Financial Aid Glossary

3rd Party Billing: Also known as scholarships, departmental awards, tuition assistance, employee waivers, vocational rehab, etc.

Academic Year: The academic year starts on July 1st and ends June 30th.

  • Undergraduate students:
    Academic year is defined as 36 weeks of instructional time; 24 credit hours for the academic year is considered full time
  • Graduate students:
    Academic year is defined as 36 weeks of instructional time; 12 credit hours is considered full time for the academic year

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): All taxable income less IRS allowable adjustments to income. This figure is drawn from an individual's federal tax return.

Award Letter: This official document is issued by the Financial Aid Office. It lists all of the amounts, sources, and types of aid in your financial aid package. The Award Letter also includes the terms and conditions of your financial aid. 

Campus Solutions Student Center: A one-stop shop Student Service Center to see your class schedule, account balance, financial aid, documents needed for services, and academic history all from one location by logging into your student account (ERNIE).

Caution Flags - also known as C-Flags, are notifications on the Student Aid Report to the student and to the institution processing the student financial aid application that either:

  • a) one or more data elements entered on the FAFSA did not match what the authorizing agency has on record for the applicant; or
  • b) there is adverse information relating to the applicant financial aid status. Students can have a Caution Flag even if they are not selected for verification.

Cost of Attendance (COA): These expenses include tuition, room and board, books and supplies, fees, and the student's living costs while attending school. The COA is determined by the school, using federal guidelines. 

Default When a borrower fails to abide by the terms of a loan by not making payments for a specified period of time. 

Deferment: The option to postpone repayment for a period of time, under certain conditions, with permission from the lender. 

Delinquency: The status of a loan when payment is late. Delinquency may be reported to a credit bureau after 30 days. 

Disbursement: The lender's payment of loan funds to the school. Payment is made by electronic funds transfer (EFT). Disbursement is usually made in two or more installments during the year.

Entrance Loan Counseling - A mandatory information session which takes place before you receive your first federal student loan that explains your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower.

Exit Loan Counseling - A mandatory information session which takes place when you graduate or attend school less than half-time that explains your loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins.

Expected Family Contribution: The amount that a student and family (if required) are expected to contribute toward the Cost of Attendance (COA). This amount is based on the family's income and assets.

Financial Aid Tracks (Track System): Worldwide adheres to Federal Regulations by ensuring that Financial Aid is not paid for overlapping terms/payment periods. Worldwide offers distinct courses of enrollment to its students. These unique attendance patterns are called Tracks.

    Undergraduate and Master’s Students:

    • Track 1: July Term - September Term - November Term - February Term (Online Track Only with 9-week Terms)
      Track 1 allows students to enroll in classes offered online only and receive financial aid. Students electing to be on Track 1 will not be able to use other modalities of learning such as: Classroom, Eagle Vision Class or Eagle Vision Home as these modalities are not offered on this Track.
    • Track 2: August Term - October Term - January Term- March term (Blended Track with 9-Week Terms)
      Track 2 allows students to take advantage of all modalities of learning and receive financial aid: Online, Classroom, Eagle Vision Class and Eagle Vision Home. Students may register for any modality of learning on Track 2. 
    Doctoral (PhD) Students:
    • Doctoral Track: September Term - January Term - May Term
      Doctoral Track (12 Week Terms) – The program is offered to online students pursuing a Doctoral program.

Forbearance - A period during which your monthly loan payments are temporarily suspended or reduced. Your lender may grant you a forbearance if you are willing but unable to make loan payments due to certain types of financial hardships. During forbearance, principal payments are postponed but interest continues to accrue. Unpaid interest that accrues during the forbearance will be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of your loan(s), increasing the total amount you owe.

Grace Period: A feature of Federal Direct loans that gives you six months after you leave school or drop below half-time status before you must start making monthly payments on your loan. 

Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR): An electronic output document generated by the Central Processing System (CPS) that summarizes information provided on a student's FAFSA. Also provides the result of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation, results of eligibility matches with certain databases, reject reasons, comments, and data assumptions. It is available to schools through the Electronic Data Exchange (EDE).

Master Promissory Note (MPN):  A promissory note for the Federal Perkins Loan and Direct Loan programs that allows borrowers to apply for multiple loans during a student’s attendance at a postsecondary institution.

Missing Information Letter: This electronic letter is sent to students Embry Riddle email account and details any missing information that the Financial Aid office may require in order to complete the award process (for example verification documents, proof of citizenship, DD214, etc.).

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS):  An ED integrated system that collects and reports information about the financial aid history of students who receive federal student aid and maintains that information in an online database available to the financial aid community. The database stores information about loans, grants, students, borrowers, lenders, guaranty agencies (GAs), schools and loan servicers. The CPS conducts a match of FAFSA data against this database to confirm the student’s identification and eligibility for federal student financial aid. A user ID and Password are required to access the database.

Need:  The difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the student's financial need. It is the gap between the cost of attending the school and the student's resources.

Net Price Calculator:  A tool that allows current and prospective students, families, and other consumers to estimate the net price of attending a particular college or career school.

Origination:  When a school creates a new Pell Grant or Direct Loan in the COD system.

Origination Fee: A fee charged by the federal government and deducted from the loan funds prior to disbursement. The fee is used to offset administrative costs.

Packaging: The process of determining the types and amounts of financial aid awards (loans, grants, scholarships, and employment) and offering those awards to a student.

Professional Judgment (PJ): Based on the documented special circumstances of the student, to change the data elements used in determining eligibility for federal student aid or adjust a student’s costs.

Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4): When a student withdraws or ceases to attend from school without completing a payment period or period of enrollment, the school must determine the amount of Title IV funds "earned" for the portion of the payment period or period of enrollment the student attended. Unearned federal student aid must be returned to each affected program, as applicable.

Shopping Sheet: The Shopping Sheet is a consumer tool that is designed to simplify information about costs and financial aid. It is not meant to replace your award offer but is a tool to help you in comparing with other institutions. Military prospects will receive a Shopping Sheet when inquiring at ERAU. When you are admitted to ERAU and apply for Financial Aid, you will be able to view your Shopping Sheet in your Student Service Center.

Student Aid Report (SAR): The output document that the Central Processing System (CPS) sends to a student after a FAFSA is processed. It summarizes the information the student submitted on the FAFSA; reports the student's calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC); provides comments to the student as well as information for the financial aid administrator; and reports the student's NSLDS financial aid history.

Taxable Income: Income earned from wages, salaries, and tips, as well as interest income, dividend income, business or farm profits, and rental or property income.

Title IV Programs: Those federal student aid programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Includes the: Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Loan, and Direct PLUS.

Untaxed Income: All income received that is not reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or is reported but excluded from taxation. Such income would include but not be limited to untaxed capital gains, interest on tax-free bonds, dividend exclusion, and military and other subsistence and living allowances.

Verification:  The process a school follows to check the accuracy of the information reported by the student on the FAFSA. The information reported is compared against documents, such as the IRS Tax Return Transcripts and signed Verification Worksheets, the student provides to the school.

Vocational Rehabilitation: Programs administered by state departments of vocational rehabilitation services to assist individuals who have a physical or mental disability which is a substantial handicap to employment.

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