Financial Aid for Online and Professional Studies Students

California Baptist University Online and Professional Studies (CBU Online) was established to respond to the very different needs of the "new normal" generation of students – the non-traditional student that balances professional and family responsibilities while advancing their education. Our students are generally working adults whose college education was interrupted for one reason or another and who are returning to earn their undergraduate or graduate degree, often after many years away from an academic environment. Students are typically comprised of highly motivated learners who are pursuing their educations while advancing ongoing careers. Returning to college after a prolonged absence is an inspiring endeavor and certainly no easy task. California Baptist University believes strongly in educating students and in providing them with the financial aid that many of them so badly need and desire.

Returning to college after a prolonged absence is an inspiring endeavor and certainly no easy task for many of these students. In some ways, the non-traditional students represent the best that the community has to offer: people leading productive lives while striving to further their education, or those who have overcome significant obstacles to return to college. In both instances, the financial aid available is a welcome encouragement for this important step.

Sources of Financial Aid

California Baptist University facilitates a number of financial assistance options. There are various scholarships and loans available for students who meet eligibility requirements, including Federal programs, state programs, and private scholarships.

Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA information electronically, provided the student lists California Baptist University as an attending institution.

The amount and type of financial aid awarded is based upon the financial need of students. Financial need is defined as the difference between the total cost of attending school (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Federal government.


Federal Aid
  • Federal Pell Grant - $606-$5,920 for the 2017-18 year. This Federal program is awarded based upon financial need as determined by FAFSA.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)—$1,000 per year. FSEOG is a Federal grant designed to assist students with the highest need as determined by the FAFSA. Funds are limited.

State Aid

  • Cal Grants — A ($9,084) or B ($1,656) per year (for current first-year recipients). Cal Grant is funded by the State of California and awarded to residents who meet GPA and financial criteria. To be considered, students must submit a FAFSA application. Click here to track your application and make any changes to your information.
  • Chafee Grant — The California Chafee Grant Program provides grants to Foster youth and former foster youth to assist with college costs. Recipients must be or have been eligible for Independent Living Program (ILP) Services between your 16th and 18th birthdays. For further qualifications and information, visit the California Student Aid Commission website here.


Federal Direct Loans are made available to students to help pay for the cost of education. Federal Direct Loans are offered to graduate and undergraduate students at a fixed interest rate. To be eligible Students must be enrolled at least half time, be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, and not be in default on any Federal Loans. Students are eligible to receive Direct Loans regardless of credit history. Direct Loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized depending on the student's financial need. Repayment begins six months after the student leaves school of falls below half-time status.

For the 2017-18 academic year, subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans for undergraduate students are offered at a fixed 4.12 interest rate (7/1/2017 to 6/30/2018).

The loan fee for Direct Subsidized Loans and for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 1.069% (10/1/2019 to 9/30/2017) and 1.069% (10/1/2017 to 9/30/2018).

Federal Parent PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) loans are available to parents of undergraduate dependent students to help pay for the cost of education. Federal PLUS Loans are funded by the US Treasury. Parents may borrow up to the cost of education minus other financial aid. The Federal government sets the interest rate, limits fees, and sets minimum deferment options for federal PLUS loans. PLUS is offered at a fixed 7% (from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018). Parents may apply for a PLUS loan by going to

Please note: To apply online you must have your parent assigned FSA User ID (the one you used to electronically sign the FAFSA). After you have completed your PLUS Application and credit-check make sure you continue the process on the website to take the final step of completing your Direct Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

If you encounter any problems completing the above requirements on the website feel free to contact Applicant Services at the Department of Education at 800-557-7394 for general website support and assistance in completing your PLUS application.

The loan fee for Direct Parent Plus Loan is 4.276% (10/1/2016 to 9/30/2017) and 4.264% (10/1/2017 to 9/30/2018).

Private or alternative loans are available when Federal loans and other aid do not cover your cost of education or if additional aid is needed. Private educational loan programs vary by lender. Please contact specific lenders to find out about terms and conditions that may apply. Click on the link to view a list of lenders.

Payment Options

Approved Payment Options

  1. Payment in Full
  2. Automatic Monthly Payment Plan
  3. Financial Aid

Company Reimbursement

Students eligible for this option must submit a letter from their company to the Student Accounts Office each semester, stating exactly what is covered (example: tuition, books, fees, etc.) and the billing procedure. Students may need to complete one of the payment options above if their company will not pay in advance.

Veteran's Benefits

Students eligible for veteran's benefits must contact California Baptist University's VA certifying official at (951) 343-4566. Students should contact the VA certifying official prior to registration.


Financial Clearance Deadlines

Students receive financial clearance when 1) they have completed approved payment arrangements with the Student Accounts Office AND 2) they have signed and submitted their Tuition & Fee Agreement to the Student Accounts Office AND 3) they have submitted all Financial Aid paperwork to the Financial Aid Office, it has been processed and they have accepted enough Federal Aid to cover Tuition and Fees.

ALL returning students are encouraged to register and complete payment arrangements by the close of business day on the Financial Clearance Deadline to avoid a financial clearance fee.

The Financial Clearance Deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall 2017 – August 9
  • Spring 2018 – January 4

Dates to Remember - Online and Professional Studies Important Dates

When applying to colleges, there are many dates to remember during the admission process.

The priority deadline for filing your FAFSA is March 2 if you are applying for the Cal Grant. Your community college may submit your GPA electronically, however, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the GPA Verification Form is postmarked by March 2nd. Mark this date on your calendar!

Additionally, the financial clearance deadline — please review the academic calendar for the clearance deadline each semester. Please contact the Student Accounts office at (800) 782-3382, ext. 4371, prior to a new semester to confirm the next financial clearance deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Online and Professional Studies Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

As you navigate along the road to financial aid, questions may arise. We’ve attempted to answer many of those questions below. If other questions develop, or if issues arise that require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Aid office for help.

What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the main application for need-based financial aid at CBU. The results of the FAFSA are used to calculate your financial aid award.

Who does the FAFSA go to?

The FAFSA is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. A copy of it will be sent to the schools that you list on the FAFSA application.

Do I need to fill out the FAFSA?

Yes, if you want to see how much Federal Aid you are eligible for.

How long does the FAFSA take?

If you submitted the FAFSA online and listed CBU (001125) on it, we will usually receive the results in approximately 72 hours. It may take a little longer during peak processing season.

Will I receive anything back from the government?

Yes. The Federal Government will send you a SAR (Student Aid Report) that details the results of the FAFSA application. Your SAR will contain your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). That is the number used to calculate the amount and types of Federal aid for which you qualify.

When will I receive an award letter?

You will receive an award letter once you have registered for classes, as long as we have a valid FAFSA on file. If we need further information before we can award you, we will contact you.

My SAR says I am selected for verification. What should I do?

You will receive information via email as to how to complete this process on the Verify My FAFSA website. Please click here. The verification process is completed online.

I won’t qualify for anything–do I still need to do a FAFSA?

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for Federal Aid (Federal Grants and/or Federal Loans). Unless you are paying cash, you will need to complete the FAFSA.

What is a Direct loan?

A Direct loan is a government guaranteed student loan that is deferred until you leave school or your enrollment drops below half-time status. There are two types of Direct loans: Subsidized and Unsubsidized.

What is the difference between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan?

The federal government pays the interest on the Subsidized portion of the loan while you are in school. However, the interest on the Unsubsidized portion will accrue as soon as it is disbursed.

Do I have to pay the interest on an unsubsidized loan while I am in school?

No, you do not have to pay any interest while you are in school. However, you may choose to make payments in an effort to keep the interest down. When you leave school, the accrued interest on the unsubsidized loans will be capitalized (added to the principal). You will then pay interest on the interest that has been capitalized.

What makes a student independent?

You are independent if you fall into one of these categories:

  • 24 years of age or older
  • Married
  • Working on a post bachelor’s degree
  • Currently serving on active duty in the U.S Armed Forces
  • A Veteran of the U.S Armed Forces
  • Provide at least 51% for your children or other dependents
  • Orphan/Ward of the court (legal documentation will be required)
  • Emancipated Minor (legal documentation will be required)
  • In a legal guardianship (legal documentation will be required)

There is a series of questions that will determine your dependency status.

I don’t qualify to be independent, but I don’t live with my parents–do I still need their information for the FAFSA?

Yes, you will need your parents’ information.

When is the FAFSA due?

The priority deadline for filing your FAFSA is March 2 (if you are applying for the Cal Grant). If you are not applying for the Cal Grant, you may submit your FAFSA after March 2.

My financial aid is not sufficient. What should I do?

There are several options to assist you in covering the gap between your Tuition and Fees and your offer of Financial Aid. You may make set up cash payment arrangements. Both of these options may be accomplished by speaking with the Student Accounts Office. Options through the Financial Aid Office include a private education loan or a Parent PLUS loan (for dependent students only). Please visit the Sources of Financial Aid page for more information.

How do I access my award letter?

You will receive an email notification from the Financial Aid Office via your Lancer Mail once your offer of Federal Aid is ready. Please follow the instructions in the email to access your award letter. If you do not have the email, you may still view your award letter by visiting the My Award link from the Financial Aid page on InsideCBU.

Can I meet with a financial aid counselor?

You may meet with a financial aid counselor any time you have questions or need assistance. Simply contact our office at (951) 343-3900 or toll-free at (877) 228-5657 to set up an appointment.

Why didn’t I receive a Subsidized Direct loan?

The Subsidized Direct Loan is a need based loan. Eligibility is determined by financial need as indicated by the EFC.

I reviewed my award letter–what do I do now?

Be sure to follow the instructions on your award letter. If you are accepting Direct loans, you will need to complete the Master Promissory Note and the Entrance Counseling. Don’t forget to submit your acceptance back to us by clicking on the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the award letter.

How can I set up payment arrangements online?

Payment arrangements can be set up using a Semester Payment through InsideCBU. For more information, contact Student Accounts or your One Stop Advisor.

What do I need to do to have financial aid next year?

You will need to submit a new FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education after Oct. 1st for the following year. Once you register for classes for the following Fall (usually in early Spring), we will check for your FAFSA. If we need additional information, we will contact you via your Lancer Mail. Unlike your first year, you will receive an award letter only after you’ve provided any additional documentation we have requested.

Contact Online and Professional Studies Financial Aid Staff:

Phone: 951-343-3900

Ione Jackson
Assistant Director of Financial Aid Financial, Undergraduate & Graduate Online

Lindsay Vacek
Financial Aid Counselor – Undergraduate & Graduate Online

Ryley Marble
Financial Aid Counselor – Undergraduate & Graduate Online