A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section.
- A -
ACADEMIC YEAR: A period of at least 30 weeks of instructional time during which a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 semester or trimester hours, or at least 36 quarter hours, at an institution that measures program length in credit hours; or at least 900 clock hours at an institution that measures program length in clock hours.
ACCRUAL DATE: The day interest charges on an educational loan begin to accrue.
ASSOCIATE DEGREE:  An undergraduate academic degree granted after completion of two years of study.
- B -
BACHELOR'S DEGREE: An undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course of study that generally lasts four years.  The University of Wyoming awards bachelor's degrees.
- C -
CAPITALIZATION: The addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. When the interest is not paid as it accrues during periods of in-school status, the grace period, deferment, or forbearance, your lender may capitalize the interest. This increases the outstanding principal amount due on the loan and may cause your monthly payment amount to increase. Interest is then charged on that higher principal balance, increasing the overall cost of the loan.

CITIZEN/ELIGIBLE NONCITIZEN: You must be one of the following to receive federal student aid:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident with an I-151, I-551, or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card)

If you're not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showing one of the following designations:

  • Refugee
  • Asylum Granted
  • Indefinite Parole and/or Humanitarian Parole
  • Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending
  • Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
  • 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.

CONSOLIDATION: A loan program that allows a borrower to combine various educational loans into one new loan. By extending the repayment period (up to 30 years depending on the loan amount) and allowing a single monthly payment, consolidation can make loan repayment easier for some borrowers.

COST OF ATTENDANCE (COA): The total amount it should cost a student to go to school--usually expressed as a yearly figure. The cost of education covers tuition and fees, on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students),and allowance for books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. Certain other items may be added at the discretion of the Financial Aid Administrator (FAA). Your COA can be affected by your enrollment status.


- D -

DEFAULT: Failure to repay a student loan according to the agreed terms to when you signed a promissory note. If you default, your school, the organization holding your loan, the state, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of your default. Your wages and/or tax refunds may be garnished, and you will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid until the default is resolved.

DEFERMENT: An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal 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. Other deferments may be available depending on when and what you borrowed. Contact your lender for additional details.

DEPENDENCY STATUS:  The determination of a FAFSA applicant as dependent or independent.

DEPENDENT STUDENT: A student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse..

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

DIRECT LOAN: A federal student loan, made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, for which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans are types of Direct Loans

DISBURSEMENT: The release of loan funds to the school for delivery to the borrower. Disbursements for most loans are made in equal multiple installments.
- E -

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES: Done using PINs, which are given by the Department of Education to sign FAFSA’s and Master Promissory Notes online. Replaces the traditional signed page as the official, binding signature.

ELIGIBLE NON-CITIZEN: Someone who is not a US citizen but is nevertheless eligible for Federal student aid. Eligible non-citizens include US permanent residents who are holders of valid green cards, US nationals, holders of form I-94 who have been granted refugee or asylum status and certain other non-citizens. Non-citizens who hold a student visa or an exchange visitor visa are not eligible for Federal student aid.

EMANCIPATED: An individual (under the age of 18) who has legally been determined to be an adult by a court in his or her state of legal residence. See the Financial Aid Office.

ENROLLMENT STATUS: An indication of whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Generally you must be enrolled at least half-time (and in some cases full-time) to qualify for financial aid.

ENTRANCE/EXIT WORKSHOPS: Entrance workshops for first time borrowers before receiving the first loan disbursement and an exit workshop session is required at the end of the semester. These requirements are intended to inform borrowers about their rights and responsibilities with regard to borrowing student loans and financial literacy.

EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC): The amount of money the family is expected to be able to contribute to the student's education, as determined by the Federal Methodology needs analysis formula approved by Congress. The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income and assets. The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need and is used in determining the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. If you have unusual financial circumstances (such as high medical expenses, loss of employment or death of a parent) affecting your ability to pay for your education, tell your financial aid administrator (FAA). He or she can adjust the COA or EFC to compensate. See Professional Judgment.
- F -

FAFSA:  Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Must be completed online at

FEDERAL PELL GRANT:  A federal grant for undergraduate students with financial need.

FEDERAL SCHOOL CODE:  An identifier that the U.S. Department of Education assigns to each college or career school that participates in the federal student aid programs. In order to send your FAFSA information to a school, you must list the school's Federal School Code on your application.  Central Wyoming College's school code is 005018

FEDERAL STUDENT AID PIN:  A student's electronic personal identification number that serves as an identifier to allow access to personal information on various U.S. Department of Education systems and acts as a digital signature for online forms. If you do not already have a PIN, you can request one online at  Keep your PIN safe; you will need it to access many systems while enrolled in college.

FEDERAL WORK-STUDY (FWS): Program providing undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment during the school year. The federal government pays a portion of the student's salary. Eligibility for FWS is based on need. Money earned from a FWS job is not counted as income for the subsequent year's need analysis process. 

FINANCIAL AID: Money provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).

FINANCIAL AID ADMINISTRATOR (FAA): A college or university employee who is involved in the administration of financial aid. Some schools call FAAs "Financial Aid Advisors," "Financial Aid Counselors," "Financial Aid Technicians," or "Financial Aid Officers."

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.

FINANCIAL NEED: The difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Estimated Family Contribution. This amount is your total eligibility for aid from all sources and is used in determining what your aid package will be.

FORBEARANCE: During a forbearance the lender allows the borrower to temporarily postpone repaying the principle, 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 or other unusual circumstances when the borrower does not qualify for a deferment. You can't receive a forbearance if your loan is in default.

FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA): 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.


- G -

GRACE PERIOD: A short time period 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, you will have a grace period of six months (Direct Loans) or nine months (Perkins Loans) before you must start making payments on your student loans. The PLUS Loans do not have a grace period.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA): An average of a student's grades, converted to a 4.0 scale (4.0 is an A, 3.0 is a B, and 2.0 is a C).  

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

GRANT: A type of financial aid based on financial need and the student does not have to repay.

GROSS INCOME: Income before taxes, deductions and allowances have been subtracted.

GUARANTEED STUDENT LOANS:  The name for the Federal Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans that were made prior to 1992.
- H -

HALF-TIME: Most financial aid programs require the student be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for aid. Some programs require the student to be enrolled full-time.

HOLDS: Placed on a student’s account usually because of billing charges. This hold can keep a student from adding, dropping, viewing their account, or requesting transcripts. The hold is not taken off the student's account until the account is brought up to date.
HOMESCHOOL:  A school in which a child is educated at home either by parents, legal guardians, or tutors, rather than in a traditional public or private school system.
- I -

IN-STATE STUDENT: A student who has met the legal residency requirements for the state

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

INCOME CONTINGENT REPAYMENT: Under an income contingent repayment schedule, the size of the monthly payments depends on the income earned by the borrower. As the borrower's income increases, so do the payments. The income contingent repayment plan is not available for PLUS Loans.

INDEPENDENT: 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 also Dependent.)

INFORMATION RELEASE FORM: Signed statement by a student listing all individuals, besides the student, having permission to receive financial aid details, billing, grades, etc information on a student’s account.

INSTITUTIONAL STUDENT INFORMATION REPORT (ISIR): The electronic version of SARs delivered to schools.

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

INTERNSHIP: Part-time job during the academic year or the summer months in which a student receives supervised practical training in 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. Some internships provide very close supervision by a mentor in an apprenticeship-like relationship. Some internships provide the student with a stipend. 


- J -



- K -





- L -

LENDER:  The organization that made the loan initially; the lender could be the borrower's school; a bank, a credit union, or other lending institution; or the U.S. Department of Education.

LIFETIME ELIGIBILITY USED (LEU):  The amount of all Federal PELL Grant aid (in percentage) awarded to a student by the amount of PELL Grant aid the student would have been eligible to receive based on full-time enrollment.  The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding.

LOAN SERVICER:  A company that collects payments on a loan, responds to customer service inquiries, and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a loan on behalf of a lender. If you're unsure of who your federal student loan servicer is, you can look it up on


- M -

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

MERIT BASED SCHOLARSHIPS: Scholarships that are merit-based depend on academic, artistic or athletic merit or some other criteria and do not depend on the existence of financial need. Merit-based awards use grades, test scores, hobbies and special talents to determine eligibility for scholarships.
- N -

NATIONAL STUDENT LOAN DATA SYSTEM (NSLDS):  A centralized database which stores information on federal grants and loans. NSLDS contains information on how much aid a student has received, enrollment status, and loan servicer(s) information. You can access NSLDS using your Federal Student Aid PIN at

NEED-BASED AID:  Financial aid awarded to students based on income.


- O -

ORIGINATION FEE: A fee charged and deducted from loan proceeds before disbursement to partially offset administrative costs of the loan program.

OUT-OF-STATE STUDENT:  A student who is attending a college outside of his/her legal residence.

OUTSIDE SCHOLARSHIP: A scholarship that comes from sources other than the school.

OVERAWARDS: A situation caused when more aid has been awarded than the cost of attendance (COA.)
- P -

PELL GRANT: A federal grant program based solely on a student’s EFC from their FAFSA.

PERKINS LOAN: A federal loan program with a fixed 5% interest rate and 9 month grace period.

PIN NUMBER (Personal Identification Number): This number is used by the Department of Education to uniquely identify students for application and signature purposes. The PIN Registration website is

PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) LOAN: A federal educational loan taken in a parent’s name to help fund a student’s education.

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 10 years later when tuition rates will have doubled.

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

PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT: The ability of an institution to make adjustments to a student’s FAFSA information or his/her Cost Of Attendance, with supporting documentation in the student’s file. If you believe this could be an option for you, please contact the financial aid office.

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 and deferment policy. The student should keep a copy of this document until the loan has been repaid.
- Q -

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. QAP 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.


- R -

REFUND: Money returned to a student as a result of a credit balance after loans or other funds are credited to the student's account.

RELEASE OF INFORMATION FORM: see Information Release Form

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


- S -

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS: A school's written standard of satisfactory progress.  Students must maintain a "C" average (2.0 GPA) in order to receive federal student aid. Students may also not exceed 150% of the standard timeframe for their individual program of study and remain eligible for federal aid.

SCHOLARSHIP:  Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses.  Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid.

SEOG (Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant):Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need. SEOG grants are awarded by the school’s financial aid office.

STUDENT AID REPORT (SAR):  A summary of the student's information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students will receive this report (often called the SAR) via e-mail a few days after the FAFSA has been processed or by mail within 3-4 weeks. It can take up to 6 weeks for the information to download to the institution. The SAR will contain the student's EFC, which is the number that's used to determine eligibility for federal student aid.

SUBSIDIZED LOAN: A loan based on financial need for which the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status.
- T -

TITLE IV SCHOOL CODE: When you fill out the FAFSA you need to supply the Title IV Code for each school to which you are applying. The FAFSA school code for Central Wyoming College is 005018.

TRIO:  Program outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.  


- U -

UNMET NEED: The amount of financial aid eligibility defined as COA-EFC= unmet need.

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.
- V -

VARIBLE INTEREST: In a variable interest loan, the interest rate changes periodically. Generally occurs once a year on July 1st.

VERIFICATION: 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.
- W-
WORK STUDY: see “Federal Work Study”

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- Y -





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