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Academic Year

A period of at least 30 weeks of instructional time beginning in August and ending in May.


Accrual Date

The day interest charges on an educational loan begin to accumulate (accrue).


Aid Change Form

A form submitted to our office notifying us of a change in a student's enrollment or grade level, or requesting an increase in the maximum level of a Stafford or Federal Grad PLUS loan, cancellation, or reduction to any part of their financial aid.


Aid Year

The year for awarding financial aid which starts in August and is divided into Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.


Alternative Loan

Loans offered by private lenders and have no federal forms to complete and usually have higher interest rates than Federal loans.  They are also known as private loans.



Budget Tuition Plan

A short-term installment plan that CCSU offers that splits tuition payment into smaller, equal, monthly payments.




Adding unpaid interest to the principal balance of an educational loan, which increases the total amount to be repaid.


Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen

A student must be a US Citizen, US national, or US permanent resident with an I-151, I-551, or I-551C.  If a student does not fall in one of these categories then he/she must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the US Immigration and Naturalization Service showing one of the following designations: refugee, asylum granted, indefinite parole or humanitarian parole, Cuban-Hatian Entrant, conditional entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980) or other eligible non-citizen with a temporary resident card (I-688). Permanent residents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific (Pall) may be eligible for federal student aid. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are eligible for Pell Grants, SEOG, or Work Study only. You are NOT eligible for federal financial aid if you only have a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464A), or if you are in the U.S. on an F1, F2, J1, J2, or G series visa.


College Scholarship Assistance Program

Scholarship program restricted to in-state, undergraduate, first-degree, full-time students with total Expected Family Contribution less than one half of their Cost of Attendance.  The student must not be in default on any type of federal loan, borrowed in excess of any federal loan limits, or owe a refund on a grant award under Pell, SEOG, or the College Scholarship Assistance Program.  The award amount is $200-$2500 per semester, neither to exceed the student’s financial need. (Abbreviated CSAP)


Connecticut Educational Savings Trust

One of the Section 529 qualified tuition programs offered by the Connecticut College Savings Plan that offers a tax-advantaged account that lets families save for tomorrow’s college costs by using an investment mix of stocks and bonds.  



A loan program to make repayment easier by combining various educational loans into one new loan, extending the repayment period, and allowing a single monthly payment.


Cost of Attendance

An estimate covering tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses of the total amount it should cost a student to go to school. (Abbreviated COA)



A person who informs parents and students about their financial needs in order to meet the college costs and conducts on-campus workshops during the year to help educate the student body about financial aid.




Failure to repay a student loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a promissory note. If a student defaults, the school, the organization that holds the loan, the state, and the federal government can take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of the default.  Wages and/or tax returns may be garnished and the student will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid.



An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal check and interest payments. Deferments are available while borrowers are in school at least half-time, enrolled in a graduate fellowship program or rehabilitation training program, and during periods of unemployment or economic hardship.


Delayed Disbursement

A delay in the release of loan funds to the school for delivery to the borrower.  A delay can be caused if a promissory not is not completed or signed.


Dependent Student

A student that lives with his/her parent(s) and receives more than half of their support from the parent(s). See our Dependency Status page for more information.


Direct Deposit

Authorizes CCSU to transfer the full amount of the financial aid awarded to students, after deductions for tuition, fees, and other debits due CCSU, to the bank for deposit in the student's checking account. The bank is authorized to credit and/or debit the same such amount.



The release of loan funds (for most loans, made in equal multiple installments) to the school to pay towards the borrower’s tuition.



Early Decision

An admissions process with earlier deadlines and notification dates than the regular admissions process where students who apply automatically commit to attending the school if accepted.  A student should only participate in this program if a particular school is a first choice school and he/she is not considering any other schools


Electronic Funds Transfer

An electronic way to transfer funds for Stafford and PLUS loans that bypasses traditional paper checks and makes the money available to the student sooner. (Abbreviated EFT)


Electronic Signatures

An online signature on the FAFSA’s and Master Promissory Note completed by using assigned PIN’s from the Department of Education. 


Eligible Non-Citizen

An individual who is not a US citizen but is eligible for Federal student aid. These individuals include US permanent residents who have valid green cards, US nationals, holders of form I-94 who have been granted refugee or asylum status and certain other non-citizens.  Individuals who hold a student visa or exchange visa are not eligible for Federal student aid.



To release a child from the control of a parent or guardian. This does not sufficiently release the parents/legal guardians from responsibility for the child’s education. 


Enrollment Status

An indication of whether a student is studying full-time or part-time.  In most cases a student must be enrolled half-time to qualify for financial aid.


Entrance and Exit Counseling

Required, online counseling sessions that inform borrowers of their rights and responsibilities with regard student loans before receiving the first disbursement of a loan and again before leaving school.  See our Entrance and Exit Counseling page for more information.


Expected Family Contribution

A measure of the family’s financial strength and is the amount the federal government perceives the family can contribute towards their student’s educational expenses for a particular year. (Abbreviated EFC)




Federal Processor

The organization that processes information submitted on the FAFSA and uses it to compute eligibility for federal student aid.


Federal Work Study

Program providing undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment during the school year where the federal government pays a portion of the student’s salary making it cheaper for departments and businesses to hire the student. (Abbreviated FWS) See our Federal Work Study page for more information.



A form of aid given to graduate students to help support their education that does not have to be repaid.  Some include a tuition waiver and most include a stipend to cover reasonable living expenses.


Financial Aid Office

The department at CCSU charged with managing financial aid.  Contact information can be found on our web page.


Financial Aid

Money provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education which can include grants, scholarships, loans, and work. 


Financial Aid Administrator

A college or university employee who is involved in the administration of financial aid. They are also known as Financial Aid Advisors or Financial Aid Counselors. (Abbreviated FAA) See Counselor


Financial Aid Package

The complete collection of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study employment from all sources (federal, state, institutional and private) offered to a student to enable them to attend the college or university. Unsubsidized Stafford loans and PLUS loans are not considered part of the financial aid package, since these financing options are available to the family to help them meet the Expected Family Contribution.


Financial Need

The difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Estimated Family Contribution which is used to determine a student’s financial aid package.


First-Time Borrower

A first-year undergraduate student who has no unpaid loan balances outstanding on the date he or she signs a promissory note for an educational loan. First-time borrowers may be subjected to a delay in the disbursement of the loan funds. The first loan payment is disbursed 30 days after the first day of the enrollment period. If the student withdraws during the first 30 days of classes, the loan is canceled and does not need to be repaid. Borrowers with existing loan balances aren't subject to this delay.



A period of time where a lender allows the borrower to temporarily postpone repaying the principal, but the interest charges continue to accrue, even on subsidized loans. The borrower must continue paying the interest charges during the forbearance period. Forbearances are granted at the lender's discretion, usually in cases of extreme financial hardship. A loan is not eligible for forbearance if it is in default.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Form used to apply for Pell Grants and all other need-based aid. As the name suggests, no fee is charged to file a FAFSA. (Abbreviated FAFSA)

See our FAFSA page for more information.



General Scholarship

Scholarship applications are available online and handled by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, due by the priority deadline and generally awarded during September. The dollar amounts vary from $500-$1000.  See our General Scholarship page for more information.


Gift Aid

Any grant or scholarship aid that does not have to be repaid.


Grace Period

A short time after graduation during which the borrower is not required to begin repaying his or her student loans. The grace period may also kick in if the borrower leaves school for a reason other than graduation or drops below half-time enrollment. Depending on the type of loan, a student will have a grace period of six months (Stafford Loans) or nine months (Perkins Loans) before repayment must begin.  PLUS loans do not have a grace period.


Grade Point Average

An average of a student's grades, converted to a 4.0 scale where 4.0 is an A, 3.0 is a B, 2.0 is a C, and 1.0 is a D. (Abbreviated GPA)


Graduate Assistantship

There are two types of graduate assistantships: teaching assistantships (TA) and research assistantships (RA).  Both receive a full or partial tuition waiver and a small living stipend.


Graduate Student

A student who is enrolled in a Masters or PhD program.


Graduated Repayment

A repayment schedule where monthly payments are smaller at the start of the repayment period and gradually become larger.



Need-based financial aid the student does not have to repay.  See our Grants page for more information.


Gross Income

Income before taxes, deductions, and allowances have been subtracted.



Half Time

Seven credit hours per semester is considered half time for federal aid. 


Health Professional Student Loan

A low interest loan administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is now known as the Primary Care Loan (PCL).



Placed on a student’s account usually because of billing charges. This hold can keep a student from adding, dropping, or viewing their account. It remains until the bill is cleared by the University.  See our Possible Reasons for Holds and Delays page for more information.




The amount of money received from employment (salary, wages, tips, etc.), profit from financial instruments (interest, dividends, capital gains, etc.), or other sources (welfare, disability, child support, Social Security pensions, etc.).


Income Contingent Repayment

A repayment schedule where the size of the monthly payments depends on the income earned by the borrower.   


Independent Student

An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the academic year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, or is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18). A parent refusing to provide support for their child's education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent.  See our Dependency Status page for more information.


Information Release Form

Signed statement by a student that lists all individuals who have permission to receive financial aid details on a student’s account.


In-State Student

A student who has met the legal residency requirements for the state, and is eligible for reduced in-state student tuition at public colleges and universities in the state. For more information on residency, please see the University Registrar web site. 


Institutional Student Information Report

The electronic version of Student Aid Report delivered to schools. (Abbreviated ISIR)



Amount charged to the borrower for the privilege of using the lender's money. Interest is usually calculated as a percentage of the principal balance of the loan. The percentage rate may be fixed for the life of the loan, or it may be variable, depending on the terms of the loan. All federal loans issued since October 1992, use variable interest rates that are pegged to the cost of US Treasury Bills.


Internal Revenue Service

Federal agency responsible for enforcing US tax laws and collecting taxes. (Abbreviated IRS)



Part-time job during the academic year or summer months in which a student receives supervised practical training in a their field. Internships are often very closely related to the student's academic and career goals, and may serve as a precursor to professional employment











A financial institution (bank, savings and loan, or credit union) that provides the funds for students and parents to borrow educational loans. For example, the federal government is the lender for Direct Loans.



Master Promissory Note

The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid. (Abbreviated MPN)


Merit Based Scholarships

Scholarships based on a student’s academic, artistic, academic, athletic, or some other merit, and do not depend on the existence of financial need.



Needs Analysis

A process of reviewing a student's aid application to determine the amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive. Oftentimes, completing a needs analysis form is the first step when applying for many types of financial aid.


New Borrower

A borrower who has no outstanding (unpaid) loan balances on the date(s) he/she signs the promissory note for a specific educational loan. New borrowers may be subject to different regulations than borrowers who have existing loan balances.  See First-Time Borrower.



Origination Fee

A fee charged by the lender and deducted from loan proceeds before disbursement to partially offset administrative costs of the loan program; 3% for Stafford loans disbursed after 8/15/99 and 4% for PLUS loans.


Outside Scholarship

A scholarship that comes from sources other than the school and the federal or state government.


Over awards

A situation caused when more aid has been awarded than a student is eligible to receive under the federal awarding regulations.



Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students

A federal educational loan taken in a parent’s name to help fund a student’s education.  (Abbreviated PLUS loan)  See our Parent PLUS Loan page for more information.


Pell Grant

A federal grant program based solely on a student’s Expected Family Contribution from their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  See our Pell Grant page for more information.


Perkins Loan

A federal loan program with a fixed 5% interest rate and 9 month grace period awarded to out-of-state students. See our Perkins Loan page for more information.


Personal Identification Number

A number assigned by the Department of Education to uniquely identify students for application and signature purposes.  Both students and parents are required to establish and retain their own personal identification number.  (Abbreviated PIN)  See our PIN page for more information.


Prepaid Tuition Plan

A college savings plan that is guaranteed to rise in value at the same rate as college tuition. For example, if a family purchases shares that are worth half a year's tuition at a state college, they will always be worth half a year's tuition, even ten years later when tuition rates will have doubled.



The amount of money borrowed or remaining unpaid on a loan. Interest is charged as a percentage of the principal. Insurance and origination fees will be deducted from this amount before disbursement.


Professional Judgment

The ability of an institution to make adjustments to a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information or his/her Cost Of Attendance, with supporting documentation in the student’s file.


Promissory Note

See Master Promissory Note.



Quality Assurance Program

A program that involves the verification of financial aid application information. Participants are randomly selected out of all aid recipients and required to submit various documentation. The Quality Assurance Program provides a means to do a systematic, detailed analysis of procedures determining eligibility, management policies, general financial aid office policies and procedures, and collection of required supporting documents, as well as helping institute corrective action measures for the future.  (Abbreviated QAP)




Money returned to a student as a result of an overpayment through loans other funds, or as the result of a decrease in charged costs.



A statement from the lender disclosing the monthly payment, interest rate, total repayment obligation, payment due dates, and the term of the loan.



Any aid or benefits from outside of CCSU that a student receives towards their educational costs.



Satisfactory Academic Progress

A school’s written standard of satisfactory progress which states that by the end of the second academic year, students must maintain a “C” average (2.0 GPA) or have an academic standing consistent with the school’s graduating requirement or exceed 150% of the standard time frame for their individual program of study.   See our Financial Aid Academic Progress Policy page for more information.


Secondary Market

An organization established to purchase education loans from lenders. This allows lenders to replenish capital to fund new loans. Selling loans is a common practice among lenders and does not affect the terms and conditions under which the loan was originally made.


Short Term Loan

These student loans are interest-free loans ranging from $50 - $600 with a processing fee of $5.00 that is included in the loan. The loans are used primarily for emergency-type school needs. Short term loans are made to the students only while classes are in session and must be paid back within 60 days or the end of the semester. The loan processing time is within 5 working days. Students may borrow from this program once per academic term.  See our Short Term Loan page for more information. 


Student Aid Report

A form sent to the student after submitting the FAFSA to the federal processor that shows the information processed and indicates the student’s Expected Family Contribution. See our page on the Student Aid Report for more information. (Abbreviated SAR)


Subsidized Loan

A need-based loan on which the interest is set by Congress and interest does not accrue while a student remains a full-time student.  See our Stafford Loan page for more information.


Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need and can provide up to $4,000 per year. See our Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant page for more information.  (Abbreviated SEOG or FSEOG)



Title IV School Code

A six-character identifier assigned to distinguish each school on the FAFSA.  CCSUs school code is 001378.  More helpful hints on filling out the FAFSA can be found on our FAFSA Tips page.



Unmet Need

The amount of financial aid eligibility that is not provided by the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid.  The unmet amount is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution.


Unsubsidized Loan

A non need-based loan on which interest is not paid by the federal government. Borrowers are responsible for interest on all unsubsidized loans from the date the loan is disbursed.  See our Stafford Loans page for more information.



Variable Interest

In a variable interest loan, the interest rate changes periodically. For Stafford and PLUS loans, this occurs once a year on July 1st.



A process of review to determine the accuracy of the information on a student's financial aid application. Student applications are selected by the Federal Processor for review. CCSU is not required to participate in the standard verification program due to our participation in the Institutional Quality Assurance Program.



Work Study

See Federal Work Study.












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