Financial Aid Definition: 32 Financial Terms to Know

What is financial aid?

32 financial aid terms you need to know

Academic year

Cost of attendance



Direct consolidation loan

Direct PLUS loan

5 steps to making a financial aid plan

Direct subsidized loan

Direct unsubsidized loan


Discretionary income

Extended repayment plan

Federal Pell Grant program

Federal student aid

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Federal Work-Study (FWS) program

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)


Graduated repayment plan


Income-based repayment (IBR) plan

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Income-contingent repayment (ICR) plan

  • 20% of your discretionary income and divided by 12
  • What you would pay on a repayment plan with a fixed monthly payment over 12 years and adjusted based on your income

Independent student

Judgment lien

Master promissory note (MPN)

Net price calculator

Outside scholarship

Pay as you earn (PAYE) plan

PLUS credit counseling

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program


Satisfactory academic progress




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University of Phoenix

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