Merit-Based Awards

Merit-Based Awards

PLNU Incoming Freshmen Merit Scholarships

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

We have a variety of merit-based scholarships for students coming to PLNU straight out of high school, based on GPA and test scores. Use the calculator to determine which scholarship you qualify for currently. Please enter your 9-12, cumulative, weighted GPA. Enter "0" if you do not have either an ACT score or an SAT score. If you are applying test-optional, enter "0" in both the SAT and ACT fields.

We want to ensure that applicant transcripts are evaluated on a level playing field. PLNU uses a cumulative, weighted GPA for admissions and for awarding merit scholarships. By "cumulative", we mean all courses (academic and non-academic), throughout all eight semesters of high school are included. By "weighted", we mean that courses listed on transcripts as Honors, AP, or IB HL courses are calculated on a 5.0 scale, rather than the unweighted 4.0 scale.

Scholarship Calculator

FOR THOSE APPLYING WITH TEST SCORES: View the entire merit scholarship grid.

FOR THOSE APPLYING WITHOUT TEST SCORES: For any student applying to PLNU without an SAT or ACT see the table below for the merit award you qualify for.

AwardCumulative, Weighted GPAAmount Per Year
Bresee ScholarshipBetween 3.65 and 3.79$10,000
Provost's ScholarshipBetween 3.8 and 3.99$12,000
Trustee's ScholarshipBetween 4.0 and 4.29$16,000
President's Scholarship4.3 or higher$20,000

Each scholarship is awarded on a sliding scale of cumulative, weighted GPA and SAT or ACT score.

We're aware that many of you have been unable to take an SAT or ACT due to numerous test cancellations. If testing accessibility continues to be a major issue, we will revisit our higher scholarship awarding policy in early Spring 2021.

PLNU Transfer** Merit Scholarships

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

AwardMinimum Weighted GPAAmount Per Year
Transfer Merit 1Between 3.0 and 3.29$5,000
Transfer Merit 2Between 3.3 and 3.59$7,500
Transfer Merit 33.6 or higher$10,000

**For transfer students who have completed 16 or more units at another college or university. Transfer students who will have completed fewer than 16 units at another college or university at the time they enroll at PLNU are not eligible for transfer merit aid. However, incoming freshmen merit aid (with the same requirements) is available.

Students are able to qualify for a Provost’s, Trustee’s or President’s Scholarships throughout the entire application process. That means that students are able to submit SAT/ACT scores through their last offering (June) and final high school transcripts and still receive the award for which they qualify. The University Honors Scholarship, as a competitive award, is only awarded in February. All students who quality for President’s Scholarships by February 1 will be considered for the University Honors Scholarship. The University Honors Scholarship does not require a separate application, and are awarded based purely on academic merit.

Renewal: All PLNU Merit-Based Awards are able to be renewed for all four years that you're a PLNU student. Students are guaranteed their scholarship for their first two years, and after that, a 3.4 college GPA must be maintained to renew your Academic Scholarship with the exception of Bresee which requires a 3.2 cumulative GPA for renewal.

Outside Scholarships

Outside Scholarships

In addition to PLNU-offered scholarships, you have access to a database where you can research different outside scholarships that have been made known to PLNU through other students, organizations, and businesses. You can apply to as many of these scholarships as you’d like. Just make sure you report any outside scholarship received to the Student Financial Services Office so we can apply it to your package. 

Explore Outside Scholarship Database


Performance-Based Awards

Performance-Based Awards

Performance based awards include Athletic, Music, Theatre, and Forensics Scholarships. Performance awards may be combined with both academic and science honors scholarships. 

Students are expected to contact the applicable department to apply for the involvement scholarships mentioned above.

Athletic Scholarships

The student should contact the Intercollegiate Athletic Department at (619) 849-2265.

For students who live on-campus, athletic scholarships can only be used to help pay tuition, mandatory and other fees and on-campus room and board.

Forensics Scholarships

The student should contact the forensics coach in the Department of Communication and Theatre at (619) 849-2391.

Music Scholarships

The student should contact the department assistant in the Department of Music at (619) 849-2445.

Theatre Scholarships

The student should contact the department chair in the Department of Communication and Theatre at (619) 849-2248.

For more information regarding on the PLNU institutional policy and enrollment status requirements, please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog.

Endowed Awards

Endowed Awards

Once you’re a PLNU student, you will have the opportunity to apply for additional scholarships. PLNU offers approximately 300 endowed scholarship opportunities, which are made available through various PLNU departments, offices, and alumni.

If you are interested in more information about any of the awards listed on this page, please contact the department in which the award is associated.

View the full list of Endowed Scholarships.

Nazarene Scholarships

Nazarene Scholarships

Church Scholarship, Nazarene Grant-in-Aid and District Grants are available for Nazarene students from the Southwest Education Region of the Church of the Nazarene. Students should contact their church for their church's eligibility for this scholarship.

For additional scholarship opportunities, please go to the "Outside Scholarships" page above.

You can contact us with any questions:
(619) 849-2538

Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship

Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act 

On March 23, 2018, the President signed Public Law 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which included an amendment to Section 473(b) of the Higher Education Act, authorizing the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship. Under this scholarship, beginning with the 2018-2019 award year, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made. To qualify for this scholarship, a student must be Pell-eligible and have a Pell-eligible EFC (up to 5486 for the 2018-2019 award year), and be less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death. In subsequent award years, the student continues to be eligible for the scholarship, as long as the student has a Pell-eligible EFC and continues to be an eligible student.

For purposes of the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship, a public safety officer is:

  • As defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b); or
  • A fire police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event.

If you believe you are eligible for this federal scholarship, please contact Student Financial Services at