Financial
Aid

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?

For the 2014-2015 financial aid year the majority of the financial aid process will be completed online. All students may access the financial aid forms online. 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.

I thought financial aid meant "free money," such as grants and scholarships, which I do not have to pay back.

The term financial aid is a general term. It includes federal, state, institutional loans, grants, and scholarships. At LLU, the financial aid that students may apply for is primarily in the form of federal, institutional and private loans.

I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don't qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. 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. Loans must be repaid upon completion of an academic program, with an interest charge and a time limit for repayment.

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

No. You can apply for financial aid any time after January 1. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at least half time at LLU.

Why can't I submit my financial aid application before January 1?

The need analysis process for financial aid uses the family's income and tax information from the most recent tax year (the base year) to judge your eligibility for need-based financial aid during the upcoming academic year (the award year). Since the base year ends December 31, you cannot submit a financial aid application until January 1. After all, your parents might earn a year-end bonus or realize capital gains from selling stocks on December 31. If you submit the financial aid application before January 1, it will be rejected.

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) and ask for a free copy of The Student Guide: Financial Aid from the US Department of Education. 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.

How are personal and familial contributions determined?

Once your financial data are submitted, your family contribution is calculated based on the "Federal Methodology." The contribution consists of the student's share and parents' share. The formula takes into consideration income and assets then subtracts taxes and standard living expenses.

What is your institution's policy regarding parental information?

Parental income and asset information must be included on the renewal/FAFSA in order to be considered for loans administered through LLU. Parental 2013 US Federal Tax Return Transcript must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, if requested to do so.

Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?

No. Parents are, however, responsible for the Federal PLUS Loans. 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.

On the other hand, if your parents (or grandparents) want 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.

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 repaying the loan. 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.

How do I apply for a Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?

Submit a FAFSA. To indicate interest in student employment, student loans, and parent loans, you should check the appropriate boxes. Checking these boxes does not commit you to accepting these types of aid. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline each part of your aid package later. Leaving these boxes unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive.

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:
Email: finaid@llu.edu

FAFSA questions

Where can I get the FAFSA?

The online version of the form is available at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Does the FAFSA on the web have advantages over the paper FAFSA?

Yes. The FAFSA on the web guides you through the application and assists you in providing the right responses. Consequently, there are little or no errors with this method and, therefore, no delays in processing your student aid.  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool 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 requests a copy of your tax return or your parents’ tax return, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.

We recommend that you have your (and your parents', if applicable) tax returns ready when you complete the paper version of the FAFSA, or if you chose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing FAFSA on the web.

How soon after January 1 should the FAFSA form be sent in? Is it better to wait until the income tax forms have been completed?

Send in the form as soon as possible after January 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is acceptable to use estimates of your income, so long as they aren't far off from the actual values. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors. Do not wait, or you may miss the deadline for state aid. Most states require the FAFSA to be submitted by March 3, and some as early as mid-February.

I sent in my FAFSA over four weeks ago but haven't heard anything. What should I do?

If you haven't received a Student Aid Report (SAR), call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1 (800) 4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or TTY Assistance at 1 (800) 730-8913. You must provide them with your Social Security Number and date of birth as verification.

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, provided that the parent you're living with is the one filling out the FAFSA (your custodial parent). If your stepparent is married to them at the time you fill out the FAFSA, they must report their income and assets even if they weren't married to them in the previous year.

What do those acronyms on the Student Aid Report (SAR) mean?

The acronyms on the bottom of the SAR represent intermediate results in the need analysis. To fully understand their meaning, you will need to be familiar with the federal need analysis methodology, such as is used by the EFC estimator. The meanings of the acronyms are as follows:

EFC

Expected family contribution

TI

Total income

ATI

Allowances against total income

STX

State and other tax allowance

EA

Employment allowance

IPA

Income protection allowance

AI

Available income

CAI

Contribution from available income (independent student)

DNW

Discretionary net worth

APA

Asset protection allowance

PCA

Parents' contribution from assets

AAI

Adjusted available income

TPC

Total parents' contribution

TSC

Total student's contribution

PC

Parents' contribution

SIC

Student's income contribution (dependent)

SCA

Student's contribution from assets (dependent)

If an asterisk appears next to the EFC figure, the student has been selected for verification. The asterisk is followed by a code that explains the reason why the student was selected for verification. The letter explains the reason for selection, and the number indicates the priority, with code 1 the highest priority and code 25 the lowest priority.

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

The information verification statement (IVS) form will be included on your financial aid application requirements screen. Complete and submit the form online.

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.

Master promissory note (MPN) questions

What is the MPN?

The master promissory note (MPN) essentially opens a line of credit for education expenses during your academic career. When you sign a Federal Stafford Loan promissory note, you promise to repay your student loan(s). The note also includes important language about your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The MPN replaced the Common Federal Stafford Application and Promissory Note for all Federal Stafford Loans on July 1, 2000.

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

No. The note 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 or serial loan feature of the MPN allows you to receive future Federal Stafford Loans without completing and signing additional promissory notes as long as you:

  • Remain eligible for Federal Stafford Loans.
  • Stay with the same lender.
  • Attend a school that participates in the serial loan process.

How does the MPN make the student loan process simpler for me?

As long as you attend a participating school, you probably will need to sign only one MPN. You'll get additional Federal Stafford Loans from the same lender throughout your academic career--without submitting additional promissory notes.

Your first MPN will be on file when a school requests future loans for you. That should make the loan process faster and simpler. If you use one lender during your academic career, you probably will have only one place to send loan payments. That should make repayment easier and less confusing for you.

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.

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 education 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 first answer "yes" to question 31 on the FAFSA. Since Work-Study is a need-based award, the FAFSA will 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.

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?

If you're an undergraduate, you'll be paid by the hour. If you're a graduate student, you may be paid by the hour or you may receive a salary. No Federal Work-Study student may be paid by commission or fee. 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 (question 36), income earned from work (question 39) and Student's Additional Financial Information (question 44-c) on the FAFSA. Work-Study earnings should only be included in the answer to question 44-c 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.