Applying for and Renewing Financial Aid

For domestic students who receive need-based financial aid, you must apply for aid, each year you will enroll at Scripps.  This allows us to get a complete and current understanding of your families economic circumstances and potential changes in their ability to pay for college.

All US citizens and eligible non-citizens are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  each year.  Undocumented student, who are California residents, should complete the Cal Dream Act application instead of the FAFSA each year.  First time international need-based aid applicants and all new and continuing domestic need-based aid applicants are also required to complete and submit the CSS Profile each year.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, students should submit signed copies of their and their parent(s) completed 2018 U.S. income tax return(s) to the College Board’s IDOC Document Imaging Service to begin the evaluation of their financial aid eligibility.

Students should also check the IDOC website after completing the CSS Profile to see if other documents are required. Continuing students should check their Scripps College My Financial Aid portal to see their required documents.

To ensure your data privacy, the Office of Financial Aid discourages students and parents from submitting and documents with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) via fax or email.  Instead, for the 2020-201 academic year, all students and parents should submit signed copies of their and their parent(s) completed 2018 U.S. income tax return(s) and all other required documents to the College Board’s IDOC Document Imaging Service. The IDOC service is a secure online service which will accept your documents from you and transfer images to the college securely.

If you must submit a document directly to the Office of Financial Aid, via email, please be sure to redact PII (like your social security number).

Financial aid is very limited for international students. International students who did not apply for aid when they applied for admission will not be considered for need-based aid in subsequent years.

Those international students who apply for and are awarded need-based financial aid at the time of admission will have their award renewed for a maximum of 8-semesters if they maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree objective.

Financial aid is not re-evaluated for international students. Since your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) is fixed upon admission, your financial aid award in future years may adjust slightly with the change in cost of attendance.

Please note that not all international student awards change with the change in the cost of attendance each year. No appeals for additional aid will be considered for international students. No other adjustments will be made.

Being independent means that no parent information is required to determine the student’s estimated family contribution. Although you may be financially self-sufficient, the U.S. Department of Education assumes that “most students entering a postsecondary school straight from high school are financially dependent on their parents.”

In order to be considered independent for federal financial aid programs, you must meet one of the following criteria established by The U.S. Department of Education:

  • Student is over 23 years old (see FAFSA Criteria)
  • Student is married
  • Student has legal dependents other than spouse who receive more than half their support from the student
  • Student is an orphan or a ward/dependent of the court
  • Student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Student has been determined to be homeless or at risk of homelessness by their school or a shelter/housing authority

Please note that a determination of independence for federal purposes, such as a student who is over 23 years of age or married, does not warrant treatment as an independent student for the awarding of Scripps College Grants. Submission of parent income and asset information will still be required for determining eligibility for Scripps College need-based aid.

Under certain extraordinary circumstances, such as well documented cases of abuse and neglect, students who do not meet the criteria above may be considered independent. If you believe that your circumstances qualify you for consideration as an independent student, please contact our office.

Scripps believes that the primary responsibility for financing a student’s education lies with the student and the family. Although a student may meet the federal requirements for independent status, Scripps expects that parents will support their children through their undergraduate education.

Financial aid at Scripps is awarded based on a student and family’s financial need. Should parents discontinue their financial support for reasons other than ability to pay, Scripps will not assume the parental responsibility for financial support of the student. As a result, an independent student may qualify for federal financial aid, but not automatically qualify for Scripps College Grants.

Under certain extraordinary circumstances and with appropriate documentation, the Office of Financial Aid can make a determination that the student should be considered independent of their parents for federal and institutional financial aid purposes.  This is only done in well documented cases of parental abuse, abandonment, and neglect where the student has severed all ties with the parents because maintaining any relationship with the parents would have a detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.  If you feel that you have unusual circumstances that would qualify for treatment as an independent student, contact our office to discuss your situation.

The Department of Education or Scripps may select a student for Federal Verification. This means families must submit Tax Return Transcripts, information, and other documents to our office to ensure the accuracy of the data they provided on their FAFSA. If you have been selected for Federal Verification, we will post the required items as missing requirements to your My Financial Aid portal. We cannot accept 1040 federal tax returns as fulfillment of the verification requirement. Instead, you can fulfill the tax return obligation by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA once your tax return is completed; or you can request a Tax Transcript from the IRS website (

Verification does not result in a change of aid unless information submitted does not match what was initially reported on your FAFSA.

The Department of Education may select your record for Federal Verification at any time during the academic year. If they do so, we will notify you on your My Financial Aid portal

We will NOT disburse aid to your student account until all documents required for Federal Verification have been submitted and reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid.

If your parent(s) owns a business, a farm, a partnership, or a corporation, it is important that you provide copies of their business tax returns as well as Business/Farm Supplement Form for each separate entity. Many parents have Sole Proprietorship or LLC which may reported on IRS Schedule C.  Some parents have rental properties that are reported on IRS Schedule E. Farms are often reported on IRS Schedule F. If your parents have an IRS Schedule C, Schedule E, or Schedule F, they should include them when they submit their federal tax returns.

If you parent has a partnership,  an LLC, or a corporation that reports income or losses on page 2 IRS Schedule E, you must also provide a copy of all pages their IRS Corporate Tax Return (Form 1120S) or Partnership Tax Return (Form 1065) as well as their K-1 statement(s). Again, a Business/Farm Supplement Form should be completed and submitted for each separate business entity.

Although the business equity from some small businesses are excluded from the federal need analysis, both the business equity and income or losses derived from the business will be considered in the determination of  your estimated family contribution under our institutional methodology.

Prospective students should check the Financial Aid tab on their Admission Applicant Status Page to see which documents and applications have been received and which are still pending. Enrolled students will be given access to the My Financial Aid Portal to view your documents and messages. These are important tools to keep you connected to the process, as documents are added at various stages of the application and awarding process. Documents submitted to the IDOC website will take 7-10 business days to appear on the Admission Applicant Status Page and the My Financial Aid portal.

Because a family’s financial resources can vary from year-to-year, domestic students and families must re-apply for financial aid each year. If the family’s financial circumstance remain relatively stable from year-to-year, the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) should remain fairly stable.  If a family’s financial circumstances change from year-to-year (e.g., changes in income, changes in assets, changes in number of siblings who are undergraduates in college), then the EFC will change.

Families should note that the cost of attendance will change each year.  Historically, this change has been approximately 3 to 4 percent each year. In addition, the maximum annual amount of need-based student loans you will receive in your financial aid award will change each year.

We cannot guarantee your financial aid award will not change in future years; however, for families whose financial circumstances do not change year-to-year, the amount of need-based grant aid will generally remain the same or increase slightly.

  • The student must also meet Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Merit scholarships may be renewed from year to year as long as the student is meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • The maximum period for any Scripps College award is 8-semesters of full-time enrollment.

Scripps’ Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines are outlined in detail in the Scripps College Course Catalog. We encourage you to review these guidelines and contact our office with questions. In short, SAP requires that students:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 6.0 GPA (on a 12.0 scale)
  • Successfully Complete a minimum (pass) 67% of the courses attempted
  • Must remain enrolled full-time each semester
  • Complete your degree objective within 4-years for Scripps College aid and within 6-years for federal aid.

Financial aid recipients, who change their enrollment status during the institutional refund period or who drop all of their courses any time during the semester are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid. Students who are recipients of Title IV federal student aid are covered by federal Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) regulations.

Financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend for the entire period for which the assistance is provided and thereby “earn” the award. When a student ceases academic attendance prior to the end of that period, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal, state or institutional funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

If a Title IV recipient withdraws from all classes on or before the session is 60 percent complete, based on their withdrawal date, federal policy requires that any “unearned” Title IV federal student aid be returned to the U.S. Treasury, even if the student is not entitled to a refund of tuition.

Institutional Funds are considered to be earned after the first 30-days of instruction. Students who withdraw on or before the 30th day of instruction and receive a tuition refund, will have their institutional aid recalculated based upon their lower tuition expense.

For more information, please review the Scripps College Catalog section on Withdrawal Implications for Financial Aid and Scholarship Recipients.