Financial Aid Glossary | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Financial Aid Glossary


Academic Transcript

Official transcript of student's academic history at a higher education institution.

Academic Year

The financial aid office considers an academic year to be two consecutive semesters.

Alternative Loans

Credit-based educational loans supplied by private lenders to supplement awarded financial aid.

Alumni (of MCAD)

Students who have completed an undergraduate (BFA, BS), graduate (MFA, MA), or post-baccalaureate certificate program at MCAD.

Award Notification

Official notification a student receives from the financial aid office of any federal, state, or institutional funds for which a student qualifies.



The adding of unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan.

Cost of Attendance

The total amount needed to attend school, including tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation costs, and certain living expenses.



Failure to adhere to any and all terms of a promissory note.


An authorized period of time during which a borrower may postpone principal and interest payments.

Demonstrated Need

The difference between the expected family contribution and the cost of attendance.

Dependent Student

A student who meets the guidelines outlined by the federal government in the FAFSA as a student dependent on his/her parents or guardians for financial support.


The application of funds to a student’s account.


Entrance Loan Counseling

A federally required session that instructs students on their rights and responsibilities as borrowers.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Amount the family is expected to pay toward a student's college education based on federal analysis of student/family need for assistance.


Financial Aid Package

The total financial aid a student receives, including grants, loans, work-study and scholarships, as indicated in the student's award offer.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The form used by the federal government to determine a student's eligibility for federal funds.



Educational funds that do not have to be repaid, and are usually based on individual need.


Parental Loans (PLUS)

Educational loans that parents or guardians may borrow through the US Department of Education to pay up to the cost of attendance.

Pell Grants

Federal student aid available to undergraduates with the greatest demonstrated financial need.

Promissory Note

The legal and binding document borrowers sign prior to receiving loan funds.


Satisfactory Progress

Maintaining the minimum GPA while meeting MCAD standards.


Educational funds that may come from any number of sources and do not typically have to be repaid.

State Aid

Merit or need-based aid available from some states. Check with your state's department of education for more information.

Stafford Loan

Low-interest loans offered by the US government. Awarded based on financial need and grade level.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Notification of FAFSA results; received by the student and the college.

Student Loans

Educational loans that must be paid back with or without interest.

Subsidized Loan

A need-based loan in which the interest is paid by the federal government while the student is in school, a grace period, or deferment.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

A limited federal grant program for undergraduates with the greatest demonstrated financial need.


Unsubsidized Loan

A loan in which interest accrues while a student is in school.



The federal government's process of randomly selecting students to verify the information supplied on their FAFSAs.



Work study is a student aid program that allows students with financial need to work part time at a campus job.