Glossary

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A

Students that fail to make satisfactory academic progress and are placed on financial aid suspension can appeal for reinstatement of their eligibility. If granted, they are placed on an academic plan.

In subsequent terms, they will continue to be eligible for aid as long as they meet the conditions of the academic plan or come back into compliance with the SAP standards.

The annual loan limit refers to the maximum amount a student can borrow in Federal Direct Student Loan funds in a given academic year.

A student's borrowing limit is based on their grade level and dependency status, and, in limited cases, their program.

Aggregate loan limits are the maximum total amounts that a student can borrow in Federal Direct Student Loan funds in their lifetime.

A student's borrowing limit is based on their degree level and dependency status, and, in limited cases, their program.

If the total amount borrowed reaches the aggregate limit, a student is no longer eligible to receive loans. However, if a student's status changes to one that has a higher limit they are eligible to borrow again. Similarly, if a student reaches the aggregate limit and then repays a portion of the outstanding principal balance, they are eligible to borrow again, up to the limit.

Alternative student loans are private, nonfederal student loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

Federal student loans include many benefits (such as fixed interest rates and income-based repayment plans) not typically offered with alternative loans.

Generally, it is in a student's best interest to exhaust eligibility for federal student loans before pursing an alternative student loan.

An award notice is an estimate of the type and amount of financial aid a school is able to provide to a student if they attend that school that academic year.

B

Board is an old fashioned word for food.

The cost of attendance (COA) includes an allowance for the cost of food (i.e. board) while attending college, whether or not a student is on a dining services meal plan.

A student budget, in financial aid terms, is the estimated amount of money the student will need to cover their cost of attendance for the academic year.

The budget includes allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous personal expenses. 

C

Unsubsidized loans accrue interest from the time they are disbursed. If the borrower chooses not to make interest payments before they are required to begin repaying the loan the accrued interest will be capitalized, meaning the total unpaid interest will be added to the principle of the loan. Interest will then be assessed on the now higher principal balance. In essence the borrower is paying interest on their interest.

For student loans, interest is capitalized whenever a deferment, forbearance or grace period ends. When possible, it is in the borrower's best interest to make interest payments before one of the capitalization triggers occurs.

A certificate is a program of study less than two years in length which leads to a recognized credential.

Not all certificates are eligible for federal financial aid. At UM, ony certificates offered at Missoula College are eligible.

Students in the following certificate programs are eligible for federal aid:

Building Maintenance
CAD (Computer Aided Design)
Carpentry
Computer Support Specialist
Culinary Arts
Customer Relations
Electronics Technology
Energy Auditor
Energy Technology
Health Information Technology
Heavy Equipment Operations
Hospitality
Medical Reception
Network Info Security Professional
Pharmacy Technology
Recreation Power & Equipment
Recycling Technology
Sales & Marketing
Welding Technology

Consolidation is the process of combining one or more loans into a single new loan. The old loans are paid off and a new loan is issued with new repayment terms and an interest rate that is the weighted average of the consolidated loans.

Students who have to make multiple monthly student loan payments, or whose loan interest rates are variable (changing each July 1) are the students most likely to benefit from consolidation. Consolidation can also be used to get a student loan out of delinquency/default status.

Alternative/private student loans cannot be included when a student takes out a Federal Consolidation Loan.

Some private lenders are willing to consolidate private/alternative loans. It is not in a student's best interest to consolidate a federal loan with a private lender as they will lose many of the federal benefits associated with federal student loans.

A consortium agreement is a legal agreement between two colleges that allows a student to receive aid at one college when they are a visiting student at another.

It can also be used to allow a student who is enrolled part-time at their home institution to include credits from another college to be counted toward their enrollment status as if they were taken at the home institution.

Not only do the financial aid offices at both schools have to agree to enter into the agreement, the student's academic department must also approve the courses the student plans to take at the other institution.

The cost of attendance is the estimated total amount it costs a student to go to school. Also known as the student budget, it includes allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

The Profile is an aid application that is secondary to the FAFSA that some colleges use to determine eligibility for institutional grants and scholarships.

UM does not require the CSS profile.

D

When a student fails to repay a student loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note, the loan is said to be in default. For most federal student loans, the borrower will default if they have not made a payment in more than 270 days.

Loan defaults appear on a borrowers credit record and can impact the ability to receive credit to purchase a car or home. Tax refunds can be garnished, state professional licensure denied and the student ceases to be eligible for federal financial aid in the future.

Because defaulting on a loan has serious legal consequences, students should do everything possible to avoid a default. Loan servicers have many options available to borrowers struggling to make payments. It is in the servicer's best interest to assist students in avoiding default so students should not avoid asking them for assistance.

Deferment is a postponement of payment on a student loan when certain conditions are met. One such condition is being enrolled at least half-time in school.

During a period of deferment interest does not accrue on Subsidized Direct Student Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans or Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans accrue interest during deferment. At the end of the deferment period any accrued interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance).

If a borrower fails to make a scheduled loan payment the loan is said to be delinquent.

A loan remains delinquent until the borrower resolves the missed payment through payment, deferment or forbearance. Failure to resolve the delinquency can result in the loan being put into default status.

Borrowers who are having difficulty making loan payments should contact their loan servicer to discuss options to keep the loan in good standing. It is in the servicer's best interest to work with borrowers to keep the loans from becoming delinquent, so borrowers struggling with repayment should not hesitate to contact them.

Dependency status is used to determine whose information is to be supplied on the FAFSA. If a student cannot meet one of the conditions to be considered independent then they are by default a dependent student and are required to provide parental information.

To be considered independent a student must meet one of the following conditions:

  • be at least 24 years old
  • be married
  • be a graduate or professional student
  • be a veteran
  • be a member of the armed forces
  • be an orphan or ward of the court
  • have a child for whom they provide more than 50% of the support
  • have someone other than a child or spouse living with them who they provide more than 50% of the support
  • be an emancipated minor
  • have a legal guardian
  • be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • be declared independent by staff in the financial aid office due to extenuating circumstance not listed above

When a student does not meet any of the thirteen conditions on the FAFSA to be considered independent, they can request that the financial aid office grant a dependency override.

Dependency overrides are only approved when the financial aid office determines that extenuating circumstances exist that justify the request.

A student’s dependency status is used to determine whose information is supplied on the FAFSA. A dependent student is required to provide parental information on the FAFSA. Independent students only provide information for themselves and their spouse (if they are married).

Dependency status can also impact what loans are available to a student and in what amounts.

The Cost of Attendance (COA) used in determining a student's eligibility for financial aid includes direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct costs are estimates of those charges that will be paid to UM and include tuition, fees, room and board.

At the start of a term, when a student has met all eligibility requirements, their aid is disbursed, meaning it is applied to the charges on their student account (registration bill). If there is more aid disbursed than what is owed to the school, the excess aid is refunded to the student.

E

The information a student provides on the FAFSA is used to calculate the EFC. The EFC is then used to determine a student's eligibility for federal financial aid.

An EFC of 5000 literally means that the federal government thinks that the family can provide $5000 of support for the student's educational expenses that academic year. Though used to determine a student's aid eligibility, the EFC does not indicate how much a family will actually pay for school expenses that year.

Upon request, when aid is delayed in being disbursed, the financial aid office can provide a short-term loan to a student for emergency purposes (books, food, etc.).  The loan is then repaid when the student's aid arrives.

Emergency loans are only provided as an advance on the next semester's aid when a student needs to make travel arrangements for study abroad. Otherwise, emergency loans are not approved until after the semester has started.

Students apply for emergency loans through Cyberbear. The program is based on availability. Loan amounts and funding vary.

Enrollment status is a reference to a student's credit load in a given term. Aid is not disbursed until a student has enrolled in the number of credits they stated they would be taking that term.

The status also impacts whether a student qualifies for a specific aid program, how much they will receive for that aid program and also determines whether they qualify for loan deferment.

For financial aid purposes, full-time is enrollment in 12 or more credits. Three-quarter time is enrollment in 9 - 11.5 credits. Half-time is enrollment in 6 - 8.5 credits. Students enrolled in 0.5 - 5.5 credits are considered to be enrolled less-than-half-time.

Loan entrance counseling is a mandatory information session which advises a student of the rights and responsibilities of being a borrower. The loans cannot be disbursed until the entrance counseling has been completed.

Because it is educational in nature, the counseling should be completed by the student, not by a parent or spouse.

Loan exit counseling is a mandatory information session required when a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time (graduates or drops out). It advises a student about repayment options and obligations, the repayment process in general and of their rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

Because it is educational in nature, the counseling should be completed by the student, not by a parent or spouse.

Extenuating circumstances, when referencing the FAFSA, are anything out of the ordinary. They come into play in three main areas: dependency status, income information on the FAFSA and amounts allocated in the Cost of Attendance.

In the case of an SAP appeal, an extenuating circumstance is something unanticipated and out of a student's control. The student must have an extenuating circumstance to have the appeal approved.

F

To receive any federal financial aid (grants, loans or work-study) a student must complete the FAFSA annually.

The FAFSA requests information about a student's family and their financial resources. This information is then used to generate a number known as the EFC (Expected Family Contribution). The EFC is used by colleges to determine a student's eligibility for aid.

Some state aid and scholarship programs also require completion of the FAFSA.

Fees are mandatory charges that are earmarked for specific purposes (e.g. technology). Fees can be based on the number of credits a student takes (e.g. health fee) or they can be specific to a course (e.g. a lab fee) or a program (e.g. business majors).

Fees based on credits are included in the tuition and fee allowance in the Cost of Attendance (COA)

After a student answers the aid questions in CyberBear, accepts their aid, and submits all required documents, the student's application must go through a final review.

In the final review, the award is being adjusted to account for additional aid resources and for changes in a student's enrollment status or EFC.

Grant aid will not appear on the registration bill and aid will not disburse until final review is completed.

When an admitted student submits the FAFSA with UM's school code, the student will be notified about what aid they are eligible to receive.

This notice may include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, and collectively is known as the award package.

Forbearance is an agreement between a student loan borrower and the loan servicer that for a set period of time the borrower will make reduced or no payments. Forbearance is most commonly granted when the borrower is experiencing a financial hardship and does not qualify for a loan deferment.

During forbearance interest continues to accrue. At the conclusion of the forbearance period, any unpaid interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance).

The FSA ID (FSA stands for Federal Student Aid) is used used as an electronic signature on the FAFSA, on MPN's and to provide access to studentloans.gov and NSLDS.

The person requesting the ID creates a username and password and provides their legal name, social security number and date of birth.

The FSEOG is a secondary federal grant program that has very limited funding.

At UM, only undergraduates who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, and who have an EFC of zero, are offered the grant. Because of the limited funding, only applicants who apply by the priority awarding deadline are assured of being offered the grant.

For financial aid purposes, full-time is enrollment in 12 or more credits.

To be eligible for federal student loans a student only needs to be registered half-time (6 credits).

Students can receive a Federal Pell Grant when they are enrolled part-time, but the amount they will receive will be prorated from the full-time amount.

All initial award estimates for undergraduates and law students are made on the assumption that they will be enrolled full-time. Initial award estimates for graduate students are made on the assumption that they will be enrolled in 9 credits per term.

G

The grace period is the period of time after a student graduates, leaves school or falls below half-time status in which they are not required to make loan payments.

Each loan receives one full grace period. A student who stopped attending school after the autumn semester, and then attended at least half-time in the upcoming summer term would still have a grace period on their loans, because the break in attendance was less than six months. If that same student waited until the following autumn to return to school they would have used up their grace period and their loans would enter repayment.

When a student who stopped out and used up the grace period returns to school, their loans will go back into deferment. However, when they leave school again, payment will begin immediately on any of the old loans. Any new loans taken out during the subsequent attendance period will have a grace period.

Federal Direct Student Loans and Federal Stafford Loans have 6 month grace periods. Federal Perkins Loans have 9 month grace periods.

Graduate students are students pursuing an advanced degree, meaning they have completed a bachelor's degree and are now pursuing a master's degree or a doctorate.

H

For financial aid purposes, half-time is enrollment in 6 to 8.5 credits.

To be eligible for federal student loans, or to keep student loans in deferment, a student only needs to be registered half-time.

Students can receive a Federal Pell Grant when they are enrolled half-time, but the amount they will receive will be prorated from the full-time amount.

I

Dependency status is used to determine whose information is to be supplied on the FAFSA. Independent students do not provide parental information.

To be considered independent a student must meet one of the following conditions:

  • be at least 24 years old
  • be married
  • be a graduate or professional student
  • be a veteran
  • be a member of the armed forces
  • be an orphan or ward of the court
  • have a child for whom they provide more than 50% of the support
  • have someone other than a child or spouse living with them who they provide more than 50% of the support
  • be an emancipated minor
  • have a legal guardian
  • be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • be declared independent by staff in the financial aid office due to extenuating circumstance not listed above

The Cost of Attendance (COA) used in determining a student's eligibility for financial aid includes direct costs and indirect costs.

Indirect costs are estimates of those expenses that are not billed by UM. They include books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous personal expenses.

Since many families already budget for these items, thought should given to whether a loan should be taken out to cover these expenses.

When a student is enrolled at least half-time, they are not required to make payments on student loans because they are being granted an in-school deferment.

During a period of deferment interest does not accrue on Subsidized Direct Student Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans or Federal Perkins Loans. All other federal student loans accrue interest during deferment. At the end of the deferment period any accrued interest will be capitalized (added to the principal balance).

Interest is an amount charged by a lender for the use of borrowed money. Interest is usually calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan. The amount of interest charged monthly will decrease as the principal balance decreases.

At times, interest may be capitalized, meaning the accrued interest is added to the principal. Then interest is charged on the higher principal balance. In essence a borrower is then paying interest on their interest. Making interest only payments when a loan is in deferment, forbearance or the grace period can reduce the amount of interest that will be capitalized.

The IRS Data Retrieval tool is an easy and secure way to access and transfer tax return information directly onto the FAFSA.

Families who do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and are selected for verification must provide copies of an official tax transcript from the IRS.

J

K

L

When a student borrows money to pay for college, the entity providing the funds is the lender.

In the case of Federal Direct Student Loans, the lender is the US Department of Education.

With private/alternative student loans the lender could be a school, bank, credit union or foundation.

After a student borrows money to pay for college, sometimes the lender will sell the debt to a different entity. The new owner of the debt is known as the loan holder.

If such a sale occurs, the student will receive notification from the original lender and from the loan holder. Payments are then made to the loan holder or their servicer.

The Loan Ombudsman Group is a branch of the US Department of Education. It exists to assist student loan borrowers with resolving disputes with loan servicers regarding repayment of student loans.

They can be contacted by calling 877-557-2575.

Loan rehabilitation is a process for bringing a loan out of default and removing the default notation from a borrower's credit report.

A defaulted borrower must specifically request loan rehabilitation from their loan servicer. The servicer will then set up a payment plan that will require the borrower to make on-time payments for nine months in a row.

In addition to removing the default from a student's credit record, rehabilitation also allows a student's federal aid eligibility to be reinstated.

A loan servicer is a company that works on behalf of the lender or loan holder to collect payments, respond to inquiries, and perform other administrative tasks associated with repayment of a federal student loan.

M

As a condition of receiving federal financial aid, students must be making satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of a degree/certificate. One way that is measured is by the imposition of a maximum time-frame for degree completion. At UM it is referred to as the max credit policy.

A promissory note is a legal contract in which the borrower of a loan promises to repay the debt under the conditions detailed in the document.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) used when a student takes out a student loan is signed electronically using the borrowers FSA ID. It is called a master note because additional loans can be added to the note in subsequent years (up to ten years) without a new promissory note needing to be endorsed.

N

In determining eligibility for federal aid, need is calculated by subtracting the EFC from the cost of attendance (COA). If the resulting number is greater than zero then the student is said to have need.

The amount of need a student has is then used to determine eligibility for various aid programs.

Aid is designated as being either need-based or non-need based. If aid is need-based, then a student must show some level of financial neediness to qualify for that aid program. In most cases, the amount of aid a student receives from that program is limited to covering the student’s remaining unmet need when other aid is taken into consideration.

For example: A student with $6,534 of calculated need is receiving a $1000 scholarship and $3000 of Federal Work-Study. The maximum need-based loan the student could then receive would be $2,534.

The Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan and Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan are all need-based aid programs.

The TEACH Grant, Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan are all non-need-based aid programs.

Net price, as defined by the US Department of Education, is determined by taking the institution's cost of attendance (COA) and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which the student may be eligible.

An alternate way to calculate net price is to subtract grants and scholarships from the direct cost rather than the COA. This will more closely represent the cost to the family if the student attends that school.

NSLDS is a federal database that records a student's aid history.

It includes when and where a student attended college, how much Federal Pell Grant they received, and their loan history, including the contact information for who currently services their loans.

Parent borrowers and students access NSLDS using their FSA ID.

O

Federal Direct Student Loans and Federal Direct PLUS loans have origination fees. These fees are assessed at the time of disbursement and reduce the amount of funding the student receives.

For example, if a student borrowed $1000 on a loan with a 1% origination fee, they would receive checks totaling $990, but would owe back $1000.

The fees change slightly each October 1. Fees for Federal Direct Student Loans are a little more than 1% and for Federal Direct PLUS Loans are a little more than 4%.

P

As a condition of receiving federal financial aid, students must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of a degree/certificate. Pace is one of the three ways that SAP is measured.

Pace, also known as completion rate, is a measure of the percentage of credits that a student successfully completes. A student with a 4.0 GPA who has also withdrawn from half their courses would not be making satisfactory progress, despite the GPA, because they are not completing the required 70% of the credits they attempt.

For financial aid purposes, and for the assessing of tuition, any student enrolled in 0.5 - 11.5 credits is enrolled part-time, even at the graduate level.

The Federal Pell Grant is the primary federal grant program. Only undergraduate students with very low EFC's (high need) are eligible to receive it.

Students are limited to receiving two semesters of full-time Pell grant a year and are limited to receiving six years of full-time Pell grant.

The grant is named after Senator Claiborne Pell, the original sponsor of the grant program and an advocate of providing funding for higher education.

The Federal Perkins Loan is a secondary federal loan program that has very limited funding. Even though it is the oldest student loan program, the program is currently scheduled to be discontinued after the 2016-17 academic year.

At UM, only undergraduates who have substantial unmet need, after all other loans, grants and work-study have been awarded, are offered the loan. Because of the limited funding, only applicants who apply by the priority awarding deadline are assured of being offered the loan.

The loan was named after US Congressman Carl D. Perkins, a lifelong advocate for funding for higher education.

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan that a parent (or in some cases a step-parent) can take out on behalf of their dependent student. Graduate students are also eligible to take a PLUS loan after exhausting their annual eligibility for the Federal Direct Student Loan.

Approval for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan is not guaranteed. Borrowers with an adverse credit history will be denied, but can still receive the loan if they have a credit approved endorser (co-signor).

Repayment begins after the student ceases to be enrolled half-time (other than during normal breaks between semesters, including summers). Interest accrues from the time of disbursement.

Students who have a bachelor's degree, but are continuing to study at the undergraduate level, are considered to be post-baccalaureate (post-bacc) students.

Post-bacc students are only eligible for loans and work-study, and must be pursuing a new degree/certificate to be eligible for those programs.

If a post-bacc student has a status of pre-major, they may not be eligible for aid. They should contact the financial aid office to learn about their options.

Principal is the total amount of loan borrowed, plus any interest that has been capitalized.

When a loan enters repayment, a portion of each monthly payment goes toward the accrued interest and the remainder reduces the outstanding principal balance.

Historically, the FAFSA has required tax data from the most recently completed calendar year, prior to the upcoming fall term (prior year).

Starting with the 17-18 FAFSA, tax data from two years previous is required. This shift to "prior-prior-year" allows most people to complete the FAFSA without having to estimate income, as the deadline for filing taxes (even for those filing extensions) has already come and gone.

Private student loans are private, nonfederal student loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

Federal student loans include many benefits (such as fixed interest rates and income-based repayment plans) not typically offered with private loans.

Generally, it is in a student's best interest to exhaust eligibility for federal student loans before pursing a private student loan.

Program fees, sometimes referred to as super-tuition, are fees charged to students in certain programs (e.g. business majors).

Tuition waivers do not cover program fees, even though they are sometimes referenced as being a tuition charge.

A promissory note is a legal contract in which the borrower of a loan promises to repay the debt under the conditions detailed in the document.

The Master Promissory Note (MPN) used when a student takes out a student loan is signed electronically using the borrowers FSA ID. It is called a master note because additional loans can be added to the note in subsequent years (up to ten years) without a new promissory note needing to be endorsed.

Q

R

At the start of a term, when a student has met all eligibility requirements, their aid is disbursed, meaning it is applied to the charges on their student account (registration bill). If there is more aid disbursed than what is owed to the school, the excess aid is given to the student in the form of a refund.

Refunds are sent out from Business Services twice a week. Not all aid disburses at the same time so a student might receive multiple refunds in any given semester.

Students can have their refund credited electronically to their personal bank account by providing their bank routing information in CyberBear. Students who don't opt for electronic refunds will have a check mailed to them.

Registering for classes is what creates tuition and fee charges for a given term. In July for Autumn, November for Spring, and April for Summer, the registration bill is generated showing all charges owed by the student for the upcoming term.

The bill itemizes charges and shows pending financial aid credits. Failure to pay the bill by the deadline, even if paying with aid, can result in late fees and/or the student's classes being dropped.

The rate a student is charged for tuition is based in part on whether or not a student is classified as a resident of Montana. Residents pay a lower tuition rate than non-residents because state tax revenue subsidizes the cost of educating them.

Determination of residency is made at the time of admission. Prospective students with questions about their residency status should contact the Admissions Office.

Students wishing to become Montana residents should review the residency requirements on the Registrar's website.

The financial aid office is not involved in the process of determining a student's residency status.

Room is a reference to the cost of a student's housing, whether it is in the university residence halls or in an apartment in the community.

The cost of attendance (COA) includes an allowance for the cost of housing (i.e. room).

S

As a condition of receiving federal financial aid, students must be making timely progress toward the completion of a degree/certificate.

This policy, knows as satisfactory academic progress (SAP), looks at a student’s grade point average (GPA), the percentage of credits they have successfully completed (Pace), and at the maximum time frame in which the degree/certificate must be completed (max credits).

Students that fail to make satisfactory academic progress may be placed on warning or financial aid suspension. SAP regulations require that a student’s complete academic record be considered, regardless of whether the student received aid each term they were enrolled.

The SAP policy also governs some state aid programs (e.g. American Indian Tuition Waivers).

 

A scholarship is free money given to a student to help with their educational expenses.

Scholarships are often competitive and usually based on some criterion of merit. They may include demonstrated need as a criterion as well.

Some scholarships are tuition designated, so in combination with other tuition designated resources are limited to the cost of tuition.

When a federal student loan is subsidized, it means that the interest is paid for the student while they are enrolled in school (at least half-time) and, in most cases, during the grace period.

The Subsidized Federal Direct Student Loan and the Federal Perkins Loan are both subsidized loans.

If after the loan enters repayment, a student subsequently qualifies for a loan deferment, the interest will again be paid on the student's behalf during the deferment.

When given a choice between a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan, a student should always take the subsidized loan first because of the reduced interest that will acrue on the loan.

T

Non-resident graduate students who secure a teaching or research assistantship are given TARA standing each term they are a TA or RA.

Although still considered non-residents, tuition charges for TARA students are the same as resident students. If in a later term a student ceases to be a TA or RA, then their tuition charges will revert to those of a non-resident student.

A tax return transcript is a report from the IRS which shows most line items from a filed tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not show amendments made after the return was filed.

Students who are selected for verification are often required to provide tax information directly from the IRS. Either a student uses the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or they must secure tax transcripts. Photocopies of the original tax return are not acceptable in lieu of a tax transcript.

The federal TEACH Grant is an aid program for students who plan to teach a high-need subject at a low income school. Though called a grant, it is really a forgivable loan.

Students who meet the eligibility requirements (need is not a requirement) must sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS). The ATS is a legal contract, similar to a promissory note, that outlines the conditions of receiving the grant. Failure to complete the agreed upon service will result in the grant being converted to a loan with interest retroactive to the time of disbursement.

Tuition is the primary charge for taking a course. The amount charged is based on the number of credits for which a student registers.

Part-time students and students attending in the summer are assessed a per credit charge. Students attending full-time in the autumn or spring term are charged a fix rate, no matter how many credits beyond 12 credits they take.

A student's tuition rate is also dependent on their residency status (MT resident, non-resident, WUE, TARA), where they are attending (mountain campus, Missoula College, distance education), their class standing (freshman/sophomore vs. junior/senior) and level (undergrad, law, grad masters, doctorate).

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a generic name for any aid program provided by an external governmental agency (e.g. vocational rehabilitation) where the agency makes payments directly to the university.

To be tuition designated means that the specific aid program can be used to pay tuition charges, but nothing else (e.g. fees, room, board, books). Most aid is not tuition designated and can be used to pay for any educational expense included in the cost of attendance (COA).

If a student receives aid from two or more tuition designated programs, the combined total cannot exceed the cost of tuition. If a student receives aid from a tuition designated program and also aid from non-tuition designated programs, the tuition designated award will be up to the cost of tuition and the rest of the aid, combined with the tuition designated award, will be up to the COA. 

Tuition waivers provide a credit equivalent to a percentage of a student's tuition charges. They do not cover other charges, including program fees (e.g. assessed to business majors) which are sometimes referred to as super tuition or program related tuition.

Tuition waivers are tuition designated, so in combination with other tuition designated aid cannot exceed the cost of tuition.

A student's financial aid award will not show tuition waivers, but they will appear on a student's registration bill as a pending credit.

U

Students who receive federal aid, but don't receive any passing grades in a semester, are assumed to have ceased attendance and are considered an unofficial withdrawal.

Students who have unofficially withdrawn have not earned all the aid they received. Half of their federal aid will be returned unless attendance can be confirmed in at least one course beyond the 60% point in time of the semester. Any resulting balance that is created will be owed to the university immediately.

Students struggling in their courses should seek help, either from their academic advisor or from a withdrawal counselor in Business Services.

Students flagged as unofficial withdrawals have a short window of time to provide proof that they attended past the 60% point of the semester to be able to retain all their aid.

When a federal student loan is unsubsidized, it means that interest accrues from the time of disbursement. It also means that accrued interest will be capitalized when the student enters repayment.

The Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan and the Federal PLUS Loan are both unsubsidized loans.

When given a choice between a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan, a student should always take the subsidized loan first because of the reduced interest that will accrue on the loan.

Unusual circumstances, also referred to as extenuating circumstances, are anything out of the ordinary. They come into play in three main areas: dependency status, income information on the FAFSA and amounts allocated in the Cost of Attendance.

V

Approximately 30% of students who apply for federal aid have their applications selected by the US Department of Education for a process known as verification.

If selected, a student will need to provide additional information to the financial aid office that the staff will use to confirm accuracy of the information supplied on the FAFSA.

If changes are made as a result of the review, the student's new EFC will be used in determining aid eligibility.

Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) is a state agency that assists people with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining, and maintaining employment. Part of their assistance includes direct grant aid to assist with paying for higher education.

Qualifying students are usually expected to also apply for federal aid through the FAFSA. The university and the agency then work to coordinate the aid to assist with paying for school.

Those students interested in receiving voc rehab apply directly to the agency. The office in Missoula is located at 2675 Palmer Street.

W

A W-2 is a tax document given to the employees of a company that lists the amount of wages earned and taxes withheld.

Some students who are selected for verification will be asked to supply copies of W-2 forms for themselves, their spouse or their parents.

As a condition of receiving federal financial aid, students must be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of a degree/certificate.

When a student falls out of compliance with the SAP policy (because they do not have the required GPA or Pace completion percentage), they are placed on warning. While on warning, a student is still eligible for financial aid. If a student is not back in compliance with the SAP standards after the next semester they are enrolled, then they become ineligible for federal aid.

When a student drops all their courses in a semester they have withdrawn from school. Withdrawing has a lot of consequences so should only be done after consulting with a student's academic advisor or a withdrawal counselor in Business Services.

Recipients of federal aid will owe back a portion of their federal aid if they withdraw up to the 60% point in the semester. Students who don't formally withdraw but just stop attending classes are considered unofficial withdrawals. They too will likely owe back a portion of their federal aid.

When a student returns to school, the W grades a student received will adversely affect the student's compliance with the Pace portion of the SAP policy. They may result in the student being place on warning or financial aid suspension.

When a student withdraws, the clock on their loan grace periods begins. If they have loans that already have used up their grace period, repayment will begin immediately. If they withdraw in the autumn term, the spring term disbursement will be canceled.

Work-study is funding that is earned by working at a job on campus or at a non-profit agency in the community. Federal Work-Study is need-based aid.

Work-study is received in the form of a bi-monthly paycheck, so is not available to pay the registration bill at the start of a semester.

WUE is a scholarship program that allows students from select western states to pay a reduced tuition rate based on 150% of the resident tuition rate.

The program is competitive. Only students who meet high academic standards are offered the WUE and only upon first entering UM.

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