Financial Aid Glossary of Terms
to Measure Standards (AIMS)
A tuition waiver established by the Arizona Board of Regents
(ABOR) to recognize outstanding academic achievement by Arizona high school
students. To qualify, students must graduate from an AZ high school, have AZ
residency with lawful immigration status, and meet academic criteria determined
by AZ Department of Education. Students should contact their high school
guidance counselor to determine their eligibility. The high schools send the
state a list of eligible students. The state (ABOR) sends that list to the
three state universities in June/July of students’
senior year. The universities then place the award on students’ accounts. Eligible students will receive a tuition waiver for
their 4 years at NAU assuming they meet the renewal criteria. Students must
maintain a 2.5 GPA and earn 30 credits/year.
The list of financial aid available to a particular student.
Each student is mailed an award letter starting in March/April. Any subsequent
changes made to their awards will be visible on LOUIE.
The process of evaluating a student’s FAFSA/ISIR and determining
which aid the student is eligible to receive, based on financial need, class
level, and course load.
An appeal filed by the student to increase their budget or
cost of attendance to allow for additional aid.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
A student’s total cost of attending a postsecondary institution. It includes tuition and fees,
room, board, books, transportation, and personal expenses. Students cannot be
funded above their COA each year. If students incur certain additional costs
during the academic year, they may file a Budget Appeal to increase the COA,
which may allow for additional aid.
Allows students to temporarily postpone payments on student
loans. If a student has a subsidized loan, including Perkins Loans, interest will
not accrue during the deferment. For unsubsidized loans, students are
responsible for the interest on the loan during the deferment. Students are in
deferment as long as they are enrolled at least half time. If an undergraduate
student graduates, he/she will have to start paying on their loans once their
grace period is up. If they enter Graduate school a couple years later, they
will reenter deferment and will not be required to make loan payments if they
enroll at least half time.
The process of having financial aid (scholarships, grants,
loans) pay for your NAU tuition and other university charges. Funds are“released” to pay charges on students’ accounts. This occurs nine days before
the start of each term.
Educational Aid Registration Permit
Used for reduced tuition at NAU, ASU, UofA for eligible employees, employee’s spouse, and dependent children.
Financial Aid processes EARPs, the Student and Departmental Account Services adjusts
fees, and Human Resources can give information on eligibility, credit hour
limits, fees, etc.
A 20-30 minute online counseling
session that must be completed before students can receive a federal student
loan. Provides tips for being an educated borrower and managing educational expenses.
This is school-specific, so counseling completed at one school does not
transfer to another.
A 30-40 minute online counseling
session, done online prior to graduating or leaving school. Explains the rights
and responsibilities as a borrower.
Expected Family Contribution
An amount, determined by a need analysis formula from the
FAFSA, of how much the student and/or parents can be expected to contribute to
the student’s educational expenses. This
number is used to determine a student’s
eligibility for federal, state, and institutional student aid.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
A campus-based, federally funded employment program for students with financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. Students are able to
earn aid every two weeks, through their paychecks, by working on or off campus
in FWS positions. The money does not have to be used to pay University charges;
it comes to the student to be used at his/her discretion. All departments can
hire FWS-eligible students, but not all students
Financial Aid Administrator (FAA)
The Financial Aid staff. Anyone hired by an institution to
administer federal student aid programs and to coordinate federal aid with
state/institutional aid and outside financial resources.
Students who receive aid and earn all F’s in a term must go through a Return of Title IV calculation
to determine if they owe any federal or state aid back. See Return of Title IV
Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA)
The form that must be completed by students and/or parents
in order to receive federal student aid. The FAFSA calculates the Expected
Family Contribution (EFC) and determines federal student aid eligibility. This
free form is only found on the FAFSA website. There are other websites that charge
a fee to complete this form; NAU recommends using the official federal site,
which is free of charge for all students.
Aid that does not have to be repaid or earned through work,
if the student completes their classes. Generally, this comes in the form of
grants or scholarships.
The time before a student must begin or resume repaying a
federal student loan, after graduating or falling below half-time enrollment. Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans
have a 6-month grace period. Federal Perkins loans have a 9-month grace period.
A form of gift aid. Each grant has different requirements
and funding levels. Federal student aid grants include: Federal Pell Grant,
Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access
to Retain Talent Grant (SMART), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
Grant (FSEOG), and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher
Guaranteed Gift Aid
Students who started Fall 2008 or later are automatically
part of The Pledge’s Guaranteed Gift Aid Program.
Students are guaranteed the same amount of gift aid (grants) for 4 years
beginning with the first year the student was in the Pledge, assuming financial
eligibility stays relatively the same. If the Expected Family Contribution
(EFC) increases drastically, aid may be in jeopardy, per federal regulations.
Institutional Student Information
An electronic document sent to schools specified on a
student’s FAFSA. The ISIR summarizes the information submitted on FAFSA and is
uploaded to schools’ data systems. The FAFSA produces
an ISIR for the schools and a SAR for the student.
A student’s course
load affects his/her financial aid. Students can be funded as full time, ¾ time,
or ½ time. The number of credits for
each load for financial aid purposes are as follows:
- Undergraduate is full time with 12+hours, ¾ time with 9-11
hours, and ½ time with 6-8 hours.
- Graduate students are full time with 9+ hours, ¾ time with
7-8 hours, and ½ time with 5-6 hours.
students at less than half time (1-5 credits)
may only receive the Pell Grant. See Too Few Hours.
Borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, according
to the terms of the signed master promissory note. Loans cannot be cancelled
because a student did not like the education they received, did not get a job
in their field of study, or because they have financial difficulty. Loans are
legal obligations that must be repaid in the years after graduation.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A legal document that requires a student/parent borrowing a
federal student loan to repay the funds after a certain amount of time. It may
be used for several loans and at different institutions.
Incoming freshmen are automatically considered for merit scholarships upon their admission to the university. In-state
students are considered for one of three awards:
Scholarship ($6,000/year), Dean’s
Scholarship ($3,500/year), or Merit Scholarship ($2,500/year). Out-of-state students are considered for
the President’s Scholarship for Non-Residents ($7,000/year). Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and
earn 30 credits/year. These are the amounts of the scholarships beginning with
the 2010-2011 academic year. Students who received
a different amount in previous years will continue with the scholarship amounts
they already have.
National Student Loan Data System
The U.S. Department of Education’s
central database for Title IV grants and loans. Information comes from schools,
guaranty agencies, Direct Loans, and the Department of Education. All Title IV
aid awarded is listed on students’ accounts
and both students and schools can access this information.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate
Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to
assist in paying for educational costs after other financial aid has been
awarded. The funds are borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education.
Parents first file the PLUS Application. If their
credit check is approved, they must complete a Master Promissory Note. If
denied, the student is then eligible for additional unsubsidized loan money.
Students in need of additional funding beyond the federal
loans may choose to seek out a private or alternative loan. This is a loan from
another lender, such as the student’s bank.
Students apply through the lender and the lender submits the necessary
paperwork to NAU, which then applies the funds to the student’s account. NAU cannot recommend one lender over another.
Students’ financial aid will begin disbursing nine days
before the start of each term. Aid will be applied to their university charges.
If there is any aid left over, meaning more aid than charges to pay, the
difference will come back to the student as a refund. This aid is meant to be
used for educational purposes, such as to pay for books, housing, meals, or
personal expenses accrued while in school. Students should verify that all
university charges have been paid before spending the refund on other expenses.
There have been instances when charges post after a refund is issued, like
housing or meals, and the student receives a bill. Students are encouraged to
sign up for Direct Deposit through their LOUIE account. Refunds going through
Direct Deposit will usually be in their bank accounts 48-72
business hours after disbursement. Refunds sent through the mail will usually
arrive 5-7 business days after disbursement.
A set period of time when student is required to make
payments on the federal student loan(s).
Return of Title IV Funds
When a student withdraws from school without completing the
period of enrollment, the school must determine the amount of Title IV funds earned by the student. Unearned federal student aid must be returned. A
calculation is done for each student that withdraws or receives all F’s in the term (F-List). The
next semester’s aid will not disburse until all
owed money is returned to the school.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
A rating of student course completion,
based on number of credits completed, cumulative GPA, and number of maximum
credits allowed for a degree program. When students receive federal or state
aid they must meet all three areas of SAP to remain eligible for the aid.
Students must complete at least 75% of the courses for which they are funded
each semester. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students must
complete their degree within a certain time frame. The maximum time frame for
the completion of a degree is limited by federal regulations to 150% of the
published length of the degree program and includes transfer credits and all
attempted credit hours including completed credits, audits, incompletes, withdrawals,
and repeated or failed courses. For example, a typical undergraduate program at
NAU is 120 credits. Students can get funding for up to 180 credits, or 150% of
the program. Students that switch majors are still limited to the 180 hours. A
SAP hold will appear on a student’s account
for SAP suspension, but not probation.
Financial aid that must be repaid (loans) or is earned
through employment (Federal Work Study).
Students may receive benefits from an outside agency. Outside
agencies may include, but are not limited to, Indian Health Services, AZ
Vocational Rehabilitation Services, AZ Department of Education, ROTC, school
districts, etc. Benefits provided by outside agencies may include tuition,
room, board, and books/supplies. These outside funds (with the exception of
certain Veteran’s funds) are considered a
resource toward a student’s education and must be reported to Financial Aid.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
A document sent to students upon completion of the FAFSA.
The SAR summarizes the information submitted on FAFSA. If students provide an e-mail address on the FAFSA they will receive an e-mail instructing them how to access the SAR online. Students
who file the FAFSA online but do not provide an e-mail
address, or who file a paper FAFSA, will receive a paper SAR in the mail. The
FAFSA produces an ISIR for the schools and a SAR for the student.
Non-work study employment governed
only by University policy and standard wage and labor laws. It operates in an
identical manner to FWS, except students do not have to demonstrate financial
need to be hired. Opportunities for student wage employment can sometimes be
limited depending upon the funding University departments are allocated.
Also Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, a federally subsidized, low-interest student loan, offered on the basis of financial need,
as determined by FAFSA. Students have a six-month
grace period after graduation (or after they fall below half-time enrollment) to start repayment on the loan. The loan does
not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half time, during
the six-month grace period, or during authorized
periods of deferment. This loan is made directly by the federal government
through the school.
Students attending one or more summer session can apply for
summer aid through their LOUIE account. Students who have used their annual
amount of loans in the Fall/Spring terms will have no loan eligibility for
summer. State grant funding is limited, but students are encouraged to apply.
Available funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The application is available in LOUIE in
Title IV Federal Student Aid
Financial aid programs, administered by the Department of
Education, authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as
amended (HEA). These programs include: Federal Pell Grant, Academic
Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain
Talent (SMART Grant), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher
Education (TEACH Grant), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
(FSEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), Federal Perkins Loan Program, William D.
Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership
Program (LEAP), Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Program (SLEAP), and
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program
Too Few Hours
Students are funded based on the course load they selected
on the FAFSA. If an undergraduate student is funded as full-time (12 credits or more) but is only registered for 9 credits
¾ time, a Too Few Hours hold will appear
on their LOUIE account. Aid will not disburse until the student is registered
for 12 credits or his/her financial aid is reduced to ¾ time. See Load.
Tribal Financial Need Analysis
A form completed by the student, the Office of Student
Financial Aid, and the student's tribe to
determine funding. The school provides information on the students' cost of
attendance and the federal/state aid they will receive, to determine how much
the tribe is able to contribute towards the educational costs.
Also Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan – a low-interest student loan, made directly by the federal government
through the school, for students who do not show financial need. Students have
a six-month grace period after graduation (or
after they fall below half-time
enrollment) to start repayment on the loan. The loan accrues interest while the
student is enrolled and during the six-month grace
The process schools follow to check the accuracy of
information reported by the student on FAFSA. Students are notified by mail
that they have been selected for verification. They must complete a
Dependent/Independent Student Verification form and provide their tax return,
as well as their parents’ tax return and W2s (if
To receive financial aid for winter session, students must
have enough spring financial aid to cover both the winter session and all of
the spring semester. Students submit a Winter Session Intent form to Financial
Aid which will be evaluated and approved or denied.
See Return of Title IV Funds