Federal and State Aid

Federal and State Aid is defined as any financial aid originating from Federal or State resources.  Grants are a type of aid that do not need to be repaid.

While it is the sincere intention of the Office of Financial Aid to offer the same opportunities to all students, Federal and State Aid is only available to US Citizens and “eligible non-citizens.”  If a student receiving a Federal or State Grant has also been awarded the Soka Opportunity Scholarship (SOS), the SOS will be adjusted so that the combination of State and Federal Aid with the SOS amount will not exceed tuition & fee costs.

This page only details grants and scholarships.  Loans and Federal Work-study information can be found on the “Self Help” page.

Federal Grants

Pell Grant

$600-$5,815 annually │ Need Based (2016-2017)

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduates and promotes access to postsecondary education.

The award is prorated should students enroll less than full-time.

Eligibility is based on financial need which is evaluated by the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

$500-1,000 annually │ Need Based

The FSEOG is a need-based grant that is awarded to low-income undergraduate students.  This grant is co-sponsored by the US Federal Government and SUA.

SUA gives priority to those students with “exceptional financial need.”

State Grants

Cal Grant A and B have very specific eligibility requirements which are summarized below.   It is recommended that you visit the Cal Grant website to read a full description on how to apply and eligibility.

Cal Grant A: Entitlement and Competitive Grant

This grant is applied to tuition fees only and is not for use on other costs associated with your education. 

Eligible students must at least:

  • Be a US Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be a California resident.
  • Have recently graduated from high school or have recently obtained a GED.
  • Have registered with the Selective Service if male.
  • Have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 to earn the entitlement Cal Grant A.
  • Have income and assets below the minimum levels as determined by Cal Grants.

Students must complete a FAFSA by March 2nd each year to be considered for this grant.  In addition, students’ high school GPAs must be submitted by March 2nd to Cal Grants to be considered for the grant. Please visit the Cal Grants website for their form.

Cal Grant B: Entitlement and Competitive Grant

Cal Grant B is applied toward tuition and fees.  B stipend must be applied to educational costs other than tuition and fees. Qualifying costs would include, but are not limited to, books, supplies, transportation, room and board.

Eligible students will have all of the same requirements as the Cal A recipients but will have lower income and asset ceilings.

*Though the total amount awarded by the Cal Grant B is lower over four years, the funds can be applied to other costs aside from tuition and fees.  Students who are receiving scholarships that total the full amount of tuition or more may choose to opt into the Cal Grant B if eligible.  This would mean that the student would have the extra funds to use toward other educational costs.

It is also important to note that if a student receives Cal Grant A funds for the first year of study, he/she is no longer eligible to receive Cal Grant B funds.  Students must opt into the Cal Grant B program from the beginning of study. If you are eligible for both the Cal A and B Grants, you must make the decision about which Cal Grant program you would like to participate in before you receive your first disbursement. Then you must notify Cal Grants of your choice.

Veteran's Assistance Programs

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts program at Soka University of America (SUA) is approved for veteran’s assistance by the Bureau for Postsecondary and Vocational Education. These benefits are available for veterans and children or spouses of certain deceased or disabled veterans. Students are encouraged to notify the SUA Office of Financial Aid that they intend to participate in a Veterans Education Assistance program during their admissions process to ensure timely processing prior to arriving for classes.

Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) 

The Montgomery GI Bill is available to admitted students who have been on active duty for at least 90 days since 1985 and having been discharged not longer than 10 years. To be eligible, the Veteran must be fully honorably discharged, have a high school diploma and file a claim for benefits.  The rate of monthly pay is dependent on years of service and student status.  Eligibility is determined based on a category of service.

To review eligible category types and for more information and to apply visit:


Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill (PGIB)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program for service members and veterans who served on active duty after Sept.10, 2001.  To be eligible, the service member or veteran must serve at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, and remain on active duty or be honorably discharged.

Based on the length of active duty service, eligible participants are entitled to receive a percentage of the following:

  • Cost of tuition and fees up to an annual amount determined by VA to be used toward tuition and fee costs at a private institution like SUA that will be paid directly to the school,
  • Monthly housing allowance* equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in the same ZIP code as the primary school (paid directly to the service member, veteran, or eligible dependents),
  • Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year (paid directly to the service member, veteran, or eligible dependents), and
  • A one-time payment of $500 paid to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas

For more information visit:  http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp

Veteran’s Benefits for children of deceased or disabled Veterans

Children of a member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, may be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits under the Marine Gunnery John David Fry Scholarship Program.

For more information visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/factsheets/Fry_Scholarship.pdf

When to Apply?

Students wishing to use their veteran’s benefits should apply once they are officially admitted to Soka University of America or as early as possible. During peak times of the year (usually a moth before the start of the Fall and Spring Semesters), the applications can take some time to process through the VA system. Once they have processed your application, they will then have to process the SUA request for your benefits. This can take a few weeks to several months.

Apply Now!

  • STEP 1: Notify the SUA Office of Financial Aid that you are interested in using the GI Bill to help fund your education. A simple email will do: financialaid@soka.edu. We may contact you to offer assistance on determining the best Veteran benefits program for you.  We encourage new students to notify the Office of Financial Aid during the admissions process that they intend to use VA benefits so we can ensure timely processing prior to the start of class.
  • STEP 2: Sign yourself up for benefits on the Veteran’s Administration at www.benefits.va.gov.  VA applicants are encouraged to navigate the VA website for any updates or changes to veteran's benefits or programs.
  • Step 3:  Students applying for veteran's benefits are also encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov.  In addition to veteran's benefits, applicants may also receive Federal grants, institutional scholarships, work-study and other forms of financial assistance.
  • STEP 4: Once you have received the confirmation letter from the VA describing your eligibility, send a copy to the Office of Financial Aid via mail or email so we can begin to process your request your benefits.
  • STEP 5: Receive your benefits – pending notification of availability from VA

The VA will send your tuition and fee checks directly to Soka University of America and we will apply them to your account.

For housing or other expenses, the VA will send funds directly to you. This usually happens between 30-45 days after the first day of classes.

Please feel free to visit, email (financialaid@soka.edu) or call (949-480-4342) the Soka University of America Office of Financial Aid should you have questions or need assistance.