• Funding

    Current Fiscal Year (FY) Funding – October 1 through September 30

    Student aid programs and funding are authorized annually as part of the state's budget process and are subject to change. Program funding for academic year 2017-18 (September 1 through August 31) was approved with P.A. 108 of 2017. The programs are as follows:





    Children of Veterans Tuition Grant and Police Officer’s and Fire Fighter’s Survivor Tuition Grant 

    $    1,400,000 

    $    1,400,000 

    $    1,400,000 

    Dual Enrollment Program 

    $    1,507,600 

    $    2,007,600 

    $    2,007,600 

    Fostering Futures Scholarship 

    $       750,000 

    $       750,000 

    $       750,000 

    GEAR UP 

    $    3,200,000 

    $    3,200,000 

    $    3,200,000 

    Michigan Competitive Scholarship 

    $  18,361,700 

    $  26,361,700 

    $  32,361,700 

    Michigan Tuition Grant 

    $  35,021,500 

    $  38,021,500 

    $  38,021,500 

    Talent for Tomorrow Scholarship 



    $  20,000,000 

    Tuition Incentive Program 

    $  53,000,000 

    $  58,300,000 

    $  64,300,000 





    Historical Funding

    Since 1964, SSG has provided funding for scholarships and grants exceeding $5 billion, serving more than four million Michigan students to achieve their higher education goals.

    All future awards are subject to approved and available funding.

Contact SSG

  • Contact SSG

    • Student Scholarships and Grants Staff


      Carla Foltyn

      Stacy Cardwell
      Executive Secretary

      Janice Hursey-Anderson
      Deputy Director

      SSG Program Processing/Review    

      Jennifer Maurer
      Marion Seelman
      Nancy Vaughn
      Kathy Welch
      Diann Cosme
      George Gasser

      SSG Support Staff

      Steve Do
      Mark Gouba
      Paula Hicks
      Kameko Jefferson
      Jessica Kuchar
      Renae Neff
      Janet Owens

      Reade Thompson




  • Glossary

    A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

    1040 Form, 1040A Form, 1040EZ Form
    The Federal Income Tax Return. Every person who has received income during the previous year must file a form 1040 with the IRS by April 15.

    1099 Form
    Form used by business to report income paid to a non-employee. Banks use this form to report interest income.

    A popular type of retirement fund. It is legal to borrow money from your 401(k) to help pay for your children's education.

    Academic Year
    The period during which school is in session, consisting of at least 30 weeks of instructional time. The school year typically runs from the beginning of September through the end of May at most colleges and universities.  OSG’s academic year is September 1 through August 31.

    Access to higher education focuses on providing students with the opportunity to pursue a college education. Choice focuses on allowing students the flexibility to choose among several options. Generally, need-based aid promotes access while merit-based aid promotes choice.

    Adjusted Available Income
    In the Federal Methodology, the remaining income after the allowances (taxes and a basic living allowance) have been subtracted.

    Adverse Credit History
    To be eligible for a PLUS loan, the borrower must not have an adverse credit history. This is a modest credit check. According to the regulations at 34 CFR 682.201(c)(2), a borrower is considered to have an adverse credit history if a recent credit report shows that

    • the borrower has a current delinquency of 90 or more days on any debt, or
    • the borrower had certain derogatory information (e.g., default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a Title IV debt) in the credit history during the five years preceding the date of the credit report

    Note that the five-year lookback only applies to the derogatory information; it does not apply to the 90-day delinquency which must be a current delinquency. Note also that the absence of a credit history is not considered an adverse credit history.

    American College Test (ACT)
    One of the two national standardized college entrance examinations used in the US. The other is the SAT. The ACT is widely used in the West and Midwest. Most universities require either the ACT or the SAT as part of an application for admission.

    The process of gradually repaying a loan over an extended period of time through periodic installments of principal and interest.

    A formal request to have a financial aid administrator review your aid eligibility and possibly use Professional Judgment to adjust the figures. For example, if you believe the financial information on your financial aid application does not reflect your family's current ability to pay (e.g., because of death of a parent, unemployment or other unusual circumstances), you should definitely make an appeal. The financial aid administrator may require documentation of the special circumstances or of other information listed on your financial aid application.

    An item of value, such as a business, and farm equity, real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash, certificates of deposit (CDs), bank accounts, trust funds and other property and investments.

    Asset Protection Allowance
    A portion of your parents' assets that are not included in the calculation of the parent contribution, as calculated by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula.

    Associate Degree
    The degree granted by two-year colleges.

    Award Letter
    An official document issued by a school's financial aid office that lists all of the financial aid awarded to the student. This letter provides details on their analysis of your financial need and the breakdown of your financial aid package according to amount, source and type of aid. The award letter will include the terms and conditions for the financial aid and information about the cost of attendance.

    Award Year
    The academic year for which financial aid is requested (or received). The award year runs from July 1 to June 30.

    Bachelor's Degree
    The undergraduate degree granted by four-year colleges and universities.

    When a person is declared bankrupt, he is found to be legally insolvent and his property is distributed among his creditors or otherwise administered to satisfy the interests of his creditors. Federal student loans, however, cannot normally be discharged through bankruptcy.

    Base Year
    The tax year prior to the academic year (award year) for which financial aid is requested. The base year runs from January 1 of the junior year in high school through December 31 of the senior year. Financial information from this year is used to determine eligibility for financial aid.

    The person who receives the loan.

    Bursar's Office
    (Also called Student Accounts Office) The university office that is responsible for the billing and collection of university charges.

    Calendar Year
    The calendar year runs from January 1 to December 31.

    Campus-based Aid
    Financial aid programs are administered by the university. The federal government provides the university with a fixed annual allocation, which is awarded by the financial aid administrator to deserving students. Such programs include the Perkins Loan, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study. Note that there is no guarantee that every eligible student will receive financial aid through these programs, because the awards are made from a fixed pool of money.

    Loan cancellation ends the obligation to repay the debt and typically involves the discharge or forgiveness of the loan balance (including any accrued but unpaid interest). While both discharge and forgiveness involve cancellation of the remaining debt, discharges usually occur for circumstances beyond the borrower's control and forgiveness for circumstances within the borrower's control. Examples of loan discharges include discharges due to bankruptcy, death or total and permanent disability of the borrower. Loan forgiveness programs typically involve a requirement to work in a particular field, such as working in a public service job, teaching in a national shortage area or serving in the military.

    Capital Gain
    An increase in the value of an asset such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate between the time the asset was purchased and the time the asset was sold.

    The practice of adding unpaid interest charges to the principal balance of an educational loan, thereby increasing the size of the loan. Interest is then charged on the new balance, including both the unpaid principal and the accrued interest. Capitalizing the interest increases the monthly payment and the amount of money you will eventually have to repay. If you can afford to pay the interest as it accrues, you are better off not capitalizing it.

    Children of Veterans Tuition Grant
    The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant Act is designed to provide undergraduate tuition assistance to certain children older than 16 and less than 26 years of age who have been Michigan residents for the 12 months prior to application. To be eligible a student must be the natural or adopted child of a Michigan veteran.

    Collection Agency
    A company often hired by the servicer to recover defaulted loans.

    College Work-Study (CWS)
    College Work-Study is simply a part time job. This term is sometimes erroneously used to refer to the Federal Work-Study Program.

    Color of Federal Forms
    The FAFSA and SAR change color each year in a four color rotation: Yellow (2007-2008), Orange (2008-2009), Green (2009-2010), and Blue (2010-2011), then it repeats.

    Commuter Student
    A student who lives at home and commutes to school every day.

    Consolidation Loan
    Also called Loan Consolidation, a consolidation loan combines several student loans into one bigger loan from a single lender. The consolidation loan is like a refinance and is used to pay off the balances on the other loans. The primary intention is to replace multiple loans with a single "consolidated" loan to simplify repayment. For federal student loans a consolidation loan can also provide access to alternate repayment terms and the ability to lock in a rate on older variable rate student loans.

    A cosigner on a loan is a co-borrower and is obligated to repay the debt if the primary borrower defaults on the debt. Repayment activity is reported on both the borrower's and cosigner's credit histories. A cosigner is often required if the borrower's credit history is bad or marginal or thin.

    Cost of Attendance (COA)
    (Also known as the cost of education or "budget") The total amount it should cost the student to go to school, including tuition and fees, room and board, allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses.  Child care and expenses for disabilities may also be included at the discretion of the financial aid administrator. Schools establish different standard budget amounts for students living on-campus and off-campus, married and unmarried students and in-state and out-of-state students.

    Credit History
    A credit history is a record of all events connected with payment of a set of debts, such as on-time payments, late payments, nonpayment, default, liens and bankruptcy discharge. It can include both current and previous credit accounts and their balances, employment and personal information, and a history of past credit problems.

    Credit Score
    Also referred to as a credit rating, a credit score is a measure of the likelihood of a borrower paying back a debt according to the agreement. It is based on the borrower's credit history. Credit bureaus and credit reporting agencies provide this information to banks and businesses to help them decide whether to issue a loan or extend credit.
    The most commonly used credit score is the FICO score established by Fair Isaac Corporation on a scale from 350 to 850. Higher credit scores are better.

    Custodial Parent
    If a student's parents are divorced or separated, the custodial parent is the one with whom the student lived the most during the past 12 months. The student's need analysis is based on financial information supplied by the custodial parent.

    A loan is in default when the borrower fails to pay several regular installments on time or otherwise fails to meet the terms and conditions of the loan. For example, a borrower who is 120 days late on a private student loan or 270 days late on federal education loan is considered to be in default. When a borrower is in default the loan becomes due in full immediately and the lender may pursue more aggressive collection techniques, such as sending the account to a collection agency or filing suit against the borrower. If you default on a loan, the university, the holder of the loan, the state government and the federal government can take legal action to recover the money, including garnishing your wages and withholding income tax refunds. Defaulting on a government loan will make you ineligible for future federal financial aid, unless a satisfactory repayment schedule is arranged, and can affect your credit rating.

    Occurs when a borrower is allowed to postpone repaying the loan. If you have a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest charges during the deferment period. If you have an unsubsidized loan, you are responsible for the interest that accrues during the deferment period. You can still postpone paying the interest charges by capitalizing the interest, which increases the size of the loan. Most federal loan programs allow students to defer their loans while they are in school at least half time. If you don't qualify for a deferment, you may be able to get a forbearance. You can't get a deferment if your loan is in default.

    If the borrower fails to make a payment on time, the borrower is considered delinquent and late fees may be charged.

    Dependency Status
    Determines to what degree a student has access to parent financial resources.

    For a child or other person to be considered your dependent, they must live with you and you must provide them with more than half of their support. Spouses do not count as dependents in the Federal Methodology. You and your spouse cannot both claim the same child as a dependent.

    Direct Loans
    The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (aka the Direct Loan Program) is a federal program where the federal government provides the loan funds.

    Disbursement is the release of loan funds to the school for delivery to the borrower.  Loan funds are first credited to the student's account for payment of tuition, fees, room and board and other school charges.

    A loan discharge releases the borrower from his or her obligation to repay the loan, usually due to circumstances beyond the borrower's control..

    Disclosure Statement
    Provides the borrower with information about the actual cost of the loan, including the interest rate, insurance, and any other types of finance charges.

    Due Diligence
    If a borrower fails to make payments on their loan according to the terms of the promissory note, the federal government requires the servicer of the loan to make frequent attempts to contact the borrower (via telephone and mail) to encourage him or her to repay the loan and make arrangements to resolve the delinquency.

    Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
    Used by schools and Direct Loans to wire funds for Stafford and PLUS loans directly to schools .

    Eligible Non-Citizen
    Someone who is not a US citizen but is nevertheless eligible for Federal student aid. Eligible non-citizens include US permanent residents who are holders of valid green cards, US nationals, holders of form I-94 who have been granted refugee or asylum status and certain other non-citizens. Non-citizens who hold a student visa or an exchange visitor visa are not eligible for Federal student aid.

    To release a child from the control of a parent or guardian. Declaring a child to be legally emancipated is not sufficient to release the parents or legal guardians from being responsible for providing for the child's education.

    Enrollment Status
    An indication of whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Generally you must be enrolled at least half-time (and in some cases full-time) to qualify for financial aid.

    Entitlement programs award funds to all qualified applicants. The Pell Grant is an example of such a program.

    Entrance Interview
    See Loan Interviews.

    Exit Interview
    See Loan Interviews.

    Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    The amount of money that the family is expected to be able to contribute to the student's education, as determined by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula.  The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income and assets. The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need, and is used in determining the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. If you have unusual financial circumstances (such as high medical expenses, loss of employment or death of a parent) that may affect your ability to pay for your education, tell your financial aid administrator (FAA). He or she can adjust the COA or EFC to compensate. See Professional Judgment.

    Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
    The funds for these loans are provided by the US government directly to students and their parents through their schools.  The FDSLP includes the Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

    Federal Methodology
    The need analysis formula used to determine the EFC. The Federal Methodology takes family size, the number of family members in college, taxable and nontaxable income and assets into account.

    Federal Processor
    The organization that processes the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and uses it to compute eligibility for federal student aid.

    Federal Work-Study (FWS)
    Program providing undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment during the school year. The federal government pays a portion of the student's salary, making it cheaper for departments and businesses to hire the student. For this reason, work-study students often find it easier to get a part-time job. Eligibility for FWS is based on need.

    A form of aid given to graduate students to help support their education. Some fellowships include a tuition waiver or a payment to the university in lieu of tuition. Most fellowships include a stipend to cover reasonable living expenses.  Fellowships are a form of gift aid and do not have to be repaid.

    Financial Aid
    Money provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education or which is conditioned on the student's attendance at an educational institution. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).

    Financial Aid Administrator (FAA)
    A college or university employee who is involved in the administration of financial aid. Some schools call FAAs "Financial Aid Advisors" or "Financial Aid Counselors".

    Financial Aid Office (FAO)
    The college or university office that is responsible for the determination of financial need and the awarding of financial aid.

    Financial Aid Package
    The complete collection of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study employment from all sources (federal, state, institutional and private) offered to a student to enable them to attend the college or university.

    Financial Need
    See Need

    First-Time Borrower
    A first-year undergraduate student who has no unpaid loan balances outstanding on the date he or she signs a promissory note for an educational loan. First-time borrowers may be subjected to a delay in the disbursement of the loan funds.

    Fiscal Year
    The federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

    Fixed Rate
    A fixed rate is an interest rate that does not change and remains the same for the life of the loan.

    During a forbearance the lender allows the borrower to temporarily postpone repaying the principal, but the interest charges continue to accrue, even on subsidized loans. The borrower must continue paying the interest charges during the forbearance period. Forbearances are granted at the lender's discretion, usually in cases of extreme financial hardship or other unusual circumstances when the borrower does not qualify for a deferment. You can't receive a forbearance if your loan is in default.

    Loan forgiveness releases the borrower from his or her obligation to repay the loan, usually due to circumstances within the borrower's control. The most common loan forgiveness programs cancel all or part of the debt for working in a particular field or performing military or volunteer service.

    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    Form used to apply for Pell Grants and all other need-based aid. As the name suggests, no fee is charged to file a FAFSA.

    The practice of withholding a portion of a defaulted borrower's wages to repay his or her loan, without their consent.

    GEAR UP - Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Program
    The mission of GEAR UP is to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.  There are several GEAR UP programs currently operating in Michigan.

    Gift Aid
    Financial aid, such as grants and scholarships, which does not need to be repaid.

    Grace Period
    A short time period after graduation during which the borrower is not required to begin repaying his or her student loans. The grace period may also kick in if the borrower leaves school for a reason other than graduation or drops below half-time enrollment.

    Grade Point Average (GPA)
    An average of a student's grades, converted to a 4.0 scale (4.0 is an A, 3.0 is a B, and 2.0 is a C).

    Graduated Repayment
    A schedule where the monthly payments are smaller at the start of the repayment period and gradually become larger.

    A type of financial aid based on financial need that the student does not have to repay.

    Gross Income
    Income before taxes, deductions and allowances have been subtracted.

    A guarantee is an agreement to purchase title to a loan in the event that the borrower defaults on his or her obligation to repay the debt.

    Most financial aid programs require that the student be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for aid. Some programs require the student to be enrolled full-time.

    In-State Student
    A student who has met the legal residency requirements for the state, and is eligible for reduced in-state student tuition at public colleges and universities in the state.

    The amount of money received from employment (salary, wages, tips), profit from financial instruments (interest, dividends, capital gains), or other sources (welfare, disability, child support, Social Security and pensions).

    Income Contingent Repayment
    Under an income contingent repayment schedule, the size of the monthly payments depends on the income earned by the borrower. As the borrower's income increases, so do the payments. The income contingent repayment plan is not available for PLUS Loans. Income contingent repayment is available only in the Direct Loan program.

    Income-Sensitive Repayment
    Under an income-sensitive repayment schedule, the size of the monthly payments depends on the income earned by the borrower. As the borrower's income increases, so do the payments. Income-sensitive repayment is available only in the FFEL program.

    An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the academic year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, or is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18). A parent refusing to provide support for their child's education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent.

    Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
    One of several popular types of retirement funds. It is not legal to borrow money from your IRA to help pay for your children's education.

    Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR)
    The electronic version of SARs delivered to schools by EDExpress.

    The interest on a loan is a fee charged periodically in exchange for the use of a lender's money. It is paid in addition to repaying the amount borrowed. Interest is usually calculated as a percentage of the outstanding principal balance of the loan. The percentage rate may be fixed for the life of the loan, or it may be variable, depending on the terms of the loan.

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    Federal agency responsible for enforcing US tax laws and collecting taxes.

    Part-time job during the academic year or the summer months in which a student receives supervised practical training in their field. Internships are often very closely related to the student's academic and career goals, and may serve as a precursor to professional employment. Some internships provide very close supervision by a mentor in an apprenticeship-like relationship. Some internships provide the student with a stipend, some don't.

    A type of financial aid which must be repaid, with interest.  These loans are better than most consumer loans because they have lower interest rates and do not require a credit check or collateral. The Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans also provide a variety of deferment options and extended repayment terms.

    Loan Cancellation
    See Cancellation.

    Loan Consolidation
    See Consolidation loan.

    Loan Discharge
    See Discharge.

    Loan Forgiveness
    See forgiveness.

    Loan Interviews
    Students with educational loans are required to complete an entrance interview before they receive their first loan disbursement and again before they graduate or otherwise leave school, which is called an exit interview.  The entrance and exit interviews review the repayment terms of the loan and the repayment schedule with the student.

    Master's Degree
    One of several degrees granted by graduate schools.

    A student matriculates in college when he or she enrolls in college for the first time. A student who just started the freshman year in high school will matriculate in four years.

    Maturity Date
    The date when a loan comes due and must be repaid in full.

    Financial aid that is merit-based depends on your academic, artistic or athletic merit or some other criteria, and does not depend on the existence of financial need. Merit-based awards use your grades, test scores, hobbies and special talents to determine your eligibility for scholarships.

    Michigan Competitive Scholarships
    The Michigan Competitive Scholarship program is available to undergraduate students pursuing their first degrees at an approved Michigan postsecondary institution. Students must demonstrate both financial need and merit and eligible applicants must achieve a qualifying ACT score prior to entering college.

    Michigan Education Saving Program
    The Michigan Education Saving Program is designed to assist families with preparing for higher education expenses. Parents and others can open an account for a child/beneficiary that can grow through regular contributions and through investment growth. Various investment options are available.

    Michigan Education Trust
    The Michigan Education Trust is a prepaid tuition program that allows parents, grandparents, or others to pre-purchase undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees.

    Michigan Tuition Grant
    The Michigan Tuition Grant program is available to undergraduate Michigan residents with financial need who plan to attend or are attending independent, degree-granting Michigan postsecondary institutions.

    The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need -- the gap between the cost of attending the school and the student's resources. The financial aid package is based on the amount of financial need. The process of determining a student's need is known as need analysis.


    Cost of Attendance (COA)


    Expected Family Contribution (EFC)



    Financial Need

    Need Analysis
    The process of determining a student's financial need by analyzing the financial information provided by the student and his or her parents (and spouse, if any) on a financial aid form.

    Financial aid that is need-based depends on your financial situation. Most government sources of financial aid are need-based.

    Net Income
    This is income after taxes, deductions and allowances have been subtracted.

    Outside Resource
    Aid or benefits available because a student is in school and is counted after need is determined. Outside scholarships and prepaid tuition plans and are examples of outside resources.

    Outside Scholarship
    A scholarship that comes from sources other than the school and the federal or state government.

    Out-of-State Student
    A student who has not met the legal residency requirements for the state, and is often charged a higher tuition rate at public colleges and universities in the state.

    The process of assembling a financial aid package.

    Parent Contribution (PC)
    An estimate of the portion of your educational expenses that the federal government believes your parents can afford. It is based on their income, the number of parents earning income, assets, family size, the number of family members currently attending a university and other relevant factors. Students who qualify as independent are not expected to have a parent contribution.

    Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
    Federal loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help finance the child's education. Parents may borrow up to the full cost of their children's education, less the amount of any other financial aid received. PLUS Loans may be used to pay the EFC. There is a minimal credit check required for the PLUS loan, so a good credit history is required. Check with your local bank to see if they participate in the PLUS loan program. If your application for a PLUS loan is turned down, your child may be eligible to borrow additional money under the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program.

    Payoff Amount
    The payoff amount is the amount required to pay off a loan in full. It typically includes the outstanding principal plus any accrued but unpaid interest, as well as any unpaid late fees and collection charges.

    Pell Grant
    A federal grant that provides funds of up to $5,550 (2010-11) based on the student's financial need.

    Police Officer's and Fire Fighter's Survivors Tuition Program
    P.A. 195 of 1996 established this program to provide a waiver at state public institutions of higher education for children and surviving spouses of Michigan police officers and fire fighters killed in the line of duty.

    Poverty Line
    The poverty guidelines, often referred to as the poverty line, are published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They represent a simplification of the poverty thresholds published annually by the US Census Bureau.

    Prepayment is paying off all or part of a loan before it is due.

    Prepayment Penalty
    A prepayment penalty is a fee charged for early payoff of a loan. No federal or private education loans charge prepayment penalties.

    Prime borrowers have good to excellent credit histories, typically with a FICO score of 650 or more.

    Prime Lending Rate
    The Prime Lending Rate is the interest rate offered by lenders to their best credit customers.

    The principal or loan balance is the amount of money borrowed or remaining unpaid on a loan. Interest is charged as a percentage of the principal.

    Private Loans
    Education loan programs established by private lenders to supplement the student and parent education loan programs available from federal and state governments.

    Professional Judgment (PJ)
    For need-based federal aid programs, the financial aid administrator can adjust the EFC, adjust the COA, or change the dependency status (with documentation) when extenuating circumstances exist. For example, if a parent becomes unemployed, disabled or deceased, the FAA can decide to use estimated income information for the award year instead of the actual income figures from the base year. This delegation of authority from the federal government to the financial aid administrator is called Professional Judgment (PJ).

    Professional Student
    A student pursuing advanced study in law or medicine.

    Promissory Note
    A promissory note (or 'note') is a binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule (e.g., level monthly payments for a term of 10 years), interest rate, fees (e.g., origination fees, guarantee fees, late fees, collection charges), deferments, forbearances and cancellations. It represents an agreement by the borrower to repay the debt according to the specified terms and conditions. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid.

    Renewable Scholarships
    A scholarship that is awarded for more than one year. Usually the student must maintain certain academic standards to be eligible for subsequent years of the award. Some renewable scholarships will require the student to reapply for the scholarship each year; others will just require a report on the student's progress to a degree.

    Repayment Schedule
    The repayment schedule discloses the monthly payment, interest rate, total repayment obligation, payment due dates and the term of the loan.

    Repayment Term
    The term of a loan is the period during which the borrower is required to make payments on his or her loans. When the payments are made monthly, the term is usually given as a number of payments or years.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
    A student must make this in order to continue receiving federal aid. If a student fails to maintain an academic standing consistent with the school's SAP policy, they are unlikely to meet the school's graduation requirements.

    A form of financial aid given to undergraduate students to help pay for their education. Most scholarships are restricted to paying all or part of tuition expenses, though some scholarships also cover room and board. Scholarships are a form of gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Many scholarships are restricted to students in specific courses of study or with academic, athletic or artistic talent.

    Selective Service
    Registration for the military draft. Male students who are US citizens and have reached the age of 18 and were born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service to be eligible for federal financial aid. If the student did not register and is past the age of doing so (18-25), and the school determines that the failure to register was knowing and willful, the student is ineligible for all federal student financial aid programs. The school's decision as to whether the failure to register was willful is not subject to appeal. Students needing help resolving problems concerning their Selective Service registration should call 1-847-688-6888.

    A servicer is a business that collects payments on a loan and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a loan portfolio. Loan servicers disburse loans funds, monitor loans while the borrowers are in school, update borrower contact information, send out bills and statements, collect payments, process deferments and forbearances, respond to borrower inquiries and ensure that the loans are administered in compliance with federal regulations and guarantee agency requirements.

    Simple Interest
    Interest that is paid only on the principal balance of the loan and not on any accrued interest. Most federal student loan programs offer simple interest. Note, however, that capitalizing the interest on an unsubsidized Stafford loan is a form of compounded interest.

    Stafford Loans
    Federal loans that come in two forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on need; unsubsidized loans aren't. The interest on the subsidized Stafford Loan is paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the 6 month grace period. The Subsidized Stafford Loan was formerly known as the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL). The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan may be used to pay the EFC.

    Student Contribution
    The amount of money the federal government expects the student to contribute to his or her education and is included as part of the EFC. The SC depends on the student's income and assets, but can vary from school to school.

    Subsidized Loan
    With a Subsidized Stafford Loan, the government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school, during the six-month grace period and during any deferment periods. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need and may not be used to finance the family contribution.

    Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
    Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need. SEOG grants are awarded by the school's financial aid office, and provide up to $4,000 per year. To qualify, a student must also be a recipient of a Pell Grant.

    Teacher Loan Cancellation Listing
    Teachers who are new borrowers as of October 1, 1998, with no outstanding loan balance on a Federal Family Education Loan Program or Federal Direct Loan Program loan as of that date, or the date the borrower obtained a loan after October 1, 1998, may qualify for teacher loan forgiveness if they teach full-time for five consecutive years in a low-income school.

    The number of years (or months) during which the loan is to be repaid.

    Title IV School Code
    When you fill out the FAFSA you need to supply the Title IV Code for each school to which you are applying.

    Test Of English As A Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    Most colleges and universities require international students to take the TOEFL as part of their application for admission. The TOEFL evaluates a student's ability to communicate in and understand English.

    Tuition Incentive Program
    This high school completion program offers to pay for the first two years of college and beyond for identified students who earn their high school diploma or its recognized equivalent before age 20.

    Undergraduate Student
    A student who is enrolled in an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's degree program.

    Unearned Income
    Interest income, dividend income and capital gains.

    Unmet Need
    In an ideal world, the FAO would be able to provide each student with the full difference between their ability to pay and the cost of education. Due to budget constraints the FAO may provide the student with less than the student's need (as determined by the FAO). This gap is known as the unmet need.

    Unsubsidized Loan
    A loan for which the government does not pay the interest. The borrower is responsible for the interest on an unsubsidized loan from the date the loan is disbursed, even while the student is still in school. Students may avoid paying the interest while they are in school by capitalizing the interest, which increases the loan amount. Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need and may be used to finance the family contribution.

    Untaxed Income
    Contributions to IRAs, Keoghs, tax-sheltered annuities and 401k plans, as well as worker's compensation and welfare benefits.

    US Department of Education (ED or USED)
    Government agency that administers several federal student financial aid programs, including the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Work-Study Program, the Federal Perkins Loans, the Federal Direct Stafford Loans and the Federal Direct PLUS Loans.

    Variable Rate
    A variable rate is an interest rate that resets periodically, such as monthly, quarterly or annually. Variable rates are often defined as the sum of a variable rate index, such as the LIBOR index or the Prime Lending Rate, and a fixed rate margin. The margins are often determined based on the borrower's credit score, where credit scores are grouped into a small set of 5 or 6 tiers and each tier is associated with a different interest rate and fees.

    Verification is a review process in which the FAO determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student's financial aid application. During the verification process the student and parent will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the financial aid application. Such documentation may include signed copies of the most recent Federal and State income tax returns for you, your spouse (if any) and your parents, proof of citizenship, proof of registration with Selective Service, and copies of Social Security benefit statements and W2 and 1099 forms, among other things.

    If any discrepancies are uncovered during verification, the financial aid office may require additional information to clear up the discrepancies. Such discrepancies may cause your final financial aid package to be different from the initial package described on the award letter you received from the school.

    If you refuse to submit the required documentation, your financial aid package will be cancelled and no aid awarded.

    For Federal financial aid purposes such as determining dependency status, a veteran is a former member of the US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged other than dishonorably (i.e., received an honorable or medical discharge). You are a veteran even if you serve just one day on active duty - not active duty for training - before receiving your DD-214 and formal discharge papers.

    ROTC students, members of the National Guard, and most reservists are not considered veterans.

    Having a DD-214 does not necessarily mean that you are a veteran for financial aid purposes. As noted above, you must have served on active duty and received an honorable discharge.

    W2 Form
    The form listing an employee's wages and tax withheld.

    Ward of the Court
    A ward of the court is someone under the protection of the courts. The ward of the court may have a guardian appointed by the court. The legal guardian is not personally liable for the ward's expenses and is not liable to third parties for the ward's debts.