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Undergraduate Financial Aid

» Undergraduate Financial Aid Information Guide

The Undergraduate Financial Aid Information Guide has been developed to help explain financial aid at Chapman University and to acquaint students and their families with the terms and conditions of receiving financial aid. This guide contains important information. Please bookmark this guide and contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid if you need further information or have questions about any of the information provided here.

The information contained in this guide is current as of November 26, 2018, and is subject to revision should federal, state, or institutional policies change. This guide is updated and revised each year.

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid makes every attempt to keep students informed of new laws and regulations. Students will be informed of changes via e-mail, letters, the website, bulletin board postings, and telephone communications. Students are strongly encouraged to check their Chapman University email often for communication from the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid.

This Undergraduate Financial Aid Student Information Guide supersedes all previous guides and the policies expressed in this guide are controlling for the 2018-2019 academic year, regardless of any policies stated in any previous guide or in any other communication, verbal or written.

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Contact Information and Office Hours

Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid
tel. (714) 997-6741
fax: (714) 997-6743
Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid
Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange, California 92866

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid is open Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. During particularly busy times of the year, such as the first two weeks of the term, our hours may vary.  We encourage students and parents to call for an appointment or to confirm operating hours for the week.

In addition to maintaining the financial aid portion of the official Chapman University Website, the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid maintains a Facebook so that students can keep up-to-date about important financial aid deadlines and opportunities as well as learn about scholarships from outside resources.  Follow the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid on Facebook today!

General Information

When awarding aid, Chapman University must follow all laws and regulations of Federal and State of California aid programs. Our decisions are based on these rules, the information you and your family provide, the number of applicants, and the total funds available.

The priority filing date for the FAFSA is March 2 of each year for the following school year, though the FAFSA is available beginning October 1 prior to the March 2 priority deadline. Students are asked to respond promptly to any requests for additional information within 30 days of the date requested unless another deadline is established in the communication to the student. All data provided to the Office of Financial Aid and the federal government must be accurate in order to minimize processing time.

Every effort will be made to serve as quickly as possible those students who file applications after the preferential filing date, but service may be delayed, and funds may not be available for some financial aid programs. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all financial obligations related to attendance until financial aid is available.

Although Chapman University considers an offer of financial aid a firm commitment, the university sometimes is required by law to revise its offer of assistance. Revisions may be required if anticipated funding is not received, application data is changed, students receive additional awards, there are changes in the student’s credit hour load or residency status, or other factors are present consistent with policies expressed in this guide. As a courtesy, most financial aid will be credited to your student account, however, in some circumstances, you must contact the Office of Student Business Services to sign checks or other appropriate materials such as promissory notes for the Chapman Interest-Free loans. In order to register for a subsequent semester, your student account must be paid in full by the deadline specified by the Office of Student Business Services. Please follow any payment instructions you are given.

Unless otherwise indicated on your award letter, financial aid awards to undergraduate students are based on full-time attendance (12 credit hours each semester). Please notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid if you plan to enroll in fewer units than specified on your award letter.

Tools to Assist New Students

Chapman University and the U.S. Department of Education provide many tools to assist incoming students in understanding financial aid and the financial aid process as well as statistics for the University.

  • Net Price Calculator - The New Price Calculator is provided by the University. By providing us with some basic information about the student, we are able to instantly generate an estimate of what a student's financial aid award may look like. It is important to remember that this estimate does not represent a final determination, or actual award, or financial assistance.
  • Chapman University Data Mart - The CU Data Mart gives you year-to-date and cross-year statistics as monitored by the CU Office of Institutional Research.
  • College Scorecard - Maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, the College Scorecard allows students to compare statistics ranging from graduation rate to average loan indebtedness.
  • College Navigator - Maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator allows students to review a multitude of statistics about the University.

Application Procedure

  1. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine your eligibility for all federal and state financial aid programs. It is also used to help determine your eligibility for grants and loans financed exclusively by Chapman University and our donors. When completing the FAFSA, “Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange, CA” must be stated in the section that requires you to indicate which colleges are to receive the FAFSA information. The Chapman University Federal School Code is 001164.
  2. You can complete the FAFSA electronically by going to When filing electronically you will need to establish an FSA login and password.  If you are required to provide parental information (See section two of the electronic FAFSA), at least one of your parents also must establish an FSA login and password. Your login and password will remain the same for various federal websites and will act as your signature on federal documents such as the FAFSA and loan promissory notes.  
  3. The FAFSA must be completed after October 1 of the year that precedes the academic year for which you are applying. To avoid errors and subsequent delays, it is advantageous to complete the FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool available as your complete your electronic FAFSA.  Using the IRS DRT will provide the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid the most accurate information. You will be providing IRS data from two years prior and asset and other data accurate as of the day you sign the FAFSA.
  4. The priority filing date by which all materials must be completed is March 2 following the October 1 FAFSA opening. Applications submitted after March 2 will be considered, but funding may not be available from some programs.
  5. The federal government randomly selects financial aid applications for a process called Verification. If your application is selected, you will be required to provide additional documents such as a copy of Federal Income Tax Return Transcript. Instructions will be sent to you detailing what additional documentation is required to complete your application. Please comply within 30 days. Students are ineligible for financial aid if they, or their parents, fail to file a tax return when required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
  6. If you are an undergraduate California resident and wish to apply for a Cal Grant, you also must submit a “GPA Verification Form” to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) postmarked no later than March 2 of the year preceding the year for which you are applying. A section of this form must be completed by Chapman University, another college, or your high school; please refer to instructions on the form. Students who are currently receiving Cal Grant assistance need not submit the GPA Verification Form. New applicants must submit the FAFSA to the federal processor no later than March 2, which is an absolute deadline for Cal Grants. For students who qualify under the California Dream Act, the California Dream Act Application must be completed in lieu of the FAFSA by the March 2 deadline. This application can be filled out online at


When you apply for financial aid, you will be asked to provide a considerable amount of detailed information. It is extremely important that the information is accurate. Take your time when filling out the forms. A FAFSA submitted on March 2 will be considered on the same basis as one submitted on October 1. Inaccurate data, however, will cause delay and may jeopardize your opportunity to receive all the assistance for which you are eligible because funding in some programs may be exhausted by the time an inaccurate application is corrected. You may also be asked to provide additional information. Please respond promptly to these requests. Again, delay on your part may jeopardize your opportunity to receive aid from some programs or may result in your receiving assistance later than you desire.


Renewal of Assistance

Financial aid may be renewed for successive years, but you must apply for it each school year by completing a FAFSA or renewal FAFSA.

Students receiving only merit scholarships or talent scholarships from the University do not need to complete a FAFSA to renew their awards.  Students receiving these awards should refer to their original offer letters for the specific criteria of renewal.

The specific amount of financial aid awarded to you may differ each year. These differences could be the result of several factors including availability of funding, changes in law and regulations, increases or decreases in family financial circumstances, and/or changes in tuition charges and other expenses.

Cost of Attendance

The costs associated with attending Chapman University can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct costs consist of tuition, fees, books, and supplies. These costs are the same, or nearly the same, for each individual.

Indirect costs include rent, utilities, food, transportation, clothing, laundry, child care, recreation, and other personal expenses. These costs might vary considerably from one individual to another.

In accordance with standards established by federal law, the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid has developed estimates of non-instructional costs for a single student without dependents. These estimates are used as part of the eligibility formula. The estimates are based on federal criteria and your actual expenses may be different. The cost estimates do not include expenses for child care or the special needs of students with disabilities. If you have such expenses and they are not being covered by assistance from a government or private agency, you are encouraged to report your expenses to the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid by completing the Financial Aid Appeal Form. These costs can then be taken into consideration. Please complete the Financial Aid Appeal Form after you have received your first award letter and have determined the assistance you have been offered is insufficient to enable you to attend school.

Be sure to check out Chapman University's current Cost of Attendance.

Payment Plan

Chapman University offers a payment plan to help you spread your expenses over the semester. This payment plan works in conjunction with your financial aid. Details about this program are available from the Office of Student Business Services.

Determining Your Eligibility

Your eligibility for financial aid is established by a concept established in law called the “Federal Methodology of Need Analysis.” This concept requires determining your eligibility by calculating the difference between the costs of attending Chapman University (See Cost of Education) and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is determined by the Federal Government. If the EFC is less than the cost of attendance, Chapman University will attempt to meet the difference with a financial aid award.

Although the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid has some flexibility in determining eligibility, the role of the federal government must be acknowledged. As an institution that makes extensive use of federal financial aid funds, Chapman University is required to utilize formulas, policies and procedures that are written into federal law. These guidelines are not always those that Chapman University would have set. We are compelled to follow them, however, so that federal support will remain available to our students.

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid recognizes that defining eligibility and determining its extent involves issues over which there can be a reasonable diversity of opinion. The office attempts to determine eligibility realistically in a manner compliant with law and consistent among all students to assure that every student is awarded as fairly as possible.

Determining Your Award

After your eligibility has been determined, Chapman University will make an offer of financial aid. The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid may likely combine funds from several financial aid programs into a “package” of assistance.

If determined eligible under the Federal Methodology of Need Analysis, Federal Pell Grants are the first aid program to be placed in an undergraduate student’s package. These grants are followed by Cal Grants if the student is awarded such assistance by the CSAC. Academic scholarships are awarded to new students based on information submitted as part of their application for admission. Students who are selected to receive scholarships will have them included in their packages.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant funds (FSEOG) are limited, and these funds are awarded to undergraduate students determined by the Federal Government to be the neediest.

Chapman Grants also are awarded to needy undergraduate students based on their academic records and the availability of funds.

Talent scholarships may be awarded to undergraduates based solely on talent pertaining to their area of study. These awards are provided in the same manner as an academic scholarship, and will not change from one year to the next, provided renewal requirements are met. These scholarships are renewable for up to 8 semesters.

After awarding grants, scholarships and fellowships, if eligibility is remaining, students will receive Federal Direct Loans.

Federal Work Study is then awarded to students who meet the eligibility rules for this program. Receipt of these awards is contingent upon each recipient finding a job (See the Federal Work Study description listed under “Federal Aid Programs”).

Policies have been developed to ensure that students with the same degree of eligibility will receive the same awards, and usually this intent is achieved. There will be times, however, when awards will differ because of circumstances beyond the control of the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid. Such circumstances might include the academic program in which a student is enrolled, applications submitted with inaccurate or incomplete data, or applications submitted after the preferential filing date of March 2.

Awards Not Indicated on Your Award Letter / Student Portal

Please notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid immediately if you are receiving an award not listed on your initial award letter or student portal. This includes any Federal, State, Institutional or private awards that you may be receiving.

Please notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid If your enrollment status or housing status should change as these changes will impact your current award.

Accepting Your Award

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid will notify you when you have been awarded financial aid. New students will receive both an email and an award packet in the mail. Returning students will be notified via email to their Chapman University email addresses.

All grants and scholarships will be automatically accepted for you.  Should you decide to decline one of these awards, please notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid immediately.

You may accept or decline your loans and work study online using your student portal.

Please make changes within three weeks of the date you are notified of your award.

For most financial aid programs, assistance will be posted to your student account during the first two weeks of classes each semester provided you are registered for classes. For students who receive award letters after the start of classes, disbursement will take place as soon as possible.

Federal Pell Grant funds will be posted to your account after the Add/ Drop period. The amount of your Federal Pell Grant may change after the second week of classes (the “add” period) if your enrollment status changes (full-time to three-quarter time, half time to full time, etc.) Students whose classes begin late in the semester must still be registered for those classes by the end of the second week of the semester in order to receive federal and state grant funding for the classes.

First-time loan borrowers at Chapman University must participate in online loan counseling and complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) prior to receiving funds. (See “Loan Entrance and MPN”).

For most students, loan funds are disbursed during the first two weeks of the semester provided the aforementioned requirements are met and the student is enrolled at least half-time.

If disbursement of financial aid results in a credit balance on your account, the Office of Student Business Services will issue a refund to you in the amount of the credit balance. Please contact the Office of Student Business Services for more information.

Federal Work Study is employment, and funds are provided through the payroll system as they are earned. Student employees are paid on the 10th and 26th of each month.

Financial aid funds will not be disbursed before classes begin. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Due to the timing of disbursements and the enrollment/application conditions that must be met in order to receive a disbursement, it is important that you be prepared to purchase books and supplies and meet living expenses for the first 30 days of each semester.

Loan Entrance Counseling and MPN

Direct Student Loans

The federal government requires that students who receive loan funds for the first time to attend Chapman University must participate in loan counseling and complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before funds can be released. Step-by-step instructions for online loan counseling and completion of the MPN can be found on the Forms page of our website.

Loan Entrance Counseling can be completed online at or by attending one of our in-person sessions during orientation. Students who are unable to complete loan counseling during orientation or online should speak directly with the Loan Coordinator in the Financial Aid Office.

Direct PLUS Loans

In some cases, the Department of Education may require Parent borrowers and/or their endorsers to complete Entrance Counseling as well.  This Entrance Counseling must be completed online at  If Entrance Counseling is required for a PLUS Loan borrower, that loan will not disburse until Entrance Counseling has been completed.


Loan Exit Counseling

The federal government requires that borrowers who leave the university for any reason participate in loan exit counseling. This requirement applies even if you intend to return to Chapman University after a leave of absence.

Loan exit counseling is easily completed via the Federal Student Loans Web page. 

You will need your Federal PIN, the name, address, and telephone number of your next of kin, two references, and your employer after graduation (if you have one). Go to

You will be asked to log in — then select “Complete Counseling” and click on “Exit Counseling.”

At the end of the information section of the loan counseling, you will be given an exam. The results of your completed loan counseling will be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid electronically.

Changes in Financial Circumstances

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid is here to help, and we would like to know of any adverse changes to your or your family’s ability to pay for your education. Such changes may consist of a death or disability of a family member, a divorce, loss of a job for 10 weeks or more, or a change in jobs that impact your family finances. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid for additional assistance with this process.

Withdrawal From The University

Return of Financial Aid Funds

Federal law requires that financial aid funds be returned to the government if students withdraw during the first 60 percent of a semester, as measured in days. The amount of funds that must be returned is determined by dividing the amount of time in the semester that a student was not enrolled by the length of time in the semester. For example, a semester is 15 weeks, or 105 days long. If a student were to withdraw at the end of the fifth week (35 days), the student would have missed 70 days of the semester. Dividing 70 days missed by 105 days in the semester equals 66.7 percent. The university would be required to return 66.7 percent of this student’s financial aid to the government.

This federal policy has several implications. For instance, in the previous example, the student withdrew after the deadline for receiving tuition and fee refund. The student would thus be charged for the entire amount of tuition, but 66.7 percent of the student’s financial aid would be returned to the government, making this student personally liable for paying at least 66.7 percent of the tuition charges. It would be to this student’s advantage not to withdraw from 60 percent of the semester (63 days) had passed so that all financial aid could be retained to cover the tuition charges.

A student who withdraws during the first four weeks of school will receive a tuition refund, but this refund will not offset all the financial aid that must be returned to the government. Please know that if you are a financial aid recipient and withdraw during the first 60 percent of a semester, you likely will owe additional money to pay for your tuition and other expenses.

Federal financial aid funds will be returned to the accounts from which you received assistance, up to the amount received from that account, in the following order: Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Subsidized Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants.

Withdrawal Procedure and Date of Withdrawal

The Federal Government requires that there be at least one “official withdrawal office” at each university. At Chapman University, the official withdrawal office is the Office of the University Registrar.

The Federal Government has defined two types of withdrawal. An “unofficial” withdrawal occurs when a student leaves school without notifying the Registrar. Students who do not officially withdraw and pass no units in a semester or summer session are presumed to have unofficially withdrawn unless they provide the Office of Financial Aid with documentation showing they attended classes through the end of the enrollment period. Such documentation must be presented within 30 days of the end of the enrollment period.

In cases of unofficial withdrawal, the Federal Government requires that half the student’s financial aid be returned. Since the student’s tuition charges would not change, students who unofficially withdraw will become liable for paying at least half their tuition, and perhaps more if their financial aid was greater than their tuition charges.

An “official” withdrawal occurs when a student notifies the Office of the University Registrar that he or she is leaving the university.

Establishing an official withdrawal date is critical for determining the size of tuition refund (if the withdrawal is prior to the end of the first four weeks of school) and for determining the amount of financial aid that must be returned to Federal and State Government. The Federal Government requires that the financial aid withdrawal date is the date the student informs the Office of the University Registrar of intent to withdraw.

The Office of the University Registrar can be informed verbally or in writing. If you tell the Office of the University Registrar you will be withdrawing, the date of your announcement becomes the financial aid withdrawal date. The Office of the University Registrar will ask you to complete and submit a withdrawal form, and it may take a few days to return this document. Nevertheless, the date you tell the Office of the University Registrar you want to withdraw is the financial aid withdrawal date even if you never return the withdrawal form. It is, therefore, vital you be certain of your decision to withdraw from school before you inform the Office of the University Registrar.

How you inform the Office of the University Registrar is also important. If you go to the office and state you are “considering” withdrawing, “might” withdraw, or “have been thinking” about it, the financial aid withdrawal date will not be triggered because you are considering your options. The withdrawal date is established only when you state unequivocally that you want to withdraw.

Only the Office of the University Registrar can establish the withdrawal date. If you state you want to withdraw to a faculty member, the Office of Financial Aid, or even the University president, nothing will happen. You must inform the Office of the University Registrar.

The Office of the University Registrar is not permitted to accept a date in the future as the withdrawal date. For instance, if you advise the Office of the University Registrar during the sixth week of classes that you intend to withdraw during the tenth week (in order to avoid losing some of your financial aid), the Office of the University Registrar is required to use the date you make the announcement as the withdrawal date. Again, federal regulations require that the withdrawal date is the date you state your intentions to the Office of the University Registrar, not the date you complete the withdrawal process.

You must complete the entire withdrawal procedure in order to receive “W” grades in your classes. Although the return of financial aid funds will be based on the date you inform the Office of the University Registrar that you will be withdrawing, you will receive “W” grades only if you complete the entire withdrawal process. If you do not officially withdraw, it is likely your professors will give you failing grades. Also, please observe the deadline for withdrawing from classes each semester.

Exceptions to Policy

Federal law requires the return of student financial aid funds for students who unofficially withdraw or who withdraw during the first 60 percent of a semester. The law does not allow for any exceptions.

The vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students and the dean of your graduate school, however, can grant larger tuition refunds for extraordinary circumstances (for instance, illness) that prevent a student from attending classes. All students are encouraged to discuss their situations with appropriate personnel before deciding to withdraw

Outside Awards

By law, all financial aid recipients are obligated to notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid if receiving scholarships, grants, or loans from a source outside the university. Federal regulations require that the amount of a student’s financial aid eligibility cannot be exceeded. If your eligibility is already being fully met, the outside award compels an adjustment in the assistance you have been (or would be) offered. If your eligibility has not been met, a change to your award may not be necessary.  In some cases, outside awards with conditions attached (such as awards that are for tuition only) may also necessitate an adjustment of other awards in a package that also has similar conditions.  In all cases, the Financial Aid Office will attempt to reduce loans and work study before touching grants and scholarships.

Grants from the federal and state governments as well specialized endowed scholarships from the University are not considered outside awards and will impact other aid in a student's financial aid package.

Admission Requirement

In order to receive financial aid, federal law requires that students be admitted to the university without any restrictions on the number of units they may take or the number of semesters in which they can enroll. Most students are admitted without any limitations, but enrollment restrictions are placed on some students who are admitted conditionally or provisionally. As a result, financial aid is unavailable until appropriate documents are submitted to the Office of Admission and the student’s status is changed to regular admission.


For most federal and state financial aid programs, students must enroll at least part-time (six units for undergraduates). Undergraduate students must be full-time in order to receive additional assistance from Chapman University such as merit scholarships, talent scholarships and Chapman Grant.

With the exception of developmental skills classes, all classes must be applicable to the student’s degree or teaching the credential program. A student in the teacher credential program, for example, can receive assistance only for courses that are required for the credential by the State of California.

Classes offered as "extended education" are not eligible for financial aid funding and cannot be used to determine part-time or full-time status.

Federal regulations permit students to receive financial aid from only one school at a time. If you are attending another college, university, vocational, or another school, you must decide if you would like to apply for assistance from Chapman University or from the other school. Classes must be taken only at Chapman University as specified on your award letter.

Interterm Enrollment

For the purpose of determining financial aid eligibility, interterm enrollment is combined with spring semester enrollment. For instance, an undergraduate would be considered full-time if enrolled in three units during interterm and nine units during spring semester (for a total of 12). Federal regulations require students to attend at least part-time to be eligible for assistance from most aid programs.

Less-than-full-time undergraduates are charged tuition for interterm classes. Graduating seniors may not be charged for an interterm class (See the Office of Student Business Services for more information.) Financial aid may be available to assist these students. If so, the assistance can only be disbursed after the start of spring semester. Interterm enrollment usually consists of no more than three units, which is less-than-part-time. Only when students start attending spring semester can they achieve a part-time attendance status.

Summer Enrollment

Summer financial aid is available upon request for students in programs that do not require summer enrollment. Federal regulations require students to attend at least half-time to be eligible for assistance from most aid programs. If you have not exhausted your Federal Student Loan annual limits, you may be eligible for Federal Student Loans. Otherwise, you are able to seek funding from private alternative loans. Processing for summer financial aid typically begins after Spring Break. Please see the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid for more information and forms at that time.

Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant may be eligible for an additional disbursement of this grant for summer enrollment at Chapman Univeristy. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid for more information.

Developmental Skills Classes

Students may receive financial aid for no more than 30 units of developmental skills classes including classes for which no grade (W or I) was received.

Drug Abuse

Financial aid recipients who engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance may lose eligibility for assistance and will be subject to prosecution under the criminal code of the United States.

In addition, students should be aware of the Chapman University Student Conduct Policies related to drug use and abuse.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal law requires that financial aid recipients and applicants maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their educational objectives. The law compels students to maintain specific ed minimum grade point averages, satisfactorily complete a specific c number of units each term or year, and finish their educational objectives within a specific period of time. The law further requires that all terms of college attendance be considered, including terms in which financial aid was not received.

Academic records will be evaluated at the end of spring semester each year to determine if satisfactory academic progress standards are achieved. Fifth year (credential) students and Physical Therapy students are evaluated at the end of each semester. The following minimum academic standards must be met:

Qualitative Measure: With the exception of academic scholarships, an undergraduate student must maintain a minimum Chapman University cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 in order to be eligible for financial aid. A Chapman University cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 must be maintained in order to remain eligible for academic scholarships.

Quantitative Measure for Undergraduate Students: Full-time undergraduate students (12 or more units per semester) must complete at least 24 Chapman University units each year (fall and spring semesters). Three-quarter-time students (nine through 11 units per semester) must complete at least 18 Chapman University units per year, and half-time students (six through eight units) must complete at least 12 Chapman University units per year. Students who enroll in less than six units will be expected to complete all units attempted.

Undergraduate students who have different statuses during the academic year will have their minimum completion standard based on their status each semester. Thus, a full-time student in the fall semester who becomes a half-time student in the spring will be expected to complete at least 18 Chapman University units (12 for fall and six for spring).

For the purpose of this policy, interterm is considered part of spring semester. Therefore, an undergraduate student who takes three units in interterm and nine units in the spring will be considered a full-time student when evaluating academic progress for financial aid.

Students who enroll in the summer session are expected to complete all the units they attempt during summer school in addition to the units required for the fall and spring semesters. For instance, a student who takes six units in the summer and 15 units in each of the fall and spring semesters would be expected to complete at least 30 units (the six units in the summer plus the 24 units expected of a full-time student for fall and spring semesters).

Students who enroll in only one semester are expected to complete half the units required of students who enroll in both semesters.

Determination of an undergraduate student’s status is based on the number of units in which the student is enrolled at the end of the second week of classes. Thus, a student who enrolls in 12 Chapman University units and withdraws from three units, would be evaluated as a full-time student and would be expected to complete at least 24 Chapman University units over the entire year, if he or she attended both semesters.

Time Limit for Undergraduate Federal Financial Aid: Federal assistance is available to undergraduate students for the first 12 semesters of full-time study (12 or more units per semester), for the first 16 semesters of three-quarter time attendance (9 through 11 units), within 24 semesters of half-time attendance (6 through 8 units), and within 48 semesters of less-than-half-time attendance.

Students who change attendance statuses (for instance, are full-time one semester and half-time the next) will have their time limits measured on a full-time equivalency basis. For instance, two half-time semesters would equal one semester of full-time attendance, or two three-quarter time semesters would equal 1.5 full-time semesters.

When undergraduate students complete at least 11 full-time equivalent semesters but fewer than 12 (for instance 11.5 full-time equivalent semesters), they will be able to receive federal financial aid for one more semester. It is only after a student crosses the 12-semester threshold that federal financial aid is no longer available.

The time limit for transfer students will be based on their grade level when they enter Chapman University subtracted from the eight semesters it normally takes to receive a Chapman University degree multiplied by 150 percent. For instance, a student who transfers to Chapman University as a second-semester sophomore will be eligible to apply for federal financial aid at Chapman University for the next 7.5 full-time-equivalent semesters of attendance. (A second-semester sophomore has completed three full-time equivalent semesters. Three semesters subtracted from eight equals five, which when multiplied by 150 percent equals 7.5).

Time Limit for Undergraduate Chapman University Assistance: Assistance from Chapman University requires full-time attendance and is available to students who have not completed requirements for a baccalaureate degree. For students who enter Chapman University as freshmen, scholarships are provided for the first eight semesters of undergraduate enrollment, and Chapman Grants are available for up to 10 semesters. Transfer students are eligible based on their grade levels when they entered Chapman University subtracted from the number of semesters allotted for freshmen. Thus, a second-semester sophomore would be eligible to renew a scholarship award for up to five semesters (eight minus three) of undergraduate enrollment and could receive a Chapman Grant for up to seven semesters (10 minus three).

Grades: The only grades that meet satisfactory academic progress standards are A, B, C, D, and P. Withdrawal and incomplete grades are not passing grades. Challenge exams, audited courses, and non-credit enrichment courses are not considered.

Repeating Courses: Financial aid cannot be received for most repeated classes. In rare cases, a class can be repeated but will not be eligible for financial aid if repeated more than once. Please see the Office of the University Registrar for more information on repeating classes.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Probation: Students may appeal for reinstatement of assistance and be put on SAP probation if they, a spouse, or children have experienced illness that prevented class attendance for an extended period of time; they have experienced a death in the immediate family (parents, siblings, spouse, or children); or they have experienced some extraordinary situation that prevented them from meeting the minimum standards. Such a situation must be exceptional and non-recurring in nature. The appeal for reinstatement must explain the cause of the academic difficulty and how the situation has been resolved.

An appeal must be made within 60 days of the date the notice of ineligibility is mailed to the student by the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid. Students may appeal for reinstatement and be put on financial aid probation for one payment period.

Appeals will be heard by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and must be in writing. In addition to the written petition, students may appear in person before the committee. The committee will meet as soon as practicable after an appeal is submitted. The written decision of the committee will be mailed within one week of the hearing.

Suspension: Students who do not meet the foregoing standards are ineligible for financial aid and are put on suspension, but in many cases can be reinstated. Undergraduate students are ineligible for federal aid and Chapman Grants if their grade point average is below 2.0. Eligibility can be renewed when the cumulative grade point average equals or exceeds 2.0 and a written appeal has been approved. Academic scholarships cannot be reinstated. Undergraduate students who did not successfully complete a sufficient number of units in a year will have their aid reinstated when they complete at least 12 units in a single semester or successfully complete 12 units without withdrawals in two consecutive semesters. They must attain a GPA of at least 2.0 for these 12 units.

Federal Aid Programs - Grants

Grants are financial aid that does not have to be repaid.*

Federal Pell Grant

2016-17 Range: $0 - $6,095

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree or professional degree.  You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.  The amount you will receive is determined by your financial need, the cost of attendance and enrollment status.  You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

2016-17 Range: $0 - $4,000

Students with the most financial need who have also received a Federal Pell Grant will receive FSEOG funds first. Your award depends on your financial need, application date, the amount of other aid you are receiving and the availability of funds at Chapman University.  FSEOG is extremely limited; not all students receiving a Federal Pell Grant will qualify.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

2016-17 Range: $6,095**

Students who are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of their expected family contribution but meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements and whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11 and you were under the age of 24 or enrolled in a college at least part-time at the time of their parent's or guardian's death will qualify for this grant.  Please notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid if you think you qualify for this grant.

*Students who withdraw from the University before the last day of class and under other circumstances may be required to repay a disbursed federal grant.

**The amount of this grant is subject to change due to federal budget cuts under sequestration rules.

Federal Aid Programs - Work Study

Federal Work Study is a part-time job. If you have received an award, you may earn up to the amount stated on your award letter. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 units in order to utilize Federal Work Study. A Federal Work Study award does not automatically qualify a student for a job. As with any job, you will need to meet the qualifications specified by the employing department. A listing of job openings is kept in the Office of Student Employment. To secure a position, consult with staff in that office and follow whatever procedure is specified. In most instances, you will be required to interview with a supervisor and there may be other requirements. Once you have secured a position on campus, you must complete employment forms. Your employing department will have information. If your job is with an off-campus agency, please follow employment policies outlined by the Office of Student Employment. Student employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis. Payroll checks are available from the Cashier’s Office or deposited directly into an enrolled direct deposit account every other Friday. After one week, any physical check still held by the Cashier’s Office will be mailed out to the student.

A student may work up to 19 hours per week.

Pay rates are the same or comparable to non-Work-Study jobs.  No job pays less than the current state set minimum wage.

Work-Study is a need-based financial aid award.

Federal Aid Programs - Loans


Federal Direct Loans

If you are awarded a Federal Direct Loan, information about the application procedures will be included with your award letter. There are two types of Federal Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is one in which the Federal Government pays the interest during deferment periods. Students are always responsible for paying the interest on unsubsidized loans. The borrowing limit of your Federal Direct Loan award is based on your class level (freshman, sophomore, a graduate degree student, etc.). With the exception of first-time freshmen, when awards are made, it is typically too early to establish a student’s class level for the coming academic year, so the Office of Financial Aid must make assumptions about each applicant.

Current Chapman University students are assumed to advance a class level (for instance, freshman to sophomore) from one academic year to the next. If they remain at the same undergraduate class level, it may be necessary to adjust their award. Transfer students are assigned a class level based on the number of units accepted for transfer by the Office of the University Registrar. Graduate students are not eligible for subsidized federal loans. Your annual borrowing limit may also be affected by the cumulative amount you have already borrowed. Aggregate loan limits are explained in the loan application, Chapman University’s financial aid web page, and publications from the U.S. Department of Education. Federal law requires that loans be prorated for undergraduate seniors who have only one semester in their final year of study. The proration is based on the number of units you need for graduation during the academic year, divided by 24. This quotient is multiplied by the annual borrowing limit of $5,500 for subsidized loans and $5,000 for unsubsidized loans. The result is the maximum amount that can be borrowed. If you advance an undergraduate class level (for instance, from sophomore to junior) at the end of fall semester and wish to borrow additional money, please advise the Office of Financial Aid. In most cases, your award can be increased. First-time borrowers must participate in loan counseling (See “Loan Entrance Counseling”), which will further acquaint them with all terms and conditions of the loan and of their obligations as a borrower. The information provided includes interest rates, deferments, forbearance, loan consolidation, consequences of default, borrowing limits, how to estimate monthly payments, etc. Loan exit counseling is required whenever you leave school, including graduation or dropping below half-time status. (See “Loan Exit Counseling”.) You should also notify your servicer promptly whenever you drop below half-time status. Students must enroll at least half-time in order to receive a Federal Direct Loan.

Federal Parent Direct PLUS Loans

Parents with good credit ratings can borrow a Direct PLUS Loan to help meet the educational expenses of their undergraduate dependent children. Financial need is not a criterion. If parents are awarded a Direct PLUS Loan, more information will be sent with the award letter.

Defaulting on Federal Loans

There are many consequences of defaulting on a student loan, such as:

• The defaulted borrower will be unable to receive further financial aid.

• Credit bureaus will be notified ed of the default, which will affect the defaulted borrower’s ability to obtain credit for other purposes.

• Legal action will be undertaken and the defaulted borrower will be responsible for paying all attorney and court costs. The legal action may include garnishment of wages, attachment of bank accounts, and placement of liens against the property.

• If these actions do not resolve the default, the Federal Government will use all means at its disposal to collect the loans including: obtaining the borrower’s address from the Internal Revenue Service, referring the borrower’s default status and other relevant information to credit bureaus, initiating legal proceedings against the borrower, offsetting the salary of the borrower if he or she is a federal employee, and withholding money (including income tax refunds) otherwise payable to the borrower by the Federal Government.

PLEASE NOTE: Federal authorization for the Perkins program ended on September 30, 2015. Schools cannot make any new Federal Perkins Loan awards. Certain continuing students may qualify for Perkins under a grandfathering provision.  No new loans will be made.

State Aid Programs - Grants

Cal Grants

If the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) has awarded you a Cal Grant, you must enroll in at least six units in order to be eligible (unless you are a graduating senior in your final semester). The commission provides three types of Cal Grants. Cal Grant A is available only to students attending four-year schools. Some students receive a “Cal Grant A Community College Reserve Award” while attending a community college. This award is held in reserve for up to two years during community college attendance and can be used after transferring to Chapman University. Cal Grant B is provided to students from low-income households. It is available to first-year students and can be received for up to four years. You can receive a Cal Grant B for attendance at a community college and continue to receive it after you transfer to Chapman University until the four-year maximum time period is reached. If you receive a Cal Grant B, both the tuition and access awards will be credited to your student account. If you wish to have the access award paid directly to you, please contact the Office of Financial Aid. Cal Grant C is furnished to vocational students and cannot be used at Chapman University since all of our academic programs lead to degrees, graduate certificates, or teaching credentials. More information about the Cal Grant program is available online at

Chapman University Aid Programs - Grants & Scholarships

Academic Scholarships

Presidential, Chancellors, Deans, and Hesperian Scholarships are academic awards based on entering grade point averages and test scores. They are awarded only to new students who enter Chapman University directly from high school. Legacy, Trustees, and Founders Scholarships are awarded to new transfer students based on their GPAs at their previous colleges. Academic scholarships are renewable for the time limit indicated in the “Academic Requirements” section of this guide, provided students enroll full-time and maintain a minimum 2.75 cumulative Chapman University GPA. Students must enroll in a semester at least once every two years to retain their scholarships.

Talent Scholarships

Talent scholarships are awarded to entering undergraduate students in recognition of special talents and skills in the areas of art, dance, theater, communications, film/TV, music, science, athletic training, creative writing, and journalism. The awards usually require a performance commitment for renewal and are awarded by the appropriate school or college within the university.

Disciples of Christ & United Church of Christ Awards

These scholarships are awarded through the Office of Church Relations. Funds are provided by Chapman University and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ in recognition of participation in church activities.

Child of Chapman Award

A $2,000 award is provided to the children or siblings of Chapman University alumni. The recipients must enroll as full-time students. A special application, available from the Office of Financial Aid, is required.

Endowed and Annual Scholarships

Funds to provide these awards have been donated by generous individuals or companies to benefit Chapman University students. An opportunity to meet the donor and write a letter of appreciation may be an expectation of the recipient.

Chapman Grants

These grants are designed to offset direct educational costs (tuition and residence hall expenses) for students who are eligible based on information provided on the FAFSA.

Please Note: Students receiving certain tuition benefits such as Tuition Remission or Tuition Exchange may not be eligible additional grant and scholarship aid offered by Chapman University including merit scholarships.

Chapman University Aid Programs - Loans

Chapman Interest-Free Loan

Chapman provides interest-free loans to undergraduate students who graduate from a California high school and possess a GPA of at least 3.0. Funds are extremely limited, so it is not possible to award all eligible students. If you have been awarded a Chapman Interest-Free Loan, you must meet with the Office of Student Business Services to receive more information about the loan. A cosigner is required.

Disbursement of Funds, Including Title IV Funds for Books and Supplies

Undergraduate financial aid awards from all programs begin disbursing on the first day of the semester. Students who have cleared all of their checklist items, completed verification and/or submitted any additional documents requested can expect to see their financial aid disburse beginning on the first day of the semester.

Disbursements of Title IV Funds for Books and Supplies

Pell grant-eligible students who have Title IV funds awarded in excess of school charges are eligible for a refund. The refund should be made by the 7th day of class to obtain books and supplies. Students should contact the Business Office directly to facilitate a timely refund. In most cases, refunds from Title IV funding is generated by PLUS Loans and not federal grants.

If a student has not yet established eligibility to receive Title IV funds at least 15 days before the beginning of the semester due to outstanding verification requirements, unresolved or conflicting information, this requirement does not apply.

Searching for Outside Scholarships

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid encourages all students to conduct a continuous search for outside scholarships to help reduce their overall bill.  Some useful resources include:

The Chapman University Financial Aid Facebook Page

Scholly: Scholly is a simple, comprehensive and accurate scholarship search platform designed for your smartphone.  Scholly was featured on Shark Tank.

Fastweb: A free, targeted website designed to help students search for scholarships.

As a reminder, federal regulations require all students to report scholarship and grant funds, no matter the amount or disbursement method, to the Office of Financial Aid.

iGrad Financial Literacy

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid currently offers students free access to one of the leading providers of financial literacy information: iGrad.

iGrad's platform allows students to set financial goals and review short articles, videos and games to improve their knowledge. iGrad also has extensive information about resume writing, career planning, and searching for scholarships.

Students can create their account at

Federal and State Government Contact Information

Create a Federal Student Aid Login and Password

FAFSA on the Web

California Student Aid Commission

Selective Service Administration

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Department of Education's Comprehensive Guide to Student Aid

To request a duplicate Student Aid Report (SAR): (800) 433-3243

To find out who your student loan lender is: (800) 433-3243

Federal Student Aid Information Center (800) 433-3243

Federal Student Loan Ombudsman (877) 557-2575

Internal Revenue Service (800) 829-1040

Social Security Administration (800) 772-1213

Selective Service (847) 688-6888

California Student Aid Commission (916) 445-0880