What Is a Memorandum of Understanding and How Can You Benefit?

by Ashley Eneriz

Graduating high school with good grades and a long list of extracurricular achievements can be challenging enough. Add to that the importance of finding and applying to the best colleges for your future goals, and the whole process can be downright overwhelming!

It doesn’t have to be so stressful, though.

Azusa Pacific University strives to make the college transition easier for students—and their families—by offering various accommodations. For instance, the university has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with local high schools in Southern California that aims to ease the burden of applying to (and affording) college. In addition to offering eligible students guaranteed acceptance, APU awards those who filled out a FAFSA generous financial aid packages each year.

What Is a Memorandum of Understanding?

This term is used to describe a nonbinding agreement between two parties aligned for the same goal. APU currently partners with more than 20 area school districts and more than 10 private schools to offer guaranteed admission to graduates who meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the standard admission requirements of APU

  • Successful completion (grade C or higher) of all A-G coursework, as defined by the California Department of Education

  • Achieve a minimum cumulative 10-12th grade weighted grade point average of 3.0 or higher

  • Attain a minimum SAT score of 990 or an ACT composite of 19

  • Agree to the expectations of attending an evangelical, Christian university

If a high school student in an eligible school district or private school meets these Guaranteed Admissions Partnership requirements, they will need to submit an application, a statement of agreement with institutional policy, a personal statement, transcripts, and test scores. APU works in tandem with participating schools to communicate the terms of the MOU and keep the students and their families informed during the application process.

Benefits of This Type of Agreement

For many students, the biggest benefit of entering into an MOU with Azusa Pacific University is knowing that the hard work they complete in high school will open the door to college. Many universities turn away highly qualified students or reject AP or IB course transcripts in favor of other applicants, often making students feel as if they weren’t good enough or that they wasted their time.

With an MOU, APU wants to communicate to potential students that if they do their part in high school, the university will do its part to secure their spot on one of its campuses. In addition, APU has a generous AP/IB credit policy and accepts all passing credits for transfer.

Another huge benefit of this Guaranteed Admissions Partnership is that all students will receive a minimum of $10,000 in financial aid each year as long as they submit their FAFSA and maintain full-time enrollment and Satisfactory Academic Progress. As an added bonus, many students might qualify for more aid, depending on their FAFSA results.

The Azusa Pacific University Difference

Guaranteed admission and financial aid is APU’s way of attempting to make the transition to college less stressful for families. The real goal of this partnership is to connect with students who want to pursue their calling while studying on a Christ-centered campus. At APU, students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in their future career, but more importantly, they receive a holistic education experience that prepares students with the strength to remain steadfast through the ups and downs of life.

Are you looking to study in Southern California and experience the Azusa Pacific University difference? Learn more about APU and schedule a tour to see why so many students have fallen in love with its campus.