Jul 21, 2024  
College Catalog 2016-2017 
College Catalog 2016-2017 ARCHIVED CATALOG

Student Financing

Financial Aid

Whittier College offers a full range of programs to help students pursue their education which include: merit scholarships which recognize outstanding academic achievement, leadership, service, or talent; need-based grants, loans, and work programs for families who need assistance in meeting college costs; and alternative financing plans.


Academic Scholarships.Each year the faculty honors a select group of entering first year students with prestigious awards in recognition of academic achievement, leadership, service, or special talent. The John Greenleaf Whittier Scholarships range from $5,000 a year to full tuition; financial need is not a consideration in granting these awards. Winners are expected to participate in the leadership of the College community and will in turn benefit greatly from their special relationship with the faculty and their peers. These awards are renewable for up to four years of continuous study at Whittier College if the student maintains the specified grade point average and remains in good standing with the College.

Talent Scholarships. These awards are offered to entering first year students in the areas of art, music, and theatre arts. Winners are expected to enrich our community through the use and sharing of their talent but are not required to major in their talent field. Auditions and/or portfolio reviews are required by each talent scholarship department in the spring of the senior year in high school. These awards are also renewable for up to four years of continuous study at Whittier College as long as the student continues to participate in and contribute to his or her talent area, meets specified departmental criteria, and remains in good standing with the College.

Alumni Scholarships. These awards are offered to sons and daughters of Whittier alumni and are valued at $1,000 per year for a maximum of four years. Qualified applicants may receive this award in addition to John Greenleaf Whittier Merit and/ or Talent Scholarships.

Need-Based Aid

Whittier College believes that a diverse student population adds to the richness of an education. This philosophy is evidenced in our support of scholarship and financing programs and, most importantly, in the College’s commitment to providing funds for deserving students who otherwise could not attend.

Families participating in need-based aid programs agree to several commitments. Foremost among these is that parents and students must support the student’s educational expenses to the extent that they can, and students must seek all available outside sources of funding. For California residents, this includes applying for the Cal Grant awards. Other sources of funds may include high school, church, community, or corporate-sponsored awards. The College will evaluate each family’s ability to pay on the basis of a nationally accepted formula. In determining a family’s need for assistance, all costs associated with a Whittier education are considered, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation.

Whittier College utilizes funds from the federal and state governments, donors, and our own resources to assist families in meeting costs that cannot be afforded or covered by other outside resources. These funds take the form of grants, loans, and work awards for undergraduate students. Graduate and credential students are considered for loan support only. Grants are gifts of money that do not have to be repaid. Loans are normally low-interest and do not require repayment while the student is in school. Work awards allow students to earn funds to cover a portion of their expenses while gaining valuable work experience. The amount, source, and terms of each award offered an applicant are detailed in the student’s award notification letter.

Eligibility: To be eligible for need-based aid, a student must be either a citizen or an eligible non-citizen of the United States. Applicants must be enrolled in a program of study at Whittier College that leads to a degree, approved certificate, or credential. Many programs require at least half-time enrollment while most require full-time enrollment. Applicants must not be in default on repayment of any student loan or owe refunds for federal grant funds. Students must continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree as defined by College policy (available from the Office of Student Financing).

How To Apply

The Office of Student Financing is committed to helping students identify and obtain the maximum need-based assistance available.

Entering Students. To be considered for funding, new students should follow the steps outlined below. For priority consideration, all three steps must be completed by February 15 of the preceding academic year.

Step 1: Apply for admission to Whittier College by completing the Common Application. Applicants need not wait for an admission decision before proceeding to Step 2.

Step 2: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) www.fafsa.gov. Whittier College must be listed in the school section 001342. California residents should be sure to complete the statement of their California residency to apply for the Cal Grant. Whittier College must be listed in the school section.

Admitted students who meet the priority filing date will be mailed a detailed eligibility letter starting on April 1. Students who decide to accept the offer and attend Whittier College may be asked to provide documentation supporting the financial information reported on the FAFSA prior to disbursement of funds.

Continuing Students. Continuing students must apply for renewal of their assistance each year. To apply for renewal, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2 of the year preceding the academic year. Applicants who are required to submit additional information and documentation will be notified.

International Students. A limited amount of assistance is available to international students who otherwise would not be able to attend Whittier College. The awards are based on academic promise and financial need. Information on award amounts, availability, and application requirements is available from the Office of Admission.

Alternative Financing Plans. Many families who have the resources to afford a Whittier education, as well as those who wish to augment their need-based assistance, may wish to spread the payment of college expenses over the course of the year or longer. The following financing programs may be used by families as they engage in planning for their children’s education.

Short-Term Financing. Whittier College participates in a short-term payment plan through Tuition Select Payment Plan (ECSI). The ECSI payment plan has been designed to relieve the pressure of large “lump sum” payments by allowing families to spread the cost of education over twelve, ten or eight months without borrowing money or paying interest charges. A small application fee is required per school year. Application for participation can be made through mid-August with an applicable down payment required. www.ecsi.net/whittier

Long-Term Financing. These plans allow families to pay in smaller installments over a longer period of time, normally from five to twenty years. The loans are made in coordination with the Office of Student Financing, through outside lending institutions or agencies in amounts ranging from $500 per year to the cost of full expenses at Whittier College. Participation in the plans is based on the borrowers’ credit worthiness and ability to repay. Applications are normally made in June for the following academic year.

Veteran Benefits

Whittier College is approved to train veterans under Title 38, Chapter 36, U.S. Code Sections 3671(a) and 3672(a). Eligible individuals must submit copies of their honorable discharge, VA eligibility, and official transcripts from all previously attended educational institutions. Please see the VA School Certifying Official in the Registrar’s Office for further information.


Tuition, fees, and room and meal plan charges are set in the spring for the following academic year. A Schedule of Charges may be obtained directly from the Business Office Webpage.  Tuition, room, and meal plan fees for the January Interim are included in the fall charges. If, however, a student is enrolled for only the spring semester, and not the fall, tuition charges for January Interim will be assessed at the per-credit-hour fee and room and meal plan on a pro-rated schedule.

Deferred Payment. For students and their parents who desire to budget for the tuition, fees, room, and meal plan charges, the college has partnered with an outside company.  This company offers monthly payment plans to help students and families manage college tuition and other educational expenses.  Unless you are a participant on the monthly payment plan, the out of pocket expense is due to the college by the college’s published due dates.  Information on the monthly payment plans and due dates are available on the Whittier College Business Office Webpage. The college will assess a finance charge on any outstanding balance at the monthly rate of 1% with the exception of the applicable semester net balance of a Monthly Payment Plan contract.

Refunds. The enrollment deposit of $400 for new students is not refundable. 

No refund or credit is made for missed meals. Meal plans are not transferable and a fine is imposed for unauthorized use. A fee is charged for the replacement of your college identification card, which is also your meal plan card. 

For those students who qualify, the cost of the January Interim Semester is satisfied with the issuance of a January Interim Waiver.  There is no refund for tuition, room and meal plan if a student is not enrolled for the January Interim Semester.

Cancellation of Charges and Federal Title IV Refund Policy.Since Whittier College makes faculty engagements and other commitments for the entire year, the following tuition cancellation schedule has been established so that students share the cost when it is necessary for them withdraw or take a leave of absence from the College. These commitments are not subject to change, even though the number of students may vary. For this reason, no deviations from the tuition cancellation schedule will be made. This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate students who withdraw or take a leave of absence, whether or not they have federal Title IV financial aid.  There is no cancellation of charges for individual courses dropped after the College’s “End Drop” published deadline.

Withdrawal or Leave of Absence Process.Students who plan to withdrawal or take a leave of absence from Whittier College must contact the Dean of Students office immediately. A student is not considered on leave or to have officially withdrawn from the College until the student submits a completed and signed Withdrawal or Leave of Absence Form to the Dean of Students office. If the Withdraw or Leave of Absence Form is not submitted on a business day, the form will not be processed until the next business day. This date will also be used to calculate tuition cancellations whenever applicable.

Students who fail to notify the Dean of Students office of their withdrawal or leave of absence will not qualify for tuition cancellation of any kind. Upon approval from the Dean of Students, notification of the withdrawal will be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid, the Business Office and the Registrar to assure timely adjustments to student tuition accounts, financial aid awards and college records.

Cancellation of Institutional Charges.Based on the date of the withdrawal or leave of absence from the College, a student may receive a pro-rated cancellation of that semester’s direct costs for tuition, room and meal plan. Please see the Housing & Meal Agreement generated by the Office of Residential Life, for the schedule of room and meal plan fees and withdraw dates. Indirect costs such as fees, insurance and book purchases will not be subject to peroration or refund.

Tuition Cancellation Schedule

Withdrawal Date Policy
During week 1 100% of tuition will be cancelled
During week 2 90% of tuition will be cancelled
During week 3 80% of tuition will be cancelled
During week 4 70% of tuition will be cancelled
During week 5 60% of tuition will be cancelled
During week 6 50% of tuition will be cancelled
After Week 6 0% of tuition will be cancelled

For Summer Sessions, tuition cancellation policy will be applied based on the same schedule. However, the number of weeks in the semester is replaced by the number of days in the session. For example, week 1 will be replaced by first day of class, week 2 is equivalent to second day of class, week 3 equals third day of class etc.

If a student is suspended, dismissed, expelled or asked to leave the College for any reason.  Under no circumstance is the student eligible for tuition, related fees, room, meal plan or insurance fee cancellation.

Return of Title IV Funding - Financial Aid. When a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the College, his or her federal financial aid must be returned to the government. The date of withdrawal or leave of absence Whittier College uses for Return of Title IV Funds shall be the date the student submits a completed and signed Withdrawal or Leave of Absence Form to the Dean of Students office. The Office of Financial Aid will apply federal, state and institutional policy to determine the amount of funding - if any - that must be returned to the Department of Education, as well as any entity of student or parent aid assistance programs.

Title IV Funds include the following programs:

  • Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Stafford Loans
  • Perkins Loans
  • Parent/PLUS Loans

When calculating the return of federal aid, Whittier College uses the Department of Education’s formula and software to arrive at the amount that must be returned upon a student’s withdrawal or leave of absence. A copy of this calculation worksheet will be included in the student’s file and can be forwarded to the student upon request. The percentage of Title IV assistance earned will be equal to the percentage of the semester completed by the student, when said percentage is less than 60%. If a student withdraws after the completion of 60% of the semester, the percentage of aid earned during this time will be 100%. For more information, please log on to www.ed.gov and search “Return of Title IV.”

Federal Work Study funds are excluded from the return of Title IV process. However, upon notification of withdrawal a student will forfeit his or her remaining Work Study allocation because these funds are paid when earned.

Title IV Funding is returned in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  2. Subsidized Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Parent/Plus Loans
  5. Pell Grant
  6. SEOG (supplemental educational opportunity grant)
  7. Other Title IV funds

Return of Institutional Aid. When a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the College, financial aid given by the College is also returned to its original source. Institutional aid consists of restricted and unrestricted scholarships, Whittier Grants, endowments and also Whittier Loans. The refund or cancellation of institutional financial aid shall follow the pro-rata policy of the “Cancellation of Institutional Charges.” The date of withdrawal or leave of absence Whittier College uses for the return of institutional aid shall be the date the student submits a completed and signed Withdrawal or Leave of Absence Form to the Dean of Students office.

Notification to Students. Students will be notified of all changes to their student tuition account via student billing statements available on-line.  Please note that withdrawing from Whittier College, regardless of circumstance, does not release students from financial obligations.

College Financial Obligation Policy.

The Whittier College Financial Responsibility Agreement/ Promissory Note must be completed, signed and submitted to the Business Office for the semester/term that you are enrolled.  By registering for educational courses at Whittier College.  You acknowledge and agree that you are fully responsible for the cost and expense of all tuition, fees, housing meal plan cost and other related educational expenses associated with enrollment. The College considers any unpaid balance an extension of credit and equivalent to an education student loan. As defined by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code at 11 U.S.C. section 532 (a) (8) in which the College is providing educational services, deferring some or all of payments obligation for those services.  The tuition account balance must be paid prior to the beginning of each semester, by the published due date.  In the event of non-payment of the tuition account balance the College reserves the right to withhold further services until payment is rendered as agreed.  Services include, but not limited to: the issuance of grades, transcripts and diploma or future enrollment.  A Business Office Hold will be placed on tuition accounts with an outstanding balance, and the student will not be eligible to participate in registration, housing or a meal plan for future semesters.

The College reserves the right to credit wages earned by students employed by the College or refundable deposits against unpaid accounts. Student grades or transcripts will not be issued, nor degrees conferred until after all financial obligations to the College have been satisfied.

Unpaid tuition balances may be turned over to a collection agency.  If this occurs, the student is responsible for all cost and attorney fees incurred in the collection process. Such agency must abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act.