Financial Aid Glossary



Ability-To-Benefit: Students without a high school diploma or GED can demonstrate that they have the "ability to benefit" by successfully completing six credit hours of regular coursework (not counting developmental courses) that are applicable to a degree or certificate at STC.

Award Letter: Notification sent out by the Office of Student Financial Services detailing the types of financial aid a student has been awarded at STC. Please note that your award letter can be viewed by logging on to your JagNet account.

Award Year: For financial aid purposes, our award year is as follows: Fall, Spring, & Summer.



Cosigner: A cosigner may be required on credit based loans if the borrower's has bad credit or no credit. A cosigner will be obligated to repay the loan if the borrower defaults.

Cost of Attendance: The total amount it will cost to attend STC. This amount includes the costs of: tuition/fees, room & board, books & supplies, and transportation.


Default: Refers to a student who has failed to repay a student loan in accordance to the lender's terms and conditions. Students in default may not receive financial aid until they have provided a letter of clearance from the lender. If you are on default with a student loan, please call 1-800-621-3115 or visit

Dependent Student: A student who has not met any of the following conditions: at least 24 years old as of January 1 of a particular year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a child he/she supports more than 50%, has a legal dependent other than a spouse that he/she support more than 50%, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, is an orphan, ward of the court, is under legal guardianship or is an emancipated minor. Dependent students are required to provide parental information on the FAFSA unless they have an unusual circumstance.

Disbursement: The release of financial aid funds to a student's account. Payments are first made towards a student's outstanding charges (tuition & fees) and any remaining funds are credited directly to the student either in the form of a check, direct deposit, or to their JagCard.


Eligible Non-citizen: Someone who is not a US citizen but is otherwise eligible for Federal student aid. These include Permanent Residents, US nationals, holders of form I-94 who have been granted refugee or asylum status and certain other non-citizens. Non-citizens who hold a student visa or an exchange visitor visa are not eligible for Federal student aid.

Eligible Program: An eligible program is one that leads to an academic, professional, or vocational degree or certificate.

Enrollment Status: Refers to the amount of coursework a student is attempting in a semester.
Full Time=12+ credit hours
3/4 Time=9-11 credit hours
Part-Time=6-8 credit hours
Less than Part-Time= 5 credit hours or less

Exemptions: A type of financial assistance in which an eligible student would be exempt from paying tuition, and in some cases tuition and fees. Please see Exemptions for more information.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The number that is calculated by the FAFSA based on the information provided and is subsequently used to determine your eligibility for Federal and State Aid.



Grade Point Average (GPA): A calculated average of a student's grades converted to a 4.0 scale (4.0 =A, 3.0 =B, and 2.0= C, etc.).

Grant: A type of financial assistance that does not require repayment. Both the Federal and State government offer grants to students in order to pay for expenses associated with pursuing higher education. See Federal Grants and State Grants for more information.



Independent Student: An independent student is one who meets at least one of the following conditions: is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of a particular year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a child he/she supports more than 50%, has a legal dependent other than a spouse that he/she support more than 50%, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, is an orphan, ward of the court, is under legal guardianship or is an emancipated minor.




Loan: A type of financial assistance that requires repayment at a certain point in time. It is the responsibility of the borrower to fully understand the terms and conditions of a loan that they have been awarded. Please see Loans for more information.



Need: The difference between the COA and the EFC equals a student's financial need. Financial aid packages are determined based on the student's amount of financial need.
Financial need= Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution


Over Award: An over award is when a student receives more aid than the amount for which he or she is eligible. Please see Over Award for more information.


Professional Judgment (PJ): For some federal aid programs, financial aid administrators have the authority, through Professional Judgment to adjust the EFC, change dependency status (with documentation) when extenuating circumstances exist, etc.

Promissory Note: A promissory note is a legal document that must be signed by the student before student loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment, interest rate, fees associated with the loan, deferments, forbearances and cancellations.



Regular Student: A student who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at STC for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate or other recognized credential offered by STC.


Satisfactory Academic Progress: Refers to measures in place to determine whether a student is eligible for Federal and/or State funds.

Scholarships: A type of financial assistance for students who seek to further their education. Scholarships have their own individual deadlines and are awarded on various criteria at the discretion of the donor. Please see Scholarships for more information.

Selective Service Registration: A requirement for Federal and State aid for all male students who are US citizens and have reached the age of 18 and were born after December 31, 1959, to be registered with Selective Service. If the student did not register and is past the age of doing so (18-25), an appeal must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services and a committee will determine whether the failure to register was knowing and willful. Students needing help resolving problems concerning their Selective Service registration should visit

Student Aid Report (SAR): A report that details the information a student has provided on their FAFSA and contains your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You will receive your SAR by e-mail (if you provided one on the application) within a few days or by mail within a few weeks.


Third Party Sponsors: These are outside agencies that provide some type of tuition, or tuition & fees assistance for students who meet that particular program's eligibility requirements. Please see Third Party for more information.


Unmet Need: The unmet need of every student is determined by the following equation
Unmet Need=Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - Pell Grant and any other Financial Aid


Verification: During this process, STC will be required to verify that certain items from a student's FAFSA are correct before releasing financial aid funds. Our office will require you to submit a copy of your and your spouse's Income Tax Return (if independent) or your and your parents Income Tax Return (if dependent), W-2 forms, and documentation for any untaxed income.


W-2 Form: This IRS form details an employee's wages and tax withheld. Employers are required to issue a W2 form for each employee.

Work-Study: A type of financial assistance offered by Federal and State government to provide part-time employment for students who demonstrate financial need. Please see Work Study for more information.




back to top