Okay, you made it!!
College has been the most exciting time in my life thus far and I am SO GRATEFUL for the experiences I have had, the lessons I have learned, and the people I have met. But you probably have so many questions about college right now, and while you may be pondering and anticipating all the excitement that college will bring, there could also very well be that valid question in your mind of “How am I going to pay for all of this?”
DO NOT WORRY. WE ARE HERE TO HELP.
First of all, everyone’s story on how they pay for college and what that process looks like is different for every single college student that has ever attended college. But, there are some pretty universal tips that can be applied wherever you go. As someone who goes to Biola and works for Biola Admissions, I know from first hand experience how extensively and genuinely the Biola financial aid counselors and the admissions counselors are ON YOUR SIDE. They are so dedicated to you and your family and want to help you succeed! Never be afraid to reach out and ask your Biola admissions and financial aid counselors for help and for what next steps to take because they want to help!
One thing that was huge for me was actually having a relationship with my Biola admissions counselor, Danny Roh, and how he would constantly help me find different scholarships that I should apply for and what my best options were. He explained to me that 90% of the Biola student population receive financial aid and the average given amount is almost $24,000 each! THAT IS AMAZING. Danny also explained to me that based on both your GPA and your SAT and/or ACT, students receive an academic scholarship! Academic scholarships range from $10,000-$20,000 for freshmen, and $5,000-$13,000 for transfer students. I think one of the easiest and most helpful things you can do to help you figure out financial aid and what scholarships can best apply to you would be to talk with your counselors and see what can be done! They are so knowledgeable and want to help, so reach out to your counselor, make an appointment, and just TALK. My admissions counselor, Danny, and I are still close and we spend time together, proving how much they actually want to help and invest in you! One of my favorite things about the Biola community has been how genuinely intentional and Christ-bearing the professionals have been. Especially when it comes to financial aid, know that they will do all that they can!
Secondly, filling out the FAFSA can be long and maybe even daunting, but it can be a huge asset and blessing to your financial aid in college. I would highly encourage you and your family to take time to fill it out and see what happens. My family all sat together and filled it out when I was a senior in high school! The website is www.fafsa.gov. And if you have questions about the FAFSA, do not be afraid to reach out to your counselors!
Additionally, you can search for any and all scholarships outside of Biola! See what scholarships your high school, church, and other organizations or extracurricular programs that you are involved with can offer you! I know for myself personally, there was a significant amount of scholarships that my high school offered and awarded, and I was able to receive a scholarship from my town’s Rotary Club and a leadership scholarship from my high school. So do not be afraid to reach out to your high school counselors and see what your options are! Some churches also offer church matching and so you just have to reach out and ask as well. I have found that so many questions can be answered and addressed just by asking - SO GO FOR IT!
There are SO MANY scholarships for pretty much anything that you can think of that you have done or of who you are that you can apply for just by searching online! There is also a really helpful website called www.cappex.com which can help you find scholarships outside of Biola that are based on what you have accomplished and what you hope to do! Go check it out!
There are multiple scholarships that Biola offers apart from just their academic scholarships. Whether you are an athlete, a global student, a first generation college student, an ethnically diverse student, a veteran, a child of a missionary, a child of a Biola alumni, and so many others, there are scholarships that you can apply for which are specific to you! There are even certain majors that have scholarships in their program. Again, I would highly suggest you reach out to your counselors and they can help you see what scholarships can apply to you -- again they are on your side! Aside from an academic scholarship, I received scholarships for being a child of Biola alumni and for being on the Biola Dance Team.
I know that all of this information can seem like a lot and be overwhelming, but you are fully capable and have a team of individuals who are praying for you and want to come alongside you. You are not alone in this journey. There are so many opportunities to find success here. And there are so many students who are in a very similar situation. While financials can be stressful, I strongly believe and I know that many, many others would agree with me as well that a Christian education at a top tier college such as Biola is absolutely worth it. Nothing in my life has blessed me more than the community at Biola and has seen the faithfulness of God. It is worth any price because in return you are gaining something so much greater. So, go do some research online, go talk to your counselors, and know that we are all here praying for you and believe in you.