiness, with interest starting to accrue upon disbursement. Borrowers may borrow up to the cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) Be advised on the following regarding PLUS Loans:

  1. Graduate borrowers are advised to apply for the maximum amount of federal Direct Loans before pursuing PLUS Loans.
  2. Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and have a valid Social Security number.
  3. Must meet basic eligibility requirements of no adverse credit. Graduate students or parents of undergraduate students who cannot meet the requirements may be able to appeal the decision with the U.S. Department of Education or be eligible with a creditworthy endorser/cosigner.
  4. Repayment begins within 60 days of the last disbursement. The option to postpone payment is available for graduate students while in school at least half-time.

Continued Eligibility for All Federal Loans

Students must make satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving loans and financial aid. Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for more information.

Interest Rates and Fees

Interest rates for Federal Direct Loans are calculated yearly and are fixed for the life of the loan. Additionally, most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You’re responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.

Visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information and to view current interest rates and fees.

Annual Loan Limits

The Department of Education has set limits on the amount of subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and on the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). The actual loan amount you are eligible to receive each academic year may be less than the annual loan limit. These limits vary depending on what year you are in school and whether you are a dependent or independent student.

Professional Students

Dependent students completing a bachelor’s degree are eligible, depending on their FAFSA information, to receive:

  • Freshmen (0-29 units): $5,500 (up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized)
  • Sophomores (30-59 units): $6,500 (up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized)
  • Juniors and Seniors (60+ units): $7,500 (up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized)
  • Federal Parent PLUS: Up to the cost of attendance minus any federal, state, institutional, and outside aid

Independent students (or dependent students whose parents were denied a Parent PLUS loan) completing a bachelor’s degree are eligible, depending on their FAFSA information, to receive:

  • Freshmen (0-29 units): $9,500 (up to $3,500 of which may be subsidized)
  • Sophomores (30-59 units): $10,500 (up to $4,500 of which may be subsidized)
  • Juniors and Seniors (60+ units): $12,500 (up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized)

Graduate Students

Graduate students in master’s, doctoral, or gainful employment programs are eligible, depending on their FAFSA information, to receive:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized: Up to $20,500 (Doctor of Psychology students may be eligible for an increased annual loan limit)
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS: Up to the cost of attendance minus any federal, state, institutional, and outside aid
  • Independent teaching-credential/certificate-only students are eligible to receive up to $12,500 (up to $5,500 of which may be subsidized)

Loan Counseling Requirements

The federal government requires all borrowers to complete entrance counseling before they can receive their first direct subsidized loan, or direct unsubsidized loan as an undergraduate, or their first Direct PLUS Loan as a graduate student. Borrowers must also complete exit counseling at any point that they graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status. If you have any questions regarding direct loan counseling, contact the Student Services Center.

Private Student Loans

Private loans—unlike federal student loans, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education—are issued by a lender, bank, or credit union. Private student loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check and a cosigner, and do not provide many of the benefits of federal student loans. Federal direct loans generally have more favorable terms and conditions than private loans. We recommend that you utilize all federal direct loan eligibility before turning to private loans. Students who need additional funds beyond the federal direct loan should consider the Direct PLUS Loan (if applicable) before applying for a private loan.

APU’s private lender list is without prejudice and is for the sole benefit of students attending the institution. Employees responsible for processing loans adhere to a strict student loan code of conduct. Learn more about private student loans.

Note: For Washington state residents seeking information and resources about student loan repayment or seeking to submit a complaint relating to your student loans or student loan servicer, visit the Washington Student Achievement Council website or contact Student Loan Advocate at loanadvocate@wsac.wa.gov.

Nursing Student Loan (NSL)

Nursing students may also qualify for the HRSA funded Nursing Student Loan. Contact the School of Nursing for additional details about this opportunity.

Institutional and Outside Aid Resources

The university offers many institutional and outside aid resources to assist students in financing their education. Refer to the Student Services Center website for a full list of available options based on the student’s specific school and/or program. Keep in mind that:

  • All aid is subject to coordination with federal, state, and all other aid sources.
  • All aid is subject to the policies in this catalog and any other printed or online materials.
  • All aid is subject to availability of federal, state, institutional, and private funding.
  • All institutional aid and discounts are subject to change without notice.

Military Benefits

Veterans Affairs Benefits

Azusa Pacific University is an approved, degree-granting institution recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Eligible veterans and their dependents seeking educational training may qualify to use Title 38, Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35, and 1606. Refer to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for eligibility criteria.

APU proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans’ Educational Assistance Act of 2008. APU awards eligible students up to half the net cost of tuition not covered by the standard cap set yearly by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department of Veteran Affairs will then match APU’s contribution to provide full tuition coverage. In order to receive Yellow Ribbon Funds, the student must be 100 percent eligible under Chapter 33 of the GI Bill®.

To learn more about veterans benefits and the process to apply for them, visit the Student Services Center website.

Active-Duty Military Benefits

Azusa Pacific University is committed to advancing education opportunities for active-duty military members and their spouses. The university is prepared to assist you in utilizing your Military Tuition Assistance and also offers programs that are eligible for MyCAA financial assistance (see below).

Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit available to eligible active-duty members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Each service area has its own criteria for eligibility, application process, and restrictions. Learn more about the steps to apply for military tuition assistance.


The MyCAA program provides financial assistance to eligible military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification, or associate’s degree in a portable career field and occupation. It is a component of the Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program.

Follow the steps below to get started:

Principles of Excellence

Azusa Pacific University, including all regional campus locations and Los Angeles Pacific University, fully complies with Executive Order 13607 establishing Principles of Excellence for educational institutions serving service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members. For more information, see our Principles of Excellence webpage.