College Terms for Parents

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as FAFSA) –A form that must be filled out annually by current and anticipating university students (both undergraduate and graduate) and sometimes the student’s parents in the United States to determine their eligibility for federal student financial aid such as grants, loans, and work-study.

The FAFSA provides numerous questions regarding the student’s finances, as well as those of his or her family; these are entered into a formula that determines the Expected Family Contribution (known as EFC). The EFC may vary widely depending on a number of factors for example whether a student has siblings in college at the time.

Click here to begin your FAFSA today!

529 PLAN- an educational savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. These plans can be used to meet the costs of qualified colleges nationwide. In most plans your choice of school is not affected by the state your 529 plan is from. Therefore you can be a resident in one state and use your plan in another. Every state now has at least one 529 plan available.

To see a list of plans click here. list of 529

To see the benefits of 529 plans click here. benefits plans 

For a list of terms that may be listed on your financial aid report click here.

Student Aid Report (SAR) - After a student has submitted their FAFSA to the federal processor the form is returned to the student in the form of a (SAR). The Student Aid Report reports the information that was processed and indicates what the federal eligibility is. After this the institutional financial aid office determines the student’s eligibility for other state or private programs of financial assistance.

Subsidized Loan – A need based loan in which the interest is paid by the federal government while the borrower is enrolled in school or during grace and deferment periods.

Unsubsidized Loan- This is a non need-based loan for which borrowers are responsible for interest from the date the loan is disbursed. Meaning there will be monthly payments on this loan.

Federal Pell Grant- Unlike a loan this does not have to be repaid. Pell grants are usually awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. You may receive up to two consecutive Pell Grant awards during a single award year to accelerate your program toward your degree. However you must be enrolled at least part-time and in a program that leads to an associate or bachelor’s degree or certificate.


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