Financial Aid FAQs

What type of financial aid can I receive?

Undergraduate Students
For many undergraduate students, a broad range of financial aid is available—from scholarships and grants to loans.

Graduate Students
The primary source of graduate student aid from the federal government is the Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan Program. The federal Pell Grant and state grants are not available at the graduate level.

How do I apply for Federal Financial Aid?
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at If you completed a FAFSA last year, complete a renewal FAFSA. You must e-sign your FAFSA with your pin. Completion should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the main application for financial aid at Pacific Oaks College. The results of the FAFSA are used to calculate your financial aid award. The FAFSA is submitted to the federal Department of Education. A copy of it will be sent to the schools that you list on the FAFSA.

What is Pacific Oaks College's school code?

What is the easiest way to complete the FAFSA?
Completing a FAFSA paper worksheet then transferring the data to the FAFSA application online.

When should I complete/renew my FAFSA?
You should complete/renew your FAFSA annually, however, it is recommended that you complete your current tax forms prior to filing your FAFSA, so that you can retrieve your tax information directly on the FAFSA website. This option on your FAFSA will be available between seven and 10 business after you have submitted your federal tax return. The recommended date to complete the FAFSA is by March 1 of each year.

When will I receive an award letter?
If you are new to Pacific Oaks College, we will send you an award letter shortly after you are accepted to the College, as long as we have a complete FAFSA on file. If we need further information before we can award you, we will contact you.

My SAR says I am selected for verification. What should I do?
Pacific Oaks College will need tax documents from you. You may contact us immediately to provide the documents, or you may wait for us to notify you that we need them. You will also be required to fill out a Verification Worksheet. We will need your taxes, if you filed any, and your parent(s') taxes. We may also need W-2 forms.

What makes a student "independent"?
You are independent if you fall into one of these categories:

  • Graduate or Professional Student
  •  24 years of age or older
  •  Orphan or ward of the court
  •  Married
  •  Provide at least 50 percent of the support for a child of your own
  •  Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

There is a series of questions on the FAFSA that will determine your dependent/independent classification.

What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
A subsidized Stafford Loan is a loan in which the government pays the interest for a student while he/she is in school and during the grace period.

An unsubsidized Stafford Loan accrues interest immediately upon disbursement. However, a student does not have to start repaying it until six months after his/her last date of attendance. We recommend, however, that you pay the interest each month, which is about $30 to $50, to keep the interest down. When you leave school, the accrued interest on the unsubsidized loans will be capitalized (added to the principal). You will then pay interest on the interest that has been capitalized.

Why didn't I receive a subsidized Stafford Loan?
Your eligibility for a subsidized Stafford Loan is determined by the results of the FAFSA. The calculation also includes any other grants or scholarships that you may receive.

Can I get an early disbursement of my financial aid?
We do not offer early disbursements of loan money nor do we disburse emergency loans.

When will I receive my refund?
Refunds can be expected seven to ten business days after your financial aid is posted to your student account.  You cannot receive your refund prior to the start of any semester.  Please monitor your Intuit account for the most up-to-date information. 

How much is my refund?
Refunds are generated based on a credit balance created when the amount of your financial aid exceeds the total amount of your tuition and fees for the semester.  To determine your refund amount, subtract your tuition and fees charges from your scheduled financial aid. 

Is direct deposit available for refunds?
Yes, please complete the Direct Deposit Authorization for Financial Aid Refunds form.

What does "ACH" mean on my student account on Intuit?
ACH means your refund will be direct deposited to your bank account.

What does a stipend mean on my student account on Intuit?
A stipend means a refund check has been issued. Please allow seven to ten business days of processing time for this to be allocated.

What if my financial aid does not cover my tuition?
Please contact Office of Student Accounts to set up payment arrangements. 

What if I add or drop a class?
Students will be assessed the appropriate fees associated with his/her add or drop. A student may need to make an additional payment even if he/she has already received a financial aid refund check. An outstanding balance on your account as a result of adding or dropping a course may prevent you from obtaining transcripts or future course registration. You may view your student account balance and make payments via the Intuit.

I have a two holds—a transcript and registration hold. What does this mean?
It means you have a billing hold. This prevents you from registering for courses and requesting transcripts due to an unpaid balance. Your balance must be paid prior to being able to register or request transcripts. For more information, please see the Student Handbook or contact the Office of Student Accounts.

What do I need to do to have financial aid next year?
You will need to submit a new FAFSA to the federal Department of Education after January 1 for the following year. Once you register for classes for the following fall (usually in early spring), we will check for your FAFSA. If we need additional information, we will contact you.