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AAAAD  Administrative Actions and Appeals Division

AACS  Association of Accredited Cosmetology Schools

AAI  Adjusted Available Income

ACA  Administrative Cost Allowance

ACCSC  Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges (formerly ACCSCT)

ACD  Area Case Director

ACH/EFT  Automated Clearinghouse/Electronic Funds Transfer

ACICS  Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

ACN  Audit Control Number

ACT  American College Testing

AGI  Adjusted Gross Income

Al  Available Income

AICPA  American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

ANN  Training Announcement “Dear Colleague” Letters

AOS  Application Ordering System

APA  Asset Protection Allowance

APC  Adjusted Parents’ Contribution

APSCU  Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (formerly Career College Association – CCA)

ATB  Ability to Benefit

ATI  Available Taxable Income

AVG Application and Verification Guide

AY  Academic Year or Award Year


BBAY  Borrower-Based Academic Year

BDR   Borrower Defense to Repayment


CAP  Corrective Action Plan

CB  Campus-based programs and campus- based “Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier (no longer in effect after Jan 2013)

CBE  Competency-Based Education

CBO  Congressional Budget Office

CCA  Career College Association (effective June 2010, APSCU)

CCRAA  College Cost Reduction & Access Act – 2007

CDR  Cohort Default Rate

CEO  Chief Executive Officer

CFL  Current Funding Level

CFR  Code of Federal Regulations

CIP Classification of Instructional Programs

CIS  Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service – INS)

COA  Cost of Attendance

COD  Common Origination and Disbursement: A Federal Student Aid system which contains award and payment information for FSA grants and Direct Loans

COHEAO  Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations

CPA  Certified Public Accountant

CPS  Central Processing System

CR  Credit

CS  Community Service

CSL  Community Service Learning Program (formerly a separate program, but its functions are now part of the FWS Program)

CSS  College Scholarship Service

CTI  Contribution from Taxable Income

CTL  Case Team Leader

CTP Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary programs


DCL  Dear Colleague Letter

DCS  Debt Collection Service

DHS  Department of Homeland Security

DHS-SAVE Department of Homeland Security-Systematic Alien Verification Entitlement

DL Direct Loan

DLB  Direct Loan Bulletin

DLQAP Direct Loan Quality Assurance Program

DNW  Discretionary Net Worth

DOD  Date of Determination

DOMA Defense of Marriage Act

DPA Destination Point Administrator

DR  Debit

DRN Data Release Number

DRT Data Retrieval Tool

DRAP  Default Reduction Assistance Program


EA  Employment Allowance

EAC  Electronic Access Code

EADA  Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 1994

eAPP  Electronic Application to Participate in Title IV

EASI  (Project) Easy Access for Students and Institutions

ECOA Equal Credit Opportunity Act

ECAR  Eligibility & Certification Approval Report

eCB  Electronic Campus Based website

ECASLA  Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act

ECPP Eligible Career Pathway Program

eCDR  Electronic Cohort Default Rate

ED  U.S. Department of Education

EDCAPS  ED Central Automated Processing System

EDE  Electronic Data Exchange

EFA  Estimated Financial Assistance

EFC  Expected Family Contribution

EFC Extended Foster Care

EFT  Electronic Funds Transfer (See also ACH/EFT)

EIN  Entity Identification Number

EPPD  Electronic Pell Payment Data

EPPPD  Electronic Processed Pell Payment Data

EPI  Electronic Payment Information

ESL  English as a Second Language

ESOA  Electronic Statement of Account

e-Z Audit  Electronic Compliance Audit and Financial Statement submission


FAA  Financial Aid Administrator

FAD  Final Audit Determination

FADHPS  Financial Assistance for Disadvantaged Health Professions Students

FADL  Final Audit Determination Letter

FAFSA  Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FAO  Financial Aid Office or Financial Aid Officer

FC  Family Contribution (a former term for the Expected Family Contribution (EFC))

FCC  Federal Capital Contribution

FEDWIRE  (Automated FEDWIRE)  U.S. Treasury Financial Communication System / Deposit Message Retrieval System, or Federal Reserve Communications System (not the U.S. Treasury wire transfer system)

FEMA Federal Emergency Management

FERPA  Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

FFEL  Federal Family Education Loan (no new loans are issued, but old ones are still being collected)

FFY  Federal Fiscal Year

FISAP  The Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate in Campus-Based Programs (FSEOG, FWS, and Federal Perkins Loan Programs)

FISL Federal Insured Student Loan (no new loans are issued, but old ones are still being collected)

FO  Fiscal Officer

FOIA Freedom of Information Act

FPL  Federal Perkins Loan (program ended 9/30/17)

FPRDL  Final Program Review Determination Letter

FROE  Final Report of Expenditures

FS  Financial Services (within ED, formerly called Accounting and Financial Management Services (AFMS) and Financial Management Service (FMS))

FSA  Federal Student Aid

FSA ID  Federal Student Aid Identification

FSAIC  Federal Student Aid Information Center

FSEOG  Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

FT  Full Time

FWS  Federal Work-Study [formerly College Work-Study (CWS) Program]

FY  Fiscal Year


G Guaranty Agency “Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier

G5 replaces GAPS (Grant Administration & Payment System)

GA Guaranty Agency

GAAP Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

GAGAS Generally Accepted Government Accounting Standards

GAO Government Accountability Office

GE Gainful Employment

GED General Education Development Certificate

GEN General “Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier

GPA Grade Point Average

GPO Government Printing Office

GSL A Guaranteed Student Loan [formerly referred to as a specific type of loan, now renamed Federal Stafford Loan; also formerly used as a general term for the Stafford, SLS, PLUS, and Consolidation Loan Programs, now renamed the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL Program)]


HCERA Healthcare and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010

HEA Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended

HEAL Health Education Assistance Loan

HEERF Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

HEOA Higher Education Opportunity Act – 2008

HERA Higher Education Reconciliation Act – 2005

HEROES Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students

HHS US Department of Health and Human Services

HiSet High School Equivalency Test

HPSL Health Professions Student Loan Program


IRA Individual Retirement Account

IRS Internal Revenue Service

ISIR Institutional Student Information Record


We can’t think of anything that starts with the letter “J” in the financial aid world, but if you can, let us know!


We can’t think of anything that starts with the letter “K” in the financial aid world, but if you can, let us know!


L FFEL Program ‘Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier for lenders

LAN Local Area Network

LD Limited Distribution ‘Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier

LDA Last Day of Attendance

LEA Local Education Authority

LEU Lifetime Eligibility Used

LOA Leave of Absence

LOE Level of Expenditure

LS&T Limitation, Suspension and Termination


MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act

MDE Multiple Data Entry

MEP Maximum Eligibility Period

MPN Master Promissory Note


NACCAS National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences

NACUBO National Association of College and University Business Officers

NAS Need Analysis Servicer or Need Analysis System

NASFAA National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

NCHELP National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs

NCS National Computer Systems

NDEA National Defense Education Act

NDSL National Direct Student Loan Program or National Defense Student Loan Program

NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

NRM Negotiated Rulemaking

NSF Insufficient Funds

NSLDS National Student Loan Data System


OCFO Office of the Chief Financial Officer

OCR Office for Civil Rights (within ED)

OGC Office of the General Counsel (within ED)

OIG Office of the Inspector General (within ED)

OMB Office of Management and Budget (Federal)

OPE Office of Postsecondary Education (within ED)

OPE ID Office of Postsecondary Education (within ED)
Identification (school’s identifier number on their ECAR/PPA)

OPM Office of Personnel Management

OSFA Office of Student Financial Assistance (within ED)


P Federal Pell Grant ‘Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier (no longer in effect after Jan 2013)

PAN Payee Account Number

PAYE Pay As You Earn

PC Parental Contribution or Personal Computer

PCA Parents’ Contribution from Assets or Pre-Claims Assistance

PDL Program Determination Letter

PEPS Postsecondary Education Participants System

PII Personally Identifiable Information

PIN Personal Identification Number

PJ Professional Judgment

P.L. Public Law

PLUS formerly an acronym for “Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students”. No longer an acronym; now refers to loans made to parents of undergraduate students, as well as loans made to independent graduate/professional students

PMS Payment Management System

PPA Program Participation Agreement

PPY Prior Prior Year

PRCN Program Review Control Number

PRDL Program Review Determination Letter

PSS Program Systems Service (within ED, formerly Division of Program Operations and Systems)

PT Part Time

PTAS Policy, Training, and Analysis Service (within ED)


QA Quality Assurance

QAP Quality Assurance Program (within ED, formerly Institutional Quality Assurance Program) (QA Program ended 6/30/17 – however the DLQAP is still in effect)

QC Quality Control

QTP Qualified Tuition Program


REP Remaining Eligibility Period

REPAYE Revised Pay As You Earn

RIGA Regional Inspector General for Audit

RO Regional Office (within ED)

ROTC Reserve Officers Training Corps


SAFRA Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

SAIG Student Aid Internet Gateway

SAP Satisfactory Academic Progress

SAR Student Aid Report

SAY Scheduled Academic Year

SC Student Contribution

SCA Student Contribution from Assets

SCP Scheduled Cash Payment

SEA State Education Authority

SFAP Student Financial Assistance Programs (within ED)

SG State (SSIG) ‘Dear Colleague” Letter Identifier

SIC Student’s Income Contribution

SLEU Subsidized Loan Eligibility Used

SLMA Student Loan Marketing Association, also known as “Sallie Mae”

SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program)

SNT Simplified Needs Test

SPCA Supplemental Pre-Claims Assistance

SPT School Participation Team

SSA Social Security Administration

SSCR Student Status Confirmation Report (aka Enrollment Reporting)

SSI Social Security Income

SSIG State Student Incentive Grant

SSN Social Security Number

SULA Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (ended with 21-22 award year)

SUP Subsidized Usage Period


TA Technical Assistance

TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (formerly AFDC)

TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion

TC Total Contribution

TEACH Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education

TFA Two Factor Authentication

TFCS U.S. Treasury’s Financial Communications System (this is a method to request funds under ACH / EFT in ED / PMS)

TI Total Income

TIN Taxpayer Identification Number

TIV WAN Title IV Wide Area Network

TPID Training and Program Information Division (within ED)

TRIO HEA Federal outreach programs for disadvantaged students: Educational Opportunity Centers, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound-Math /Science, Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement, Training Program for Special Programs Staff and Leadership Personnel and Student Support Services


U.S.C. United States Code (of law)

USCIS United States Citizenship Immigration Services

UEH Unusual Enrollment History


VA U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VAWA Violence Against Women Act

VEAP Post-Vietnam Veterans Educational Assistance Program

VISTA Volunteers in Service to America


WAN Wide Area Network

WIA Workforce Investment Act

WIOA Workforce Investment Opportunity Act

WIC Women, Infants and Children Program


We can’t think of anything that starts with the letter “X” in the financial aid world, but if you can, let us know!


We can’t think of anything that starts with the letter “Y” in the financial aid world, but if you can, let us know!


We can’t think of anything that starts with the letter “Z” in the financial aid world, but if you can, let us know!