Select a term to view its definition.
Cost of Attendance (Budget)
The cost of attendance for a student is an estimate of that student’s educational expenses for an academic year. This amount includes both direct and indirect education expenses. Student budgets are reviewed each year and are subject to change based on tuition and fee increases and data collected from student survey of living expense costs.
Direct Costs
Direct Costs consist of tuition, health and dental insurance, and required matriculation fees. Direct costs are charged to all students.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
This figure is determined by the information you report on the FAFSA and is calculated by federal methodology. Your EFC combined with your college costs will determine your eligibility for federal aid (loans and work-study).
Federal Methodology
Federal methodology is a formula used to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This formula, established by Congress, is used nationwide for all students. The most important factors in the formula are your income and assets and the size of your family.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Loans made to eligible graduate and professional students, not based on need. Students are required to complete the FAFSA application to be considered for a loan.
Federal Direct Grad/Plus Loan
Loans made to graduate or professional students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. Completion of the FAFSA is required for consideration of this loan.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The FAFSA is the basic application you must complete and file to apply for federal student aid, State of Maryland financial aid, and some institutional aid. As a grad student, you are automatically considered as an independent student for federal financial aid. Only income and assets for you and/or your spouse is required on the application. To file the FAFSA online, visit their website.
Financial Aid Package
Combination of loans, scholarship and work-study funds received to create an award offer.
Indirect Costs
Indirect costs consist of room & board, books & supplies, travel expenses and personal expenses. Indirect costs are variable.
Loan Servicer
A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loan . The loan servicer will work with you on repayment plans and loan consolidation and will assist you with other tasks related to your federal student loan. It is important to maintain contact with your loan servicer.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
NSLDS is the National Student Loan Data System which is the Department of Education’s central database for student aid. This system maintains all the federal student loans and grants that the student has received during their years of college enrollment. This site tracks student loans, indicates the servicer of the loans and provides status information on each loan borrowed.