Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis | Groups
Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

Award notification: An award notification lists the types and amounts of aid offered, provides specific program information, and explains the conditions that govern the award. You receive the notification after you’ve been admitted, completed the necessary forms, and submitted your tuition deposit. You may accept or decline any portion of the award.

Capitalization (of interest): The term refers to an arrangement between you and the lender that defers interest payments as they come due and adds them to the principal amount of your loan.

Cost of attendance: Cost of attendance is the total cost of the program: your tuition, your student fees, and the university’s estimates of your costs for room and board, books, supplies, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

Default: Default is defined as the failure to make installment payments when they’re due or to meet other terms of the promissory note. If you fail to make your monthly installment payments for 270 days, the lender concludes you no longer intend to honor your payment obligation.

Deferment or Forbearance of loan: A loan deferment is an approved postponement or modification of payments for a specified period.

Delinquency: You’re delinquent on your loan if you fail to make a payment when it’s due but aren’t yet in default.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): EFC is the amount of education costs you’re expected to pay. The federal government calculates your EFC and uses it to determine your eligibility for need-based financial assistance.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program/Graduate Assistantship: The part-time employment program provides jobs for graduate students who need the income to meet a portion of their educational expenses. Olin has some graduate assistantships that are available after your first semester in the program. They don’t include any tuition remission, and you must coordinate them yourself when you arrive on campus.

Financial aid: Financial aid is the general term for all funds awarded to you to help you meet your graduate-education expenses. These funds include scholarships, loans, and employer tuition assistance.

Financial need: The difference between the cost of attendance and your Expected Family Contribution determines your financial need.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): FAFSA is a form completed by U.S. students that collects household and financial information and serves as the foundation document for all federal need-analysis computations and database matches.

Independent student: The term refers to a graduate or professional student.

Loan: A loan is an advance of funds – evidenced by a promissory note – that you repay in specified amounts under prescribed conditions.

Loan origination fee: This fee is deducted from each loan that is issued. The money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow.

Need analysis: Need analysis is a system that evaluates and calculates your ability to pay for education expenses, determined by your Expected Family Contribution and the cost of attendance.

Packaging: Packaging is the process of combining various types of student aid, such as scholarships, loans, and employment income, to try and meet the full amount of your education costs.

Principal (of a loan): Principal is the amount of money you borrow through a loan, excluding interest or other charges unless they’re capitalized.

Promissory note: A promissory note is the legal document that binds a borrower to his or her repayment obligations and to other terms and conditions that govern a loan program.

Renewal FAFSA: The Renewal FAFSA is prepopulated with prior-year information that may not change on your current or future applications.

Scholarship: A scholarship is merit- or need-based financial assistance that doesn’t require repayment.

Student Aid Report (SAR): The Student Aid Report is the official notification sent to your school after the Central Processing System (CPS) receives your applicant record. The SAR summarizes your information and Expected Family Contribution and displays other special messages related to your application. Washington University receives the data electronically.

Unmet need: Unmet need is defined as the difference between your total cost of attendance at a specific institution and your total available resources.

Verification: Verification is a requirement from the federal government for Student Financial Services to confirm the information contained on your FAFSA. Thirty percent of Washington University students are selected randomly for verification. Your Student Aid Report will tell you if you’ve been selected for verification.