Financial Aid Glossary | LSU Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid Glossary

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Academic plan

Form completed with the student’s academic advisor as part of the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal. The advisor submits the plan online on their myLSU account and it is received the next day by Financial Aid. The plan is a set of enrollment guidelines a student must comply with to regain good satisfactory academic progress standing. If students do not meet the requirements set out in the academic plan for each period of enrollment, future financial aid eligibility will be suspended.

Academic year

For financial aid purposes, a year that starts with the summer semester and ends with the spring semester.


Billing statement

A document available to students that provides a detailed listing of all charges and credits with the university.

Bursar Operations

The primary service unit for managing student financial records, billing needs and payments. LSU’s Bursar Operations Office is located in the main lobby of Thomas Boyd Hall.


Complete registration

Students complete registration when they pay all necessary fees and submit all needed documentation in order to enroll for the upcoming semester. Students who have a fee balance of $0 still need to complete registration by clicking the “Complete Registration” button on their MyLSU account under Registration Services, Fee Bill.

Cost of attendance

The estimated total amount it will cost to attend an institution. It is determined by Financial Aid using rules established by the U.S. Congress. Cost of attendance is based on average costs incurred by students and it includes tuition, room/board, books, transportation, and personal miscellaneous expenses. This figure is used solely for the determination of financial aid and does not represent a figure you will owe the University.


Dependent status

Students that are not able to answer “yes” to any of the dependency questions on the FAFSA and must provide parental information. The dependency questions ask if the student is 24, married, has a dependent, is on active duty, etc.


The payment of funds from the Department of Education to the university.


Enrollment Status

Based on the number of hours students enroll for each semester. A student’s enrollment status can affect their financial aid eligibility for certain programs.

Entrance Counseling

A requirement for first-time borrowers to learn about the rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower completed on

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is calculated using a federally mandated formula to determine a student’s need based eligibility based on the information submitted on the FAFSA. The EFC is not the amount you are expected to pay to attend.



Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- the application used to determine financial need.

Fee bill

Fee bills are generated about one month prior to each semester. Students must pay their fee bill in order to enroll for the upcoming semester.

Financial aid counselor

Each student is assigned a financial aid advisor to help the student with the financial aid process and answer any questions. All undergraduate students are divided alphabetically by last name. The graduate professional and online graduate students are assigned a specific counselor.

Financial Aid Package

An offer of financial aid that may include a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, or work study funds available on the student’s MyLSU account.

Financial Aid Transcript

This is an internal document typically completed for students transferring in for the spring semester. The student does not need to submit anything for this request. Financial Aid will verify what aid, if any, the student received for the fall before offering a financial aid package for the spring semester.

Financial Need

The difference between your Expected Family Contribution and Cost of Attendance (budget) as determined by LSU Financial Aid.


Gift Aid

A form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid or earned.

Grace Period

A period of time granted to loan borrowers during which no payment is due. After a student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half time, they enter a grace period of usually six months.


A form of need based financial aid that does not have to be repaid or earned.


Independent status

Students are considered independent if they can answer “yes” to one of the dependency questions on the FAFSA. These questions ask if the student is 24, married, has a dependent, is on active duty, etc. Students that are self-supporting are not necessarily considered independent.

Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR)

A record produced by the Central Processing System that is sent to LSU with a student’s calculated Expected Family Contribution. The ISIR is an institutional version of a student’s FAFSA.



A form of financial aid that must be repaid.

Loan interest rate

A loan expense charged for the use of borrowed money. Interest is paid by a borrower to a lender. The expense is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount of the loan. Interest will continue to accrue until the loan(s) has been fully repaid.


Master promissory note

A legal document in which students promise to repay loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education.


Need-based Aid

Aid programs that students must qualify for by demonstrating financial need. Financial need is determined based off of the FAFSA.


Outside Scholarship

A scholarship funded by sources outside LSU Financial Aid. These sources can include corporations, individuals, or other academic departments at LSU. The scholarship will not apply on the student’s fee bill until the university has received the funds.


Refund Check

A check you receive from LSU for any funds remaining in your student account after aid has been disbursed and all balances have been resolved.

Registrar's office

Office at the university that maintains student records.


SAP (satisfactory academic progress)

Policy required by the Department of Education ensuring students are moving toward obtaining a degree in a timely, acceptable manner. Students must meet the university’s SAP policy in order to maintain federal financial aid eligibility.

Student Account

An account where financial aid is disbursed. These funds pay a student’s tuition and fees or receivables owed to LSU. Funds remaining after all fees have been paid will be refunded to the student via a refund check.

Student Aid Report (SAR)

The report a student receives after filling out the FAFSA.


Tax return transcript

Official copy of a student’s tax return requested from the IRS. Students can request the transcript by phone or online at Per regulations from the Department of Education, only the tax transcript can be used for verification purposes.


Verification selection

About 30 percent of students are selected for verification by the Department of Education. All students selected must provide requested documents so Financial Aid can verify the information submitted on the FAFSA is correct before the student’s financial aid eligibility can be determined.


Work Study

A form of financial aid that must be earned through working in a student job. Work study is need-based and funds are limited. Students indicate interest in work study on the Student Data Form requested by the Financial Aid Office once the FAFSA is received.