Financial Aid Glossary

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Academic Year – The normal academic year consists of a fall and spring semester and summer sessions.  For example: August 2022- July 2023.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) – The student’s or student’s family’s wages, salaries, interest, dividends, etc., minus allowable deductions as reported on a federal tax return.

Book Loan Voucher – A book loan voucher is an advance on the federal financial aid award that allows students to purchase or rent books and purchase supplies at the Taft College Bookstore. The amount of the book loan voucher will be deducted from the federal financial aid refund. The vouchers are available one week before the beginning of the fall and spring semester. The voucher must be redeemed within seven days of the beginning of the fall and spring semester.

Budget – A budget is a guide that keeps students on the path to reach their financial goals. Budgeting keeps finances under control, shows when to adjust spending, and helps one decide where the money goes instead of wondering where it all went.

Video: How to Build a Budget

Cal Grants – Cal Grants are funded by the State of California. These grants are awarded based on eligibility criteria including income requirements as well as minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements. These grants do not have to be repaid. There are three categories of Cal Grant: A, B, and C.

Video: What is EOPS?

California College Promise Grant – California College Promise, formerly known as the Board of Governors Grant, waives fees for qualified California residents and Assembly Bill (AB) 540 individuals for the entire school year. The academic year consists of fall, spring, and summer terms. For example: August 2022 – July 2023. The fee waiver is for those who meet certain income standards and household size. Students may receive a waiver for any number of units, with no minimum. There is no cash value for the fee waiver.

Video: What is the California College Promise Grant?

Capitalization – Interest that accrues during a time when the borrower is not making payments on a loan.

Comprehensive Student Educational Plan – Outlines a suggested course of study for the individual student based on major, transfer plans, and sequence of courses.

Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) – CARE is a program for qualified students under EOPS (see below) that provides additional support to single parents receiving TANF/CalWORKS (cash aid) to help them overcome obstacles and expand their educational opportunities.

Video: What is the CARE Program?

Cost of Attendance (COA) – The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of expenses for one year at college. This estimate takes the following into consideration: books and supplies, room and board, tuition and fees, transportation, and other miscellaneous fees.

Video: What is the Cost of Attendance?

Default – This term applies to loans, is the failure to repay a student loan according to the terms of the loan. If a student defaults on a loan, the school, the organization that services the student loan, the state, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of the defaulted loan.

Video: What is Loan Default?

Deferment – A temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, the subsidized portion of Direct Consolidation Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, the subsidized portion of FFEL Consolidation Loans and Federal Perkins Loans.

Video: What is Loan Deferment or Loan Forbearance?

Disbursement – The process by which financial aid funds are made available to students for the use in meeting educational and related living expenses.

Eligible non-citizen – A U.S. permanent resident who has Permanent Resident Card (I-551 or I-151); a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or a non-citizen who has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with one of the following designations: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parolee (the I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), or Cuban-Haitian Entrant. Those in the U.S. on a F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations) are not U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and so are ineligible for federal aid.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – The Expected Family Contribution measures a family’s financial strength and is used to determine eligibility for federal aid during one school year. Students receive an EFC based on the processed results of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Video: What does the term EFC stand for?

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) – EOPS is a state-funded program at Taft College that provides educational support services to eligible students who have historically experienced economic and educational disadvantages. EOPS assists eligible students in obtaining their educational goals by providing additional support through counseling, book services, assistance in transferring to a four-year university and other services.

Video: What is EOPS?

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – The FAFSA is the first step in being eligible for financial aid and can be accessed online at

Video: What is the FAFSA?

Federal Pell Grant – The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduates. Grant amounts are dependent on the student’s expected family contribution (EFC), the Cost of Attendance (COA, as determined by the institution), the student’s enrollment status (full time: 12 or more units, 3/4 time: 9-11.5 units, 1/2 time: 5-8.5 units and less than 1/2 time: 0-4.5 units), and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

Video: What is a Pell Grant?

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – FSEOG program is available to qualified undergraduate students with the greatest financial need and does not have to be repaid. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. Eligible students may receive the grant on a first come-first serve basis, depending on their need, the availability of FSEOG funds at the college and the amount of other aid awarded. All undergraduate students who apply for financial aid are automatically considered for this grant.

Video: What is an FSEOG?

Financial Aid – Financial Aid is an umbrella term that includes ALL of the following: federal and state grants, work study, college scholarships, and tuition waivers.

Video: What is Financial Aid?

Financial Need – The amount by which your family’s contribution falls short of covering your college expenses. It is determined by subtracting the expected family contribution (EFC) from the total cost of attendance (COA): COA-EFC=need. Generally, a higher Cost of Attendance and lower Expected Family Contribution will increase the chances of qualifying for need-based aid.

Full Time – A student enrolled in 12 or more units in one semester.

Grace Period – A set period of time after graduation, leave school to drop below half-time (6 units) enrollment before the student must begin repayment on the loan.

General Educational Development (GED) certificate – A certificate that a student receives if he/she/they passed a specific, approved high school equivalency test. Students with a GED certificate are eligible to receive federal student aid.

Interest – A fee charged when students take out a loan.  Interest is calculated as a percentage of the principal amount. The rate may be constant throughout the life of the loan (fixed rate), or it may change at specified times (variable rate).

IRS Data Retrieval Tool – A tool within the FAFSA income section which allows students and their parents to retrieve prior year tax information directly from the IRS and into the FAFSA.

Legal Guardian – Court appointed individual, whose guardianship responsibilities include using personal financial resources to support the person in his or her charge.

Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) – The sum of all Pell Grant aid award year eligibility awarded to students which affects lifetime Pell eligibility.  The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime by federal law.  The regulations reduce the duration of a student’s eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant from 18 full-time semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 full-time semesters (or its equivalent).

Video: What is the Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) for Pell Grants?

Loan Servicer – A company the Department of Education assigns to handle the billing and other services on the federal student loan on behalf of the Department of Education, at no cost to you. The loan servicer will work with students on repayment options and will assist you with other tasks related to the federal student loan.

Master Promissory Note – A legal document in which students promise to repay a loan and any accrued interest and feed to the Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s).

Video: Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) Tips to Complete

Matriculating – A process bringing the college and the student into an agreement designed to achieve the student’s educational goal(s).

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 Fee – Origination fee is a percentage of the loan amount charged by the lender to process the loan.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy – SAP is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. The Financial Aid Office must monitor the progress of each student toward the completion of a certificate or degree in order to meet federal and state guidelines governing the administration of student financial assistance. Students who fall behind in their coursework or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state, and institutional aid administered by the Financial Aid Office. SAP is evaluated at the end of the fall and spring semesters and summer sessions.

Video: What does SAP stand for?

Student Aid Report (SAR) – The SAR is a paper or electronic document giving students some basic information about their eligibility for federal student aid and the answers to the questions on the FAFSA.

Selective Service Registration – Male students ages 18-25, citizen or eligible non-citizens, and not currently on active duty in the Armed Forces must register or arrange to register with the Selective Service for military draft to receive federal student aid.

Verification – A process used to confirm data reported on the FAFSA. Institutions are authorized to obtain documentation to confirm the information reported on the FAFSA.

Video: What is Verification?

Work Study – A student aid program providing part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay for educational expenses.