Financial Aid Glossary

Accrue: The interest on a loan accrues, or accumulates, and must be paid along with the amount you borrowed, which is called the principal.

Award Letter: An official document from the college that lists all the financial aid awarded to the student.

Bursar’s Office: The office at the college or university responsible for the billing and collection of charges. At SUNY Morrisville, this office is also called the Office of Student Accounts.

Capitalization: The practice of adding unpaid interest charges to the principal balance, increasing the size of the loan.

Co-signer: A person, in addition to the student or primary borrower, who signs his or her name to the loan agreement. This person is responsible to pay if the original debtor does not pay.

Cost of Attendance: The estimated total amount it will cost for a student to attend school. This includes the direct costs of tuition, and fees, room ,and board that will be found on your bill as well as indirect costs of books, supplies, transportation costs and personal expenses that all students need to consider when planning their educational expenses.

Dependent Student: For financial aid purposes, a student is considered a dependent if the student is: under 24, single, not a veteran or soldier, not supporting a child or other dependents, not an orphan or ward of the court, and does not have a legal guardian. Additional factors will also be considered in determining a student’s dependency status.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount the federal government estimates a family should contribute to the cost of a student’s college education.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The form which determines eligibility for all federal financial aid programs.

Federal Direct Loans: Education loans provided through the U.S. Department of Education. Interest rates are tied to the financial markets, but are capped at 8.25%. Rates may vary each year for new loans, but the rate for each new loan will be fixed for the life of the loan. The loan limit for a freshman is currently $5,500.

>Subsidized: A loan that is based upon need. The government pays the interest for you while you are in school at least half-time.

>Unsubsidized: A loan that is not based upon need. You will pay interest from the time an unsubsidized loan is disbursed until you pay the loan in full.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan: A loan for parents of undergraduate students. A credit check is required. Repayment generally begins within 60 days of full disbursement. Parents do have the option to request a deferred payment.

Federal Supplemental Education and Opportunity Grant (SEOG): Government grant for students based on need.

Fixed Interest: Interest rates remain the same for the life of the loan.

Grade Point Average (GPA): Grade point average is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. Many grants require a minimum GPA.

Grants: A form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid.

Interest: The fee charged to borrow money, usually a percentage of the outstanding loan amount, which accrues and is paid over the life of the loan.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool: Allows students and parents to access their IRS tax information to complete their financial aid applications. Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA’s.

Legal Guardian: A court-appointed person who has the legal responsibility for providing care and management of a minor.

Origination Fee: The fee charged for processing a loan. The amount of the fee is deducted from the dollar amount of the loan.

PIN: A personal identification number that serves as your electronic signature. As with your bank PIN, you should not give it to anyone. It allows you to access your SAR (Student Aid Record created upon completion of the FAFSA) and to access or make changes to your FAFSA. Note: The Federal Student Aid PIN was phased out on May 10, 2015 in favor of the FSA ID. Learn more about the FSA ID.

Principal: The amount of the loan that must be repaid upon maturity, and the amount upon which interest will be charged.

Promissory Note: This is a binding legal document that you sign. It represents your agreement to repay your student loan and lists the conditions and terms of the loan. It is very important to save and keep this document for future reference.

Student Aid Report (SAR): This report is produced once the government has processed your FAFSA application. It will inform you of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Scholarships: Scholarships do not have to be repaid. Scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria including scholastic achievement and majors. Often a specific GPA is required to maintain a scholarship award.

Tax Transcript: A record of your previously field tax return available through the IRS

Verification: Financial aid applications are randomly selected by the federal processor for review. Verification is a process in which the school determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student’s financial aid application.

Work Study: A program that provides part-time job opportunities by combining federal and campus funds and making awards based on need. Awards are based on student eligibility; however, an offer does not guarantee placement. All work study positions are listed at CCN Morrisville and student must apply for positions accordingly.

W-2 Forms: The form listing an employee’s wages and taxes withheld.