Financial Aid Glossary

Academic Progress
Students must complete 67 percent of all credits they attempt, a student must earn an acceptable Grade Point Average (GPA), students must earn passing grades in their classes. Federal regulations governing Financial Aid are much more strict that the Academic policy at Community College of Philadelphia. Students may receive "academic amnesty;" however, they may be required to pay for their courses.
Accrued Interest
The interest that accumulates on the unpaid principal balance of a loan.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The interest maintained on a loan for a one-year period.
The addition of unpaid accrued interest onto the principal balance of a loan that increases the total outstanding debt.
A student has to be a citizen or eligible non-citizen to receive aid, citizenship statuses that meet this requirement is a person(s) born in the 50 United States U.S. or the specific eligible statuses are:
  • A U.S. citizen or national.
  • A U.S. permanent resident.
  • Citizens of certain Pacific Islands (the Freely Associated States).
  • Other eligible non-citizens
Combining multiple education loans into a new loan with a new payment schedule and interest rate.
The failure to repay a loan in accordance with the terms of the promissory note; occurs after 270 days of nonpayment on a federal loan account or 120 days of nonpayment on a private loan account.
An approved temporary suspension of loan payments based on certain events or criteria.
The failure to make scheduled monthly loan payments when they are due.
A financial transaction that occurs when a lender releases loan funds.
Drug Conviction
A student loses eligibility for Title IV aid only if the drug-related offense for which the student was convicted occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The dollar amount that a family is expected to pay toward a student's educational costs; a Federal calculation based on family earnings, assets, students in college, and size of family.
The Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
Financial Need
The difference between the student's educational costs and the Expected Family Contribution.
The Federal Family Education Loan Programs formerly known as the GSL-Guaranteed Student Loan Programs.
The approved temporary suspension of loan payments, due to a financial hardship, during which interest continues to accrue.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The application students must first complete in order to apply for virtually all forms of financial aid assistance.
Grace Period
The period after a student either graduates or leaves school and before loan payments must begin.
Graduate (student)
A postsecondary student who possesses a bachelor's degree and is pursuing additional postsecondary education.
Financial aid that does not have to be repaid; aid usually awarded to students based on financial need.
The agency or institution that insures up-to-permissible limits against loss to lenders in the event of default.
The dollar amount associated with borrowing money.
The institution that provides the money to be borrowed through the student loan program.
Parent/Graduate PLUS Loan
A Federal loan program through which parents of undergraduate students (Parent PLUS) or graduate students (Graduate PLUS) borrow funds to help pay for an education. Each year they may borrow, from a bank or other lending institution participating in this program, an amount up to the difference between the educational costs and other financial aid.
Private Loan
A loan that is created through a private lending institution, has a private guarantor, and is not part of the Federal Family Educational Loan Program.
Promissory Note
The legal and binding contract signed between the lender and the borrower which states that the borrower will repay the loan as agreed upon in the terms of the contract.
Return of Title IV funds (Return of Financial Aid:
The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations. If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the Office of Financial Aid recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:
Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.
Financial awards that do not usually have to be repaid; monetary aid typically given to students who demonstrate or show promise of high achievement in areas such as academics, athletics, music, art or other disciplines.
An organization that acts on behalf of the lender to administer their student loan portfolio and is paid a fee to do so
State Grant Program
State funding coordinated by PHEAA that provides grants to Pennsylvania residents who meet the eligibility criteria and are pursuing postsecondary education.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
The form students receive (after filing a FAFSA application) that notifies them of their eligibility for Federal student aid.
Subsidized Loans
Loans for which the Federal Government pays the accrued interest during any approved deferment periods.
Title IV Loan
A category of educational loans made, insured, and guaranteed as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, and included in the Federal Family Educational Loan Program (FFELP); specifically Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, SLS, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans.
Undergraduate (student)
A postsecondary student who has not yet received a bachelor's degree.
Unsubsidized Loans
Loans for which the borrower is responsible for paying the interest that accrues on the loan from the date of disbursement until the loan is paid in full, regardless of enrollment status.
Work-Study Payments
Program in which students who work on-campus or off-campus earn funds to help pay for school costs.