How eligibility is determined

To receive student financial aid, including federal student aid and institutional aid, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) yearly
  • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs)
  • Comply with LLU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress 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, which has no credit minimum
  • 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

The Cal Grant Application Deadline is March 2, please visit the California Student Aid Commission website for details on the Cal Grant (  

The preferred funding deadline for LLU is March 20.  Missing the priority funding deadline(s) may result in you becoming ineligible for certain funds.  LLU accepts financial aid applications year-round; however, priority funding for late applications is limited.  If you miss the priority funding deadline, you should complete your financial aid application as soon as possible.

The verification deadline at LLU is 60 days prior to the start of enrollment for a given academic year.  Late verification documents may be accepted; however, you may not receive an award in time for financial clearance.  The Office of Financial Aid will endeavor 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 used by your school 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. What matters is your Cost of Attendance (COA) and how much other assistance you’ve been awarded so far.  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 a student is in need of additional aid, they may apply for other non-need-based loans to supplement their budget needs.

If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, 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.  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.