Contact via Phone and Email: Closed to In-person Traffic

UAA Financial Aid is now located on campus in the new Enrollment Services Center. All services are still being provided via phone or online only at this time while the university remains in Phase B.

This glossary lists terminology commonly used at UAA.
For additional terminology please visit the Department of Education Official Glossary

Financial Aid

Term Definition
Additional Resources Any sources of money that students have received which were not factored into their cost of attendance estimate.
Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education (ACPE) ACPE Website
Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) Alaska Performance Scholarship Website
Award Letter Letter sent each award year to students informing them of their award status and policies.
Award Year The year for which a student receives a specific type of financial aid. For federal aid, Award Years usually begin on July 1st end June 30th.
Budget Forecast Estimation of the cost of attendance or a student to attend the university during a specific award year.
Census Date The date that enrollment and payment details are locked for financial aid purposes.
Consortium Agreement A Consortium Agreement is an official agreement between two higher education institutions (a primary/"home" institution, and a secondary/"host" institution) to grant financial aid to a student concurrently attending both schools.
Cost of Attendance or "Budget" An estimate of how much money the university expects a student will need to pay for college — including living expenses — throughout an academic year.
Data Retrieval Tool Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information into FAFSA.
Dependency Dependency Status refers to whether a FAFSA applicant is dependent or independent. 
Disbursement The process of "disbursing" or applying financial aid to a student's UAA account.
Emergency Loan Fund (ELF) Designed primarily to assist students through funds for books or other school- related costs during the first three weeks of the semester. - PROGRAM DISCONTINUED in 2018-2019
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) A measure of your family's financial strength, calculated from your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security).
Federal Work Study (FWS) Federally-subsidized employment through the university.
Financial Aid Authorization A form that allows students to authorize the use of Federal Financial Aid to cover non-institutional charges such as: housing damages, parking permits, or any charges not directly tied to taking a class. This form also allows students to authorize use of Federal Financial Aid to prior-year charges.
Financial Aid Probation Status of students whose SAP Appeals we accepted but are not yet officially re-instated.
Financial Aid Assistance in the form of money for students attending the university.
Financial Need A specific financial aid status according to the information on a student's FAFSA.
Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) Free form used to assess federal and many non-federal aid award amounts.
Gainful Employment Disclosure Disclosure of information regarding post-educational employment.
Gift Aid Aid that is given to a student which does not need to repaid.
Grant Gift aid based on financial need.
Overaward Refund Return of funds over the estimated cost of attendance.
Overaward When students are inadvertently awarded more financial aid than their cost of attendance.
Professional Judgment (PJ) A Financial Aid administrator's judgment whether students' special circumstances exempt them from their FAFSA status.
Proration When aid is calculated according to credit load and other aid-specific requirements.
Refund Disbursement of financial aid funds directly to the student for non-university expenses.
Revision Any change made to financial aid that has already been awarded.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) A measurement of academic progress for financial aid purposes.
Scholarship Gift Aid, often based on merit.
Title IV Higher Education Act of 1965 definition Federal Loan, Grant, and Work Study Programs.
Tuition Waiver Gift aid that may only be used to pay for tuition.
Unusual Educational History (UEH) FAFSAs that are flagged by the U.S. Department of History as potentially fraudulent.
Verification The process of reviewing the accuracy of information reported on a student's FAFSA.

Student Loans

Term Definition
Aggregate Loan Limit: The maximum amount you can borrow in Federal Student Loan money over your lifetime.
Capitalization of Interest: The addition of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. When the interest is not paid as it accrues during periods of in-school status, the grace period, deferment, or forbearance, your lender may capitalize the interest. This increases the outstanding principal amount due on the loan and may cause your monthly payment amount to increase. Interest is then charged on that higher principal balance, increasing the overall cost of the loan.
Default: Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 270 days. You may experience serious legal consequences if you default.
Deferment: A postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans that are deferred will continue to accrue interest. Any unpaid interest that accrued during the deferment period may be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of the loan(s).
Delinquent: A loan is delinquent when loan payments are not received by the due dates. A loan remains delinquent until the borrower makes up the missed payment(s) through payment, deferment, or forbearance. If the borrower is unable to make payments, he or she should contact his or her loan servicer to discuss options to keep the loan in good standing.
Direct Consolidation Loan:

Allow borrowers to combine one or more of their Federal education loans into a new loan that offers several advantages:

  1. One Lender and One Monthly Payment: With only one lender and one monthly bill, it is easier than ever for borrowers to manage their debt. Borrowers have only one lender, the U.S. Department of Education, for all loans included in a Direct Consolidation Loan.

  2. Flexible Repayment Options: Borrowers can choose from multiple plans to repay their Direct Consolidation Loan, including plans that base the required monthly payment amount on the borrower's income. These plans are designed to be flexible to meet the different and changing needs of borrowers. With a Direct Consolidation Loan, borrowers can switch repayment plans at any time.

  3. No Minimum or Maximum Loan Amounts or Fees: There is no minimum amount required to qualify for a Direct Consolidation Loan! In addition, consolidation is free.

  4. Reduced Monthly Payments: A Direct Consolidation Loan may ease the strain on a borrower's budget by lowering the borrower's overall monthly payment. The minimum monthly payment on a Direct Consolidation Loan may be lower than the combined payments charged on a borrower's Federal education loans.

  5. More information about consolidation loans may be found at Federal Student Aid Consolidation Loans.

Direct Loan: A federal student loan, for which 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.
Direct PLUS Loans: Made 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. A credit check is required for the borrower.
Direct Subsidized Loans: Based on financial need, the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school or deferment status. (Interest accruing during your grace period depends on when your loan was dispersed- check with your loan servicer for more info on your specific loan(s) and grace period interest accrual). If offered, take these out first.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans: 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. Financial need is not required. A credit check is not required.
Federal Student Loan: A student loan funded by the federal government to help pay for your education. A federal student loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest.
Financial Need: The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is determined by your completed FAFSA. While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend.
Forbearance: A period during which your monthly loan payments are temporarily suspended or reduced. Your lender may grant you a forbearance if you are willing but unable to make loan payments due to certain types of financial hardships. During forbearance, principal payments are postponed but interest continues to accrue. Unpaid interest that accrues during the forbearance will be added to the principal balance (capitalized) of your loan(s), increasing the total amount you owe.
Grace Period: A period of time after borrowers graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment where they are not required to make payments on certain federal student loans. Some federal student loans will accrue interest during the grace period, and if the interest is unpaid, it will be added to the principal balance of the loan when the repayment period begins.
Interest: The cost to borrow money. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan.
Interest Rate: The rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender. Specifically, the interest rate is a percentage of principal to be paid.
Lender: The organization that made the loan initially; in the case of Federal Student Loans, the lender is the U.S. Department of Education.
Loan Fee: A fee charged for each student loan you receive that is a percentage of the total loan amount you are borrowing (gross amount). The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan. This reduces the actual loan amount you receive (net amount).
Loan Servicer: A company that collects payments, responds to customer service inquiries, and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a federal student loan on behalf of a lender. This is who your loan payments go to.
Minimum Monthly Payment The smallest payment you can make towards your unpaid balance to remain in good standing with the credit card company. Making the minimum monthly payment on time will avoid late fees and positively affect your repayment history on your credit report. The amount of the minimum monthly payment is calculated as a small percentage of your total credit balance and you can find this on your monthly statement.
Principal: The total sum of money borrowed plus any interest that has been capitalized.
Promissory Note: The binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It's important to read and save this document because you'll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferment or forbearance.
Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA)

In addition to the aggregate loan limit, there is also a time limit on how long a student can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. The maximum eligibility period is based on the length of the current program of study and can change if the program is switched to one of a different length. This may cause a student to become responsible for the interest that accrued on the loan, when the US Dept of Ed usually would have paid it. For additional information, click here to visit the US Dept of Ed's Student Aid website.


Term Definition
Academic Transcript: Official document describing the academic history of a student.
Academic Year: Combination of the Fall and Spring semesters. Many types of Financial Aid apply to the academic year as opposed to one semester. Summer is not considered part of the Academic Year, and Summer Aid therefore falls within a different type of aid.
Admission: Formal recognition as a student in the university.
Certificate Program: A program that results in a certificate upon completion (as opposed to a degree.)
Degree-Seeking: A student who is formally admitted into a program that results in a degree upon completion (as opposed to a certificate.)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):

Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
Grade Level:

A measure of the amount of their education that a student has achieved, similar to class standing.

Student Account: The complete UA history and filed information of a student.
UAOnline: Website linked with Banner where students can access information about their financial aid status.
Withdrawal: The process of dropping or de-registering for a class, which carries various financial aid consequences.