Making KU affordable

Financial aid terms & acronyms

Aid Package
One or more types of aid, including grants, university scholarships, outside/private scholarships, work-study and/or loans that a student has been awarded.
Alternative Loans
Alternative loans were established by private lenders to supplement federal loans. A student may want to consider an alternative loan when federal financial aid is not enough to cover the student's COA.
Award Notification
An official document issued by a school's financial aid office that lists all of the financial aid awarded to the student. Details regarding financial need and the breakdown of financial aid awards according to amount, source, and type of aid, as well as terms and conditions for the financial aid and information about the cost of attendance are all available on Enroll & Pay. The student is required to accept or decline for each source of aid.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
Your estimated COA (also known as a budget) is a standardized estimate of what it will cost you to attend KU for the academic year. Financial Aid & Scholarships conducts research to determine the cost of living for students in the Lawrence area. The estimated COA contains the following components: tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. The COA also includes charges such as non-resident tuition and special fees for programs such as engineering, law, and pharmacy, as well as differential fees. Your financial aid package cannot exceed your estimated COA.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
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. The difference between the COA and the EFC is the student's financial need, and it is used to determine the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
A federal law that applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, schools must give students attending college access to their education records, a chance to have those records amended, and some control over the disclosure of information from their records. FERPA protects a student's information from being disclosed to anyone other than the student or those authorized by the student to receive information. A parent or guardian cannot access student records unless the student fills out an Authorization to Release Information form.
Federal Methodology
Federal Methodology is a need analysis formula created by the U.S. Congress to establish a standardized, equitable system for financial aid distribution nationwide. It is used to calculate how much money individual students and their families can reasonably be expected to contribute toward higher education. Items such as family size, taxable and nontaxable income, assets, number of family members in college, and even the age of the parents are taken into consideration.
Federal Processor
The organization that processes the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and uses it to compute an applicant's Expected Family Contribution.
Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
FSA IDs are assigned by the U.S. Department of Education. You may create an FSA ID. This ID is your electronic signature and may be used to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), correct your Student Aid Report (SAR), sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN), and monitor federal loans you receive. If you are a dependent student, a parent should also create an FSA ID because parental information is required on the FAFSA. Your FSA ID and password are confidential and should not be shared with anyone.
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
A program allowing students to earn money toward their education while in school by working part-time on campus. The federal government pays a portion of the student's hourly wage. Eligibility for FWS is based on need.
Financial Aid
Financial aid is funding provided by various agencies (federal, state and local governments, colleges, community organizations, and private corporations or individuals) to help students meet the costs of attending college. Financial aid includes gift aid (grants and scholarships), self-help aid (loans and work-study), fee waivers, fellowships, sponsorships, and other resources awarded/received to assist with the cost of higher education.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is developed by the U.S. Department of Education and is used to determine a student's eligibility for grants, loans, and work-study programs. As the name suggests, there is no charge for filing the FAFSA. The Department of Education recommends that you file online, but paper versions of the application are also available.
Gift Aid
Gift aid, such as grants and scholarships, is financial aid that generally does not have to be repaid.
Awards to students that require financial need and generally do not have to be repaid.
Kansas Career Work-Study (KWS)
A state subsidized program intended to provide employers an incentive to hire KU students in career-related positions by reimbursing employers for one-half of the eligible student employee's gross salary. KWS is not a need-based financial aid program; however, there are limits as to what a student may earn. The earnings limit is dependent upon the cost of attending KU and a student's financial aid package. Find out more information about KWS at the University Career Center.
A type of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Student loans are available to students and their parents at low interest rates. Loans are considered financial aid because of the special interest rates, with some being subsidized by the federal government. Repayment of most student loans does not begin until after graduation.
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The binding legal document that must be signed by the student or parent borrower before loan funds are disbursed by 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. You may sign your MPN onlineMPNs are usually valid for up to 10 years.
Office of Admissions
The admissions office is responsible for admitting and readmitting KU students as well as awarding all KU freshmen and transfer scholarships. If you are an incoming or transfer student, you may apply for KU scholarships through the Office of Admissions. If you are a continuing or readmitted student, please contact the department in which you are majoring for information on KU departmental scholarships.
Financial Aid & Scholarships (FAS)
The FAS office is responsible for awarding federal, state, and institutional financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans) and maintains records for all outside/private scholarships. In addition, the FAS office awards scholarships to incoming freshmen and transfer students.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow federal loans to help finance the student's education. The loan is in the name of one parent only. A parent may borrow up to the full cost of their student's education, less the amount of any other financial aid received. There is a credit check required for the PLUS loan. If your application for a PLUS loan is denied, your student may be eligible to borrow additional money under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program. Apply for a PLUS loan for the year in which your student is interested in attending.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
To be eligible for student financial aid, the student must meet SAP standards. Financial Aid & Scholarships has established guidelines (based on federal regulations) for evaluating students' progress, taking into consideration both the cumulative KU GPA earned and the number of hours the student has attempted since being in school. Review KU's SAP Policy.
Awards based either on academic merit alone, or on academic merit and financial need. They generally do not have to be repaid.
Self-help Aid
Self-help aid includes work-study, which is earned as students work, and loans, which must be repaid, usually after graduation.
Student Accounts & Receivables
Student Accounts & Receivables is responsible for billing charges assessed by KU and receiving and processing payments. However, some departments (such as Parking and Watkins Memorial Health Center) handle their own billing and payments. Visit the Student Accounts & Receivables Web site.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
Report that summarizes the information included in the FAFSA and indicates the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). You should receive an electronic SAR attached in an email or a paper version through regular mail within 3-4 weeks after you file your FAFSA. Review your SAR and correct any errors. Keep a photocopy of the SAR for your records. To request a duplicate copy of your SAR, call 1-800-433-3243.
Verification is a review process, mandated by the U.S. Department of Education, in which KU's financial aid and scholarships office determines the accuracy of the information provided on the student's financial aid application. During the verification process, the student and parent (if dependent) will be required to submit documentation including federal tax return transcripts, W-2s, and 1099 forms. Failure to submit requested documents in a timely manner could affect your eligibility for some limited funded programs. For additional information, please review our information on Verification for the year in which you are interested in attending.

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