Scholarships and Financial Aid

More than 96% of Woodbury University undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, with the average student financial aid grants during the 2022-2023 academic year totaling over $21,872.

For undergraduate students, Woodbury University coordinates a comprehensive financial-aid program consisting of scholarships, grants, loans and part-time employment through funding from state and federal programs, its own resources, and outside/private donors.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Woodbury University Application for Financial Aid must be completed by all entering and returning students in order to apply for financial aid. Graduate-student aid packages consist primarily of loans.

A valid FAFSA is required to determine eligibility for the Federal Direct Education Loan Programs. Alternative loan funding may also be an option, however, this type of funding is based on the applicant’s credit history and ratings.

Financial-aid awards will be applied toward direct costs (tuition, fees, materials or lab fees, parking, and any contracted housing and meal plan charges) first. Institutional grants and, typically, most named scholarship awards can only be used to pay tuition.

Woodbury’s Business Office will notify students of any credit balance available on your their accounts after these direct costs have been paid. A credit balances will be refunded to students and may be used to cover indirect costs such as books, supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Graduate students that demonstrate merit based on admit scores and grade point averages may qualify for scholarships and/or teaching assistantships in their program of study. Consult your admissions counselor for more information about these options.

UPDATE  2024–25 FAFSA Form Launch

Attention to all incoming and returning students:  The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is now available. You can complete the form to apply for financial aid to help pay for attendance at college between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025.   Please note, the Department of Education may initiate pauses for site maintenance and to make technical updates as needed to provide you with a better experience.

2024-25 FAFSA and FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA application and delivery system is changing for 2024-25.  As a result, the application will not be available until December. To accommodate this later availability, we are extending our FAFSA priority filing date to April 1st, 2024. Please stay tuned for more details as they are released.

FAFSA Simplification

The FAFSA Simplification Act represents a significant overhaul of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, need calculation, and many policies and procedures for schools that participate in federal student aid programs.  These changes are aimed at making it easier for students and their families to apply for financial aid with a more streamlined application process.

FAFSA Completion Date – The 2024-2025 FAFSA open December 2023. This is a

temporary change.  In future years, the FAFSA will open on October 1st.


Streamlined Application Process

  • The new FAFSA will feature fewer questions, fewer requirements, and retrieve tax information using a direct data exchange from the IRS instead of the previous IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Terminology changes

    • Contributor: anyone who is asked to provide information on the FAFSA – student, student spouse, parent(s), and stepparent(s) for example.
    • Consent: each contributor will now need to provide their consent to their Federal Tax Information (FTI) being included in the FAFSA, even if they did not file a U.S. tax return.
    • SAI: Student Index Aid (SAI) replaces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
    • FTI: Federal Tax Information (FTI) transferred directly from the IRS.

Changes to the application

  •  The number of questions on the FAFSA will be reduced.
  •  For students whose parents are divorced or separated, the Custodial Parent on your FAFSA will be the parent who provides you with the most financial support and will no longer be the parent with whom you lived with the most over the past 12 months.
  •  Each contributor (student, student spouse, parent(s) and/or stepparent) will have to provide consent.
  • If any contributor does not provide their consent the Student Aid Index (SAI) will not be calculated, and we will not be able to determine your eligibility for financial aid.
  •  Students can list up to 20 schools on their FAFSA via the online application. Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility
  • Federal Pell Grant eligibility is expanded to more students and will link eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level.

Other changes

  • A direct data share with the IRS will replace what is currently known as the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
  • Resources for completing the FAFSA form will be expanded to the 11 most common languages spoken in the United States.


Prepare for the FAFSA

While the 2024-2025 FAFSA won’t be available until December, you can still prepare by doing the following:

  • Create an FSA ID on the Federal Student Aid website and assist contributors, such as your parent(s) or spouse, in creating an FSA ID.
    • An FSA ID is an account and password that gives you access to the Federal Student Aid’s online system and serves as your electronic signature.
    • With the FSA ID, you can fill out the FAFSA when it’s available, sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), apply for repayment plans, complete loan counseling, and use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool.
    • If you already have an FSA ID, there is no need to create a new one.  Your existing FSA ID will continue to work.
  • For an estimate of your federal financial aid for 2024-2025, you can use the Federal Student Aid Estimator on the Federal Student Aid website. This tool estimates the Student Aid Index (SAI) for 2024-2025 and the federal aid for which you may qualify.

Learn how affordable a Woodbury education can be. Click on the buttons below to view sample financial summaries for students entering during the 2023-2024 school year who are approved for a Cal Grant and have an expected family contribution of zero.

2023-2024 Data

First Year Student 2023-2024                      Transfer Student 2023-2024

Scholarships and Grants

Learn about the variety of scholarships and grants that are available to Woodbury students.

Have additional questions?

Meet the Financial Aid Team

The objective of Woodbury’s new 10% Federal and State Grant Match program is to increase Institutional Aid to students from low-income families with a GPA of 2.5 to 3.39. In addition to providing merit-based scholarships for eligible students, we are providing need-based aid tied to federal and state programs such as Pell and Cal grants. We believe this will increase access for underrepresented students who wish to attend Woodbury and increase the diversity of our student body.

Read the full FAQ here

To encourage and reward academic excellence, each year Woodbury University awards a number of undergraduate merit scholarships based on a student’s academic promise and personal accomplishments. Merit scholarships are awarded to students in their first year at Woodbury. A student’s high school GPA (or college GPA for transfer students) is reviewed to determine which category of merit gets awarded.

As long as the required GPA is maintained, these merit awards are renewable up to an additional three years for standard programs or up to four years for architecture students.

The following undergraduate Merit Scholarships are in effect for Fall 2023 admission:


→ DEAN MERIT SCHOLARSHIP $18,000 [3.40–3.69 GPA]


Note to students determined eligible for need-based financial aid: financial aid program regulations require the university to include these merit awards as a financial resource when assessing a student’s overall financial needs. Your merit award will be incorporated into your financial-aid package.

Donor-Sponsored Scholarships

Woodbury University administers various scholarships derived from gifts and endowments given to the university by individuals and organizations. Special applications are not necessary for these funds; they are awarded based on availability of funds and the needs of the university as well as a combination of eligibility requirements, such as academic standing, financial need, or criteria specified by the donor.

Woodbury University values diversity, open communication, collaboration, and engagement. As part of the commitment to institutional diversity, the Social Justice Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to incoming students from underrepresented groups who are themselves committed to eradicate social justice and ensure lasting equality, respect, opportunity, and justice for all.

Incoming students who are underrepresented (e.g., minorities from first generation families) are encouraged to apply. The scholarships will be awarded without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or creed.

Each School/College shall make applications available and select the recipients.

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Business
  • School of Media : Culture : Design

Student eligibility requirements include:

  • Recipients shall be new students who have enrolled as full-time students in an undergraduate program with financial need.
  • The award is $2,000 for the academic year in which the recipient is enrolled full-time or $1,000 for the academic year for part-time. The awards may be renewable on an annual basis depending on the balance of the Fund.
  • Recipients shall submit an essay that describes their academic goals, intended strategies for attaining the stated goals, and commitment to social justice. The award criteria will include: 1) clarity of purpose; 2) ability to communicate effectively; and, 3) coherence of academic plan.


Applicants to Architecture graduate programs may qualify for institutional scholarships and/or assistantships, which may be awarded by the School of Architecture committee upon review of the completed application and supporting documents (2 letters of recommendation, resume, personal statement, transcripts).

Institutional scholarships range from $8,000-$20,000, and assistantships range from $3,000-$6,000.


The Woodbury Prize scholarship pays $5,000.00 in  tuition fees for the duration of their enrollment in the program. All transfer students who are accepted into our Architecture (BArch) and Interior Design (BFA) undergraduate programs are automatically considered for the Woodbury Prize. To be considered for a Woodbury Prize students must have 3.0 GPA or above and a design portfolio. Woodbury Prize is announced in June each year. 

Microsoft Scholarships for Applied Computer Science-Media Arts 

Applicants to the Applied Computer Science-Media Arts program may qualify for institutional scholarships which are awarded by a School of Architecture admissions committee upon review of the completed application. To be considered, students must have a 3.0 GPA or above, and demonstrate financial need. Scholarship applications include a short essay detailing student’s goals. Please contact Admissions Counselor Justin Stadel ([email protected]) for more information about the application.

Woodbury’s MBA program now offers up to $20,000 for incoming students!

Woodbury University is proud to provide merit scholarship packages for our graduate students in an effort to help you stay on track to achieve your educational and career goals during this challenging time.

MBA students who apply for our admission may now qualify for a merit scholarship of up to $20,000. The MBA merit awards are based on your undergraduate GPA (GPA is not cumulative and is based solely on the degree awarding college/university):

  • GPA of 3.7 to 4.0 earns $20,000
  • GPA of 3.40 to 3.69 earns $18,000
  • GPA of 2.95 to 3.39 earns $12,000
  • GPA of 2.50 to 2.94 earns $8,000

Apply to the mba program today

Woodbury’s Master of Arts in Social Justice (MSJ) program now offers up to $15,000 for incoming students!

Woodbury University is proud to provide merit scholarship packages for our graduate students in an effort to help you stay on track to achieve your educational and career goals during this challenging time.

MSJ students who apply for our admission may now qualify for a merit scholarship of up to $15,000.  The MSJ merit awards are based on your undergraduate GPA (GPA is not cumulative and is based solely on the degree awarding college/university):

  • GPA of 3.7 to 4.0 earns $15,000
  • GPA of 3.4 to 3.69 earns $13,500
  • GPA of 2.95 to 3.39 earns $9,000
  • GPA of 2.50 to 2.94 earns $6,000

Apply to the mSJ program today

Woodbury University administers programs funded through the California Student Aid Commission. These undergraduate scholarship programs are awarded on the basis of academic achievement and financial need and can only be used at an approved California college or university. These programs can be used for four years of undergraduate study with a fifth year of eligibility for students in an approved five-year Architecture program.

-Cal Grant A is awarded to the financially needy.

-Cal Grant B is awarded to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

To be considered for a Cal Grant, you must submit a “Cal Grant GPA Verification Form” that has been certified by a high school or college official no later than March 2 of the application year.

The Federal Pell Grant is a direct grant from the federal government to financially needy undergraduate students. Students are restricted to a lifetime eligibility of 6 years as a fulltime student or 600%. For 2023-2024, Pell grants will range up to a maximum amount of $7,395.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is federal funding provided to Woodbury specifically to make awards to very-high-need undergraduate students and may range from $200 to $2000 per year.

The Federal Work Study (FWS) enables undergraduate students to earn part of their financial award through part-time employment while attending Woodbury University. Employment is usually on campus, but limited off-campus opportunities may be available as well.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Programs and Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) are loans made available through the U.S. Department of Education to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate student loans have a fixed interest rate for subsidized loans and 4.99% (for the 2022-2023 academic year) for unsubsidized loans. Graduate students are only eligible for unsubsidized loans at an interest rate of 6.54%. Woodbury University determines eligibility based on the student’s cost of education or program costs and expected contributions from income.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (Parent PLUS) is a loan made available through the U.S. Department of Education and is a credit-based loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students. These loans are guaranteed at a fixed interest rate of 7.54%. Creditworthy parents can borrow up to the difference between the cost of attendance for one year and the amount of financial aid the student is eligible to receive.

The Federal Direct Graduate and Professional Student PLUS Loan (Grad PLUS) is a loan made available through the U.S. Department of Education and is a credit-based loan for independent graduate students. Creditworthy graduate students can borrow up to the difference between the cost of attendance for one year and the amount of financial aid the student is eligible to receive. This loan is at a fixed interest rate of 7.54% and deferrable during half-time study.

Alternative Loans are private bank loans for students, designed to help meet the gap between the costs of attendance and financial aid. These loans are not guaranteed by the federal government; therefore, they can carry different fees and interest rates. Careful research is strongly suggested. Students are encouraged to first apply for federal and institutional financial aid before considering an alternative student loan.

  • The College Board offers a scholarship program that awards $5 million in scholarships each year. Learn more
  • The Ebell of Los Angeles began providing scholarships to students in Los Angeles in 1919. Learn more
  • The Mabel Wilson Richards Scholarship Fund was created by the Will of the late Mabel Wilson Richards and by a court decree construing it. By the terms of that Will, the income from the trust assets may be used only to provide financial assistance for the education of worthy and needy girls who reside in the City of Los Angeles, California, and other cities within Los Angeles County.

WISE is made up of four components that provide opportunities for students to engage in high-impact educational practices inside and outside the classroom, and earn up to two $1,000 tuition scholarships. These experiential learning opportunities allow students to gain meaningful knowledge and experience while helping with tuition costs. The four components are:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Study Away
  • Internship or Work Experience
  • Leadership

Learn more about WISE HERE

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