As you plan for college and begin to explore the different ways to pay for higher education, you may come across some acronyms that are commonly used in the world of financial aid. We’ve listed some here, with brief explanations of each.
FSA Federal Student Aid – The branch of the U.S. Department of Education that oversees federal financial aid disbursed to higher education institutions for students who qualify.
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid – A form submitted by you that is used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid. One or both parents may also need to contribute their information.
SAR Student Aid Report – Contains the data submitted on your FAFSA, along with next-step instructions. Once the FAFSA is processed, you’ll receive information on how to download and print this report.
EFC Expected Family Contribution – A number found on your Student Aid Report that’s used by a financial aid office to determine how much aid you’re eligible to receive.
COA Cost of Attendance – The average annual cost for attending a specific college, university, technology center or proprietary school, which includes tuition, room and board, books, fees, supplies, personal expenses and transportation.
ISIR Institutional Student Information Record – A report sent to your selected college(s) that contains the data from your FAFSA.
MPN Master Promissory Note – A document signed by you that says you promise to repay a student loan, along with all accrued interest and fees. Remember, you don’t have to accept the full amount of student loans you may be offered.
For a much larger list of the many acronyms and terms used throughout the federal financial aid process, visit StudentAid.gov.