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Scholarships & Financial Aid

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Financial Aid Terminology

Your or your family's wages, salaries, interest, dividends, etc., minus certain deductions from income as reported on a federal income tax return. Commonly referred to as AGI.

The amount of aid a school expects to pay a student based on the student’s current grant and loan eligibility, enrollment, Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the school's cost of attendance.

An offer from a college or career school that states the type and amount of financial aid the school is willing to provide if you accept admission and register to take classes at that school.

The College Access Loan Program provides alternative educational loans to Texas students who are unable to meet the cost of attendance.

The total amount it will cost you to go to school - usually stated as a yearly figure. The COA includes tuition, fees, room/board, books and supplies, travel, loan fees and miscellaneous expenses.
 The online application TCU uses to award nonfederal student financial aid.
A federal student loan, made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program that eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans are types of Direct Loans.
A loan made by the U.S. Department of Education to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students.  The borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.
The mandatory information session before you receive your first federal student loan that explains your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower.
This is the number used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your FAFSA form, the application for federal student aid.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Required yearly.
A federal grant for undergraduate students with financial need.
An identifier the U.S. Department of Education assigns to each college or career school that participates in the federal student aid programs. In order to send your FAFSA information to a school, you must list the school's Federal School Code on your application. A list of Federal School Codes is available at
Financial aid from the federal government to help you pay for education expenses at an eligible college or career school.  Grants, loans and work-study are types of federal student aid.  You must complete the FAFSA form to apply for this aid.
A loan funded by the federal government to help pay for your education.  A federal student loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest.
A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses.
Includes money from the federal and state government, the institution of higher education, and private resources that assist a family in meeting the cost of the student’s education.  Financial aid is composed of scholarships, grants, work – study and loans.
The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

The FSA ID is a username and password login to the U.S. Department of Education systems for students and parents, used to:

  • Apply for federal student aid (FAFSA)
  • Apply for PLUS Loans
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Complete entrance counseling
  • Access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you drop classes or withdraw from school).
A binding legal document that you must sign to obtain a federal student loan.
A loan available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.
A nonfederal loan made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or school.
Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses. Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid.
A loan based on financial need for which the federal government generally pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in school, or in grace or deferment status, and during certain periods of repayment under certain income driven repayment plans.
Need - based grant available to Texas residents enrolled in approved private or independent Texas colleges or universities.
A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.  Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.
The process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate.  Your school has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports income and other information that you reported.