Financial Aid Glossary & Definitions
Cost of Attendance (COA)
The estimated cost of attending Clarkson College for the semesters in which you will be enrolled during an academic year and the COA budget is used to determine your financial aid eligibility. The Cost of Attendance amount includes the following:
- Expected tuition and fees charges
Tuition – Charges assessed for classes
Fees – Charges assessed for other college services
- Estimated books and supplies
- Room and board for students – allowance for housing, utilities and food.
- Miscellaneous costs – allowance for personal care and other costs associated with attending college
- Estimated transportation costs
- Estimated Student Loan Fees
Expenses the student/family pays to the College, such as tuition, fees and on-campus housing (if applicable).
A form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. Educational loans have varying interest rates and repayment terms. Students and/or parents are required to sign a promissory note when accepting an educational loan.
Student Loan: Funds awarded to the student that must eventually be paid back to the lender by the student.
- Federal Direct Student Loan: Loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the College. Repayment of principal begins six months after the borrower ceases to be a student on at least a half-time basis. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the annual application. There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Students with financial need can qualify for a subsidized loan, and the government pays the interest on the loan while the student remains enrolled at least half time. Students who don't demonstrate financial need qualify for an unsubsidized loan and interest accrues while the student is in school.
- Federal Grad PLUS Loan: Loan funds provided to graduate students by the U.S. Department of Education, through the College. This federal loan program allows graduate students with no adverse credit history to apply for up to their Cost of Attendance each year, less any financial aid. To be eligible, the student must be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program of study and first borrow the maximum allowable through the Federal Direct Student Loan program. Repayment of principal and interest begins 30 to 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed with deferment and forbearance options available.
- Private (Alternative) Loan: A loan from a commercial, state-affiliated or institutional lender used to pay for up to the annual cost of education, less any financial aid received. Private loans usually require the applicant to be creditworthy or have a co-signer and have varying interest rates, fees and repayment options. Repayment of interest (and often principal) generally begins immediately, with some lenders offering deferment options for in-school periods.
Federal Parent Loan (PLUS): A federal loan program that allows parents who have no adverse credit history to apply for up to the Cost of Attendance each year, less any financial aid. PLUS loans must be repaid with interest.
Academic workload (or course load), that a student is carrying for a defined academic period. This relates to the number of credit hours taken by a student during a semester (academic period). To be eligible for most types of financial aid, a student must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours for Undergraduate students or 3 credit hours for Graduate students). Clarkson College enrollment status levels:
- Undergraduate Full-time status = at least 12 credit hours per semester
- Graduate Full-time status = at least 6 credit hours per semester
- Undergraduate Three-quarter time status = at least 9-11 credit hours per semester
- Graduate Three-quarter time status = not applicable
- Undergraduate Half-time status = at least 6-8 credit hours per semester
- Graduate Half-time status = at least 3-5 credit hours per semeste
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
A number used by the College to calculate how much financial aid the student is eligible to receive, if any. This number is based on the financial information provided in the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is not the amount of money the family will have to pay to the College, nor is it the amount of federal student aid awarded to the student.
Federal Pell Grant
A grant provided by the federal government to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and have an Expected Family Contribution below a threshold designated annually by the U.S. Department of Education, based on the amount of program funds appropriated by Congress.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
A grant provided by the federal government to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients and funds must be awarded by the school in lowest EFC order.
Federal Work-Study (FW-S)
A program that provides part-time on-campus employment opportunities to eligible students attending Clarkson College who need the earnings to help meet their costs of postsecondary education.
Funds awarded to the student that do not have to be repaid, unless the student fails to meet certain terms, such as a service requirement or grade point average, specified as a condition of the grant. Gift aid includes awards with titles such as grants, scholarships, remissions, waivers, etc. Gift aid can be awarded based upon many factors, including (but not limited to) financial need, academic excellence, affiliation with various groups, or career aspirations.
Gift aid awarded to the student that does not need to be repaid. Grants are typically based on financial need.
Expenses incurred as a result of attendance that the student/family may pay to a third party other than the College. Such expenses may include (but are not limited to) rent/housing, books and supplies, transportation, student loan fees and miscellaneous costs.
Amount of direct and indirect costs remaining after all gift aid (scholarship and grant) is subtracted.
Difference between the cost of attendance and all gift aid. Out-of-pocket cost can be covered through a variety of sources, including: savings, income and student loans.
Gift aid awarded to the student that does not need to be repaid. Scholarship awards are typically based on merit or a combination of merit and need, such as academic excellence, affiliation with various groups, or career aspirations.
Financial aid in the form of loans or student employment. Loans are used to help pay the remaining net costs after gift aid is deducted. Student employment earnings (including Federal Work-Study awards) are generally not deducted from billed costs but can be used to help cover indirect costs and are paid in the form of wages to the student.
Process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by the applicant on the FAFSA. In order to complete the verification process, students are required to provide certain documents to Clarkson College for review.