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 Financial Aid

Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

Many different terms are used in financial aid. This is a list of the meanings of the most common terms that are utilized.

Alternative Loan
An optional loan resource for college students established by private lenders to supplement the student and parent education loan programs available from the federal government.


Award Notification

Award Period or Award Year


Capitalization of Loan Interest

Cost of Attendance

Consortium Agreement


Direct Loans

Eligible non citizen

Enrollment Status

Expected Family Contribution

Federal Work Study (FWS)

Financial Need

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Grace Period


Independent Student



National Student Loan Database Service (NSLDS)

Pell Grant

Professional Judgment

Promissory Note

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Selective Service

Subsidized Loan

Unsubsidized Loan