Financial Aid & Scholarship Office


Accrued Interest
The amount of interest that has accumulated on the unpaid balance of your loan.
Alternative Loans
Alternative loans are private loans offered through a lending institution, and are not a part of federal student aid programs. Interest rate and repayment provisions vary from lender to lender. It is the responsibility of the student to research and understand the implications of borrowing an alternative educational loan. Alternative loans, along with other aid and educational resources, can never be more than the cost of attendance.
The gradual reduction of a loan balance through regular payments.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Interest associated with a loan. It can change or remain the same during the year and term of the loan.
Items of financial worth which may include real estate, businesses, bank accounts, stock, bonds, and trusts.
Athletic Program Grants–In–Aid
Chico State's athletic grants–in–aid are offered to students participating in intercollegiate athletics. This grant is renewable each semester, at the discretion of the University.
Athletic grants–in–aid are subject to the financial limitations imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and any conference of which Chico State is a member. For additional information, please contact the Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports Department at 530-898-6470.


Cal Grants
See Types of Grants > Cal Grant
California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
You are eligible to complete the CADAA if you are: Undocumented; U Visa holders; Have Temporary Protected Status (TPS); or Meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540.
California Resident
At Chico State, California residency is established by the Office of Admissions.
  • Unmarried student, under 18 whose parents have been legal CA residents for one year prior to application date to Chico State; or, who has lived for two years with a legal CA resident other than a parent; or, whose parent is in the US Armed Forces, stationed in CA and on active duty at time of enrollment.
  • Married student, regardless of age, and unmarried student 18 or older, who has established their own residency.
California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)(opens in new window)
Created by the California Legislature in 1955, the commission is the principal state agency responsible for administering financial aid programs for the state of California. Their mission is making education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians.
Capitalization of Interest
Addition of accrued, unpaid interest to the principal of your loan.
US citizen
  • US citizen -- born in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or abroad to a US citizen.
  • Nationals -- citizens of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and natives of American Samoa and Swain's island.
Consolidation Loan
A loan that allows borrowers to lower their monthly payments by combining their original loan(s) with a new loan. Consolidation loans typically have longer repayment periods and greater interest.
Cooperative Education Program
Co–op offers paid opportunities for students to gain career–related work experience. Students who "co–op" also earn course credit while they work. Information is available from individual departments and from the Career & Internship Center.
A person besides the borrower who signs a credit agreement and is legally obligated to repay the loan if the borrower does not make payments.
Cost of Attendance
The total estimated total cost of attending school for one academic year. It includes tuition and the following estimated costs: room and board (meals), books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.
Credit Bureau/Credit Agency
Organizations that track the manner in which borrowers repay credit obligations. This information becomes a part of each individual's credit report and is available to other financial institutions.


Failure to repay your loan on time, or in accordance with the terms and conditions of the promissory note. Most student loans go into default after six months of delinquent payments. The penalties for defaulting include loss of financial aid eligibility, reporting to credit bureaus, withholding of tax refunds, garnishing wages, and the loss of monthly payment options. The entire loan balance becomes due and payable immediately.
A deferment is the postponement of the payments on a student loan for an agreed upon period of time. Most deferments are legal entitlements; if you meet the deferment criteria and apply for it properly, the deferment must be granted to you. Related to Forbearance.
Failure to make a scheduled payment on a loan. Continued delinquent payments may lead to default.
Dependent Student
A student under the age of 24, who does not qualify as an independent student by federal guidelines and whose parental income is used in calculating the student's expected family contribution. Dependent students must include parental information on the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid.
Direct Costs
Billable expenses (charges) that the student/family pays directly to college: tuition/fees and housing/meal plan if student is staying in Chico State housing. 
The release of funds by lender. Also refers to payment of financial aid and scholarship funds to the student.


Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
A state program designed to improve the access, retention, and graduation of students who have been historically, economically, and/or educationally disadvantaged. EOP provides comprehensive admissions and academic support services.
Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG)
Assists students who have been admitted to Chico State through EOP. To qualify, you must be an undergraduate student officially admitted to Chico State as an EOP student and you must be eligible for financial aid. See EOP Admissions.
See Expected Family Contribution.
Eligible Non–Citizen
  1. a US permanent resident with a Permanent Registration Receipt Card (I–551 or I–151);
  2. a conditional permanent resident (I–551C); or
  3. a non–citizen with an Arrival–Departure Record (I–94) from the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services showing one of the following: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Parolee, T-Visa holder, or Cuban–Haitian Entrant.
Enrollment Status
Academic workload (or course load), as defined by the institution, in which a student is enrolled for a defined academic period. This normally relates to the number of credit hours or clock hours taken by a student during a given academic period (e.g. full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, less-than-half-time).
Entrance Counseling
Federal requirement for all first–time borrowers participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program. Provides valuable information to students regarding their rights and responsibilities. Complete this requirement online now.
Exit Interview
Required for all borrowers participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program. To be given when the student drops below half–time enrollment, or leaves school. The interview provides valuable information regarding student rights and responsibilities.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
An eligibility index that college financial aid staff use to determine how much financial aid you would receive if you were to attend their school. The EFC is calculated according to a formula specified in law and is based upon the information provided by the student and their family on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).


FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Financial aid application used to collect household and financial information from students. Your EFC is determined from information received on this application. FAFSA on the Web
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
A federal grant awarded by the institution to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.
Federal Title IV Programs
Student aid programs given by the federal government such as the Pell Grant, Perkins Loan, or Work–Study.
Federal Work–Study (FWS)
A federal program offered and administered by the institution that provides opportunity for part-time employment to students with financial need to help pay their educational expenses. Students are responsible for finding qualified employment. Funds are paid out through a paycheck, as earned. Federal Work Study.
Financial Aid Package
Offer of financial aid, usually consisting of a combination of grant, loan and/or work–study, depending on the family's financial need.
Financial Need
The difference between the student's educational costs and the expected family contribution (the amount the student's family is expected to pay).
Fixed Interest Rate
A rate that remains the same throughout the life of the loan.
Forbearance is a way to postpone or reduce the payments on a student loan. Forbearance differs from a deferment in that it is not a legal requirement; it is given at the lender's (or loan holder's) discretion.
Full–Time Status
Undergraduates and credential students enrolled in at least 12 units.
Graduates enrolled in at least 8 units.


Gift Aid
Funds awarded to the student that do not have to be repaid, unless the student fails to meet certain criteria, such as a service requirement that is specified as a condition of the gift aid or not completing the period for which the aid was awarded. Gift aid can include awards with titles such as grants, scholarships, remissions, awards, waivers, etc. Gift aid can be awarded based upon many factors, including (but not limited to) financial need, academic excellence, athletic, musical, and/or theatrical talent, affiliation with various groups, and/or career aspirations.
GPA Verification Form
A form used by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to verify your GPA meets Cal Grant Program requirements. If you are a current Cal Grant recipient, you do not need to complete the GPA Verification form. Just complete the FAFSA. Students who are new to Chico State and have fewer than 24 college units, must contact their previous school (high school or former college) to have GPA verification sent to CSAC.
Grace Period
An amount of time allowed before principal repayment of a loan must begin after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half–time status. No payments on your student loan(s) are required during this time. Details of your grace period are specified on your promissory note. Grace periods are not available for all loans.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A number scale associated with the letter grade scoring system.
Type of aid that does not have to be paid back, typically based on financial need.
Gross Income
Your income before taxes and deductions.


Half–Time Status
Undergraduates and credential students enrolled in at least 6 units.
Graduates enrolled in at least 4 units.


Indirect Expenses

Estimated additional personal and educational expenses needed throughout the academic year: books, transportation, and living expenses such as rent and food if living off campus. These estimated expenses are not paid directly to the institution. 
Independent Student
Parent information is not considered in determining the student's eligibility for financial aid. To qualify as an independent student for financial aid purposes, you must meet any one of the following conditions:
  1. 24 years of age by December 31 of the award year
  2. Veteran
  3. Ward of the court
  4. Both parents deceased
  5. Have a dependent other than a spouse (i.e. a child)
  6. Graduate student
  7. Married
Independent Verification Worksheet
A form generated by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office to verify household size and tax information of independent students.
The fee charged to borrow money, usually a percent of the outstanding amount which accrues and is paid over the life of a loan.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
A federal grant to qualifying students with a parent or guardian who died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. If a student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, he or she cannot receive an IASG.


Bank, credit union, or other financial institution that provides the money for loans when you borrow. The Federal government is the lender for Direct Loans.
Borrowed money that must be paid back with interest. You can choose to reduce the amount offered. 
Loan Servicer
Organizations that administer and collect loans, either the holder of the loan or an agent acting on behalf of the holder. The federal government is the loan servicer for Federal Direct loans.


Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The legal document you sign to "promise" to repay your Direct Loan. This is a one–time requirement with your selected lender. If you decide to change lenders, a new MPN will need to be signed promising to repay that lender.
Merit–based Aid
Type of aid that does not have to be paid back; a scholarship based on academic, artistic, athletic, or other merit–oriented criteria.


The student's Cost of Attendance minus their Expected Family Contribution, or Family Financial Responsibility (if applicable).
Net Price
Amount of direct and indirect costs remaining after all Gift Aid is applied. Net price can be covered through a variety of sources, including: savings, income, and education loans.


Payoff Balance
The total amount you would owe if you were to pay off your entire loan at a specified period of time. This amount includes the outstanding principal plus any unpaid accrued interest.
Pell Grant
A federally funded grant program for undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and have and Expected Family Contribution below a certain threshold established by the federal government. Pell Grants are one of the largest sources of grants. Eligibility is determined by the information provided on the FAFSA. Pell Grants do not have to be paid back. Award amounts vary according to an eligibility index based on your EFC. To apply for a Pell Grant, you must complete and submit the FAFSA. The Pell Grant award amount is also based on Enrollment Status.
Perkins Loan
A federal loan awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by both FAFSA data and the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.
PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students)
A loan that helps parent borrowers pay college expenses for dependent students. Parents may borrow up to the cost of education, minus any other aid received by the student, including Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Graduate students may also apply for PLUS loans. Payments on the PLUS Loan begin 60 days after disbursement.
PLUS Loan for Graduates
Loan funds provided to graduate students by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. This federal loan program allows graduate students with no adverse credit history to apply for a loan amount up to their Cost of Attendance each year, less any other financial aid received.
The dollar amount of the loan that must be repaid upon maturity, and upon which interest will be charged.
Professional Judgment
Financial aid administrators can adjust a student's aid package and contribution when extenuating circumstances exist (e.g., a deceased parent). Contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.
Program Level
Level of the degree-granting program in which a student is enrolled. Program levels may include: undergraduate (students seeking an associate degree, an undergraduate certificate, or a baccalaureate degree); post-baccalaureate (such as teacher certification); or graduate (students working on a master's degree, graduate certificate, doctorate, or professional degree). The amounts and types of financial aid for which a student is eligible is determined, in part, by their program level.
Promissory Note
The legally binding document a borrower signs promising to repay a loan. The promissory note outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, including the repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy, and cancellation provisions.


The individual who oversees all student academic records.


Gift aid (free money) awarded to students on the basis of merit, financial need, and/or area of study. Chico State Wildcat Scholarships
Selective Service Registration(opens in new window)
If required by law, a student must register with the Selective Service to receive federal student aid. This applies to males born on or after January 1, 1960, who are at least 18 years of age, US citizens and eligible non–citizens, and not currently on active duty in the US Armed Forces.
State University Grant (SUG)
A state–funded program which provides grant money to offset increased state university fees. It is available to both graduate and undergraduate students who are California residents and have financial aid eligibility.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
After the federal processor receives and processes your FAFSA, you will be emailed or mailed a SAR. The SAR lists each question and your response from the FAFSA. The SAR also notifies you if there was an error in processing your FAFSA.
Subsidized Loan
Loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. Undergraduate students with financial need can qualify for a subsidized loan. The government pays the interest on the loan while the student remains enrolled at least half time and during certain periods when the government allows deferment of repayment. There are annual limits on the amounts that may be borrowed, which vary by the student's academic year in school and the student's dependent or independent status.


Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
Federal grant awarded in exchange for specific future teaching service in designated high-need fields and low-income elementary and secondary schools. If a student does not complete the required teaching service, the grant becomes a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid.
Title IV
Federal student financial aid is authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by renewal legislation. Federal programs are administered through the US Department of Education. This aid is primarily need–based. It is determined by calculating the student's expected family contribution (EFC) from data submitted to the FAFSA and comparing it to the institution's cost of attendance (COA).


Unmet Need
The student's Cost of Attendance, minus their Expected Family Contribution less any need-based aid received, such as Gift Aid, Federal Work-Study or Federal Direct Subsidized Loans.
Unofficial Withdrawal
Under Chico State's grading policy, a grade of "U" indicates that a student did not officially withdraw from an enrolled course, or failed to complete the course requirements.
US Department of Education
The US Department of Education administers programs to ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence for all Americans. Responsible for printing and processing FAFSA forms.
Unsubsidized Loan
Loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school. Undergraduate students and graduate students regardless of their need, qualify for an unsubsidized loan, provided they have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Interest accrual begins immediately, and the student can choose to pay the interest while enrolled or upon entering repayment. There are annual limits on the amounts that may be borrowed, which vary by the student's academic year in school and the student's dependent or independent status.


Variable Interest
Interest rates that change periodically (quarterly, annually, etc.).
A federally and state mandated process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by selected applicants on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). To complete the verification process, the student, their parent(s), or spouse, if applicable, are required to provide certain documents to the school for review. If the documentation the student provides the institution doesn't match what was reported on the FAFSA or CADAA, verification can result in changes to the student's financial aid eligibility, and/or financial aid offers.


A federal aid program providing funds for student employment based on financial need. If you awarded and have accepted a work-study award, you will see available jobs listed through the Career Center. You are eligible to earn up to the amount listed after securing a work-study job. The money earned is not usually typically available to pay your college bill; you will be paid directly via a paycheck for the hours you work.