where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before applying for a student loan

  • Perkins funds are limited. Students must complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 each year in order to receive priority consideration.
  • Perkins Loans are low-interest (5 percent) loans for students with financial need. Awards at La Sierra University normally range up to $2,000. No fees are deducted from this loan; interest and repayment begin nine months after graduation or separation from the University, or when enrollment status falls below half-time. There is a ten year repayment period.
  • The lender of Federal Perkins Loans is La Sierra University. All borrowers of Federal Perkins Loans repay the loan to La Sierra University.
federal Annual Award Limits
Undergraduate Student$5,500 maximum
Graduate Student$8,000 maximum
federal Cumulative Limits
Undergraduate Student$27,500
Graduate Student$60,000 (includes undergraduate amounts)

The amount that is available for a student to borrow is listed on the student's award letter each year. This amount may be less than the federal annual maximums of $5,500 for undergraduates and $8,000 for graduates.

For any questions regarding the Perkins Loan, please contact the Accounts and Loans office at 951-785-2238.

How Do I Receive My Perkins Loan?

Once you accept this award and return the award statement to the Office of Student Financial Services Office, you must go to the Accounts and Loans Office to complete an entrance interview and sign the Master Promissory Note for the Perkins Loan. Your loan proceeds are then directly applied to your student account.

When Do I Pay Back My Perkins Loan?

If you have an outstanding principal or interest owing on any direct loan (Perkins/NDSL) prior to July 1, 1987, you begin paying six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status. If you are a new borrower who has no previous outstanding principal or interest owing on any loan as of July 1, 1987, you begin repayment nine months after you graduate, leave school or drop below half time status. You may be allowed up to 10 years to repay your loan. The amount of your payment depends on the size of your debt, but usually you must pay at least $40 per month.

What Happens If I Don't Pay Back My Loan?

If you default on a Perkins Loan and the school is unable to collect, it will harm your credit rating and the federal government may take action to recover the loan. You cannot receive further financial aid if you are in default status.

See this page: Defaulting on Federal Perkins Loan

Can I Defer (Postpone) Repayment Of My Perkins Loan After I Leave School?

Certain conditions may allow you to defer your Perkins Loan payments. Contact the Office of Accounts and Loans to find out your eligibility status (951-785-2238 or 951-785-2247). *

These conditions include:
  • at least half-time enrollment at a post-secondary school
  • volunteer work in Peace Corps or ACTION Programs or comparable full-time volunteer work for a tax-exempt organization
  • active duty in the U.S. armed forces, Commissioned Corps of US Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps
  • temporarily totally disabled or you cannot work because you are caring for a temporarily totally disabled spouse or other dependent
  • working at an eligible internship
  • currently unemployed, and mother of preschool-age children who is going to work (or back to work) at a salary of no more than $1 over the minimum wage).
Are there conditions where repayment of my Perkins Loan may be canceled?

Yes. For example, your loan will be canceled if you die or become totally and permanently disabled. Contact the Office of Accounts and Loans to find out your eligibility status (951-785-2238 or 951-785-2247)

* Other conditions are listed below:

Cancellation Criteria

Part of your loan will be canceled for each complete academic year you are a full-time teacher of disabled children, or for each complete academic year you teach full-time in a designated elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. In both of these cases, your entire loan will have been canceled after the fifth consecutive year of teaching. To find out whether the school you are teaching in is a designated school, go to this website: https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp

Part of your loan will be canceled for each year of full-time work in specified Head Start programs. After the fifth year, your entire loan will have been canceled.

Up to 70 percent of your loan can be canceled for service as a Peace Corps or VISTA volunteer--30 percent during the first two years, 40 percent during the next two years. (This deferment applies only to Perkins Loan borrowers, not to National Direct Student Loan [NDSL] borrowers).

If you serve as an enlisted person in certain selected specialties of the US Army, the Army Reserves, the Army National Guard, the Department of Defense will, as an enlistment incentive, repay a portion of your loan. If you think you may qualify, contact your recruiting officer.


Returning Students

Tuition & Costs

Undergraduate, graduate, other academic programs, and summer tuition and costs.


Institutional and privately donated funds offered by La Sierra University and other entities.

Contact Info

951-785-2942 (Fax)

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday:
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

(All service offices close on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for University Worship)

Office Location

Administration Building #101

Financial Aid Time-line / Check-list


  • Complete the FAFSA for the coming school year at www.fafsa.ed.gov (use estimated income if taxes not finished).
  • La Sierra’s FAFSA code is 001215.
  • La Sierra’s early admissions acceptance begins.


  • Submit Cal Grant GPA verification (due March 2).
  • Reserve a spot in the summer freshmen orientation program.
  • Apply for scholarships.
  • Current students only: apply for endowed scholarships through the Advancement office.


  • File taxes as early as possible. Recommend e-filing.
  • Track your Cal Grant application status at www.calgrants.org.
  • Schedule an appointment for a financial estimate with a La Sierra University enrollment counselor.


  • Go into the FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update the financial information after taxes are filed.


  • Watch for your La Sierra award notification letter from the office of Student Financial Services.
  • Turn in all documents requested by La Sierra’s Student Financial Services to complete your financial aid file by May 15.


  • Complete any paperwork necessary for your student loans to be processed.
  • Finalize your payment plan with La Sierra’s Student Financial Services.


  • Make your first payment by September 10.
  • Buy your books before classes begin.

Useful webpages:

Useful Phone Numbers:

  • FAFSA: 1-800-4-FEDAID
  • Cal Grant: 1-888-CA-GRANT
  • IRS Transcript: 1-800-829-3676
  • La Sierra Enrollment Services: 951-785-2000
  • La Sierra Student Financial Services: 951-785-2175
  • La Sierra Bookstore: 951-785-2196
  • La Sierra Student Life: 951-785-2100

Have Questions?

Contact or visit the following:

Financial Counselors

John Sheldon Hadley
A - E
Financial Counselor
Jackie Isenmann
F - L
Financial Counselor
Letty Fonseca
M - R
Financial Counselor
Julain Gunn-Clarke
S - Z
Financial Counselor

Other Staff

Elina Bascom
Esther Kinzer
Sr. Associate Director
Denyu Miller
Associate Director
Audrey Gaspard
Assistant Director
Ingrid Murphy
Data Load Manager

Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid?

You can apply for aid online at FAFSA on the web.

What is the La Sierra University school code?

The La Sierra University school code is: 001215

How long does the process take?

The FAFSA application process itself can take as little as 20 minutes when you have all of the information necessary readily available. Always remember to apply as early as possible (January 1 through March 2, prior to the following fall term) because some program funds are limited and awarded on a "first-come-first-served" basis. From the time that you submit your FAFSA online, it usually takes 3-5 business days for our school to receive your FAFSA.

How will I know how much aid I qualify for?

An award letter stating the type of aid, amount and conditions of your award will be mailed to you. You must review your award letter and if you find any discrepancies with your estimate, please contact the Student Financial Services office as soon as possible.

What happens if I decide to attend part-time?

Your aid may be reduced or canceled in some cases in order to comply with regulations or eligibility requirements.

What is an estimate, and how do I get one?

La Sierra University Enrollment Services (Recruitment) will provide all new students with a preliminary estimate of the financial aid awards that they may receive. Estimates are based upon information supplied to the enrollment services staff by the student or student's family. Verification of the student's information may modify the actual amounts provided in the student's official aid offer from La Sierra University Student Financial Services.

I was awarded a federal direct loan, but I want to reduce the amount. how can I do that?

Contact your financial aid counselor in the office of Student Financial Services.

What if I need to take some or all of my classes at another school?

You can only receive financial aid from the school in which you are accepted and enrolled in a program. As long as you are seeking a degree at La Sierra University and the classes will be credited toward your La Sierra University degree, you may be eligible to receive assistance. Contact the La Sierra University Student Financial Services office to see which forms you must complete and for which programs you may qualify.

What if I completely withdraw from classes? will I have to repay my financial aid?

Yes, if you withdraw before 60% of the term is completed, you will be required to repay a percentage of the aid you received since the funds were awarded to meet educational expenses for the entire quarter.

How will my fees be paid and what happens to the money that exceeds my fees?

Approximately three weeks (five weeks for first-time borrowers) after school starts your aid will be applied to your tuition. Any remaining credit will be mailed by the bursar's office to your local address on file at the registrar's office, or deposited directly into your bank account if you have submitted the Direct Deposit form to the bursar's office. Direct Deposit is the preferred method of delivery since it expedites the process and gets you your refund sooner.

What happens if I have been awarded a loan, but never complete the paperwork for it?

If you are a first-time borrower at La Sierra University, you will need to complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note for the Federal Direct Loans at www.studentloans.gov. If you have been awarded a Federal Perkins Loan, you must complete the Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note in person at the Department of Accounts and Loans, Administration Building room 107. Loans will not pay onto your student account until the paperwork requirements have been completed. 

How can I get information about my award?

You can call, email, or come to the Student Financial Services office to get the information.

Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid?

No, but you must be admitted before you can receive your award letter or financial aid.

How do I know which offices to deal with for financial planning?

The office of Student Financial Services is responsible for advising applicants about financial aid; collecting all required paperwork; determining estimated family contributions; and awarding all financial aid except leadership/merit type scholarships (which are awarded by the office of Enrollment Services). The office of Student Financial Services is the central processing office for the FAFSA, and all financial aid, including government grants and loans, outside resources, and La Sierra University aid.

The office of Student Financial Services establishes your total payment package. After you have received all the financial aid, grants, and scholarships available from the Financial Aid and Enrollment Services offices, you will receive financial clearance and Student Financial Services can guide you in setting up a payment plan.

are deadlines important?

Yes! Deadlines are critical. March 2 is the priority deadline. For example: a qualifying California resident will lose the Cal Grant (over $9,000!) if they miss this deadline. There may still be other money available later, but many funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to maximize your aid offer, apply early!

My family income has changed since I filed my fafsa. What should I do?

Submit a request for professional judgment to a counselor at the Student Financial Services office. You will be asked to submit written documentation of the change. After a review of your request, you may be awarded additional assistance.

What is considered in calculating how much my family can afford to contribute?

It's a complex calculation which takes into account a variety of factors including family income and size, total assets, parents' age (and their need to save for retirement) and the number of family members in college.

If the information on the FAFSA does not accurately reflect your ability to pay for college, or your family has extenuating financial circumstances, you should contact your student financial services counselor if you have any questions.

The FAFSA asks for information about my parents, but I do not receive any support from them. What do I do?

Federal regulations require your eligibility to be based on your income and that of your parents unless you are 24 years old; married, or have legal dependents other than a spouse; are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces; an orphan or ward of the court (or you were until age 18); or will be working on a degree beyond a bachelor's. If you think that you have exceptional circumstances contact your La Sierra University financial counselor about a possible dependency override.

What determines how much I'll be offered, and whether I'll get loans, grants, or work?

The amount of your award is determined by the amount of your financial need and available funding. The greater your need, the more aid we can offer you. The kind of aid you are awarded depends on your eligibility for the various aid programs. Each has its own requirements. Most students are offered a combination of gift assistance (grants and scholarships which don't have to be repaid) and "self-help" aid (loans and/or work opportunities).

can I get a book advance?

A book advance allows students to use a portion of their anticipated financial aid, up to $550, to purchase textbooks and supplies from the campus bookstore prior to the beginning of Fall, Winter, and Spring terms. Students who have been awarded federal or state aid and who will have a credit balance after tuition and other campus charges are paid are eligible for a book advance.

1) Joe's charges for the quarter are $14,000 and he has approved aid in the amount of $14,600. Joe would be eligible for a book advance of $550.
2) Sue's charges for the quarter are $14,000 and she has approved aid in the amount of $14,200. Sue is eligible for a book advance in the amount of $200.
*The amount of the book advance is based on a student's registration, charges, and aid at the time the advance is made. Any changes to the registration, charges, or aid after the advance is given may require the student to repay the funds received.