Financial Aid

The LBHS Counseling Department offers both a Financial Aid Night and various FAFSA workshops to assist students and parents with negotiating the many hurdles associated with applying for financial aid during the senior year. 

Student financial aid refers to funding intended to help students pay educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, etc. for education at a college, university, or private school.  Financial aid may be classified into two types based on the criteria through which the financial aid is awarded: merit-based or need-based.  Merit-based scholarships include both scholarships awarded by the individual college or university and merit scholarships awarded by outside organizations.

Merit-scholarships are typically awarded for outstanding academic achievements, although some merit scholarships can also be awarded for special talents, leadership potential and other personal characteristics. Scholarships may also be given because of group affiliation (such as YMCA, Boys Club, etc.). Merit scholarships are sometimes awarded without regard for the financial need of the applicant. At many colleges, every admitted student is automatically considered for merit scholarships. At other schools, however, a separate application process is required.  Athletic scholarships are a form of merit aid that takes athletic talent into account.

Need-based financial aid is awarded on the basis of the financial need of the student. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is generally used for determining federal, state and institutional need-based aid eligibility. At private institutions, a supplemental application may be necessary for institutional need based aid.

The United States federal government provides need-based federal aid called Federal Student Financial Aid, which is composed of different programs, grants, and scholarships, work and loan programs including Federal Pell grants, Federal SEOG Grants, SMART Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG), Federal Work-Study, Federal Stafford loans (in subsidized and unsubsidized forms), Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal PLUS loans. Federal Perkins Loans are made by participating schools per annual appropriations from the U.S. Department of Education, whereas Federal Stafford Loans and Federal PLUS Loans are made by participating lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). The U.S. Department of Education serves as a lender and guarantor under the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

To qualify for federal student aid, a student must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Students may apply online at The FAFSA uses a calculation taking into account income and assets to determine a student's "Expected Family Contribution (EFC)" toward his or her college education for that year. Colleges use the EFC to decide what types of financial aid a student is eligible to receive.  Seniors must complete the FAFSA each year by March 2 to be considered for financial aid.

Seniors and their parents should apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN at  The PIN can be used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access U.S. Department of Education records online.

Students who want to begin exploring their financial aid options can get an early start on the financial aid process by using FAFSA4caster at  This website provides students with an opportunity to increase their knowledge of the financial aid process; become familiar with the various types of federal student aid that are available; and investigate other sources of aid, such as grants and scholarships.

Cal Grants

Cal Grant is a financial aid program administrated by the California Student Aid Program in California that provides aid to California undergraduates, vocation training students, and those in teacher certification programs. Cal Grants are the largest source of California state.

Individual colleges and universities may provide grants and need- and merit-based scholarships. Students requiring financial aid beyond what is offered by their institution may consider a private (alternative) education loan, available from most large lending institutions. Typically, education loans obtained through the federal government have lower interest rates than private education loans. Institutions may also offer their own student financial assistance, in the form of need- or merit-based aid, as well as endowed scholarships (with varying need and/or merit-based criteria). Some schools may only require the FAFSA; some may also require an additional need-based analysis document, such as the CSS/Profile, to apply for such funds, in order to apply a more stringent need analysis for the rationalization of institutional funds.