How it Works | Parents

Pacific’s Mission | A diverse and sustainable community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice, Pacific University inspires students to think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world. 

To promote access to this extraordinary community and the educational opportunities within, Pacific University offers a variety of merit based scholarships and need-based grants, as well as student and parent loans and student employment.

Pacific’s merit based scholarships are designed to recognize past achievements, reward academic excellence, and encourage educational persistence. For freshmen, eligibility for scholarships awarded upon admission is based on high school grade point average and standardized test scores (SAT or ACT).  For transfers, eligibility for scholarships awarded upon admission is based on prior college grade point average.  In addition, applicants can apply for scholarships and awards based on interest in areas such as (but not limited to) music, theatre, speech and debate, math and computer science.  For a complete list of available scholarships and applications, visit our undergraduate scholarship page.

Pacific is committed to economic diversity and offers need-based grants, loans, and employment opportunities to students whose families are unable to fully afford a Pacific education.

Determining Eligibility

To apply for need-based financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  For maximum consideration for all need-based federal, state, and institutional resources, the FAFSA should be filed by March 1st for the upcoming academic year. 

The FAFSA is also required for some non-need-based federal financial aid.  The Federal Direct Loan program is available to all students and parents, regardless of the level of a family’s financial need.  The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to students and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is available to parents for their dependent student’s educational expenses.  For information on these loan programs, visit our undergraduate loan page.

Financial Need

Your student’s federally defined need is the difference between the annual Cost of Attendance for their academic program and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) derived from financial information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Cost of Attendance (COA)
-Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
=Demonstrated Need

The EFC is calculated using a standard federal formula, which considers an applicant’s dependency status, household size, number of dependents in college, income, assets, and other information. For dependent applicants, student and parent income and assets are used in the calculation of the EFC.  For independent applicants, student and spouse (if applicable) income and assets are used in the calculation of the EFC.

The Financial Aid Package

A financial aid package typically consists of scholarships, grants, student loans, and employment opportunities.  Students can accept all, none, or a portion of any financial aid offered.  Financial aid packages are sent to the student; however, we encourage you to discuss the package with your student. Our online portal, Boxer Online, allows students to print a copy of the financial aid award letter.

Pacific does not include a Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan in the student’s financial aid package; however, parents are eligible to apply for this loan to pay for any education expenses not covered by financial aid.  Information on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is available here.


Merit based scholarships and awards from Pacific are available for up to four years as long as your student maintains a 2.00 grade point average and remains a full-time student.  Eligibility for federal and state need-based awards are based on the results of the FAFSA and will generally be renewed annually as long as your financial circumstances remain similar from year to year.

Continuing students may apply for additional scholarships for their sophomore, junior, and senior years.  Visit our undergraduate scholarship page for additional information and scholarship applications.