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1040 Form, 1040A Form, 1040EZ Form
The Federal Income Tax Return. Every person who has received income during the previous year must file a form 1040 with the IRS by April 15.
1099 Form
Form used by business to report income paid to a non-employee. Banks use this form to report interest income.
401(k)
A popular type of retirement fund. It is legal to borrow money from your 401(k) to help pay for your children's education.
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A
Academic Year
The period during which school is in session, consisting of at least 30 weeks of instructional time. The school year typically runs from the beginning of September through the end of May at most colleges and universities.
Award Letter
An official document issued by a school's financial aid office that lists all of the financial aid awarded to the student. This letter provides details on their analysis of your financial need and the breakdown of your financial aid package according to amount, source and type of aid. The award letter will include the terms and conditions for the financial aid and information about the cost of attendance. You are not required to sign or return the letter; however if you wish to decline any source of aid, please e-mail us at finaid@usouthal.edu with that information or notate it on your letter and return it to us. Some schools call the award letter the "Financial Aid Notification (FAN)".
Award Year
The academic year for which financial aid is requested (or received).
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B
C
Campus-based Aid
Financial aid programs are administered by the University. The federal government provides the university with a fixed annual allocation, which is awarded by the financial aid administrator to deserving students. Such programs include the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study. Note that there is no guarantee that every eligible student will receive financial aid through these programs, because the awards are made from a fixed pool of money. This is a key difference between the campus-based loan programs and the Federal Loan Programs.
College Work-Study (CWS)
Federal College Work-Study is simply a part-time job. This term is sometimes erroneously used to refer to the Federal Work-Study Program.
Cost of Attendance (COA)
(Also known as the cost of education or "budget") The total amount it should cost the student to go to school, including tuition and fees, room and board, allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses. Loan fees, if applicable, may also be included in the COA. Schools establish different standard budget amounts for students living on-campus, off-campus, in-state and out-of-state students.
Credit Rating
An evaluation of the likelihood of a borrower to default on a loan. Credit bureaus and credit reporting agencies provide this information to banks and businesses to help them decide whether to issue a loan or extend credit. Your credit rating may include your payment history, a list of current and past credit accounts and their balances, employment and personal information and a history of past credit problems.

People who make all their payments on time are considered good credit risks. People who are frequently delinquent in making their payments are considered bad credit risks. Defaulting on a loan can hurt your credit rating.
Custodial Parent
If a student's parents are divorced or separated, the custodial parent is the one with whom the student lived the most during the past 12 months. The student's need analysis is based on financial information supplied by the custodial parent.
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