Financial Aid Glossary

  • Assets: Your and your family’s financial net worth. Includes real estate (other than your primary residence) trust funds, money market funds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, other securities, Education IRAs, 529 plans, installment and land sale contracts, commodities etc.
  • Business Value: Includes the market value of land, buildings, machinery, equipment, and inventory.
  • Cost of Attendance: The total costs to attend college for the school year.
  • Dependent Student: A student under the age of 24 who does not qualify as an independent student by federal guidelines and whose parental income is used in calculating a student’s expected family contribution. Dependent students must include parental information on the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid.
  • Direct Loans: Student loans offered under the Federal Direct Loan program. The federal government is the lender for these loans.
  • Eligible Non-Citizen: You are an eligible non-citizen, generally, if you are:
      1. a U.S. permanent resident with an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551),
      2. a conditional permanent resident (I-551C), or
      3. any other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any of the following: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Parole,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant.”
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The portion of your and your family’s financial resources that should be available to pay for your educational costs.
  • FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • FAFSA on the Web: An electronic FAFSA on the Internet that allows you to file for financial aid online.
  • Federal Methodology: A formula, defined by statute, that is used to determine the expected family contribution (EFC) for federal financial aid.
  • Federal Processor: The federal government’s computer processing system that analyzes the information on your FAFSA, calculates how much you and your family can pay toward college, and sends out your Student Aid Report (SAR).
  • Financial Aid Notification: An offer of financial aid, usually consisting of a combination of grant, loan, and/or work-study depending on the family’s financial eligibility. At Albion we refer to this as your “Financial Aid Offer.”
  • Financial Eligibility: The difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution. It is the amount of financial aid you may be eligible to receive.
  • Gift Aid: Gift aid does not have to be repaid nor do you have to use earnings from your work. This includes scholarships and grants.
  • Grant: Financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants are usually awarded based on need but can also be awarded for academic achievement, special skill, talent, or heritage.
  • Loan: Loans are money that must be repaid over a period of time, usually after a student leaves school.
  • Need-based: Financial aid that depends on your or your family’s financial situation. You must show financial need to receive this type of aid. Most government sources of financial aid are need-based.
  • Net Cost: Net cost is the difference between your Albion costs and your gift aid. This is the amount you need to contribute from earnings, savings, borrowing, or your parent(s).
  • Parent PLUS Loan: Direct PLUS Loans for parents are unsubsidized loans made to parents of dependent undergraduate students. If a student’s parents cannot get a parent PLUS loan, the student may be eligible to receive additional unsubsidized loans.
  • Parent(s) Share: Parent share is the amount your parent(s) need to contribute to meet your Albion costs. This amount is determined by subtracting what you, the student, contribute (gift aid, work study, loans, and your share). Parent share may be met by borrowing a PLUS loan.
  • Promissory Note: A legally binding contract between a borrower and lender listing all the terms and conditions of the loan.
  • Revisions: Changes to your financial aid award. Revisions may be made due to changes in your financial aid eligibility, your expected family contribution, or types of aid available.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): The progress you must maintain toward a degree to receive financial aid. Each school has its own written satisfactory academic progress guidelines for its students.
  • Scholarship: Gift award based on grades or other achievements. Not always based on financial need.
  • Selective Service Registration: If required by law, a student must register with the Selective Service to receive federal student aid. This applies to males born on or after January 1, 1960, who are at least 18 years old, citizens and eligible non-citizens, and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Student Aid Report (SAR): The report summarizing the information you reported on your FAFSA. If you provided an e-mail address when you filed your FAFSA, you will be sent an e-mail telling you how to view it online. If you did not provide an e-mail address, you will receive a paper copy.
  • Student’s Share: Student share is the amount you need to contribute to meet your Albion costs. This may include your contributions from work-study, loans, your savings, or summer earnings.
  • Verification: Our office may ask for additional information or documentation to support or verify the information you provided on the FAFSA.