Award Guidelines

The Loma Linda University Office of Financial Aid strives to ensure that financial aid is distributed equitably based on calculated financial need.  “Need” is the difference between your estimated costs and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education and reflected on your FAFSA.  Your EFC is determined by many factors, including the family’s income, assets, family size and number in college.  If you are independent, “family” refers to yourself and your spouse/children (if applicable).

If you are eligible for financial aid, your need may be funded by various sources.  Students who met the priority funding deadline are given greatest consideration during the awarding process.  After priority funding deadline consideration, most funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis due to the limited availability of certain awards.  Funds are awarded in the following sequence:

  • Outside scholarships or awards for which our office is aware
  • Federal PELL and FSEOG Grants (not available to graduate students)
  • Cal Grant awards are posted after the office receives notification and verification of eligibility (not available to graduate students)
  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS)
  • Perkins Loans or Institutional Loan
  • Federal Work Study (FWS) is added to a student’s award based on eligibility and student request

For more information on the specific funds, please select this link or visit Types of Aid

Notice:  Students may supplement their awards with private educational loans up to the amount of the student’s cost of attendance minus any financial aid they have received.  Students must apply for these loans separately through a bank or lender.  Remember that a loan is a legal obligation, so it is important to borrow only what you need and to research the terms and conditions of the loan thoroughly.

Award Adjustments

Throughout the academic year it may become necessary for the Office of Financial Aid to adjust your award if the total aid received exceeds your estimated cost of attendance.  Additionally, need based funding may not exceed the student’s financial need which is the cost of attendance minus EFC.  For example, a student may receive a scholarship from an outside organization after they have been awarded.  If that scholarship creates an overaward, it may become necessary to adjust a future scheduled award or to return aid that has already disbursed.  Overawards will be returned to loans before scholarships and grants when possible.

It is important to remember that all financial assistance you receive for being a student must be coordinated with your financial aid award.  Make sure you notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately if you receive financial assistance not reflected on your award.  If you notice any omission or discrepancies on your award letter, notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately.

To access the form for notifying the Office of Financial Aid of your additional financial assistance select this link.

 Effect of Parent Information

The federal student aid programs are based on the concept that it is primarily your and your family’s responsibility to pay for your education.  Based on your responses to questions on the FAFSA, you will be considered a dependent or independent student.  Note that you may be considered a dependent student even if you don’t live with your parents or receive financial assistance from them.  Dependent students must submit parent information on their FAFSA and for verification (if applicable) to receive a financial aid award.

If you are an independent student, you are not required to submit parent information to receive federal student aid such as the PELL Grant, FSEOG, and Direct Loans.  However, certain funds require parental information regardless of a student’s age, marital status, or tax status.  The decision to submit parental information will be left to you; however, it is recommended that students complete the parent portion of the FAFSA if they wish to be considered for the best award possible.

When submitting the FAFSA online, you will have the choice to submit parent information when you see the following section:

You are considered an "independent" student. This means you are not required to answer questions about your parents.

 However, you may want to answer questions about your parents if:

  • you are a health profession student (such as a medical or nursing student), or
  • your school requires parental information from all students.