Expected Family Contribution (EFC):
The amount that the federal government believes
your family can contribute to one year of college.
Colleges use this, among other things, to determine
nancial need.
Cost of Attendance (COA):
An estimate of how much it costs to attend a
college. The COA includes the price of tuition and
fees, room and board, books and supplies and other
expenses associated with attending that school.
Financial need:
The difference between Expected Family Contribution
(EFC) and a college’s Cost of Attendance (COA).
Net price:
How much it will cost you to attend a college for
one year after your scholarships and grants, loans
and work-study subtracted from the COA.
Student Aid Report (SAR):
This report shows you what data is on your FAFSA,
some information about the aid for which you’re
eligible and your Expected Family Contribution
(EFC). See a sample SAR here.
Subsidized loan:
A need-based loan on which you don’t pay interest
while you’re in school.
Unsubsidized loan:
A loan for which you don’t have to demonstrate
nancial need, but you’re responsible for the interest.
A monetary gift that doesn’t have to be repaid.
It can be one-time or renewable, and based on
grades, talents or other criteria.
A part-time job for students with nancial need.
You can contact your school’s nancial aid ofce at any time if you need some help understanding terms
like these. They’ll be happy to help you translate them!
For more common terms you’ll see throughout the nancial aid process, check out this glossary from the
Department of Education.
Financial Aid Vocab Cheat Sheet
Financial aid has a language all its own – one with lots of acronyms and industry-specic
terms that can sound scary. This glossary will take some of the mystery out of these
terms and help you make the best decisions about your awards.
File your FAFSA now!
Don’t forget to list our FAFSA Code:
Our Office of Financial Aid will work with you to ensure you have access to the resources you need to pay for college.
Our goal is to make sure all qualified applicants can invest in an education here.
If you have any questions about financial aid, need help filling out the FAFSA or encounter special financial
circumstances your family is experiencing due to COVID, please call us at (804) 123-5678 or email us.
Learn about our COA here.
Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your net price.
Find out more about our work-study options.