Financial Aid Glossary

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Academic Advisor: A faculty or staff member who helps students understand academic requirements, connect with campus resources, and assist in selecting courses.

Academic Plan:Form completed with the student’s academic advisor as part of the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal. If students do not meet the requirements set out in the academic plan for each period of enrollment, future financial aid eligibility may be suspended.

Academic Year: School year for which financial aid is used to fund a student’s education. Generally, this is the 12-month period that starts with the fall semester and ends with the summer semester. 

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI): Your or your family's wages, salaries, interest, dividends, etc., minus certain deductions from income as reported on a federal income tax return. Commonly referred to as AGI.

Adverse Credit History: To qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check is conducted on all Direct PLUS Loan applicants.

Award Amount: Amount of aid a school expects to pay a student based on the student’s current grant and loan eligibility, enrollment, Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the school's cost of attendance. 

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Bachelor's Degree: A four-year degree; consists of a core set of general education courses and a concentrated set of courses in a single subject or academic discipline.

BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc.: Southeastern's disbursements service that processes and disburses financial aid credit balances to students on behalf of Southeastern. For new students or students that have not made a selection, you will need to log into LeoNet in order to make your selection via a link to BankMobile Disbursements.

Budget: A financial plan that helps you track your money, make informed spending decisions, and plan for your financial goals. 

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Collection Agency: An entity that recovers unpaid debt from borrowers who have defaulted on their loans.

Collection Costs: Expenses charged on defaulted federal student loans that are added to the outstanding principal balance of the loan.

Cost of Attendance (COA): The estimated total amount it will cost to an attend one academic year of college before financial aid is applied. It is determined by Financial Aid using rules established by the U.S. Congress. Cost of attendance is based on average costs incurred by students and it includes tuition, room/board, books, transportation, and personal miscellaneous expenses. This figure is used solely for the determination of financial aid and does not represent a figure you will owe the University.

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Dean: The administrative head of the College; makes all final decisions related to academic matters within the College.

Default: Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. For most federal student loans, you will default if you have not made a payment in more than 270 days. If you default on a federal student loan, you lose eligibility to receive federal student aid and you may experience serious legal consequences.

Deferment: A temporary postponement of payment on a loan that is allowed under certain conditions and during which interest generally does not accrue on Direct Subsidized Loans. All other federal student loans that are deferred will continue to accrue interest. 

Delinquent: A loan is delinquent when loan payments are not received by the due dates. 

Dependency Status: The determination of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicant as dependent or independent.

Dependent Student: A student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 

Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate or Professional Students: A loan available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.

Direct PLUS Loan for Parents: A loan made by the U.S. Department of Education to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help their children pay for college or career school. A credit check is performed during the application process. Your parent could be eligible to borrow the amount of the remaining costs (i.e., the cost of attendance minus other aid).

Disbursement: Payment of federal student aid funds to the student by the school. Students generally receive their federal student aid in two or more disbursements.

Disbursement Date: Date federal student aid funds were credited to a student's account at a school or paid to the student or borrower directly, as reported by the school.

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Enrollment Status: Based on the number of hours students enroll for each semester, which indicates whether the student is (or was) full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, less than half-time, withdrawn, graduated, etc.

Entrance Counseling: A mandatory information session that takes place before you receive your first federal student loan that explains your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower.

Exit Counseling: A mandatory information session that takes place before you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment that explains your loan repayment responsibilities and when repayment begins.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): This is the number that’s used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in your FAFSA® form, the application for federal student aid. Your EFC is reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

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FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid form located at, the FAFSA form is the FREE application used to apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, loans, and work-study. 

Federal Pell Grant: A federal grant for undergraduate students with financial need.

Federal School Code: An identifier that the U.S. Department of Education assigns to each college or career school that participates in the federal student aid programs. In order to send your FAFSA information to a school, you must list the school's Federal School Code on your application. Southeastern's Federal School Code: 002024

Federal Student Aid: Financial aid from the federal government to help you pay for education expenses at an eligible college or career school. Grants, loans and work-study are types of federal student aid. You must complete the FAFSA form to apply for this aid.

Federal Student Loan: A loan funded by the federal government to help pay for your education. A federal student loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest.

Federal Work-Study: A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while the student is enrolled in school to help pay his or her education expenses. 

Fee Bill: A non-refundable comprehensive fee that helps fund a number of university services and initiatives. 

Financial Aid Counselor: A financial aid advisor to help students with the financial aid process and answer any questions. 

Financial Aid Package: The total amount of financial aid (federal and nonfederal) a student is offered by the university. This includes, but is not limited to, scholarships, grants, loans, work study. etc. 

Financial Need: The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend. 

FSA ID: The FSA ID is a username and password combination that serves as a student’s or parent’s identifier to allow access to personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems and acts as a digital signature on some online forms.

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Grace Period:A period of time granted to loan borrowers during which no payment is due. After a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half time, they enter a grace period of usually six months.

Grants and Scholarships: Financial aid that doesn't need to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit or performance-based. Grants and scholarships are normally directly applied to your student account and may have certain conditions in order to maintain your eligibility.

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Honor Roll: Full-time students who achieve a semester grade point average of 3.0 to 3.199, with no grade below C

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Independent Student: An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 

Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR): A record produced by the Central Processing System that is sent to Southeastern with a student’s calculated Expected Family Contribution. The ISIR is an institutional version of a student’s FAFSA.

Interest: A loan expense charged for the use of borrowed money. Interest is paid by a borrower to a lender. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan.

Interest Rate: The percentage at which interest is calculated on your loan(s).

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LeoNet: the online portal students use to register courses, check financial aid, etc.

Lender: The organization that made the loan initially; the lender could be the borrower's school; a bank, credit union, or other lending institution; or the U.S. Department of Education.

Loan: Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Students and/or parents are required to sign a promissory note when accepting an educational loan.

Louisiana (LA) GO Grant: The purpose of this program is to provide a need-based component to the state's financial aid plan to support nontraditional and low to moderate-income students who need additional aid to afford the cost of attending college. The LA GO Grant is on a first come first serve basis. Award amounts to eligible students are based on the institution's allocation and their packaging policy. Awards may vary with each academic year. Awards will not be paid for summers sessions, quarters or terms.

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Master Promissory Note: A binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.  It’s important to read and save your MPN because you’ll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferments or forbearances.

Merit-based Aid: Based on a student's skill or ability. Example: A merit-based scholarship might be awarded based on a student's high grades.

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Need-based Aid: Based on a student's financial need. Example: A need-based grant might be awarded based on a student's low income.

Net Price Calculator: A tool that allows current and prospective students, families, and other consumers to estimate the net price of attendanceNet price is determined by taking the institution's cost of attendance and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which the student may be eligible.

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Outside Scholarships: A scholarship funded by sources outside Southeastern Financial Aid. These sources can include corporations, individuals, or other academic departments at Southeastern. The scholarship will not apply on the student’s fee bill until the university has received the funds.

Outstanding Principal: The remaining portion of the original loan amount, plus any interest that has been capitalized, that is still owed. Interest accrues on the outstanding principal balance.

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Principal: The total sum of money borrowed plus any interest that has been capitalized.

Private Loan: A nonfederal loan made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or school.

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Refund: Any funds remaining in your student account after aid has been disbursed and all balances have been resolved.

Registration Hold: A "hold" on a student's LeoNet account which prevents registration; types of holds include financial, disciplinary, or academic.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress: A progression policy students must follow to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): A grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Pell grant recipients with the lowest EFC will be considered first for an SEOG. Just like the federal Pell grant, the SEOG does not have to be repaid. Funds for this program are limited.

State Aid: Financial aid from a student's state of legal residence.

Student Aid Report (SAR): A summary of the information you submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You receive this report (often called the SAR) via email a few days after your FAFSA form has been processed or by mail within 7-10 days if you did not provide an email address.  If there are no corrections or additional information you must provide, the SAR will contain your EFC, which is the number that's used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid.

Subsidized Loan: A loan based on financial need for which the federal government generally pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status, and during certain periods of repayment under certain income-driven repayment plans.

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Tax return transcript: Official copy of a student and/or parent's (based on dependency status) tax return requested from the IRS. Students can request the transcript by phone or online at

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant: A federal grant that provides up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements. If the service obligation is not met, the grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Term courses: Can be completed during one-half of the regular semester; are designated as either"Term 1" or "Term 2" courses in LeoNet.

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Undergraduate: A student pursuing a bachelor's degree.

Unsubsidized Loan: A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.

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Verification: The process Southeastern uses to confirm that the data reported on the FAFSA form is accurate. All students selected must provide requested documents before the student’s financial aid eligibility can be determined.

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"W" number: a student's identification number used for most transactions associated with the University

Work-Study: A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses.

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