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Financial Aid Glossary

Award notification/letter

This document provides information about your financial aid eligibility and details your awards and their amounts.

Costs of attendance

These figures provide an estimate of what it costs to attend a college or university. They typically include the tuition and fees a student is charged along with the institution’s estimated cost of room and board, transportation/commuting, books, supplies and miscellaneous personal items.

Certification date

Your instructors certify (verify) your course attendance on a certain date each semester. Certification affects your financial aid eligibility.

Direct costs

Direct costs are expenses paid to your college, such as tuition.


A disbursement is a payment of money.

Distance Learning class

A Distance Learning class is a class primarily taken online.


 eRefunds is a service that Brookhaven College partners with to process and distribute refunds and disbursements to students. This includes financial aid disbursements, refunds, grants and any other payments you may be owed.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your costs of attendance. The EFC is calculated by a Congressionally mandated formula known as Federal Methodology. The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for student financial assistance programs.

Federal Work-Study

This campus-based program provides part-time employment to students with need who want earnings to help meet their costs.

Flex Term class

A Flex Term class does not follow the regular semester schedule. Usually Flex Term classes are shorter, more concentrated classes. They often last only a month.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

This standard form collects demographic and financial information about you and your family. This information is used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You can fill out the FAFSA online at You must complete this application for all financial aid programs at Brookhaven College.


A grant is a form of financial aid, usually awarded based on need, that does not have to be paid back.

Indirect costs

Indirect costs are expenses you do not pay to your college, such as the cost of commuting to school.

Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR)

The ISIR is the official result from the information you submitted on the FAFSA. It is sent electronically to the school(s) you selected on your FAFSA.


A student loan is borrowed money that you must pay back. Some loans accrue (build) interest.

Out-of-pocket costs

These expenses are your responsibility as a student and are not paid with financial aid, scholarships, loans or gift aid.

Payment period

A payment period is a school-defined length of time for which financial aid funds are paid to students. A payment period is equal to a term or semester (Fall, Spring or Summer).


A scholarship is gift aid that usually does not have to be repaid. Scholarships are typically based on merit or a combination of merit and need. Scholarships may be awarded based on academic excellence, talent, affiliation with various groups or career aspirations, among other factors.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

To keep getting financial aid every semester, you must move forward in your program of study. You must meet all three criteria:

  1. 2.0 cumulative (overall) GPA, based on a 4.0 scale
  2. Must have a cumulative passing rate of at least 67% of all attempted credit hours
  3. Credit hours that do not exceed 150% of the minimum number of hours required to complete your program of study

Student Aid Report (SAR)

After you fill out the FAFSA, this report will be sent to you. The SAR contains the information you submitted in the FAFSA and other information about your financial aid eligibility.


This process verifies the information you filled out on your FAFSA. Students who apply for financial aid are randomly selected for Verification, typically by the U.S. Department of Education. If you are chosen for Verification, you must complete this online process.