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Financial Aid Glossary

Alternative Loan | Back to top.

These are private loans that are offered by financial institutions. Some students choose to or need to apply for private loans when federal loans don't cover their total educational costs. Interest rates and other policies vary by lender.

Annually Funded | Back to top.

An account that has no endowment to support it. May be non-recurring.

Budget Adjustment | Back to top.

This is a process that allows students to ask for adjustments in the amount of financial aid they might be offered by increasing the individual student budget. For example, if a student is paying rent and utilities higher than the average posted on the standard cost of attendance. Students should speak to their financial aid counselor about this process if they intend to take additional loans (usually alternative or PLUS).

Cost of Attendance | Back to top.

Also known as the student budget. The total amount it should cost the student to go to school, including tuition and fees, room and board, allowances for books and supplies, transportation, personal and incidental expenses, and loan fees.

Dependent Student | Back to top.

A student who must provide information about his or her parents' income and assets on the FAFSA. Generally speaking, this is a student who is under age 24, is an undergraduate, is unmarried and has no dependents. See the definition of "Independent Student" below.

Entrance Counseling | Back to top.

A mandatory information session that takes place before a student receives his or her first federal loan that explains the responsibilities and rights as a borrower.

Exit Counseling | Back to top.

A mandatory information session, which takes place when a student graduates or attends school less than half time, that explains the loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins.  

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) | Back to top.

The amount of money a family is expected to be able to contribute to a student's education, as determined by the federal methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. The EFC includes parent contribution and student contribution, and depends on a student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income and assets.

Expendable Account | Back to top.

An account intended to be used to zero balance, perhaps over a period of more than one fiscal year.

Federal Direct Student Loan Program | Back to top.

The full name is William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The Direct Loan Program is offered by the U.S. Department of Education, and it provides students with a simple, inexpensive way to borrow money to pay for education after high school. Apply by completing the FAFSA. It can be offered as a "subsidized" or "unsubsidized" loan.

Federal Methodology Back to top.

This is the need analysis formula used to determine the expected family contribution. The federal methodology takes family size, the number of family members in college, and taxable and nontaxable income and assets into account. Federal methodology does not consider the net value of the family residence in the formula.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) | Back to top.

The SEOG program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions will be considered first for a SEOG. The SEOG does not have to be repaid.

Financial Aid Back to top.

Money provided to a student to help pay for the student's education from federal, state, institutional and private sources. 

Financial Aid Package | Back to top.

The financial aid package is the complete collection of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study employment from all sources (federal, state, institutional and private) offered to a student to enable him or her to attend the University.

Financial Need | Back to top.

A federally mandated calculation for determining the amount of financial need that a student is eligible for. It is the cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution. If the difference is a negative number then the student is not eligible for need-based financial aid.

Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) | Back to top.

A need-based grant that is state allocated, funds are limited. The award amount varied and a FAFSA must be completed.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) | Back to top.

Known as the FAFSA, this is the form that all students must complete to be considered for financial aid. The FAFSA is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. UT's federal school code is 001538.

Gift Aid | Back to top.

Financial aid, such as grants and scholarships, which does not need to be repaid.

Graduate PLUS Loan | Back to top.

The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan that graduate students can take. It is part of the Federal Direct Loan program. Students can take as much as the cost of attendance less other aid received in the form of a PLUS Loan.

Graduate Student | Back to top.

An individual working toward a post-baccalaureate degree or certification (like a master's). Students attempting to earn a second baccalaureate degree are considered undergraduates.

Independent Student | Back to top.

Independent students do not need to provide information about their parents on the aid application form (FAFSA) or in the Florida residency determination process. If the independent student is married, he/she must provide financial information for the spouse. An independent student is defined by one of the following:

  • Age 24 or older;
  • Working on a graduate degree (master’s or graduate certificate);
  • Active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
  • A veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Have or will have children who will receive more than half of their support from you during the academic year;
  • Have dependents (other than children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you during the academic year;
  • Since turning age 13, both of your parents were deceased, you were in foster care or you were a dependent or ward of the court;
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, you are an emancipated minor;
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, you are in legal guardianship (this does not mean your birth parents);
  • Your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or that you were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless;
  • The director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or that you were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless; and
  • The director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or that you were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

Loan | Back to top.

Financial support which must be repaid, usually with interest.

Master Promissory Note (MPN) | Back to top.

A master promissory note is the legal agreement a student signs with a lender when accepting student loan funds. The MPN states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations.

Merit-Based Financial Aid | Back to top.

Funds provided to a student on the basis of some achievement.

Need-Based Financial Aid | Back to top.

When you subtract the expected family contribution from the cost of attendance, the difference is the amount of "need-based" financial aid that you might be eligible for. Funds provided to a student on the basis of financial need.

Non-Need-Based Financial Aid | Back to top.

Any type of financial aid that does not require financial need (like merit-based aid). For example, you may be offered a Parent PLUS Loan that happens to be equal to your expected family contribution. This would be considered non-need-based financial aid. Most merit-based scholarships are awarded need-blind (or not based on financial need).

Outside Award or Outside Scholarship (also known as Private Scholarship) | Back to top.

Financial support to a specific student determined by an outside entity. Recipient selection is performed by the funding source (e.g., organizations, clubs, trusts and foundations).

Overaward | Back to top.

Amount by which a student’s aid package exceeds his or her need. An overaward exists when financial assistance exceeds the cost of attendance, as determined by the Financial Aid Office. If students are receiving outside funds, the aid they already have been awarded may be reduced or changed. 

Overpayment | Back to top.

Funds disbursed to a student in excess of his or her need. An overpayment exists when some or all of the funds that make up an overaward have been disbursed to the student.

Parent PLUS Loan | Back to top.

The Parent PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan that parents can take on behalf of their dependent undergraduate student. It is part of the Federal Direct Loan Program. Parents can take as much as the cost of attendance less other aid received in the form of a PLUS Loan.

Pell Grant | Back to top.

A need-based federal grant that is awarded to students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree.

Perkins Loan | Back to top.

A subsidized federal loan with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent during repayment. This is a need-based loan. Students must complete the FAFSA for consideration. The Perkins Loan program is currently scheduled to end on Oct. 1, 2017, although loans made before this date will be honored through the 2017–2018 academic year.

Plus Loan Counseling | Back to top.

Required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed the student of having an adverse credit history and obtaining an endorser or documented to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to the students' adverse credit history.

Promissory Note | Back to top.

The legal document borrowers sign when they get a loan. It lists the conditions under which the money is borrowed and the terms under which the borrowers agree to repay the loan with interest.

Satisfactory Academic Progress | Back to top.

To remain eligible for financial aid, students must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements. This includes being eligible for a specified number of semesters, earning a minimum number of units each year and being in good academic standing with the University.

Scholarship | Back to top.

Financial support based on academic achievement or other criteria that may include financial need. The donor of the scholarship sets the criteria for recipient selection. The grantor specifically intends money be spent to defray the costs of study, training or research. Scholarships are considered estimated financial assistance and are included as part of a student’s total financial aid package. Scholarship funds are posted to the student’s account, thereby reducing the balance due on the tuition bill. Example: Departments, schools or the Financial Aid Office select recipients based on the criteria of the scholarship agreement (major, grade level, GPA, financial need or a combination other criteria). Credit for the scholarship is reflected on the student's invoice for tuition/fees and/or housing.

  • Tax implication: Portions of the scholarship used to pay for qualified expenses, such as tuition, books and fees, are not taxable income. The amount exceeding qualified expenses is taxable income for both U.S. and international students. There is no tax withholding on scholarships for U.S. citizens. There may be a 14 percent tax withholding for international students, depending on what country they are from.
  • Note: For international students, taxes may have to be withheld on all of these forms of payments.
  • Note: All scholarships are considered educational resources for the student per federal regulations. Therefore, they must be reported to the Financial Aid Office.

Student Aid Report (SAR) | Back to top.

The student aid report is provided electronically to all students who complete a FAFSA. The SAR summarizes the information included in the FAFSA. The SAR will also indicate the amount of Pell Grant eligibility, if any, and the expected family contribution. You should be able to review your SAR four to six weeks after you file your FAFSA. Review your SAR and correct any errors on part two of the SAR.

Student Contribution Back to top.

The amount the federal government calculates that a student can contribute toward his or her own education. This is based on income and asset information provided on the FAFSA.

Subsidized Student Loan | Back to top.

A loan that is subsidized means the federal government is paying the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time. When the loan goes into repayment the student will be charged interest.

Title IV Programs | Back to top.

Authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, these federal student aid programs include federal grants, federal loans and the federal work-study program for undergraduate students, as well as federal loans and the federal work-study program for graduate students.

Undergraduate Student | Back to top.

An individual enrolled in an associate or baccalaureate degree program.

Unmet Need | Back to top.

The amount of a student's budget that is not covered by any type of financial aid.

Unsubsidized Student Loan | Back to top.

Students or parents who have unsubsidized loans are charged interest on the loan as soon as the loan is disbursed. Although students do not have to make payments while they are enrolled at least half time in college, interest is being charged on the loan. Parents who are taking out a PLUS Loan are required to begin making payments on the principle and the interest of the loan after the last disbursement for the academic year. All PLUS Loans are unsubsidized.

Verification of Income and Assets | Back to top.

Some students are selected for a process where the University reviews federal tax returns and other income and asset information. The federal government requires all colleges and universities to conduct such a review.

Work-Study | Back to top.

The federal work-study program provides undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment during the school year. The federal government pays a portion of the student's salary, making it cheaper for departments and businesses to hire the student. For this reason, work-study students often find it easier to get a part-time campus job. Eligibility for federal work-study is based on need. Money earned from a work-study job is not counted as income for the subsequent year's financial aid application.