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Financial Aid Glossary

Financial aid has its own vocabulary. To help you speak the language, here are some commonly used terms.

Financial Aid Offer: A document which states the type and amount of financial aid that Milligan can provide if you accept admission and enroll to take classes. Milligan utilizes Net Partner, an online financial aid tool, to send and receive electronic financial aid offers.

Cost of Attendance (COA): Also known as “budget”: The total amount it will cost you to attend Milligan, usually expressed as a yearly figure. It is determined using rules established by law. The COA includes tuition and fees; on-campus housing and food costs (or a housing and food allowance for approved off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses, and may include a reasonable allowance for documented personal computer costs. Costs related to a disability are also covered. The COA includes reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs as well.

Demonstrated need: The difference between the cost of attending a college (COA) and the Student Aid Index (SAI).

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): The form used to apply for Federal Pell Grants and all other need-based aid. As the name suggests, no fee is charged to file a FAFSA.

FAFSA Submission Summary: Your FAFSA Submission Summary summarizes all the information you provided on your FAFSA. Your FAFSA Submission Summary will contain your Student Aid Index (SAI). Milligan uses the information from your FAFSA Submission Summary to determine if you’re eligible for federal, state, and other aid.

Financial Aid Package: The total amount of financial aid (federal and nonfederal) a student is offered by the University. It is intended to help you fill the gap between your ability to pay (SAI) and college costs (COA). It is based, in part, on your Financial Need (the difference between COA and SAI). Using available resources, the Student Financial Services Office will review and provide to each student the best possible aid package. Because funds are often limited, an aid package might fall short of a student’s Financial Need. Also, the amount of federal student aid in a package is affected by other sources of aid received (scholarships, state aid, etc.).

Grants: Financial aid programs that do not have to be repaid. Eligibility determined by student’s financial need.

Institutional grant: A need-based grant given by the college or university.

Loans: Low interest government-subsidized and unsubsidized loans to be repaid after student leaves school.

Merit scholarship: A scholarship most often given by the college or university you attend, which is awarded based on academic or other qualifications, not on financial need.

Net cost: The net cost is the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) and the financial aid package. The net cost figure tells you how much money you will need to obtain from your own resources and/or loans to cover remaining costs. Milligan’s Student Financial Services Office is glad to discuss the specific eligibility requirements for payment plans and non-need based loans (PLUS and Alternative) to assist you in covering remaining costs.

Pell Grant: A need-based grant given by the federal government. You don’t have to pay this back.

Satisfactory Academic Progress: To be eligible to receive federal student aid and most university aid, the student must meet and maintain the school’s standards of satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Scholarships: Monetary recognition for full-time students with outstanding academic or personal ability who demonstrate academic promise and achievement.

Student Aid Index (SAI): Previously known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the SAI is an eligibility index number that is used to determine federal, state, and institutional aid eligibility. Theis number results from the financial and demographic information that is provided on a student’s FAFSA.

Verification: The federal government requires some students to verify the information reported on their FAFSA. Colleges and universities are responsible for performing this verification and must do so before federal funds can be disbursed.

Work-Study Employment: On-campus jobs to give students an opportunity to earn money while in college. Most pay minimum wage.

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