Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid      

Glossary of Financial Aid Terms

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Academic Advisor

A counselor or faculty member who has been trained to assist students with academic information that will enable them to enroll in the classes related to their academic goals.

Academic Year

The school year for which a student is enrolled and/or financial aid is awarded.


Your gross income, less certain allowed business related deductions.

Award Letter


An official document sent by the CCSJ Financial Aid Office that lists all grants, scholarships, and loans that are offered to a student for an academic year.




The person in the Business Office that is responsible for the administration of the student’s charges, payments, and refund checks.




CHE’s mission is to make college affordable through need-based grants and to allow choice by granting awards to those attending public, independent & proprietary colleges.  Visit CHE to check on your eligibility or to view your grant history.

College Goal Sunday

College Goal Sunday is a national event that provides free information and assistance to families who are filling out the FAFSA.  For more information or to find out where to attend one, visit 

Cost of Attendance (COA)


The projected cost of the student's education including tuition, room and board, transportation and books.




The units which are used to measure the value of course work.



Failure to repay a loan.

Department of Education

Division of the federal government that is charged with the administration of all federally funded sources of financial aid and the determination of regulatory compliance by all schools which offer those funds.


The act of releasing financial aid funds to a student’s account.

Direct Lending

In the Direct Lending program, loan funds are processed directly through the federal government, not through a bank or other private lender.  Any Federal Stafford or PLUS loan you request as a CCSJ student will be administered through the Federal Direct Lending Program.


Entrance Counseling

Before receiving a student loan, borrowers must complete an entrance counseling session. This quick and easy interactive counseling session provides useful tips and tools to help you develop a budget for managing your educational expenses and helps you to understand your loan responsibilities.

Exit Counseling

Prior to graduating or leaving college, borrowers are required to complete an exit counseling session. This online exit counseling session has been created to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Loan borrower.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

A measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute towards the cost of the student’s education.  It is determined based on the information provided in the FAFSA and calculated from a specified formula in accordance with federal guidelines.  If you have any questions on determining you EFC, use the online CCSJ Cost Calculator.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Used to apply for federal and state financial aid. A new FAFSA is released each year and can be completed beginning January 2nd before the Fall semester you plan to start college.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

A campus-based program with a limited allocation that provides paid jobs for eligible students. An estimated Federal Work Study award amount will be listed on your CCSJ financial aid award letter if you indicated interest in this program on the current year FAFSA and have demonstrated financial need.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

A law which protects a student’s right to privacy in all aspects of their education and governs the manner in which schools disseminate information to students and their families.


Registration for a minimum of 12 credits per semester.


Gift Aid

Aid that does not require repayment.

Grace Period

After you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month "grace period" before you begin repayment for Federal Direct Loans. During this period, you'll receive repayment information, and you'll be notified of your first payment due date. You're responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if you don't receive this information. Payments are usually due monthly.

During the grace period on a subsidized loan, you don’t have to pay any principal, and you won’t be charged interest. During the grace period on an unsubsidized loan, you don’t have to pay any principal, but you will be charged interest. You can either pay the interest or it will be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance, thus increasing the amount you’ll repay).


Gift aid offered by the government, schools, and other groups.


Loan Period

The academic year or portion thereof for which the applicant is enrolled and is seeking one or more loans.


Master Promissory Note (MPN)

A legally binding contract between the borrower and the lender of a Federal Stafford Loan.  By signing the MPN, the borrower agrees to all terms and conditions, including the responsibility to repay all borrowed funds along with any interest and fees that are charged.  Unlike other promissory notes where only one loan can be borrowed per signed note, the MPN may be used by the school to make multiple Federal Stafford Loans to a borrower using a single note (up to 10 years).


Merit-based Awards


Financial aid given to students who have outstanding abilities, talents, and/or achievements.  Financial situation is not considered.


Need-based Awards

Financial aid awarded to students whose families do not have sufficient financial resources to pay for college.  Academic performance, talent, and abilities are not considered. Your total expected family contribution (EFC) is deducted from your student budget.  The remaining amount is your “need” for financial aid.

Net Income

The income you have after you’ve paid taxes and any and all other liabilities, expenses, or charges against it.


Origination Fee

An upfront charge deducted from the loan to pay part of the loan’s administrative costs.  Origination fee information can be found here.



The process by which a CCSJ Financial Aid staff member determines a student’s financial aid awards and amounts for which a student is eligible each year.

Parent PLUS Loan

PLUS are federal loans available to parents of undergraduate students. The loan limit for PLUS is based on the student’s cost of attendance minus other forms of financial aid received. The parent must pass a credit check to qualify for a PLUS loan. Repayment of PLUS loans can be deferred until the participating student ceases to attend college at least half time.

Pell Grant

Federal grant based on EFC.



The department that will: maintain the academic records of all students and alumni, fill transcript requests, oversee course registration, record transfer of credit, determine grade point average and class rank, issue transcripts, offer veterans' assistance, and issue student grade reports.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal legislation governing all federal financial aid programs requires that students receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree in order to maintain eligibility for this aid. The student’s grade point average and percentage of courses completed are important in maintaining SAP status.   For more information see our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.


Gift aid offered by schools and other groups.  They are usually based on academic performance, talent, athletics, school, or community involvement.


Company specializing in handling billing, collections, deferments, etc., for student loans.  Many lenders and secondary markets hire servicers.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Summary of information submitted on the FAFSA which is sent to the student for their review.  It should be checked each year for accuracy and completeness.

Subsidized Stafford Loan

Federally based loan program with eligibility determined based on cost of attendance and need.  Maximum eligibility is set by the federal government based on grade level.  Interest is paid by the federal government while the student is in attendance taking at least 6 credits.  Repayment begins 6 months after the student stops attending school.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Federally based grant.  Eligibility is tied to the Pell Grant.  Funds are awarded at the discretion of the school within federally guideline.


Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Federally based loan program with eligibility NOT tied to need.  Maximum eligibility is set by the federal government based on grade level.  Interest payments are the responsibility of the student as soon as the funds are disbursed, but may be deferred until repayment begins.  Repayment begins six months after the student stops attending school.



Verification is a process used by the federal government to document and verify the information provided on the FAFSA.


Tuition and Fees


Cost Comparisons

College Cost Calculator

Financial Aid Resources

Apply for Financial Aid

Apply for a Loan

Federal Work Study

Financial Aid FAQ's

Financial Aid Forms

Financial Aid Resources

Important Dates

Glossary of Terms

Meet the Staff

Request an IRS Transcript

Return of Title IV Policy

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Types of Aid


View Award Letter


Financial Aid Home Page



Contact Information Office of Financial Aid

Monday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:30 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.

Summer Hours (June and July):
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Wednesday: 8:30 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.

Room: 120
Telephone: (219) 473-4296 (Indiana)
                      (773) 721-0202, Ext. 296 (Illinois)
                      1-877-700-9100 (Toll Free)
FAX: (219) 473-4340