Contact Financial Aid

Office: Kearney Hall, 204
Phone: (585) 385-8042
Fax: (585) 385-8044

Glossary of Financial Aid Terms & Acronyms

Accrued Interest

Accumulated interest charged on an unpaid principal loan balance.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

Taxable income as reported on a federal income tax return.

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

State grant program provides grant assistance for eligible part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies in New York State.

Award Letter

An award letter from a school states the type and amount of financial aid the school is willing to provide as well as specific program information, student responsibilities, and the conditions which govern the award. The letter provides the option to accept, adjust, or decline an award.

Campus-based Programs

Includes the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Federal Work Study program. Funds are administered by the college's financial aid office which awards the funds to students using the federal guidelines.


A loan arrangement whereby you may add unpaid interest to principal rather than pay the interest when it is due.


Combining all of your loans under one repayment plan.


A second credit-worthy party who is required to sign a promissory note for a loan with a borrower; this party guarantees the loan will be repaid if the borrower defaults.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

The student's estimated expenses for the period of enrollment. Expenses includes, tuition, fees, room and board (or living allowance if not living on campus), books, transportation, and personal expenses.

Credit Bureaus

Organizations that maintain records on your financial history. There are currently three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.


Failure to repay a loan in accordance with the terms of the promissory note.


A deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required. To qualify for a deferment, you must meet specific eligibility requirements.


To be overdue on one or more payments on a loan.

Entrance Counseling

A session whereby a student is advised of his/her loan rights and responsibilities.

Exit Counseling

A session whereby a student is advised of his/her loan repayment responsibilities.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

This is the number that is used to determine a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. This number results from the financial information provided on the FAFSA application.

Express TAP Application (ETA)

The application used to apply for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Federal Direct Graduate and Professional Student PLUS Loan (GPLUS)

A low interest (fixed at 7.9%) loan available to graduate and professional students. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens and enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a matriculated degree program. Loan approval is subject to credit criteria established by the Department of Education.

Federal Pell Grant

A federal grant available to undergraduate students, working on their first bachelor's degree, who have demonstrated the highest calculated need. Amounts can vary yearly. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated from the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines this award.

Federal Perkins Loan

A low interest (fixed at 5%) loan to assist students to pay for their educational expenses. The school administers the program, determines which students qualify for the loan, and the amount.

Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan

A low interest (fixed at 7.9%) loan available to parents, stepparents and legal guardians of dependent undergraduate students. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens and the student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a matriculated degree program. Loan approval is subject to credit criteria established by the Department of Education.

Federal Direct Student (Stafford) Loan

A low interest loan available to undergraduate and graduate students. Borrowers must be U.S. citizens and enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a matriculated degree program. The school determines eligibility for subsidized (interest will not accrue while student is in school and during the grace period) and unsubsidized (interest will accrue while student is in school). Amounts vary based upon grade level.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Campus-based program for undergraduate students with exceptional need, who are working on their first bachelor's degree. Priority for SEOG awards must be given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. School will determine the award amounts.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

Campus-based program which provides part-time employment to students attending institutions of higher education who can then use the earnings to help pay their expenses.

Financial Aid Awards

An offer of financial or in-kind assistance to a student attending a post-secondary educational institution. This award may be in the form of one or more of the following types of financial aid; non-repayable grant and/or scholarship, repayable loan and/or student employment.

Financial Aid Package

The total amount of financial aid (federal and non-federal) a student is offered by the school. The package could include; grants, scholarships, loans and student employment. Because funds are often limited, an aid package may fall short of the amount a student needs to cover the full cost of attendance. Also, the amount of federal student aid in a package is affected by other sources of aid received.

Financial Need

The difference between a student's cost of attendance and the expected family contribution.

Fish 'R' Net

This is St. John Fisher College's web-based information system that provides access to student's academic and financial records. Students may access at


A temporary cessation of repayment of loans allowing an extension of time for making loan payments, or accepting smaller loan payments than were previously scheduled.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The application to be considered for federal student aid. Students may apply online at

Gift Aid

Any form of financial aid that does not require repayment or require that work be performed.

Grace Period

The period after borrowers graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, loans that were made for that period of study have several months before payments are due. During the grace period, no interest accrues on subsidized loans. Interest accrues on unsubsidized loans during grace periods, and this interest is capitalized when borrowers' loans enter repayment.


Are awards that do not have to be repaid.

Institutional Aid

Financial aid made available to a student through the school.


The fee charged to borrow money. A student will pay their lender interest in addition to repaying the principal (the sum borrowed).


The party that lends you a loan. A lender can be a bank, credit union, savings and loan association, a college, the government or another organization.

London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)

It is the interest rate offered by a specific group of London banks for U.S. dollar deposits of a stated maturity. LIBOR is used as a base index for setting rates of some adjustable rate financial instruments such as private student loans. LIBOR is quoted as 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 1-year rates.


Awards made with a formal agreement for repayment with interest.

Master Promissory Note

A legal document that the borrower signs (wet signature or via a PIN that acts as an electronic signature) to obtain a loan in which the borrower promises to repay the loan, with interest, in specified installments. The Master Promissory Note will also include any information about the grace period, deferment, or cancellation provisions and the student's rights and responsibilities with respect to the loan.


To be enrolled at an institution and working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.

Merit Award

Financial aid which is awarded based upon demonstrated academic excellence, professional promise, and personal merit.

Need Analysis

The process of analyzing the household and financial information on the student's financial aid application (FAFSA) and calculating an expected family contribution (EFC). Need analysis consists of two primary components; determination of an estimate for the family's ability to contribute to educational expenses and determination of an accurate estimate of the educational expenses.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The U. S. Department of Education database for federal student financial aid (includes, Pell Grant and all federal loans). A student can access the website,, by using their student federal PIN and find information about all federal aid received. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, and U.S. Department of Education programs.

Origination Fee

A fee charged by the federal government, deducted from the principal that serves as insurance against loan default.


Any amount of campus-based aid or a federal loan that exceeds the student's calculated financial need.

Parent Contribution (PC)

A quantitative estimate of the parent's ability to contribute (based upon their income and assets) to post-secondary educational expenses for their son or daughter.

Payment Plan

A plan offered by the school to allow you to pay your school bill in installments. There may be a cost to participate in the plan and some plans may charge interest as well.

Prime Rate

Is the interest rate charged by leading banks to their best, most secure customers. The prime rate fluctuates based on economic conditions and may be different among financial institutions. The prime rate is used by banks to set variable and/or adjustable rates.


Face value of the loan or the amount upon which interest is charged.

Professional Judgment

While the method for determining student's need for federal student aid is defined in the law, the law does give financial aid administrators professional judgment. Students should contact their school for details as professional judgment policies will vary from school to school.

Repayment Schedule

A plan which sets forth the principal and interest due on each installment and the number of payments required to pay the loan in full. It should include the interest rate, the due date of the first payment, and the frequency of payments.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be eligible to receive federal and state student financial aid, you must meet and maintain your school's standards of satisfactory academic progress towards a degree or certificate offered by that institution.


A form of financial assistance which does not require repayment or employment and is made to a student who demonstrates or shows potential for distinction at an institution, usually in academic performance, the arts, or athletics.

Selective Service Registration

To be eligible to receive federal student financial aid, if you are a male born on or after January 1, 1960, are at least 18 years old, and are not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, you must register, or arrange to register with the Selective Service System.

Self-Help Assistance

Funds provided through the work and effort of the student, including savings from past earnings, income from present earnings, or a loan to be repaid from future earnings.


A company hired by the lender to perform account services for its student loans. These services may include application and repayment processing, customer information, and accounting.


The TEACH Grant is a new federal program which awards up to $4,000 per year for eligible undergraduate and graduate students who intend to teach and fulfill a required service agreement. The award amount is prorated for part-time students. Recipients must be enrolled in an eligible education major or TEACH Grant-eligible program.

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

A grant sponsored by New York State for New York residents attending an approved post-secondary institution in New York on a full-time basis. Range of awards is from $275-$5,000. Applicants must meet income and residency eligibility. Apply using the FAFSA and follow the link for TAP provided at the end of the process.

Title IV

Programs authorized under the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Funds for the Title IV programs are appropriated each year by Congress. The basic philosophy of Title IV aid is that the family, the student, student's spouse and parents, have the primary responsibility to pay for higher education expenses to the extent of their ability.

Unmet Need

The difference between a specific student's total available resources and the total cost for the student's attendance at a specific institution.

US Treasury Bill (T-Bill)

This bill is a short-term debt obligation issued by the U.S. Treasury at a discount under competitive bidding, with a maturity of up to one year. These bills are auctioned by the U.S. Treasury in order to borrow funds for the federal government. The bills are sold at a discounted rate and then redeemed when they mature at face value.

Veterans' Administration (VA)

Administered assistance programs for veterans and their dependents.

Variable Interest Rate

Rate of interest tied to a Treasury Bill or LIBOR rate and changes periodically.


A procedure whereby the school checks the information the student and parents (if applicable) reported on the financial aid application (FAFSA), usually by requesting a copy of federal tax transcripts, copies of W-2's, and a verification form.

Vocational Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID)

A combined State and Federal program to provide training funds to eligible students.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Programs administered by State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to assist individuals who have a physical or mental disability which is a substantial handicap to employment.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The Department of Education acts as the lender, providing funds for the Federal Direct Student Loan and Federal Direct PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loan programs.

Copyright © St. John Fisher College • 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, New York 14618 • (585) 385-8000
Questions/Comments? - Email the Webmaster Website Terms of Use