Terms You Should Know

Award Year
The period of time that begins with the Fall semester, includes the following Spring semester, and ends with the following Summer Session at COD.
COA (Cost of Attendance)
The calculated cost to attend COD. This amount includes enrollment fees, books, food, housing, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses.
Failure of a borrower to repay a student loan.
An authorized period of time during which the loan borrower is entitled to postpone repayment of principal or interest on a student loan.
Dependent Student
A student who is less than 24 years of age, unmarried, has no dependent children, is not an orphan or ward of the court, or a veteran of the military services.
EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
The Federally calculated amount a student and their family is expected to contribute to the cost of attendance for the student.
GED (General Education Development)
A certificate given to students who have passed the state approved high school equivalency test (usually in lieu of graduation from high school).
A type of financial aid, usually awarded based on financial need, which does not have to be repaid.
Independent Student
A student who is 24 years old or older, married, has dependents for which they contribute more than 50% of the support of the dependent(s), an orphan or ward of the court, military veteran or on current active duty (not for training purposes), emancipated minor, legal guardianship, or is considered homeless by an official agency.
Need Analysis
The term for the Federally regulated process used to determine a family's ability to meet educational costs.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
The academic progress standards established by the Financial Aid Office that are required by the federal government. Students must meet these standards each year in order to receive financial aid funds.
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 (EFC) and the cost of attendance (COA). Due to budget constraints, the Financial Aid Office may provide the student with less than the student's entire need. This gap is known as "unmet need."
Is the random process by which the Federal processor chooses which student's FAFSA information must be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to make sure it is accurate. A student may be selected if the social security number or citizenship status reported on the FAFSA does not match the federal government's data. Students may also be selected if they estimated their income or that of their parents or if it seems that there may be an error on the FAFSA. If a student is selected for verification, they will be asked to submit additional documentation and/or to complete other forms.