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Frequently Asked Questions

This guide will help answer common questions about the financial aid process. You may want to review these prior to speaking with a LIU Riverhead financial aid counselor.

What application is required to apply for financial aid?
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the electronic Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA is the only application required to apply for most federal and New York state financial aid programs as well as all LIU Riverhead institutional scholarships and grants. The New York State TAP program requires its own application, which can be accessed through the FAFSA Web site. Please click the links below for more information.
FAFSA - Long Island University's Code is 002751
TAP - Code: 0403 (for undergraduate students only)

When will I receive my financial aid "award letter"?
Once the University receives your completed FAFSA, a financial aid award letter (which lists the financial aid programs for which you are eligible) will be mailed to your home. Your award letter will be available after mid-March. It takes approximately five to 10 business days for an award letter to be generated. If any information is incomplete on the FAFSA, you will be contacted by the Riverhead Office of Financial Aid outlining any additional documentation that is needed. Continuing LIU Riverhead students will be packaged once the previous Spring grades are posted and a completed FAFSA is received by the school.

What is LIU Riverhead's FAFSA school code and do I have to apply every year for aid?
The Riverhead FAFSA Code is "Long Island University 002751." Students must complete the FAFSA every year no later than March 1 to receive the best financial aid package possible.

How do I apply for LIU Riverhead scholarships and grants?
Long Island University offers a variety of university scholarships and awards that recognize academic achievement and financial need for transfer and graduate students. Some are awarded automatically at admission based on grades and other criteria, and do not require a separate application. The FAFSA must be completed in order to receive all scholarships and grants from Long Island University. Apply early to meet deadline dates. Visit the Scholarships, Grants and Loans section of this Web site for additional information.

When a student is considered "independent" for financial aid purposes?
The federal government defines independent student status. Specific questions on the FAFSA help to determine who is independent. These questions include if the student:

  • is 24-years-old before December 31 of the award year
  • is a graduate student
  • is married
  • is an orphan or a ward of the state
  • has legal dependents for whom he/she provides at least half the support
  • is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed forces
  • is homeless or is at risk of being homeless
  • is currently or was an emancipated minor
  • is currently or was in legal guardianship

If a student registers for fewer than 12 credits per semester, is he/she still eligible for financial aid?
What if a student is in a non-degree or certificate program?

Some financial aid programs require full-time attendance. These programs include the New York State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), full eligibility for Federal Pell Grants, and Campus-based financial aid (FSEOG, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work Study). When registration falls below 12 credits per semester, these awards are generally withdrawn. Federal Pell Grants may be reduced according to part-time status (3-11 credits per term). The Federal William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Programs require a minimum registration of at least 6 credits. Non-degree or certificate programs are eligible to apply for alternative loans.

Is there a difference between "merit-based" and "need-based" financial aid?
Generally, "merit-based" awards are based on academic performance and skills. Many of LIU Riverhead scholarships and grants are merit-based. Need-based awards are given to students who can show they have financial need after filing out the FAFSA. Need-based awards include Pell Grants; Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG); Work Study; subsidized loans and Study Grants. All other federal or state financial aid programs requiring the completion of a FAFSA are based on financial need and are considered "need-based."

When do students begin to repay their loans?
Federal William D. Ford Direct Student Loans begin repayment of interest and principal within six months after a student graduates or is registered for fewer than six credits. The six months is considered a "grace period" and students have the opportunity to work with the federal government to select the best repayment plan for their circumstances. The Unsubsidized Loan requires quarterly repayment of interest only while the student is still in school. The Federal Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans are repayable 60 days after disbursement or the parent can apply for a deferment of the principle, but repayment of interest is due while the student is in attendance.

How do I resolve a "hold" for financial aid that appears on My LIU account?
There are two financial aid-related holds that may appear on your My LIU account. One is a reminder to loan borrowers that they must take an electronic Loan Exit Interview. The "FA Exit Interview" hold will prevent the release of your diploma. Once you go online to perform the Loan Exit Interview, this hold will be removed. The second hold related to Financial Aid is the "FA Block M" which means that you may have defaulted on a federal student loan. To resolve this hold, call the University Financial Aid Office at University Center, 516-299-2553. To complete the Loan Exit Interview, click here.

How do I accept the loans that have been offered to me?
To accept loans, you must complete a Loan Entrance Interview and electronically sign a Master Promissory Note. Please click the links below for more information.

Where do I find more information about the financial aid programs I was awarded?
On your My LIU account, click on the "View Financial Aid" bar at the left.

What if I don't see any financial aid on my record?
If you have filed your FAFSA and have not been awarded financial aid for the year you selected, you should look for outstanding "To Do List" items on your Student Center page on The items on your "To Do List" may be the reason you have not been awarded financial aid, and you should check with the Riverhead Office of Financial Aid for more details.

What is the difference between "Offered" and "Accepted" awards on my Award Summary page on the My LIU?
All scholarships and grants from the federal and state governments and from LIU Riverhead are considered to be "Offered" and "Accepted" and will automatically be applied to your bursar account to cover tuition. You can review scholarships and grants on your My LIU Student Center page under "View Financial Aid." Scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid. Student loans also appear as "Offered" and "Accepted" in this view, but will not actually disburse to your bursar account until you have satisfied all "To Do List" items, take your Loan Entrance Interview, and electronically sign your Master Promissory Note. Parent PLUS Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans are only "Offered" until such time as they are formally accepted (Master Promissory Notes are signed, etc.) and they will move to the "Accepted" column once this is done.

How will I know the exact amount of money I will receive from a loan? Aren't fees deducted?
If you click on the "Loan Details" link on the Award Summary page on your My LIU account, you will see the amount of your loan, the fees that are incurred, and the "net" amount of your loan that will be disbursed to your account.

What financial aid programs are available?
The federal and New York state government provides a variety of financial aid programs which include the Federal Pell Grant; Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG); Federal Work Study; Federal Perkins Loans; and the Federal Direct Student Loan Programs. For New York State residents, Tuition Assistance Awards (TAP) also are available.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?
Yes, all LIU Riverhead students must electronically complete a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA every year, and must meet the deadline date for campus-based financial aid in order to be considered for those types of assistance. The date is March 1 each year.

What happens if I file the FAFSA after the LIU Riverhead deadline of March 1 has passed? Is there any financial aid I can still receive?
After the Campus-based financial aid deadline, it is not too late to complete the FAFSA. A student can still receive a Federal Pell Grant, New York State's TAP award, and loans from the Federal Direct Student Loan Programs. However, institutional funding may be limited. The deadline dates for these programs appears on the "Deadline Dates" option of your My LIU Student Center page.

How do I know if I need to provide additional documentation to the Financial Aid Office?
Upon full completion of the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, students will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. The comment section will indicate if additional information is required. The LIU Riverhead Office of Financial Aid may contact you as well if additional documentation is needed.

After I receive a financial aid award letter, can my funding allocation change
Your funding can change if additional resources, not previously considered, are reported. If changes are made to FAFSA information that affects your eligibility, this may result in revised awards including a reduction in loan eligibility. The University reserves the right to adjust or revise this financial aid package should you:

  • receive additional assistance from other sources not listed on the award letter
  • your FAFSA application changes due to updates you provide
  • there is inconsistent information during the verification process
  • if your registration or housing plans change
  • you no longer meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for any institutional, federal or state aid listed.

How does "good academic standing" and "satisfactory progress" affect my financial aid package?
Every school must publish standards of good academic standing and satisfactory progress for financial aid purposes. These standards are in the LIU Riverhead Bulletin and reflect academic conditions that must be met in order to maintain your financial aid awards. They include, but are not limited to:

  • A minimum grade point average
  • A minimum number of credits earned each semester
  • A minimum number of cumulative credits earned each payment period The federal government requires schools to develop these standards because it wishes to monitor the fact that students make progress toward their educational objective, i.e., a baccalaureate degree. These measures insure that reviews take place, and that the institution is in compliance with the regulation.

If a student is awarded Federal Work Study, can any of those earnings be applied to a tuition bill?
Yes, up to 75% of earnings from the Federal Work Study program may be applied to a student's tuition bill. The student will need to complete the Payroll Deduction Request Change Form.

What is the interest rate on the William D. Ford Direct Loans?
The interest rate for both Direct Subsidized Loans is variable and is adjusted each year on July 1. The interest rate will be calculated differently depending on several circumstances. The interest rate during the in-school, grace, and deferment periods is equal to the 91-day Treasury bill rate plus 3.1 percentage points. By law, however, the interest rate can never exceed 8.25 percent. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify the student each year in writing about the interest rate that will go into effect on July 1. Note that the fixed amount students pay each month will be adjusted to account for any changes in the interest rate. The length of the student's repayment period will not be adjusted unless they request it by contacting the Servicing Center.

How do students make William D. Ford Direct Loan payments?
Students can pay by check every month or by Electronic Debit Account (EDA). If students elect to pay by check, they should send all loan payments to the Direct Loan Servicing Center. The address for mailing payments will appear on their billing statement. If students select EDA, loan payments will automatically be deducted from their checking accounts.

Is there a penalty for repaying Federal William D. Ford Direct Loans early?
No. Students may prepay all or part of the unpaid balance on any Direct Loan at any time without penalty. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will apply the prepayment first to any charges or collection costs, then to interest, and last to principal.

What happens if I don't pay back my loan(s)?
If you think you might have a problem making the scheduled payments on your loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center immediately at to discuss other repayment plan options and whether you are eligible for a deferment or forbearance. You are delinquent if your monthly payment is not received by the due date. Default occurs when you become 270 days delinquent in making payments on your loans. The consequences of default can be severe. If you default:

  • the entire unpaid amount of your loan becomes due and payable
  • your default will be reported to national credit agencies
  • your wages, federal tax refund or other federal payments will be withheld
  • you will be required to pay collection fees and costs, plus court costs and attorney fees
  • you will lose eligibility for other federal student aid and most other federal benefit programs
  • you will no longer be eligible for loan deferments (such as deferments while you are in school, unemployed or experiencing economic hardship)

What happens if my Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are in repayment and I decide to go back to school?
You may be eligible to postpone your loan payments with an in-school deferment if you are attending an eligible school at least half time. If you are attending less than half time and think you might have difficulty repaying your loans, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at Students may be able to obtain a forbearance to postpone their payments.

What if I have problems repaying my William D. Ford Direct Loan(s)?
If you think you might have a problem making scheduled payments on your loans, immediately contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at The Direct Loan Servicing Center will work with you to help you avoid the costs and adverse consequences of delinquency or default on your Direct Loans. There are several options available to help you avoid default, such as changing repayment plans, deferment or forbearance.