Financial Aid

Financial Aid Jargon

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need. Students will be notified of their eligibility on their financial aid award letter.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

A federal program providing undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment during the school year. Money earned from a FWS job should be used to cover University costs or other educational expenses. Eligibility for FWS is based on need, and students are notified of a FWS award on their financial aid award letter.

Financial Aid Award Notification

Also called an Award Letter, the award notification is an official notice listing the student’s financial aid eligibility available to view on STARS. This notification provides a breakdown of your financial aid package according to source and amount (view Understanding Your Award Letter). The award notification will include requirements needed to receive aid, and additional information related to University costs.

Fixed Rate

A type of loan interest rate that does not fluctuate and remains the same for the life of the loan.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The annual form used to apply for federal and state financial aid. Complete your application as soon as possible starting October 1st.


During forbearance, the lender allows the borrower to temporarily postpone repaying the principal loan amount, but the interest charges continue to accrue. 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.

Gift Aid

Financial aid, such as grants and scholarships, which does not need to be repaid.

Grace Period

A short time period (generally 6 months) after graduation during which the borrower is not required to begin repaying his/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.

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). Some schools use a 5.0 scale for the GPA.


A form of gift aid based on financial need that the student does not have to repay.