General Aid Offer Terms
FINANCIAL NEED: Your Cost of Attendance, minus your Student Aid Index, less any Need-based Aid received (Gift Aid, Federal Work-Study, or Federal Direct Subsidized Loans).
NET COST: Amount of direct and indirect costs remaining after all Gift Aid is applied. Net cost can be covered through a variety of sources: savings, income, and education loans.
DIRECT COSTS: Charges you pay directly to the school. Costs may vary by student depending on housing options or being part time, etc.
INDIRECT COSTS: Estimated expenses in the Cost of Attendance that are not paid directly to the institution.
STUDENT AID INDEX: An eligibility index we use to determine how much aid you would receive. We base this on information from your application. The Student Aid Index is calculated by a formula specified in law. (Formerly known as EFC.)
EFC (Expected Family Contribution):An eligibility index we use to determine how much aid you would receive. We base this on information from your application. The EFC is calculated by a formula specified in law. This term will no longer be used starting with the 2023-24 FAFSA.
SELF-HELP:Money you may contribute toward your education using a combination of loans, work options, scholarships, and/or summer savings.
GIFT AID:This is awarded money you do NOT have to pay back if you meet certain criteria. These vary but can include: service requirements, finishing the term for which you got aid, or other accepted terms. Gift aid goes by names including: grants, scholarships, remissions, awards, waivers, etc. Gift aid can be awarded based upon many factors: financial need, academic excellence, athletic ability, musical/theatrical talent, affiliation with various groups, career aspirations, etc.
GRANT: Gift aid that is typically based on financial need.
LOAN: A form of financial aid that MUST BE REPAID. Educational loans have varying fees, interest rates, repayment terms, and/or borrower protections.
SCHOLARSHIP: Gift Aid that is typically based on merit: academic excellence, talent, affiliation with various groups, career aspirations, or a combination of merit and need.
WORK OPTION:A form of financial aid that does NOT need to be repaid, but must be earned through employment. It is an option provided to students to help them contribute to their Cost of Attendance. It may reduce their need to borrow.
WAIVER: A waiver is “not paid” dollars through financial aid. It is a placeholder on the aid offer that represents the amount of fees (from by a different office) waived on your billing account. For example, Student Health may waive health insurance fees, and the Registrar may waive nonresident tuition for qualified students.
Federal Aid Programs
FEDERAL PELL GRANT: This is gift aid from the federal government to Undergraduate Students who demonstrate exceptional financial need, and have a Student Aid Index value (formerly EFC) below a certain threshold. The amount is prorated based on Enrollment Status.
FEDERAL SEOG GRANT: The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is gift aid awarded by the university to qualified undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.
FEDERAL SUBSIDIZED LOAN: This is a loan provided to Undergraduate Students with financial need by the university on behalf of the US Department of Education. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student remains enrolled at least half time (and during certain periods when the government allows postponement of repayment). There are limits on the amounts you may borrowed (these vary by the your academic year and your dependency status). Repayment begins 6 MONTHS after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time.
FEDERAL UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN: This is a loan provided to Undergraduate and Graduate Students by the university on behalf of the US Department of Education. Students qualify regardless of their financial need, as long as they are eligible to file AND have filed the FAFSA. Interest begins accruing immediately after the first payment applies to you account, and you can choose to pay the interest while enrolled, or upon entering repayment. There are limits on the amounts you may borrow (these vary by your academic year and dependency status). Repayment begins 6 MONTHS after you are no longer enrolled at least half time.
FEDERAL WORK-STUDY: This is a work option offered and administered by the university that provides Part-time Employment to students with financial need to help pay their educational expenses. You are responsible for finding qualified employment using career services resources on the campus. Funds are paid out through a paycheck, as earned.
FEDERAL PARENT PLUS LOAN: This is a loan provided to the Parents of Dependent Undergraduate Students by the US Department of Education through the university. Repayment begins immediately once the loan is fully disbursed. Some options to delay payment are available.
FEDERAL GRAD PLUS LOAN: This is a loan provided to Graduate Students by the US Department of Education through the university. This allows graduate students without an unfavorable credit history to apply for a loan. The amount is up to the Cost of Attendance each year, less any other financial aid received. Repayment begins 6 MONTHS after the student is no longer enrolled at least half time.
FEDERAL VETERANS BENEFIT: Under the GI Bill, this Federal VA Education Benefit is earned through military service for education and training purposes. The GI Bill has several different "chapters" of educational benefits. All chapters pay a Monthly Housing Allotment (MHA), in varying amounts, directly to the student from the VA. Chapter 33 and 31 are the ONLY Federal VA Education Benefits that pay UC Tuition and other fees directly to the campus. Dollars paid directly to the campus may affect other forms of financial aid (starting with loans and work-study) and may affect UC Grant.
FED VET DEPENDENT AID: Under the GI Bill, this Federal VA Education Benefit is earned through military service for education and training purposes. The GI Bill has two different "chapters" of educational benefits available to these dependents: Ch 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill, and Ch 35 Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA). Both pay a Monthly Housing Allotment (MHA), in varying amounts, directly to the student from the VA. Chapter 33 is the ONLY Federal VA Education Benefit for military dependents that pays for UC Tuition and other fees directly to the campus. Dollars paid directly to the campus affect other financial aid programs (starting with UC Grant).
FEDERAL TEACH GRANT: This is gift aid for Undergraduate and Graduate Students. It is awarded in exchange for specific future teaching service in designated high-need fields at low-income elementary and secondary schools. PLEASE NOTE: If a student does not complete the required teaching service, the Grant becomes a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid.
FED IRAQ/AFGH SERVICE GRANT: Service Grant is gift aid for qualifying students with a parent or guardian who died as a result of US military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you cannot receive a Federal Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant.
State Aid Programs
CAL GRANT A: This is awarded by the State of California. The award amounts are set by the state government and are subject to change at any time, but typically cover UC Tuition. Your eligibility after your first year in the program is based on financial need, and your class level when you were first entered into the program.
CAL GRANT B: This is gift aid awarded by the State of California. The award amounts are set by the state government and are subject to change at any time, but typically cover UC Tuition. Your eligibility after your first year in the program is based on financial need, and your class level when you were first entered into the program.
CAL GRANT B STIPEND: This is gift aid awarded by the State of California for living expenses, books, and campus fees to students who qualify for the Cal Grant B program. The award amounts are set by the state government and are subject to change at any time.
CALIFORNIA MIDDLE CLASS SCHOLARSHIP: This is gift aid that provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, with a scholarship to attend a University of California (UC), California State University (CSU) or California Community College Bachelor’s degree program. Students with family income and assets up to $217,000 may be eligible.
CALIFORNIA DREAM LOAN: This is a loan provided by the State of California through the university to students who are Dream App eligible. You must have financial need, and be attending a UC or CSU campus. A student can borrow a maximum of $4,000 per year, and a total maximum of $20,000 at one campus. The interest rate and loan terms match that of the Federal Subsidized Loan each year.
GOLDEN STATE TEACHER GRANT (GSTG): This is a state grant aid, which may need to be paid back if the awardee fails to do one or more of the service agreement commitments. The Golden State teacher grant program awards up to $20,000 to students currently enrolled in a professional preparation program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and working towards earning their preliminary teaching or pupil personnel services credential.
CAL VET TUITION WAIVER: This is gift aid in the form of a waiver of UC Tuition. The program provides for Spouses and Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans. Eligibility is determined by your local county Veterans Services Office. If deemed eligible, you MUST supply the Certificate of Eligibility to the University's Veterans Certifying Official annually.
CAL CHAFEE GRANT: Students who are Former Foster Youth, and who have financial need. Initial eligibility is based on your financial aid application, verification of your foster status, and attendance at a school that is eligible to participate in the Cal Grant program. You continue to be eligible as long as you submit the FAFSA or CA Dream App each year and are NOT over the age of 26.
CAL STUDENTS WITH DEPENDENTS (SWD): This is gift aid awarded by the State of California to Cal Grant students who have children or dependents under 18 years of age for whom they provide more than half of financial support during the academic year. The award amounts are set by the state government and are subject to change at any time. The maximum is $6,000 for full-time students per year. Your eligibility is based on financial need, your child's or dependent's date of birth, and the number of credits in which you are enrolled each academic term. The award amount is prorated if you adjust your enrollment credits in a term.
CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT SERVICE INCENTIVE GRANT (DSIG): This is gift aid awarded by the State of California. DSIG provides CADAA students with a Cal Grant A award that meets Cal Grant B eligibility or a Cal Grant B award with additional funds for performing a minimum number of community or volunteer service hours.
UC Sponsored Programs
UC GRANT: This is gift aid awarded by the University of California campus to California Resident Undergraduate Students with financial need.
UC HEALTH INSURANCE GRANT/WAIVER: This is gift aid awarded by the University of California campus to California Resident Undergraduate Students with financial need who participate in the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (or Student Health Insurance for Berkeley students). Students who elect to waive UC SHIP fees will not be eligible for USHIP gift aid.
UC BLUE AND GOLD OPPORTUNITY PLAN: This program ensures California Resident Students with total family incomes under $80,000 do not have to pay UC Tuition out of their own pocket. Eligibility is determined by the student's financial need after all other gift aid sources are applied. Students who meet the criteria typically qualify for more gift aid than this program alone provides.
UC NATIVE AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY PLAN (NAOP): This program ensures that in-state systemwide Tuition and Student Services Fees are fully covered for California students who are also enrolled in federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes. This plan applies to undergraduate and graduate students.
UC STUDENT WITH DEPENDENTS (SWD) GRANT: This is gift aid awarded by the University of California to students who do NOT qualify for the Cal Students with Dependents Grant, AND who have children or dependents under 18 years of age for whom they provide more than half of their financial support during the academic year. The award amounts match those set by the state government program. They are subject to change at any time. The maximum is $6,000 for full time students per year. Your eligibility is based on financial need, your child's (or dependent’s) date of birth, and the number of credits in which you are enrolled each academic term. The award amount is prorated if you adjust your enrollment credits in a term.
UC Wide Programs
UNIVERSITY WORK STUDY: This is a work option you earn through on or off-campus employment and receive in the form of a paycheck. University work-study is assigned by the campus based on several factors, including but not limited to program availability, financial need, eligibility for Federal Work-Study, etc.
UNIVERSITY LOAN: A loan provided to students by the campus to pay for the annual Cost of Attendance, less any financial aid received. University loans have varying interest rates, fees, and repayment options. Repayment generally begins after you graduate or enroll less than half-time.
Other Aid Offer Terms
PRIVATE LOAN: This is a loan that is provided to students or parents from a commercial, state-affiliated or institutional lender used to pay for up to the annual Cost of Attendance (less any financial aid received). Private loans have varying interest rates, fees and repayment options, and usually require the applicant to be creditworthy (or have a creditworthy cosigner). Repayment generally begins immediately.
NON-RESIDENT TUITION WAIVER: This is gift aid in the form of a waiver of UC Tuition for nonresidents by the Registrar's Office. This means this award affects the student billing side and is not paid by Financial Aid. A waiver is typically granted to students who apply and qualify for one of several types of exemptions, such as AB 540, Condit, etc. This waiver appears on the aid offer to accurately capture all types of resources provided to the student.
FEDERAL VERIFICATION: A federally mandated process to confirm the accuracy of data provided by student applicants on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). To complete the verification process, you must provide certain documents to the university for review. Your parent(s) or spouse (if applicable) are also required to submit documents. If your documentation doesn't match what was reported on the FAFSA, verification can result in changes to your financial aid eligibility, and/or financial aid offers.
ENROLLMENT STATUS: This is a student's academic workload (or course load), as defined by the university, in which a student is enrolled for a defined academic period. This normally relates to the number of credit hours taken by a student during a given academic period. This can include being enrolled full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, less than half-time, withdrawn, graduated, etc. The number of credits in which you enroll determines enrollment status. This can affect financial aid award amounts.
DISBURSE: Payment of student aid funds to the student billing account by financial aid. These payments reduce the overall balance on the student account. If this results in more dollars on the account than there is on the bill, the student receives a refund.
REFUND: Money given directly to the student from the university that comes from the student billing account having an excess credit balance. This occurs when financial aid or payments made by the student, parent, or outside agency are more than the amount of the bill on the student account. A refund may be issued to a parent for Parent Loan payments if the parent has not granted permission for the excess money to go to the student.
Cost of Attendance Terms
COST OF ATTENDANCE: Reflects the estimated cost of attending your college and is usually listed as 9-month academic year amounts. It includes tuition, housing and meals, transportation costs, personal expenses, student health insurance, and other costs specific to the particular campus you are attending. Some items are Direct Costs, meaning they are billed to your student account, while others are averages based on the UC Cost of Attendance Survey which is informed by student responses on their expenses. NOTE: Special programs and terms (such as summer sessions or graduate/professional degree programs) may have different calendars, and therefore different budgets. Refer to those program sites for additional information.
UC TUITION: This is a Direct Cost billed to your college student account. UC tuition is the total amount you are charged for classes (also known as systemwide tuition), student services fees, and nonresident supplemental tuition (if you are a nonresident). These are rounded to the nearest dollar. All students pay UC Tuition. Your tuition amount is based on the year you first enrolled in a degree program at UC, and if you are a CA resident or nonresident. UC Tuition should remain the same cost each year for up to 6 years from the time of your first enrollment (barring any unexpected economic changes).
CAMPUS FEES: This is a Direct Cost billed to your college student account. These fees help fund a variety of student related services, such as student government, student public transportation, building improvements, etc. Campus-based fees are established, increased, or renewed by student vote in campus elections.
UC STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE: This is a Direct Cost billed to your college student account. This amount reflects the annual charge for the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) for an academic year. All enrolled students are required to have health insurance that meets minimum coverage limits established by UC. Students are automatically enrolled and the charge is included in the student bill. Some students apply for and are granted a waiver. If you have adequate private insurance, and do not wish to enroll in the UC SHIP, you may request an insurance waiver. You must do this through the campus Student Health office by the campus designated deadline. Students will need to have their private insurance plan information available when submitting the waiver request. Financial Aid awards may include a UC Health Insurance Grant or Waiver to cover this cost for eligible students. Please note that a financial aid award may change if you waive out of UC SHIP. More information at www.studenthealth.ucla.edu
BOOKS AND SUPPLIES: This is an Indirect Cost. An indirect cost is not billed to your college student account. It is an estimated average of the cost of books and school supplies while attending college. Supplies can include writing utensils, paper, computer purchase, etc.
HOUSING AND MEALS: This is an Indirect Cost. An indirect cost is not billed to your college student account. It is an estimated average of the cost of housing, food, and utilities while attending college, even if living at home with parents.
TRANSPORTATION COSTS: This is an Indirect Cost. An indirect cost is NOT billed to your college student account. It is an estimated average of the cost of transportation, such as local transportation costs while attending college, and traveling home on breaks.
PERSONAL EXPENSES: This is an Indirect Cost. An indirect cost is not billed to your college student account. It is an estimated average of the cost of incidental expenses, such as personal hygiene, laundry, clothing, and reasonable entertainment.
LIVING SITUATION DURING THE YEAR: Reflects housing categories as determined by the campus. For example, some campuses have more than one type of University Housing, and different costs for each housing type. Your living situation means where you will live for the academic year (academic terms of enrollment).
UNIVERSITY HOUSING (Residential Halls): Any residence hall owned or contracted with the University is considered to be living in University Housing. On the financial aid application this is called ‘ON CAMPUS’. Your campus will use varying methods to confirm your living situation so you are assigned the appropriate Cost of Attendance.
OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING: Any University owned or non-University owned apartment, shared house, Fraternity, or Sorority. If you are living with relatives, see “Living At Home”. On the financial aid application this is called ‘OFF CAMPUS’. Your campus will use varying methods to confirm your living situation so you are assigned the appropriate Cost of Attendance.
LIVING AT HOME: A student who is living with a relative, usually a parent, is considered Living at Home. On the financial aid application this is called ‘COMMUTER’. Your campus will use varying methods to confirm your living situation so you are assigned the appropriate Cost of Attendance.