Frequently Used Terms and Definitions
Award Letter: Document issued by the Financial Aid Office that lists all financial aid awarded to a student for a given academic year.
Convenience Fee: A service fee assessed to the customer that serves as compensation for the company facilitating the transaction.
Custodial Parent: A custodial parent is the parent with whom you lived more than half the time during the 12 months prior to completing the FAFSA. If you lived with each parent for exactly equal amounts of time (rare), your custodial parent is the parent who provided more than half of your financial support in the 12 months prior to completing the FAFSA. (Only students applying for financial aid, whose parents are separated/divorced and are not currently remarried, must determine their custodial parent).
Direct Deposit: The deposit of funds directly into a bank account as a form of payment. Common uses for direct deposit include paychecks.
Disbursement: The release of funds to the school for application to a student account.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): A system of transferring money from one bank account directly to another without any paper money changing hands. One of the most widely-used EFT programs is Direct Deposit, in which payroll is deposited straight into an employee’s bank account, although EFT refers to any transfer of funds initiated through an electronic terminal. Other examples are credit card, ATM and point-of-sale (POS) transactions.
Entrance Interview: A debt management session prior to the first disbursement of loans that educates the borrower on the rights and responsibilities regarding loan funding.
Exit Interview: A debt management session prior to graduation or withdrawal to review the terms and obligations associated with receiving student loan funding.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC): A measure of a family’s financial strength based on the taxed and untaxed income, assets, benefits, and family sized reported on the FAFSA. Schools use the EFC to determine your eligibility and financial aid award.
Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): The federal student aid application that must be completed annually in order to be considered for financial assistance that is available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: Unsubsidized loans available to Graduate and professional degree students through the PLUS Loan Program. Students can request a loan for up to the full cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan: The Parent PLUS Loan is part of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans). PLUS Loans are available to parents or legal guardians of dependent undergraduate students. These loans are designed to cover any portion of the student’s estimated cost of attendance not already being covered by another type of financial aid.
Federal Perkins Loan: A federally funded loan available at a fixed 5% interest rate.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Federal Stafford Loans are part of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans) and are available to students regardless of demonstrated financial need. Subsidized loans, awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, do not accrue interest during periods of at least half-time enrollment, the six-month grace period, and lender-approved deferments. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest beginning at the time the loan is disbursed. Interest may be paid during periods of enrollment or may be capitalized and added to the principal amount of the loan when the loan enters repayment.
Federal Work Study: A federal program that provides jobs to undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to earn money to pay educational expenses.
Grant: A type of financial aid award based on need or merit that does not require repayment.
Green Energy Fee: As part of Lewis & Clark’s Green Power Initiative, undergraduate students incur a green energy fee on their student account each fall. Each contribution goes toward the purchase of electricity from a wind turbine, a solar panel or another renewable energy source.
Guarantee Fee: Insurance fee that the guaranty agency may charge a borrower. This fee is deducted from the loan principal amount before the borrower receives the loan funds. (Starting in 2012 all Federal loans were moved to the Direct Loan platform, and the guarantee fee does not apply to Direct Loans. See “originate fee” below).
Late Fee: A fee assessed to a student account as a result of past due balance.
Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) Fee: LRAP helps Lewis & Clark Law School graduates who take low paying public interest jobs cover their law school student loan payments. Assistance is provided to qualified graduates through forgivable loans that are canceled after one year of public interest work. The LRAP Fee is assessed to law students’ accounts and provides funding for this program.
Loan Deferment: An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal and interest payments while they are in school at least half time, enrolled in a graduate fellowship program, a rehabilitation training program, military deployment, and during periods of unemployment or economic hardship.
Loan Forbearance: An authorized period of time which a borrower may postpone their principal repayment obligation. Interest continues to accrue and usually must be paid during the forbearance period.
Loan Grace Period: The period between the time the borrower leaves the school or drops below half time and the time they are obligated to begin repaying their loans.
Master Promissory Note: A legal document signed by the borrower that lists the conditions under which the funds are borrowed, and the terms under which the borrower agrees to repay the loan with interest.
Origination Fee: A fee charged to the borrower by the federal government that is deducted from the principal of a loan prior to disbursement.
Parent Household for Dependent Student:
• yourself (the student), even if you don’t live with your parents,
• your parent(s),
• your parents’ other children if (a) your parent(s) will provide more than half of their support between July 1 and June 30 of the academic year, or (b) the children could answer “No” to every dependency question the FAFSA, and
• other people if they now live with your parents, your parents provide more than half of their support and your parents will continue to provide more than half of their support between July 1 and June 30 of the academic year.
Private Loan: A non-need based loan borrowed from a private lender.
Sponsor: Refers to a third party payer who has a formal billing arrangement with Lewis & Clark. Such a billing arrangement will outline the educational expenses the third party will be paying on behalf of the student. Examples of sponsors are a student’s employer or a government agency.
Student Account: A Lewis & Clark student account is a repository for the charges and credits associated with a student’s enrollment at the school. Examples of charges are tuition, fees, room and board. Examples of credits are payments made to school, deposits for residence halls and disbursements of financial aid.
Student Refund Check: After all necessary adjustments have been made to a student’s account, any resulting excess funds are returned in the form of a refund check in accordance to Lewis & Clark’s refund policy.
Student Activity Fee: A fee that supports student organizations and services, counseling and testing, student media, career services, and campus facilities. At Lewis & Clark, College of Arts and Sciences students incur a student activity fee in the form of the Student Body Fee charged each semester.
Third Party Payer: Refers to a person or an organization, other than the student, who will pay part or all of the costs associated with the student’s enrollment at Lewis & Clark.
Title IV Funds: Title IV funds include all federal financial aid program funds. Examples are: Pell Grant, SEOG, Perkins Loans, and Direct Loans.
WebAdvisor: The self-serve web interface Lewis & Clark students use to manage many aspects of their enrollment at the school. For example: view their student account activity, add/drop courses, access their transcripts, view their class schedule, and get a list of required textbooks for their courses.