Glossary of Terms
ACADEMIC YEAR: A period of at least 30 weeks of instructional time during which a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 semester or trimester hours, or at least 36 quarter hours, at an institution that measures program length in credit hours; or at least 900 clock hours at an institution that measures program length in clock hours.
COST OF ATTENDANCE (COA): The total amount it should cost a student to go to school--usually expressed as a yearly figure. The cost of education covers tuition and fees, on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students), and allowance for books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. Certain other items may be added at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid. Your COA is affected by your enrollment status whether Full time or part-time.
DEFAULT: Failure to repay a student loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a promissory note. If you default, your school, the organization that holds your loan, the state, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of your default. Your wages and/or tax returns may be garnished, and you will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid.
DEFERMENT: An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal and interest payments. Deferments are available while borrowers are in school at least half time, enrolled in a graduate fellowship program or rehabilitation training program, and during periods of unemployment or economic hardship. Other deferments may be available depending on when and what you borrowed. Contact your loan servicer for additional details.
DEPENDENT STUDENT: For a child or other person to be considered your dependent, they must live with you and you must provide them with more than half of their support. Spouses do not count as dependents in the Federal Methodology. You and your spouse cannot both claim the same child as a dependent.
DISBURSEMENT: The release of loan funds to the school for delivery to the borrower. Disbursements for most loans are made in equal multiple installments per term.
EFC (Estimated Family Contribution): This can be found on the FAFSA results that are sent to the student called a student aid report(SAR). It is calculated using the federal methodology and helps to determine a student's need and eligibility for grants and scholarships.
ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES: Done using PINs, which are given by the Department of Education to sign FAFSA's and Master Promissory Notes online.
ENROLLMENT STATUS: An indication of whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Generally you must be enrolled at least half-time (and in some cases full-time) to qualify for financial aid.
ENTRANCE/EXIT INTERVIEWS: Counseling sessions borrowers are required to complete an entrance interview before receiving their first loan disbursement and an exit interview before leaving school. These requirements are intended to inform borrowers about their rights and responsibilities with regard to borrowing student loans. Entrance interviews are done on line when you complete your Master Promissory Note (MPN).
EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC): The amount of money that the family is expected to be able to contribute to the student's education, as determined by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income and assets. The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need, and is used in determining the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. If you have unusual financial circumstances (such as high medical expenses, loss of employment or death of a parent) that may affect your ability to pay for your education, please tell the Office of Student Financial Services. We can adjust the COA or EFC to compensate. See Professional Judgment.
FEDERAL WORK-STUDY (FWS): Program providing 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 job. Eligibility for FWS is based on financial need. Money earned from a FWS job is not counted as income for the subsequent year's need analysis process. Salary is usually minimum wage and the students work 10 hours per week.
FINANCIAL AID: Money provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).
FINANCIAL AID AWARD: The complete collection of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study employment from all sources (federal, state, institutional and private) offered to a student to enable them to attend SMWC.
FINANCIAL NEED: The difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). This amount is your total eligibility for aid from all sources, and is used in determining what your aid package will be.
FIRST-TIME BORROWER: A first-year undergraduate student who has never borrowed a Stafford or Direct student loan before. First-time borrowers may be subjected to a delay in the disbursement of the loan funds. The first loan payment is disbursed 30 days after the first day of the enrollment period. If the student withdraws during the first 30 days of classes, the loan is canceled and does not need to be repaid.
FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA): Form used to apply for Federal and State Financial Aid. It is free i.e., no fee is charged to file a FAFSA. This form is filed via the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. For Indiana residents, this application must be received by March 10th in order to qualify for state aid.
GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA): An average of a student's grades, converted to a 4.0 scale (4.0 is an A, 3.0 is a B, and 2.0 is a C).
GRANT: A type of financial aid based on financial need that the student does not have to repay.
GIFT AID: Any grant or scholarship aid that does not have to be repaid.
HALF-TIME: Most financial aid programs require that the student be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for aid. For undergraduates, this is 6 hours and for graduate students this is 4 hours at SMWC.
HOLDS: Placed on a student’s account usually because of billing charges, missing financial aid forms or incomplete medical immunizations. This hold can keep a student from registering for classes and reviewing their final grades. It will be there until the account is brought up to date. Also this will prevent the receipt of transcripts and diplomas.
INDEPENDENT: An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the academic year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, or is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18). A parent refusing to provide support for their child's education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent. (See also Dependent.)
INTEREST: Amount charged to the borrower for the privilege of using the lender's money. Interest is usually calculated as a percentage of the principal balance of the loan. The percentage rate may be fixed for the life of the loan, or it may be variable, depending on the terms of the loan.
LENDER: A financial institution (bank, savings and loan, or credit union) that provides the funds for students and parents to borrow educational loans. For example, the federal government is the lender for Direct Loans
MPN (MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE): The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid. This is signed electronically at www.opennet.salliemae.com.
MERIT BASED SCHOLARSHIPS: Scholarships that are merit-based depend on your academic, artistic or athletic merit or some other criteria, and do not depend on the existence of financial need. Merit-based awards use your grades, test scores, hobbies and special talents to determine your eligibility for scholarships.
NEW BORROWER: A borrower who has no outstanding (unpaid) loan balances on the date (s)he signs the promissory note for a specific educational loan. New borrowers may be subject to different regulations than borrowers who have existing loan balances.
OFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL—resignation from the university before the end of an official term of study by completion of the official resignation form available in the Registrar’s Office.
ORIGINATION FEE: A fee charged by the lender and deducted from loan proceeds before disbursement to partially offset administrative costs of the loan program;
OUTSIDE SCHOLARSHIP: A scholarship that comes from sources other than the school and the federal or state government.
PAYMENT PLAN: See tuition payment plan.
PELL GRANT: A federal grant program based solely on a student’s EFC from their FAFSA.
PERKINS LOAN: A federal loan program with a fixed 5% interest rate and 9 month grace period.
PIN NUMBER (Personal Identification Number): This number is used by the Department of Education to uniquely identify students for application and signature purposes. The PIN Registration website is www.pin.ed.gov.
PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) LOAN: A federal educational loan taken in a parent’s name to help fund a student’s education.
PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN): The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid.
REFUND: Money returned to a student as a result of an overpayment through loans or other funds, or as the result of a decrease in charged costs resulting in an overpayment.
SEOG (Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant): Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need. SEOG grants are awarded by the school’s financial aid office, and provide up to $4,000 per year. To qualify, a student must also be a recipient of a Pell Grant.
SUBSIDIZED LOAN: A need-based loan on which the interest is set by Congress. This is either a Federal Stafford or a Federal Direct Loan. You must file a FAFSA in order to be eligible for a loan.
TITLE IV SCHOOL CODE: When you fill out the FAFSA you need to supply the Title IV Code for each school to which you are applying. The school code for BPC is 002122.
TUITION PAYMENT PLAN: Tuition payment plans are short-term installment plans that split your tuition into equal monthly payments. Please contact the Student Financial Services Office concerning the payment plan.
UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN: A non need-based loan on which interest is not paid by the federal government. Borrowers are responsible for interest on all unsubsidized loans from the date the loan is disbursed. You must complete your FAFSA in order to qualify for this loan.
VERIFICATION: A process of review to determine the accuracy of the information on a student's financial aid application. Student applications are selected by the Federal Processor for review. Bay Path College currently participates in this standard verification program. If you have been selected for verification please complete the necessary forms with a copy of your signed and dated Federal Tax Return to the office of Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
WITHDRAW (OFFICIAL): resignation from the university before the end of an official term of study by completion of the official withdrawal form in the Registrar’s Office.
WITHDRAW (UNOFFICIAL): departure from the university without completing the official resignation form.
WORK STUDY: see “Federal Work Study”