Financial Aid Definitions

Academic Year : Oglethorpe defines the academic year as fall, spring, and summer semesters. Typically we expect students to earn at least 24 credit hours during the academic year.

Award Letter : Your award letter details your total financial award from Oglethorpe for an academic year. If you are admitted, you will automatically be considered for a merit award. If you want to be considered for any federal aid, you must complete the FAFSA.

COA (Cost of Attendance) : The total amount it will cost you to go to school. That includes tuition and fees, room and board, as well as books, supplies, transportation, etc.

Dependent Verification : This is a process we use to verify that the information reported on your FAFSA is correct. Students are selected randomly by the federal government. If you are selected, you will receive an email from us with verification paperwork you will need to submit along with instructions on how to submit your official tax information to us.

Disbursement : Once your federal funds have been sent to the school and, if there is an amount in excess of your tuition & fees, the remainder will be disbursed to you. Because Oglethorpe’s academic year is typically split into a fall and spring semester, your funds be dispersed accordingly. 

Entrance Counseling : Is a mandatory counseling session online (don’t worry it’s not as intimidating as it sounds). It’s more like an information session regarding your responsibilities and rights as a borrower that you have to work through before you can receive your first federal student loan.

FAFSA : An acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the FAFSA.

FSA ID : Refers to the username and password you would use on any federal student aid websites. For more information or questions regarding your FSA ID, visit the FSA ID page on the Student Aid website.

Grant : Financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from Oglethorpe and owe a refund).

Independent Student : As defined by the federal government Is a student who can be classified as at least one of these- at least 24 years old, married, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Interest : Interest is paid by a borrower to a lender. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan.

Interest Rate : The percentage at which interest is calculated on your loans.

Merit-Based : Means that it is based on your skill or ability.

MPN (Master Promissory Note) : A binding and legal document that you have to sign when you get a federal student loan. It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower.

Need-Based : Means that it is based on your financial need.

Net Price Calculator : A tool that allows you to estimate the net price of a school. You can find our Net Price Calculator here.

Origination Fees : Is a fee charged by your loan lender for processing your loan.

Pell Grant : A federal grant for undergraduate students with financial need.

PLUS Loan : Sometimes called a Parent PLUS Loan. A PLUS loan is a loan made by the U.S. Department of Education to parents of dependent undergraduate students. The borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.

Scholarship : Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for education expenses.  Scholarships generally do not have to be repaid.

Subsidized Loan : A loan based on financial need for which the federal government generally pays the interest that accrues while you are in an in-school, grace, or deferment status, and during certain periods of repayment under certain income-driven repayment plans.

Refund : A refund may be generated when the amount of your federal and institutional financial aid is greater than your tuition and fees for a given period. A refund comes in the form of a check that is generated and sent to the HUB. When a student’s refund check is ready, the HUB sends an email notifying them it is ready for pick up.

School Code : An identifier that the U.S. Department of Education assigns to each college that participates in the federal student aid programs. In order to successfully submit your FAFSA to Oglethorpe, you will need to add our Federal School Code to your FAFSA. Our code is 001586.

Unsubsidized Loan : A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.

Work Study : A federal student aid program which allows you to work part time while enrolled in school to help pay your expenses. Please note that if you are awarded work study, you will have to find a work study position on campus- it is not automatically deducted from your expenses, it is earned as you work.