Financial Aid Glossary

  • Academic Pace

    One of the three criteria utilized by the IUP Office of Financial Aid to measure students’ satisfactory academic progress for federal student aid purposes. The Academic Pace is calculated by dividing the cumulative overall passed credits by the cumulative number of overall attempted credits. To meet minimum requirements, the pace must be 67 percent or higher.

    Bursar’s Office

    At IUP, this is the office that generates student charges and then emails the bills to students’ university email accounts. Payments are made to this office. Students can also set up payment plans in this office.

    Cost of Attendance

    The cost of attending college for one academic year. The COA contains both direct costs (tuition, fees, room and board—if living on campus) and indirect costs (books and supplies, personal allowance, and travel). Financial aid cannot exceed the student’s COA.

    Disbursement

    The payment of your financial aid toward your bill. It will not happen until after drop/add period is over for the semester/term. At IUP, the drop/add period lasts for the first few days of each semester.

    EFC

    The Expected Family Contribution. This is an artificial figure, calculated by the US Department of Education, from the information provided on the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The EFC represents what the Department of Education expects the family to contribute to the student’s cost of education.

    Entrance Counseling

    Electronic online loan counseling for first-time borrowers. Borrowers must complete this requirement before the school can disburse a student’s loan to their university account. 

    Exit Counseling

    Electronic online loan counseling for students who have graduated or stopped their enrollment at IUP. Counseling is completed online.

    FAFSA

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the free application students are required to complete each year, after October 1, to receive consideration for any federal grant, loan, or student employment funding. You may apply online.

    Financial Aid Award Package

    A list of the type and amount of financial aid that a student is eligible to receive for the academic year. 

    FSEOG

    Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. This ranges in size, but all recipients must demonstrate eligibility for the federal Pell Grant and must have unmet financial need. Preference is given to students with no Expected Family Contributions.

    GPA

    Grade Point Average. It’s one of three criteria utilized by the IUP Office of Financial Aid to measure students’ satisfactory academic progress for federal student aid purposes. The US Department of Education requires schools to establish minimum cumulative GPA requirements that students must meet in order to continue to qualify for federal grants and loans. At IUP, undergraduate students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

    Loan Origination

    The process in which the Office of Financial Aid prepares and sends a student’s loan information to the US Department of Education to secure funds in the student’s name. Loan Origination will be unsuccessful if the student does not have an active, valid Master Promissory Note on file with the US Department of Education.

    Maximum Timeframe

    One of the three criteria utilized by the IUP Office of Financial Aid to measure students’ satisfactory academic progress for federal student aid purposes. US Department of Education regulations require schools to implement procedures to ensure that students do not exceed a specific number of attempted credits, based on the length of their academic program. Example: A maximum of 180 attempted credits to earn a 120-credit degree. To calculate, take the number of credits required for a particular degree or program and multiply it by 150 percent to get the maximum attempted credits allowed to earn that degree.

    Memo

    Process in which financial aid appears as a credit against the student’s bill, prior to disbursement. This is not always active.

    MPN

    Master Promissory Note. It must be on file with the US Department of Education before a student’s direct loan can be disbursed to their account. Students complete their MPN online. The MPN is open-ended and will remain active for up to 10 years, meaning students don’t have to complete a new MPN every year.

    Need-Based Financial Aid

    Any federal, state, institutional, or private source of funding that requires a student to show unmet financial need. Financial need is calculated by subtracting the student’s EFC and all previously awarded aid funding from the student’s Cost of Attendance. Some need-based financial aid awards may also have additional (non-need-related) requirements.

    Package/Packaging

    The process in which the IUP Office of Financial Aid awards a student financial aid. Aid award packages are visible in the Finance Section of MyIUP.

    Pell Grant

    Federal need-based grant. The application is the annual FAFSA.

    PHEAA

    The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. It offers a need-based grant. Pennsylvania residents must complete the annual FAFSA application by May 1. They may also need to complete other forms, such as the PHEAA Supplemental Information form, in order to qualify for these funds. 

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    The US Department of Education requires schools to implement procedures to ensure that students receiving federal grants and/or loans are making progress toward earning their degree or certificate. Three criteria are evaluated each year: Cumulative Grade Point Average, Academic Pace, and Maximum Timeframe. Evaluations are typically completed in late May, and students who fail to meet one or more of the criteria are notified by mail and email in early June.

    Sub/Unsub Loans

    Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Student loans. These are federal loans awarded based on student’s FAFSA data, Expected Family Contribution, and academic grade level. Students with unmet financial need qualify for the Subsidized Direct Loan. Interest does not accumulate during enrollment on this loan. Students without any financial need still qualify for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan. Interest is assessed on a quarterly basis during enrollment. Students must complete an annual FAFSA application and one-time-only Direct Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling to receive these funds. 

    Verification

    The US Department of Education selects approximately 30 percent of IUP students for this federally mandated process. IUP is required to confirm the accuracy of the data provided on the student’s annual FAFSA application. Selected students must submit a verification worksheet and other documents, such as federal income tax return transcripts, W-2 statements, and proof of high school graduation, before federal grants and loans can be disbursed.