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Glossary of Financial Aid
Academic Year- The measure of academic work to be
accomplished by the student. Example: the academic year must be at least 30 weeks in which
a full-time student must complete 24 semester credits.
Award Letter- A letter issued by the school listing the aid for which the
student is eligible. The student must accept or reject each award, sign, update/correct
any incorrect information (address, level of enrollment, etc) and return the award letter
(along with any attachments) to the financial aid office within two weeks.
Base Year- The calendar year preceding the award year and is used to
determine financial aid eligibility. Example: for the 2012-2013 award year,
the base year is 2011.
Campus-based Programs- Funds allocated to and administered directly by
the schools Financial Aid Office. These programs include SEOG, Perkins
Loans and work-study programs.
COA- Cost of Attendance. A set dollar amount estimating costs associated
with attending a school for a specific period of time. Tuition and fees, books and
supplies, room and board, transportation and personal expenses are elements considered
when determining cost of attendance.
Central Processor- The facility where FAFSAs and corrections are
processed for the Department of Education.
DOE or ED- U.S. Department of Education.
EFC- Expected Family Contribution. This is the amount the family is
expected to contribute to the education of the student. The figure is determined by a
congressionally established formula.
Enrollment Level- Financial Aid is awarded based on the number of credits
for which a student is enrolled. There are four levels: Full-Time is 12+ credits,
Three-Quarter Time is 9 to 11 credits, Half-Time is 6 to 8 credits, and
Less-Than-Half-Time is up to 5 credits.
FAFSA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the application
filled out and filed by the student that collects household and financial information used
by the federal government to determine the EFC.
Full-Time- 12 or more credits.
Grant- An award that does not have to be paid back.
Half-Time- 6 to 8 credits.
ISIR- Institutional Student Information Record. The electronic version of
the Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to the school.
Loan- An award that must be repaid.
Master Promissory Note- A binding legal document that a borrower signs to get a
loan. By signing this note, the borrower promises to repay the loan, with interest, on
specific installments. Completed on-line at
Need- Student need is computed by subtracting the
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number from the Cost of Attendance
Pell- A federal grant awarded through strict rules set by the Department
of Education and completion of the FAFSA.
PLUS- A parent loan available to dependent students. The parent(s)
receives the disbursement. Repayment begins about 60 days after the loan is disbursed. The
loan offers a low interest rate and is based on a credit check. At LCSC this loan requires
QAP- Quality Assurance Program. A quality management program where the
school works with the DOE to identify where students have problems with the application
SAP- Satisfactory Academic Progress. Federal regulations
require that aid recipients make satisfactory progress toward completion of
a degree. Students must be in compliance with the cumulative GPA, maximum
credit limit and completion rate
SAR- Student Aid Report. A federal output document sent to the student by
the central processor. The SAR contains all the information the student reported on the
FAFSA and the resulting EFC.
SEOG- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant. Awarded to
students who demonstrate exceptional need.
Subsidized Loan- A federal student loan awarded to students who demonstrate need. The
government pays the interest on the loan until the student is required to begin repayment.
Unsubsidized Loan- A federal student loan awarded to students regardless
of demonstrated need. The student is responsible for all interest payments.
Work Study- A campus-based work program providing on-campus jobs for
Verification- A procedure where a school checks the information a student
reported on the FAFSA by requesting financial documents.