Smart Start Frequently Asked Questions

About Smart Start

What is this summer program?

This summer program was created to give you a head start on the Bible classes required for all Biola students. This is done through six weeks of online coursework and a two-day on-campus seminar.

What classes are being offered?

When are classes being offered?

Classes will take place online from July 10–August 18, and for BBST 103 only the mandatory on-campus seminar will take place August 22 and 23.

How is Smart Start structured?

The online portion of this program will be completed entirely through our online learning management system. You will have discussion groups, assignments due, communication with classmates and your professor, and more. You will need to have a webcam and Internet access on your computer in order to participate in the program. You will also be asked to log­ on at specific times (for video discussions, etc.). The on-campus portion will take place over two days on Biola’s campus just before your fall semester orientation begins. You will participate in face-to-face class discussions and lectures, along with turning in assignments and taking exams.

Can I take two classes at once?

Due to the academic rigor of these accelerated college-level courses, we highly recommend that incoming freshmen just take one course, BBST 103: Biblical Interpretation or BBST 110: New Testament History and Literature. Transfer students are welcome to take both courses, but it is advised that they only do so if they are not working nor having other significant time commitments.

I am participating in the Torrey Honors Institute, am I eligible for this program?

This program is not an option for students participating in the Torrey Honors Institute due to the alternative curriculum that is taken by those students.

How much time is required for each class?

These courses require a serious commitment, and can each take 3-6 hours per day for all six weeks online. Please keep in mind that students who participate in two courses should expect at least 6-12 hours per day to complete all necessary assignments. We do not recommend taking two courses if you will be involved in other activities (e.g. work, camps, internships, etc.) during the summer.

About the On-Campus Portion

Is the on-campus portion of the course required for BBST 103?

Yes. Participation in the on-campus portion of the courses is a requirement for receiving credit. No exceptions will be made for this requirement.

Where will I stay during the on-campus portion of the class for BBST 103?

If you will be living on-campus in fall 2017, you will be placed in your fall 2017 housing assignment for the duration of the on-campus portion of the program at no additional cost. You will be permitted to check-in with the Housing Office on August 22, 2017, located in the Student Services office across from the gym. Students who will be commuting during the fall 2017 semester will also need to commute during the on-campus portion of this program.

Can I purchase a meal plan for the on-campus days for BBST 103?

Meal plans for fall 2017 will start on Friday, August 24. For August 22 and 23 students may add student dollars onto their ID card in order to purchase meals from the Biola Café, or use cash or their bank card at any of Biola’s campus eateries.


How do I register?

Registration for Smart Start will open in May 2017. Please sign into, click on the “Smart Start” task, and follow the steps. Classes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. In order to be eligible to participate, you must be an incoming first time student, starting Biola in the fall of 2017 and you must submit your payment by June 26. These courses are not available to students residing in Alabama, Maryland or Minnesota.

What if I need to drop the class?

Students who drop the course before the 3rd day of class will have the class dropped from their academic transcript. Students who drop the class on or after the 3rd day will receive a "W" (withdrawal) on their academic transcript. Students who try to drop the course after the last day of class and students who do not show up or turn anything in will receive a "UW" (unofficial withdrawal) on their academic transcript. If you have questions about this, contact Eyvette Min at

How should I acquire books for the class?

All books are available at It can take several weeks for the books to get to you so order them as early as possible before class — three weeks is recommended. Some books may also be available at your local library or Christian bookstore. Costs for books are not included in the price of the program.

Payment Information

When do I pay for Smart Start?

Payment in full for Smart Start is due on June 26, 2017. When you are registered for class you can pay online through our student portal at

How much do the classes cost?

The cost of a summer course is $416.67 per credit. Each class is 3 credits, totaling $1,250 per class.

What is your refund policy?

Time Refund
Days 1-2 (July 10-11) 100% refund, no grade
Days 3-4 (July 12-13) 70% refund, "W" grade
Week 2 (July 14-21) 30% refund, "W" grade
Week 3-7 (July 24 - August 24) No refund, "W" grade

In light of this refund policy, please make sure that you begin the class on the correct dates and are able to assess your ability to complete it. Please note: $25 of the tuition charge is considered a registration fee and is non-refundable.

Is financial aid available?

The Smart Start program is a unique program offered to new Biola students as a way to get a head start on their Bible credits. Financial aid packages start for student's first semester (fall 2017), and because Smart Start is being offered at the summer tuition rate, no financial aid will be available for this program.

Are there any extra hidden fees?

Besides the tuition cost of $1,250 per class, the only other fees include the cost of books and the cost of the meal plan that you choose to purchase for the on-campus portion of the program for BBST 103.