College Financial Aid Glossary
A means of notifying students about the financial aid being offered by a college. The award letter provides a listing of award names and amounts. Colleges may require a student to accept or decline each award by a certain date.
Borrower may be able to combine existing Federal education loans into one new loan. Borrower will have one lender – the U.S. Department of Education – and one monthly payment.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
The total amount it should cost the student to attend school, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses for one academic year.
The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile financial aid form is an application distributed by the College Board allowing college students to apply for financial aid. It is primarily designed to give private member institutions of the College Board a closer look into the finances of a student and family. The form is much more detailed than the FAFSA.
A student loan deferment allows the borrower to temporarily postpone their monthly payments under certain circumstances, such as enrollment in-school, unemployment, economic hardship, and military deployment.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The amount of money that the family is expected to contribute to the student’s education, as determined by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. This figure is used by colleges to determine eligibility for financial aid.
FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a form that the federal government uses to calculate need-based financial aid. The FAFSA collects income and asset data on the student and the parent(s). The FAFSA is used to determine the expected family contribution (EFC).
Federal Direct / Stafford Loans
Federal student loans come in two forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on need; unsubsidized loans are not. For both subsidized and unsubsidized loan borrowers need to be enrolled at least half time. The interest on the subsidized Direct / Stafford Loan is paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the six-month grace period. The interest on an unsubsidized Direct / Stafford Loan is the responsibility of the student and accrues while the student is in school and during the grace period.
Federal Grad PLUS Loan
Federal loan for graduate students who are attending school on at least a half – time basis.
The need analysis formula used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This methodology takes family size, the number of family members in college, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets into account.
Federal Parent Loan (PLUS)
Federal loan for parents of college-bound dependent students who are attending school on at least a half -time basis.
Federal Pell Grant
A federal program where money is given to undergraduate students with the highest amount of financial need. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid.
Federal Perkins Loan
A low, fixed-interest federal loan available to both undergraduate and graduate level students demonstrating extreme financial need and enrolled at least half time. Check to verify if the college of your choice offers Perkins Loans.
Federal PIN Number
Needed each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your Federal Student Aid records online.
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
A federally funded aid program that provides part-time employment for both undergraduate and graduate students. Eligibility is based on need.
A student loan forbearance allows the borrower to temporarily postpone your monthly payments under certain circumstances, such as unemployment , temporary financial hardship, natural disaster and military deployment.
A type of financial aid based on financial need that the student does not have to repay.
Institutional Financial Aid
Financial aid awarded using resources from a specific university or college.
The difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the student’s financial need. In other words, need is the gap between the cost of attending the school and the family’s resources. A college will attempt to meet this need using grants, loans, and work-study employment.
The process of determining a student’s financial need by analyzing the financial information provided by the student and his or her parents (and spouse, if any) on a financial aid form.
Also known as Alternative Education Loans, private loans help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs. Private loans are offered by private lenders and there are no federal forms to complete.
Financial aid that comes in the form of loans and student employment.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
The form a student receives from the U.S. Department of Education after filing a FAFSA application. The SAR notifies the student of his or her eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
A grant program available for both full-time undergraduate and graduate students who have been residents of New York State for at least 12 months.
A process used by institutions to verify the information provided by a family on the FAFSA. Verification usually requires providing copies of signed tax returns and other income documentation.