Academic Year: An academic year is one complete school year at the same school, or two complete, half years at different schools. For schools that have a year-round program of instruction, nine months is considered an academic year.
Award Year: School year for which financial aid is used to fund a student’s education. Generally, this is the 12-month period that begins on July 1 of one year and ends on June 30 of the following year.
Default: A loan goes into default when you fail to repay the loan as outlined in your promissory note. Most federal student load default occurs when a payment isn’t made in more than 270 days. It can result in legal consequences and a loss of eligibility for additional federal student 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.
Forbearance: A forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly student loan payments or temporarily make smaller payments. Contact your loan servicer to request a forbearance.
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.
Full-Time Enrollment: A minimum full-time course load is 12 credit hours (3 4-credit hour courses). Students may carry up to 20 credits hours. To estimate the length of time a program will take, note the credit hours required in your chosen curriculum, divided by the number of credit hours you will carry each term. The result is the number of terms it will take you to complete the program.
Graduation Rate: A school’s graduation rate is the percentage of a school’s full-time, first-time degree- or certificate-seeking students who complete their degree or certificate within 150 percent of the published length of the program in which they are enrolled.
Half-Time Enrollment: Half-time enrollment is an enrollment status applied to students who are only enrolled in half of the expected full-time course load. Half-time enrollment can affect the cost of attendance (COA), and each school may have different half-time enrollment specifications.
Master Promissory Note (MPN): Half-time enrollment is an enrollment status applied to students who are only enrolled in half of the expected full-time course load. Half-time enrollment can affect the cost of attendance (COA), and each school may have different half-time enrollment specifications.
New Borrower: Someone who has no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan when he or she receives a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan on or after a specific date.
Regular Student: A regular student is one who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized education credential. To be eligible for federal student aid, you must generally be a regular student.
Satisfactory Academic Progress: Satisfactory academic progress is the process a school uses to determine if a student is meeting all of his or her educational requirements and is on target to graduate on time with a degree or certificate. This process may vary across schools.
Standard Repayment Plan: The Standard Repayment Plan is the basic repayment plan for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Programs. Payments are fixed and made for up to 10 years (10–30 years for Consolidation Loans).