Financial Aid / Student Financial Services

Payment & Account Information


Before the beginning of the school year, the student is expected to arrange for financial resources to cover all expenses. Accounts with other schools or with this University must have been settled. The student is urged, when possible, to make financial plans in advance and to complete financial arrangements with the Financial Aid/Student Financial Services office before the quarter begins.

  • To avoid inconvenience, parents, sponsors, and others who plan to come from a distance to the campus for business purposes should call (951-785-2175) for an appointment, especially if they are unable to arrive during official business hours.
  • The office is CLOSED Saturday, Sunday, major holidays, and the day after Thanksgiving.

Several payment options are available to meet the financial needs of students:

  1. Payment of the year's charge in full during Fall registration for which a seven percent (7%) tuition discount is granted and apportioned each quarter. **
  2. Payment in full each quarter during registration for which a two percent (2%) discount is granted.**
  3. Monthly payments on the yearly balance, beginning in July, coordinated through the Financial Aid/Student Financial Services office. This option is available at $30 per quarter.

**This discount is not available on discounted or off-campus programs, except for the Criminal Justice off-campus program.

Cash needs

The student should arrange to have cash available for all special charges and miscellaneous expenses. It is advisable for students to budget at least $570 per quarter for books and supplies. Bookstore advances from financial aid credit are offered once per term, to qualified students, as credit on their ID cards to be used at the La Sierra Bookstore.


Checks should be made payable to La Sierra University. All checks should clearly indicate both the student’s name and ID number to ensure that the funds are credited to the correct account. The University will charge the student’s account $50 when a bank does not honor a check. A check presented in payment for registration fees that is not honored by the bank and is returned unpaid is required to be redeemed within 5 working days after the student is notified by the University of the returned check. If it is not redeemed, the student may be suspended from classes or the University has the option to revoke administratively the term registration. All future payments, after that initial returned check, will need to be in the form of money order, certified/cashier’s check, credit card, or cash.

Health insurance

The La Sierra University Health Service Plan is intended to cover the basic health needs of students enrolled in a course of study leading to a degree. Students registered for 8 units or more per quarter (excluding courses In Progress, for Audit, or covered by employee tuition benefits) must buy coverage per quarter. Students registered for 5 to 7 units (and Ed.D. candidates registered for dissertation units only) may purchase coverage during registration. Students enrolled for fewer than 5 units do not qualify for the plan. The health plan provides certain medical care through the campus Health Services office, and also covers the hospital and medical expenses outlined in the student health service folder (available from the Office of Student Life). Items not covered by the health plan are payable by the student in all cases, and payment is expected at the time these services are given. More information is in the Student Handbook. (See below for international students' health insurance requirements.)

International students

An international applicant (other than a Canadian citizen) on a student visa is required to make an advance deposit of $1,100. The deposit will remain on account until the student terminates academic work at La Sierra University. The deposit can be used as partial payment for the student’s last academic term of attendance. Because international students do not qualify for loans and grants listed under Financial Aid, parents or sponsors are responsible for making payment arrangements each quarter at registration. Students cannot carry over a balance from one quarter to the next.Financial Guarantee Forms are available from the Office of International Student Services. The international student must obtain the proper signatures on the form and file it with the Office of International Student Services before clearance can be given for the issuance of an I-20 form.All international students are required to submit a financial plan to cover the expenses of their planned education before clearance can be given for the issuance of an I-20 form. Assistance with this plan is available from enrollment counselors.

International Student Health Insurance

La Sierra University requires all international students to carry health insurance while on a valid La Sierra I-20 or DS-2019form. The Office of International Students Services (OISS)will register international students with a comprehensiveinsurance plan. This insurance plan will be purchased for the student at the time of initial registration and will be automatically renewed while the student is listed as SEVIS-Active with a La Sierra I-20 or DS-2019 form. This will include periods when the student is not enrolled for classes or is out of the country. J-1 visa holders are required to have medical insurance for themselves and their dependants in the United States at all times. To help reduce the cost of the international insurance premium, international students will be required to seek medical attention first at Health Service for basic medical needs such as doctor visits, some medications, check-ups, and health information. For the current fee amount, contact the Office of International Students Services at 951-785-2237. The insurance fee will be charged to the international student’s tuition account, appear on the billing statement emailed to the student, and is payable immediately. For more information, please refer to the Student Handbook.


A student who has been accepted and is eligible to receive veteran’s benefits, under the 1966 enactment, should contact the Records Office for information regarding these benefits.

Residence hall study load

Any student living in University residence halls is to be officially registered for an academic load of at least 8 units per quarter.

Audit regulations

A student may audit a lecture course only. The per unit rate for audit differs from the rate for credit. Courses requiring special instruction or laboratory sessions cannot be taken on an audit basis. If a student who audits a course wishes to later take an equivalency examination for credit in the course, the balance of the regular tuition, as well as the fee for examination, must be paid. Audited classes do not qualify for the SDA scholarships or for federal financial aid.

Financial clearance

Students are required to obtain financial clearance at the beginning of each quarter. Arrangements are made with the Office of Student Financial Services according to the options detailed at the beginning of this section. In all cases, any previous balance must be resolved before clearance. Financial clearance must also be obtained before the release of a certificate or diploma, or before the issuance of a transcript, statement of completion, or other certification to any person, organization, or professional board.


The University reserves the right to withhold information concerning the record of a student who has an unpaid account. No transcripts are issued until the student's financial obligations to the University have been met as set forth in this Bulletin. This includes being current in repayment of any student loan. A student who wishes immediate release of a transcript must clear outstanding financial obligations (including all installment payments of the current quarter, even if they have not yet come due) by cash, money order, or cashier's check before the transcript will be issued.


Students are encouraged to view their account information at the University’s self-service website which can be accessed under the Quick Links at All current account activity is available at this site. A financial statement is emailed once each month to the student’s university email address. The amount due, indicated on the statement, is payable upon receipt, except for students enrolled in the monthly payment plan. Monthly reminders are sent via email to students enrolled in a monthly payment plan. Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, postsecondary students have full rights of privacy with regard to their accounts. Students may sign-up online to have financial statements emailed to persons other than themselves. Students who wish to receive a paper statement must make a request in writing to the Bursar Office.

Past due accounts

Failure to pay scheduled charges or to make proper financial arrangements with Student Financial Services will cause the account to be considered past due. Past due accounts are subject to late fees and debt collection processes. Students with past due accounts may not be allowed to register for future terms. Students whose past due accounts have been forwarded to La Sierra University collectors must pay for future terms in advance of registering for classes.


A quarterly service charge of 2.5 percent is applied on the unpaid balance at the end of December, March, June, and September. This is an annual interest rate of 10 percent, compounded quarterly.

Debt collection

Past due accounts may be assigned to a collection agency or attorney, and may be reported to commercial credit agencies. Appropriate charges for these services, including court costs, if incurred, will be added to the student’s account balance.


Students may request a refund of their credit balance by submitting a signed request form to Student Financial Services. Processing time of the request varies from five to ten working days to allow time for all records, such as cashier receipts and registration records, to clear through the normal accounting procedures. Students receiving Title IV (federal) aid in excess of their charges who have not signed an authorization to retain funds to pay for future charges will be issued a refund check within 14 days of the date of the credit appearing on the account. These checks will be mailed to the student’s current address, unless the student authorizes the funds to be deposited directly into his/her bank account.

Total withdrawal

Total withdrawals may be initiated at the Records Office, or may be completed online as follows:

  1. Establishment of the Date of Withdrawal: The student may either request a Total Withdrawal form, which is date-stamped by the Records Office, or he/she may go online to withdraw. The date on the Total Withdrawal form, or the date the student withdraws online, is used to determine the percentage of financial aid earned and the amount (if any) of tuition refund. If the student leaves without notifying the University, then the last recorded date of attendance by the student, as documented by the institution, will be used to determine the date of withdrawal. The refund will be calculated based on this date. If the student began attendance but there is no specific record of the last day of attendance, the refund will be calculated at 50 percent in accordance with federal regulations. If a student receives all “Fs” for a term, it is assumed that the student completely withdrew (unofficial withdrawal), unless the student can provide appropriate evidence of completing any of the classes attended.
  2. Tuition: There is no charge for withdrawing during the first week of each quarter. There is a minimum charge of 20 percent of the billed tuition for withdrawal during the second week of school regardless of whether or not a student attended classes. Thereafter, an additional 15 percent of the billed tuition is charged per week, up through the 7th week of the term. After the 7th week the student is charged 100% of tuition costs.
  3. Fees: The comprehensive fee is prorated on the same schedule as tuition. Course material and lab fees are only refunded if the office of Student Financial Services receives written authorization from the academic department.
  4. Board: The charge for meals will be prorated on a daily basis, calculated on the daily minimum to date or actual use, whichever is higher.
  5. Room: The charge for room is governed by the Residential License Agreement, and is prorated on a daily basis. (See Section IV of the agreement).
  6. Damage Deposit: Refund will be made to the student’s account when the residence hall dean returns the signed residence hall release to the Bursar’s office. The amount refunded will reflect any deductions made for damages or cleaning.
  7. Illness: Special consideration will be given for tuition refunds in the case of accident or prolonged illness, if certified by an appropriate health professional. All requests should be submitted to the Student Financial Services Exceptions Committee.
  8. Financial Aid: When a student totally withdraws from the institution after beginning attendance, his/her institutional and state financial aid is prorated in the same manner as tuition, as stated under item two above. Federal financial aid is prorated based on a calculation prescribed in federal regulation which is slightly different from that used for institutional aid. The calculation determines the amount of federal aid the student earned while enrolled. The amount earned is calculated by multiplying the total financial aid for the term by the percentage of the term completed. The unearned federal aid (total financial aid less earned financial aid) must be returned to the student financial aid programs in the order prescribed by law and regulation:
    • Unsubsidized/Direct Loan
    • Subsidized/Direct Loan
    • Perkins Loan
    • Direct PLUS Loan
    • Pell Grant
    • Federal SEOG
    • Federal TEACH Grant
    • Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant
    • Other Title IV Programs

If any portion of the unearned financial aid was paid directly to the student (rather than applied to institutional charges), the student is responsible for returning these funds in the order listed above. The student (or parent, in the case of a Federal Parent PLUS Loan) must return the unearned funds for which he/she is responsible, to loan programs in accordance with the terms of the loan, and to grant programs as an overpayment, as per federal regulations.

The University does billing and collection of repayments, but a student who fails to repay will be referred to the U.S. Department of Education for collection (unless overpayment is a result of school error) and will no longer be eligible for further federal financial aid funds.

Study load change

A student who adds a course during the first five class days of the quarter or who drops a course during the first week of the quarter will be charged tuition for the added or dropped course from the beginning of the quarter unless the resulting class load is not above or below that which is covered by the flat rate charged for tuition. No financial adjustment is made for the student who adds and drops the same number of units on the same day. A student who drops a class during the first 60% of the quarter may be eligible for a partial refund (see "Total withdrawal" above). No refund can be given until the drop form is turned in to and accepted by the office of the Registrar. Financial aid may be prorated when a student changes study load by adding or dropping classes.

Residence change

As stated in the Residential License Agreement, students who move out of the Residence Hall during the term will be charged for the entire term. Students who move out due to extenuating circumstances may petition to receive a partial refund. Students who totally withdraw from the University during the term will have their room charges prorated as stated in the “Total Withdrawal” portion of this section of the bulletin.

Meal plan change

Residence hall students may request an increase to the standard meal plan option by checking the appropriate box on the Residence Hall Housing Agreement Meal Plan contract. Changes can only be requested during the first five days of the term. For consideration of a reduction in meal plan fees because of special circumstances, a student must submit the Meal Plan Variance form to Financial Administration during the first week of the quarter. Meal Plan Variance forms are available at the Financial Administration office.

Campus Employment

Campus employment opportunities are offered by services such as cafeteria, grounds, housekeeping, maintenance, residence halls, the library, general administrative offices, and academic department offices. Students need to go the Human Resources office (Administration Building) to apply.

Payment Checks

Student payroll checks are issued every other Friday. A schedule may be obtained from the Payroll office.

Payroll deduction

Payroll deduction is available to facilitate payment of student accounts. Arrangements are made by the Financial Aid/Student Financial Services office at the student's request.