Financial aid guide of terms
The following definitions are provided to assist students and parents in understanding the basic terms and programs that make up the financial aid process:

Alternative Student Loans: Private loans through financial institutions that are available for students who may need additional resources, above and beyond federal and institutional aid, to meet their educational expenses. Most alternative loan programs offer features similar to the federal loan programs, such as deferments. Students typically need creditworthy cosigners for this type of loan. Applications for some alternative loan programs are available in the DWU Financial Aid Office.

Award Letter: An official document listing the financial aid awards and the award amounts a student is eligible to receive at DWU. This document is either e-mailed to the student's campus e-mail or mailed to the student. The student is required to respond either by signing and returning one copy or e-mailing his/her acceptance of the awards by the date listed to guarantee receipt of the award amounts.

Cost of Attendance (Estimated): The total estimated cost to attend DWU for one academic year includes direct and indirect costs. These include tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation, personal expenses, and other educational related expenses as approved by the DWU Director of Financial Aid.

Dakota Wesleyan University Work Study: DWU Work Study operates in the same manner as the Federal Work Study program. The major difference is that DWU Work Study is funded completely through Dakota Wesleyan University.

DWU’s Priority Deadline: Students who have completed and turned in all the necessary documents to be accepted into the university and have completed and turned in all the necessary documents to the DWU Financial Aid Office by the April 1 deadline will be reviewed in a first-come, first-served basis for aid programs where funds are limited.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The estimated amount the federal government expects the family to be able to contribute to the student’s cost of attendance for the academic year. It is calculated from the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is not the actual amount that a family will owe.

Federal Financial Aid: Types of aid that are funded by the federal government. Students apply for federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA.

Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): Enables parents with a good credit history to borrow money to pay the educational expenses of their dependent undergraduate student(s). PLUS eligibility is not based on need. The yearly limit on a federal PLUS is equal to the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received by students. The interest rate is determined by the Federal Government on a yearly basis. Those loan rates are fixed and in effect from July 1-June 30. Contact the DWU Financial Aid Office to determine if your dependent student is eligible for federal PLUS.

Federal Pell Grant: Federal gift assistance to eligible students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. Eligibility is determined by the EFC on the Student Aid Report.

Federal Perkins Loan: A 5 percent interest loan made to a limited number of students who show need based on the results of the FAFSA. A Federal Perkins Loan provides forgiveness options based on qualifying occupations. See the DWU Financial Aid Office for more details.

Federal Stafford Loan: The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is a need-based loan where the federal government pays the interest while students are in college and during the six-month grace period when they leave college. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a non-need based loan and the interest begins accruing as soon as the funds are disbursed. Unsubsidized loan interest may be paid quarterly or deferred while in college. The Stafford loan has a fixed interest rate which is determined by the Federal Government on a yearly basis. Those loan rates are in effect from July 1-June 30.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): Federal gift assistance for undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. In order to receive this grant, students must show exceptional need along with meeting other criteria set by DWU.

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program (TEACH): Federal grant awarded to a student who intends to teach in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. The student must be at least a sophomore and have a minimum of a 3.25 cumulative GPA. The student is required to complete the TEACH Grant entrance counseling and the Agreement to Serve Contract each year the student is receiving this grant. If the student does not fulfill the contract agreement, this may convert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Federal Work Study (FWS): Federal Work Study provides jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Funding for FWS is provided through the federal government with additional contributions from Dakota Wesleyan University.

Financial Need: The difference between cost of attendance and EFC.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): A federal application that collects financial and demographic information to determine financial need. The FAFSA information is used to award all types of financial aid, including federal and institutional aid.

Grant: Gift aid that does not need to be repaid. Grants are usually based on financial need.

Institutional Aid: Scholarships, grants, loans and work study funded by DWU. Students apply for institutional aid by completing the FAFSA and the DWU Application for Admission. Scholarships may require a separate application, interview or audition.

Loan: Money that is borrowed by students and/or parents and must be repaid.

Outside Assistance:
Money made available to assist students with educational expenses from sources outside DWU. Sources may include, but are not limited to, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Social Services and the South Dakota One Stop Career Center System.

Professional Judgment: A process to address unusual circumstances or events that have, or will have, an impact on a family’s household income and/or expenses. This process allows for reprocessing of the Student Aid Report to make adjustments not accounted for on the FAFSA. Talk to the DWU Director of Financial Aid to discuss circumstances and obtain appropriate forms and instructions.

Scholarships: Gift aid that does not need to be repaid. Scholarships are based on merit and/or financial need and are awarded from various sources, including DWU, businesses and organizations.

Student Aid Report: Results from the FAFSA that are used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid programs.

Verification: One in three FAFSA applications are randomly selected by the federal government to be verified. The verification process requires the DWU Financial Aid Office to collect supporting documentation for the information provided on the FAFSA form (i.e. copies of tax returns, W-2s, verification worksheet). The DWU Financial Aid Office will inform students who are selected for verification.
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