Financial Aid Terms
Alternative/Private Education Loan Programs**
Established by private lenders to supplement the student and parent education loan programs available from federal and state governments.
An official document issued by AMDA’s Financial Aid Office that lists all of the financial aid awarded to the student. This letter details awards by type, amount and sources. If you wish to decline any awards listed on your award letter, you must write "decline" next to the specific award and return to the Financial Aid Office. Otherwise, you are considered as having accepted all awards.
Buckley Waiver (Waiver of Confidentiality of Records)
The Buckley indicates who should have permission to receive information about the student's verbal or written records.
State funded; California offers a grant to eligible students who are California residents and attending the Los Angeles campus. The state determines the criteria for eligibility and award amounts. Must file the FAFSA prior to March 1.
Cost of Attendance
The total amount it should cost a student to attend school. These include not only direct charges like tuition and fees and housing, but also allowances for living expenses such as transportation, books and supplies, and personal incidentals.
The release of grant or loan funds to a student’s account. Any monies received in excess of student charges are then paid to the student or parent borrower in the case of loans.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
A number calculated by the U.S. Department of Education based on the processing of a student’s financial aid application through a formula as set forth by the U.S. Congress. This number is used to determine a student’s eligibility for grants and loans.
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant*
Federally funded, school-administered grant for first- and second-year students who are Pell eligible and have completed a rigorous secondary program as defined by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan**
With a subsidized loan the government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school, during the six-month grace period and during any deferment periods. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need.
Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loan**
A loan for which the government does not pay the interest. The borrower is responsible for the interest on an unsubsidized loan from the date the loan is disbursed, even while the student is still in school. Students may avoid paying the interest while they are in school by capitalizing the interest, which increases the loan amount. Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant*
Federal and institution-funded, school-administered, need-based grant program available to Pell-eligible students.
Assistance provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student’s education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Form used to apply for Pell Grants and all other need-based aid. As the name suggests, no fee is charged to file a FAFSA.
An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the academic year, is married, is a graduate student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or is an orphan or ward of the court in his/her legal state of residence. A parent refusing to provide support for their child’s education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid.
Parent PLUS Loan**
Federal loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help finance the child’s education. Parents may borrow up to the full cost of their children’s education, less the amount of any other financial aid received. There is a minimal credit check required for the PLUS loan, so a good credit history is required. If your application for a PLUS loan is turned down, your child may be eligible to borrow additional money under the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program.
A federal grant that provides funds based on the student’s financial need.
A PIN is a four-digit number that is used in combination with your Social Security Number, name and date of birth to identify you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on Federal Student Aid websites, such as FAFSA on the Web. If you are a parent and you want to electronically sign a FAFSA for your child, you need your own PIN. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same PIN to sign their applications.
A website that provides lists of multiple education loans from many lenders, with quick and easy links to apply and complete loan applications.
An internal AMDA form that indicates who would pay any balance due, whether it is remaining after financial aid or should financial aid not come through.
Verification is a review process in which the Financial Aid Office determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student’s financial aid application. During the verification process, the student and parent will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the financial aid application. Such documentation may include signed copies of the most recent Federal and State Income Tax Returns for you, your spouse (if any) and your parents; proof of citizenship; proof of registration with Selective Service; and copies of Social Security benefit statements and W2 and 1099 forms, among other things. If any discrepancies are uncovered during verification, the Financial Aid Office may require additional information to clear up the discrepancies. Such discrepancies may cause your final financial aid package to be different from the initial package described on the award letter you received from the school. If you refuse to submit the required documentation, your financial aid package will be canceled and no aid awarded.
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