How Your Award Was Determined

The information below is for the current 2023-2024 academic year.  Federal Student Aid has announced a number of changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the requirements, processing, and eligibility for financial aid for the 2024-2025 academic year due to the FAFSA Simplification Act.  As more details are provided by Federal Student Aid, we will update this page.


LMU uses a standard formula to determine your financial need. The elements of this formula are explained below.

Estimated Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

LMU Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)

The first component of this formula is your estimated cost of attendance (COA). Your COA is a standard amount used to represent the expected costs to attend one year at LMU. These costs include tuition and fees, averages for housing and meals, books and supplies, personal expenses, and local transportation expenses.

The COA is an estimated amount used to determine eligibility for financial aid and is not meant to represent the actual expenses for each individual student.

You can find more information regarding the Cost of Attendance at

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The expected family contribution (EFC) is a number that is used to determine your eligibility for the types of financial student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant. The EFC is calculated from the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC will determine whether you qualify for the Federal Pell Grant and the amount you can receive. For example, if your EFC is zero, and you enroll full-time, you are eligible to receive the maximum Federal Pell Grant award. The EFC is also used to determine what type of federal student loan you qualify for. The EFC is not the amount that you will need to pay to LMU. Therefore, if your EFC is zero, it does not mean that you will not have to make a payment to attend LMU.

Financial Need

Your financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance and your expected family contribution, which determines the maximum amount of need-based assistance you can receive from federal, state, university, and outside agency sources. LMU is not able to meet 100% of every student's financial need.

Awarding Process

Once your financial need is determined, LMU awards federal, state, institutional aid, loans, and work programs based on general eligibility criteria.

Freshmen students: Your budget has been based on the following: we have assumed that you will enroll full time (12 or more units) and your housing budget is based on the housing plans you provided on your FAFSA.

Transfer students: Your budget has been based on the following: we have assumed that you will enroll full time (12 or more units), your housing budget is based on the housing plans you provided on your FAFSA and we have used your academic grade level upon admission to award the Federal Direct Loan.

Continuing students: Your budget has been based on the following: your intended enrollment is based on the answers you provided on the LMU Application and your housing budget is based on the housing plans you provided on your FAFSA.

Should any of your plans change, please notify our offices by completing a Revision Request Form available in the forms section of our website

Your Financial Aid Award

LMU will, within federal, state, and university regulations, award you the maximum amount available from each funding source, without exceeding financial need. For university funds, priority funding is given to those applicants who meet the financial aid priority funding deadlines.

  • Federal funds are awarded based on the result of the federal formula and the availability of campus-based federal funds.

  • State funds are awarded based on state-specified eligibility requirements such as GPA, family income, assets, and household size.

  • LMU grant/endowment funds are awarded according to policies established by the university.

  • We coordinate any outside resources you may have received with your financial aid award according to federal, state, and institutional policies. Important: If you receive resources that cover tuition and fees from any source that were unknown to LMU Financial Aid when your award was initially determined, your LMU Grant will be canceled or reduced.

The total amount of financial aid awarded can never exceed your budget (LMU Estimated Cost of Attendance), regardless of the source of additional funding.

For continuing undergraduates: need-based grants are awarded based on the award received in the prior year unless their need is reduced beyond an established threshold.

Reasons for a Reduction in your Financial Aid Award from the Prior Year

  • Changes in federal, state or institutional aid program eligibility requirements.
  • A reduction in the family size reported on the FAFSA reduction in the number in college reported on the FAFSA.
  • Increase in parent (or student) income significantly beyond the cost of living adjustment.
  • Increase in parent (or student) assets.
  • An appeal was submitted in the prior year to consider projected year income and actual income significantly exceeds the projection.
  • You were offered a work award in the prior year and did not utilize it.
  • You were offered an institutional loan (LMU California Loan and Burns Student Loan) and declined the offer or it was canceled because loan requirements were not completed.