Terminology & FAQs

Financial Aid Glossary

If you’re new to college or just aren’t exactly sure how financial aid works, this financial aid glossary can help clarify new or confusing terms. If the answer you’re looking for isn’t here, be sure to contact the Bryant & Stratton College Financial Aid office. Our financial aid advisors are always available to answer questions that you may have and the FAFSA website provides an in-depth glossary for you to reference.

A contributor is anyone who is asked to provide information on your FAFSA form, including you, your spouse, a biological or adopted parent, or the parent’s spouse (stepparent). They must consent to the data exchange, or the student will be ineligible for Title IV aid.

The total amount it will cost you to the go to school-usually stated as a yearly figure. COA includes both direct and indirect costs including tuition and fees, housing and food allowance, allowances for books, supplies, transportation, and loan fees. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses that could include an allowance for the purchase of a personal computer, or dependent care. Contact your financial aid representative to determine your COA.

Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 360 days. Students who default on their student loans can’t receive student aid at other institutions and will have the default reflected on their credit report. You can avoid defaulting on your loans by maintaining a consistent repayment schedule or using federally approved deferments or forbearance.

A student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student (see Independent Student for more). A FAFSA for a dependent student must include parent information.

A mandatory information session that takes place before you receive your first federal student loan that explains your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower. Entrance counseling must be completed via Students may also obtain the website information from their financial aid representative.

System used to directly import federal tax information into the FAFSA.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A free application managed by the federal government, which determines the amount of federal aid a student is eligible to receive. Your FAFSA application will determine how much you’re eligible to receive from the Pell Grant, among other sources.

A summary of information you submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You receive an e-mail a few days after your FAFSA has been processed, detailing how to access an online copy of the FAFSA Submission Summary.

Financial aid from the federal government to help students pay for education expenses at an eligible college. Grants, loans and work-study are types of federal student aid. Students must complete the FAFSA to apply for this aid.

The total amount of financial aid (federal and nonfederal) a student is offered by a college. Your financial aid advisor combines various forms of aid into a “package” to help meet your education costs.

An offer that states the type and amount of financial aid the school is willing to provide if you accept admission and register to take classes at that school. Your financial aid advisor will review your financial plan with you once all of your financial aid eligibility has been calculated and applied to our current tuition rate.

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 and acts as a digital signature on some online forms. Dependent students will need their parents to obtain an FSA ID in order to begin the process of applying for student aid.

Is the data and information related to federal tax paying. It includes a return or return information received directly from the IRS or obtained through an authorized secondary source such as the U.S. Department of Education pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 6103(l)(13).

A period of time after borrowers graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment when they are not required to make payments on certain federal student loans. Some federal student loans will accrue interest during the grace period, and if the interest is unpaid, it will be added to the principal balance of the loan when the repayment period begins. Typically this grace period lasts six months; once those six months have passed, a student will need to begin paying on their loans again.

Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund).

An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The maximum amount of Pell Grants a student may receive over his or her lifetime, is the equal to 12 full-time semesters, or 6 scheduled annual awards.

A binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. The MPN can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It’s important to read and save your MPN, because you’ll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferments or forbearances.

A grant provided to students by the federal government based on eligibility determined by your FAFSA application.

A loan available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.

Aid awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses. Scholarships can be awarded by the school or external sources depending on what a student applies for.

An identifier that the U.S. Department of Education assigns to each college that participates in the federal student aid programs. In order to send your FAFSA information to a school, you must list the school’s Federal School Code on your application. A list of Federal School Codes is available at The Bryant & Stratton College school code is 002678.

A form of aid that must be repaid by the student. Students can apply for loans through the federal government and additional outside sources. All loans must be repaid upon completion of your degree program.

A loan based on financial need for which the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status. For Direct Subsidized Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, the borrower will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during the grace period. If the interest is not paid during the grace period, the interest will be added to the loan’s principal balance.

Tuition refers to the cost, calculated per credit hour, for attending classes at Bryant & Stratton College. This fee is specifically for the instructional component of your education, meaning it covers the expense of the courses you enroll in. However, it is important to note that tuition does not encompass the cost of books or other potential expenses you might incur during your time at the college.

For more detailed information on tuition and other associated costs, please refer to the Bryant & Stratton College catalog. It provides a comprehensive breakdown of expenses, policies, and financial aid options to help you prepare for your academic journey.

A loan on which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.

The process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. Your school has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.

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