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Alternative Loans
Often referred to as private loans, these loans are borrowed directly from a bank. Alternative loans are based on a strong credit history. While the student is the borrower, a co-borrower is often required.

A person besides the borrower who signs a credit agreement and is legally obligated to repay the loan if the borrower does not make payments.

Cost of Attendance
The total estimated cost to attend school for an entire academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). This includes: tuition and fees; estimated room and board; books and supplies; and transportation and personal expenses. (Items such as credit card payments, automobile payments and entertainment expenses are not included in the cost of attendance.)

Direct Costs
Charges that are billed by the University, which the student pays directly to the University. These generally include tuition and fees and, for students who reside on campus, room and board.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The amount that the federal government determines that the family (student and parents of dependent students) can contribute to offset the student’s cost of attendance for the academic year.

Federal Aid
Aid that comes from the U.S. government. This aid is sometimes disbursed through your college.

Financial Aid Package
The total amount of financial assistance offered to the student to help pay for college. Typical packages will include grants, scholarships, work-study and loans.

Financial Need
The difference between a student’s educational costs and the EFC Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This is the standard application for federal financial assistance as well as need-based aid from LIU Riverhead. It is accessible via the web at

Gift Aid
Financial aid that does not need to be paid back: this includes grants, which are typically based on financial need, and scholarships, which are typically based on academic achievement or talent.

Grace Period
The time between when you leave school and when repayment begins.

Funds that must be repaid. There are several types of loans which students and parents can take to help offset the cost of attending college. The following is a brief summary of the most common federal direct loans offered by LIU Riverhead:

  1. Direct Subsidized Loan - A federally guaranteed loan that is based on financial need as determined by LIU Riverhead during the needs analysis process. In addition to need, amounts awarded are based on the academic level of the student.
  2. Direct Unsubsidized Loan - Similar to the Direct Subsidized Loan in regard to the application process and amounts available to students, but different in that interest accrues on this loan while the student is enrolled in college and it is available to students who do not demonstrate financial need. Interest rates are fixed.
  3. Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students & PLUS Graduate Loans - A loan available to the parent of an undergraduate student or a degree-seeking graduate student. This loan is based on strong credit history and interest accrues from the time funds are disbursed. Interest rates are fixed.

Perkins Loan
A low interest (5%) loan. Students with substantial need as determined during the financial aid packaging process may be offered an award of $500 to $1,500 per academic year depending on the availability of funds.

The full amount borrowed. During repayment, it refers to the portion of the original amount still owed (not including interest).

Promissory Note
A contract between the borrower and the lender that reflects the terms and conditions under which the borrower promises to repay the loan.

A form of university financial aid that is distributed to students based on merit and does not require repayment. In order to retain a scholarship, students must maintain a minimum grade point average at LIU Riverhead (minimum G.P.A. varies).

Study Grant
An academic, need-based or performance-based award consisting of University funds, which do not have to be repaid. Limited amounts are awarded to full-time students (enrolled in 12 or more credits per semester).

Work Study
Eligible students are offered the opportunity to work on campus and to earn minimum wage per hour and above. Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week.