Office of Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid at Scripps is likely to be awarded in a combination of grants, scholarships, employment, and loans.


Grants are funds offered to students that do not have to be repaid. Sources for grants include federal and state governments, the college, community and civic groups and private industry. Scripps College offers its own grant funds to supplement those amounts awarded by the federal and state government. The amount of grant awards depends entirely on the student’s demonstrated financial need as determined by the college.

Scripps College Grants

Scripps College Grants may be used to pay tuition, fees, room and board, book and supplies and other related educational expenses.


To be eligible for Scripps College Grants you must be pursuing your first bachelor’s degree, meet all annual application deadlines, and demonstrate financial need. Scripps College Grants are offered as a supplement to federal and state grants. Only full-time students are eligible to receive Scripps College Grants. Scripps College Grants are limited to eight semesters of attendance for students who enter the college as first-time, full-time students. Students participating in overseas and off-campus studies through the Study Abroad and Global Education (SAGE) program are eligible to receive Scripps College Grants. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree objective as outlined in the Scripps College Academic Catalog.

An initial financial aid package may include Scripps College Grants; however, These funds may be replaced with Named Scholarships as the academic year progresses. Please see below for more information about our Named Scholarship programs.


To renew your Scripps College Grant you must reapply for financial aid each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other required forms by the established deadlines. Your award amount may change based on your Scripps College determined financial need, your enrollment plans, and the timeliness of your financial aid application.

Cal Grants

Cal Grants are funds offered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to California Residents only. Cal Grant A may be used to pay tuition and mandatory fees only. Cal Grant B provides a first year stipend for living expenses only. In subsequent years, the grant helps pay for tuition and fees in addition to the stipend.


You must be a full-time student at Scripps College and meet all general eligibility requirements to receive the full Cal Grant A or B amount. Selection of recipients is based on a composite score that takes into consideration your family’s income, parents’ educational level, your GPA, and other factors such as coming from a single-parent household. For the Cal Grant A, you need a minimum 3.0 GPA. For the Cal Grant B, the minimum GPA is 2.0.

Cal Grants are pro-rated for half-time and three-quarter-time enrollment. Grant amounts vary, depending on your financial need and whether you have other awards designated to cover your tuition and fees. The maximum eligibility for a Cal Grant is for eight semesters.


Your eligibility for a Cal Grant will be determined each year based on your family income and assets. It is possible to lose your eligibility for a Cal Grant if your family income or assets increase in future years. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective as outlined in the Scripps College Academic Catalog. The college expects every financial aid applicant who is a resident of California to submit the FAFSA and the Cal Grant Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification form by the Cal Grant deadline of March 2.


Federal Pell Grants

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Pell Grant provides financial assistance to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, room, board or other educational expenses.


To be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant you must be pursuing your first bachelor’s degree and meet all annual application deadlines and eligibility requirements. Only full-time students may receive the full Pell Grant amount. The grant is prorated for three-quarter, half-time or less-than-half-time enrollment. Your actual award amount is based on your financial need.


You must reapply each year by completing the FAFSA. Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective as outlined in the Scripps College Academic Catalog.




Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis and, like grants, do not have to be repaid. Awards are based on academic ability, achievement, leadership, service and promise, as well as extracurricular activities and interests. While most scholarships are merit-based, when they are awarded, they must be coordinated with a student’s need-based aid (if any). All applicants for financial aid will be reviewed for need-based scholarships.

Scripps College Merit Scholarships

The Scripps College Office of Admissions offers several merit-based scholarships with awards ranging from $15,000 to $22,000. All first-year applicants to the college are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Notification of scholarships takes place at the time of admission.

Approximately 31% of the students admitted to the Scripps College Class of 2020 were awarded merit-based scholarships.  More information about merit-based scholarships for first-year applicants is available from the Scripps College Office of Admission.

Scripps College Named Scholarships

Named Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates from funds given to the college every year by individuals or organizations, and are “named” by or for the donor. Students who are awarded a Scripps College Grant, or are receiving a QuestBridge, New Generation, or the Margo Leonetti O’Connell ’64 Scholarship, MUST complete the Scripps Grant Recipient Form. The information students provide on the form will be used to determine if the student meets the specifications of the donor, and can be awarded a Named Scholarship.  

Please note that named scholarships replace some or all of your Scripps Grant and will not replace loan or work awards and cannot be used to reduce estimated family contributions.

Since many donors are lifelong friends of Scripps and enjoy hearing directly from students about life at Scripps today, students will be asked to write a thank-you letter to one or more of these benefactors. Additionally, students may be asked to attend a function to meet their scholarship donor.

Outside Agency Scholarships & Awards

As required by federal regulations, private (outside) scholarships and other awards are considered part of a student’s financial resources. A student must inform the Office of Financial Aid, in writing, when they are notified of any scholarship award from National Merit, local or civic organizations, tuition grants from employers, or other sources.
Institutional policy states that outside scholarships will first replace the student’s self-help (loans and/or work study) awards where available. Following the reduction of self-help aid, we will also allow outside scholarships to help cover your minimum student contribution from summer earnings. If the total of your outside scholarship(s) exceeds your self-help awards and student income contribution, we may be required to reduce other forms of aid including Scripps Grant to ensure the total of your awards does not exceed your demonstrated financial need.

State grant programs, such as the Cal Grant A or B, the Vermont State Grant or Pennsylvania State Grant will reduce your eligibility for Scripps College Grants and may not reduce your self-help (loans or work) awards or your estimated family contribution.




Work programs offer students a double incentive; earning money to help meet college expenses, plus gaining valuable job experience. In the competitive job market, employers seek applicants who have both work experience along with their education.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides a way for students to earn money to help meeting their college expenses. The program encourages community service.  Federal Work-Study is funded by the federal government, whose funds are matched by Scripps College. Generally, students may earn up to $2,200 per academic year under the Federal Work-Study program.


You must demonstrate financial need, meet all application deadlines, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and enroll full-time.  The office of Career Planning & Resources assists all students in locating employment.

Federal Work-Study recipients are asked to attend a work-study orientation/sign-up session hosted by Career Planning & Resources during the first week of classes.  Earnings are paid to students through a biweekly paycheck and are intended to assist with books, supplies, and personal expenses. You will not be able to use your work-study award to pay your college tuition bill. The bill is due before the semester begins, but you must earn your work-study funds over the course of the semester.

As an alternative for students who are note eligible for Federal Work-Study, Scripps Campus Employment is employment funded by the college.




Loans are sources of funds which must be repaid, usually with interest and often with additional fees. Loans are an invaluable resource for many students and their families to finance a college education. Borrowing a loan allows students and families to use future income to pay for education today. Repayment of student loans is often deferred until after the student graduates, withdraws or enrolls on a less than half-time basis.  Terms of repayment vary depending on the type of the loan, but generally repayment lasts up to 10-years depending on amounts borrowed.

Loans can come from federal or private lenders. Acceptance of any loan carries a serious obligation to repay. Before students accept loans for financing part of their education, they should carefully compare loan programs and consider the total amount and the repayment requirement for which they will be responsible when completing their education. Students are not required to borrow the full loan amounts that are awarded in their financial aid offers, and should only borrow based on their individual needs.

Scripps College invests significant funds in need-based grants to ensure that students do not leave school with overly burdensome debt.  Students entering Scripps College in the 2015-2016 year and beyond will be packaged with following need-based loans over the course of each of their four years at the college.

Year in School Need-Based Loan Amount in the Financial Aid Package
 1st Year $3,500
2nd Year $4,500
3rd Year $4,500
4th Year $5,500

Under federal regulations, students may be eligible to borrow additional amounts of Federal Direct Loans that are not included in their financial aid awards. See below for more information on the Federal Direct Loan program.

Federal Direct Loan Program

These long-term, low-interest loans to students and parents are made by the U.S. Department of Education. Scripps will use these loan amounts to cover a student’s tuition and fees, as well as room and board charges billed through the college. Any remaining funds may be delivered to the student or the parent (in the case of a parent loan) for non-institutional educationally related expenses.  Federal Direct Loans include: the Subsidized Federal Direct Loan, The Unsubsidized Federal Direct  Loan and the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

A subsidized loan is student loan awarded based on demonstrated financial need. If a student does not qualify for a subsidized loan, because she is not determined to have demonstrated financial need, she may borrow an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. While a Subsidized Federal Direct Loan may not be used to substitute for the expected family contribution (EFC), an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan may be used for this purpose.


Under federal regulations, the maximum amount of Subsidized and Unsubsidized loan Federal Direct Loan a federally dependent student may receive in an academic year is as follows:

Year in School Subsidized Maximum Unsubsidized Maximum Combined Maximum
 1st Year $3,500 $2,000 $5,500
2nd Year $4,500 $2,000 $6,500
3rd Year $5,500 $2,000 $7,500
4th Year $5,500 $2,000 $7,500

Federally independent students and those whose parents are ineligible to participate in the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan may borrow additional amounts:

Year in School Subsidized Maximum Unsubsidized Maximum Combined Maximum
 1st Year $3,500 $6,000 $9,500
2nd Year $4,500 $6,000 $10,500
3rd Year $5,500 $7,000 $12,500
4th Year $5,500 $7,000 $12,500

Students wishing to borrow amounts in excess of the amounts in their financial aid award up to their full Federal Direct Loan eligibility during the 2016-2017 academic year are advised to contact the Financial Aid Office for further information. All first time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note and Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling online at

Interest Rates, Fees and Repayment

Each July 1st, the federal government establishes a new interest rate for loans made that academic year. Once established, the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. An origination fee is deducted from each disbursement and withheld by the federal government to offset the cost of the program.

The federal government pays the interest on the Subsidized Federal Direct Loan while the student is in school at least half-time; during the grace period, and during approved deferments.  Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement while the student is in school, during the grace period, and during any periods of deferment. Repayment generally lasts 10-years, but may be extended based on amounts borrowed.


All first time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling online at  In addition, students must accept their Federal Direct Loan awards in their My Financial Aid portal. Once your award has been accepted on the portal and your MPN and Loan Entrance Counseling have been approved, the financial aid office will originate your loan.  Loans are disbursed  in two equal installments not earlier than 10-days before the start of each semester for eligible students.


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

A Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a low-interest, long-term loan that a parent may borrow up to the full cost of education, less any financial aid received. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, room, board or other educational expenses.  Funds in excess of charges on the student account may be released to the student or the parent borrower as designated by the borrower.


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans are available regardless of demonstrated financial need to parent borrowers (biological parents, adoptive parents, and stepparents). More than one eligible parent may apply. Eligible borrowers must  be US citizens or eligible non-citizens. The borrower must not have an adverse credit history as determined by the US Department of Education. Parent borrowers who fail to meet the established credit criteria, may appeal the decision or may apply with an endorser (co-borrower) who does meet the credit criteria. Parents who establish eligibility be virtue of an appeal or an endorser, must complete online counseling at

Interest Rates, Fees and Repayment

Each July 1st, the federal government establishes a new interest rate for loans made that academic year. Once established, the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. Interest on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan begins to accrue at disbursement.  An origination fee is deducted from each disbursement and withheld by the federal government to offset the cost of the program. Loans are disbursed in two equal installments not earlier than 10-days before the start of each semester for eligible students. The first scheduled payment due 60 days after the full disbursement. These loans have a 10-year repayment term, with no prepayment penalty, and may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Repayment periods may be extended based on amounts borrowed.


To be considered for a Federal Direct PLUS loan, the student and her family must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Parents wishing to borrow a Federal Direct Parent PLUS, must submit a Direct PLUS Loan Request at In addition, first-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at Once your loan is approved and your promissory note is accepted, the federal government will notify Scripps College electronically and we will originate your loan.


Private Educational Loans

Private or alternative loans are not federally guaranteed and should only be considered after a student’s eligibility for all other types of aid, including Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS loans, has been exhausted. The repayment terms of federal loan programs are generally more favorable than the terms of private loans.

Private student loans may not be included in Federal Direct Consolidation Loans and are not eligible for the Federal Income-Based Repayment Plans or for Federal Economic Hardship Deferments.

Interest rates and origination and repayment fees for these loans vary and are set by the lender. Most private lenders require a cosigner, and interest rates are based on the credit-worthiness of the borrower and/or co-borrower. The interest rate will vary on a monthly or quarterly basis and may not have a maximum rate.

Rules for repayment and deferment vary from lender to lender, although repayment generally begins after full disbursement. Some lenders may postpone (defer) repayment during periods of at least half-time enrollment and economic hardship; however, interest will continue to accrue on the loan from the date it is disbursed.

Scripps College does not recommend or promote any individual lender or loan product. We provide no preferred lender list. We encourage families to compare loan programs carefully before selecting a lender and to borrow as little as necessary. For more information visit the ELM Select website.  ELM Select compiles a list of lenders who have made loans to Scripps College students over the last 3-years.  We believe the information presented on this site is thorough, and clearly presented; however, families may select any lender or loan program of their choice.