This is the amount of the academic work you must complete each year, and the time period in which you are expected to complete it, as defined by your school. For example, your school’s academic year may be made up of a fall and spring semester, during which a full-time undergraduate student is expected to complete at least 24 semester hours, usually called credits or credit hours, over the course of 30 weeks of instructional time. Academic years change from school to school and even from educational program to educational program at the same school.
For purposes of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, an academic year is defined as one complete school year at the same school, or two complete and consecutive half years at different schools, or two complete and consecutive half years from different school years (at either the same school or different schools). Half years exclude summer sessions and generally fall within a 12-month period. For schools that have a year-round program of instruction, nine months is considered an academic year.
Confirms that the college or career school meets certain minimum academic standards, as defined by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Schools must be accredited to be eligible to participate in federal student aid programs.
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
You or your family’s wages, salaries, interest, dividends, etc., minus certain deductions from income as reported on a federal income tax return.
Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG)
A tool that allows the federal government or your guaranty agency to have your employer withhold a portion of your earnings to collect unpaid non-tax debts that you owe to the federal government. If you have a federal student loan in default, up to 15% of your disposable pay could be taken by the federal government or your guaranty agency to repay your debt.
Adverse Credit History
A credit history is a summary of your financial strength, including your history of paying bills and your ability to repay future loans. To qualify for a PLUS loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history. Your credit history may be considered adverse if you are experiencing any of the following credit conditions:
Bankruptcy discharge within the past five years.
Voluntary surrender of personal property to avoid repossession within the last five years.
Repossession of collateral within the last five years.
Foreclosure proceedings started.
Foreclosure within the last five years.
Conveying your real property that is subject to a mortgage (by deed) to your lender to avoid foreclosure (deed in lieu of foreclosure).
Accounts currently 90 days or more delinquent.
Unpaid collection accounts.
Charge-offs/write-offs of federal student loans.
Wage garnishment within the last five years.
Defaulting on a loan, even if the claim has been paid.
Lease or contract terminated by default.
County/state/federal tax lien within the past five years.
Agreement to Serve (ATS)
The binding agreement you must sign to receive a TEACH Grant. By signing the ATS, you agree to teach (1) full-time (2) in a high-need field (3) at a low-income school or educational service agency that serves certain low-income schools, and (4) for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant. If you do not complete your teaching service agreement, the amounts of the TEACH Grants you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you must repay with interest charges from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
Approved Drug Rehabilitation Program
A drug rehabilitation program that is:
(1) qualified to receive funds from a federal, state or local government or from a federally or state-licensed insurance company; or
(2) administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court, or a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.
An undergraduate academic degree granted after completion of two years of study. Community colleges and career colleges generally award associate degrees.
An offer from a college or career school that states the type and amount of financial aid the school is willing to provide if you accept admission and register to take classes at that school.
The school year for which financial aid is used to fund your education.