Applying for Aid

Financial aid is designed to help make college more affordable. 

As a PLNU student, you may be eligible for financial aid, including grants, loans, and scholarships to help bridge the gap between your education and your financial resources. You will need to reapply for financial aid every year. 

Financial aid consists primarily of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Graduate students are only eligible to receive Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Before applying for financial aid, please review the eligibility requirements

Requirements for receiving financial aid

To receive financial aid, students must meet all of the following federal eligibility requirements: 

  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program and have their records evaluated by the Office of Records (excludes non-degree courses and certificate programs).
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the Office of Student Financial Services.
  • Register with Selective Service, if required to do so.
  • Complete the verification process, if selected, by submitting a copy of federal tax forms and any other required documents. 

Learn more about the basic eligibility criteria. 

Step 1

Complete the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

  • Gather your information.
    • Social Security and driver’s license numbers for you and your parent(s)/guardian(s). If you’re considered an independent student, no parental information is required. 
    • Tax return or W-2 (or other records of income) from two years prior. For the 2021-22 FAFSA, you will use your 2019 tax return. For the most efficient processing, use the IRS data retrieval tool (DRT), to automatically import your tax return information.
  • Apply for your FSA ID (if you do not already have one).
    Students and parents require separate FSA IDs.
  • Register for Selective Service (if you are a male under age 26).
    When submitting your FAFSA, you will need to confirm you have registered for Selective Service. If you have a valid Social Security number, you can register online. If not, you will need to register in-person at any U.S. Post Office. If you were not required to register, please submit your supporting documentations to the Student Financial Services office.
  • Submit your FAFSA.
    Submit your FAFSA between October 1 and March 2 for priority consideration for the upcoming academic year. Enter PLNU School Code: 001262.

    Undocumented students should complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). For students completing the CADAA, you must also complete the California Dream Student, Affidavit Form, and submit all required documentation to Student Financial Services

    ** Be sure to use your legal name for all documents.
  • Submit your GPA.

    Undergraduate Students only — If you are a California resident, you must submit your Cal Grant GPA Verification Form (required for Cal Grant) by March 2. Most community colleges and California high schools electronically submit student GPAs for Cal Grants. Check with your school to make sure. **If you received Cal Grant last academic year, you do not need to complete this form. 

Step 2

Review your graduation date on the student portal.

  • Log in to and click on the Students tab.
  • Click on Biographical Information in the Profile Information section.
  • If your Planned Graduation Date is incorrect, update it by clicking on Edit My Academic Information.

Step 3

Complete Required Documents.

  • Student Loan Entrance Counseling 

    You are required to complete the Student Loan Entrance Counseling online at Financial aid will not be disbursed until you have completed your entrance counseling.
  • Master Promissory Note (Loan Agreement) 

    Sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. If applicable, complete the Direct Parent PLUS Loan or the Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate/Professional Students. Note: Your financial aid will not be disbursed until you have completed the Loan Agreement (MPN). ** If you have recently completed an MPN at a previous institution within the last 10 years, notify the Student Financial Services office ( as you may not be required to complete an updated MPN. 

Step 4

Submit verification documents.

When reviewing your Student Aid Report (SAR) you may see a note saying you’ve been selected for verification; or the Student Financial Services office will notify you that you’ve been selected. The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects students who have completed the FAFSA for a process called verification. This process is used to confirm the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. In order to process your financial aid, you must submit your required documents to Student Financial Services. 

PLNU has partnered with Inceptia to make the federal financial aid verification process easier for students and parents. Verification Gateway is an approved third-party servicer that assists PLNU in collecting all documents required for any student selected by the Department of Education.

You can complete this process at If you have additional questions, feel free to contact Inceptia directly at (888) 374-8427.

Step 6

Receive PLNU award notification.

  • After all applications and paperwork are completed and processed, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Notification via email.
  • The award notification will state aid amounts for which you are eligible and how funds will be disbursed for the loan period.
  • Follow the instructions on your award notification to accept, decline, or reduce your loan amount.
  • Read about our GPS Financial Aid Terms and Conditions.