Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about Financial Aid

What is the Loma Linda University school code?

Loma Linda University's school code is 001218.

What is your mailing address?

Office of Financial Aid
Loma Linda University
11139 Anderson Street
Loma Linda, California 92350

Who is eligible for financial aid?

A financial aid eligible student:

  1. Is not in default on a federal loan
  2. Does not owe a refund on any federal or state grant program
  3. Is a United States citizen or has a valid alien registration card
  4. Is in good academic standing and is making satisfactory progress towards a degree
  5. Has a clean credit record to obtain credit based loans, if needed
  6. Is registered with the Selective Service if required by law to do so
  7. Has a valid Social Security Number

How can I apply for financial aid?

The first step in the financial aid process is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After submitting your FAFSA, additional information will be requested by the LLU Office of Financial Aid before your file is considered complete.

If you are a new student, a PIN will be mailed/emailed to you when the Office of Financial Aid receives either your FAFSA results (ISIR/SAR) or notification from the Admissions Office that you have been accepted into LLU.

Financial aid is "free money," such as grants and scholarships, which I do not have to pay back, right?

The term financial aid is a general term. It includes funding from federal, state and institutional sources that come in the form of grants and scholarships, as well as student loans. At LLU, students are considered for funding from all of the various aid sources for which they are eligible.

I don’t think I qualify for financial aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify and miss an opportunity to receive financial aid because they fail to apply. There are a few sources of aid such as Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS Loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no good excuse for not applying.

What is the difference between a grant, scholarship, and a loan?

A grant is a gift. It does not have to be repaid. A scholarship is an achievement award that is usually based on academic grades, abilities, skills, class rank, etc., and does not have to be repaid. Loans are funds borrowed by the student or parent. Loans must be repaid with interest over a determined amount of time.

What is the difference between a Federal and an Institutional Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

A Federal MPN, used for Federal Direct loans, is completed online and remains active for up 10 years, unless an endorser is used. An Institutional MPN, is a paper document that must be completed and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid each year.

Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid?

No. You can apply for financial aid any time after October 1. However, to receive a projected financial aid award you must be officially admitted to LLU.

Will my financial aid be automatically renewed next year?

No. Every student needs to reapply for aid every academic year.

Where can I get additional information about federal student financial aid?

Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1 (800) 4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1 (800) 730-8913 (if hearing impaired). This toll-free hotline is run by the US Department of Education and can answer questions about federal and state student aid programs and applications. You can also visit the Federal Student Aid website for more information.

What is your institution's policy regarding parental information?

While parental information is not required for an Independent student, parental income and asset information must be included on the FAFSA in order to be considered for loans and other institutional aid administered through LLU. If requested, your parent’s 2016 US Federal Tax Return Transcript must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.

What happens if I receive aid from other resources, a corporation, parent's employment, religious organization, etc.?

The Office of Financial Aid will review any outside aid a student receives to determine if the total amount of aid received exceeds the student's budget. Adjustments to the student's financial aid award may be required.

What if I have other questions?

For general inquiries regarding financial aid:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) questions

Where can I get the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available at This online application guides you through the process and assists you in providing the right responses. As a result, there are fewer errors and delays in processing your student aid.

Should I use IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), available on the web version of the FAFSA, allows students and parents to access and directly transfer the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA.

We highly recommend using the tool, if you are eligible, for several reasons:

  1. It's the easiest way to provide your tax data.
  2. It's the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
  3. You won't need to provide a copy of your or your parents' tax returns to your college.

If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information and your college requires you to verify your or your parents' tax information, you may be required to obtain an official tax return transcript from the IRS.

My parents are separated or divorced. Which parent is responsible for filling out the FAFSA?

If your parents are separated or divorced, the custodial parent is responsible for filling out the FAFSA. The custodial parent is the parent with whom you lived the most during the past 12 months. Note that this is not necessarily the same as the parent who has legal custody. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, the parent who provided you with the most financial support should fill out the FAFSA. This is probably the parent who claimed you as a dependent on their tax return. If you have not received any support from either parent during the past 12 months, use the most recent calendar year for which you received some support from a parent or lived with either parent.

Note, however, that any child support and/or alimony received from the non-custodial parent must be included on the FAFSA.

My parents are divorced, and the parent I'm living with has remarried. Does my stepparent have to report his or her income and assets on the FAFSA?

Yes, if you have a stepparent who is married to the legal parent whose information you’re reporting, you must provide information about that stepparent as well.

My SAR says that I have been selected for verification. What do I need to do?

If you are selected for verification, you will receive an email notice outlining the steps required to complete the verification process. Any required documents will be listed on your Student Portal under “Application Tracking Requirements”.

My SAR is not accurate. How do I correct it?

Contact the Office of Financial Aid. Your advisor will be able to make most corrections electronically.

Federal Work-Study questions

What is Federal Work-Study?

The Federal Work-Study program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study.

How do I apply for Federal Work-Study?

To be considered for Federal Work-Study at LLU, you must answer "yes" to the question on the FAFSA, “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”. Since Work-Study is a need-based award, the information provided on your FAFSA will be used to determine your eligibility for participating in the LLU Federal Work-Study program.

You will then receive a letter from the Office of Financial Aid providing additional information and a LLU Work-Study application. Once the completed application is returned, you will become eligible for job placement.

Can Federal Work Study be added to my aid if I’ve already been awarded?

Yes, Federal Work Study can be added to your aid after your initial award has been determined. Your eligibility would have to be verified and you would have to apply and be hired for a work study position.

How much will I make?

Your Federal Work-Study wages will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but it may be higher, depending on the type of work you do and the skills required. Your total Federal Work-Study award depends on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level of LLU.

How will I be paid?

LLU will pay you biweekly. You will be paid directly, unless you request that we make payments to your bank account, or use the money to pay for your institutional charges such as tuition, fees, room, and board.

Are Federal Work-Study jobs on campus or off campus?

The majority of Federal Work-Study jobs are on campus.

Can I work as many hours as I want?

No. The amount you earn can't exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. When assigning work hours, your employer or financial aid administrator will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.

Are Federal Work-Study earnings taxable?

The money you earn from Federal Work-Study is generally subject to federal and state income tax, but exempt from FICA taxes (provided you are enrolled full time and work less than half time).

Federal Work-Study earnings during the calendar year should be included in the totals for AGI, income earned from work and Student's Additional Financial Information on the FAFSA. Work-Study earnings should only be included in the answer when they represent financial aid to the student, since the answer to this question is used as an exclusion from taxed income. The student should also be careful to report amounts based on the calendar year, not the school year.

Federal Direct Loan questions

What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans?

In short, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
  • The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
    • while you’re in school at least half-time,
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

How do I apply for a loan?

To apply for a Direct Loan, you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Your school will use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive. Direct Loans are generally included as part of your financial aid package.

Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?

No. Parents will only be responsible for your educational loans if you are under 18 and they cosign your loan. In general you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans. Parents are, however, responsible for the Federal PLUS Loan. This is the only loan where the parent is the “borrower” and not the student.

Who will contact me after I receive my loan?

When you receive your Direct Loan, you will be contacted by your loan servicer (you repay your loan to the loan servicer). Your loan servicer will provide regular updates on the status of your Direct Loan, and any additional Direct Loans that you receive.

When do I have to pay back my loan?

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly. Learn more about repaying your loan.

If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?

Not immediately. Loans usually have a grace period before you must begin repayment. Grace periods vary in length depending on the type of loan and the lender. When you take a leave of absence you will not have to repay your loan until the grace period is used up. If you use up the grace period, however, when you graduate you will have to begin repaying your loan immediately. It is possible to request an extension to the grace period, but this must be done before the grace period is used up.

If your grace period has run out in the middle of your leave of absence, you will have to start making payments on your student loans.

What types of loan repayment plans are available?

There are several repayment options available that are designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers. Your loan servicer can help you understand which repayment options are available to you. Generally, you’ll have 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on the repayment plan that you choose. Learn more about your repayment options.

Can my parents, or someone else, help me pay my educational loans?

If someone else wants to help pay off your loan, you can have your billing statements sent to their address. Likewise, if your lender or loan servicer provides an electronic payment service, where the monthly payments are automatically deducted from a bank account, your parents can agree to have the payments deducted from their account. However, your parents are under no obligation to repay your loans. If they forget to pay the bill on time or decide to cancel the electronic payment agreement, you will be held responsible for the payments, not them.

What if I have trouble repaying my loan?

If you are unable to make your scheduled loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. Your loan servicer can help you understand your options for keeping your loan in good standing. For example, you may wish to change your repayment plan to lower your monthly payment or request a deferment or forbearance that allows you to temporarily stop or lower the payments on your loan. Learn more about deferment or forbearance options.

Can I cancel a loan if I decide that I don't need it or if I need less than the amount offered?

Yes. Before your loan money is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of your loan at any time by notifying your school. After your loan is disbursed, you may cancel all or part of the loan within certain time frames. Your promissory note and additional information you receive from your school will explain the procedures and time frames for canceling your loan.

Can my loan ever be forgiven or discharged?

Under certain conditions, you may be eligible to have all or part of your loan discharged or forgiven (canceled). Find out about loan cancellation, discharge, or forgiveness.

How will I keep track of my loan debt?

Lenders and schools are required to keep you informed of the following:

  • Your accumulating debt.
  • Your eligibility for more loans.
  • Loan amounts that were added to your account.
  • The dates when the loan funds were added to your account.

You will have an opportunity to decline all or part of a new loan within a designated time frame. If you prefer, you may opt out of the multiple-loan process and request a new MPN each year. Taking an active role in approving your loan amounts will help ensure that you borrow no more than you need.

Where can I find information about the student loans I’ve received?

Visit "My Federal Student Aid" to view information about all of the federal student loans and other financial aid you have received and to find contact information for the loan servicer for your loans.

Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) questions

What is the MPN?

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s); for instance, it will include information on how interest is calculated, when interest is charged, available repayment plans, and deferment and cancellation provisions.

When do I sign my MPN?

You must sign your MPN before you receive your loan funds. If you are taking out a Direct Loan, you must sign an MPN under any of the following circumstances:

  • You have never previously signed an MPN for the type of loan you are taking out.
  • Your school requires you to sign a new MPN each academic year (most schools don't require this).
  • You signed an MPN more than one year ago, but no loan was disbursed.
  • You signed an MPN more than 10 years ago.

For Direct PLUS Loans, if you have an adverse credit history and have to obtain an endorser, you may receive only one loan under the MPN that you sign. If you later want to receive another Direct PLUS Loan, you must sign a new MPN. If you sign an MPN and receive a Direct PLUS Loan without an endorser, but are later determined to have an adverse credit history and obtain an endorser for a future Direct PLUS Loan, you’ll have to sign a new MPN for that loan.

NOTE: Parent borrowers must sign a separate MPN for each student for whom they are borrowing.

How do I sign my MPN?

To complete an MPN online, you will need a username and password called your FSA ID. If you are a parent completing a Direct PLUS Loan MPN online, you must use your own FSA ID and not your child's FSA ID.

The entire MPN process must be completed in a single session on the website, so be sure you have enough time before you start. Each MPN takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

The MPN process consists of four steps:

  1. Enter your personal and school information.
  2. Enter information about your references.
  3. Read the terms and conditions.
  4. Review, electronically sign, and submit the MPN.

What do I do after I have completed a MPN?

Your school's financial aid office will be notified of the completion and will contact you if further action is needed.

Before your loans are disbursed, you'll receive a disclosure statement from the U.S. Department of Education or your school.

Does the MPN mean I don't have to reapply for a student loan each year?

No. The MPN is only a promise to pay, so each year you must reapply for your loan by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or an alternative school application process. The multi-year feature of the MPN allows you to receive future Federal Direct Loans without completing and signing additional promissory notes as long as you:

  • Remain eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
  • Did not use an endorser to obtain approval for your loan.