Glossary 2018-04-29T09:29:32-04:00


This glossary lists terminology commonly used at Williamson. For additional terminology please visit

Financial Aid

  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:    Any sources of money that students have received which were not factored into their cost of attendance estimate.

  AWARD LETTER:    Letter sent each award year to students informing them of their award status and policies.

  AWARD YEAR:    The year for which a student receives a specific type of financial aid. For Federal Aid, the Award Year typically begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th.

  BUDGET FORECAST:    Estimation of the Cost of Attendance or a student to attend the college during a specific award year.

  CENSUS DATE:    The date that enrollment and payment details are locked for financial aid purposes.

  COST OF ATTENDANCE OR “BUDGET”:    An estimate of how much money the college expects a student will need to pay for college — including living expenses — throughout an academic year.



  DISBURSMENT:    The process of “disbursing” or applying financial aid to a student’s Williamson account.

  EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION (EFC):    A measure of your family’s financial strength, calculated from your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security).

  FEDERAL WORK STUDY (FWS):    Federally-subsidized employment through the college.

  FINANCIAL AID PROBATION:    Status of student whose SAP Appeal is accepted but have yet to be officially re-instated in the college.

  FINANCIAL AID:    Assistance in the form of grants and scholarships awarded to students attending the college.

  FINANCIAL NEED:    A specific financial aid status according to the information on a student’s FAFSA.

  FREE APPLICATION FOR FINANCIAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA):    Free form used to assess federal and many non-federal (state) aid award amounts.

  GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSURE:    Disclosure of information regarding post-educational employment.

  GIFT AID:    Aid that is given to a student which does not need to repaid.

  GRANT:    Gift aid based on financial need.

  OVER AWARD REFURND:    Return of funds over the estimated cost of attendance.

  OVER AWARD:    When a student is inadvertently awarded more financial aid than his cost of attendance.

  PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT (PJ):    A Financial Aid administrator’s judgment whether students’ special circumstances exempt them from their FAFSA status.

  REVISION:    Any change made to financial aid that has already been awarded.

  SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP):    A measurement of academic progress for financial aid purposes.

  SCHOLARSHIP:    Gift Aid, often based on merit or need.

  TITLE IV:    Higher Education Act of 1965 defining the Federal Loan, Grant, and Work Study Programs.

  TUITION WAIVER:    Gift aid that may only be used to pay for tuition.

  UNUSUAL EDUCATIONAL HISTORY (UEH):    FAFSA’s that are flagged by the U.S. Department of History as potentially fraudulent.

  VERIFICATION:    The process of reviewing the accuracy of information reported on a student’s FAFSA.

  FINANCIAL NEED:    The difference between the cost of attendance (COA) at a school and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is determined by your completed FAFSA. While COA varies from school to school, your EFC does not change based on the school you attend.


  ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT:    Official document describing the academic history of a student.

  ACADEMIC YEAR:    Combination of the Fall and Spring semesters. Many types of Financial Aid apply to the academic year as opposed to one semester. Summer is not considered part of the Academic Year, and Summer Aid therefore falls within a different type of aid.

  ADMISSION:    Formal recognition as a student in the university.

  CERTIFICATE PROGRAM:    A program that results in a certificate upon completion (as opposed to a degree.)

  DEGREE-SEEKING:    A student who is formally admitted into a program that results in a degree upon completion (as opposed to a certificate.)

  FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA):    Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

  GRADE LEVEL:    A measure of the amount of their education that a student has achieved, similar to class standing.

  STUDENT ACCOUNT:    The complete Williamson history and filed information of a student.

  WITHDRAWAL:    The process of withdrawing from Williamson, which carries various financial aid consequences. An Official Withdrawal can be voluntary initiated by the student or as a result of disciplinary action. An Unofficial Withdrawal is the result of a student failing to attend classes for more than 10 consecutive days.