Financial Aid

Financial Aid Jargon

Data Release Number (DRN)

A four-digit number assigned to your FAFSA application. It is printed on the upper right corner of the paper Student Aid Report (SAR), in the upper right corner on the electronic SAR, and on your confirmation page. You should not give your DRN to anyone unless that person is a financial aid administrator or customer service representative and you are either adding colleges or changing data on your FAFSA.


A loan is in default when the borrower fails to pay several regular installments on time or otherwise fails to meet the terms and conditions of the loan. When a borrower is in default the loan becomes due in full immediately and the lender may take legal action to recover the money.


Occurs when a borrower is allowed to postpone repaying the loan. Most federal loan programs (including Federal Direct and Parent PLUS loans) allow payment to be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) or until after graduation.

Eligible Non-Citizen

Someone who is not a U.S. citizen but is still eligible for Federal student aid. Eligible non-citizens include U.S. permanent residents who are holders of valid green cards, U.S. 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.

Entrance Counseling

Before you can receive your federal student loan, regulations require that you complete an Entrance Counseling session (available online ). The counseling session provides information about how to manage your student loans, both during and after college.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength and ability to pay for college as determined by the information you supply on the FASFA. Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college. The Financial Aid Office uses your EFC to calculate the amount of need-based student aid you are eligible to receive, such as federal and state grants.