Glossary of Terms for Financial Aid Offers

The Glossary of Terms for Financial Aid Offers was created in 2012 by NASFAA's Award Notification Task Force, and updated in 2019 after consultation with NASFAA membership, the NASFAA Board of Directors, and members of the higher education community, to more accurately reflect the current financial aid environment. It contains universally accepted definitions of language typically contained on financial aid offers given to current and prospective students by colleges and universities. The intent of this glossary is:

  • To provide colleges community-defined and accepted definitions of common terms used on institutional financial aid offers
  • To provide greater clarity and understanding by students through consistency in the use and meaning of terms on financial aid offers across all colleges and universities
  • To allow prospective students to more easily compare information from multiple schools because terms used have common definitions

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