Office of Student Financial Planning
Student Financial Planning
Types of Aid


Academic Year
A period of at least 30 weeks of instructional time beginning in August and ending in May.

Aid Year
The year for awarding financial aid which starts in August and is divided into Fall, Spring, and Summer terms.
Alternative Loan
Loans offered by private lenders and have no federal forms to complete and usually have higher interest rates than Federal loans. They are also known as private loans.
Assistance provided to students to assist with the cost of education; a financial resource provided to assist a student with educationally-related expenses.
Award Letter
A document issued to a student financial aid recipient that indicates the type, amount, and disbursement dates of the funds awarded for various financial aid programs.
A loan program to make repayment easier by combining various educational loans into one new loan, extending the repayment period, and allowing a single monthly payment.
Cost of Attendance (COA) 
The cost of attendance is an estimate of what it costs the typical student to attend a university. It includes tuition and fees, room and board, and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenses. COA may vary based upon residency, academic college/major, level of study, and campus. COA may be adjusted for individual students on a documented case-by-case basis.
Failure to repay a student loan according to the terms agreed to when you signed a promissory note. If a student defaults, the school, the organization that holds the loan, the state, and the federal government can take action to recover the money, including notifying national credit bureaus of the default.  Wages and/or tax returns may be garnished and the student will no longer be eligible to receive federal financial aid.
An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal check and interest payments. Deferments are available while borrowers are in school at least half-time, enrolled in a graduate fellowship program or rehabilitation training program, and during periods of unemployment or economic hardship.
Dependent Student
A student that lives with his/her parent(s) and receives more than half of their support from the parent(s). See our Dependency Status page for more information.
The release of loan funds to the school to pay towards the borrower’s tuition.
Electronic Signatures
An online signature on the FAFSA and Master Promissory Note completed by using the assigned PIN from the Department of Education.
Entrance and Exit Counseling
Required, online counseling sessions that inform borrowers of their rights and responsibilities with regard student loans before receiving the first disbursement of a loan and again before leaving school.  See our Entrance and Exit Counseling page for more information.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
The expected family contribution is an estimate of the student and family’s ability to contribute to the cost of higher education. The EFC is determined based upon student-reported information relating to student and parent assets and income, number of members in the household, and number of household members in college. The EFC is student-specific and does not change based upon which college or university the student chooses to attend. The EFC for US citizens and eligible non-citizens is determined using federal methodology and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Senate Bill 1528 students are evaluated using similar data submitted via the Texas Application for State Aid (TASFA), and international students may complete and submit a Texas A&M International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA) for evaluation.
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 study).
Financial Aid Package
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. Note that PLUS loans are not considered part of the financial aid package, since these financing options are available to the family to help them meet the EFC.
Financial Need 
This is the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If the COA is higher than what the family is expected to contribute, the student is considered to have demonstrated financial need. Financial need is determined by Scholarships & Financial Aid.
   Cost of Attendance (COA)
 - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 
= Financial Need
Financial Planning Counselor
A High Point University employee who is involved in the administration of financial aid.
First-Time Borrower
A first-year undergraduate student who has no unpaid loan balances outstanding on the date he or she signs a promissory note for an educational loan. First-time borrowers may be subjected to a delay in the disbursement of the loan funds. The first loan payment is disbursed 30 days after the first day of the enrollment period. If the student withdraws during the first 30 days of classes, the loan is canceled and does not need to be repaid. Borrowers with existing loan balances aren’t subject to this delay.
A period of time where a lender allows the borrower to temporarily postpone repaying the principal, but the interest charges continue to accrue, even on subsidized loans. The borrower must continue paying the interest charges during the forbearance period. Forbearances are granted at the lender’s discretion, usually in cases of extreme financial hardship. A loan is not eligible for forbearance if it is in default.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
The need analysis form produced by the U.S. Department of Education that is required for students seeking aid by nearly all colleges and universities. Complete the FAFSA online at
Grace Period
A short time after graduation during which the borrower is not required to begin repaying his or her student loans. The grace period may also kick in if the borrower leaves school for a reason other than graduation or drops below half-time enrollment. Depending on the type of loan, a student will have a grace period of six months (Stafford Loans) or nine months (Perkins Loans) before repayment must begin.  PLUS loans do not have a grace period.
Need-based financial aid that does not have to be repaid.
Gross Income
Income before taxes, deductions, and allowances have been subtracted.
There may be holds preventing your financial aid from being disbursed. These are usually unmet requirements. Contact the Office of Student Planning to see which requirements you need to meet if your account has undisbursed aid.
Independent Student
An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the academic year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, or is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18). A parent refusing to provide support for their child’s education is not sufficient for the child to be declared independent.  See our Dependency Status  section under the Financial Aid Basics tab for more information.
Amount charged to the borrower for the privilege of using the lender’s money. Interest is usually 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. All federal loans issued since October 1992, use variable interest rates that are pegged to the cost of US Treasury Bills.
A financial institution (bank, savings and loan, or credit union) that provides the funds for students and parents to borrow educational loans. For example, the federal government is the lender for Direct Loans.
A type of financial aid which must be repaid, with interest. The federal student loan programs (Direct, FFEL Stafford and Perkins) are a good method of financing the costs of your college education. These loans are better than most consumer loans because they have lower interest rates and do not require a credit check or collateral. The Direct, FFEL Stafford and Perkins Loans also provide a variety of deferment options and extended repayment terms.
Master Promissory Note
The binding legal document that must be signed by the student 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 student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid. (Abbreviated MPN)
Merit-based award 
Recipients are evaluated based upon academic performance or other ability. Merit-based awards are intended to recruit, motivate, and reward recipients. These awards may also be referred to as non-need based awards.
Need-based award 
Recipients are evaluated based (in whole or part) upon the student and family’s financial situation and ability to meet the cost of attendance. Need is determined by Scholarships & Financial Aid.
Origination Fee
A fee charged by the lender and deducted from loan proceeds before disbursement to partially offset administrative costs of the loan program; 3% for Stafford loans disbursed after 8/15/99 and 4% for PLUS loans.
Outside Scholarship
A scholarship that comes from sources other than the school and the federal or state government.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students
A federal educational loan taken in a parent’s name to help fund a student’s education. (Abbreviated PLUS loan)
Pell Grant
A federal grant program based solely on a student’s Expected Family Contribution from their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Perkins Loan
A federal loan program with a fixed 5% interest rate and 9 month grace period awarded to out-of-state students.
Personal Identification Number
A number assigned by the Department of Education to uniquely identify students for application and signature purposes.  Both students and parents are required to establish and retain their own personal identification number.  (Abbreviated PIN)
The amount of money borrowed or remaining unpaid on a loan. Interest is charged as a percentage of the principal. Insurance and origination fees will be deducted from this amount before disbursement.
Professional Judgment
The ability of an institution to make adjustments to a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information or his/her Cost Of Attendance, with supporting documentation in the student’s file.
Promissory Note
See Master Promissory Note
Scholarships are designed to recruit, reward, and assist students in pursuing academic excellence and to help offset the cost of education. Scholarships are often awarded on the basis of academic criteria, but might also consider financial need, campus/community activities, leadership positions and work experience. Scholarships do not need to be repaid but may have specific criteria for students to remain eligible (i.e. grade point average, major, etc.). Scholarships may come from University as well as outside sources. Scholarships may be awarded to undergraduate, graduate, or professional students. Cash awarded to students as a prize or in a contest are considered scholarships if the funds are provided specifically for educationally-related expenses.
Student Aid Report (SAR) 
The form sent to families in response to submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) indicating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Subsidized Loan
A need-based loan on which the interest is set by Congress and interest does not accrue while a student remains a full-time student.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Federal grant program for undergraduate students with exceptional need and can provide up to $4,000 per year. (Abbreviated SEOG or FSEOG)
Title IV School Code
A six-character identifier assigned to distinguish each school on the FAFSA. High Point University’s school code is 002933. See the FAFSA Tips  section under the Tools  tab for more helpful hints on filling out the FAFSA.
Unsubsidized Loan
A non need-based loan on which interest is not paid by the federal government. Borrowers are responsible for interest on all unsubsidized loans from the date the loan is disbursed.  See our Stafford Loans page for more information.
Variable Interest
In a variable interest loan, the interest rate changes periodically. For Stafford and PLUS loans, this occurs once a year on July 1st.
A process of review to determine the accuracy of the information on a student’s financial aid application. Student applications are selected by the Federal Processor for review. Virginia Tech is not required to participate in the standard verification program due to our participation in the Institutional Quality Assurance Program.
Work Study
see Federal Work Study


The High Point Admissions Office is Located in Wrenn Hall.

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(336) 888-6382 (fax)
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