Important Financial Aid Terms That Every Student Should Know

  • Academic Year
    • The period of time that starts with the Fall semester, includes the following Spring semester, and ends with the following Summer Session at San Bernardino Valley College.
  • COA (cost of attendance)
    • The amount of money students spend to go to school and support them while attending. It includes enrollment, books, food, housing, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses.
  • Dependent Student 
    • A student who is less than 24 years of age, unmarried, has no dependent children, is not an orphan, ward of the court, or veteran of the military.
  • EFC (Expected Family Contribution)
    • The projected amount a student and their family is expected to contribute to the cost of attendance of the student.
  • GED (General Equivalence Diploma)
    • A certificate given to students who have passed state approved high school equivalency test.
  • Grant
    • A type of financial aid, usually awarded based on financial need, which does not have to be repaid.
  • Independent Student
    • A student who is 24 years old or older, an orphan or ward of the court, military veteran, married or who has dependent children of their own is considered to be independent.
  • Need Analysis
    • The generic term for the federally regulated process used to estimate a family's ability to meet educational costs (i.e., to estimate financial need).
  • SAR (Student Aid Report)
    • The report mailed to student aid applicants which confirms the financial information submitted on the FAFSA.

Helpful Websites

Use the links below to websites that can be helpful during the financial aid application.