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Policy and Deadlines

In response to input we have received from many students and their families—requesting that financial expectations be predictable, consistent, and clearly communicated—La Sierra University has updated the financial clearance process and established standard deadlines for payment.

Every student whose balance is not completely covered by financial aid must make a payment of at least one-third of the balance due by the published deadline before each quarter.

There will continue to be three standard payment options available.

 Year Amount Due: Pay the full year’s charges—minus confirmed aid—by the published deadline for Fall and receive a 7% commitment scholarship. **

Quarter Amount Due: Pay each quarter’s charges—minus confirmed aid—by the published deadline for that quarter and receive a 2% commitment scholarship.

Monthly Payment: Pay in three monthly installments for each quarter, with the first payment due by that quarter’s published deadline. A $30 fee applies for each quarter that this option is chosen.

**The commitment scholarship is not available on discounted or off-campus programs, except for the Criminal Justice off-campus program.

To help students select the best payment option, an electronic copy of their invoice for the quarter will be sent to their university email account when they register or change their registration. The invoice will show the balance due for the current quarter, including any prior balance, and less any confirmed aid. It will show the minimum amount due for financial clearance, which is the first monthly installment amount.

Students are encouraged to register early and to make their financial obligations known to their account payers in a timely manner. Students who delay their registration until after the published deadline, or who fail to make payment by the published deadline, will be charged a $250 late payment processing fee.

Criminal Justice students must be financially cleared before registration. Please visit our office prior to registration.

The Financial Clearance deadlines are as follows:

FallSeptember 15
WinterDecember 15
SpringMarch 15

We hope that this information will make the financial clearance process easier to follow and more predictable for families. If you should have any questions, the Student Financial Services office will be happy to provide additional clarification.

Steps for accepting your loans and other financial aid:

  • Log in to your Self-Service account.
  • Click on “Financial Aid.” The second tab on the top left side of the web page under Self Service.
  • Click on “Award.”
  • Click on “Award By Aid Year.”
  • “Select Aid Year” then click on “Submit.”
  • Click on “Accept Award Offer.”
  • Any awards that are offered to you that have not been accepted would be under column “Accept Award.” Under this column there should be two options for you for each award: Accept or Decline. If you accept the award under “Accept Partial Amount” there is an option to put in a partial amount if you do not want the full amount.
  • In order for your changes to be recorded you will need to click on “Submit Decision” button.
  • After accepting your awards if there is any aid you know of that is not listed please make a note of it in the “Comment” box below.

***Please note that your aid will not pay if there are Outstanding Requirements listed on this page***

Steps on how to look at your missing financial paper work:

  • Log in to your Portal.
  • Click on the “My Checklist” tab.
  • Under “Student Financial Services, Part I”, all missing paperwork will be listed.
  • If there is a green check mark next to “Student Financial Services, Part I”, then all of the financial paperwork required as of that moment, has been turned in.

***Please turn in your paper work to the office of Student Financial Services as soon as possible. ***

Steps on how to look at your revised award letter:

  • Log in to your Self-Service account.
  • Click on “Financial Aid.” The second tab on the top left side of the web page under Self Service.
  • Click on “Award.”
  • Click on “Award By Aid Year.”
  • “Select Aid Year” then click on “Submit.”
  • Click on “Award Overview.”
  • Scroll down to “Financial Aid Award” there should be a list of your aid. Any changes of your aid will be seen on this section of the web page.


Schedule an appointment with a financial counselor.

piggy bank


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

tuition and costs

Tuition & Costs

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

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 (up to $9,704!) if they miss this deadline. There may still be other funds 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.