Admissions Information

Mission: The mission of the Admissions Office is to market VU effectively with integrity to the Christian prospective student population, and to provide high quality admissions counseling and information to prospective students and their families, pastors, and high school guidance counselors.

The following admissions information is specific to the traditional undergraduate programs of the University. For graduate programs admissions information, see the Graduate Studies catalog section; for Early Childhood Program and degree completion admissions information, see the Professional Studies catalog section.

Selective Admission

The traditional undergraduate programs of Vanguard University practice selective admission and encourage applications from Christian students who desire an education that integrates the Christian faith with learning and living, provides intellectual challenge and growth, and fosters spiritual commitment. The traditional undergraduate programs, therefore, review applicants’ academic records, moral character, and willingness to comply with the standards and values of the University. All applicants are evaluated without regard to race, gender, age, political affiliation, national origin, or disabling conditions.

The average freshman enters VU with a high school grade point average of approximately 3.20. Vanguard has a preferred GPA of 2.80 for first-time freshmen, with a minimum of 2.50 required.  The preferred GPA for transfer students is 2.5, with a minimum requirement of 2.0. A limited number of students who do not meet these minimum GPA requirements may be admitted on a “provisional” status. Provisional status places students on academic probation during their first semester of attendance, and requires at least a 2.0 GPA during that semester in order to continue at VU. Please note that students are not guaranteed admission by meeting minimum GPA requirements.

High School Preparation

The traditional undergraduate programs do not require a set pattern of high school subjects. However, a strong college preparatory program in high school is vigorously recommended. The following high school courses are considered basic for college admission:

  • English – 4 years                               
  • Laboratory Science – 2 years
  • Mathematics – 3 years                    
  • History/Social Science – 2 years
  • Foreign Language  – 2 years          
  • Visual and Performing Arts – 1 year

High school students could further enhance their experience in college by taking additional courses in the disciplines above and other courses in humanities, foreign language, and practical application courses such as those requiring computer literacy.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

  • December 1 – Early Action Deadline with application decision by January 15
  • January 15 – Priority Deadline with application decision by March 2
  • March 2 – Regular Decision Deadline with application decision within four weeks
  • August 1 – Rolling Admission Deadline with application decision upon receipt of supporting documentation

Spring Semester

  • December 1 – Regular Decision Deadline with application decision within four weeks.

Students desiring financial aid should submit a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) online at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ by the priority deadline of March 2. In order to meet the March 2 priority deadline for financial aid, California residents must also file the GPA verification form with the California Student Aid Commission by March 2.

First-Time College Freshmen

Applicants for admission to VU as freshmen must follow the procedure outlined below:

  1. Submit the online application or PDF version which can be retrieved at http://www.vanguard.edu/applynow.
  2. Official high school or GED transcript. Applicants are also responsible to request that their final high school transcript, with graduation date be submitted upon graduation.​​
    • Students who have graduated from a non-regionally accredited or non-ACSI accredited high school, or who have been home-schooled must achieve satisfactory test scores from the ACT or SAT in order to be considered for admission and financial aid. More weight will be placed on standardized test performance.​
  3. Transcript Request Form to be submitted by the school counselor, advisor, or registrar
  4. Pastoral Reference
  5. Standardized Tests. All freshmen applicants are required to take either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). Vanguard prefers a minimum score of 910 (combined critical reading and math sections) on the SAT or a composite score of 19 on the ACT for admission to the university. Please note admission is not guaranteed by meeting minimum test scores. Information and registration forms may be obtained from your high school counselor. The addresses for testing information are as follows:
    • American College Testing Program (ACT)
      P.O. Box 2201
      Iowa City, Iowa 52243
    • College Entrance Examination Board (SAT)
      Box 6200
      Princeton, NJ 52243

Transfer Students

Students desiring admission by transfer from a recognized college or university will follow the same basic procedure outlined for freshmen above. Please note that students are not guaranteed admission by meeting minimum standards. Transfer students are also subject to the following requirements:

  1. Official Transcripts. Official college transcript(s) of all college work must be sent to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Credit for courses receiving less than a grade of “C-” will not transfer. A course receiving the grade of “D,” however, may satisfy core curriculum requirements for graduation at Vanguard University. No more than three core curriculum requirements can be satisfied with a “D” grade. At no time will transfer students be admitted until they present evidence of honorable dismissal from the institution last attended. Transcripts submitted to Vanguard become the property of VU and will not be returned or duplicated.
  2. High School Completion. Final official high school transcript or diploma, GED certificate or transcript, transcript stating 2-year program completion and specifically Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, home school credential or transcript, or proof of passing both sections – English-language Arts and Mathematics – of the California Proficiency Examination (CHSPE).
  3. Transcript Request Form to be submitted by the school counselor, advisor, or registrar.
  4. Pastoral Reference.
  5. Standardized Tests. A student transferring from a regionally unaccredited liberal arts or Bible college must present acceptable scores on either the College Board Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT). Other transfer students who have completed at least 12 units of transferable college coursework do not need to submit standardized test scores.
  6. Community Colleges. A maximum of seventy (70) units may be transferred from community colleges. Work considered as terminal, occupational, or industrial arts will not be included in the 124 unit hours required for graduation.
  7. Unaccredited Bible college transfers. Students transferring from non-regionally accredited Bible colleges may be able to transfer a maximum of 30 units upon approval from the Chair of the Department of Religion. A college catalog and course syllabi are required for the evaluation process. Schools accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education or Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools may receive a maximum of 60 units in transfer.  Students who have matriculated into VU, may not transfer units from unaccredited institutions.
  8. Minimum Required Units. A minimum of twenty-four (24) of the last thirty (30) units1 and at least one-half of an academic major must be taken at Vanguard University. 
  9. Core Curriculum. Transfer students who have not fully met the core curriculum requirements of Vanguard University may be allowed to satisfy these deficiencies by substituting similar courses from those that were accepted. The Registrar will make such determinations.
  10. The same guidelines that are followed to determine course equivalencies for students following IGETC (see “Course Articulation with California Community College” section) will be used for those transferring from 4-year institutions.
  11. Religion requirements.  Religion courses may be transferred, but must be taken from a recognized Christian institution.  The number of core curriculum Religion courses required for transfer students is reduced based on the number of units accepted in transfer to Vanguard. 
    1. 47-77 units transferred                        12 units
    2. 78-93 units transferred                        9 units
    3. 94 or more units transferred               6 units

Course Articulation with California Community Colleges

Students who are considering transferring to Vanguard University from a California Community College should follow either the California State University (CSU) pattern of study with the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) at the community college of attendance or the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements.

Guidelines for those following IGETC:

Areas 1 through 5 (CSU pattern) must be followed with the following exceptions:

  • Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences: Only 6 units are required in two different disciplines.
  • Area 5: Sciences: Only one class in Group A or B is required, but it must include a corresponding lab.
  • American Institutions Requirement of U.S. History OR U.S. Government is required.

Guidelines for those following the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements:

Areas A through E must be followed with the following exceptions:

  • Area B: Sciences: only 1 class in group B1 or B2 is required, but it must include a corresponding lab. A math class in group B4 is required for a minimum of 7 units in Area B.
  • Area D: Social and Behavioral Sciences: only 6 units are required in 2 different disciplines
  • Area E: Life Skills: Personal health lecture course and activity courses that are equivalent to VU’s KINE 145C/146C will fulfill the Lifetime Fitness/Wellness requirement
  • American Institutions Requirement of U.S. History OR U.S. Government is required.

In addition, students who transfer to Vanguard University will be required to take additional core curriculum coursework:

  • fifteen (15) units of religion (See #11 in “Transfer Students” section for more information)
  • three (3) units of a Multicultural Exposure course (may be transferred to VU. Some courses in Areas 3 and 4 (IGETC) or Areas C and D (CSU Gen Ed Breadth) will also meet this requirement)
  • two (2) units of fitness/wellness courses (1 unit lecture and 1 unit of physical activity may be transferred to VU)

Students at any California community college have the option of transferring to Vanguard University before completion of the entire IGETC pattern or CSU Gen Ed Breadth requirements.

Partial or full completion of the IGETC pattern or CSU General Education Breadth requirements does not guarantee admission to Vanguard University. Students may be approved for admission after an application for admission has been filed with the Undergraduate Admissions Office at VU.

Only students who are not currently enrolled, and who have not been previously enrolled, at Vanguard University may use the IGETC pattern or CSU General Education Breadth requirements to meet the core curriculum requirements at VU.

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Agreement

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) educates and trains highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students for commissioning as officers in the United States Air Force. AFROTC offers a variety of two, three, and four-year scholarships, many of which pay the full cost of college tuition, books and administrative fees. Additionally scholarship recipients and all students who successfully complete a Summer training session at the end of their second year receive a monthly tax free personal payment.

Through arrangements with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in west Lost Angeles, Vanguard University will accept 16 transfer units from students enrolled in its Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program. In addition, students currently enrolled at Vanguard may participate in the AFROTC program as part of their studies. For more information, contact the Loyola Marymount University Department of Aerospace Studies (AFROTC) at 310-338-2770 or visit their website at http://academics.lmu.edu/afrotc/.

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Agreement

Vanguard University participates in an Education Service Agreement with California State University, Fullerton which allows for the awarding of transfer units. Vanguard accepts all baccalaureate level Military Science units receiving a grade of “C-“ or higher, with a maximum of 8 physical activity units (all institutions combined).  Scholarships may be awarded to eligible students. Eligible students are determined by CSU-Fullerton.  For more information on the ROTC program at CSU-Fullerton, please go to their website at: https://catalog.fullerton.edu/

Re-Admission

Students interrupting their educational program by not registering in any subsequent Spring or Fall semester must submit a simplified Abbreviated Application (with a $15.00 application fee) to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. If the length of absence from VU exceeds two consecutive semesters, the student will be required to meet any new graduation requirements which may be in effect at the time of re-admission. Students, who have completed twenty-four (24) units at VU and have formerly declared a major, after being out of attendance for no more than two consecutive semesters, may return finding that the requirements have not changed.

International Students

International students must complete the same admissions process as domestic freshmen or transfer students. Additionally, international students must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Affidavit of Financial Support. Submit financial certification showing financial sponsorship for duration of planned study along with documented proof of sponsorship. Financial aid, with the exception of institutional talent scholarships, is not available for international students.
  2. Deposit. For Fall students, submit a check in U.S. dollars to cover 70% of basic costs of first academic year before the I-20 form is issued. For Spring students, submit a check in U.S. dollars to cover 100% of basic costs of the Spring semester before the I-20 form is issued.
  3. TOEFL. International students for whom English is not their native language are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit their scores to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. A score of at least 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the internet-based test, is required for admission to Vanguard University.
  4. Transferring. To become eligible for transfer to VU from another American college, approval must be obtained from the previous school attended and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  5. Full-Time. International students must maintain a minimum of twelve (12) units each semester for a Bachelor degree program and a minimum of nine (9) units for a Master degree program.

Notification of Application Decision

Students applying by the December 1 Early Action Deadline will be notified of their application decision by January 15. Students applying by the January 15 Priority Deadline will be notified of their application decision by March 2. Student applying by the March 2 Regular Decision Deadline will be notified of their application decision within four weeks. Upon acceptance to Vanguard University, an acceptance packet will be mailed to each applicant that includes an acceptance letter, along with additional information to assist you in college planning. The following procedures must be completed once admitted:

  1. Residence Arrangements. All students will be sent an on-campus housing form or an off-campus housing petition which is to be returned to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Permission to live off campus is not considered official until confirmed in writing by the Office of Residence Life.
  2. Enrollment Deposit. Prior to securing class registration and campus housing, admitted students must submit a $400 enrollment deposit to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. This deposit is non-refundable after May 1 for Fall term applicants, and December 1 for Spring term applicants.

Student Classification in VU’s Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Regular Students—Students who have fully met all the requirements for admission, have been admitted to candidacy for a degree, and are making satisfactory progress toward graduation.

Provisional Students—A limited number of students who do not meet all the admission requirements may be admitted as “provisional” students. Students admitted provisionally may be limited to twelve (12) units.

In order to receive regular classification and continue at VU, provisional students must attain a 2.0 grade point average in their first semester of full-time enrollment.

Non-Degree Students—Students who are allowed to attend Vanguard University without submitting the credentials required for admission with regular status.  Abbreviated application forms are available through the Undergraduate Admissions Office.   Types of non-degree students include:

  • Students taking Continuing Education Units. Units are not degree applicable.
  • Students seeking Certificates.  Certificate students may only take coursework that applies to the certificate they are pursuing.
  • Students-at-Large.  Students-at-Large earn academic credit for work completed successfully, but they are not considered degree-seeking students at Vanguard University. The Student-at-Large classification is possible only for those taking six (6) units or less during any semester except the Summer term.

Auditors—Students may attend class with no obligation to participate actively in the work. For such students, no examinations are given, no assignments are requested or marked; however, no credit may be obtained for such attendance. Auditors pay the auditing fee. A student must attend at least 50% of the class sessions in order to have the audited course recorded on the transcript.