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Financial Aid Glossary

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG): A federal grant awarded to first and second year students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, enrolled at least half time, and who have successfully completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, and for second year students, have earned at least a 3.0 GPA.

Acceptance Form: The written acknowledgment by the student of receipt of an award letter. The form usually provides for acceptance of offered aid, possible declination of all or part of offered aid, and some means of requesting an appeal, if that is desired, to modify the award. Frequently, acceptance letters and award letters are combined into a single document.

Accruing Interest (on a loan): The cost of the loan, represented by the interest that is added to the loan amount prior to the repayment period or prior to a payment installment.

Adjusted Available Income: The portion of family income remaining after deducting federal, state and local taxes, a living allowance, and other factors used in Federal Methodology.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): All taxable income as reported on a U.S. income tax return.

Assets: Cash on hand in checking and savings accounts; trusts, stocks, bonds, other securities; real estate (excluding the home you live in), income-producing property, business equipment, and business inventory. Assets are considered in calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Award Letter: A method of notifying financial aid applicants of the assistance being offered by the institution. The award letter usually provides information on the types and amounts of aid offered. Generally provides students with the opportunity to accept or decline the aid offered.

Campus-based Programs: The term commonly applied to those U.S. Department of Education federal student aid programs administered directly by institutions of postsecondary education. Campus-based programs include Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and College Federal Work Study (CFWS).

Capitalization (of interest): The Arrangement between borrower and lender whereby interest payments are deferred as they come due and are added to the principal amount of the loan.

Central Processing System (CPS): The computer system to which the student's need analysis data is electronically transmitted by the FAFSA processor. The Central Processing System performs database matches, calculates the student's official Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and generates the Student AID Report (SAR).

Consolidation Loan: A loan made to enable a borrower with different types of loans to obtain a single loan with one interest rate and one repayment schedule. Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Stafford (subsidized and unsubsidized). A consolidation loan pays off the existing loans; the borrower then repays the consolidated loan.

Cost of Attendance (COA): Generally, this includes the tuition and fees normally assessed a student, together with the institution's estimate of the cost of room and board, transportation and commuting costs, books and supplies, the cost of a computer, and miscellaneous personal expenses. In addition, student loan fees, dependent care, reasonable costs for a study abroad program or cooperative education program, and/or costs related to a disability may be included, when appropriate. It is also referred to as "cost of education" or "budget".

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): DACA students are a subgroup of a larger group defined as undocumented students or, sometimes referred to as “Dreamers” (derived from the DREAM Act).  Students that qualify for deferred action generally come to the United States as a child and must meet certain guidelines as outlined on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services web site, under Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Deferred action is granted on a case-by-case basis according to DACA guidelines.

Deferment (of loan): A condition during which payments of principal are not required, and, for Federal Perkins and Direct Subsidized Loans, interest does not accrue. The repayment period is extended by the length of the deferment period.

Dependent Student: A student who does not qualify as an independent student and whose parental income and asset information is used in calculating the Expected Family Contribution.

Direct PLUS Loan: Long-term loans made available to parents of dependent students. Interest rates are linked to 52-week Treasury bill rates, but may not exceed legislated maximum allowable interest rates. May be used to replace EFC; amount borrowed is limited to the cost of attendance minus estimated financial assistance.

Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans: Long term, low interest loans administered by the Department of Education and institutions.

Eligible Non-Citizen: Non-US Citizens who are in the US for other than temporary purposes and who possess valid, eligible documentation as determined by the US Government and it's Department of Homeland Security.  Eligible Non-Citizens with appropriate documentation or with confirmation of status (as received via the FAFSA confirmation process) may apply for Federal Student Financial Aid. 

Estimated Family Contribution (EFC): The amount the student and his or her family is expected to pay toward the student's cost of attendance as calculated by a Congressionally-mandated formula known as Federal Methodology. The EFC is used to determine a student's eligibility for the student financial assistance programs.

Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA): A Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receives funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The financial aid application completed by the student, and the student's parents (if applicable), that collects household and financial information. The FAFSA is the foundation document for all federal needs analysis computations and database matches performed for a student.

Federal Pell Grant: A federal grant program for needy postsecondary students who have not yet received a bachelor's degree or first professional degree; administered by the Department of Education.

Federal Perkins Loan: One of the campus-based programs, a long term, low interest loan program for students at a current interest rate of 5%.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): One of the campus-based programs; grants to undergraduate students of exceptional financial need who have not completed their first bachelor's degree and who are financially in need of this grant to enable them to pursue their education. Priority for SEOG grants must be given to Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFC's.

Federal Work-Study Program: One of the campus based programs; a part time employment program which provides jobs for students who are in need of such earnings to meet a portion of their educational expenses.

Financial Need: The difference between the institution's cost of attendance and the family's ability to pay. Ability to pay is represented by the expected family contribution for federal need-based aid and for many state and institutional programs.

Forbearance: Permits the temporary cessation of repayments of loans, allowing an extension of time for making loan payments, or accepting smaller loan payments than were previously scheduled.

FSA ID: The process by which students, parents, and borrowers authenticate their identity to access their individual federal student aid information (via NSLDS, FAFSA, studentloans.gov, and studentaid.gov).

Grace Period: A period of time that begins when a loan recipient ceases to be enrolled at least half-time and ends when the repayment period starts. Loan principal need not be paid during this period.

Grant: A type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid.

Independent Student: 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, and orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, in foster care since turning age 13, in legal guardianship or homeless or at risk of being homeless.

Loan: An advance of funds evidenced by a promissory note and requiring the recipient to repay the specified amount(s) under prescribed conditions.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): A legally signed note promising to repay any federal loan after the student falls below 6 credits of enrollment or graduates from the program. An MPN allows borrowers to apply for multiple loans during a student's attendance at a postsecondary institution.

Merit-Based Aid: Student assistance awarded because of a student's achievement or talent in a particular area, such as academics, athletics, music, etc.

Packaging: The process of combining various types of student aid (grants, loans, scholarships, and employments) to attempt to meet full amount of student's need.

PELL Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU):  The maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funding you can receive is calculated for an award year. An award year is a period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year.  The US Department of Education keeps track of your LEU by adding together the percentages of your Pell Grant scheduled awards that you received for each award year. The table below shows examples of the LEUs of three students who received differing amounts of their scheduled awards over a four-year period.

Professional Judgment: The financial aid administrator's discretion, based on the special circumstances of the student, to change the data elements used in determining eligibility for federal student aid or adjust a student's costs, for example.

R2T4 (Return to Title IV):  Calculates and manages the treatment of funds when a student withdraws from the following Title IV programs: Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Direct PPLUS Loans, Federal PELL Grant, and SEOG.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): To be eligible to receive federal student financial aid, you must meet and maintain certain minimum standards regarding academic progress and performance. For more detailed information please read the current Undergraduate or Graduate NYIT Catalog.

Scholarship: A form of financial assistance that does not require repayment and usually made to students who demonstrate or show potential for distinction, usually in academic performance.

Student Aid Report (SAR): The official notification sent to a student as a result of the Central Processing System (CPS) receiving an applicant record (FAFSA) for a student. The SAR summarizes applicant information, provides the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for a student, and displays other special messages related to the student's application. In some instances the SAR may need to be submitted to the financial aid office at the school the student plans to attend, but only if the school requests it.

Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA): Limits a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150% of the length of the borrower’s educational program. Under certain conditions, the provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150% limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans.

Taxable Income: Income earned from wages, salaries, and tips, as well as interest income, dividend income, business or farm profits, and rental or property income.

Title IV Programs: Those federal student aid programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Unmet Need: The difference between a student's total cost attendance at a specific institution and the student's total available resources.

Untaxed Income: All income that is received that is not reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or is reported but excluded from taxation. Such income would include but not limited to any untaxed portion of Social Security benefits, Earned Income Credit, welfare payments, untaxed capital gains, interest on tax-free bonds, dividend exclusion, and military and other subsistence and living allowances.

Verification: The process where NYIT confirms the data reported on your FAFSA. NYIT has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.

Veteran's Educational Benefits: Assistance programs for eligible veterans and/or their dependents for education or training.

Abbreviations Commonly Used in Financial Aid Administration

ACG: Academic Competitiveness Grant

ACT: American College Testing Program

AGI: Adjusted Gross Income

BA: Bachelor's Degree

CGPA: Cumulative Grade Point Average

CLEP: College Level Examination Program

COA: Cost of Attendance

CPS: Central Processing System

DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

DRT: Data Retrieval Tool

ED: Education Department, U.S.

EFC: Expected Family Contribution

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FERPA: Family Educational Right to Privacy Act

FM: Federal Methodology


FSA: Federal Student Aid

FSEOG: Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

FCWS: Federal College Work Study

GPA: Grade Point Average

HEOP: Higher Educational Opportunity Program

IRS: Internal Revenue Service

LEU: Lifetime Eligibility Used (for PELL)

SAR: Student Aid Report

SAP: Satisfactory Academic Progress

SMART: Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants

SS: Selective Service

SULA: Subsidized Usage Limit Applies

TRT: Tax Return Transcript


                                                                                                                                                                Revised 09/30/2015

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