Financial Aid Glossary
This document is issued through your SWORDS account by the Office of Financial Aid. It lists
all the amounts, sources, and types of aid in your financial aid package. For more information
about viewing and receiving your awards please visit the SWORDS instructions
This is when your HOPE eligibility is evaluated. For current HOPE recipients, checkpoints occur every
30, 60, 90 credit hours attempted and every spring semester. For students wishing to be evaluated for HOPE,
they may request to do so after attempting 30, 60, or 90 credit hours, but not every spring. For more information
regarding HOPE, please review the HOPE information
These agreements explain terms, conditions, and responsibilities of transient students either
attending Middle Georgia State as a transient student or an Middle Georgia State student attending another institution.
Please note that consortium agreements do not serve as payment and your host school may demand
payment prior to the Middle Georgia State disbursement. Click here for more information for Transient students
Cost of Attendance
Often referred to as COA, the cost to attend school, including tuition and fees, books, supplies,
room and board, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses. The COA is determined by
MGA and SGA (Student Government Association) using federal guidelines. The COA is NOT a bill; it
is an estimate of potential expenses.
The status of a loan when payment is 270 days (9 months) late. If this happens the lender can declare
the entire amount owed, including interest, as immediately due and payable. Defaults are reported
to credit bureaus and can stay on your credit record for seven years. If you have defaulted on a
federal student loan, you may not be eligible to receive any additional federal financial aid.
The option to postpone repayment for a period of time, under certain conditions, with permission
from the lender. If you are an eligible half-time student, your loans are automatically deferred.
Direct Loan/Federal Direct Loan Program
Fixed rate education loans that are provided for undergraduate and graduate students attending college
in an eligible program at least half time. These loans may be deferred while the student is attending
school at least half time and they adhere to annual and aggregate loan limits set forth by the
Department of Education. For more information, please review our Loans information page
When financial aid funds are applied to your account. This is reflected on your SWORDS account.
Money borrowed by a student or parent from a lender from the Federal government to fund
post-secondary education; these require repayment with interest. For more information, please read
our Loans information page
EFC - Expected Family Contribution
Amount considered reasonable for your family to contribute to your education expenses according
to the FAFSA calculations which are determined by the Federal Department of Education.
Online counseling that assists you in understanding your repayment rights and responsibilities,
options for repayment, and debt management skills when applying for a Direct loan. Completing
Entrance Counseling is a federal requirement. This may be completed at
Online counseling that reminds you of your repayment rights and responsibilities, options for repayment,
and debt management skills when graduating or dropping below a half-time status. Completing Exit
Counseling is a federal requirement. This may be completed at
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid
An online form completed by students and parents or legal guardians to apply for federal aid,
along with some state programs. Visit the FAFSA website at
Federal Financial Aid
Money offered by the federal government to assist eligible students in funding their
post-secondary education. Federal Financial Aid includes some scholarships, grants, and
all Direct loans.
A fixed sum charged to your account for services offered. For more information
regarding Tuition & Fees
The difference between the student's Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
A period of time when you're allowed to postpone or temporarily reduce the amount of your loan payment
due to temporary financial hardship. For more information, contact your lender.
Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID
, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S.
Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically
signing your federal student aid
documents. To obtain or read more information, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid
A feature of Federal Loans that gives you six months after you leave school or drop below half-time
status before you must start making monthly payments on your loan. If you choose to let the interest
on your Unsubsidized loan accrue, the interest and principal payments will begin at the end of your
Money available to eligible students based upon financial need, past academic
performance, service to the community or special areas of study. Grants do not require repayment.
For all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, limited-graduate, and provisionally-admitted
graduate students, half-time is at least six credit hours. For all regularly-admitted graduate
students, half-time is at least three credit hours.
HOPE - Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally
Program that is paid for by the Georgia Lottery for Education that offers Scholarships,
Grants, and GED vouchers. HOPE eligibility is based on academic merit and is evaluated at specified
checkpoints. For more information, please review All About HOPE
The fee that is charged on an annual basis in exchange for lending the money. The
interest rate, usually expressed as a percentage of the loan amount, may stay the same for the
term of the loan (fixed rate) or it may change periodically (variable rate).
MPN - Master Promissory Note
The legal document you sign when you enter into an agreement with a lender for a
Direct, Parent PLUS, or Graduate PLUS Loan. This document explains the terms and conditions of
your loan and it is good for 10 years from the date you sign it. This means you may not have to
sign a new application or MPN for additional loans from the same lender. You will, however, have
the chance to review, reduce, or decline the loan amount on subsequent loans. To complete a MPN
for a Direct, Parent PLUS, or Graduate PLUS loan, visit
The fee charged by the federal government and deducted from loan proceeds
prior to disbursement.
This is a federal grant for students who have a low EFC and are undergraduate students.
This grant pays a certain percentage based on your EFC and the number of credit hours you are
The original amount borrowed or the amount outstanding at any time on the loan.
Interest is charged on this amount.
SAP - Standard of Academic Progress
The standards of academic progress required by the Higher Education Act in
order to receive federal student financial aid. These standards are determined and published
by the school. The SAP appeal is found on our documents page
SAR - Student Aid Report
Document you will receive after your FAFSA is processed. Please be sure to
review this document to see if corrections need to be made to your FAFSA. Your SAR will
contain your EFC.
Money for college that does not have to be repaid. The money can come from many
sources including the government, community groups, schools and corporations. Awards can be
based on hobbies, artistic or athletic talent, academic merit, and majors. Visit our
Scholarship information page
for more details.
Service Cancelable Loan
Student loans which will not have to be repaid if certain conditions are met
that are agreed upon when applying for the loan. Visit our Loans information page
for more details.
If your financial situation has changed dramatically since the previous fiscal year,
you may complete a special circumstances application and submit supporting documentation
(listed on application) to have your income reconsidered based on unemployment, change of
employment status, medical reasons, loss of non-taxed income, or separation or divorce. The
Special Circumstances application
can be found on our forms page.
The government pays the interest on the Direct loan for you while you are in school
at least half time and during your grace period.
A student taking courses at an institution other than the home institution.
Permission must be granted before registration. See your academic advisor and financial aid
counselor for details.
The amount charged to your account for instruction per course up to 15 credit
hours. For more information regarding Tuition & Fees
please visit the Bursar
Interest accrues on your Direct loan while you are in school. You have the
option to pay on this interest while you are in school, but are not required to do so.
The process to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. You
will need to submit documentation that supports income and other information that you reported
on your FAFSA.
Verification of Attendance
The process by which your instructor verifies whether or not you have been in
attendance for the courses you have requested financial aid. This normally occurs during the
first two weeks of the class period. Financial aid will not disburse for courses in which you
are not verified in attendance.
Work Study Programs
Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial
need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. For more information, please
visit our Student Employment information page