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Financial Aid FAQs

 General Questions

What is the percentage of students receiving some type of financial assistance at Pepperdine University?

About 85-90%.

Does the financial assistance package increase each year as tuition and room and board increase?

Pepperdine institutional grant assistance does not increase to meet the higher costs of tuition, food and housing. Loan eligibility will increase as the budget increases, as long as the student qualifies. However, if the FAFSA is completed by the priority deadline and the student receives institutional need-based aid as an incoming student, they may also qualify for an additional institutional need-based grant in subsequent years.

What happens if I decide to live off-campus?

All first-year and new transfer students are required to live on campus. Students who decide to live off-campus must first obtain permission from the Housing and Residence Life Office. Your financial assistance award will be the same whether you live on or off campus. Students living at home will have a lower cost of attendance.

I'm thinking about dropping below 12 units. How will this affect my financial assistance package?

Financial assistance will be prorated to reflect the student's adjusted tuition charges. If the student drops below half-time (6 units), they may become ineligible for Institutional aid, Federal grants and Federal Direct loans at which point the student's loans will enter the grace and/or repayment period.  Students can use the Proration Calculator to estimate costs for the semester.

What offices within Pepperdine must be notified when a student completely withdraws from the University?

Registrar, Housing and Residential Life, Office of Student Accounts, Office of Financial Assistance, and One Stop.

If a student's parents filed an extension on their taxes, can the student still be considered for financial assistance, and, if so, how should they go about completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

Yes. If tax returns are not available at the time you complete your FAFSA form, do not wait. You should use estimated figures to complete and submit the form by the priority deadlines:

  • October 15 - Spring Admission
  • February 15 - Fall Admission
  • March 15 - Continuing Students

Your parent should estimate their financial information as accurately as possible to avoid adjustments to your award based on their submitted finalized tax return. After the taxes have been filed, update your FAFSA. Federal aid will not be disbursed to the student's account until the file has been verified by the Office of Financial Assistance.

If the student's parents are divorced/separated, which parent must complete the FAFSA form and provide tax information?

If your parents are divorced or separated and don't live together, answer the questions about the parent with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.

If you lived the same amount of time with each divorced or separated parent, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months. If you need further clarification on custodial parent information, please click here.

What happens after I file the FAFSA? How does Pepperdine receive my information?

Approximately 2 to 4 weeks after you submit your FAFSA on the web, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) by email or in the mail. This report will reflect all the information you completed on the FAFSA and will enable Pepperdine to determine your eligibility for financial assistance. Pepperdine will receive your FAFSA data electronically if you listed our school name and school code 001264 in the "College Code/Step Six" section of your FAFSA and if you correctly listed your name, Social Security Number, and date of birth as they appear on your Social Security card.

What if my SAR (Student Aid Report) doesn't have Pepperdine University listed as one of the schools to receive my information?

Add our Pepperdine University school code (001264) to your list of schools via FAFSA on the web before the following priority deadlines:

  • October 15 - Spring Admission
  • February 15 - Fall Admission 
  • March 15 - Continuing Students

What if the federal processor sends me an unprocessed or incomplete SAR?

This usually occurs if the processor was unable to read some of the information you submitted on the FAFSA, or if it was not electronically signed. You should go through the form and correct or complete all of the items you are requested to verify and submit the changes via FAFSA on the web. 

 Federal Work Study

How do I go about finding a Federal Work Study job?

Please go to the Student Employment Office located in Room 210 of the Tyler Campus Center (TCC) to review a list of available job openings. Job openings are also listed on their website.

Are there any jobs on campus that do not require Federal Work Study?

There are some jobs available which do not require a work study offer. Interested students should begin looking the first week of school, if not earlier, as these jobs fill up quickly. Please visit the Student Employment Office in person or online for more information.

Is Federal Work Study taxed?

Yes, it should be reported as income on a federal tax return.

Should Federal Work Study be reported on the FAFSA?

Yes, it should be reported as student income and also as a Title IV exclusion under Question 44. C, please visit the FAFSA.

Does the Office of Student Accounts include Federal Work Study when calculating the amount the student will owe?


How does Federal Work Study funds get paid to the student account?

These funds are not directly deposited into your student account. You must obtain an approved Federal Work Study job. Then you will receive a paycheck every two weeks based on the hours worked.


What are the loan limits for the Federal Direct Loans?

Dependent Students

Independent/Federal Direct PLUS Denial

First-Year $5,500 First-Year $ 9,500
Sophomore $6,500 Sophomore $10,500
Junior $7,500 Junior $12,500
Senior $7,500 Senior $12,500


What is the best method of accepting Federal Direct and Federal Direct PLUS loans?

Accept online through Wavenet.

What happens if a parent is credit denied for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan?

  • The parent may obtain a credit-worthy endorser to continue the Federal Direct PLUS Loan process.
  • If the parent opts not to obtain an endorser, the student may be eligible to borrow up to $4,000 for first-year/sophomores and $5,000 for juniors/seniors, depending on their financial assistance package and financial need.

Do all Pepperdine institutional loans require a co-signer?


Are there private loans available to students to help bridge the gap between their financial assistance package and the total cost of attendance?

Yes, there are. Private loan information.

 Cal Grants

When does a student find out if they are eligible to receive the Cal Grant?

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will email notifications to the students. We will estimate a Cal Grant as part of the student’s financial assistance package if we determine eligibility. This award is not official until confirmation has been received by CSAC and we verify the student's financial information.

Are students required to complete the GPA Verification Form every year?

Students are only required to complete the GPA Verification Form initially when applying for a Cal Grant. Once they have received a Cal Grant, it will automatically be renewed each year, provided they complete the FAFSA, meet eligibility requirements, and maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.

 Outside Scholarships

How does a student go about applying for outside scholarships?

We have a scholarship information page on our website that lists scholarship opportunities by application deadline. 

What should a student send us if they find out they are going to receive an outside scholarship?

The student should send us a copy of the letter received from the organization. Outside scholarships will be coordinated with requirements of need-based aid and cost of attendance. NCAA Athletes must also submit an NCAA Awarding Form with all Outside Scholarships.

 Departmental Scholarships

How does a student go about applying for departmental scholarships?

They should speak with the Divisional Dean of their major about scholarships.

How does a departmental scholarship affect a student's financial assistance package?

Scholarship and grant funds provided by the University will be processed based on the department's guidelines and any applicable federal and state regulations up to the cost of attendance. The scholarship will be applied to the student's federal unmet need and any remaining scholarship money will go to reduce their loans and/or work study.