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Keeping quality Christian education affordable is important to us, and at La Sierra University we are committed to helping students achieve their educational goals with help from the various financial aid programs we offer.

Browse all of the different possibilities to find the right scholarships for you!


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.

Undergraduate Scholarships

This award is for students who fulfill the administrative responsibilities of an elected or appointed office, during high school years.  A maximum scholarship of $2,100 is allowed in this area. Enrollment Services may award to freshmen students up to the maximum.

There are up to three new awards from this scholarship given each year to students graduating from a high school in the Alvord Unified School District. Students turn in applications to the Alvord Educational Foundation, which forwards them to La Sierra for review and selection of recipients.  This award is renewable for up to four years if the recipient maintains satisfactory academic progress.

  • $1,000/Year

Granted to students transferring from Riverside Community College who were designated Community Scholars while at RCC (up to 10 students selected each year). This award is available for up to two years while attending La Sierra University. In order to qualify, students need to apply to the Community Foundation when first enrolling at RCC, indicating their intention of transferring to La Sierra after two years. They must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA.

  • $2,500/Year

Dollars for Scholars is designed to motivate and prepare students to achieve their potential as post secondary students and productive members of society. As a Collegiate Partner and Matching Partner with Scholarship America and the Dollars for Scholars program, La Sierra will award $2,500 to students who qualify as a Dollars for Scholars Collegiate Partner recipient. La Sierra will match up to $1,000 per student (not to exceed $10,000/year) of any Dollars for Scholars awards and up to $500 per student (not to exceed $5,000/year) of any Scholarship America-managed scholarships.

  • Music: The Music Department recommends students for this award.  Students are required to audition to receive this scholarship.



The Athletics Department recommends students for this award.  Students are required to participate on their designated sports team to receive this scholarship. All awards are subject to approval by Enrollment Services.

  • Men's Baseball
  • Men's Basketball
  • Men's soccer
  • Women's Basketball
  • Women's Softball
  • Women's Volleyball

Graduate Scholarships

La Sierra University will match up to $1,000 for contributions from students’ congregations or conference. The contribution check (cash will not be matched) must be accompanied with a signed contract, stating that the funds were processed in accordance with IRS regulations. This scholarship program is available to students who have an unmet need after all other student aid programs have been awarded and may help to reduce the students’ loans. The external funds and the university’s matching portion will pay over three quarters. Educational Allowance recipients are not eligible for the matching funds.

Matching funds are not available for reduced-tuition or off-campus programs.

La Sierra University has a limited number of scholarships for students who have graduated from a North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (NAD) college or university and who enroll in one of the university’s graduate programs. Qualifying students are chosen by each graduate program, and receive a 25% discount on tuition (tuition less SDA). Students must be enrolled in at least eight units (six units for SE) each quarter to qualify. The award is renewable for a total of eight quarters (including summers) not to exceed 48 units.

  • School of Business has up to 10 new awards per year.
  • Department of English has three new awards per year.
  • School of Education has five new awards per year.
  • H.M.S. Richards Divinity School no longer participates in the program since their students receive a discounted tuition rate.

All awards are subject to approval by Enrollment Services.

Discounts and Waivers General

A discount is available when two or more members of a student’s immediate family (from the same household—living at home or in the residence halls) are enrolled in a paying, non-tuition-discounted program at La Sierra University. Each paying member of the family will receive a $300 discount for each quarter he or she is enrolled full time (include both family members’ names on estimate). The award is coordinated with each student’s financial aid package and is prorated for less than full-time enrollment.

La Sierra University has chosen to participate in the Veteran Administration’s Yellow Ribbon Program which is part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.

  • The university will waive, through the use of institutional scholarships, up to 50% of qualifying veterans’ tuition expenses that exceed the $20,235.02 that is covered by the VA Ch.33 tuition and fee benefits. The VA will match this amount (maximum $8,969/year). The Yellow Ribbon program combined with the veterans Ch. 33 educational benefit can add up to a 100% discount on tuition and fees.
  • Students enrolled under this program will not be eligible for other institutional aid funds.
  • This discount program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be available for up to 50 qualifying veterans per year.
  • This program is renewable for all subsequent years in which the eligible student maintains satisfactory academic progress, conduct, and attendance, for as long as the university participates in the program.

Discounts and Waivers Graduate

A scholarship of up to 12 units per academic year is available to certain teachers in the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This award is for teachers who take courses through the School of Education at the credential or masters level to meet professional development criteria (see Tuition Waiver Authorization form for more information).

Qualified teachers must provide a Tuition Waiver Authorization form signed by their local conference’s superintendent of education in order to receive this discount.

In addition to a payroll stipend, resident assistants (RAs) receive scholarship that applies toward residence hall room charges. Resident assistants are chosen by the residence hall deans, and approved through Student Life. Angwin and Towers residence halls have up to six RAs each; Calkins Hall has up to four RAs; South Hall (honors) has two RAs. Additional RA waiver funds are available for RAs working during the summer.

Students who are members of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, or non-SDA students who graduate from an SDA academy will receive a tuition discount based on enrollment.



Three-Quarter Time$375$1,125

This award does not apply to reduced-tuition programs such as ACCESS, ESL/ELC or Divinity School graduate programs, or to off-campus cohort programs.

A scholarship of $1,300 per quarter is available to full-time international graduate-level students who are members of the Seventh-day Adventist church or who have graduated or transferred from a Seventh-day Adventist college, or university. The award will be prorated for students who are enrolled less than full time. The student may need to submit an application for the International Student SDA Transfer Scholarship to Admissions to be approved.

This award does not apply to reduced-tuition programs such as Distance Learning, ESL/ELC or Divinity School graduate programs, or to off-campus or cohort programs.

A tuition discount of $312/unit is available to all students admitted to a graduate program in the Divinity School. The discount will post immediately when the student registers. This discount and the M.Div. Tuition Scholarship, awarded by the Divinity School, are the only institutional aid awards available to graduate students in the Divinity School.

An Affordable Christian Education

At La Sierra University, we realize that arranging for financial aid can be a complicated process, but we’re here to make paying for your La Sierra education as simple as possible.

Our counselors, administrative team, and student staff provide accurate and friendly service to help you complete the financial aid process. We focus on your unique financial situation and gather all the pieces to maximize your financial aid eligibility.


As of May 10 we welcome FSA ID, your electronic passport for Financial Aid!

All students, parents, or borrowers using and logging into a U.S. Department of Education (ED) website – fafsa.gov, the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®), StudentLoans.gov, StudentAid.gov, and Agreement to Serve (ATS) – will be asked to create a new log-in credential known as the FSA ID.

Four major FSA ID benefits

  1. It removes your personally identifiable information (like your Social Security number) from your log-in credentials.
  2. It creates a more secure and efficient way to verify your information when you log in to access your financial aid information.
  3. It gives you the ability to easily update your personal information (like your name, phone number, and e-mail address).
  4. It allows you to retrieve your username and password by requesting a secure code to be sent to your e-mail address or by answering challenge questions.

Remember: Your federal student aid account information is valuable. Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account; and you should never share your FSA ID.

For more information about the FSA ID, please visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid.

Source: Jordan, April. Homeroom, The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education
Post Date: May 11, 2015

Types of Financial Aid

The most important process in applying for financial aid is filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal, state, local, and institutional scholarships, grants, and loans. Remember, you must have a Financial Student Aid (FSA) ID first. Visit FSAID.ed.gov to obtain your FSA ID.

File Early - You can file your FAFSA for the following school year as early as January 1. Submitting your FAFSA application early ensures that you will be considered for the maximum amount of aid for which you may be eligible, since many funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Search for SCHOLARSHIPS - Institutional and privately donated funds offered by La Sierra University and other entities, awarded on the basis of a student's merit and academic achievement. These funds do not have to be repaid!

GRANTS - Federal, state and institutional funds awarded on the basis of financial need (usually measured by information from the FAFSA). Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid. These include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal TEACH Grants, State Grants, and Institutional Grants.

LOANS are a form of financial aid that must be repaid. Most types of education loans do not require repayment until the student has graduated or ceased to be enrolled at least half-time. Both need-based loans, which are interest-free while the student is in school, and non-need-based loans, which accrue interest while the student is enrolled, are available. Most student loans have low interest rates during the repayment period. Payments may be deferred or forgiven based on certain conditions by the federal government.

FEDERAL WORK STUDY - A program where the federal government contributes funds toward a student's wages. These funds enable students to work part time while going to school.

International Students

Financial Guarantee Form (FGF)

International students must obtain the proper signatures on the Financial Guarantee Form and file it with the Office of Admissions before clearance can be given for the issuance of an I-20 form.

All international students must furnish evidence of additional resources to finance the expenses of the planned education. 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.

Scholarships and Awards - 2015-16

Download table in PDF format

Financial Aid Timeline / Checklist


  • 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.


  • Attend a FAFSA & Scholarship Workshop (dates/times on OrgSync & School Calendar).
  • 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 15.
  • 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 (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.