Glossary of Terms
Award Letter – Issued after a student has completed the necessary forms and has been offered admission. The award letter provides information on the types and amounts of aid offered, as well as specific program information and the conditions that govern the award. The award letter provides the student with an opportunity to accept or decline any portion of what has been offered.
Capitalization (of interest)– The arrangement between borrower and lender whereby interest payments are deferred as they come due and are added to the principal amount of the loan.
Cost of Attendance – This includes the tuition and fees normally assessed a student, together with the institution's estimate of the cost of room and board, books and supplies, and miscellaneous personal expenses.
Default – The failure of a borrower to make installment payments when due or meet other terms of the promissory note. If this failure persists for 180 days on a loan repayable in monthly installments, the lender concludes that the borrower no longer intends to honor the obligation to repay.
Deferment of Loan – An approved postponement of payments for a specified period. The federal government pays the interest that accrues during deferment periods for Subsidized Stafford and Perkins/NDSL loans only. Deferments are also available for Unsubsidized Stafford loans. However, government interest subsidies are not available. The borrower has the option of making interest-only payments or having interest deferred and capitalized.
Delinquency – The borrower fails to make a payment when due but is not yet in default.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)– The amount a student is expected to pay toward the student's cost of education as calculated by the federal government. The EFC is used to determine a student's eligibility for need-based financial assistance.
Federal Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)– Long-term, low-interest loans administered by the Department of Education through private guarantee agencies. They have a variable interest rate, not to exceed 8.25% (currently). Unsubsidized federal Stafford loans may be used to replace EFC.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program/Graduate Assistantship – A part-time employment program which provides jobs for graduate students who are in need of such earnings to meet a portion of their educational expenses. We do have some graduate assistantships available after the first semester of the program. Graduate assistantships do not include any tuition remission and are coordinated by the student after arrival on-campus.
Financial Aid – General term that describes any source of student assistance outside the student. Funds awarded to a student to help meet graduate educational expenses. These funds can include scholarship, loans, and employment.
Financial Need – The difference between the institution's cost of attendance and the student's ability to pay (i.e., Expected Family Contribution). Ability to pay is represented by the expected family contribution for federal need-based aid. Cost of attendance minus expected family contribution equals financial need.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)– The financial aid application document completed by domestic students, that collects household and financial information. The FAFSA is the foundation document for all federal need analysis computations and database matches performed for a student.
Independent Student – A student who is a graduate or professional student.
Loan– An advance of funds that is evidenced by a promissory note requiring the student to repay the specified amount(s) under prescribed conditions.
Need Analysis – A system by which a student applicant's ability to pay for educational expenses is evaluated and calculated. Need analysis consists of two primary components: (a) determination of an estimate of the applicant's ability to contribute to educational expenses and (b) determination of an accurate estimate of the educational expenses themselves (cost of attendance).
Packaging – The process of combining various types of student aid (loans, scholarships and employment) to attempt to meet full amount of student's need.
Principal (of a loan)– The amount of money borrowed through a loan; does not include interest or other charges unless they are capitalized.
Promissory Note – The legal document that binds a borrower to the repayment obligations and other terms and conditions that govern a loan program.
Renewal FAFSA – The Renewal FAFSA is preprinted with the student's prior-year responses to certain data items that are likely to remain constant from year to year.
Scholarship – Merit-based financial assistance that does not require repayment. All applicants to Olin's full-time MBA program, both domestic and international, are automatically considered for merit-based scholarship – including our 15 full-tuition Wood Leadership Fellowships.
Student Aid Report (SAR)– The official notification sent to a student as a result of the Central Processing System (CPS) receiving an applicant record (via FAFSA) for the student. The SAR summarizes applicant information and an expected family contribution for the student and displays other special messages related to the student's application. Washington University will receive this data electronically.
Student Contribution – A quantitative estimate of the student's ability to contribute to graduate expenses for a given year.
Subsidy – The money the federal government uses to help underwrite student aid programs; refers to government payments to lenders of the in-school interest on federal subsidized Stafford loans.
Unmet Need – The difference between a student's total cost of attendance at a specific institution and the student's total available resources.
Verification – A federal requirement whereby Student Financial Services verifies the information contained on your FAFSA. Thirty percent of Washington University students are randomly selected for verification. You’ll be notified of the verification requirement on your Student Aid Report (SAR) if you have been selected for verification.
- A copy of pages 1 and 2 of your federal tax return, signed by you (and your spouse, if applicable).
- Completion of a verification work sheet, available in late July or early August. This work sheet is very simple and takes just a few minutes to complete. If you have been selected for verification, contact us and we will forward the verification work sheet to you as soon as it becomes available.