Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I get my son/daughter's grades/schedule? I'm paying the bills!

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) does not permit PLNU to release non-directory information without the signed consent of your son or daughter. 

To be able to discuss your child's account, your child must give permission via his or her student portal (my.pointloma.edu). Below are the steps for students to change their information release preferences.

  • Student must log into my.pointloma.edu
  • Click on the Students tab
  • Under Profile Information, click on Update Information Releases

How can I pay my child's account if you can't even tell me how much they owe?

Your child can update their information releases via their portal. Please see the steps below. Otherwise, your child will either have to verbally inform you about or provide you with a copy of their statement of account, or they can provide  written consent authorizing you to receive and inspect their financial statements.

  1. Student must log into my.pointloma.edu
  2. Click on the Students tab
  3. Under Profile Information, click on Update Information Releases
     

How can my child change their information release preferences?

To be able to discuss your child's account, your child must give permission via his or her student portal (my.pointloma.edu). Below are the steps for students to change their information release preferences.

  1. Student must log into my.pointloma.edu
  2. Click on the Students tab
  3. Under Profile Information, click on Update Information Releases

When will I receive billing statements?

Your initial statement of account will be posted to the student portal during the first week of July for the fall semester and the first week of December for the spring semester, provided you have already registered for classes. Thereafter, statements will be available for viewing online. Each month, you will receive an email reminder to view your account online if there is a balance owing on your account.

Please keep this checklist handy to help you remember how to handle these important financial matters.

How do I view my bill online?

Log in to your student portal at my.pointloma.edu using your username and password. After clicking Students at the top of the page, choose Forecasted Statement of Account under the Financial Services section to view your account for an upcoming semester. Once a semester has begun, click on Current Statement of Account to see all posted charges and payments.

Can my parents view my bill online?

Yes, but only if you give them permission. FERPA regulations stipulate we can only share your financial information with those to whom you give permission. Once you have given them permission, they will be able to set up a parent portal, which will enable them to view and/or pay your bill online.

How do I give my parents permission to view my bill?

Log into your student portal. Under Profile Update, click on Update Information Releases. Then, under Financial Info, click Edit and choose the name of any individuals with whom you're willing to share your financial information. Make note of the ID number that appears next to the name and share this with the individual. He/she will need this ID number to set up a parent portal. If you don't see a name you are looking for, simply request it be added through the link provided, and it will be added to the system within two or three business days.

How do my parents set up a parent portal?

Parents can set up a portal at my.pointloma.edu by clicking on Create Account on the left side of the page and following the instructions. They will need their PLNU ID number (which you will find on your portal), and they will set up their own username and password.
 

When are payments due?

PLNU requires full payment of tuition and fees by the first Monday in August for the fall semester and the first Monday in January for the spring semester.

View Important Dates and Deadlines.

What are my payment options?

You are responsible for paying the net balance (charges minus awarded aid, not including federal work study) on your student account each semester by the established due date. Keep in mind 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 Online: Log into your student or parent portal at my.pointloma.edu. After clicking either Students or Parents, choose Financial Services on the left hand side of the page, then choose Make a Payment. Follow the instructions to pay by electronic check.

    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. Please check with your financial institution if you are unsure about whether or not you can make electronic payments through your account. There is no fee for paying by electronic check.

    Please note that credit and debit cards are not accepted as payment toward a student account balance.
  2. Pay in Person: You may make cash or check payments to your student account at the cashier's window on campus. Please do not mail cash payments.
  3. Payment Plan: PLNU provides a Tuition Installment Plan (TIP) that helps families by dividing educational costs into multiple payments per semester without accruing interest or late fees as long as the budget covers the current semester's charges and payments are made on time, according to the contracted amount. Visit Payment and Billing for more information.

Why am I not able to pay my student account balance by credit card?

The cost (in the form of bank fees) to PLNU of accepting credit and debit card payments has increased every year. Unfortunately, this cost, which is part of the university’s operating budget, gets passed on to all students in the form of fewer resources being available for academic and student life programs, even though only a portion of our students and their families us a credit/debit card to make payment on their school bills. In the state of California, this fee cannot get passed on to users of credit and debit cards. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to no longer accept credit/debit card payments for charges that appear on a student account, including tuition, room and board, and all fees. In making this decision, PLNU joins a growing list of California colleges and universities that have moved away from accepting credit/debit cards due to the rising costs associated with this method of payment.

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

Students will be charged a five percent late fee on any outstanding balance approximately 30 days after the payment due date each semester. 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 a Student Financial Services advisor as soon as possible to discuss all available payment options.

What if there is money left on my account after my bill is paid?

If there is a credit balance on your account after your bill has been paid, you have three basic options:

  1. Return the extra funds back to the Department of Education, reducing your loan debt and the amount of interest you will owe. (To return the funds to your lender, either send an email to Student Financial Services at sfs@pointloma.edu or submit a Loan Adjustment Form.)
  2. Leave the credit balance on your account to help pay next semester’s bill. However, if your credit balance is caused by federal student aid, we are required to refund you within 14 days of the disbursement.
  3. Request a check for the credit balance, or any portion of it. To request a check, simply send an email to our office at sfs@pointloma.edu. Refund checks cannot be issued until all aid has been posted to the student account.

Students are able to access any available credit showing on the student account, even if the credit was created by a parent payment or a parent PLUS loan.

What are e-bills?

E-bills are online student billing statements that display student-related financial activity such as tuition, fees, housing, financial aid, and payments. E-bills are available online through PLNU’s student and parent portals.

How does e-billing work?

Bills for the semester will be available online through PLNU’s student and parent portals. On a monthly basis, students will receive an email notification if there is a balance due on the student account, advising that the e-bill is available to view and pay on the portal. The email will be sent to your official university email account. If you have authorized other individuals to have access to your financial information (such as parents, guardians, a spouse, or third-party sponsor), they can elect to receive an electronic notification advising that the e-bill is available to view and pay by updating their statement delivery options in their parent portal.

How can I pay my bill?

Bills can be paid three ways:

  1. Online payment can be made by e-check. (E-check is a fast and secure method to electronically pay your e-bill from a checking or savings account.)
  2. Mail a check to PLNU, Student Financial Services Office, 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, CA 92106. Please write the student's name and PLNU ID number on the memo line at the bottom of the check.
  3. Pay in person (cash or check) at the cashier’s window located in Draper Hall, on PLNU’s main campus in San Diego. (Credit and debit card payments are not accepted at the cashier’s window).
     

Can I mail my payment?

We encourage you to make your payment online, but if you wish to mail your payment, please print your bill and detach and include the payment remittance form at the top of the bill with your payment. Please write the student's name and PLNU ID number on the memo line at the bottom of the check.

Mail the payment to: 

PLNU
Student Financial Services Office
3900 Lomaland Drive
San Diego, CA 92106

What are the benefits of e-billing?

  • Student privacy — only you and those you authorize can see your e-bills and payment history
  • Parents or other authorized payers can view the bill prior to submitting payment
  • E-bills are up-to-date on a real-time basis, and are available to view 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Automatic email notification each month if there is a balance due on the account
  • Better use of university resources
     

How do I access my e-bill?

Log into your student portal (my.pointloma.edu) and enter your username and password. Click on Students at the top of the page, and under the Financial Services section, click on Statement of Account.

How do authorized payers access my e-bill?

  1. Student must log into my.pointloma.edu
  2. Click on the Students tab
  3. Under Profile Information, click on Update Information Releases
  4. Then, under Financial Info, click Edit and choose the name of any individuals with whom you're willing to share your financial information.

Make note of the ID number that appears next to the name and share this with the individual. He/she will need this ID number to set up a parent portal. If you don't see a name you are looking for, simply request it be added through the link provided, and it will be added to the system within two or three business days.

Parents can set up a portal at my.pointloma.edu by clicking on Create Account on the left side of the page and following the instructions. They will need their PLNU ID number (which you will find on your portal), and they will set up their own username and password.

How can I view and/or print my bill if I do not have a computer at home?

Your options include:

  • You can access any computer on campus, including computers for student use in the Student Financial Services Office, to view and/or print your bill
  • Visit a public library or Internet café to access your e-bill
  • Your employer may have a computer available to access your e-bill
  • Ask a family member or friend who has a computer to access your e-bill
     

Will my e-bill show the payment I just made?

Yes, each time you generate your e-bill online, the information will be up-to-date with the most recent payment transactions. Payments are posted real-time, the same day. However, new charges and tuition adjustments due to class changes may take 24 hours to be reflected.

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. For example, the 2017–18 FAFSA is valid for fall 2017, spring 2018, and summer 2018. It is from the FAFSA that PLNU is able to calculate the amount of your financial need.

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 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. Please see our Verification page for step-by-step instructions on how to order your tax return transcript.

What is the school code?

PLNU's school code is 001262.

What is "financial need?"

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 tuition and fees and the California Student Aid Commission nine-month Student Expense Budgets for the current academic year. The EFC is calculated by the Department of Education using the information you submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Generally, not all your financial need will be met by financial aid.

What does it mean when it says that I have been selected for verification?

The Department of Education randomly selects students who have completed the FAFSA for a process called verification. Therefore, if you are selected for verification, you were selected by the Department of Education, not PLNU, but you must verify the requested information by turning in paperwork to the Student Financial Services Office at PLNU.

If selected for verification:

  • You may be required to verify information such as, but not limited to,  income and taxes paid, number in household and in college, child support paid, SNAP, high school graduation, and identity.
  • The PLNU Student Financial Services Office will notify you if you have been selected for verification once you have filed your FAFSA.
  • If you are a returning PLNU student, you are required to submit all requested forms and tax information (see below for recommendations) before you are awarded financial aid. If you are a new PLNU student, you are required to submit all requested forms and tax information (see below for recommendations) before aid can be disbursed to your account.  
  • The PLNU Student Financial Services Office sends email notifications that will let you know what forms and information are needed for you to complete verification.
  • If verification is not completed by the first day of school or by a specified deadline, any federal aid, state aid, and institutional need-based aid may be removed from your awards.

For more information, see our Verification page.

I'm selected for verification, but I filed an extension with the IRS. What do I need to turn into the SFS office to find out my financial aid?

Acceptable Documentation for Extension Filers:

  • Copy of IRS Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return)
  • Copy of IRS approval granting a six-month extension until October 15 
  • W-2s from all employers 
  • Signed statement by self-employed certifying AGI and U.S. income tax paid

We will be able to award financial aid, which will be considered an estimate until verification is completed. We will not disburse any aid until verification is completed.

Once tax forms are filed electronically, after two weeks (four weeks if filing paper), students should correct FAFSA and authorized DRT or request a tax return transcript be sent to PLNU. We will verify your information and complete verification. You will receive an award letter stating verification is completed and any changes resulting from verification will be noted. Accepted aid will disburse accordingly.

What if my family's financial situation has changed since we filed the FAFSA?

Federal law allows PLNU to consider any significant change to a student's financial circumstances. Please see our Appeals for Special Circumstance page for more information.

I or my parents had a rollover from pension, annuity, or IRA retirement account in 2013 and it is being included as income. How do I correct my FASFA?

You can go in yourself and update your FAFSA and correct the IRA distribution or Untaxed Pensions fields to “0.” This will create a discrepancy PLNU will have to review and request documentation for or PLNU can also correct your FAFSA with documentation.

Acceptable documentation for both circumstances above:

  • First two pages of signed 2013 Tax Form 1040 or 1040A. “Rollover” must be designated in left margin of the form by lines 15a or 16a (1040) or lines 11a or 12a (1040A).  Please note the IRS Data Retrieval (DRT) or IRS Tax Return Transcript does not have a designation of “Rollover.”

OR

  •  IRS Form 8606 Nondeductible IRAs

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

To receive your full financial aid awarded you must be enrolled in 12 units or more at PLNU each semester. To receive federal and state aid (including student loans), you must be enrolled in at least 6 units. Aid may be pro-rated for certain awards.

The enrollment status breaks down as follows:

Enrollment Status     Full time ¾ time ½-time Less than ½-time
Number of Units 12+ 9 – 11 6-8 Less than 6

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 Student Financial Services advisor to discuss how dropping units may affect your billing and financial aid award.

My parents don't support me, so I want to be independent. How can I be considered independent?

A student is considered independent for financial aid purposes, if the student can answer “yes” to any of the criteria listed below. The student will not have to provide parent Information, but PLNU may ask for supporting documentation to verify independent status. If the student can answer "yes" to multiple criteria, documentation is only required for one. The criteria and the necessary documentation is provided below:

  • Are you 24 years old or older? — No documentation necessary unless there is a discrepancy
  • Married? — No documentation necessary unless there is a discrepancy
  • Working on master's/doctoral program? — Post-baccalaureate determination
  • Active duty military? — Current military ID card
  • Veteran of U.S. Armed Forces? — Form DD214 or Veteran Certification
  • Children you support? — If discrepancy, Clarification of Household Size Form
  • Dependents other than child/spouse? — If discrepancy, Clarification of Household Size Form
  • Orphan/ward of court/foster child? — Death certificate(s) or ward of court/foster care documentation
  • Emancipated minor? — Emancipated minor court documentation
  • Legal guardianship? — Legal guardianship court documentation
  • Homeless determined by school? — High school or school district determination letter
  • Homeless determined by HUD Shelter? — HUD shelter program determination letter
  • At-risk for homelessness? — Runaway/homeless youth program determination
     

I don't fall under the independent criteria listed above. How can I be considered independent?

You can request an independent status appeal for us to review your circumstances. Just because your parents will not pay for college or they consider you independent because you are 18 years old does not mean you are automatically independent. Most appeals for independence involve some type of adverse home situation like abuse, parents in jail, etc.

When do I get my money?

Generally, financial aid awards are disbursed once each semester. Financial aid disbursements are scheduled for the first working day of the third week after the semester begins. Disbursements are made directly to the student account. After the initial disbursement of aid, disbursements are run on a daily basis. The published disbursement date may or may not be the date your aid is posted to your student account. There are many factors that can cause delays: not being registered in the correct number of units, missing documents, missing steps in the financial aid application process, etc. Once all steps are completed and all necessary reviews have been made, your aid will disburse on the next available disbursement date. Please keep in mind if you are expecting a refund check, the check will not be available on the actual disbursement date. 

Why are the disbursement dates so late in the semester?

Providing accurate and timely financial aid is important to our department. We verify all application steps have been completed and you are enrolled in the correct number of units before disbursing aid to your student account to ensure your financial aid awards are accurate and will not result in lost aid. 

How do I get money for books?

Students are not able to access funds on their student account until all aid has posted and a credit balance exists. Financial aid is not posted until the third week of each semester. However, if a student's pending financial aid is greater than the charges on the account, we can offer up to $600 as a book money advance, once the semester has begun.

During the first two weeks of school, students who will have a credit balance on their account can see a Student Financial Services advisor for a cash advance of up to $600 (or the amount of the credit expected, whichever is less).

How does federal work study work?

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/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 layoff 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) but is no longer supported by the husband or wife
  • Is unemployed or underemployed, and is having trouble finding or upgrading employment

The parent or student may be required to submit proof of dislocated worker eligibility prior to being packaged for financial aid. 

Proof may be the one of the following:

  • Termination letter or layoff notice
  • Final paycheck stub
  • Current unemployment benefits statement
  • Divorce decree for displaced homemaker
  • Death certificate for widow or widower
  • Business statement or dissolution statement for self-employed
     

How do I get a refund or return my aid if I withdraw from school?

There are some policies and procedures to consider. Visit the Refunds page for more information.

What if I'm studying abroad?

Students who study abroad are eligible for financial aid with some exceptions.  All students are eligible for federal and state financial aid (grants and loans) during the semester they study abroad. Students awarded federal work study are not eligible during the semester they are studying abroad. Students are eligible to apply for an alternative private loan.

If the study abroad program is required for their major (please refer to the current PLNU handbook), students are eligible to use all their institutional aid awarded up to the cost of the program (including academic awards; PCD; MCD; church matching; and district, restricted, and department awards) with the exception of tuition remission. Tuition remission (including CCCU) may not be used for any study abroad program. 

If the study abroad program is not required for their major, students are generally not eligible to use their institutional aid for study abroad costs with some exceptions. If a student is studying abroad during fall semester, they are eligible to use up to $1,000 of their institutional aid awarded. There are a few institutional study abroad programs that are eligible for additional institutional aid; please contact the study abroad office with any questions.

For the purpose of applying for federal and state financial aid, PLNU is considered the “home school” for study abroad programs approved for credit.

For more information in regard to study abroad or study abroad specific scholarship information, please visit the Office of Global Studies.

What is Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Federal regulations require that PLNU students adhere to a policy of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to retain eligibility for federal and state financial aid.

The policy consists of a qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (unit) standard. Student Financial Services conducts SAP reviews at the end of each semester, including summer. The policy, in some circumstances, may be stricter than the institution's standards. 

Download the SAP PDF for more information.