Dear Mr. Ethics,
I have recently been asked to review my school’s award letter, since it has been a while since we updated it. One of the line items I’m concerned about is “Unsub Stafford.” Of course, my colleagues and I all know that this refers to a loan—a Direct Unsubsidized Loan given by the federal government, to be exact. But I think the program name has changed and I’m concerned our students will be confused by the jargon. This has been on our award letter for a long time and I don’t want to call this to my director’s attention if it’s no big deal. Advice?
A Loan By Any Other Name…
Good catch! NASFAA's Code of Conduct states that institutional award notifications shall include “clear identification of each award, indicating type of aid, i.e. gift aid (grant, scholarship), work, or loan,” as well as “standard terminology and definitions, using NASFAA's glossary of award letter terms.” I’m just going to hazard a guess that most incoming freshman on your campus would never think “Ah! A loan!” when they see the phrase “Unsub Stafford.” Bring NASFAA’s Code to your director and ever-so-gently suggest that he or she review the glossary of recommended terms and use some of that language instead.
Publication Date: 3/9/2017