Syracuse University

Financial Aid Terminology

  • Click on a term below for more information

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

A federal grant program created by the U.S. Department of Education. Up to $750 will be awarded to eligible first year students and up to $1,300 to eligible second year students. By filing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), you are automatically considered for federal ACG eligibility.



Adverse Credit

A loan applicant has adverse credit when he/she has been 90 days or more delinquent on a debt or has been subject to a default determination, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Federal Student Aid debt.


Aggregate Loan Limit

An aggregate loan limit is the total amount that a person can borrow throughout his/her academic career. Aggregate limits vary by graduate/undergraduate career.


Alternative Student Loans

Alternative loans are private loan programs offered through banks for the purpose of supplementing a student's financial aid package. They are not federally endorsed or guaranteed, but they must be approved by the SU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs to ensure the loan does not exceed your cost of attendance (budget) minus all other financial aid.


Award Notice

A student's award notice states the type and amount of financial aid offered to you if you accept admission and enroll.


Capitalized

When the interest on an educational loan is not paid, it is added to the principal balance, which increases the outstanding principal amount due on the loan. Interest that is capitalized has been added to the original amount of the loan and accrues interest, adding an additional expense to the loan.


Cost of Attendance
The cost of attendance is determined each academic year. It includes tuition, fees, and allowances for housing, meals, books, supplies, travel and personal expenses. The combination of your expected family contribution and the total amount of aid you are receiving cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance.

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
The College Scholarship Service / Financial Aid PROFILE  is the application used to determine SU's need-based aid.

Default
Failure to repay your loan according to the terms of the promissory note. This can lead to legal action by the school, the lender, the state or the federal government to recover the money.

Deferments

Deferments are a period of time during repayment in which the borrower, upon meeting certain conditions, is not required to make regular monthly payments. Deferment types include: in school, military, unemployment, economic hardship, graduate fellowship and rehabilitation training. Interest does not accrue on subsidized loans during deferments.


Entrance/Exit interview

Counseling sessions that are required for federal student loan borrowers. The entrance interview is required before receiving the first loan disbursement; the exit interview takes place before you leave school.


Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education as calculated on your FAFSA.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

A FAFSA is a required application for all students who wish to apply for federal need-based aid.


Federal Aid
Federal aid is financial aid that is funded and regulated by the U.S. Department of Education. A FAFSA must be completed annually in order to determine eligibility for federal aid. The amount of federal financial aid is determined annually based on federal regulations, student eligibility and the availability of funds.

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is a loan parents can obtain to help pay for the cost of education for their dependent undergraduate children. In addition, graduate and professional degree students may obtain PLUS loans to help pay for their own education.


Federal Direct Student Loan Subsidized

A subsidized Direct student loan is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students who are enrolled at least half-time. Students must have financial need to receive a subsidized Direct loan and the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest that accrues.


Federal Direct Student Loan Unsubsidized

An unsubsidized Direct loan is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students who are enrolled at least half-time. You do not have to demonstrate financial need, and you are responsible for paying the interest while attending school and during the grace period.


Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students. Eligibility is determined by completing a FAFSA.  

Federal Perkins Student Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low-interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of college. Perkins loans are awarded based on financial need and the availability of funds.


Federal SMART Grant

The Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant is a federal grant program created by the U.S. Department of Education. Up to $4,000 will be awarded to eligible juniors and seniors. By filing the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), you are automatically considered for federal SMART eligibility.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

An FSEOG is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Priority is given to federal Pell grant recipients. The award, determined by the Office of Financial Aid, is based on financial need and the availability of funds.


Federal Work-Study
Federal Work Study is a part-time employment program available to undergraduate and graduate students while they are enrolled. Students can work on- or off-campus, and wages vary depending on the position. Work-study is awarded based on financial need and the availability of funds. The student receives a weekly paycheck for hours actually worked. Work-study funds do not appear as a credit on the student's bill.

Financial Aid Package

This states the type and amount of financial aid offered to you if you accept admission and enroll.


Financial Need
Financial need is the cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution.

Forbearance

Forebearance is a period of time during repayment in which the borrower is permitted to temporarily postpone making regular monthly payments. For example, forbearance may be granted if the borrower does not qualify for a deferment or is experiencing financial difficulty. Interest accrues during forbearances.


Gift Aid
Gift Aid is any grant and/or scholarship that is awarded to you. These funds do not have to be repaid.

Grants

Syracuse University offers need-based grants to students who demonstrate financial need. Eligibility is determined from information provided on the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and on availability of funds. SU grants do not have to be repaid.


Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

HEOP is a program for New York State residents that provides educational opportunity and academic support to students with strong academic potential and personal initiative who would otherwise be excluded from higher education due to circumstances of academic and economic disadvantage. Once admitted under the HEOP program students participate in the SummerStart Program and receive counseling tutoring and other support services throughout their college career.


Loan Forgiveness

Under certain circumstances, the federal government will cancel all or part of an educational loan.


Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A Master Promissory Note is the binding legal document you sign when applying for a Federal Perkins, Direct, Stafford, or PLUS loan. It lists the conditions under which you are borrowing and the terms under which you agree to pay back the loan. It will include information about your interest rate and about deferment and cancellation provisions.  You should only need to complete one MPN per loan program during your educational career at SU.

Merit Scholarships
Merit scholarships (Founder's, Chancellor's, and Dean's scholarships) are awarded to students only at the time of admission to recognize prior academic achievement. Students do not need to apply for financial aid to be considered for scholarships; they are awarded regardless of financial need.

Monthly Payment Plan

This plan combines the elements of a deferred payment and a pre-payment program, and is administered by the Bursar's office.


National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

NSLDS is the database for federal student financial aid where you can find out about some federal grants and loans you've received.


New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

TAP is available to New York State residents who attend Syracuse University and are enrolled for at least 12 credit hours each semester. The FAFSA begins the TAP application process.


Parent Loan

The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a federally sponsored, low-interest loan available to parents and step-parents of undergraduate students.


Permanent Resident
A Permanent Resident is a non-United States citizen who has been given permission to permanently reside in the United States and has been issued the United States Permanent Resident Card.

Principal
The amount of money borrowed by the student. Interest is charged on this amount.

Profile
See CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps)
Syracuse University has an Army and Air Force ROTC program. Information on ROTC scholarships can be found on their websites

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress relates to undergraduate and graduate students who are receiving federal financial aid and/or Syracuse University scholarships and grants. For more information on undergraduate SAP, click here. For more information on graduate SAP, click here. Those students receiving funding from NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) must also meet additional TAP SAP requirements.


Self-help

Self-help is the portion of your financial aid award that consists of student loans and Federal Work-Study (FWS).


SEOG

See Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.


Student Support Services Program (SSSP)

SSSP is a program authorized by the U.S. Department of Education as a TRIO program. The program identifies and provides academic support services for students who are admitted to the University but are educationally "at risk" due to economic circumstances, academic background, and/or their status as a first-generation college student. Students enrolled in SSSP receive advising, counseling, tutoring, and other supportive services throughout their college career.


Student Aid Report (SAR)
After you apply for federal student financial aid, you'll get your FAFSA results in an email report within a few days after your FAFSA has been processed. This is your student aid report, and will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Student Loans

Student loans are a source of financial aid that you are required to repay after you graduate or cease to be enrolled half-time.


TEACH Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH), provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program and to teach high-need subjects in designated schools.