Financial Assistance Dictionary
General Types of Financial Assistance
- Work-Study: Provides students with part-time employment
(more under Federal Work-Study).
- Gift Aid: Financial aid that is not repaid
- Grants: Typically based on financial need
- Scholarships: Typically based on achievement or talent
- Federal Aid: Aid administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Private Aid: Financial aid that comes from non-government
Federal Aid Programs (studentaid.ed.gov)
- Federal Pell Grant: Federal Pell Grants are awarded to help undergraduates pay for the pursuit of their first baccalaureate degree. For many students, these grants provide a “foundation” of financial aid to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources may be added. The maximum annual award will depend on program funding.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is a federally funded program. Recipients must demonstrate exceptional financial need as determined by the federal formula. Funds are limited and Federal Pell Grant recipients are given priority.
- Teach Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant: The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant is a new federally funded program beginning with the 2008-2009 academic year. Students who plan to begin a career in teaching may qualify for up to $4,000 each year, based on meeting program conditions. In exchange for this grant, a student must sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) as a full-time teacher at certain low-income schools and within certain high-need fields for at least four academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment) the course of study for which the candidate received the grant.Failure or refusal to carry out the obligations of this program will convert the grant(s) into a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan(s) with interest dated back to the time of disbursement.
State Aid Programs (www.isac.org)
- State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP): The Monetary Award Program (MAP), a grant funded by the state of Illinois, provides need-based grants for undergraduate students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree to help pay for tuition and mandatory fees. Independent students must be Illinois residents and parents of dependent students must be Illinois residents who are enrolled at least half time in a degree or certificate program.
- Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access (IIA) Program: The Illinois Incentive for Access (IIA) award, a grant funded by the state of Illinois, provides need-based grants for freshmen undergraduate students with a $0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) pursuing their first baccalaureate degree to help pay for educational costs. Independent students must be Illinois residents and parents of dependent students must be Illinois residents who are enrolled at least half time in a degree or certificate program. Program is subject to state appropriations and has not been funded in recdent years.
- Annual percentage rate (APR): Amount of interest (fee for
borrowing money) associated with a loan. If the interest rate is variable,
the rate can change; if it is fixed, the rate will not change.
- Consolidation loan: Loan that allows borrowers to lower their
monthly payments by combining their original federal loans
into a single loan. You may only consolidate once. Contact
your lender for more information. Check out
- Co-signer: A person chosen by the borrower to sign a credit
agreement and is legally obligated to repay the loan if the borrower
does not make payments.
- Default: Failure to repay your loan; it may lead to legal proceedings
to recover the money and will affect your credit rating.
- Delinquent: When at least one loan payment is late or
missed. Serious delinquency may result in default.
- Grace period: The time between when you leave school
before repayment begins.
- Principal: The full amount borrowed. During repayment,
refers to the portion of the original amount still owed (not
- Promissory note: A contract between the borrower and the
lender that reflects the terms and conditions under which
the borrower promises to repay the loan.
Financial Aid Terms
- Financial Need: The difference between the annual cost of attendance
and the EFC (Expected Family Contribution: amount your family is
expected to pay based upon the calculation done by the U.S. Department
of Education in response to your FAFSA).
- Financial Aid Package: The total financial aid you are
offered, including scholarships, grants, work-study and loans.
This information is typically summarized in your E-Award offer.
You may choose which aid you would like to accept.
- FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The annual application
used by the Department of Education to calculate the amount of federal and state aid for which you are eligible.
- Verification: Review process in which the financial aid office
requests documentation to verify the accuracy of FAFSA
data (on average, about 1/3 of all applications are selected).
- Professional Judgment: Financial aid administrators may
adjust your aid package and contribution when
extenuating circumstances exist (e.g., loss of a parent).
- Dependency Status: If you are considered a dependent
student, colleges will consider parent income, assets and
circumstances when awarding financial aid.