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Financial Aid Glossary
Confused about any of the terms used in financial aid documents? This glossary may help.
An award letter breaks down a student's budget (COA) and potential grants, loans, and scholarships to assist in paying the bill. This letter needs to be signed by the student showing acceptance of the loans as they are stated or address if any adjustments need to be made.
On some student loans, interest accrues while you are in school. The student has the option of paying the interest quarterly while in school or they may choose to have the interest capitalized. This means the interest would be added to the principal balance of the loan.
Child Care Assistance:
Students who are parents may qualify for a grant to assist with their child care expenses. The funds are limited. Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office.
Cost of Attendance (COA):
This amount includes all anticipated expenses to attend school that include tuition, fees, housing, transportation, books and supplies, laptop lease, and personal expenses.
If a student does not meet the requirements of the terms of a loan which they agreed to when they signed the document, they have defaulted on their loan obligation. This will have a negative impact on credit history and additional fees from the lender.
A short term postponement of loan payments that is only available under certain conditions. Contact the specific lender for circumstances that may qualify.
As a dependent student, all financial aid is weighed along with the student's family's income. See Independent for further details.
This is when financial aid funds are transferred to Dunwoody on the student's behalf to pay for tuition, books and supplies.
Estimated Family Contribution (EFC):
This is a number that is calculated after completing your FAFSA. It will determine the amount of money the student's family is expected to contribute to the cost of your education.
This is a Federal Government requirement for all students who received loans. This step explains loan repayment and consequences of not following through with the repayment agreement.
This is a postponement of loan payments for a borrower who does not qualify for deferment. The student is unable to make payments for reasons such as poor health. Interest charge will accrue during forbearance. Contact lender for further details.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
This is a free application for Federal grants and loans that must be completed in order to receive financial aid and most scholarships.
Grants are given to the student and do not need to be repaid. These funds are applied to the account first, before any other aid. It is possible for certain grant funds to run out. This is an additional incentive to complete the full application process as soon as taxes are completed.
A guarantee fee is paid by the borrower that will protect the lender in the event of the student defaulting on a loan.
In order to be considered an independent student, you must answer “yes” to at least one of the following questions:
- Is your birthday before January 1, 1986?
- As of today, are you married?
- Are you an orphan or ward of the court or were you until age 18?
- Are you a veteran of the armed forces?
- Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
- Do you have dependents (other than your spouse or children) that live with you and receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2010?
Interest is charged on loans and is added to the principal balance. This is the fee for borrowing funds and goes to the lender when the loan is repaid.
An international student's visa determines what funding is available to them. An educational permit would allow the student to receive all benefits a U.S. citizen would receive. Student's not eligible for these benefits can receive a non-traditional loan with a U.S. citizen as a co-signer.
A loan is when one party lends a second party money with the intention to receive a repayment of the funds. The lender is then compensated by charging interest to the borrower.
Master Promissory Note (MPN):
A promissory note is the legal agreement a student signs with a lender accepting student loan funds. The MPN states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy, and cancellations.
The loan origination fee is a processing fee that goes to the guarantee agency for servicing loans.
Post Secondary Educational Option (PSEO):
Dunwoody is a participant in the PSEO Program. These students are not eligible for traditional forms of financial aid as their education costs are paid through their local school district.
The principal is the portion of a loan that represents the amount borrowed.
Borrowers who go into default on their loan have the ability of bringing the loan out of default by requesting rehabilitation with the lender. A loan is rehabilitated if a borrower requests this procedure and makes 12 consecutive monthly payments.
A scholarship is a gift from a donor to a student that does not have to be repaid. The recipient is chosen through an application process based on various criteria. From the Financial Aid tab on the website click on Scholarships for details of what is currently available.
Student Aid Report (SAR):
Once the student's FAFSA is complete, the SAR is the report that is sent to the student by the federal government that breaks down potential aid.
This is a type of federal Stafford loan where the interest is paid by the government while the student is in school or in deferment.
Some employers offer reimbursement for a portion of tuition costs. It is the student's responsibility to pay their bill, then receive a refund from their employer.
This is a type of federal Stafford loan where the interest accrues starting from the date of disbursement and continues to accrue throughout in-school status. The student has the choice to make payments while in school, or have the interest capitalized.
Eligible students should apply for the VA Benefits in the Financial Aid Office. These benefits are usually paid directly to the student.
A work study program is either state or federally funded and supports part-time employment for students. The program pays for 70% of the student's wages, the employer pays the remaining 30%. Once eligibility is determined, the student should visit the Human Resources Work Study Web page to view available job positions.