Glossary of Financial Aid Terms
A+ SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
This program provides scholarship funds to eligible graduates of A+ designated high schools who attend a participating public community college or vocational/technical school, or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools. See A+ Scholarship Program for more information
A period of at least 30 weeks of instructional time during which a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 semester hours.
ACCESS MISSOURI PROGRAM
This is a need-based program designed to be simple to understand, provide predictable, portable awards, and increase access to your school of choice. Your financial eligibility is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). See Access Missouri Program for more information.
The day interest charges on an educational loan begin to accrue.
Students may appeal their suspension under SAP if they were unable to maintain SAP as a direct result of hardship or special circumstances, as provided by federal regulations. Personal situations such as the death of a student’s relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstance may prevent a student from achieving satisfactory academic progress. As a result, a student may appeal his or her suspension of federal student aid by completing the SAP appeal petition and by submitting the petition to the Financial Aid Department. Supporting documentation must also be included with the appeal petition. The appeal petition must also address what is different that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP at the end of their next academic term. If the appeal is approved, a student will have a probationary period for their next period of enrollment and may include conditions determined by the appeal committee during which he or she will receive federal student aid and reestablish eligibility under SAP. See NCMC’s SAP Policy for more information or SAP Appeal Form to complete an appeal.
A document sent to a student by an institution indicating the type(s) and amount(s) of financial aid the student is eligible to receive.
The process of adding unpaid interest to the principal balance of an educational loan, thereby increasing the total amount to be repaid.
CITIZEN/ELIGIBLE NON CITIZEN
You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:
- U.S. Citizen
- U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
- U.S. permanent resident with an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)
CHILD SUPPORT PAID
The total annual amount of child support paid in the previous year. Documentation of child support paid may be requested by your institution for the verification process.
CHILD SUPPORT RECEIVED
The total annual amount of child support received in the previous year. Documentation of child support received may be requested by your institution for the verification process.
Information in a student’s file or Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) record that is contrary to information present elsewhere in his or her file and that may affect his or her eligibility to receive Title IV, and possibly, state and institutional financial aid. Conflicting information must be resolved in order for federal financial aid processing to proceed.
See LOAN CONSOLIDATION.
A contract between two colleges/universities that recognize the registration of a student at each site for financial aid purposes. The consortium agreement also certifies that only one of the two colleges/universities will administer Title IV financial aid for the student. The Consortium Agreement refers to the two colleges/universities as the “Home Campus” and the “Host Campus”. The “Home Campus” is the school where the student is fully admitted and from which he/she will get a degree. The “Host Campus” is where the student temporarily takes courses, whose credits will be transferred back to his/her “Home Campus”.
COST OF ATTENDANCE (COA)
An estimate of a student’s total education expenses for an enrollment period. COA is composed of indirect costs (tuition, fees and on-campus room & board) and indirect costs (books & supplies, computers, off-campus room & board, transportation, personal expenses and other costs).
See LOAN DEFAULT.
See LOAN DEFERMENT.
The determination of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicant as dependent or independent.
A student who does not meet the federal eligibility requirements for an independent student and is required to report parental information when applying for federal and state student aid.
A student’s Title IV aid that was disbursed directly to the student or credited to his or her institutional account as of the date he or she withdrew.
A withdrawn student’s earned aid is the amount of Title IV aid he or she is entitled to based upon the amount of the payment period or period of enrollment completed as of the date he or she withdrew. A student’s earned aid may be either disbursed or undisbursed.
Counseling session borrowers are required to complete before receiving their first loan disbursement and again before leaving school.
EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC)
The federal government’s measure of a family’s financial strength and the resources that should be available to help pay for a student’s education. This is not a bill, nor does it indicate the amount you’ll owe to the institution of your choice.
An annual event where financial aid professionals will be on hand at locations throughout the state to help students and parents fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM
A federal student loan program through which the U.S. Department of Education loans money directly to students and parents, rather than having the loans funded by private lenders.
A need-based loan for which the federal government generally pays the interest on the student’s behalf while the student is enrolled at least half time, during the grace period (for some borrowers) and during authorized deferment periods.
A non-need-based loan for which the federal government does not pay any of the accrued interest on behalf of the student. Interest begins to accrue on the loan as soon as it is disbursed, and the student may choose to pay the interest as it accrues or defer it as long as he or she remains enrolled at least half time in an eligible institution.
An opportunity provided to students to work part-time to help pay for college. Students must complete the FAFSA, have financial need, and be currently enrolled in order to qualify. Qualified students must also submit an application and resume before being considered for open positions. Qualification and/or submitting an application does not guarantee award.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly referred to as the “Buckley Amendment” or “FERPA”) is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents. The ACT affords you certain rights with respect to your education records.
FINANCIAL AID OFFICER
Personnel employed by institutions to help students through the financial aspect of college.
FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE
The total financial aid a student receives. Federal and non-federal aid such as grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships are combined in a “package” to help meet the student’s need.
The difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Estimated Family Contribution. This amount is your total eligibility for aid from all sources, and is used in determining what your aid package will be.
FOLLOW-UP/MISSING INFORMATION LETTER
The letter sent out periodically notifying the student of required documents missing and needed to process their financial aid award.
See LOAN FORBEARANCE.
The federal aid application. This must be completed by all students who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid.
See LOAN GRACE PERIOD.
A type of financial aid award based on need or merit that is not repaid by the student.
For awarding purposes, a student who meets one or more of the following criteria:
- 24 years of age
- Graduate or professional student
- Active military duty for purposes other than training
- Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Have legal dependents other than spouse
- In foster care, an orphan or ward of the court
- Emancipated minor or in legal guardianship
- An unaccompanied youth who is homeless
A fee charged for the use of borrowed money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the principal loan amount. The rate may be constant throughout the life of the loan (fixed rate) or it may change at specified times (variable rate). From October 1, 1992 through July 1, 2006, all federal education loans made to new borrowers had variable interest rates. Beginning July 1, 2006 all federal education loans have a fixed interest rate.
ISIRs contain processed student information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as key processing results and National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) financial aid history information. ISIRs are sent electronically to schools by the Central Processing System (CPS).
See INSTITUTIONAL STUDENT INFORMATION RECORD above.
LAST DATE OF ATTENDANCE
The date determined by an institution that the student last participated in an academically-related activity.
The organization that made the loan initially; the lender could be the borrower’s school; a bank, credit union, or other lending institution; or the U.S. Department of Education.
A loan program that allows a borrower to combine various educational loans into one new loan. By extending the repayment period (up to 30 years depending on the loan amount) and allowing a single monthly payment, consolidation can make loan repayment easier for some borrowers.
Failure to repay a student loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a promissory note. If you default, your school, the organization that holds your loan, the state, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of your default. Your wages and/or tax returns may be garnished, and you will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid.
An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal and interest payments. Deferments are available while borrowers are in school at least half time, enrolled in a graduate fellowship program or rehabilitation training program, and during periods of unemployment or economic hardship. Other deferments may be available depending on when and what you borrowed. Contact your lender for additional details.
An authorized period of time during which the lender agrees to temporarily postpone a borrower’s principal repayment obligation. Interest continues to accrue and usually must be paid during the forbearance period. Forbearance may be granted at the lender’s discretion when a borrower is willing to repay their loan but is unable to do so.
The period between the time a borrower leaves school or drops below half-time and the time they are obligated to begin repaying their loans – usually six or nine months, depending on the type of loan.
A fee charged by the federal government and deducted from loan proceeds before disbursement to partially offset administrative costs of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
The amount borrowed. Interest is charged on this amount, and guaranty and origination fees will be deducted prior to disbursement.
The student’s enrollment period for which the postsecondary institution approves a student loan to pay educational expenses.
A database that combines student financial aid records from schools, lenders and the U.S. Department of Education.
A process of reviewing a student’s aid application to determine the amount of financial aid a student is eligible for. Completing a needs analysis form is the required first step in applying for most types of financial aid.
A borrower who has no outstanding (unpaid) loan balances on the date (s)he signs the promissory note for a specific educational loan. New borrowers may be subject to different regulations than borrowers who have existing loan balances.
A program for which the terms are not semesters, trimesters, or quarters. The length of the term may not necessarily be associated with the type of credit hours awarded (e.g., quarter credit hours awarded for semesters).
An official withdrawal occurs when the student notifies the school that the student has ceased or will cease attending school and the notification occurs prior to the posted withdrawal deadline. The date of withdrawal is the date the student notifies the school of their intention to withdraw.
See LOAN ORIGINATION FEE.
A need-based Federal grant awarded to students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Pell Grants may also be available for part-time study.
A Federal loan which enables parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the education expenses of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time.
See LOAN PRINCIPAL.
The amount of Title IV funds earned by a student which exceeds the amount disbursed at the time he or she withdrew. The school must disburse, or offer to disburse, a post-withdrawal disbursement.
PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT (PJ)
For need-based federal aid programs, the financial aid administrator can adjust the EFC, adjust the COA, or change the dependency status (with documentation) when extenuating circumstances exist. For example, if a parent becomes unemployed, disabled or deceased, the financial aid administrator can decide to use estimated income information for the award year instead of the actual income figures from the base year. This delegation of authority from the federal government to the financial aid administrator is called Professional Judgment (PJ).
The legal document borrowers sign when they get a loan. It lists conditions under which the money is borrowed and the terms under which borrowers agree to repay the loan with interest. Borrowers should keep the borrower copy of their promissory notes until the loans are fully repaid.
Discloses the borrower’s monthly payment, interest rate, total repayment obligation, due dates and length of time for repaying the loan.
RETURN TO TITLE IV (R2T4)
Title IV aid and all other aid is earned during the time a student is attending North Central Missouri College (NCMC). If a student withdraws from NCMC, then the school, or the student, or both may be required to return some or all of the federal funds awarded to the student for that period of enrollment. The federal government requires a return of Title IV federal aid that was received if the student withdrew on or before completing 60% of the semester. If the student officially withdraws from all courses after the 60% point in the semester, Title IV aid is viewed as 100% earned.
However, if a student withdraws prior to that 60% point, the student may owe back part of his or her financial aid if it is determined that the student has received an amount larger than the earned amount. North Central uses the online worksheet provided through CPS by the U.S. Department of Education to calculate Return to Title IV Funds for each federal aid recipient who withdraws from all classes.
See STUDENT AID REPORT.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)
To remain eligible for most types of financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress standards, as defined by the school, which meet or exceed any minimum standards specified in federal or state law. See NCMC’s SAP Policy for more information or SAP Appeal Form to complete an appeal. See the College Catalog, under Academic Standards, for a separate policy regarding Academic SAP.
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a government assistance program to help low-income households pay for food. SNAP used to be called the Food Stamp program. Documentation of SNAP benefits received in the previous two years by anyone in the household may be requested by your institution for the verification process.
A form sent to the student after submitting the FAFSA to the federal processor. The SAR shows the information that was processed and indicates Pell Grant Eligibility. For duplicate reports call (319)337-5665.
SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANTS (SEOG)
These are need-based Federal grants which are administered by the institution.
An unofficial withdrawal is one where the school has not received notice from the student that the student has ceased or will cease attending the school prior to the end of the scheduled term or period of enrollment. For unofficial withdrawals, the withdrawal date is defined as the midpoint of the period of enrollment and a Return to Title IV funds calculation is performed.
The process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. NCMC has the responsibility and authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.
When a student ceases attendance in all classes for which he or she was registered for a payment period or period of enrollment. See NCMC’s R2T4 Refund Procedure for more information on withdrawals and the effects on Federal Student Aid.
See FEDERAL WORK STUDY.