How Eligibility is Determined

To receive federal and institutional aid, all students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year
  • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs)
  • Comply with LLU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Not be in default on a federal educational loan and not owe a refund on a federal grant
  • Enroll at least half-time, in eligible courses, with the exception of the Federal Pell Grant
  • Be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security Number
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or meet an approved ability-to-benefit exemption
  • Be registered for the Selective Service if you are male and 18-25 years of age
  • Comply with any and all verification requests
  • Be qualified to receive federal financial aid if you were ever convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving financial aid

Deadlines for Financial Aid

You should complete your FAFSA early to ensure that your application will be considered for all available aid sources for which you might be eligible. Funding for some programs is not guaranteed to late applicants. The FAFSA can be submitted as early as October 1st each year and is available through June 30th of the following year.

The Cal Grant Application Deadline is March 2 of each year, please visit the California Student Aid Commission Website for details on the Cal Grant program. 

The verification deadline at LLU is 30 days from the date of your verification notice. Late verification documents may be accepted; however, you may not receive an award in time for financial clearance. The Office of Financial Aid will attempt to verify and award students who submit late documentation. Awards cannot be guaranteed for students who submit documentation less than 45 days prior to end of their term, award year, or last day of enrollment.

For verification with regards to a PELL Grant, the student must complete verification by the deadline published in the Federal Register or 120 days after the last day of enrollment, whichever is earlier.

Determining Financial Need

There is no official income cut-off for financial aid eligibility. Since eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined by many factors, including the family’s income, assets, family size and number in college, we encourage you to apply if you are concerned about your ability to pay. We evaluate your family’s ability to pay based on the information you provide us. All information is used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC formula is found in Part F of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). Updated rules are published in the Federal Register.

Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number calculated based on your FAFSA data which is used to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

Non Need-Based Aid

Non need-based aid is financial aid that is not based on your EFC. The Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal PLUS Loan are two sources of non need-based aid. Your eligibility for need-based aid is considered before your eligibility for non need-based aid. If you are in need of additional aid, you may apply for other non need-based loans to supplement your budget.

Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Federal student loans made by the federal government, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. Never borrow more than you need for your school related expenses.

Continued Financial Aid Eligibility

It is important that you make sure you stay eligible throughout the academic year and subsequent years. In addition to the basic eligibility criteria listed above, a student must continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (policy located in University Catalog) and fill out the FAFSA each year. 

Additionally, if you have taken a Federal PLUS Loan, you will want to protect your credit as the PLUS Loan requires a credit check during the application process every year. If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser or documenting to the U.S. Department of Education’s satisfaction extenuating circumstances relating to your adverse credit history. For additional information go to the Federal Direct PLUS Loan section under Types of Aid.