Common Terms and Definitions
Adjusted Gross Income: All taxable income minus deductions.
Aggregate Loan Limits: The maximum amount that you may borrow from multiple sources while in college.
Assets: Savings and checking accounts, business value, stocks, bonds, real estate, trust funds. Cars are not considered assets, nor are retirement accounts or personal possessions such as clothing, stamp collection or musical instruments.
Cost of Attendance (COA): An estimate of your costs to attend Eastern Kentucky University for an academic year. COA includes direct costs included in your bill-like tuition, mandatory fees, room and board-and indirect costs like books, travel, laundry, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.
Default: Being late (delinquent) in repaying a student loan more than a predetermined number of days, or failure to comply with any of the other terms of the promissory note. Defaulting on a loan can have serious financial and/or legal consequences.
Deferment: An approved postponement of loan repayment for a specified period.
Disbursement: Funds sent (usually electronically) to your school where they will be credited to your school or personal account.
Disclosure Statement: A statement mailed directly from the lender once the loan has been made. Your disclosure statement should include the loan amount, annual percentage rate, finance charges, and payment total including interest paid, prepayment terms, late charges, and other consequences of delinquency. Read it carefully!
Financial Aid: All available financial resources to help pay for your educational expenses, coming from the university, the federal government and/or state government, scholarships, grants, private resources, loans and work study.
Financial Aid Award Notice: Sent by the EKU office of Student Financial Assistance, this notice gives a semester by semester list of all aid awarded to a student for an academic year.
Financial Aid Package: Assembled by the EKU Office of Student Financial Assistance, the financial aid package contains an estimate of the total amount of financial aid a student will receive. It may include grants or scholarships, work study, and loan funds from a variety of sources. This estimate is calculated using a mathematical formula set by federal law.
Financial Need: The difference between the cost of attending EKU and your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The form that must be completed by all students and parents who apply for federal student aid. It is the primary form to apply for federal student aid, which includes grants, loans and work study.
Full-time Status: Undergraduate students at EKU enrolled in at least 12 credit hours.
Gift Aid: Funds which are awarded to the student to pay for college costs with no obligation for repayment. An example would be gift aid from private donors through the Scholarship Office.
Guarantee Fee: A fee that is deducted from the proceeds of the Parent PLUS Loan and forwarded by the lender to a loan servicer in return for covering the loan against default.
Half-Time Status: Undergraduate students at EKU who are enrolled in 6 to 11 credit hours per semester. This is the minimum number of credits in which a student can be enrolled to qualify for financial assistance. The only exception to this policy is the Pell Grant Program, for which a student enrolled half time or less may receive a prorated grant.
Less Than Half-Time Status: Undergraduate students at EKU who are enrolled in one to five credit hours per semester. A student carrying less than half-time status is not eligible for aid with the exception of Pell Grant Program funds for undergraduates.
Loans: Borrowed money that must be repaid.
Merit-based Aid: Financial Assistance based on performance criteria, such as academic credentials, special talents or accomplishments. The FAFSA may be required to be considered for some scholarship awards.
Priority Date: EKU’s Priority Date for Federal Student Aid is February 1. Submitting your financial aid application before this date increases your chances of receiving grants which do not need to be repaid.
Promissory Note: The legal document signed by the borrower before receiving a student loan. Besides a promise to repay the loan, it lists the conditions of the loan and terms for repayment. This is a binding legal document.
Revisions: The Financial Aid Award Notice can be revised at any time during an academic year based on changes in needs analysis (upon verification), enrollment status, residency status, or outside scholarships or grants reported during the academic year not reflected in the financial aid package.
Scholarship: Gift aid awarded to a student based on superior academic performance, special talents or accomplishments. The student does not have to repay this money.
Student Aid Report (SAR): This report shows the information the student supplied online to FAFSA, as well as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAR alerts you to any corrections that need to be made.
Subsidized Loan: Interest-free until the student leaves school. Interest is paid by the U.S. Department of Education for student borrowers while in school on at least a half-time basis.
Verification: A student can be selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education or the school. EKU is mandated under both federal and state regulations to verify all information reported on the FAFSA by reviewing tax returns and other documentation requested, and comparing them to information supplied on the application for accuracy. Aid will not be credited until this process has been completed.