Wayne State University

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Glossary of Terms


Academic Year
Wayne State University Law School has three separate enrollment periods and for financial aid purposes. The academic year begins in the fall and extendss through summer. Your initial award will only include the fall and winter semesters. Summer aid eligibility will be determined following your submission of our Summer Aid Form.

Account HOLDS
A HOLD may be placed on your university account for a number of reasons. The most common holds are from the WSU Student Accounts Receivables Office for outstanding balances and failure to complete Perkins Loan exit counseling. A hold may prevent you from registering for classes.

Alternative Loans
Loans that are established by private lenders to supplement the federal and state student education loan programs. Alternative loans are generally more expensive than federal loan programs.

An appeal is a formal request to have the financial aid office review your aid eligibility for possible adjustment. For example, if you believe the financial information on your financial aid application does not reflect your family's current ability to pay (e.g., because of death of a parent, unemployment, or other unusual circumstances), you may submit an appeal. The financial aid office will require documentation of your special circumstances or of information stated on your financial aid application.

Award Letter
An award letter is issued by the Law School Office of Student Financial Aid. The award letter identifies the amount, source, and type of aid by enrollment period. Awards are subjected to change based on the availability of funds and changes in your eligibility. You will receive a "revised" award letter if your awards are adjusted. Award letters are accessed via Academica. An email will be sent to your WSU email account notifying you to access Academica view your award. Federal Grad PLUS loans are not included on the award letter. See our web page for information about the application process.

The person who is responsible for repaying a loan and who has signed and agreed to the terms in the promissory note.

A plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. Developing you own budget is a crucial step in financing your educational goals. Also see cost of attendance.

Campus-Based Aid
Campus-based financial aid programs include the Federal Perkins Loan and the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. The federal government provides the university with fixed an annual allocation for campus-based aid, which is awarded by the financial aid office to eligible students.

Note that there is no guarantee that every eligible student will receive financial aid through these programs because the awards are made from a limited amount of money.

Some loan programs provide for release of borrowers from their obligations to repay their loans. Borrowers must meet certain requirements to be eligible for cancellations such as death or permanent disability. Some of the federal student loan programs have additional cancellation provisions. For example, if you take a position as a prosecuting attorney, you may be eligible for cancellation of all or part of the balance of your Federal Perkins Loans. Another cancellation provision is available if you serve in the military. The military pays off a portion of your loans for every year of service. See also Loan Forgiveness.

Adding unpaid accumulated interest to the loan principal. Capitalizing interest increases the principal amount of the loan, and therefore, the total cost of the loan. Capitalizing the interest increases the monthly payment and the amount of money you will eventually have to repay. If you can afford to pay the interest as it accrues, it is better not to capitalize it.

Citizen/Eligible Non-Citizen
To receive financial aid, you must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or an eligible non-citizen. Generally, you are an eligible non-citizen if you are:

If you are on only an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G services visa, you are neither a citizen nor an eligible non-citizen.

Collection Costs
Costs the lender or servicer incurs when collecting a delinquent or defaulted loan. These costs are charged to the borrower.

College Work-Study
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program, formerly labled College Work-Study, provides students with part-time employment during the school year. The federal government pays a portion of the student's salary. Eligibility for FWS is based on need. Money earned from an FWS job is not counted as income for the subsequent year's FAFSA process. Complete our work-study request form if you are interested in funding.

Form of refinancing and a way to simplify the repayment of your federal loans. The process will move all your individual federal loans with individual repayment amounts and create a new loan with one monthly payment. The interest rate on consolidation loans will change depending on the rate of the loans you are consolidating. Be aware that you will lose any repayment benefits you may have on your current loans if you consolidate them.

Cost of Attendance
The cost of attendance (COA), also known as the cost of education or "budget", is an estimation of what it could cost you to go to school for a specific period of enrollment. The COA is calculated using an estimated cost of tuition, fees, housing expenses, books, supplies, personal, travel, and health care costs. It is based on your residency status for tuition purposes (in-state or out-of state); housing preference (off-campus, or living-at-home); and enrollment status. The estimations are based upon averages for each category and are not reflective of actual or projected costs.

Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a promissory note. If you default on a loan, the University, the holder of the loan, the state, and the federal government can take legal action to recover the money, including garnishing your wages and withholding income tax refunds. Defaulting on a government loan will make you ineligible for future federal financial aid, unless a satisfactory repayment schedule is arranged, and can affect your credit rating.

Deferment occurs when a borrower is allowed to temporarily postpone repaying the loan. If you have a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest charges during the deferment period. If you have an unsubsidized loan, you are responsible for the interest that accrues during the deferment period. You can still postpone paying the interest charges by capitalizing the interest, which increases the size of the loan. Most federal loan programs allow students to defer their loans while they are in school at least half time. If you do not qualify for a deferment, you may be able for a forbearance.

For your child to be considered your dependent, you must provide more than half of his/her support. If your child does not live with you, the other parent and you may not both claim the child as a dependent. For other persons to be considered your dependent they must live with you and you must provide more than half of their support.

When payments from a loan are late or missed, as specified in the terms of the promissory note and the selected repayment plan.

Direct Loan
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans) is a federal program that provides loans to students and parent borrowers directly from the U.S. Department of Education. As current regulations state, students interested in Public Service Loan Forgiveness will need to obtain a Federal Direct Consolidation loan to qualify for this benefit.

Disbursement is the release of financial aid to your school account for payment of tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges.

Disclosure Statement
The disclosure statement is sent by the lender 30 calendar days before the first anticipated disbursement and provides the borrower with information about their loan types, anticipated loan disbursement amounts, loan fee rate, amount of loan fee, anticipated disbursement dates and anticipated net disbursements.

Enrollment Status
An indication of whether you are a full-time, ¾ time, ½ time, or less than half time student. Generally, you must be enrolled at least half-time in courses that will count towards your degree to qualify for financial aid. Courses that are for noncredit (i.e., audit) do not count towards your degree. 

WSU Law School Enrollment Status Table
Enrollment Status Fall or Winter    Summer
JD Student LLM  JD Student LLM
Full Time 10+ Credits 8+ Credits 5+ Credits 2+ Credits
½ Time 5-9 Credits 4-7 Credits 3-4 Credits 1 Credit
<½ Time 1-4 Credits 1-3 Credits 1-2 Credits NA








Entrance Counseling
An individual or online session during which new borrowers who are borrowing federal loans for the first time receive important information about their rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower. Loan entrance counseling is a requirement for all Federal loans.

Exit Counseling
A group, individual or online session during which borrowers who are leaving school or dropping below half time enrollment receive important information about their repayment obligations and update information about themselves. Loan exit counseling is a requirement for all Federal loans.

Expected Family Contribution
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount of money that the family is expected to be able to contribute to the student's education, as determined by the Federal Methodology need analysis formula approved by Congress. The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets. The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need, and is used in determining the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid.

If there are unusual financial circumstances, such as high medical expenses, loss of employment, or death of a parent, that may affect your ability to pay for your education, you may request professional judgment and appeal for an adjustment to your family contribution.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
A federally financed loan for graduate students. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. A credit check will occur to determine if the student is eligible to borrow funds. The lender charges interest from the date the first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full.

Federal Direct (Stafford) Subsidized Loan
A federally financed and subsidized student loan made based on the student's financial need and other specific eligibility requirements. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance less the expected family contribution and any other aid received. Students may not borrow more than the maximum annual or aggregate amount, $8,500. The federal government does not charge interest on these loans while the borrower is in enrolled at least half time, during a six-month grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment. The aggregate limit is $65,500. Note: Graduate and professional students are no longer eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. They are eligible for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans only. The annual Direct Loan limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500.

Federal Direct (Stafford) Unsubsidized Loan
A federally financed student loan made to students meeting specific eligibility requirements. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received and may not borrow more than the maximum annual or aggregate amount. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. You may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal). The annual loan limit for a graduate student is $20,500. The aggregate limit for all Direct Loans combined is $138,500.

Federal Methodology
The Federal Methodology (FM) is the need analysis formula used to determine the EFC. The Federal Methodology takes family size, the number of family members in college, taxable and nontaxable income, and assets into account.

Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5%) loan for students with financial need. The school is your lender and the loan is made with federal government funds. You must repay the loan to your school. This is a subsidized loan and no interest will accrue while you are in school at least half-time and during a 9-month grace period. The Wayne State University Student Accounts Receivables Office manages loan repayment.

Federal Processor
The Federal Processor is the U.S. Department of Education's agent that processes the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to compute eligibility for federal student aid. 

FERPA - Family Educational RIghts and Privacy Act - By signing a FERPA release you may give us permission to discuss your financial aid with another designated person.

Financial Aid
Money provided to the student and the family to help them pay for the student's education. Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).

Financial Aid Administrator
A Financial Aid Administrator is a Wayne State University professional employee who counsels and assists students and families in finding options to fund your college education. They are also called financial aid counselors.

Financial Aid Package
The financial aid package is the complete collection of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study employment from all sources (federal, state, institutional, and private) offered to a student to enable them to attend the college or university.

First-time Borrower
A first-time borrower is a first-year student at WSU who has not borrowed a federal loan while attending WSU. First time borrowers are required to complete loan entrance counseling.

An arrangement to postpone or reduce a borrower's monthly payment amount for a limited and specified period or to extend the repayment period. You are charged interest during forbearance period. Forbearance is granted at the lender's discretion, usually in cases of financial hardship or other unusual circumstances when the borrower does not qualify for a deferment.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for all federal aid including the Federal Work-Study (FWS), Federal Student Loans, Federal Grad PLUS Loans and all other need-based aid. In addition, Wayne State University Law School requires completion of the FAFSA for all monetary scholarship awards.

Gift Aid
Gift aid is financial aid that does not need to be repaid such as grants and scholarships

Grace Period
The grace period is a short time period after graduation during which the borrower is not required to begin repaying his or her student loans. The grace period starts the day after a borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Depending on the type of loan, you will have a grace period of six months (Direct Loans) or nine months (Perkins Loans) before you must start making payments on your student loans. Grad PLUS Loans do not have a grace period. During the grace period for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans, interest must be paid or it will be capitalized.

Home School
A home school is the school that will grant the student's degree. The school will process, award and disburse financial aid. Wayne State University Law School is the home school for WSU Law students attending other schools on a consortium agreement.

Host School
The host school will not grant the student's degree. It will certify the student's enrollment status and provide information to the home school about the student such as costs for tuition and fees for courses taken there, grades received for those courses and/or withdrawal information.

Instate Student
An instate student has met the legal residency requirements for the state and is eligible for Michigan residency instate student tuition at WSU.

Interest is an amount charged to the borrower for the privilege of using the lender's money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the principal balance of the loan. The percentage rate may be fixed for the life of the loan or it may be variable, depending on the terms of the loan.

A lender is a bank, credit union, savings & loan association, government or other financial institution that provides funds to the student or parent for an educational loan.

Loan Fee
An expense of borrowing deducted from each loan disbursement by the lender.

Loan Forgiveness
Loan Forgiveness programs enable a student to have a portion of his or her student loan debt forgiven. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a new program in which students working in public service employment can have a portion of their loan debt forgiven under certain circumstances. Federal Direct Loan borrowers first must make 120 monthly payments. Borrowers must elect income-based, income-contingent, standard repayment, or a combination.

Loan Servicing Center
The lender's agent contracted to collect student loan payments and handle deferments, repayment options, and consolidation.

Financial aid that is merit-based generally does not have financial need as a criterion. It usually is based on academic, artistic, or athletic merit, or some other criterion, and your grades, test scores, hobbies, and special talents are considered to determine your eligibility for scholarships. Although a Law School scholarship may be merit-based, the Law School requires completion of a FAFSA before any funds will be applied to your account. Merit-based scholarship awards may require revision in need-based aid.

The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need - the gap between the cost of attending the school and the student's resources. The financial aid package is based on the amount of financial need. The process of determining a student's need is known as need analysis.

Need Analysis
Need analysis is the process applying the Federal Methodology and determining a student's financial need by analyzing the financial information provided by the student and his or her parents (and spouse, if any) on a financial aid form. The student must submit a need analysis form to apply for need-based aid. Need analysis forms include the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Financial need, which is based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (COA - EFC = financial need), is the criterion for need-based aid eligibility. Need based federal aid includes the Federal Pell Grant (available to undergraduate students only), Federal Work- Study, and Federal Direct Loans.

Financial aid that is non need-based does not have financial need as the eligibility cirterion. Non-need-based aid eligibility is based on the difference between the cost of attendance and the resources awarded. Non-need-based federal aid includes the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal Grad PLUS Loan, and Alternative (private) Loans.

Origination Fee
The origination fee is a mandatory fee charged by the U.S. Department of Education to offset the administrative costs of administering a Federal Direct Loan and a Federal Grad PLUS Loans. Typically, the fee is 0.5 to 3% of the loan amount. The origination fee is proportionately subtracted from each disbursement of the loan.

Outside Resource
An outside resource is aid received that is not based on submitting a FAFSA such as private donor scholarships, prepaid tuition plans, graduate assistantships, and VA educational benefits.

Out-of-State Student
An out-of-state student has not met the legal residency requirements for the state, and is charged as a non-Michigan resident tuition rate.

When a student receives more financial aid than eligibility based on their gross need, cost of attendance or the individual program award requirements. For example, a late scholarship award may create an overaward of federal aid requiring an adjustment or return of funds to the lender.

Packaging is the process of assembling a financial aid package.

The principal is the amount of money borrowed or remaining unpaid amount on a loan. If you do not elect to pay the accumulating interest on a student loan, the interest owed will be added to the principal at repayment, increasing your loan debt.

Any amount paid on a loan by the borrower before it is required to be paid under the terms of the promissory note. There is never a penalty for prepaying principal or interest on any federal loans.

Private Loans
See Alternative Loans.

Promissory Note
The promissory note is a legal binding contract between the borrower and the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy, and cancellations. The borrower should keep this document until the loan has been repaid. Promissory notes must be signed before a loan can be disbursed.

Repayment Schedule
The statement provided by the lender indicating the amount borrowed, the amount of monthly payments and the date payments are due.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
You must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue receiving federal aid. If a student fails to maintain an academic standing consistent with the school's SAP policy, you are unlikely to meet the school's graduation requirements.

Selective Service
Selective Service is registration for the military draft. Male students who are US citizens and have reached the age of 18 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 (847) 688-6888.

A servicer is an organization that collects payments on a loan and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a loan portfolio. Loan servicers disburse loans funds, monitor loans while the borrowers are in school, collect payments, process deferments, and forbearances, respond to borrower inquiries, and ensure that the loans are administered in compliance with federal regulations and guarantee agency requirements.

Stafford Loan
The Stafford Loan program is a federal program in which lenders provide loan funding, backed by the federal government. The current interest rate on all new Federal Stafford loan is fixed at 6.8%.

Student Aid Report
The Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizes the information included in the FAFSA. The SAR will also indicate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Student Contribution
The Student Contribution (SC) is the amount of money the federal Government expects the student to contribute; the SC depends on the student's income and assets.

Unmet Need
In an ideal world, the financial aid office would be able to provide each student with the full difference between their ability to pay and the cost of education. Due to funding constraints, the office may provide the student with less than the student's need. This gap is known as the unmet need. Federal Graduate PLUS Loans and alternative loans can be used for remaining unmet need.

Untaxed Income
Contributions to IRAs, Keoghs, tax-sheltered annuities, and 401k plans, as well as worker's compensation and welfare benefits.

Variable Interest
Rate of interest on a loan that is tied to a stated index and changes monthly, quarterly or annually, as the index changes. Some variable rate loans will have an interest cap.

Verification is a review process in which the financial aid office determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student's financial aid application. During the verification process, the student will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the financial aid application. Such documentation may include signed copies of the most recent Federal and State income tax returns for you, your spouse (if any), copies of Social Security benefit statements and W2 and 1099 forms, among other things.

If any discrepancies are uncovered during verification, the financial aid office may require additional information to clear up the discrepancies. Such discrepancies may cause your final financial aid package to be different from the initial package described on the award letter you received from the school. If the documentation is not submitted, the financial aid package will be canceled and no aid awarded.

For Federal financial aid purposes such as determining dependency status, a veteran is a former member of the US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged other than dishonorably (i.e., received an honorable or medical discharge). You are a veteran even if you serve just one day on active duty - not active duty for training - before receiving your DD-214 and formal discharge papers.

A person who was discharged other than dishonorably from one of the military service academies (the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, or the Coast Guard Academy at New London) is considered a veteran for financial aid purposes. Cadets and midshipmen who are still enrolled in one of the military service academies, however, are not considered veterans. ROTC students, members of the National Guard, and most reservists are not considered veterans.

W-2 Form
The W-2 form is the Wage and Taxt Statement that employers issue to each employee as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The W2 form lists the employee's wages and tax withheld.