Key Terms

Financial Assistance Office

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Academic Transcripts:
A certified, official copy of a student's permanent academic record. Official copies of academic transcripts must be sent directly from one school to another and cannot pass through a student’s hands.

Award Letter/Notification:
listing of student’s award package, including the amounts and types of financial aid, offered to the student. Students receive emails informing them that their Award Letters are available to view through their TigerTracks accounts. Students must accept or decline each award before the aid processing can continue.

Award Package:
The amounts and types of estimated financial aid (federal and non-federal) that has been offered to a student. Usually presented in the form of an Award Letter.

Award Year:
FHSU’s award year begins with the fall semester and ends at the conclusion of the summer session.


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Addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, which increases the total outstanding balance to be paid. The less a loan is capitalized, the better!

Cost of Attendance (COA):
An estimate of the total amount it will cost a student to go to a particular school--usually expressed as a yearly figure.  This estimate includes tuition and fees; books and supplies; room and board; loan origination fees; travel expenses; parking fees; and personal/miscellaneous expenses.  The COA is figured using rules established by the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Dept. of Education. To figure an estimate of your COA at FHSU, visit Net Price Calculator or select the "Cost of Attendance Worksheet" on our "Forms" page for the specific year you need.


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Failure to repay your loan according to the terms agreed upon in the promissory note.

Loan Deferment:
An authorized period of time during which loan payments may be postponed.  For more information, visit the Postponing Repayment page on the Student Aid on the Web site.
Tuition Deferment: The delay of payment of university expenses until financial assistance can be processed and applied to a student's account.

Dependent Status:
Students who have dependent status must provide asset and income information for their parents, as well as themselves on the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Financial Aid). Their parents are considered to have the primary responsibility for paying for their child’s education. Dependency status is determined by a series of questions on the FAFSA - not by the IRS tax filing status of the parents or student.

The release of financial aid funds to students once their financial aid eligibility is complete. For more information, visit our Policies page.

Disclosure Statement:
Statement sent by a loan holder that states the amount of a loan, the repayment schedule and where payments are to be sent.


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Eligible Program:
A course of study that leads to a degree or certificate and meets the U.S. Dept. of Education's requirements for an eligible program.

Enrollment Level:
The sum of credit hours for which a student is enrolled for any given term. The following table outlines the various levels of enrollment for both undergraduate and graduate students:

  Full-Time 3/4 Time Half-Time Less than Half-Time
(Fall and Spring)
12 or more hours 11 - 9 hours 8 - 6 hours 5 hours or less
6 or more hours N/A 3 hours 2 hours or less
(Fall and Spring)
9 or more hours N/A 5 hours  
6 or more hours N/A 3 hours not eligible for aid

The above enrollment levels are based on all undergraduate hours or all graduate hours. If you plan to enroll in mixture of undergraduate and graduate hours, we recommend you contact our office about how this will affect your financial aid.

Entrance/Exit Counseling:
Counseling sessions that borrowers must attend before receiving their first loan disbursements and again before leaving school. To complete entrance counseling online or exit counseling online, go to our "Forms" page and select "Entrance Counseling" or "Exit Counseling" for the specific year you need.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC):
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a term used to express the dollar amount that a family is expected to contribute to a student's education. This figure is determined by the federal government using the information reported on the FAFSA. The FAFSA cannot be completed until after January 1 of the award year you plan to attend college. While it's the only way to have an official EFC calculated, you can have an estimated EFC calculated by using FAFSA4caster.


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Financial Aid Transcripts (FAT):
A document sent from one school's Financial Aid Office to another in order to determine if a student has received any other financial aid and the status of that aid. FAT Request Form.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
This is the first step in applying for federal student aid. Anyone wanting federal aid must fill this out. Complete your FAFSA on the Web.


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Grace Period:
A specified period between the time you leave school (or drop below half-time study) and the time you begin repaying your loan(s).

Guarantee Agency:
An organization that insures the repayment of Federal Family Education Loans.


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Interest Rate:
A percentage of your outstanding principal loan amount charged for the use of borrowed money.


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Original Need--The Federal Government defines need as the student's cost of attendance (COA) minus their Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Remaining Need--The amount of aid remaining after all other forms of aid are subtracted from Original Need.


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The loan amount you borrow.

Promissory Note:
A legally binding contract between you and your lender that contains all the conditions and terms under which you agree to repay your loan(s) with interest.


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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):
To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must maintain SAP while working toward a degree or certificate. View FHSU’s SAP policy.

Selective Service:
Registering for this is a requirement for all males over the age of 18. It is also a requirement for financial aid eligibility. Register for Selective Service.

An organization that provides borrower services and performs administrative functions associated with education loans. Usually, a servicer collects loan payments.

Student Aid Report (SAR):
The notification to the student of the results of processing the FAFSA.

A Stafford loan awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays the interest on the loan until you begin repayment and during periods of authorized deferment.


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A Stafford loan not awarded on the basis of financial need. The student is responsible for all interest payments on the loan.


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The process to confirm an individual student's submitted FAFSA data. Usually, students must submit a completed FHSU Verification Worksheet and any other requested documents.


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This program allows students to earn money to help finance their education. Get more information on work study.


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