• Award Letter

    §  Notification of the terms and requirements of the financial aid package offered by a college.


    College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile

    §  A financial aid application required by some schools in addition to the FAFSA.


    Cooperative Education

    §  A program that allows students to alternate college studies with salaried work experience off-campus.


    Cost of Attendance (COA)

    §  The annual cost of attending college that is used to determine a student’s financial need.  It includes tuition, books, fees, room and board, transportation and out-of-pocket expenses.  Also referred to as the student expense budget.


    Dependent Student

    §  An unmarried student under the age of 24 who has no dependents and who is at least partially dependent on parental support


    Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)

    §  The total amount a student and his or her family are expected to pay toward college costs from their income and assets.


    Federal Methodology

    §  A formula established by Congress that evaluates the expected family contribution to determine eligibility for all types of financial aid.


    Federal Work-Study Program

    §  A federally sponsored campus-based program that provides employment opportunities for students with demonstrated need.


    Financial Aid Package

    §  The total financial aid award offered to the student, which may include grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.




    Financial Need

    §  The amount by which a student’s estimated family contribution falls short of covering the cost of attendance.


    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

    §  A form distributed by the federal government for use by students applying for federal financial aid programs.  May be mailed or filed electronically using FAFSA on the Web.


    Gift Aid

    §  Student financial aid, such as scholarships and grants, which does not have to be repaid and does not require a student’s being employed.



    §  A financial award that does not have to be repaid.


    Institutional Methodology

    §  A formula used to determine eligibility for college money.



    §  Money borrowed that must be paid back with interest.


    Self-help Aid

    §  Student financial aid, such as loans and federal work-study jobs, which require repayment or a student’s being employed.


    Student Aid Report (SAR)

    §  A report produced by the U.S. Department of Education and sent to students who have applied for federal student financial aid.  It contains either a number called the expected family contribution or a request for further information.



    § Monetary award that does not have to be repaid.


    Tuition Payment Plan

    §  Alternative method of payment designed by colleges, bands, insurance companies and financial management organizations.  Most offer either prepayment or installment options.