Financial Aid Terms

Academic year a period of time used to measure a quantity of study and used to award aid; most semester schools'(such as RHSHS) academic years are typically made up of a Fall and Spring semester during which a full-time student must complete at least 24 credit hours

Cost of Attendance (COA) – the yearly amount it will cost you to go to school - this includes tuition and fees, books, transportation costs, room and board, and miscellaneous and personal expenses (COA – EFC = Financial Need)

Dependency status – a student will either be dependent or independent; this will determine whose information is used to complete the FAFSA and what types of loans you can borrow

Direct loans – a type of financial aid that allows you to borrow money directly from the U.S. Dept. of Education for educational purposes; you must repay loans, with interest

(Example: Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, and Direct PLUS loan)

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – Calculated by the data entered on the FAFSA, this number is used to determine your Pell grant award and other federal and/or state aid eligibility including loans.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) - the online form all students must complete each year to receive federal and state aid

FSA ID - The FSA ID is a username and password combination that serves as a student’s or parent’s identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. It also acts as a digital signature on online forms and applications.

Grants – a type of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (Example: Federal PELL grant, PHEAA State grant)

Master Promissory Note (MPN) – a loan application for a Direct Loan program which also explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower

Student Aid Report (SAR) – summarizes the information reported on the FAFSFA and gives you the calculated EFC; the school receives this information too in a document called an ISIR

Verification – a process where the school is required to confirm (or verify) the data entered on the FAFSA such as taxable and/or untaxable income, work earnings, taxes paid, household size, and number in college