Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): The level of academic progress required of a student by the Higher Education Act in order to receive Title IV aid, including Federal Stafford, PLUS, or SLS loans. Each school must establish a standard for evaluating a student's efforts to achieve an educational goal within a given period of time. In making this evaluation, the school must establish the normal time frame for completion of the course of study in which the student is enrolled, and a method, such as grades or work projects completed, to measure the quality of the student's performance. Students who exceed one and a half times the normal time required to complete their academic program are not eligible for additional Title IV assistance for that period that is in excess of 150% of the academic period normally required.
Scholarship: A form of financial aid given to undergraduate students to help pay for their education. Most scholarships are restricted to paying all or part of tuition expenses, though some scholarships also cover room and board. Scholarships are a form of gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Many scholarships are restricted to students in specific courses of study or with academic, athletic or artistic talent.
Selective Service: Registration for the military draft. Male students who are US citizens and have reached the age of 18 and were born after December 31, 1959 must be registered with Selective Service to be eligible for federal financial aid. If the student did not register and is past the age of doing so (18-25), and the school determines that the failure to register was knowing and willful, the student is ineligible for all federal student financial aid programs. The school's decision as to whether the failure to register was willful is not subject to appeal. Students needing help resolving problems concerning their Selective Service registration should call 1-847-688-6888.
Social Security Number (SSN): The 9-digit number assigned to the borrower by the Social Security Administration. The SSN is used as an identifier for tracking the borrower's loan account(s), skip tracing, and reporting to the Department of Education. A borrower must have an SSN in order to apply for a FFELP loan.
Direct Loans: Federal loans that come in two forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on need; unsubsidized loans aren't. The interest on the subsidized Stafford Loan is paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the 6 month grace period. The Subsidized Stafford Loan was formerly known as the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL). The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan may be used to pay the EFC.
Undergraduates may borrow up to $23,000 ($3,500 during the freshman year, $4,500 during the sophomore year and $5,500 during the third, fourth and fifth years) and graduate students up to $65,500 including any undergraduate Stafford loans ($8,500 per year). These limits are for subsidized and unsubsidized loans combined. The difference between the subsidized loan amount and the limit may be borrowed by the student as an unsubsidized loan.
Higher unsubsidized Stafford loan limits are available to independent students, dependent students whose parents were unable to obtain a PLUS Loan and graduate/professional students. Undergraduates may borrow up to $46,000 ($6,625 during the freshman year, $7,500 during the sophomore year and $10,500 during each subsequent year) and graduate students up to $138,500 including any undergraduate Stafford loans ($18,500 per year). These limits are for subsidized and unsubsidized loans combined. The amounts of any subsidized loans are still subject to the lower limits.
Student Aid Report (SAR): The student's need analysis report, which is generated by the Department of Education's central processing system or MDE processor. The SAR summarizes information that the student reported on the FAFSA. An electronic version sent to the school is called an ISIR (Institutional Student Information Record).
Subsidized Loan: A loan eligible for interest benefits paid by the federal government. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on subsidized loans during the student's in-school, grace, authorized deferment, and (if applicable) post-deferment grace periods, if the loan meets certain eligibility requirements.
Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant: Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need. SEOG grants are awarded by the school's financial aid office, and provide up to $4,000 per year. To qualify, a student must also be a recipient of a Pell Grant.