Undergraduate Financial Aid Information Guide
Undergraduate Financial Aid Information Guide

» 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 January 23, 2020, 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 2019-2020 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
Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange, California 92866

tel. (714) 997-6741
fax: (714) 997-6743

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

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. Please visit the Incoming Students page for additional information. Below are a few additional resources:

  • Net Price Calculator - The Net 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.
  • Studentaid.gov - Maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, Studentaid.gov discusses key steps in preparing for college and provides resources that can help you along the way.
  • 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.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students have the right to know:

  • Dates and deadlines for submitting applications for aid.
  • What financial aid programs are available at Chapman University.
  • How financial need was determined and how much of your financial need was met.
  • What the cost of attendance is, including tuition, fees, books and cost of living allowance.
  • What resources, information and data are considered in the calculation of the family contribution and financial need.
  • What portion of the award are loans and what portion are scholarships.
  • The total amount of loans that must be repaid, the length of time they have to repay them and when repayment will begin.
  • How financial aid funds are distributed.
  • The refund policies of Chapman University.
  • How Chapman determines satisfactory academic progress and what happens if a student withdraws, is dismissed or drops out during the year.

 Students have the responsibility to:

  • Read and understand all information regarding academic and financial aid programs.
  • Understand and agree to maintain compliance for all policies and regulations when you accept financial aid.
  • Be aware of and comply with the deadlines for applications and re-applications for financial aid.
  • Read, understand and agree to the conditions of all forms you are asked to sign. Keep copies of these forms for your records.
  • Be careful and accurate in completing all forms and applications. Intentional misreporting of information on forms and documents used to apply and qualify for financial assistance is a violation of law and is considered a criminal offense, subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • Submit all applications, forms, documents and additional information (if requested) in a timely manner, to the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office and/or any agency that is a partner of the financial aid process.
  • Complete loan entrance and exit interview counseling as required by federal regulations.
  • Read all emails sent by the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office and regularly check your To-do list on your My.Chapman Student Center.
  • Inform the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office in writing if you receive additional funds from any other source after you receive financial aid from Chapman University. Additional awards may require an adjustment in your total award to avoid an "over-award" as defined by federal and state regulations.
  • Maintain good academic standing and meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Repay loan funds when due.
  • Open, read, and understand all correspondence sent to you by your lender, servicer, guarantor, or any agency that is a partner of the financial aid process.
  • Inform the lender of your student loans if you have a change of name, address, telephone number or school status.

Application Procedure

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.

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. 

  • You can complete the FAFSA electronically by going to studentaid.gov. You will need to create an FSA ID Username 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 ID Username 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.
  • The FAFSA can be completed after October 1 of the year that precedes the academic year for which you are applying. To avoid errors and delays, it is advantageous to complete the FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) available as you complete your FAFSA. The IRS DRT links the FAFSA to your tax return information from the IRS. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the Federal Income Tax Return Transcript, proof of citizenship, proof of marital status, etc. Instructions can be found on your My.Chapman Student Center detailing what additional documentation is required to complete your application. 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.
  • 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 your high school or another college; 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.

Tips for Applying

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.

If you have any questions regarding completion of the FAFSA or any required documents or forms, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid.

Renewal of Assistance

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

For students who qualify under the California DREAM Act, the California DREAM Act Application must be completed, in lieu of the FAFSA, each school year.

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 financial aid offer 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 increases or decreases in family financial circumstances, availability of funding, changes in law and regulations, 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 financial aid offer 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 Estimated 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. Merit 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. These funds are awarded to the highest need students as determined by the information submitted on the FAFSA. Students must be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant to be considered for FSEOG.

Chapman Grants are awarded to students with consideration of demonstrated financial need, academic record, and 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 a merit 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 and scholarships, if eligibility is remaining, students will receive Federal Direct Loans.

Federal Work-Study is then awarded to students who meet the eligibility 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 Financial Aid Offer

Please notify the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid immediately if you are receiving an award not listed on your initial financial aid offer or in your My.Chapman Student Center. 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 email the financial aid offer. New students will receive an email to their listed preferred email. Returning students will be notified by their Chapman University email address. The financial aid offer will also be available on your My.Chapman Student Center.

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 My.Chapman Student Center.

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 financial aid offers after the start of classes, disbursement will take place as soon as possible.

Federal Pell Grant and Cal Grant funds will be posted to your account after the Add/ Drop period. The amount of your Federal Pell Grant and Cal 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 a bi-weekly basis.

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

Federal Loan Entrance Counseling is a process set up by the Federal government to educate new students about loans and the Federal Direct Loans program. It consists of a short tutorial on the rights and responsibilities of the borrower followed by a short multiple choice quiz. The process takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Federal Loan Entrance Counseling can be completed online at www.studentaid.gov by signing in with your (the student's) FSA ID Username and password. Further detail can be found at our Loan Entrance Counseling page.

Master Promissory Note

It may be requested that you complete a MPN if one has not already been completed. A MPN can be completed by logging into www.studentaid.gov and selecting "Complete Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)".

Direct PLUS Loans

Parents with no adverse credit may borrow a loan for their dependent child's educational costs. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. The loan enters repayment once the loan is fully disbursed but may be eligible for a deferment. Further information can be found at our Parent PLUS Loan page.

Loan Exit Counseling

The federal government requires that borrowers who have a break in enrollment, drop below half-time status, or graduate, complete Federal Loan Exit Counseling. This requirement applies even if you intend to return to Chapman University following a leave of absence for any extenuating circumstances. Further information can be found at our Exit Counseling page.

Financial Aid Appeal

At times the information provided on the FAFSA does not always give us an accurate picture of family finances. Circumstances may also change after the completion of the FAFSA. Such changes may consist of excess or unusual medical expenses, loss of employment, reduction of income or a change in jobs that impact your family finances. In these situations you may complete a financial aid appeal form. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid for additional assistance with this process. Or visit the Financial Aid Appeal page.

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 is important to note that tuition charges are prorated at a different rate than financial aid. The University's tuition refund policy is available on the Office of Student Business Services website.

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 credits 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 three weeks of school) and for determining the amount of financial aid that must be returned to the 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, 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 as 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 credits 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 credits). Students must be full-time (12 or more credits) 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.

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 credits during interterm and nine credits 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 credits, 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 limited and only available to students who are studying at Chapman University during the summer sessions. Institutional scholarships, state and institutional grants, and Federal Work-Study are not available during summer. If you have not exhausted your Federal Student Loan annual limits, you may be eligible for Federal Student Loans if you are in at least 6 credits. Parents may also apply for a Parent PLUS loan if you are in at least 6 credits. Otherwise, you are able to seek funding from private loans. In order to be considered for summer financial aid, you also must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.

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 University. 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 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. The law compels students to maintain specified minimum grade point averages, successfully complete a specific number of credits each term or year and complete 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 each spring semester to determine if the standards are achieved. The following minimum academic standards must be met:

Qualitative Measure: Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 to be eligible for federal and institutional funds. In addition, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 to remain eligible for merit scholarships.

Quantitative Measure for Undergraduate Students: Full-time students (12 credits or more per semester) must complete at least 24 credits each year (fall and spring semesters). Three-quarter-time students (9 through 11 credits per semester) must complete at least 18 credits per year, and half-time students (6 through 8 credits) must complete at least 12 credits per year. Students who enroll in less than 6 credits will be expected to complete all credits attempted.

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 credits (12 for fall and 6 for spring).

For the purpose of this policy, interterm is considered part of spring semester. For example, a student who takes 3 credits in interterm and 9 credits in the spring will be considered a full-time student when evaluating for financial aid.

Students who enroll in summer sessions are expected to complete all the credits they attempt during summer school in addition to the credits required for the fall and spring semesters. Summer credits are not included in either fall or spring semesters. For instance, a student who takes 6 credits in the summer and 15 credits in fall and spring semesters would be expected to complete at least 30 credits (the six credits in the summer plus the 24 credits expected of a full-time student for fall and spring semesters).

Students who enroll in only 1 semester are expected to complete half of the credits required of students who enroll in both semesters.

Determination of a student’s status is based on the number of credits in which the student originally enrolls. Thus, a student who originally enrolls in 12 credits and then withdraws from 3 credits is still considered a full-time student and would be expected to complete at least 24 credits over the entire year if they attended both semesters.

Time Limit for Undergraduate Federal Financial Aid: Federal assistance is available to students for the first 12 semesters of full-time study (12 or more credits per semester), for the first 16 semesters of three-quarter time attendance (9 through 11 credits), for the first 24 semesters of half-time attendance (6 through 8 credits), and for the first 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: Financial assistance from Chapman University requires full-time attendance. For students who enter Chapman as freshmen, scholarships are provided for the first eight semesters of uninterrupted enrollment. Chapman Grants are available for up to 10 semesters. Transfer students are eligible based on their grade levels when they entered Chapman 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 5 semesters of continuous enrollment and could receive a Chapman Grant for up to seven semesters.

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

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 and Chapman aid 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. Merit scholarships cannot be reinstated. Undergraduate students who did not successfully complete a sufficient number of credits in a year will have their aid reinstated when they complete at least 12 credits in a single semester or successfully complete 12 credits without withdrawals in two consecutive semesters. They must attain a GPA of at least 2.0 for these 12 credits.

Federal Aid Programs - Grants

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is an award for undergraduate students who display an exceptional amount of need. To apply, a student must fill out the FAFSA every year. Grants are need-based and do not have to be repaid. 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.

If you are eligible for a Pell grant in the fall and spring semesters, you may be eligible to receive an additional Pell Grant in the summer. You must maintain enrollment in at least six credits during summer.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federal, need-based grant. The FSEOG funds are awarded to the lowest income applicants who are enrolled in at least 6 credits. Funds are extremely limited; many eligible students cannot be awarded. Federal law permits these grants to range in size from $100 to $4,000. Your eligibility may affect institutional aid to ensure compliance with federal and university policies.

Federal Aid Programs - Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study Program gives a student the opportunity to work part-time while attending school. To qualify for a Federal Work-Study position you must demonstrate financial need and have a Federal Work-Study award as a part of your overall financial aid package. If you have received an award, you may earn up to the amount stated on your financial aid offer. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

A Federal Work-Study award does not automatically qualify a student for a job. Students must participate in the on-line recruitment process by applying to current on-campus job opportunities.Student Employment Services in the Human Resources Department handles the employment of students. You can look for a position online. In most instances, you will be required to interview with a supervisor and there may be other requirements.

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. Any changes in your financial aid package may result in a decrease of Federal Work-Study funding. If a student is awarded Federal Work-Study for the entire academic year, the student's award is typically divided equally between the fall and spring semesters. Any unearned portion of the fall award will be carried into the spring semester.

Federal Aid Programs - Loans

Federal Direct Loans

Once the student has completed the FAFSA online and any additional paperwork requested from the Financial Aid Office, the student will be offered Federal Direct Loans. Loan amounts are based on a student's grade level. Parents of Undergraduate students may be offered the option of utilizing a Parent PLUS 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 financial aid offer.

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

A Cal Grant is money administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to eligible California students.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California DREAM Act Application (CADAA) by March 2nd
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB540 eligibility criteria
  • Be a California resident for 1 year
  • Have family income and assets below the ceilings determined by CSAC
  • Be enrolled in at least six credits
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 for Cal Grant A or 2.0 for Cal Grant B
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

You can check the status of your Cal Grant application by logging onto WebGrants for Students. Your eligibility may affect institutional aid to ensure compliance with state and university policies.

Chapman University Aid Programs - Grants & Scholarships

Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships recognize achievement in high school and are based on grades and test scores. New transfer students are awarded based on their previous college GPA. Scholarships range in amount, but can be as high as $32,000 per year.

These awards are provided by the Office of Admissions. If applying for admission by the deadline, students are automatically considered for these awards. If awarded, merit scholarship information will be included with your offer of admission.

Merit scholarships are awarded for eight semesters to new freshmen students. The scholarship time limit for transfer students varies depending at which grade level the student enrolls. It is calculated by subtracting the grade level of the student at the time of enrollment from the total allotted semesters for new freshmen students.

All students awarded merit scholarships must maintain a minimum 2.75 cumulative Chapman GPA in order to retain their scholarships. Students must enroll in a semester at least once every two years to retain their scholarships.

Talent Scholarships

Talent scholarships are awarded to new incoming students by their attending college within Chapman University. An audition or portfolio submission, in addition to any criteria added by the attending college may be required. For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions or your prospective college of attendance.

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.

Panther Alumni Award

A $2,000 award is provided to the children or siblings of Chapman alumni. The recipient must retain full-time enrollment status to continue receiving this award. An application must be completed and returned to the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to be eligible for this award.

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. An Endowed Scholarship may be given to a student with Chapman Grant. It reduces the Chapman Grant by the whole of its amount.

Chapman Grants

These grants are designed to offset direct educational costs for students who are eligible based on information provided on the FAFSA. The Chapman Grant is available for up to ten semesters to new freshmen students. Transfer students are eligible based on their grade levels when they enter Chapman University subtracted from the number of semesters allotted for freshmen.

Housing Grants

These grants are to offset housing costs for students living in Chapman residence halls and apartments. Eligibility is based on FAFSA information and housing plans.

Engineering Scholarships

Fowler School of Engineering applicants are eligible for scholarships that will augment or, in some cases, fully replace the standard financial aid package provided by Chapman University. Scholarships range from $2,000 per year to 100% of tuition, room and board. Learn more at the Engineering Scholarships page.

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

Chapman University Aid Programs - Loans

Chapman Interest-Free Loan

The Chapman Interest-Free Loan is the only loan provided through Chapman University. The student must be a high-need returning student, have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, graduated from a California High School, and already utilizing Federal Loan funds that have been offered. If a student is deemed eligible to borrow the loan, they will then be notified of the additional documents required through the Office of Student Business Services. Funds are extremely limited, so it is not possible to award all students. A co-signer is required.

To find out if you are eligible for this loan, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid.

Disbursement of Funds

Undergraduate financial aid awards 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. Federal Pell Grants and Cal Grants will disburse after the add/drop date. 

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. Scholarship opportunities are usually funded by individuals, companies, foundations, and eleemosynary organizations. Some useful resources include:

The Chapman University Financial Aid Facebook Page

Remember, never pay for a scholarship or scholarship search. These are usually scams, so beware. Learn more on How to Spot a Scam.

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 Undergraduate Financial Aid.

iGrad Financial Wellness

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid currently offers students free access to one of the leading providers of financial wellness 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 on the iGrad website.

Federal and State Resources

Federal Student Aid Website

Create an FSA ID Username and Password

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

California Student Aid Commission

Selective Service Administration

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Federal Student Aid Contact Center

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