Merit-Based Awards

Merit-Based Awards

PLNU Incoming Freshmen Merit Scholarships

For freshmen starting PLNU in fall 2024 to spring 2025.

PLNU-awarded scholarships are available between $10,000-$22,000 per year. Qualification data will include unweighted GPA and weighted GPA or SAT/ACT score.

2024-25 First-Time Freshman Merit Award Criteria

Student must meet any 2 of 3 criteria to qualify:

AwardAmountPrimary Criteria:
Unweighted HS GPA
Secondary Criteria:
Weighted HS GPA
Any 1 of 3
President’s Gold$22,0003.95Weighted HS GPA ≥ 4.40
SAT ≥ 1430
ACT ≥ 32
President’s Green$19,0003.9Weighted HS GPA ≥ 4.25
SAT ≥ 1400
ACT ≥ 31
Trustee’s$16,0003.85Weighted HS GPA ≥ 4.10
SAT ≥ 1370
ACT ≥ 30
Provost’s$14,0003.8Weighted HS GPA ≥ 3.90
SAT ≥ 1340
ACT ≥ 29
Dean’s$12,0003.5Weighted HS GPA ≥ 3.75
SAT ≥ 1280
ACT ≥ 27
Bresee$10,0003.25Weighted HS GPA ≥ 3.60
SAT ≥ 1180
ACT ≥ 24

Must meet primary AND secondary criteria

PLNU Transfer** Merit Scholarships

For transfer students beginning PLNU in fall 2024 to spring 2025.

AwardMinimum Weighted GPAAmount Per Year
Transfer Merit 1Between 3.0 and 3.29$6,000
Transfer Merit 2Between 3.3 and 3.59$9,000
Transfer Merit 33.6 or higher$12,000

**For transfer students who have completed 16 or more units at another college or university after graduating high school. Transfer students who will have completed fewer than 16 units at another college or university at the time they begin classes 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.


Academic scholarships are offered for an initial two-year period and, subject to maintaining renewal criteria, can be received for a maximum of eight (8) semesters. Continuous full-time enrollment is required (12 units or more per semester) to retain an academic scholarship. Renewal eligibility is based on the student’s cumulative GPA (not rounded) calculated at the end of the fall or third semester of the second year of the scholarship and each subsequent year. Any student not meeting the renewal criteria at that time will be given until the end of the spring or fourth semester to meet the qualifying cumulative GPA. Once lost, an academic scholarship cannot be regained.

2020-2021 Cohort (began PLNU in 2020/2021)

Original MeritGPA CriteriaRenews atGPA CriteriaRenews at
Transfer Merit 23.40+Transfer Merit 23.20-3.399Transfer Merit 1
Transfer Merit 13.20+Transfer Merit 1  

*must also demonstrate financial need

2021-2022 Cohort (began PLNU in 2021/2022) or 2022-2023 Cohort (began PLNU in 2022/2023)

Original MeritGPA CriteriaRenews atGPA CriteriaRenews atGPA CriteriaRenews at
Transfer Merit 33.40+Transfer Merit 33.20-3.399Transfer Merit 23.00-3.199Transfer Merit 1
Transfer Merit 23.20+Transfer Merit 23.00-3.199Transfer Merit 1  
Transfer Merit 13.20+Transfer Merit 1    


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