Financial Aid Terms

​​​​​Award Notification/Letter: This notifies financial aid applicants of the types and amounts of aid offered, as well as the responsibilities and conditions of each award. The notification is available on MyWeb and  will include the method and dates of payment.

CADAA: The CA Dream Act Application is for students who are not U.S. Citizens, National or Permanent residents or do not fulfill ALL of the FAFSA requirements. The DREAM application is unique to California promoting access to all students regardless of immigration statues and/or documentation.

California Aid Report (CAR): Correspondence you receive from the California Student Aid Commission regarding your Cal Grant eligibility after you file the FAFSA and GPA Verification form.

Cost of Attendance (COA): The total estimated cost of college for the school year, also referred to as the student budget; includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, food, housing, and personal expenses.

Default: Failure to make loan payments or otherwise honor the terms of a loan; reported to credit bureaus and can influence future credit and ability to receive financial aid.

Deferment: A deferment is a temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally doesn’t accrue on certain types of subsidized loans.

Eligible Program: An eligible program is a program of organized instruction or study of a certain length that leads to an academic, professional, or vocational degree or certificate, or other recognized education credential.

Enrollment Status: Enrollment status is reported by the school you attended, and indicates whether you are, or were, full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, less than half-time, withdrawn, graduated, etc.

Entrance Counseling: Entrance counseling explains the obligations you agree to meet as a condition of borrowing a Direct Loan. Topics include: Understand Your Loans, Manage Your Spending, Plan to Repay, Avoid Default and Make Finances a Priority.

Exit Counseling: Exit counseling provides important information that you need as you prepare to repay your federal student loan(s). Topics include: Understand Your Loans, Plan to Repay, Avoid Default, and Make Finances a Priority.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount that you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education, assessed from resources such as employment and assets.

Family Size: Household size does not mean people who physically live with you. It's about who you support financially. If you do not financially support anyone, you will just put 1 for yourself.

Financial Need: This amount is determined by subtracting your EFC and other financial resources from your cost of attendance. Financial aid awards are offered to meet your financial need based on program requirements and available funds.

Federal Processor: The federal government's computer system, also referred to as the "central processor", that analyzes the information on your FAFSA, calculates your EFC, and sends you a Student Aid Report.

Forebearance: A period of time when your monthly loan payments are temporarily stopped or reduced. Interest will continue to be charged on your loans. Be aware that unpaid interest may be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) at the end of your forbearance period.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The FAFSA is the official financial aid application used to determine federal and state aid. There is no charge to have your FAFSA processed.

FSA ID: An FSA ID consists of a username and password which gives you access to the U.S. Department of Education’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature when completing electronic documents.

Grant: A grant is a form of financial aid that does not have to be paid back (in most cases).

Legal Guardianship: Legal guardianship is a designation by a court that authorizes someone to care for an individual in place or absence of parents. Having a legal guardian qualifies you as an independent student, such that you do not have to report your parents’ income on the FAFSA® form.

Loan: A loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest over a period of years.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): An MPN is a legal document that contains the Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities and Terms and Conditions for repayment. Direct PLUS and Direct Subsidized / Unsubsidized loans have different MPNs.

Renewal FAFSA: This application simplifies the process of reapplying for financial aid. Some information from the previous application is preprinted on the Renewal FAFSA making the application process faster. Students must re-apply every year.

Residency: This is a determination of a student's status as a California resident. This determination is made by the Admissions Office and will affect which financial aid programs a student may be eligible for.

Return of Title IV Funds: If a student receives federal student aid funds, including grants, and withdraws from all classes before 60% of the enrollment period has passed, the student could owe money back to the federal government or the college. Contact the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from classes.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, a student must be progressing satisfactorily toward completion of an approved educational program.

Selective Service Registration: By law, certain students are required to register, or arrange to register, with the Selective Service in order to receive federal student aid. This includes males born on or after January 1, 1960, who are at least 18 years old, citizen or noncitizen, and not currently on active duty in the Armed Forces.

Student Aid Report (SAR): The report summarizing the information you provided on your FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office will receive this same information electronically and begin the process to determine your eligibility.

Untaxed Income: All income received that is not taxed or may not be reported to the IRS, including Social Security Benefits, Earned Income Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, clergy and military allowances, Disability benefits, tax sheltered income reported on W-2 forms, welfare and child support payments, any cash income not reported to the IRS, bills and support paid on your behalf, or any other income received not reported on your tax form.

Verification: A federal process in which the college checks the accuracy of the information you submitted on the FAFSA. Documents will be requested such as  tax return transcripts and W-2 forms. Quick response to any request for documentation will help expedite the process.​

Veteran: For the FAFSA, a person who has engaged in active duty, or a National Guard or Reserves enlistee who was called to active duty for purposes other than training, or was a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, and who was released under a condition other than dishonorable.



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