Frequently Asked Questions

Student Accounts

When will I receive billing statements?

All bills are only available online at my.pointloma.edu. Students receive email notifications when new statements are available.

How do I view my bill online?

Log in to your student portal at my.pointloma.edu using your username and password. Click on the Students tab at the top of the page, and under Financial Resources, click on Statement of Account. View your statement history by clicking on View Bills.

How often do you send bills?

Official e-bills are available on a student’s portal account on a monthly basis. All students are sent email notifications to their official university email account when statements are ready to be viewed online.

When are payments due?

PLNU requires full payment of tuition and fees by the second Friday of the session. Visit the Paying Your Bill page for more information.

What are my payment options?

You are responsible for paying the net balance (charges minus awarded aid) on your student account each semester by the established due date. Keep in mind that your account balance may change as you add or drop classes and/or if any campus fines are assessed. You'll want to keep an eye on your account even after you have paid in full. Your options for paying the net balance are as follows:

  1. Pay in Full: Log into your student portal at my.pointloma.edu. After clicking Students, choose Financial Service on the left hand side of the page, then choose Make a Payment. Follow the instructions to pay by electronic check or by credit card. Electronic checks must be attached to a valid checking or savings account; checks that draw directly from home equity or loan accounts will not process successfully. There is no fee for paying by electronic check. Credit cards accepted include American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa, and can be made online via the student or parent portal but will not be accepted by phone, fax, mail, or in person. There is no fee for paying by credit card. Paper checks can be mailed to the Student Financial Services office on the main campus. Be sure to include your student ID number which is also your account number on the check.
  2. Pay with Financial Aid
  3. Payment Plan: Please contact your Student Financial Services advisor if you would like to discuss payment plan options.

What if I can't pay by the due date?

Students will be charged a 5 percent late fee on any outstanding balance after the payment due date. Also, students will be prevented from further class registration and transcript requests until all previous charges are paid in full, which may result in de-enrollment from the university. If you are having trouble paying your bill, please contact your advisor.

Why do I have a negative balance?

Examples of transactions reflected as negative amounts are: loan payments, check/cash/credit card payments, and refunds for dropped coursework. A negative account balance indicates that you have a credit on your account. You may contact your Student Financial Services advisor to see if you are eligible for a refund.

How can I authorize my spouse or parent to receive information concerning my student account or financial aid?

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not permit PLNU to release non-directory information without the signed consent of the student. Therefore, the Graduate Student Financial Services office will not release student financial information to third parties, including spouses or parents, without the student’s consent. Students can log into their portal accounts to update their information releases to authorize PLNU to share financial information with a spouse or parent. To do so, follow these instructions:

  • Log on to my.pointloma.edu.

  • Click on the Students tab.

  • Under Profile Information click on Update Information Releases.

  • Add person or persons you'd like to authorize.

Financial Aid

What type of financial aid is available?

There are several different types of financial aid available to our students. The most common piece of financial aid used by our graduate students is the Federal Direct Loan. Federal Direct Loans are not credit-based loans, so as long as you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, in good standing with all previous federal loans, and enrolled at least half time in an eligible program, you should be eligible to receive Federal Direct Loans.

Are there any scholarships available?

How much financial aid can I expect to receive each semester?

Financial aid is awarded based on your Cost of Education. The Cost of Education can be lower if you are not enrolled full time in both quads within a semester, every semester. It can also be lower if you are enrolled in any discounted units, such as BTSA or POS units. The most common piece of financial aid used by our graduate students is the Federal Direct Loan, which is awarded for two semesters at a time to students who have completed the application process. The federal limit on the maximum loan amount a full-time student (taking 6 units, full semester) can receive during a two semester period is $20,500 (or $10,250 per semester). Students enrolled in less than 6 units and/or in a single quad will receive a reduced amount. Because the Direct Loans are awarded based on your Cost of Education, which includes costs above and beyond tuition, your tuition costs will almost always be fully covered by the Direct Loans. To qualify for Direct Loans, you must meet all application deadlines, be a U.S. citizen, be in good standing with all previous federal loans, and must not have reached your lifetime Direct Loan maximum.

What is the "Cost of Education"?

The Cost of Education is the sum of tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous costs. Your expense budget is calculated using the tuition and fees from the university, the California Student Aid Commission 9-month Student Expense Budgets for the current academic year, and the ACCRA Cost of Living Index (COLI). Any financial aid you receive cannot exceed the Cost of Education.

What is "financial need" in terms of financial aid?

Financial need is defined as the difference between your Cost of Education (COE) for the academic year and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). COE is the sum of tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous costs. Your expense budget is calculated using the tuition and fees from the university, the California Student Aid Commission 9-month Student Expense Budgets for the current academic year, and the ACCRA Cost of Living Index (COLI). The Expected Family Contribution is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education using the information you submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Do I need to complete the FAFSA every year?

Yes, you must complete the FAFSA every year you wish to receive federal or state financial aid. The FAFSA information is valid for the fall, spring, and summer semesters of that specific academic year (the U.S. Department of Education defines an academic year as beginning on July 1 and ending June 30 the following year). For example, the 2014–15 FAFSA is valid for summer 2014 quad II (classes start after July 1), fall 2014, spring 2015, and summer 2015.

Should I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Importing your income information from the IRS directly into your FAFSA allows for the most accurate information to be submitted. If you are selected for verification, this should greatly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to complete requirements for financial aid awarding and processing. If you are just filing your FAFSA, review these instructions for using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are going back to correct your FAFSA, review these instructions for updating your FAFSA with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

How do I order a tax transcript?

Tax transcripts are ordered from the IRS. Review these instructions for ordering a tax transcript from the IRS.

What is the school code?

PLNU's school code is 001262.

How many units do I need to be enrolled in to receive financial aid?

You must be enrolled at least half time per semester to receive financial aid.

For graduate students, enrollment status breaks down as follows:

Enrollment Status Full Time 3/4 Time Half Time Less than Half Time
Number of Units 6+ 4.5 – 5.5 3 – 4 Less than 3

Please be aware that every student’s Cost of Education is based on an assumed enrollment status. For graduate students, it is assumed that all students will be enrolled full time during the full semester. If your actual enrollment does not meet the assumed enrollment status, the Cost of Education will be lower and financial aid awards may change.

What happens if I drop a class while receiving financial aid?

Dropping units may result in cancellations or reductions of previously awarded financial aid. Consult with your advisor to discuss how dropping units may impact your billing and financial aid award.

Should I register for the entire semester's classes at once?

Yes, you should definitely register for all classes in the semester up front, as soon as possible. Any financial aid you receive is directly affected by your enrollment. If you neglect to register for Quad II classes at the beginning of the semester, it could have a detrimental effect on your financial aid and may cause delays in the disbursement of your financial aid awards.

How does PLNU get the money from my Direct Loans?

The money from your Direct Loans is disbursed electronically to PLNU and posted on your student account. The money automatically pays your tuition charges and if there is any excess money, it is sent to you within 14 days of the date of the disbursement.

When are the disbursement dates?

Financial aid disbursements are scheduled for the second Wednesday after the semester begins. For students that start classes in quad II only, disbursements are scheduled for the second Wednesday after quad II classes begin. The disbursement date is not the date your loan is guaranteed to arrive. There are many factors that can cause delays to your loan disbursements arriving. If your enrollment does not match the enrollment we assumed when we initially awarded your financial aid, adjustments must be made which can cause delays. Likewise, if you are missing steps in the financial aid process your loans may not disburse on the scheduled disbursement date. Once all steps are completed and all necessary adjustments have been made, your loan will disburse on the next available disbursement date. Stafford Loans disburse every weekday. Please keep in mind that if you are expecting a refund check, the check will not be available on the actual disbursement date. See the Refund Check section of our website for more details.

Why are the disbursement dates so late in the semester?

Providing accurate and timely financial aid is important to our department. We verify that all application steps have been completed and that you are enrolled in the correct number of units before releasing your Stafford Loan disbursements, to ensure that your financial aid awards are accurate and will not result in further disbursements after the money has posted to your student account.

How do I do my entrance counseling?

Entrance counseling can be completed online at the studentloans.gov website.

How do I sign for my loans?

Your Master Promissory Note can be signed electronically at studentloans.gov.

How do I claim my loans?

In order for your aid to disburse to your student account, you must ‘accept’ or ‘decline’ your aid on PLNU’s student portal. Please follow these steps at your earliest convenience:

  • Log in to my.pointloma.edu.

  • Click Students.

  • Click Financial Services.

  • Click on the Awards tab.

  • Accept the Terms and Conditions (if applicable).

  • Change the status of all pending awards to either Accept or Decline and adjust the amount you would like to receive (if desired).

Why haven’t my loans posted?

There are several reasons why your loans may not have posted:

  1. Have you completed all necessary application materials? Check your portal to see if you have any missing materials. Log in to the portal and go to Students, Financial Services, Financial Aid Awards, and Your Documents.

  2. Have you completed all steps to sign for your loans? Check with your Student Financial Services (SFS) advisor for more information.

  3. Are you enrolled full time, full semester for this semester? If you are not enrolled full time, full semester in the current semester, your loans may be in the process of being adjusted. Contact your SFS advisor for more information.

  4. If any of the above steps happened in the past week, you may want to allow at least a week for processing.

  5. Is it past your scheduled disbursement date? Loans will not disburse until the scheduled disbursement date. Once all steps are completed and all necessary adjustments have been made, your loan will disburse on the next available disbursement date. Stafford Loans disburse every Wednesday and Friday.

  6. If you still aren’t sure why your loans have not posted, please contact your advisor.

What is a dislocated worker?

If you checked the box that you are a dislocated worker on the FAFSA (Q85 or Q103), you may be required by PLNU to submit documentation of your status.  A person may be considered a dislocated worker if he or she:

  • Is receiving unemployment benefits due to being laid off or losing a job and is unlikely to return to a previous occupation

  • Has been laid off or received a lay-off notice from a job

  • Was self-employed but is now unemployed due to economic conditions or natural disaster

  • Is a displaced homemaker, a person who previously provided unpaid services to the family (e.g. a stay-at-home mom or dad), is no longer supported by the husband or wife, is unemployed or underemployed, and is having trouble finding or upgrading employment

You may be required to submit proof of dislocated worker eligibility prior to being packaged for financial aid. Proof may be through one of the following:

  • A termination letter or layoff notice

  • A final pay check stub

  • A current unemployment benefits statement

  • A divorce decree for displaced homemaker

  • A death certificate for a widow or widower

  • A business statement or dissolution statement for self-employment

Refunds

I applied for financial aid in excess of my tuition and fees. When will I get my refund?

If you are a recipient of Federal Student Aid, PLNU will automatically mail you a paper refund check (or issue a direct deposit) for the difference between your Federal Student Aid and your direct institutional charges (if applicable) within 14 days of your financial aid disbursement.

Exact delivery time of refund varies depending on whether or not the student is signed up for direct deposit, requests check pick-up, or if the check is delivered by standard mail. Students may choose to have their refund deposited directly to their bank account. Contact your Student Financial Services advisor to fill out the form.

PLNU cannot use your Federal Student Aid to cover prior balances or indirect charges without your authorization. If you have indirect institutional charges or a prior balance on your student account, and would like your financial aid to cover these charges, you need to sign a Title IV Authorization Form. Contact Student Financial Services to obtain the form.

Federal Student Aid Examples of Direct Institutional Charges Examples of Indirect Institutional Charges
Direct Loans Tuition Library Fines
PLUS Loans Student Teaching Fees Late Fees
Grad PLUS Loan Teacher Education Assessment Fee Public Safety Fines
Perkins Loans

Room and Board
Graduation Fee

TPA Late Fees
TPA Re-scoring Fees

Should I save this refund check to pay for my next semester?

We encourage smart borrowing, emphasizing that students only borrow what they need. If you receive a refund check which you do not need for living expenses, the best decision would be to return the extra money to your lender. There are two ways you can return the money to the lender. The first method is to deposit the refund check into your personal bank account and then send a payment to the lender for the amount you do not need. The second method is to endorse the back of the refund check with your signature and write the words “Re-apply to Student Account” under your signature. Return the endorsed check to the SFS office on the main campus either in person or by mail. Contact your SFS advisor to have a Stafford Loan Adjustment Form sent to you. You will sign the form electronically and return it to your SFS advisor. Once the signed form is received, your excess funds will be returned to the lender.