Please visit the 2019 updated version of this glossary at nasfaa.org/glossary.
The Glossary of Terms for Award Notifications was recommended in 2012 by NASFAA's Award Notification Task Force. It contains universally accepted definitions of language typically contained on award notifications given to current and prospective students by colleges and universities. The intent of this glossary is:
Educational Loan: A form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest.Educational loans have varying interest rates and repayment terms. Students and/or parents are required to sign a promissory note when accepting an educational loan.
Enrollment Level:Level of the degree-granting program in which a student is enrolled. Basic levels of enrollment include: undergraduate (students seeking an associate's degree, a certificate, or a baccalaureate degree); post-baccalaureate (such as teacher certification); graduate (students working on a master's degree or professional degree); and post-graduate (such as students enrolled in a doctoral program). The amounts and types of financial aid a student is eligible for is determined, in part, by their enrollment level.
Enrollment Status:Academic workload (or course load), as defined by the institution, that a student is carrying for a defined academic period. This normally relates to the number of credit hours or clock hours taken by a student during a given academic period. For most traditional undergraduate term-based schools:
For most clock hour schools full-time enrollment equates to at least 24 clock hours per week.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC): A measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student's education for the year.The EFC is calculated according to a formula specified in the law and is based upon the information provided by the student and his or her family during the FASFA filing process.
Family Financial Responsibility: Many schools award institutional scholarships and grants based upon a more comprehensive calculation of family financial circumstances using information provided on the CSS PROFILE or the College's own financial aid form. This can result in a higher (or lower) financial responsibility for the student (and his/her family) than the FAFSA might indicate with its Expected Family Contribution (EFC) estimate.
Federal Pell Grant: A grant provided by the federal government to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and have an Expected Family Contribution below a threshold designated annually by the U.S. Department of Education, based on the amount of program funds appropriated by Congress.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): A grant provided by the federal government to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients and funds must be awarded by the school in lowest EFC order.
Federal Work-Study (FWS): A program that provides part-time employment to students attending institutions of higher education who need the earnings to help meet their costs of postsecondary education and encourages students receiving FWS assistance to participate in community service activities.
Gift Aid: Funds awarded to the student that do not have to be repaid, unless the student fails to meet certain terms, such as a service requirement, specified as a condition of the grant.Gift aid includes awards with titles such as grants, scholarships, remissions, waivers, etc.Gift aid can be awarded based upon many factors, including (but not limited to) financial need, academic excellence, athletic, musical, and theatrical talent, affiliation with various groups, or career aspirations.
Scholarship: Gift aid awarded to the student that does not need to be repaid.Scholarship awards are typically based on merit or a combination of merit and need, such as academic excellence, talent, affiliation with various groups, or career aspirations.
Self-help: Financial aid in the form of loans or student employment. Loans are used to help pay the remaining net costs after gift aid is deducted. Student employment earnings (including Work-Study awards) are generally not deducted from billed costs but can be used to help cover indirect costs and are paid in the form of wages to the student.
Verification: Process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by the applicant on the FAFSA. In order to complete the verification process, students are required to provide certain documents to the school for review.
Publication Date: 3/27/2014