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Help - Glossary

The following glossary listing contains definitions/descriptions of terms that are related to Federal student aid Title IV programs and/or acronyms..

The terms are listed according to alphabetical order. You can select the All link to view a listing of all of the glossary terms, or you may select the letter equal to the first letter of the term.


  • L

    Dear Colleague Letter designation for FFEL letters (published before January 2013)
  • LAN

    Local Area Network
  • Late Disbursement

    A disbursement made to a student who has ceased to be eligible. An otherwise eligible student becomes ineligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds on the date that
    • for a Direct Loan, the student is no longer enrolled at the institution as at least a halftime student for the period of enrollment for which the loan was intended; or

    • for an award under the Federal Pell Grant,FSEOG, Federal Perkins Loan, Iraq- Afghanistan Service Grant, and TEACH Grant programs, the student is no longer enrolled at the institution for the award year.

  • Late Fee or Charges

    A fee that may be assessed if a scheduled FSA loan payment is not made by the due date.
  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

    Noncitizens who are legally permitted to live and work in the U.S. permanently. LPRs are potentially eligible for Title IV aid. Form I-551 is the standard document supporting LPR status.
  • LD

    Dear Colleague Letter designation for limited distribution letters (published before January 2013)
  • LDA

    Last Date of Attendance
  • LEA

    Local Educational Agency
  • LEAP

    Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program
  • Legal Guardian

    An individual appointed by a court to be a "guardian" of a person and specifically required by the court to use his or her financial resources for the support of that person.
  • Legally Authorized

    The legal status granted to an institution through a charter, license, or other written document issued by the appropriate agency or official of the State in which the institution is physically located.
  • Lender

    The organization that initially made an education loan. The lender could be the U.S. Department of Education, the borrower's school, or a lending institution.
  • Letter of Credit

    Document granted by banks stating that the bank will guarantee amounts that its customer incurred.
  • Letter of Credit Requirement

    If a school fails to meet the Refund Reserve Standard for returning funds in a timely manner in either of its two most recently completed fiscal years, the school may be required to submit an irrevocable letter of credit acceptable and payable to the Department equal to 25% of the returns the school made or should have made during its most recently completed fiscal year. Public schools and schools covered by a state tuition recovery fund that has been approved by the Department are not subject to the letter of credit requirements.
  • LEU

    Lifetime Eligibility Used
  • Level Of Expenditure (LOE)

    In the Perkins Loan Program, the maximum dollar amount the Department allows a school to expend from the school's Perkins loan fund in a given award year. The LOE includes all authorized expenditures for the program, including loans to students, administrative cost allowance, and collection costs.
  • Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program

    A grant program authorized by Title IV of the HEA.
  • Liability

    For federal accounting purposes, a probable future outflow or other sacrifice of resources as a result of past transactions or events.
  • Librarian with a Master's Degree

    An information professional trained in library or information science who has obtained a postgraduate academic degree in library science awarded after the completion of an academic program of up to six years in duration, excluding a doctorate or professional degree.
  • Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)

    The sum of all annual Eligibility Used (EU) percentages for Pell Grant and Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant recipients. The maximum a student may receive is the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters, or 6 scheduled awards. The COD system tracks a student's Pell LEU percentage.
  • Limitation (of participation)

    The continuation of a school's or third-party servicer's eligibility to participate in the Title IV programs subject to compliance with special conditions established by agreement with the Department or imposed as the result of a limitation or termination proceeding.
  • Liquidation

    In the Perkins Loan Program, a series of steps a school must follow when withdrawing from the program or closing.
  • Liquidation Period

    One of the award periods in G5. The liquidation period is one month long, follows the performance period and is the first closeout phase. During the liquidation period
    • no new expenditures may be processed against a grant award;

    • schools can draw down funds for obligations incurred during the performance period; and

    • schools may use the period to adjust drawdowns for expenditures incurred during the performance period.

    The last date a school can draw down cash from the Department without special permission from the program office is the end of the liquidation period.

  • Liquidity

    The availability of cash or ability to obtain it quickly. Debt paying ability.
  • LOA

    Leave of Absence
  • Loan Balance

    The amount owed on a loan that if paid will retire the loan. See Loan Principal.
  • Loan Disclosure Statement (Direct Loan)

    A document that provides a Direct Loan borrower with important loan-specific information, such as the anticipated loan disbursement amounts, the anticipated loan disbursement dates, and the amount of the borrower's loan fee. It is provided to the borrower before or at the time of the first disbursement of a Direct Loan.
  • Loan Forgiveness

    The cancellation or reduction of a loan debt under the FFEL or Direct Loan programs for certain types of public service.
  • Loan Guarantee

    Any guarantee, insurance, or other pledge with respect to the payment of all or part of the principal or interest on any debt obligation of a borrower to a nonfederal lender.
  • Loan Holder

    The organization that owns a loan. Examples include the U.S. Department of Education, banks, and schools. Most federal student loans made since July 1, 2010, are owned by the U.S. Department of Education. The current loan holder may be different than the organization that originally made the loan. The loan holder may be different than the loan servicer.
  • Loan Period

    See Period of Enrollment.
  • Loan Principal

    Initially, the amount borrowed plus any fees charged by the lender. Later, it includes capitalized interest, charges and fees allowed by regulation, less any amount paid and credited to principal, and any amount cancelled, forgiven, or discharged.
  • Loan Proration

    Proportionally reducing an undergraduate Direct Loan borrower's annual loan limit if the borrower is enrolled in a program shorter than a full academic year, or in a program that is more than one academic year in length but is in a remaining period of study shorter than a full academic year.
  • Loan Servicer

    An entity that collects payments on loans, responds to customer service inquiries, and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a loan (e.g., processing requests for a change in repayment plans). A federal loan servicer is a loan servicer for the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Local Educational Agency (LEA)

    (1) A public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a state to administer, direct, or perform a service function for public elementary or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a state; or such combination of school districts of counties as are recognized in a state as an administrative agency for its public elementary or secondary schools. (2) Any other public institution or agency having administrative control and direction of a public elementary or secondary school.
  • Local Government

    Local Government Any unit of government within a state, including —county, borough, municipality, city, town, township, parish, local public authority (including any public housing agency under the United States Housing Act of 1937), special district, school district, intrastate district, council of governments (whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under state law), and any other agency or instrumentality of a multi-, regional, or intra-state or local government.
  • Lockbox (bank lockbox)

    Speeds the availability of funds from cash collections by reducing the time from the customer mailing the check until the funds are available to spend. Remittances are sent to a bank near the customer and the bank deposits funds speedily to the payee's account.
  • LOE

    Level of Expenditure (in the Federal Perkins Loan Program)
  • LOR

    Loan Origination Record
  • Loss (n.) (financial)

    Any expense or irrecoverable cost, often referred to as a form of nonrecurring charge; an expenditure from which no present or future benefit may be expected.
  • Low-Income Community

    A community where there is a high concentration of children eligible to be counted under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.
  • Low-Income Individual

    A person whose income falls below the Income Protection Allowances published annually by the Department in the Federal Register.
  • LSDA

    Late Stage Delinquency Assistance
  • LST

    Limit, Suspend or Terminate (a school's participation in the federal student aid programs)
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