Study Guide and Glossary
The study guides on this website contain much of the same information as you will find in the CAKE quiz, but in a way that makes specific things you may be looking for easier to find. This particular study guide is focused on definitions and concepts related to Financial Aid.
CSS Profile – The CSS Profile is shorthand for the College Scholarship Service Profile, and is sometimes required to provide additional information a college can use in determining a student’s eligibility for non-government financial aid. Private colleges are more likely to require the CSS Profile than public colleges.
EFC – The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is a key indicator used in determining eligibility for financial aid.
FAFSA – The FAFSA is an acronym for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA can now be submitted between October and June of a high school student’s Senior year. While the federal deadline is June 30th each year, individual states and colleges may require the FAFSA be submitted sooner. A new FAFSA must be completed each year in college to remain eligible for federal financial aid.
Federal Student Loans (vs. Private Loans) – Government loans to undergraduate students are made without regard to a student’s credit history, while private lenders often consider a student’s credit history to determine the loan amount and interest rate.
Institutional Scholarship – Money given to students by the college when they choose to attend.
Loans – As a source of financial aid, a loan is borrowed money and needs to be repaid.
Net Price – The Net Price of a college is the anticipated annual cost of a college after subtracting grants and scholarships. At private colleges in particular, the net price can be substantially lower than the advertised tuition. A Net Price Calculator should be available on every college’s website. Alternatively, the Net Price Calculator Center provides a search tool.
Pell Grant – Available from the Federal Government, students are automatically considered for a Pell Grant when submitting the FAFSA. The amount of the Pell Grant varies for each individual student, with a maximum of approximately $6000 each year.
Scholarships – A scholarship is money given to a student (usually be an organization or college) that does not need to be repaid.
Subsidized Student Loan – Students with financial need may qualify for a subsidized loan. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on these types of loans while the student is enrolled in college.
Unsubsidized Student Loan – Unlike subsidized loans, interest on the amount of money borrowed begins accruing when the loan is taken out.
Verification – Colleges are required to confirm the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. Students may be subjected to verification if the information provided on the FAFSA was estimated or incomplete, or if they were randomly selected. The process usually entails providing additional documentation.
Work-Study – A federal financial aid program for students with financial need that attend a college that is part of the Federal Work-Study program. Usually, work-study students work part-time for the college, but some colleges may have work-study jobs available with a local nonprofit or other government agency.